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World War I and Who Was to Blame Essay

The First World War was a devastating war that effected many places and also very many lives. Because of the effects of the war people were determined to search for the country that was to blame for all the disaster created. The outbreak was contingent on a determining number of factors. These factors included nationalism that was being spread throughout Europe during the time before World War I had started and the alliance system.

Although Germany was not all to blame for the outbreak of World War I, it did contribute more than a fare share in its involvement in the alliance system, nationalism, the arms race, and emulation between countries and colonies. Previously, before the start of World War I, the dominating powers of Europe (Russia, France, Great Britain, Austria-Hungary, and Germany) were experiencing various problems, which caused the relationships between each power to be extremely edgy and undependable.

All five powers were just beginning to adapt to the industrial revolution within their own country, which did not help the matter of dealing with other countries. Germany must take the main blame for starting the war for the following reasons: 1: Unconditional support for Austria. The Kaiser promised Austria he would back them up no matter what, even though they made demands on Serbia that even the Kaiser thought were unreasonable. Austria would not have made such demands without the Kaiser’s promise of unconditional support. : The German war plan. The Russians had a very large army, and an alliance with France, so the Germans felt they weren’t strong enough to fight both at the same time. However, as Russia was so large and its transport infrastructure was underdeveloped compared to the other European powers, it would take 2 months for the Russian army to fully mobilize. The Germans therefore devised the Schlieffen Plan, which was a surprise attack on France through neutral Belgium.

This plan was designed to outflank the French army and capture Paris within 6 weeks,thus knocking France out of the war and giving the Germans enough time to move their army east to fight the Russians. However, invading Belgium would bring Britain into the war, as guarantor of Belgian neutrality under the 1839 Treaty of London. Only Germany had a war plan that would turn a localized,Balkan conflict into a Europe wide and therefore global war. 3: German mobilization schedule; The staging area for the German army was Aachen,on the border with France and Belgium.

However,the first troops arriving there would have to move out straightaway to make room for the next arrivals, and so on. The only direction to go was forward, into France and Belgium, thus precipitating war. Mobilization for the German army meant war within 24-48 hours,something the Kaiser and the German army commanders were well aware of. Any delay in moving out the initial wave of German troops would result in the German army getting tangled up in around Aachen,unthinkable and unacceptable with war imminent.

In conclusion, for the above reasons, Germany must take the major share of blame for starting WW1. Assertations that France,Russia,or Serbia declared war first are arrant nonsense, and should be ignored. Austria declared war on Serbia on July 28. The Russian response was to begin mobilization of its army, NOT to declare war. Germany declared war on Russia on August 1. Germany attacked France and Belgium Aug 3. So, the Germans did all the declarations of war and attacks that brought Russia, Britain and France into the war.


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