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- A meeting with the kaiser and the generals preparing for war - however Bethmann Hollweg wasn't there so not be planning war
- Molke said the war should commence 'the sooner the better'
- Stared preparations for war after that meeting - widening the Kiel Canal and building battle ships suggest war with Britian was being considered + adding the the Army bill 170,000 soliders
- Primat die politik - internal politics - to divert the tension rising within Germany by making them more patriotic
- Working class and SPD endangered the Junker led council - derail foreign policy - seen war was the only way to divert it
- A response to Britain's declaration that they would support France unconditionally in response to war - fear of encirclement
- Can be argued its both an agressive and an defensive plan
- Agressive because it can be put into place even when unprovoked - brings all the triple alliance into it
- Need to plan for a possible war on two fronts because of the fear of encirclement this is - both France and Russia expanding - crush Germany
- Defensive - because its not planning to start the war but its the only possible plan if a war occurs for Germany to win it.
- Wanted to be allied with Britain and have a empire like there - the only way they could do this is they took over France and gained all her colonies - aggressive
- Nationalist Germans wanted to gain territory in eastern Europe
- Wanted to be able to compete with other European powers to do so they seeked colonial expansion
- Kaiser shaped government so they would have his vision - chancellors and generals - von Bulow.
- Written by Bethmann-Hollweg and outlined Germany's war aimed when the war had started
- Sought to subordinate France
- Far reaching plan to dominate Eastern Europe.
- Written after the war had commenced so cant necessarily be a plan of aggression or dominance that pre-dated the war
- Naval arms race - The second Naval Law increase Germany battleship by 38 and further increased in 1906, 1908 and 1912 - They didnt need a navy was a land locked country with little coast line - Britain needed one - seen as considering war with Britain?
- Britain participated in the naval race with Germany and launched the Dreadnaught 1906 provoking Germany in their third naval law
- Britain were determined to keep naval superemacy
- Orginally Russia and Germany had a treaty together the 'reinsurance treaty' - treaty lapsed due to Germany seeking a closer relationship to A-H
- Bosnian crisis 1908 - Germany supported Austria Hungry for the annexation of Bosnia - called for an international conference - did this without consulting Germany
- First Moroccan crisis - Germany hoped to isolate France and to protect its economic interested and called for a conference - were all invited accept Germany + AH - accepted French influence
- Second Moroccan Crisis - Uprising in Fez - Germany order a Gunboat the 'panther' off the coast of Morocco - seen as an aggressive war like move - France got influence and Germany got two worthless strips of land in the Congo
- Contributed to arms race
Encirclement - Alliance system
- Lose ties between the Triple Entente
- 1894 - Franco- Russian Alliance
- 1904 - Entente Cordiale
- 1907 - Anglo-Russian Entente
- The Triple Alliance had much stronger alliances - they agreed if attacked by France or two or more powers to support each other - Italy, AH and Germany
Encirclement arms Race
- Germany increased army by 20% in 1912 and 1913
- In response France increased conscription to 3 years
- Russia also respond by making plans to increase the army by 500,000 in 1916
- The event that initially caused the war wasn't an action from Germany - Serbian Black Hand organisation - assassination of Franz Ferdinand
- Bethmann-Hollweg urged AH to take action and offered whatever financial and militarily assistance they will give to them - 'Blank Cheque' - Shows a drive for war
- Military and Political elite escalated conflict between Austria and Serbia in hope of easy wins
- Didn't have a plan of war but would take a risk on war when the crisis arose
- Better to have the war sooner rather than later as the Entente powers are not prepared.
Slithering towards war
- The Balkans caused the conflicted and the ultimately the trigger for war
- Many powers contributed alliances and agreements created tensions and suspicious and a number of countries contributed to arms race.