How Avoidable was WWI?

I was referring to a militarily led France in response to the point that AL was a driving goal of France. Yes the France military likely saw AL as a prize but they weren't driving French foreign policy. My point about Joffres plan as new was that it might have been accepted but the French military was in no place to successfully do it. I actually think you compassion to the Schlieffen Plan is right in the money here (as you say not really a plan). In that they were both borne of out wishful thinking and not practical reality. Of course the difference is the Schlieffen Plan involved breaking Belgium neutrality and bringing Britain in.
Fair enough. France didn’t allow its military the level of governmental interference Germany did, but they were well aware of Joffre’s intentions. Remember, Joffre wanted to break Belgian neutrality, but the politicians wouldn’t sanction it.

I think we can safely say all the Great Power’s military plans had an element of... wishful thinking to them.
 
Before your empire falls apart (AH &Russia)
Before your enemy gets to strong (GB and Germany)
Before your unworthy heir inherited the thrown (Russia and AH)
Before the counties your wealthy influential elite citizens loaned money to goes under bankrupting them (USA)
Before you find out the deals you friends made (and told you they didn’t). (US)
While you can gang up on you enemies (all of them)
while you can gang up on your enemy to get territory back (France).
While you have an excuse you citizens will buy (US, GB, Germany, France)
Your assesment is wrong in a lot of cases.
AH: here I might agree as a lot of important actors believed that AH needs a war. But I think it was more a desire to deal with a very real external treat meaning Serbia.
Russia: completly wrong. The contemporaries believed Russia to be on its way to become a giant - as you yourself state in regards of Germany. The russians themselfs were more - but not completly - aware that this gonna be giant was standing on legs of clay for the moment. However even though mostly everyone owerestimated the actual growth of russia IMO they were right that time was on Russia's side. The social tensions were huge but slowly the regime was winning that fight. Rushing in to a huge war for panslavic idea's and no real gain was the stupidest thing Russia could have done in the early 20th century.
Germany: You are right they feared Russia becoming too strong and also of the furute of AH.
Brittain: They have won the naval armsrace by 1914 against Germany making your assesment wrong. Many believe that London stood before a realignment because of this and the mounting problems with Russia - mainly Russian breeches of their entente treaty especially in Persia. For the russophile's in London the logic was that allying Russia (meaning a binding treaty) was the far cheaper and maybe the only possible way (the already mentioned gross owerestimation of russian growth and stability) to ultimatly contain it and secure the Empire. Becuse a hostile Franco-russian alliance was potentially a far bigger threat to the British Empire than Germany (Think of how a 1vs1 fight against Berlin would look and how it would look against franco-russian alliance. Not to mention it was clear that Germany was not going to fight a huge continental war for british colonial interests so London would be alone against France and Russia. And as France needed Russia more than Britain it was no chance that they would opt for London ower St. Petersburg.)
France: they did want Alsace back. But IMO they wouldnt have started a war for it because they feared that Russia might abandon them and because - especially the socialist coming to power - were not that belligerent. To officially ackowledge that is another matter. No french government could have survived in this era if they came out and stated: having back Alsace would be nice but its not worth the trouble and we are not gonna fight for it. Also what made the french more belligerent in the last prewar years was Poincaré and his belief that Russia would grow too strong - this again. His fear was that as Russia was becoming a giant at a frightening pace both economically and militarily the time was near that it would not need to rely on France for money and his safety. At that point France would loose any leverage ower Russia and could only hope that Russia would uphold their alliance - best a war before that happens and best started in the east meaning by Russia already involved to not test if they would come the Paris's aide if it started for french interests.
 
That's a good reason for why Germany and AH were allied but not a good reason for why we should assume that everyone else should ignore their treaties. or working relationships with their allies. So no not every alliance is as strategically important (they often not as equally strategically important for each partner) but they are usually made for mutual benefit. So once again why do we expect the entente powers to ignore their treaties and relationship in ways that allow the CP to do what they what without repercussions. I.e. my question is rhetorical, of course Germany was going to back AH (although they could have maybe been a bit more prescriptive and more awake at the time (Kaiser going on holiday), but by the same token yes Russia was going to support Serbia (and France, Russia and Britian, Belgium)
I dont expect to. Im simply stating that Russia's practically unconditional support of Serbia in the face of Serbian action (setting up terrorist organisation and committing attacks on austrian territory) ment that a war was practically unavoidable. Because if Austria accepted the serbian response for the ultimatum nothing would have changed. Maybe a few years respite before the black hand blows up the governor of Bosnia or assasinates another member of the royal family, high ranking officer of the army or civil servant.

I also stated that because Russia had no actual treaty with Serbia and seeing how many problems the russians had with assassination attempts on the monarch in the not that distant past russia could have decided not to back Serbia in this. I also would like to add that Russia more than anything needed peace to stabilize the country and to capitalize on the booming of the economy. The last thing they needed was a war. Russia's ambassador going native in Belgrade and making commitments without authorization of his government could also have been used as an easy excuse to back out.
 
Actually Russia was traditionally Bulgaria's sponsor on the Balkans and not Serbia's. Serbia has been practically and especially economically a dependance of Austria till the tariff war of 1906-08. Austria and Russia had various agreements to this effect during the century. Serbia becoming Russia's main protege on the Balkan was a pretty new development meaning the Balkan wars.
This was true only between 1878 and 1885. After that Russia always favored Serbia. Furthermore Russia expected Bulgaria to be allied to Russia simply out of gratitude for the Liberation war, while substantial effort Russian was spent to help Serbia.
 
One thing to note is that most countries had completely different understandings of what even their allies thought than the other countries had of themselves

One example is the Anglo-French military plans which was largely driven by Henry Wilson. The French had come to understand that this WAS the British plan, but the British government was not actually aware of this! To their minds they had been talking plans with the French, and to a political mindset planning was to present options to the government, not to come up with one plan and one only. When war became imminent the French foreign office was getting increasingly furious that Britain seemed not to be operating to what it thought was the plan, they even went as far as to suggest that perhaps the word honour had been expunged from the English language. But as far as Asquith and the government was concerned there was NO undertaking, just planning. Constitutionally and logically the political executive should be the one to come up with a course of action but Wilson in his planning and his behaviour in visiting the scene of the planned dispositions pre-war had given the French to understand that military plans equated with political intention, which it did not.
 
Fair enough. France didn’t allow its military the level of governmental interference Germany did, but they were well aware of Joffre’s intentions. Remember, Joffre wanted to break Belgian neutrality, but the politicians wouldn’t sanction it.
Quite, the difference being rather important. Also, Joffre plan would be to march into Belgium if Germany had already done so. I,e.s it's going out to meet them, not to try and get the jump on them.


I think we can safely say all the Great Power’s military plans had an element of... wishful thinking to them.
yep that's certainly true, that said some were taken direct action that would incite the war.
 
Last edited:
I dont expect to. Im simply stating that Russia's practically unconditional support of Serbia in the face of Serbian action (setting up terrorist organisation and committing attacks on austrian territory) ment that a war was practically unavoidable. Because if Austria accepted the serbian response for the ultimatum nothing would have changed. Maybe a few years respite before the black hand blows up the governor of Bosnia or assasinates another member of the royal family, high ranking officer of the army or civil servant.
Again this kind of assume the narrative that the assassination was some kid of top done foreign policy move by the Serbian government. I not sure that's really the case.

I also stated that because Russia had no actual treaty with Serbia and seeing how many problems the russians had with assassination attempts on the monarch in the not that distant past russia could have decided not to back Serbia in this. I also would like to add that Russia more than anything needed peace to stabilize the country and to capitalize on the booming of the economy. The last thing they needed was a war. Russia's ambassador going native in Belgrade and making commitments without authorization of his government could also have been used as an easy excuse to back out.
Only as you say they could have backed out easily. If your assertion that their ambassador was indeed a rogue agent making up Russian foreign policy on the fly. So maybe he wasn't (remember he died in July making it even easier to gainsay him)? Its not like he hadn't been working the pan-slavic line since he's basically got there.
 
Again this kind of assume the narrative that the assassination was some kid of top done foreign policy move by the Serbian government. I not sure that's really the case.
Thats the points - not the official Serbia, so that could deny association. But members who were bearing high office in the official Serbia especially the army. Who were so powerful within Serbia that Pasic even through he knew beforehand of the attempt on FF life could do nothing to stop it. So powerful that the only thing preventing them murdering Pasic (because he did take steps against them) and taking power was explicit Russian warning not to do so. Any investigation in Serbia not carried out by a foreign power was practically guaranteed not to touch the most senior members of the Black Hand because of this.

Only as you say they could have backed out easily. If your assertion that their ambassador was indeed a rogue agent making up Russian foreign policy on the fly. So maybe he wasn't (remember he died in July making it even easier to gainsay him)? Its not like he hadn't been working the pan-slavic line since he's basically got there.
I havent read any account of Hartwig that didnt say that at the very least he was acting in many cases independently of the Russian foreign ministry in Belgrad and went farther than his instructions allowed. I have read in many place that he did.
Edit: for example one book stating Hartwig went rogue: Christopher Clark: The Sleepwalkers. Another one: Dominic Lieven: The end of Tsarist Russia
 
Last edited:
- Serbia was attached politically and economically to A-H. It is my understanding the Russians in 1904 sponsored secret military convections between Serbia and Bulgaria -
And the assassination of the King and Queen of Serbia, by our old friend Apis with the rest of the Black Hand in establishing a Pro-Russia Government.
 
Again this kind of assume the narrative that the assassination was some kid of top done foreign policy move by the Serbian government. I not sure that's really the case.
But a portion of the Military belonged tothe Black Hand, with more sympathetic to their goals.
 
sorry for late quote

In my opinion the A-H annexation of Bosnia in 1908 was a solid move. It was during a time of Russian weakness, so matters were unlikely to escalate beyond A-H control. To ensure no bad blood, A-H sought and obtained prior Russian approval for the annexation. It entrenched the status quo and removed Bosnia from the table - essentially making it less assessable to the increasingly aspirational goals of Serbia and even the Ottomans. It protected the vast investment A-H had made into the infrastructure of the territory and the rights of the majority of the population, which had no desire for Serbian rule. What's not to like?

Oh there are definitely perceived benefits, but as I said for an empire already feeling some cracks appear over local nationalism it's basically inviting more of it in and exacerbating what was already there. Even if the Russians are using it to their political advantage Pan-slavism is a thing, nationalism is a thing, self determination even just emancipation is a thing. Serbia isn't going to end it's aspirations by AH taking Bosnia, but AH taking Bosnia will ring alarm bells for both Serbian and Slavs in the areas in general. Even if the general population of the area aren't looking to be ruled by Serbia, that doesn't mean they're joyous at the idea of being ruled by AH either. The 'your either AH or Ottoman' is no longer the only possible choice.

(don't get me wrong as I said in my first post I don't think the AH empire is about to blow apart, but it's creaking and the C20th is going to present it with some new challenges)


The Treaty of Berlin 1878 explicitly divided the Balkans into spheres of influence between A-H and Russia - Serbia was attached politically and economically to A-H. It is my understanding the Russians in 1904 sponsored secret military convections between Serbia and Bulgaria - a breach of its undertakings in the aforementioned Treaty. What you are saying is the Russians were openly flouting those breaches.
Well Bulgaria declared its full independence from the Ottoman empire after the treaty of Berlin, It not too surprising they had worked out who they thought their friends were going to be prior to that.

But OK, by the same token AH had flouted it when they annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina. Perhaps relevantly for this debate they did that quickly enough to offer and fait acompli to the world who were not happy but well facts on the ground and all that. However with that in mind you can see why Russia wasn't keen on letting AH offer a fait acompli with Serbia in 1914!


Also there was history with Serbia & B-H, in that the Herzegovina uprising 1878 against the Ottomans had basically been Serbian led.

True that.
Yep, but part of the problem was AH was pushing it luck here as well

The mischief being, without that one demand, the balance of the undertakings could not be enforced.
well hang on the ultimatum terms where:

  1. Suppress all publications which "incite hatred and contempt of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy" and are "directed against its territorial integrity".
  2. Dissolve the Serbian nationalist organisation Narodna Odbrana ("The People's Defense") and all other such societies in Serbia.
  3. Eliminate without delay from schoolbooks and public documents all "propaganda against Austria-Hungary".
  4. Remove from the Serbian military and civil administration all officers and functionaries whose names the Austro-Hungarian Government will provide.
  5. Accept in Serbia "representatives of the Austro-Hungarian Government" for the "suppression of subversive movements".
  6. Bring to trial all accessories to the Archduke's assassination and allow "Austro-Hungarian delegates" (law enforcement officers) to take part in the investigations.
  7. Arrest Major Vojislav Tankosić and civil servant Milan Ciganović who were named as participants in the assassination plot.
  8. Cease the cooperation of the Serbian authorities in the "traffic in arms and explosives across the frontier"; dismiss and punish the officials of Šabac and Loznica frontier service, "guilty of having assisted the perpetrators of the Sarajevo crime".
  9. Provide "explanations" to the Austro-Hungarian Government regarding "Serbian officials" who have expressed themselves in interviews "in terms of hostility to the Austro-Hungarian Government".
  10. Notify the Austro-Hungarian Government "without delay" of the execution of the measures comprised in the ultimatum.

and they agreed to all but the one in bold, the problem with the one in bold is the fear was 2nd half would when being pushed with threat of invasion basically gives up judicial sovereignty on their own soil, and no one is going to willingly agree to that given any recourse

Plus there's the wider context that as mentioned earlier AH had already tried to fabricate evidence a decade earlier

The point being the other 9 were enough to meet reasonable expectation. Perhaps more importantly they would be a good basis for an internationally led process (see below)


Both Serbia and Russia had form in saying one thing and doing another. Even Wilhelm who is cited as approving the Serbian response, suggested territory would need to be taken because Serbia could not be trusted.
OK but neither is AH a 100% reliable actor either. Also Wilhelm did't say that, rather he said:

On 26 July, after reading Serbia's reply, Wilhelm commented, "But that eliminates any reason for war"[132] or "every cause for war falls to the ground".[133] Wilhelm noted that Serbia had made "a capitulation of the most humiliating kind",[133] that "the few reservations [that] Serbia has made with respect to certain points can in my opinion surely be cleared up by negotiation", and acting independently of Grey, made a similar "Stop in Belgrade" offer.[134] Wilhelm stated that because "the Serbs are Orientals, therefore liars, tricksters, and masters of evasion", a temporary Austrian occupation of Belgrade was required until Serbia kept its word

(also if even Wilhelm is describing the Serbian response as being enough to eliminate any reason for war, I think it's reasonable to say it did for pretty much everyone except AH and those others who were really only going to be happy with war)

of course Bethmann Hollweg then does what he does.

The Russians and French made it perfectly clear Serbia would not be held accountable in any circumstances and went so far as to mock the A-H representative in Moscow.
Well as above AH had form here, plus of course Russia was going to back Serbia (and France was going to back Russia) but Russia and France are not the entirety of the international community here. Plus IIRC their response was more against the AH narrative that the assassination was official state policy of Serbia and the ultimatum, not a response that nothing should be done. And that's basically the point here AH didn't what an international investigation or debate (or even the things on that list), because they felt they weren't going to get everything they wanted, and not because the world was actually against them. And well no they weren't likely to get whatever they wanted, but that's the reality of international politics. Especially when you've kind of been stirring the pot a bit in a volatile area. Of course they felt that a better response was:

Count Szögyény reported to Vienna that "here, it is generally taken for granted that if Serbia rejects our demands, we shall at once reply by declaring war, and opening military operations. We are advised ... to confront the world with a fait accompli (emphasis in the original)

Hell I'll quote the whole paragraph because it contains good indications of the well placed German attitudes here, as well:


Also on 24 July, after Berchtold met with the Russian chargé d'affaires, furious complaints were prompted from Berlin, warning that Austria should not engage in talks with any other powers in case a compromise might be worked out.[103]* That same day, Wilhelm wrote on the margin of a dispatch from Tschirschky, calling Austria-Hungary "weak" for not being aggressive enough in the Balkans, and writing that alteration in the power in the Balkans "has got to come. Austria must become predominant in the Balkans as compared to the little ones, and at Russia’s expense."[109] Count Szögyény reported to Vienna that "here, it is generally taken for granted that if Serbia rejects our demands, we shall at once reply by declaring war, and opening military operations. We are advised ... to confront the world with a fait accompli (emphasis in the original)."[109] When the German ambassador in Belgrade reported how sad the Serbian people were with being faced with the choice of either war or national humiliation, Wilhelm wrote on the margins of the report: "Bravo! One would not have believed it of the Viennese! ... How hollow the whole Serbian power is proving itself to be; thus, it is seen to be with all the Slav nations! Just tread hard on the heels of that rabble!"[110]


* I mean Christ we wouldn't want a compromise would we?!

**Interesting that he wrote what he wrote on the 26th July (mentioned in the earlier point) two days after writing this, presumably he considers what he wrote on the 26th as compatible with what he wrote here.


My understanding is the French draft was increased to 3 years around 1912. Joffre was appointed around the same time by the French Political leaders, explicitly on the basis of his offensive doctrines, which were swiftly implemented. Joffre was given broader powers and influences than his predecessors, aside from the discretion to breech Belgium neutrality. The Franco-Russian defence agreement evolved into co-ordinated offensives against Germany within +15 days.

You are right, but it took time to put in place and feel the benefit of, and they were still having the to deal with issue of the shorter drafts. However my point was more aimed at this idea of a France militarily led and champing at the bit (when in fact the opposite had been true for decently long time)

On the change in plans from defensive to offensive doctrines it not really the case of first one and then the other being complete replacement

the French still had concentration plans in place up until 1914. Plan XVI was still getting tweaked in Sep 1911 was still basically a concentration plan it just changed where they would be concentrated. It took 18 month from then for Plan XVII (mentioned earlier) to be created. It didn't actually reach commanders until Feb 1914. Mover while yes it involved going ion the offensive in it wasn't a preemptive attack but rather going out to meet an already advancing German army (possibly Belgium, Luxembourg or AL). Similarly the restrictions that were placed on the French army operating in Belgium back that up, they could only enter Belgium if Germany had done so first.

(plus there's the point that it doesn't matter what you military plan calls on you to do, if your army can't practically do it it's not going to happen)

so yes the Franco-Russian plan was to make the Germans fight on two fronts at once but it was to do so in response to German initiation (not that Russia had much practical choice in the matter, they're faster than they had been but their still not going to beat German mobilisation). +15 days is after all a very long time in this context!

I believe the Russian 'premobilisation' started before A-H - don't ask me the difference.
They did, but it was partial and not announced (not that it really mattesr if AH hears about it, it's reasonable to respond to it). Thing is their doing it in response to AH saying to Serbia if you don't agree all terms we're invading tomorrow, and as above the message from both AH and Germany was yes, yes let's do this. And well what can I say people will respond to things you say out especially if they know it takes them longer to do so than others and fast mobilisation is perceived to be a key part of success.


My understanding is the Treaty of London was non-prescriptive on either the timing or how the signatories were expected to protect Belgium territory, but don't expect me to defend the German invasion of Belgium.
Oh I wasn't excepting you to do so, and yes there's always going to be room to debate the finer deal of a treaty in theory, but in reality Belgium's response to Germany pretty much set the tone for how the treaty would work. On top of this you had already had Germany testing the waters of British neutrality on the 29th and it having the opposite effect so Britain's interpretation of the ToL really shouldn't have come as a surprise

One of the reasons A-H felt compelled to act was German support in recent times had become somewhat fickle. Russian blank cheques had been raining on the Balkans for some time, but a German blank cheque was something rare and had to be spent. As an aside, the Germans expected the cheque to be used for groceries, not a farm.
I think you are right (although there are several well placed German actors who did their very best to accelerate stuff). But really that's all still on AH and Germany. Not really the rest of the world's fault AH feel it's coupon is about to expire so must use it.



NB, yes OK I've been quoting Wiki, but I'm fine with that because I've been posting quotes that are themselves supported by separate citations, and it good place for collected relevent quotes
 
Last edited:
Thats the points - not the official Serbia, so that could deny association. But members who were bearing high office in the official Serbia especially the army. Who were so powerful within Serbia that Pasic even through he knew beforehand of the attempt on FF life could do nothing to stop it. So powerful that the only thing preventing them murdering Pasic (because he did take steps against them) and taking power was explicit Russian warning not to do so. Any investigation in Serbia not carried out by a foreign power was practically guaranteed not to touch the most senior members of the Black Hand because of this.
Only look at the 9 points the The Serbian government was whiling to agree to in the ultimatum. Pasic had been put back into power by the Russian they were backing him against those factions. Now yes Pasic wasn't in a position to snap his finger and end them (or snap his fingers and stop the assassination come that), but that didn't mean he was powerless of that the Black hand were synonymous with Serbia

However directly to your point about a foreign power investigation, that could have been done by an international group but no AH was interested in that they wanted tohave full judicial authority in Serbia, over Serbian Judicial authority, no country is ever going to agree to that no matter who's dead.


I havent read any account of Hartwig that didn't say that at the very least he was acting in many cases independently of the Russian foreign ministry in Belgrad and went farther than his instructions allowed. I have read in many place that he did.
Edit: for example one book stating Hartwig went rogue: Christopher Clark: The Sleepwalkers. Another one: Dominic Lieven: The end of Tsarist Russia
really so he managed to go rogue for the 5 years he occupied that position, including having a big part in creating the Balkan league and all the while for some reason Russia did nothing. More over he even manged to continue to drive Russia to back Serbia from beyond the grave?

I think you might have to accept the he was actually running pretty much in line with Russian policy most of the time (although Sazanov at times tried to reign him back, but to me they're both either end of a broader Russian position, not that Sazanov was the orthodox Russian view and Hartwig the rogue).

But yes The Sleepwalkers very much wears it's heart on it's sleeve




But a portion of the Military belonged tothe Black Hand, with more sympathetic to their goals.
They certainly were, but there are factions within many of the states in question, the point was the assassination was not Serbian government policy (I don't think even AH really thought it was if you look at the ultimatum). To me it's the difference between Afghanistan under the Taliban making it official "state" policy to host and protect AQ post 9/11, and Pakistan with elements of the army and ISI continuing to have links with the Taliban/AQ post 9/11 & Afghanistan invasion.
 
Last edited:
Only look at the 9 points the The Serbian government was whiling to agree to in the ultimatum. Pasic had been put back into power by the Russian they were backing him against those factions. Now yes Pasic wasn't in a position to snap his finger and end them (or snap his fingers and stop the assassination come that), but that didn't mean he was powerless of that the Black hand were synonymous with Serbia

However directly to your point about a foreign power investigation, that could have been done by an international group but no AH was interested in that they wanted tohave full judicial authority in Serbia, over Serbian Judicial authority, no country is ever going to agree to that no matter who's dead.
And if Serbia is refusing to accept an Austrian investigation on what gound do you think they would accept a non Austrian one? And seeing that they were actually guilty why would they accept any neutral investigation? Also I have serious doubts that the serbian authorities and especially the military would go along with said investigation (because the small fact that a lot of them was involved with the organization who was responsible for the asassination) - and would actually do their utmost to make them find nothing.

really so he managed to go rogue for the 5 years he occupied that position, including having a big part in creating the Balkan league and all the while for some reason Russia did nothing. More over he even manged to continue to drive Russia to back Serbia from beyond the grave?

I think you might have to accept the he was actually running pretty much in line with Russian policy most of the time (although Sazanov at times tried to reign him back, but to me they're both either end of a broader Russian position, not that Sazanov was the orthodox Russian view and Hartwig the rogue).

But yes The Sleepwalkers very much wears it's heart on it's sleeve
So I should accept your assertions that he did not went rogue (based on what?) instead of various (meaning every single one whom I have read) historians who have extensivly researched the topic ( not to mention sources like Hartwigs own coworkers)? Sorry you have to do better if you want to convince me. Much better.
 
really so he managed to go rogue for the 5 years he occupied that position, including having a big part in creating the Balkan league and all the while for some reason Russia did nothing. More over he even manged to continue to drive Russia to back Serbia from beyond the grave?

I think you might have to accept the he was actually running pretty much in line with Russian policy most of the time (although Sazanov at times tried to reign him back, but to me they're both either end of a broader Russian position, not that Sazanov was the orthodox Russian view and Hartwig the rogue).
To also answer your concerns:
He going rogue didnt meant he worked against russian interest. What it did mean that he worked towards what he thought were Russia's interest instead of what Sazonov and the foreign ministry thought. While doing so he ignored some of the instructions he received and assured Serbia of Russian backing when no such assurance came from Saint Petersburg.

Why not to get rid of him: there could be a lot of reasons - im theoretizing here so it could be any of these or none:
1. He had thremendous influence in Belgrad - though i also state this based on the historians you disregard so easily. He was instrumental in the creation of the Balkan alliance which though turned out not nearly as well as Russia hoped but was still a solid win for it. My point is that replacing him with someone more disciplined who in the same time would carry much less weight in Belgrad could be deemed as a worse situation in Saint Petersburg than the existing one. Hartwig was a loose cannon but powerfull and mostly shooting in the direction of the enemy.
2. I have no idea how much Sainkt Petersburg was actually aware of the degree of his independent actions.
3. Diplomatic service was not a simple job where you fired those who didnt perform as expected. The worse that realistically could have happened to Hartwig would have been transferring him to a post thats less problematic. However he likely had connections and his seniority would also meant that the places available for him to transfer without creating a scandal were likely very limited and even if it was decided to transfer him it would have taken time to arrange everything. All assuming he would cooperate.
4. Assuring Serbia of Russian backing well before the wars could embolden Serbia and elements within Serbia to take a more agrssive line towards Austria. It seems that Hartwig activly encuraged this. Its much easier to decide on risky moves against Austria when you believe that Russia has your back whatever happens. Like making an attempt to asassinate an austrian archduke. That Hartwig died before his work bore fruit doesnt mean he was not instrumental in bringing the result about.

And finally i have at least listed some of the books that regarded Hartwig as rogue. You provided nothing but your theories that completly disregard any historical research done by others that doesnt align with it. Maybe you should provide some information on what you base your theories on?
 
Have Joseph Caillaux remain Prime Minister of France (he does not negotiate with Germany without the President's permission or is simply not caught secretly doing so during the Second Moroccan Crisis) and you have a figure in France who seeks peace with Germany and prevents the push to war. His drive for domestic fiscal reform will likely preoccupy France internally for several years at a minimum and Russia won't move without French support. This gives time for German rapprochement with the UK, which was already happening.
 
I dont expect to. Im simply stating that Russia's practically unconditional support of Serbia in the face of Serbian action (setting up terrorist organisation and committing attacks on austrian territory) ment that a war was practically unavoidable.
Austria-Hungary did not have clean hands, supporting Polish activists against Russia eg

In 1906 Piłsudski, with the connivance of the Austrian authorities, founded a military school in Kraków for the training of paramilitary units. In 1906 alone, the 800-strong paramilitaries, operating in five-man teams in Congress Poland, killed 336 Russian officials
 
Austria-Hungary did not have clean hands, supporting Polish activists against Russia eg
And that didn't start WWI, did it?
Killing a village policeman, while still terrorism, is not the same league as an assassination of Royalty, especially next in line to the Throne.
 
Austria-Hungary did not have clean hands, supporting Polish activists against Russia eg
Completly agree. Though AFAIK Russia was much more concerned by Austrian support for ukrainian nationalism - even inside Austria. It was a vital question for Russia if they can convince the ukrainian people in Russia that they are russians or they develope a separate national identity.

These contained the seed of a later crises. But as of 1914 that seemed a distant future whereas Serbian terrorism sparked a world war - and this thread is about the avoidance of that.
 
Only look at the 9 points the The Serbian government was whiling to agree to in the ultimatum.
In the end this is just windowdressing, if you know that it's the 10th point that is the most important to both sides. Both parties knew this and both failed to offer any compromise or signal that a solution for this deal breaker must be and could be found. That's just bad diplomacy on both sides.
 
To also answer your concerns:
He going rogue didnt meant he worked against russian interest. What it did mean that he worked towards what he thought were Russia's interest instead of what Sazonov and the foreign ministry thought. While doing so he ignored some of the instructions he received and assured Serbia of Russian backing when no such assurance came from Saint Petersburg.

Why not to get rid of him: there could be a lot of reasons - im theoretizing here so it could be any of these or none:
1. He had thremendous influence in Belgrad - though i also state this based on the historians you disregard so easily. He was instrumental in the creation of the Balkan alliance which though turned out not nearly as well as Russia hoped but was still a solid win for it. My point is that replacing him with someone more disciplined who in the same time would carry much less weight in Belgrad could be deemed as a worse situation in Saint Petersburg than the existing one. Hartwig was a loose cannon but powerfull and mostly shooting in the direction of the enemy.
2. I have no idea how much Sainkt Petersburg was actually aware of the degree of his independent actions.
3. Diplomatic service was not a simple job where you fired those who didnt perform as expected. The worse that realistically could have happened to Hartwig would have been transferring him to a post thats less problematic. However he likely had connections and his seniority would also meant that the places available for him to transfer without creating a scandal were likely very limited and even if it was decided to transfer him it would have taken time to arrange everything. All assuming he would cooperate.
4. Assuring Serbia of Russian backing well before the wars could embolden Serbia and elements within Serbia to take a more agrssive line towards Austria. It seems that Hartwig activly encuraged this. Its much easier to decide on risky moves against Austria when you believe that Russia has your back whatever happens. Like making an attempt to asassinate an austrian archduke. That Hartwig died before his work bore fruit doesnt mean he was not instrumental in bringing the result about.

And finally i have at least listed some of the books that regarded Hartwig as rogue. You provided nothing but your theories that completly disregard any historical research done by others that doesnt align with it. Maybe you should provide some information on what you base your theories on?
Honestly because your assertion involves Russia leaving this man in place for years to apparently work against their interests. You claim this to justify your theory that somehow Russia was manipulated into backing Serbia.

You also haven't provided evidence for either claim you've named dropped some books.
 
Top