How Avoidable was WWI?

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.
The concerns you try to raise i have already answered in the post you quote - maybe try reading it.

It is you who has provided neither books nor sources - nothing but your own theories. The books I mentioned claim he went rogue - while citing sources. Maybe you should try to provide something more substatial than your theories if you are so sure he did not?
 
And if Serbia is refusing to accept an Austrian investigation on what gound do you think they would accept a non Austrian one?
Because they don't trust the Austrians that much (and see previous AH actions for why that might not be that unreasonable, fabricated evidence etc, remember also this isn't actually the first time AH had threatened to invade Serbia they did so when Serbia shouted a bit 1908! Also because AH investigators are unlikely to be a few police men with note books and would require the safety guaranteed so you end up with an AH investigation by de facto military occupation that only ends once AH decides it's investigation is complete.

And seeing that they were actually guilty why would they accept any neutral investigation?
Because it's not your black and white world of Serbia is guilty or not guilty (see previous posts) and a neutral investigation is better than AH invading, but answer your own question why doesn't AH want 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.
No doubt you are right those elements would try that but it's a great way for Pasiic to clean house a bit, crack down on the radicals he's got his own issues with all with the help cover of international justification, and look good to the international community doing so. Don't get me wrong Serbia's not keen on this full stop but well the Archduke is dead, and there's going to some come back on that. And it's that or invasion.

The corollary is AH doesn't what that it want's it's invasion.

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.
You haven't shown he went rogue you just claiming it to support you larger claim that somehow one man tricked Russia into backing Serbia instead of just backing their ally.
 
The concerns you try to raise i have already answered in the post you quote - maybe try reading it.

It is you who has provided neither books nor sources - nothing but your own theories. The books I mentioned claim he went rogue - while citing sources. Maybe you should try to provide something more substatial than your theories if you are so sure he did not?
Right so the most you are saying there was a range of views in Russia best typified by Hartwig on one side and Sazonov on the other. Only I've already said I think that is correct. Only you take that as proof that he thus tricked Russia into backing Serbia, instead of just there was range of opinions about the situation in Russia!

I suggest you also look at the wider Russian reaction to 1908, Izvolsky thought he'd could make it work but he underestimated wider Russian attitudes (a situation that directly effected eveyones starting position 6 years later).

And again you've not provided anything except name dropping some books
 
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.
Only Serbia accepting the 9 is them offering a compromise point, AH refusing anything but all 10 is not

But it kind of depends on what is more reasonable, to compromise and accept the 9 (and AH to accept the Serbia accepting the 9), or not to compromise and not accept the 10 (and AH to not accept anything less). But as I said earlier accepting the 9 was a reasonable compromise and would have been a good basis to then move on from. Hell Willhelm certainly seemed to think it removed the justification for immediate invasion and he been saying two days earlier 'come on Austria make the Serbians squeal'. (paraphrased).

Plus remember this ultimatum is all being done under threat of invasion the next day, and that's the larger issue here because it means the rest of the international community is having to plan and react to AH invading the next day. That is brinkmanship that forces a lot of hands, and it completely down to a deliberate choice by AH (who think it's going to be 1908 all over again, only several important things are different in 1914 than they were in 1908, some of which are due to what happened in 1908)
 
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Right so the most you are saying there was a range of views in Russia best typified by Hartwig on one side and Sazonov on the other. Only I've already said I think that is correct. Only you take that as proof that he thus tricked Russia into backing Serbia, instead of just there was range of opinions about the situation in Russia!

I suggest you also look at the wider Russian reaction to 1908, Izvolsky thought he'd could make it work but he underestimated wider Russian attitudes (a situation that directly effected eveyones starting position 6 years later).

And again you've not provided anything except name dropping some books
I more or less agree with the first part. Hartwig did typify the radically panslavic view of what Russia should do in its foreign policy. However I dont think Sazonov would be on the other end of th espectrum - I would place people like Kokovtsov there and Stolypin before him. Sazonov followed Stolypins lead while he lived but after his death he was leaning on the panslavic side - but he was far from being as radical as Hartwig.

Hartwig did not trick Russia in to backing Serbia - and I never said he did. But he did not know if Russia would back Serbia and yet was giving assurances in Belgrad that it would thus making it much easier for Belgrad and people in Belgrad to decide on a harder, more active line of action. He had no authorization to do that. He did also ignore some of his instruction. That in the event Russia has decided to back Serbia was independent of him and had more to do with Sazonov finally opting for the parslavistic side and Krivoshein's rising influence (including the fall and dismissal of Kokovtsov) who was clearly on the panslavistic side. And most of all on the tsar's decision to go through with it. But by this point Hartwig was dead. But even if he lived the decision to back Serbia was made independently of him and his at the time baseless accurances of russian support. My problem with him is that he helped greatly to create a situation that led to the asassination.

Also I may have only name dropped some books but thats already more than what you have done.
 
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
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.
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.
Right but it makes the point any argument that is based AH being a whiter than white victim and Serbia being so out of contemporary context awful by having factions within it supporting terrorism in other countries kid of ignores the reality that actually AH had done similar and that therefore we should adjust our perspective on both and our understanding of the rest of the international communities attitude towards both at the time.

But you are both right it didn't spark WW1 in 1906, only Russia didn't threaten to invade AH over it in 1906 unless AH accepted Russian troops on their soil while they investigated those rogue Austrian elements. Because to simplify it to "Serbian terrorism sparked WW1" is to kind of suggest that we all just automatically started to madly kill each other before Franz Fredinand's body was cold, only there were a few steps and conscious choices in between


Also killing 336 Russian office =/= "killing a village policeman"
 
I more or less agree with the first part. Hartwig did typify the radically panslavic view of what Russia should do in its foreign policy. However I dont think Sazonov would be on the other end of th espectrum - I would place people like Kokovtsov there and Stolypin before him. Sazonov followed Stolypins lead while he lived but after his death he was leaning on the panslavic side - but he was far from being as radical as Hartwig.

Hartwig did not trick Russia in to backing Serbia - and I never said he did. But he did not know if Russia would back Serbia and yet was giving assurances in Belgrad that it would thus making it much easier for Belgrad and people in Belgrad to decide on a harder, more active line of action. He had no authorization to do that. He did also ignore some of his instruction. That in the event Russia has decided to back Serbia was independent of him and had more to do with Sazonov finally opting for the parslavistic side and Krivoshein's rising influence (including the fall and dismissal of Kokovtsov) who was clearly on the panslavistic side. And most of all on the tsar's decision to go through with it. But by this point Hartwig was dead. But even if he lived the decision to back Serbia was made independently of him and his at the time baseless accurances of russian support. My problem with him is that he helped greatly to create a situation that led to the asassination.



Also I may have only name dropped some books but thats already more than what you have done.
Right so what you end up saying here is that at most he gave assurances on what Russia was going to do anyway? This leaves aside that there also the previous several years of Russian policy decisions and direction change that after 1908 seem to be pretty much in line with Hartwig anyway. His replacement of Izvolski being a direct repercussion of 1908 and Izvolski part in it.

This also leaves aside the point that Russia Hartwig were also backing Pasic against the more radical elements within Serbia (which were also supporting the Black hand).


EDIT: also Stolypin is an interesting one, yes he was against a panslavism or more correctly he was against an "imperialist foreign policy"), but that was more to do with the fact that he felt Russia needed to prioritise internal modernisation. And in 1905/6 he's not wrong*, but situation and Russian policy changes. As I sad in earlier posts there's several significant changes between 1908 (BH crisis) and 1914



*if nothing else in 1905-6 Russian muscular foreign policy doesn't took to clever after all!
 
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Right but it makes the point any argument that is based AH being a whiter than white victim and Serbia being so out of contemporary context awful by having factions within it supporting terrorism in other countries kid of ignores the reality that actually AH had done similar and that therefore we should adjust our perspective on both and our understanding of the rest of the international communities attitude towards both at the time.

But you are both right it didn't spark WW1 in 1906, only Russia didn't threaten to invade AH over it in 1906 unless AH accepted Russian troops on their soil while they investigated those rogue Austrian elements. Because to simplify it to "Serbian terrorism sparked WW1" is to kind of suggest that we all just automatically started to madly kill each other before Franz Fredinand's body was cold, only there were a few steps and conscious choices in between


Also killing 336 Russian office =/= "killing a village policeman"
Lets get a few things clear: I never claimed that Austria was whiter than white. Austria clearly wanted war in 1914. Austria was not trying to maintain the peace.
However it was Serbia who adopted a very provocative stance against Austria beginning with the annexation crisis. It was Serbian officials resorting to terrorism.
I also dont believe that without militarily defeating it Serbia would have changed its ways.
I think austrian action agaist Serbia was not unreasonable especially in the light of the latter points.
I think that without Hartwigs assurances of Russian support Serbia or even the black hand might have not gone as far as assassinating FF - thus robbing Austria of a convenient casus belli and most of all a german blank checque.
I also believe that Russian decision to support Serbia was wrong on many level and the easiest to change in the equation - and we are searching for a POD to avoid the war.
 
Right so what you end up saying here is that at most he gave assurances on what Russia was going to do anyway? This leaves aside that there also the previous several years of Russian policy decisions and direction change that after 1908 seem to be pretty much in line with Hartwig anyway. His replacement of Izvolski being a direct repercussion of 1908 and Izvolski part in it.

This also leaves aside the point that Russia Hartwig were also backing Pasic against the more radical elements within Serbia (which were also supporting the Black hand).
Thats a huge difference. At the time he gave those assurances they werent necesserily true - as the decision that finally made them true was made after his death.
Reassurance that russia has your back whatever happens means that you can and likely will make decisions and take actions that otherwise - without those reassurance - you might have deemed far too risky.
 
Austria-Hungary did not have clean hands, supporting Polish activists against Russia eg
Something I prepared earlier...

Józef Piłsudski (a Polish revolutionary leader) in 1901 escaped to Galicia a (Polish dominated) part of the A-H empire. His activities against the Russian empire in Poland in 1904 and 1905 appear to have been independent of the A-H empire. In 1906 Józef Piłsudski set up a military school [purportedly to support the Combat Organization of the Polish Socialist Party] in Krakow, Galicia, purportedly with the "connivance" of Austrian authorities. In context, Krakow as part of the Austrian empire, which enjoyed significant autonomy including Polish as the language of government. As a consequence, Krakow was viewed as the center of Polish national revival and culture. Accordingly, it is likely any "connivance" was largely limited to the Galicia local government, which would have been more sympathetic to such causes.

From 1908 Józef Piłsudski transformed the membership to the ZMC. The ZWC's main purpose was to prepare Polish oficer cadres for a future Polish army for likely hostilities with Russia. From its inception, ZWC received crucial support in the highest circles of the Austria Empire which was preparing for war with Imperial Russia. As the Austro-Hungary government preferred to have more control over the secret paramilitary organizations, two legal organizations, subordinated to ZWC were created in 1910 with the approval of officials in Austria-Hungary, who would be able to supervise those legal organizations to a much larger extent then the secret ZWC - this indicates the precusor Polish groups were independent of the A-H administration.

So in summary, a Polish revolutionary organisation originating from Poland managed to establish a training base within the A-H empire, but within two years it had started its transformation into the basis of a formal Polish military. This can be contrasted with Serbia, where elements of its formal army continued to be routinely involved in acts of insurgency/ terrorism in neighbouring states.
 
Lets get a few things clear: I never claimed that Austria was whiter than white. Austria clearly wanted war in 1914. Austria was not trying to maintain the peace.
Bingo, and what does that position with Germany's Blank cheque get us. More importantly why is it then the rest of Euroeps responsibility to keep giving AH what they want and heading off war.

However it was Serbia who adopted a very provocative stance against Austria beginning with the annexation crisis.
Only it not like AH had been pretty damn provocative against Serbia as well, remember they had threatened to invade Serbia in 1908 over BH!


It was Serbian officials resorting to terrorism.
No see above you like to short hand this to intimate it was official Serbian policy.

I also dont believe that without militarily defeating it Serbia would have changed its ways.
base on what other than the demand of your argument?

I think austrian action agaist Serbia was not unreasonable especially in the light of the latter points.
That depends on those later points really, also there's action and there's action. there's also AH's response to the Serbian response (and AH's response to the international communities response to that)..

I think that without Hartwigs assurances of Russian support Serbia or even the black hand might have not gone as far as assassinating FF
Only as per above Hartwig and Russia were supporting Pasic not the black hand, they had basically put Pasic back into power despite that faction within Serbia.


- thus robbing Austria of a convenient casus belli and most of all a german blank checque.
Only convenient is the operative word here isn't it, because you are right it is convenient because it allows Austria to do what it want's to do. Equally Germany choose to give the bank cheque and AH decides what it will do with it. To be fair they are allies, but the issue is the cheque is so blank and Germany kind of take's it eye of what AH is writing on it for bit. (also I'm not sure how Hartwig forced Germany to issue the cheque?)

I also believe that Russian decision to support Serbia was wrong on many level and the easiest to change in the equation - and we are searching for a POD to avoid the war.
I agree in abstract that if Russia doesn't support them it's a big point of departure, my point is it not particularity reasonable to think they won't, especially in light of AH 's actions

Equally I could say there are several things the AH and Germans could have done differently that would have averted it. More importantly because it's AH driving the situation towards war and Germany who's position not only supports them doing so, but will also broaden the conflict out, there's more scope for reasonable alternatives from them).
 
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Thats a huge difference. At the time he gave those assurances they werent necesserily true - as the decision that finally made them true was made after his death.
Reassurance that russia has your back whatever happens means that you can and likely will make decisions and take actions that otherwise - without those reassurance - you might have deemed far too risky.
Only the assurances were in line with current Russian policy. Remember again the backlash in Russia when the previous Russian ambassador had let AH threaten to invade Serbia in 1908 with out push back, remember that Hartwig had replaced that ambassador and had made no secret of his position in the intervening 6 years.
 
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Only the assurance were in line with current Russian policy. Remember again the backlash in Russian when a Russian ambassador to the area had let AH threatened to invade Serbia in 1908, remember that Hartwig had replaced that ambassador and had made no secret of his position in the intervening 6 years.
It was not Russian policy to tell the serbs they would support them whatever they did.
edit: Also AFAIK it was Serbia and Montenegro that threatened Austria with war because they wanted to receive at least parts of Bosnia.

Bingo, and what does that position with Germany's Blank cheque get us. More importantly why is it then the rest of Euroeps responsibility to keep giving AH what they want and heading off war.
And why was it Europe's responsibility to prop up a state that has repeatedly and on ever larger scale resorted to terrorism to reach its goals? Austria did not want an European war, Austria wanted to end serbian terrorism and insurrection in its own territory. He believed - IMO rightly so - that the only effective way to do that would be a military solution.

But it seems like that in your opinion if Austria did anything beside sit back and let itself be slowly destroyed by Serbia it was always going to be the one fully responsible for the war.
 
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Something I prepared earlier...

Józef Piłsudski (a Polish revolutionary leader) in 1901 escaped to Galicia a (Polish dominated) part of the A-H empire. His activities against the Russian empire in Poland in 1904 and 1905 appear to have been independent of the A-H empire. In 1906 Józef Piłsudski set up a military school [purportedly to support the Combat Organization of the Polish Socialist Party] in Krakow, Galicia, purportedly with the "connivance" of Austrian authorities. In context, Krakow as part of the Austrian empire, which enjoyed significant autonomy including Polish as the language of government. As a consequence, Krakow was viewed as the center of Polish national revival and culture. Accordingly, it is likely any "connivance" was largely limited to the Galicia local government, which would have been more sympathetic to such causes.

From 1908 Józef Piłsudski transformed the membership to the ZMC. The ZWC's main purpose was to prepare Polish oficer cadres for a future Polish army for likely hostilities with Russia. From its inception, ZWC received crucial support in the highest circles of the Austria Empire which was preparing for war with Imperial Russia. As the Austro-Hungary government preferred to have more control over the secret paramilitary organizations, two legal organizations, subordinated to ZWC were created in 1910 with the approval of officials in Austria-Hungary, who would be able to supervise those legal organizations to a much larger extent then the secret ZWC - this indicates the precusor Polish groups were independent of the A-H administration.

So in summary, a Polish revolutionary organisation originating from Poland managed to establish a training base within the A-H empire, but within two years it had started its transformation into the basis of a formal Polish military. This can be contrasted with Serbia, where elements of its formal army continued to be routinely involved in acts of insurgency/ terrorism in neighbouring states.
Right only since Poland doesn't exist at this point it can't really have a formal military. either way I think what's telling for the wider discussion is:

From its inception, ZWC received crucial support in the highest circles of the Austria Empire which was preparing for war with Imperial Russia.
 
It was not Russian policy to tell the serbs they would support them whatever they did.
Good thing that not what I (or Hartwig) said then isn't it. there's a difference between "we'll support you no matter what you do so go kill the the crown prince" and "we'll support you if AH threatens to invade you over a convenient cassus belli even if you make reasonable attempts to placate them". Attempts that apparently the rest of the world including Kaiser Wilhelm the 2nd, writer of the bank cheque also agreed was reasonable!

edit: Also AFAIK it was Serbia and Montenegro that threatened Austria with war because they wanted to receive at least parts of Bosnia.
You get that AH had just launched a land grab BH right? You get that the annexation crisis was caused by AH?

And why was it Europe's responsibility to prop up a state that has repeatedly and on ever larger scale resorted to terrorism to reach its goals?
See previous posts, I get it it makes things simple if you describe Serbia as he Balkan Taliban led Afghanistan, but it really wasn't.


Austria did not want an European war, Austria wanted to end serbian terrorism and insurrection in its own territory. He believed - IMO rightly so - that the only effective way to do that would be a military solution.
Only AH had just spent the last few year taking chunks out of the area right? and again Serbia =/= black hand

But it seems like that in your opinion if Austria did anything beside sit back and let itself be slowly destroyed by Serbia it was always going to be the one fully responsible for the war.
Oh do me a favour Serbia (pop 4.6m) in 1914 is going to destroy the Austro-Hungarian empire?!
 
BH wasn’t Serbian territory.
Didn't say it was?

But that aside Serbia was far more connected to BH than AH was, AH doing this also had direct effects on Serbia and most of the countries and territories were pretty new iterations of previous territories within the ottoman empire! (also to answer an earlier point I believe AH threatened to invade Serbia if it didn't withdraw it's demands, not that Serbia threatened to invade AH. (well unless were counting BH as now AH because AH had grabbed it).


The land grab happened in 1878.
1878 had given AH temporary rights to administer (it actually remained part of the ottoman empire), AH's action in 1908 was against the 1878 treaty, even if they quickly rewrote it to accommodate it after the fact.
 
Good thing that not what I (or Hartwig) said then isn't it. there's a difference between "we'll support you no matter what you do so go kill the the crown prince" and "we'll support you if AH threatens to invade you over a convenient cassus belli even if you make reasonable attempts to placate them". Attempts that apparently the rest of the world including Kaiser Wilhelm the 2nd, writer of the bank cheque also agreed was reasonable!
No, Hartwig stopped before the "go kill the crown prince part". And the situation was more akin to: AH threatens to invade you after an organiztaion headed by high ranking officers of your military, armed from serbian army depots and realizing a plan made by said officers assasinates the Austrian crown prince.

You get that AH had just launched a land grab BH right? You get that the annexation crisis was caused by AH?
BH was under austrian occuparion since 1878. And maybe You should read up on the annexation crisis as you seem to lack a lot of facts (the other option is that you are willfully ignorant and arguing in bad faith). A pointer: what kicked off the crisis was Russia going back on the agreement it made with AH. Without it wouldnt have become a crisis. Also im pretty interested in what excuses you will make on the part of Serbia this time - meaning them mobilizing and trheatening AH with war.

See previous posts, I get it it makes things simple if you describe Serbia as he Balkan Taliban led Afghanistan, but it really wasn't.
Its not like they used terrorist tactics for years in Ottoman Macedonia and started to do the same after they acquired that in Austria. Oh wait... But yes it wasnt the Taliban. this was a completly different terrorist state.

Only AH had just spent the last few year taking chunks out of the area right? and again Serbia =/= black hand
The only think preventing Serbia = Black hand was active Russian intervention. Thanks to that it was only a big chunk of the Serbian military that equaled the black hand - with the rest together with big part of the population mostly sympathetic.

Oh do me a favour Serbia (pop 4.6m) in 1914 is going to destroy the Austro-Hungarian empire?!
If the only reaction Austria is allowed to give to terrorist attack on its territory is sit back and cry for the international community to do something - which even if they do will most likely be some ineffective gesture - and the terrorist attacks continue it would have slowly led to the disintegration of the State. If the state cant even protect its own people - and doesnt even try to - whats the point for it?
 
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Didn't say it was?
But seemed to imply Serbia had a special case to interfere in a foreign nation’s business.

But that aside Serbia was far more connected to BH than AH was, AH doing this also had direct effects on Serbia and most of the countries and territories were pretty new iterations of previous territories within the ottoman empire! (also to answer an earlier point I believe AH threatened to invade Serbia if it didn't withdraw it's demands, not that Serbia threatened to invade AH. (well unless were counting BH as now AH because AH had grabbed it).
What’s this Serbian nationalist nonsense? “Far more connected”? What the hell does that mean?

By grabbed it, do you mean occupied it in accordance to agreements made with Russia beforehand and later signed off on by every major power in Europe?

1878 had given AH temporary rights to administer (it actually remained part of the ottoman empire), AH's action in 1908 was against the 1878 treaty, even if they quickly rewrote it to accommodate it after the fact.
Didn’t rewrite it on their own though, did they?
 
Also killing 336 Russian office =/= "killing a village policeman"
Though Poles had been killing Russian officials long before 1900, to full bore revolts, in 1830 and 1863.
That wasn't going on in Austrian areas.

I think the Poles, Ukrainians and even Ruthenians had more to do with it, that sinister Austrian agents stirring up trouble for Russians
 
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