Your favorite reason why Britain would DoW Germany anyway if Berlin went east-first in 1914

If Germany attacked Russia, not France or Belgium, in 1914, UK would DoW Germany because:

  • 1. It thinks France and Russia are the likely winners and wants to stay on their good side

    Votes: 8 2.0%
  • 2. It thinks a defeat or setback for Russia in Poland/Balkans alone makes Germany too powerful

    Votes: 110 27.0%
  • 3. It thinks a defeat/setback for Russia now means a defeat for France later, so preempt it now

    Votes: 65 15.9%
  • 4. Getting involved in war in Europe is a great way to distract from Irish controversies

    Votes: 19 4.7%
  • 5. It wants to capture Germany’s overseas colonies for Cape-to-Cairo route

    Votes: 13 3.2%
  • 6. It wants to have an excuse to blockade German commercial competition off from markets

    Votes: 24 5.9%
  • 7. It wants to destroy the German navy, either through battle, or coerced as part of peace terms

    Votes: 42 10.3%
  • 8. Britain actually wouldn’t go to war with Germany in this case

    Votes: 127 31.1%

  • Total voters
    408
The ongoing argument is not if the German Empire is respnsible - practically everyone here agrees that Germany and Austria were responsible for WWI. The argument is that some say only they were responsible while others argue that Russia and France did their fair share as welll to turn the conflict in to WWI. I understand how it can be confusing as some people continue to bring facts and evidence of Germany and Austria being at fault - which I personally think is pretty unecessery as nobody argues that they arent. The only reason I can think of is its a lot easier to do that and concentrate on that than looking at the french and the russians - i have yet to see any argument backed by sources instead of grand (and either unproven or proven to be factually wrong) statements of their innocence / good intentions while also repetedly ignoring the uncomfortable facts and sources the other side bring up to indicate / prove their co-responsibility. It's easier to switch the topic back to Germany (and get in to debates about minor details there) where they can bring facts and sources to ultimately prove what nobody disputes.
You're making some valid points that no one had clean hands in this matter. It's true rivalries existed, and each side distrusted the other. The world has always been driven by people, and nations competing for power, and influence. 1914 Europe was no exception. There is no doubt Serbian Nationalism, and terrorism was regarded as a threat to Austrian interests, and ambitions in the Balkans. The Serbian State had it foreign policy hijacked by radical elements that were forcing the country to take a very dangerous course, by provoking Austria.

Russia had ambitions in the Balkans that conflicted with Austria's. They wanted Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia to ally with them, and not Austria. They also had designs on the Ottoman Empire, and the Turkish Straits. That had been true for 200 years. Russia also kept a warry eye on Germany, ever since it had dropped it assurance treaty in 1890. Dropping that treaty had driven Russia into the arms of Republican France and created the Alliance System that made WWI possible. For its part to have any chance to resist German power France needed to standby her Russian allies and wished to cultivate a defensive agreement with Great Britain.

In the July Crisis all the great powers agreed that Sebia had acted in a criminal manor and had to be punished in some way. Russia had wanted Serbia to accept the Austrian terms to avoid war. But for Russia to accept the destruction of Serbia would mean the collapse of their whole Balkan policy and smash their credibility as a great power. That was not a reasonable course of action for Russia to take, and the Germans & Austrians knew that. The Germans & Austrians were forcing the Russians into a corner. Whatever responsibility Russia had in creating the situation that led up to the crisis is overwhelmed by the Germans & Austrians using the crisis as a pretext to start a general European war that the other side didn't want.

That is why the argument keeps coming back to who pulled the trigger on the war in July 1914. The Germans & Austrians had resolved that a general war was the answer to their geostrategic problems. The French, and Russians while prepared to fight, if forced to didn't want war in 1914. To want to spread the responsibility around may sound fair, but it doesn't help us understand what drove events to their tragic ends.
 
That is why the argument keeps coming back to who pulled the trigger on the war in July 1914. The Germans & Austrians had resolved that a general war was the answer to their geostrategic problems. The French, and Russians while prepared to fight, if forced to didn't want war in 1914. To want to spread the responsibility around may sound fair, but it doesn't help us understand what drove events to their tragic ends.

Not to mention that they chose to execute a plan that had little chance of success, and required going all-in, making negotiated peace less likely. Ie. the Schlieffen plan. If they had no better plan, they should have just buggered off. 🤦‍♂️
 
Not to mention that they chose to execute a plan that had little chance of success, and required going all-in, making negotiated peace less likely.

Not to mention that the plan chosen and executed involved Germany specifically violating the neutrality of a country when it had signed a treaty guaranteeing to protect that same neutrality.
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
You're making some valid points that no one had clean hands in this matter. It's true rivalries existed, and each side distrusted the other. The world has always been driven by people, and nations competing for power, and influence. 1914 Europe was no exception. There is no doubt Serbian Nationalism, and terrorism was regarded as a threat to Austrian interests, and ambitions in the Balkans. The Serbian State had it foreign policy hijacked by radical elements that were forcing the country to take a very dangerous course, by provoking Austria.

Russia had ambitions in the Balkans that conflicted with Austria's. They wanted Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia to ally with them, and not Austria. They also had designs on the Ottoman Empire, and the Turkish Straits. That had been true for 200 years. Russia also kept a warry eye on Germany, ever since it had dropped it assurance treaty in 1890. Dropping that treaty had driven Russia into the arms of Republican France and created the Alliance System that made WWI possible. For its part to have any chance to resist German power France needed to standby her Russian allies and wished to cultivate a defensive agreement with Great Britain.

In the July Crisis all the great powers agreed that Sebia had acted in a criminal manor and had to be punished in some way. Russia had wanted Serbia to accept the Austrian terms to avoid war. But for Russia to accept the destruction of Serbia would mean the collapse of their whole Balkan policy and smash their credibility as a great power. That was not a reasonable course of action for Russia to take, and the Germans & Austrians knew that. The Germans & Austrians were forcing the Russians into a corner. Whatever responsibility Russia had in creating the situation that led up to the crisis is overwhelmed by the Germans & Austrians using the crisis as a pretext to start a general European war that the other side didn't want.

That is why the argument keeps coming back to who pulled the trigger on the war in July 1914. The Germans & Austrians had resolved that a general war was the answer to their geostrategic problems. The French, and Russians while prepared to fight, if forced to didn't want war in 1914. To want to spread the responsibility around may sound fair, but it doesn't help us understand what drove events to their tragic ends.
Not to mention that they chose to execute a plan that had little chance of success, and required going all-in, making negotiated peace less likely. Ie. the Schlieffen plan. If they had no better plan, they should have just buggered off. 🤦‍♂️
Not to mention that the plan chosen and executed involved Germany specifically violating the neutrality of a country when it had signed a treaty guaranteeing to protect that same neutrality.
It was in fact Russia, as Sean McMeekin points out:

 
It was in fact Russia, as Sean McMeekin points out:

I would highly doubt McMeekin's work as the factual errors and contrived hypothesis's of his at times in the Book are disputed by nearly all historians.
Furthermore, his interpretation of the Russo-Ottoman Diplomacy in the book, the only portion that i have read online, goes against what everyone at the ground at the time thought, therefore not instilling me with confidence regarding the book. Other sources would be better for an argument against Russia.
 
The ongoing argument is not if the German Empire is respnsible - practically everyone here agrees that Germany and Austria were responsible for WWI. The argument is that some say only they were responsible while others argue that Russia and France did their fair share as welll to turn the conflict in to WWI. I understand how it can be confusing as some people continue to bring facts and evidence of Germany and Austria being at fault - which I personally think is pretty unecessery as nobody argues that they arent. The only reason I can think of is its a lot easier to do that and concentrate on that than looking at the french and the russians - i have yet to see any argument backed by sources instead of grand (and either unproven or proven to be factually wrong) statements of their innocence / good intentions while also repetedly ignoring the uncomfortable facts and sources the other side bring up to indicate / prove their co-responsibility. It's easier to switch the topic back to Germany (and get in to debates about minor details there) where they can bring facts and sources to ultimately prove what nobody disputes.
Agree in full here. I won't say that Germany and A-H were completely innocent.... but I will say that the subsequent historiography (most of which, that I have read anyway, has been from the "winning" side), sorely neglected the roles that Serbia (or at least elements within the Serb government and military), Russia, and France played in the lead-up to the Crisis. Frankly, I think much of it has been a snow job.
You're making some valid points that no one had clean hands in this matter. It's true rivalries existed, and each side distrusted the other. The world has always been driven by people, and nations competing for power, and influence. 1914 Europe was no exception. There is no doubt Serbian Nationalism, and terrorism was regarded as a threat to Austrian interests, and ambitions in the Balkans. The Serbian State had it foreign policy hijacked by radical elements that were forcing the country to take a very dangerous course, by provoking Austria.

Russia had ambitions in the Balkans that conflicted with Austria's. They wanted Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia to ally with them, and not Austria. They also had designs on the Ottoman Empire, and the Turkish Straits. That had been true for 200 years. Russia also kept a warry eye on Germany, ever since it had dropped it assurance treaty in 1890. Dropping that treaty had driven Russia into the arms of Republican France and created the Alliance System that made WWI possible. For its part to have any chance to resist German power France needed to standby her Russian allies and wished to cultivate a defensive agreement with Great Britain.
...
uffff .... Now the quartion of guilt is (once again - I hope) settled to :
No none was without guilt
we might be able to return to the topic og this thread :
  • What might be reasons and/or causes for the british goverment of the time (2nd Asquith) to participate or not participate or participate at a later point of time in the Great European War that begun in August 1914
Preferably with providing some discussed/from several sides viwed evidences (not only one source from one side, not only one or a couple of pieces of highly partisan Northcliffe press like the Times on whichs take-over he once stated he doesn't want only to report on politics but to make them).

IMHO british politics - govermental liberal party as well as opposition conservatives - were almost equaliy split :
one group leaning more for non-intervention at all​
another leaning more for intervention esp. with military means​
(not to forget : Labour was almost completly against war at all - though in a manner similar to SPD ingermany ... and after war had come quickly joining the govermental side).
The british public at that time was concerned by rather non-continental topics like
Home-Rule, Suffragette, lurking workers strikes and conflicts about conditions and wages, the prewar stockmarkets downturns, lurking (once again) land taxes reform,​
etc..​
The continental follies were a topic rather low on the attention chart (aside with some distinctly interested members of upper classes maybe).

As I tried to make clear earlier on :
Belgium was a reason as well as a cause to enter the war against Germany as ot touched a VERY britsh interest :​
controll of the channel coast.​
Every other ... 'reason' though worded and aired before the war were compared to rather academic.

Therefore :
without the attack/occupation of Belgium there simply is no reason strong enough for Chruchill, Grey - the only real 'hawks' within cabinet - and in the latters wake Asquith though not by his own reasoning IOTL to push through with the cabinet at first the hesitant acceptance of a possible reason for a possible even also military (naval only at first) intervention in the continental conflict and later the not less hesitantly by cabinet members as well as the rest of the liberal party accepted decision to actually then intervene on behalf of Belgium.
All the other reasons named even if combined would have not had the political weight to push through a military intervention neither in the cabinet, nor parliament and not with the british public.

Even if Chruchill together with Northcliffe would fabricate a Tonkin- or naval Gleiwitz-incident alike would not be enough to push goverment, politics and public to war (pls don't forget : without war there is no ... press-control even if selfimposed as IOTL and terefore there would be at least as many papers calling it a fake or downplaying much if any importance of it).
Aside ... the Kaiser and Tirpitz were well prepared to respect any british ... sensitivities and demands on naval matters regarding the channel and did so IOTL. So the more they would act accordingly ITTL.

The seemingly often here around taken attitude that the overwhealming or at least pronounced mayority of the british people was longing for going to war against the germans and esp. a continental land war prior to the 'decision' of the goverment ... a myth IMHO.

Literature (and the there used sources) that lead to this my opinion :
The Darkest Day by Douglas Newton​
Conservative leaders, coalition, and Britain's decision to go to war in 1914 by John W. Young (and I mean the whole article and not the abstract or a review)​
Germanophilism in Britain by Steven Wai-Meng Siak​
aside the once and again occasional short article on the www.


However, I could imagine that in case the french armies suffers too much of a defeat , being repelled from their own border too far with the russians either asking for terms or due to revolution don't play much of a role anymore so that the german Armies could be turned to the west the/a british goverment - if somehow avoided a Home-Rule caused civil war in Ireland - after an 1915 election with a LOT of domestic topics on the agenda (see above) might turn to the continent demanding the role of an 'honest madiator' from esp. the german politicians to negotiate some kinda peace
If ... the germans do not comply - then perhaps together with some 'unwise' Zimmermann telegrams about Ireland or similar - and turn down this offer ... the OTL 'reason' of a german controlled channelcoast would reappear and/or the 'reason' of 'keeping a counterweight' on the continent and therefore France alive. This might lead to a late active military participation (its form still to be discussed) against the then CP.
 
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Spare us please.

Austria had wanted war with Serbia for years but simply could get no support from either Germany or Italy.

Austria admitted in it's note to Germany that it wasn't about a conspiracy but rearranging the Balkan balance of power. That eliminating Sebia was needed to bring Romania and Bulgaria into the Austrian orbit.

The Kaiser promised support even if it leads to war with Russia. The Italians are ignored because this is aimed at Italy as much as Russia.

As for resolving the crisis:

Germany and Britain both came up with a stop in Belgrade idea. Russia told the Serbs it would be best not to try and defend Belgrade. France would accept anything that Russia did. Grey told the Germans to make an offer that Russia could accept or if Russia refused, Britain could disassociate from Russia.

As for the Austrians:. They tell Grey "Even if Serbia accepted the entire note, it was too late"

Yeah, Austria and Austria alone wanted the war. Anything else is silly.

What any of this has to do with why Britain will intervene if the Germans go East is beyond me
 
I would highly doubt McMeekin's work as the factual errors and contrived hypothesis's of his at times in the Book are disputed by nearly all historians.
Furthermore, his interpretation of the Russo-Ottoman Diplomacy in the book, the only portion that i have read online, goes against what everyone at the ground at the time thought, therefore not instilling me with confidence regarding the book.
Without a doubt McMeekin formulates his thesis ... very pointed. Much the same could be said of Fritz Fischer who also tweaked and cheated on sources to fit his own narrative. ... only that his narrative is still by many accepted as the "right" and political correct view of things.
Concluding from ONE review having read to the opinion of NEARLY ALL historians seem to me a rather ... ambitious task. Esp. as there aare s well review to be found the other way round.
From reading only a part of the book you also seem to feel entitled to 'condem' the whole book including esp. the work done and presented on esp. new (and yet by most others furthermore ignored) documentary sources.

... IMHO rather large boots you try to put on ...

... Other sources would be better for an argument against Russia.
... you mean sources not contradicting your convictions ?
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
I would highly doubt McMeekin's work as the factual errors and contrived hypothesis's of his at times in the Book are disputed by nearly all historians.
Furthermore, his interpretation of the Russo-Ottoman Diplomacy in the book, the only portion that i have read online, goes against what everyone at the ground at the time thought, therefore not instilling me with confidence regarding the book. Other sources would be better for an argument against Russia.
Ronald B. Bobroff is an advocate of the discredited Sonderweg theory, so his contrived and often incorrect thesis against McMeekin is of very little analytical value or historical significance. The vast majority of historians, even if they do disagree with McMeekin, do not recycle Bobroff's points at all, especially his criticism of Russo-Ottoman diplomacy. All sources agree that Russia's main foreign policy goal in 1914 was to partition the Ottoman Empire and control the Black Sea-Mediterranean Straits.
 
Warning
you mean sources not contradicting your convictions
Would you like to expand on this one? Sazonov, by his own admission, and later acknowledged by the Russian foreign ministry, made the declaration for Russian claims to Constantinople only for face value and later using Romania assured Constantinople that they did not seek the break the status quo of the straits. It was only NII's decision in 1915 to fully commit themselves to it that reversed that policy. (Российско-османская дипломатия в Великой войне, 2009.)

Perhaps debating without such idiotic statements that are not expanded would be best. It only serves to detract your own positions, especially when you don't explain them.
Ronald B. Bobroff is an advocate of the discredited Sonderweg theory, so his contrived and often incorrect thesis against McMeekin is of very little analytical value or historical significance. The vast majority of historians, even if they do disagree with McMeekin, do not recycle Bobroff's points at all, especially his criticism of Russo-Ottoman diplomacy. All sources agree that Russia's main foreign policy goal in 1914 was to partition the Ottoman Empire and control the Black Sea-Mediterranean Straits.
See above

EDIT: anyway, allmost all accreditted ottoman historians like Lucien J. Frarg, Caroline Finkel, Jason Goodwill, Douglas Howard, Suraiya Faroqhi, . Şükrü Hanioğlu, Alan Palmer all express doubts about his ottoman historiography in the book you sourced. Even McMeekin's own previous book the ottoman endgame contradicts him in the Russian origins.
 
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Capbeetle61

Banned
Would you like to expand on this one? Sazonov, by his own admission, and later acknowledged by the Russian foreign ministry, made the declaration for Russian claims to Constantinople only for face value and later using Romania assured Constantinople that they did not seek the break the status quo of the straits. It was only NII's decision in 1915 to fully commit themselves to it that reversed that policy. (Российско-османская дипломатия в Великой войне, 2009.)

Perhaps debating without such idiotic statements that are not expanded would be best. It only serves to detract your own positions, especially when you don't explain them.
See above
Not supported by the available evidence at all:

Although Stolypin continued urging the generals to be patient, Russian plans to conquer Turkey received a major fillip with the Young Turk “Revolution” of July 1908, which was assumed at Chorister’s Bridge— correctly, as it turned out—to have fatally weakened the regime of Abdul Hamid II (the sultan was deposed the following April, in conditions approximating civil war in Constantinople, and replaced by a figurehead, Mehmed Reshad V). The fall of the last true Ottoman sultan produced a kind of manic glee in the Russian General Staff, where war gaming for the occupation of Constantinople—which had largely ceased following the sinking of the Russian Baltic and Pacific fleets in the Russo-Japanese War—now resumed with a vengeance. The mood of the time was well captured in a General Staff memorandum of October 1910 that outlined plans for seizing Constantinople: first the rail and telegraph lines to Adrianople and Ankara would be cut by “agents from the Christian population” (Macedonians and Bulgarians in Europe, Greeks and Armenians in Anatolia), whereupon Russia-friendly Christians in the city would “burn down all the wooden bridges spanning the Golden Horn and set fire to Stambul”—which predominantly Muslim district was, conveniently for Russian purposes, blanketed “almost without interruption with wooden houses” (pochti splosh’’ iz’’ derevyannyikh domov). The Christians of Pera would then rise, in coordination with a Russian amphibious landing. Once Russia’s Black Sea fleet had secured the Straits, it would herald the “annihilation of Turkish dominion on the Balkan peninsula.”*23
 
Not supported by the available evidence at all:

Although Stolypin continued urging the generals to be patient, Russian plans to conquer Turkey received a major fillip with the Young Turk “Revolution” of July 1908, which was assumed at Chorister’s Bridge— correctly, as it turned out—to have fatally weakened the regime of Abdul Hamid II (the sultan was deposed the following April, in conditions approximating civil war in Constantinople, and replaced by a figurehead, Mehmed Reshad V). The fall of the last true Ottoman sultan produced a kind of manic glee in the Russian General Staff, where war gaming for the occupation of Constantinople—which had largely ceased following the sinking of the Russian Baltic and Pacific fleets in the Russo-Japanese War—now resumed with a vengeance. The mood of the time was well captured in a General Staff memorandum of October 1910 that outlined plans for seizing Constantinople: first the rail and telegraph lines to Adrianople and Ankara would be cut by “agents from the Christian population” (Macedonians and Bulgarians in Europe, Greeks and Armenians in Anatolia), whereupon Russia-friendly Christians in the city would “burn down all the wooden bridges spanning the Golden Horn and set fire to Stambul”—which predominantly Muslim district was, conveniently for Russian purposes, blanketed “almost without interruption with wooden houses” (pochti splosh’’ iz’’ derevyannyikh domov). The Christians of Pera would then rise, in coordination with a Russian amphibious landing. Once Russia’s Black Sea fleet had secured the Straits, it would herald the “annihilation of Turkish dominion on the Balkan peninsula.”*23
Russia released invasion plans for Constantinople a total of 228 times from 1900 - 1914, as per The Russian Archives *. So forgive me if I find a slightly revised and slightly more enthusiastic warplan as reader than water. From SM Aliev's quotation to the Russian Archives which McMeekin quotes himself in the Ottoman Endgame:-
Военные планы правительства в 1924 году против турецкого правительства, несмотря на риторику, были направлены на сохранение статус-кво к западу от восточной Анатолии. Это было подтверждено правительственными приказами в украинских прибрежных районах империи и на Кавказе. Такое положение дел изменилось только в 1915 году, когда цель Константинополя превратилась из номинальной в реальную.
Translation:
The war planning of the government in 1924 against the Turkish government, despite rhetoric was planned to maintain the status quo west of eastern Anatolia. This was verified by governmental orders in the Ukrainian coastal districts of the empire and in the Caucasus. This state of affairs only changed in 1915 when the goal of Constantinople turned from nominal to actuality.
* 293 times according to the ottoman archives.
 
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Capbeetle61

Banned
Russia released invasion plans for Constantinople a total of 228 times from 1900 - 1914, as per The Russian Archives. So forgive me if I find a slightly revised and slightly more enthusiastic warplan as reader than water. From SM Aliev's quotation to the Russian Archives which McMeekin quotes himself in the Ottoman Endgame:-
Военные планы правительства в 1924 году против турецкого правительства, несмотря на риторику, были направлены на сохранение статус-кво к западу от восточной Анатолии. Это было подтверждено правительственными приказами в украинских прибрежных районах империи и на Кавказе. Такое положение дел изменилось только в 1915 году, когда цель Константинополя превратилась из номинальной в реальную.
Translation:
The war planning of the government in 1924 against the Turkish government, despite rhetoric was planned to maintain the status quo west of eastern Anatolia. This was verified by governmental orders in the Ukrainian coastal districts of the empire and in the Caucasus. This state of affairs only changed in 1915 when the goal of Constantinople turned from nominal to actuality.
Again, not substantiated by the evidence on the ground:

Berlin and Petersburg, by contrast, were both heavily invested in the Eastern Question and knee deep in the Balkans (even if, in the case of Germany and the Balkans, mostly at second remove via Austria-Hungary). Neither the Germans nor the Russians were anywhere near satisfied in terms of imperial appetite, nor feeling particularly secure in their current positions. The ambitions of pan-Germanists—largely shared by Bethmann Hollweg, the General Staff, and the Wilhelmstrasse—to dominate “Mitteleuropa” and “Mittelafrika,” along with Asiatic Turkey, are well known.11 Much less well known are the goals of Russian imperialists of the time, but they were, in their way, just as ambitious. Since the RussoJapanese War, Petersburg had made surprising gains in the Far East, with Japanese recognition of Russian supremacy in northern Manchuria in 1912, China reluctantly granting autonomy to Mongolia under strong Russian pressure the same year, and the British consenting to Russian administrative oversight in Harbin in 1914. London also agreed to cede to Petersburg a “zone of influence” north of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan.12 Meanwhile, Russia’s imperial penetration of northern Persia was rapidly creating a fait accompli on the ground: Russian settlers and syndicates had already acquired title to three-quarters of the arable land in “Persian Azerbaijan,” thanks to judges installed by Russian diplomats already behaving as imperial pro-consuls.13 The Armenian reform campaign of 1913–1914, which alarmed both the Porte and Berlin, was a scarcely disguised Trojan horse for the expansion of Russian influence in Turkish Anatolia. Finally, Russian plans for seizing Constantinople and the Straits were well advanced and universally supported by policymakers by 1914, even if the Black Sea fleet was not yet strong enough to carry them out
 
So why did European nations even bother with Treaties?
Because they wanted stability.
Small nation doesn't want to be invaded? Get a treaty with a larger nation to help deter that.
Or don't do things that piss off your neighbors, like support assassins.
A mutual defense treaty makes it clear that 'you mess with one of us you mess with all of us'.

But that doesn't mean countries will never support other countries without one or that it seen as outrageous when they do. And that's the important different between what you arguing and reality

And if you want proof of this you just have to look at July 1914.

If what you said was true then everyone would have been surprised that Russia backed Serbia. But no one was.

If what you said was true then many would have called Russia out for doing something that according to you was so irregular in international politics (whatever Serbia's behavior*). But again even Russia's and Serbia's opposition didn't raise it it as someway to strengthen their position with teh rest of the community

This smoking gun of Russian bad behavior you think you found in order to try and level the playing field a bit when it come to blame is just not there in reality



*and what criticism there was from the CP for Russia was based on how can they support a country that had done what Serbia had done, not how could they support a country they didn't have Mutual defense treaty with.
 
One thing that nobody seems to have mentioned here yet is that Serbia might have been less antagonistic towards Austria-Hungary, and some of its leaders less likely to sponsor the Black Hand, if A-H hadn't annexed Bosnia-Herzgovina a few years earlier...

Then again, if Serbia was still ruled by the Obrenovic dynasty (who historically had been closer to A-H than were their replacements) at that point, maybe A-H would have let them have some sort of role in B-H?
 
One thing that nobody seems to have mentioned here yet is that Serbia might have been less antagonistic towards Austria-Hungary, and some of its leaders less likely to sponsor the Black Hand, if A-H hadn't annexed Bosnia-Herzgovina a few years earlier...
The die was cast when the Obrenovics were all murdered, by some who would be familiar later
From the wiki
The May Coup (1903) which overthrew Aleksandar Obrenović was orchestrated by Dragutin Dimitrijević (called "Apis") and his group of lower officers, among whom were Petar Živković. Petar Karađorđević was crowned King of Serbia, and in contrast to the Austrophile Obrenović dynasty, Karađorđević relied on Russia and France, which provoked rising hostility from Austria-Hungary. The conspiracy group had toppled Obrenović on the pretext of pursuing the liberation and unification of Serb lands (Pan-Serbism).

The retirement of some of the conspirators involved in the May Coup eventually led to the division of the conspiratory group into two quarrelling sides: the conspirators that stayed behind the dynasty and those who stood against it;[2] the first was close to the court and government, the second dissatisfied.[3] The split began in 1906, and subsequently spilled over into the Army.[2] Serbian crown prince Aleksandar and Apis had disagreements, and Živković and Apis had a falling-out.[when?][4] Živković accused Apis and other members of libel.[when?][5] The division brought about the establishment of the Black Hand and White Hand.[2] The dissatisfied group established Unification or Death (the Black Hand) in 1911
.[3]

So in a way, Serbia was like Japan, lower ranked military officers directing events, from assassinations and other acts.
'Apis' was there at the start in 1903, when Austro-Serbian relations were quite cordial
He changed that.
'Liberation of traditional Serb Lands' is where someone might have been speaking Serbian, 700 years earlier
 
You're making some valid points that no one had clean hands in this matter. It's true rivalries existed, and each side distrusted the other. The world has always been driven by people, and nations competing for power, and influence. 1914 Europe was no exception. There is no doubt Serbian Nationalism, and terrorism was regarded as a threat to Austrian interests, and ambitions in the Balkans. The Serbian State had it foreign policy hijacked by radical elements that were forcing the country to take a very dangerous course, by provoking Austria.

Russia had ambitions in the Balkans that conflicted with Austria's. They wanted Romania, Bulgaria, Greece, and Serbia to ally with them, and not Austria. They also had designs on the Ottoman Empire, and the Turkish Straits. That had been true for 200 years. Russia also kept a warry eye on Germany, ever since it had dropped it assurance treaty in 1890. Dropping that treaty had driven Russia into the arms of Republican France and created the Alliance System that made WWI possible. For its part to have any chance to resist German power France needed to standby her Russian allies and wished to cultivate a defensive agreement with Great Britain.
This far I agree.
In the July Crisis all the great powers agreed that Sebia had acted in a criminal manor and had to be punished in some way.
Actually what written sources we have agree on Russia taking very early on after the asassination a stance that stated that Serbia can not be made responsible and punsihed for the asassination. Way before anyone knew what the result would be of the austrian investigation. France also accepted this stance. When poincaré expressed his condolescences to Austria he already likened the assassination of the murder of a former french president to an italian anarchist - the point being that there was no qustion of Italy being made responsible for that.
Russia had wanted Serbia to accept the Austrian terms to avoid war. But for Russia to accept the destruction of Serbia would mean the collapse of their whole Balkan policy and smash their credibility as a great power.
Disagree. Bulgaria was always ready to choose Russia ower the CP's as long as Russia did not prioritize Serbian interests ower Bulgarian ones. Also Russia could have gone into the conflict for example with telling Austria the limits of punishment they are willing to be mated on Serbia. I mean from Russian POV Serbia was a russia dependency that has acted way out of the line and created a crisis without the knowledge and leave of Russia that threatened and actually did result in Russia being involved in the greatest war in history that far. It would hav ehurt russian policy and position on the Balkans whatever happened - but would not have destroyed it.
Most of all Russia needed to have some kind of actual control ower its quasi protectorates on the Balkans if they wanted to take responsibility for them.
That was not a reasonable course of action for Russia to take, and the Germans & Austrians knew that.
I stated earlier if Russia made it known - either by signing a treaty with Sebia or making a declaration - even if they only mobilized officially after the Austrian ultimatum - I would agree with you. As it was the germans and the austrians went into starting the war against Serbia hoping that it can be localized but ready to fight it even if it couldnt be. The ultimate evidence for this is that Austria started the war with their Serbia only warplan - this resulted in them totally botching their mobilization as when Russia got into the war they tried to switch on the run to the Russia and Serbia warplan. If they knew Russia was protecting Serbia for sure they would have not committed such a gigantic level of idiocy.
The Germans & Austrians were forcing the Russians into a corner. Whatever responsibility Russia had in creating the situation that led up to the crisis is overwhelmed by the Germans & Austrians using the crisis as a pretext to start a general European war that the other side didn't want.
As I said I do not think the Germans and the Austrians wanted a general european war. They were willing to fight one if the entente powers didnt back down but they were not looking for that conflict. I have to cite again the austrian mobilization - it only makes any sense if Austria has started the war under the impression/hope that it will fight a localized conflict against Serbia.
Russia on his part decided that it will back Serbia without any threaties or obligations. It did very little and even that baddly to try to solve the crisis diplomatically but instead started to prepare for the military solution of it before any of the great powers - and in secret which had no diplomatic use but only a military one and which undermined any trust the CP's might have had in Russia's peaceful intentions.
That is why the argument keeps coming back to who pulled the trigger on the war in July 1914. The Germans & Austrians had resolved that a general war was the answer to their geostrategic problems. The French, and Russians while prepared to fight, if forced to didn't want war in 1914. To want to spread the responsibility around may sound fair, but it doesn't help us understand what drove events to their tragic ends.
Again I dont believe the CP's wanted a great war (there were some people in every country who wanted just that but they were nowhere in power). Austria at the very least wanted a war with Serbia and not WWI. But they wanted that war against Serbia even if it turned into WWI. They were wiling to take that chance - as were the germans. They bear full responsibility for that.
But if you dont suggest that the CP's would have attacked France and Russia even if they backed down on the serbian question it was the decision of Russia to protect Serbia that turned the austro-serbian war to WWI.
 
Again, not substantiated by the evidence on the ground:

Berlin and Petersburg, by contrast, were both heavily invested in the Eastern Question and knee deep in the Balkans (even if, in the case of Germany and the Balkans, mostly at second remove via Austria-Hungary). Neither the Germans nor the Russians were anywhere near satisfied in terms of imperial appetite, nor feeling particularly secure in their current positions. The ambitions of pan-Germanists—largely shared by Bethmann Hollweg, the General Staff, and the Wilhelmstrasse—to dominate “Mitteleuropa” and “Mittelafrika,” along with Asiatic Turkey, are well known.11 Much less well known are the goals of Russian imperialists of the time, but they were, in their way, just as ambitious. Since the RussoJapanese War, Petersburg had made surprising gains in the Far East, with Japanese recognition of Russian supremacy in northern Manchuria in 1912, China reluctantly granting autonomy to Mongolia under strong Russian pressure the same year, and the British consenting to Russian administrative oversight in Harbin in 1914. London also agreed to cede to Petersburg a “zone of influence” north of the Hindu Kush in Afghanistan.12 Meanwhile, Russia’s imperial penetration of northern Persia was rapidly creating a fait accompli on the ground: Russian settlers and syndicates had already acquired title to three-quarters of the arable land in “Persian Azerbaijan,” thanks to judges installed by Russian diplomats already behaving as imperial pro-consuls.13 The Armenian reform campaign of 1913–1914, which alarmed both the Porte and Berlin, was a scarcely disguised Trojan horse for the expansion of Russian influence in Turkish Anatolia. Finally, Russian plans for seizing Constantinople and the Straits were well advanced and universally supported by policymakers by 1914, even if the Black Sea fleet was not yet strong enough to carry them out
Again not substantiated by evidence by the Russian government.

From Russian Archival Records 1914 - Government Orders 12034, November 27
"25 ноября 1914 года,
Правительство постановляет, что все планы по штурму Царьграда отменяются. Это номинальная цель правительства в ведении войны, и она будет только отвлекать от реального военного успеха на поле боя, где правительство может преследовать реальные цели против османов в Восточной Анатолии. Я говорил с министром иностранных дел Сазоновым и перекрестно с кабинетом министров, и большинство, за исключением министра Фредерика, согласились, что Константинополь должен оставаться в настоящее время, номинальной целью, которая не умаляет наших реальных целей в Восточной Анатолии против турок-османов. Военный министр Поливанов принял эти приказы, и все командующие на войне должны немедленно подчиниться этим приказам. Цель Царьграда останется только для пропагандистских целей.
Премьер-министр российского правительства,
Иван Логгинович Горемыки
Переведено с помощь

November 25, 1914,
The government decrees that all plans regarding assaulting Tsargrad be dropped. It is a nominal goal of the government in pursuing this war and will only detract actual military success on the field where realistic objectives can be pursued by the government against the Ottomans in Eastern Anatolia. I have spoken with Foreign Minister Sazonov and cross-reference with cabinet, and most, barring Minister Frederik's have agreed that Constantinople should remain at the moment, a nominal goal that does detract our actual goals in eastern Anatolia against the Ottoman Turks.Minister of War Polivanov has accepted these orders and all commanders in the war are to accede to these commandments immediately. The goal for Tsargrad will remain only for propaganda purposes.
Prime Minister of the Russian Government,
Ivan Logginovich Goremykin
 
The die was cast when the Obrenovics were all murdered, by some who would be familiar later
From the wiki
The May Coup (1903) which overthrew Aleksandar Obrenović was orchestrated by Dragutin Dimitrijević (called "Apis") and his group of lower officers, among whom were Petar Živković. Petar Karađorđević was crowned King of Serbia, and in contrast to the Austrophile Obrenović dynasty, Karađorđević relied on Russia and France, which provoked rising hostility from Austria-Hungary. The conspiracy group had toppled Obrenović on the pretext of pursuing the liberation and unification of Serb lands (Pan-Serbism).

The retirement of some of the conspirators involved in the May Coup eventually led to the division of the conspiratory group into two quarrelling sides: the conspirators that stayed behind the dynasty and those who stood against it;[2] the first was close to the court and government, the second dissatisfied.[3] The split began in 1906, and subsequently spilled over into the Army.[2] Serbian crown prince Aleksandar and Apis had disagreements, and Živković and Apis had a falling-out.[when?][4] Živković accused Apis and other members of libel.[when?][5] The division brought about the establishment of the Black Hand and White Hand.[2] The dissatisfied group established Unification or Death (the Black Hand) in 1911
.[3]

So in a way, Serbia was like Japan, lower ranked military officers directing events, from assassinations and other acts.
'Apis' was there at the start in 1903, when Austro-Serbian relations were quite cordial
He changed that.
'Liberation of traditional Serb Lands' is where someone might have been speaking Serbian, 700 years earlier
I have no dog in the fight over how Serb Bosnia was in 1914, but please explain why Austria had a better claim to it then Serbia did?
 
I have no dog in the fight over how Serb Bosnia was in 1914, but please explain why Austria had a better claim to it then Serbia did?
Treaty of Berlin. 1878
Agreed and signed by:
Great Britain and Ireland, Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Russia, and the Ottoman Empire
Article 25

That was also important, the Crisis of 1908 was ended by the Russians publicly admitting that Article 25 applied to Bosnia and Herzegovina, this
from Serbia
Serbia recognizes that the situation created in Bosnia-Herzegovina does not involve any injury to the rights of Serbia. In consequence, Serbia will conform to the decision which the powers are going to take in regard to article 25 of the treaty of Vienna. Serbia, conforming to the advice of the powers agrees to renounce the attitude of protest and opposition which she has taken since the month of October of last year. She agrees to modify the line of her political conduct in regard to Austria-Hungary and to live in the future on good terms with it. In conformity with this declaration and confident of the pacific intentions of Austria-Hungary, Serbia will bring back her army, in the matter of organization, distribution, and of state of activity, to the situation existing in the spring of 1908. She will disband the volunteer bodies and will prevent the formation of irregular bands upon her territory.

Source: Anderson, Frank Maloy and Amos Shartle Hershey, Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia, and Africa 1870-1914. Prepared for the National Board for Historical Service. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1918.
 
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