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 2.4%
  • 2. It thinks a defeat or setback for Russia in Poland/Balkans alone makes Germany too powerful

    Votes: 88 26.3%
  • 3. It thinks a defeat/setback for Russia now means a defeat for France later, so preempt it now

    Votes: 54 16.2%
  • 4. Getting involved in war in Europe is a great way to distract from Irish controversies

    Votes: 17 5.1%
  • 5. It wants to capture Germany’s overseas colonies for Cape-to-Cairo route

    Votes: 9 2.7%
  • 6. It wants to have an excuse to blockade German commercial competition off from markets

    Votes: 18 5.4%
  • 7. It wants to destroy the German navy, either through battle, or coerced as part of peace terms

    Votes: 34 10.2%
  • 8. Britain actually wouldn’t go to war with Germany in this case

    Votes: 106 31.7%

  • Total voters
    334
This far I agree.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.
Starting 7 July, the German Ambassador to Austria-Hungary, Heinrich von Tschirschky, and Austro-Hungarian Foreign Minister Berchtold held almost daily meetings about how to co-ordinate the diplomatic action to justify a war against Serbia.[58] On 8 July, Tschirschky presented Berchtold with a message from Wilhelm who declared he "stated most emphatically that Berlin expected the Monarchy to act against Serbia, and that Germany would not understand it, if ... the present opportunity were allowed to go by ... without a blow struck".[58] At the same meeting, Tschirschky told Berchtold, "if we [Austria-Hungary] compromised or bargained with Serbia, Germany would interpret this as a confession of weakness, which could not be without effect on our position in the Triple Alliance and on Germany's future policy".[58] On 7 July, Bethmann Hollweg told his aide and close friend Kurt Riezler that "action against Serbia can lead to a world war".[59] Bethmann Hollweg felt such a "leap in the dark" was justified by the international situation.[59] Bethmann Hollweg told Riezler that Germany was "completely paralysed" and that the "future belongs to Russia which is growing and growing, and is becoming an ever increasing nightmare to us".[59] Riezler went to write in his diary that Bethmann Hollweg painted a "devastating picture" with Russia building rail-roads in Congress Poland that allow Russia to mobilize faster once the Great Military Programme was finished in 1917,[60] and that an Austro-Serbian war would probably cause a world war, "which would lead to an overthrow of the existing order", but since the "existing order was lifeless and void of ideas", such a war could only be welcomed as a blessing to Germany.[60] Bethmann Hollweg's fears about Russia led him to credit Anglo-Russian naval talks in May 1914 as the beginning of an "encirclement" policy against Germany that could only be broken through war.[59] After Anglo-French naval talks had taken place, the Russians demanded the same courtesy be extended to them, which led to inconclusive Anglo-Russian naval talks.[61]

On 8 July, Tisza informed another meeting of the Crown Council that any attack on Serbia was bound to lead to "intervention by Russia and consequently world war".[57] On the same day, Kurt Riezler's diary has his friend Bethmann Hollweg saying: "If the war comes from the East, so that we are marching to Austria-Hungary's aid instead of Austria-Hungary to ours, then we have a chance of winning it. If war does not come, if the Czar does not want it or France dismayed, counsels peace, then we still have a chance of maneuvering the Entente apart over this action."
[62]

So, both the Germans & Austrians wanted a war with Serbia and expected it to lead to a war with Russia. The Germans wanted a war with Russia in the hopes of shifting the balance of power in Europe. This also shows they were lying to the other powers about their intentions.

Though Jagow's pretence was not widely believed, it was still believed at the time that Germany was aiming for peace, and could restrain Austria.[84] General Helmuth von Moltke of the German General Staff again strongly approved of the idea of an Austrian attack on Serbia as the best way of bringing about the desired world war.[85]

On 20 July, the German government informed the directors of the Norddeutscher Lloyd and Hamburg America Line shipping companies that Austria would soon present an ultimatum that might cause a general European war, and they should start withdrawing their ships from foreign waters back to the Reich at once.[86] That same day, the German Navy was ordered to concentrate the High Seas Fleet, in case of a general war.[87] Riezler's diary states Bethmann Hollweg saying on 20 July that Russia with its "growing demands and tremendous dynamic power would be impossible to repel in a few years, especially if the present European constellation continues to exist".[88] Riezler ended his diary noting that Bethmann Hollweg was "determined and taciturn", and quoted his former Foreign Minister Kiderlen-Waechter who "had always said we must fight".
[88]

The German shipping tycoon Albert Ballin recalled that when the German government heard a misleading report that Serbia had accepted the ultimatum, there was "disappointment", but "tremendous joy" when it learned that the Serbs had not accepted all of the Austrian terms.[103] When Ballin suggested Wilhelm end his North Sea cruise to deal with the crisis, the German Foreign Ministry flatly stated the Emperor should continue his cruise because "everything must be done to ensure that he [Wilhelm] does not interfere in things with his pacifist ideas".[106] At the same time, a message was sent to Berchtold from his ambassador in Berlin reminding him "Here every delay in the beginning of war operations is regarded as signifying the danger that foreign powers might interfere. We are urgently advised to proceed without delay."[106]

The Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Sazonov sent a message to all of the great powers asking them to pressure Austria to extend the deadline of the ultimatum.[108] Sazonov asked the Austrian government to back its claims of Serbian complicity in the killing of Franz Ferdinand by releasing the results of its official inquiry, which the Austrians refused to do as they lacked any conclusive as opposed to circumstantial evidence.[108] Several times, the Austrians refused Russian requests to extend the deadline, despite warnings that an Austro-Serbian war could easily cause a world war.[109] Sazonov accused the Austrian ambassador of intending to war with Serbia.[note 13]

Britain offers to mediate (23 July)[edit]

On 23 July, British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey made a mediation offer with a promise that his government would attempt to influence Russia to influence Serbia, and Germany to influence Austria-Hungary as the best way of stopping a general war.[110] Wilhelm wrote on the margins of Lichnowsky's dispatch containing Grey's offer that Britain's "condescending orders" were to be totally rejected, and Austria-Hungary would not retract any of its "impossible demands" on Serbia. He continued: "Am I to do that? Wouldn’t think of it! What does he [Grey] mean by ‘impossible’?"[110] Jagow ordered Lichnowsky to tell Grey of the supposed German ignorance of the Austrian ultimatum, and that Germany regarded Austro-Serbian relations as "an internal affair of Austria-Hungary, in which we had no standing to intervene".[110] Jagow's statement did much to discredit Germany in British eyes. Lichnowsky reported to Berlin "If we do not join the mediation, all faith here in us and in our love of peace will be shattered."[110]

At the same time, Grey met with opposition from the Russian Ambassador who warned that a conference with Germany, Italy, France, and Britain serving as the mediators between Austria and Russia would break apart the informal Triple Entente.[106] Sazonov accepted Grey's proposal for a conference despite his reservations about the dangers of splitting the Triple Entente,[106] Grey wrote to Sazonov that Britain did not have a cause to war with Serbia, but subsequent developments might drag Britain into the conflict.
[note 14]

Both Britain & Russia were trying to mediate the crisis, while the Germans & Austrian wanted war.

Starting 23 July, all of Germany's leaders returned secretly to Berlin to deal with the crisis.[111] A division opened between those led by Bethmann-Hollweg who wanted to see what would happen following an Austrian attack on Serbia, and the military led by Moltke and Falkenhayn, who urged that Germany immediately follow an Austrian attack on Serbia with a German attack on Russia. Moltke repeatedly stated that 1914 would be the best time for starting a "preventive war", or the Russian Great Military Programme would finish by 1917, making Germany unable to ever again risk a war.[31] Moltke added that Russian mobilization was regarded as an opportunity to be sought rather than as a sort of threat, as it would allow Germany to go to war while presenting it as forced on Germany.[112] The German military attaché in Russia reported that Russian preparations for mobilization were on a much smaller scale than was expected.[113] Though Moltke at first argued that Germany should wait for Russia to mobilize before beginning the "preventive war", by the end of the week he urged that Germany should launch it anyway.[113] In Moltke's view, in order to invade France successfully, Germany would need to seize the Belgian fortress of Liège by surprise. The longer the diplomatic action continued, the less likely Moltke thought that Liège could be stormed by surprise, and if Liège were not taken, then the entire Schlieffen Plan would be unhinged.[114]

So, the German General Staff wanted to attack Russia in a preemptive war if they mobilized or not. Russian mobilization was only important as a pretext for war. In the end there was last minute cold feet by the German political leaderships, but with prodding by the military WWI was on. "Hey, we have to get too it before 1917. This is our last best chance to crush our enemies, before they get too strong." Paranoid, reckless, and aggressive. A really great combination in a national leadership.
 
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.
The Bosnian Crisis, also known as the Annexation Crisis (German: Bosnische Annexionskrise; Serbo-Croatian: Aneksiona kriza, Анексиона криза) or the First Balkan Crisis, erupted on 5 October 1908[1] when Austria-Hungary announced the annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina,[a] territories formerly within the sovereignty of the Ottoman Empire but under Austro-Hungarian administration since 1878.[9]

This unilateral action—timed to coincide with Bulgaria's declaration of independence from the Ottoman Empire on 5 October—sparked protestations from all the Great Powers and Austria-Hungary's Balkan neighbors, Serbia and Montenegro. In April 1909, the Treaty of Berlin was amended to reflect the fait accompli and bring the crisis to an end. The crisis permanently damaged relations between Austria-Hungary and its neighbors, especially Serbia, Italy and Russia, and in the long term helped lay the grounds for World War I. Although the crisis ended with what appeared to be a total Austro-Hungarian diplomatic victory, the crisis destroyed any remaining ability for the Austrians and the Russians to cooperate in the Balkans and damaged Austrian relations with Serbia and the Italians.[10] Austro-Serbian relations – harmed by the annexation's inflaming of Serbian nationalists[11] – continued to be strained to the point of declaring war on each other in 1914.
[12]

Since that treaty was imposed on Serbia, at the threat of war, and she was sold out by her allies the long term stability of Bosnia was not assured. No weight was given to wishes of the people of Bosnia as to what they wanted. But that wasn't even my question. Other than superior force why was Austria's claim to Bosnia better then Serbia's? Most of the people of Bosnia were closer to the Serbs ethnically, culturally, linguistically, and religiously then the Austrians, Hungarians, or Croats. since the Serbs had the means to contest the Austrian annexation why should they have accepted the fait accompli?
 
Other than superior force why was Austria's claim to Bosnia better then Serbia's?
The Treaty of 1878, reaffirmed in 1908

IIRC, you didn't like when Germany violated a signed Treaty over Belgium, so why does Serbia, and by extension, Russia(since Serbia was their catspaw) get a pass over Bosnia?

All the great powers agreed that Serbia should have upheld these agreements, correct?

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.

Serbian Intelligence/Black Hand running an assassination team in B-H kind of violates the terms and spirit of that, yes?
 
Most of the people of Bosnia were closer to the Serbs ethnically, culturally, linguistically, and religiously then the Austrians, Hungarians, or Croats
B-H was a mix of Muslim, Catholic and Orthodox

From the wiki
According to the 1910 population census there were 1,898,044 citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina:

ReligionNumber
Eastern Orthodox825,918 (43.49%)
Muslims612,137 (32.25%)
Roman Catholics434,061 (22.87%)
others26,428 (1.39%)

The urban population was, according to religion, 50.76% Muslims, 24.49% Roman Catholics, and 19.92% Eastern Orthodox. Land ownership was 91.1% Muslims, 6% Eastern Orthodox, 2.6% Roman Catholics, and 0.3% others. Comparing the 1910 percentages with the 1879 census shows a drop of the Muslim percentage from 39% to 32%, and a rise in Catholics from 18% to 23%, while the Orthodox population hovered around 43% the entire time.

So not a Majority, and proven in the the two Balkan Wars, the Serbs loved their ethnic cleansing, as infamously with the Albanians
 
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.
So as I understand it you are making the argument that because Russia had made 228 or 293 invasion plans of Constantinople in 14 years that means another, more enthusiastic plan doesnt mean Russia did actively seek that operation, mainly because Sazonov said so later?... Are you sure about that? I mean If I make 2-3 new invasion plans per month on average of a territory for 14 years I think that a pretty solid proof of me being very interested in acquaring it.
 
The Treaty of 1878, reaffirmed in 1908

IIRC, you didn't like when Germany violated a signed Treaty over Belgium, so why does Serbia, and by extension, Russia(since Serbia was their catspaw) get a pass over Bosnia?

All the great powers agreed that Serbia should have upheld these agreements, correct?

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.

Serbian Intelligence/Black Hand running an assassination team in B-H kind of violates the terms and spirit of that, yes?
All the borders of the world have at one time been determined by force. International agreements regarding them are subject to change over time. Serbia and the other Balkan States were just regaining their independence at the beginning of the 20th Century, and everything was in flux. It's not surprising there were 2 Balkan Wars. Each power had what they believed were legitimate claims to territory, and peoples, in an age of rising nationalism. Serbia was trying to create an ethnic State, Austria was an imperial State, that they had a conflict over territory isn't surprising.

The other great powers thought the unilateral Austrian annexation of Bosnia violated the treaty of 1878. In the horse trading that followed Russia and Serbia got the worse end of the deal. The Serbs thought they'd been screwed and didn't have to accept that verdict forever. In fact, what happened in 1908 divided the Serbs over how to respond. Treaties are supposed to create stability, Austria's unilateral actions had the opposite effect, and caused lasting grievances.

What Austria did in 1908 helped set the stage for WWI by making Serbia a hostile power while also alienated Russia. It had the same poisonous effect the German annexation of Alsace & Lorraine did in Franco/German relations. It wasn't a wise move. Having made Serbia into an enemy they thought the correct course of action was to destroy the Serbian State, even at the cost of a war with Russia. That they thought their internal minorities problem would be eased by adding millions of new violently hostile Serbs to the Empire shows just how muddled their thinking was. You feel your carrying too much weight, answer add more weight.

The neutrality of Belgium was a completely different situation. The treaty had created a neutral zone between nations that had battled there for centuries. It served the interests of France, Holland, Britain, and Germany, in preventing conflict. The independence of Belgium had helped make Western Europe more peaceful, and prosperious, and the treaty had stood for over 80 years. Instead of seeing Belgium as a protective barrier for the Rhineland, and Ruhr they only saw an avenue of attack. The German obsession with the strategic offensive, and seeking decisive battle blinded the German General Staff from seeing their true mission, which was the defense of Germany.

In some versions of the Schlieffen plan the Right Wing would also invade Holland. The plan was so myopic in focusing on a short war they didn't take into account the usefulness of neutral nations economically, and in their political opinions. They were so obsessed with decisive battle doctrine they dismissed the significance of drawing Great Britain into the war, because they only had a handful of divisions.

German & Austrian foreign policy in this period was crude, duplicitous, and driven by a paranoid world view that the future was bleak, and time was against them. The fact that Russia was rapidly growing didn't mean Germany was doomed. Germany was also growing, and held an immensely strong economic, and strategic position in Europe. With the 2nd strongest navy in the world, they weren't about to lose control of the Baltic. The doomsday clock they lived under was of their own creation, they didn't have to be controlled by it.
 
So as I understand it you are making the argument that because Russia had made 228 or 293 invasion plans of Constantinople in 14 years that means another, more enthusiastic plan doesnt mean Russia did actively seek that operation, mainly because Sazonov said so later?... Are you sure about that? I mean If I make 2-3 new invasion plans per month on average of a territory for 14 years I think that a pretty solid proof of me being very interested in acquaring it.
Britain made a plan to invade Ireland a over 150 times during the entire duration of the Free State and around 200 times during the Troubles. Britain had no intentions of invading (other than briefly in 1940). Spain released plans to invade France over 80 times before ww1, they had no intentions of invading. The Ottomans had warplans in case of war with China and Japan and even Uruguay. Austria-Hungary had published over 90 warplans to invade Imperial Germany from 1908 - 1914 etc etc. New warplans are made everyday in each military power against nearly everyone. They're nothing unusual or unique.
Furthermore, the Russian stance was corroborated when the Romanians and Swedes recorded it when the message was passed to the Ottomans through the Romanian and Swedish consulates. The British Government corroborated it when the Russians rejected every idea for a 'Constantinople' Agreement before February 1915 - Sazonov and Polivanov asking Britain and France to maintain the Straits Status Quo with securities in the future before then - which is right after January 27, 1915, when NII changed his mind and told as such to the Russian Government at the time.
 
So as I understand it you are making the argument that because Russia had made 228 or 293 invasion plans of Constantinople in 14 years that means another, more enthusiastic plan doesnt mean Russia did actively seek that operation, mainly because Sazonov said so later?... Are you sure about that? I mean If I make 2-3 new invasion plans per month on average of a territory for 14 years I think that a pretty solid proof of me being very interested in acquaring it.
Yet with all those plans over 14 years no war with the Turks, in fact no war since 1878. In 1914 the Turks attacked Russia.
 
And his position on the Armenian Genocide would get him banned around here...
Indeed. His minimization of the Genocide by trying to exonerate the officials involved in it by showing haphazard Tsarist support for Armenian nationalists is pretty much genocide denial and whataboutism. Tsarist support for Armenian nationalists in the OE has never been in doubt, but that cannot and should not be used as a means to justify the Armenian Genocide as McMeekin does.
And I say that as a generally pro-Ottoman poster.
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
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
The Russian government’s evidence not substantiative at all: the source indicates a temporary cession/hold on the overarching Russian foreign policy goal of conquering Constantinople, rather than any long-term change to the Imperial policy of colonising the former lands of the Ottoman Empire post-collapse.
 

Capbeetle61

Banned
Yet with all those plans over 14 years no war with the Turks, in fact no war since 1878. In 1914 the Turks attacked Russia.
Britain made a plan to invade Ireland a over 150 times during the entire duration of the Free State and around 200 times during the Troubles. Britain had no intentions of invading (other than briefly in 1940). Spain released plans to invade France over 80 times before ww1, they had no intentions of invading. The Ottomans had warplans in case of war with China and Japan and even Uruguay. Austria-Hungary had published over 90 warplans to invade Imperial Germany from 1908 - 1914 etc etc. New warplans are made everyday in each military power against nearly everyone. They're nothing unusual or unique.
Furthermore, the Russian stance was corroborated when the Romanians and Swedes recorded it when the message was passed to the Ottomans through the Romanian and Swedish consulates. The British Government corroborated it when the Russians rejected every idea for a 'Constantinople' Agreement before February 1915 - Sazonov and Polivanov asking Britain and France to maintain the Straits Status Quo with securities in the future before then - which is right after January 27, 1915, when NII changed his mind and told as such to the Russian Government at the time.
The Russians were opportunists, not pacifists.

Constantinople was not conquered precisely because :
1. The naval capacity of the Imperial Black Sea Fleet to do so was virtually nil.
2. The support of Britain and France were far from guaranteed in the case that Russia did actually invade the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.
3. Tsar Nicholas II was infuriated by the Bulgarian threat to march on and annex Tsargrad for themselves, which provoked him to effectively force an early peace to the war in 1912 by threatening to send troops to “protect” Constantinople from the Balkan armies, whom the Tsar viewed with fundamental suspicion and contempt.
4. The Imperial government was biding for the time when their Army and Navy would finally be strong enough to fulfill their goals of conquering Constantinople and colonise the Ottoman territories with the support of their other Great Power allies, not attempting to secure a general peace within Europe.
 
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CalBear

Moderator
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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

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.
Just about done with this sort of "playing the man" response to other members who may disagree with you.

Cease and desist.
 
The Russians were opportunists, not pacifists.

Constantinople was not conquered precisely because :
1. The naval capacity of the Imperial Black Sea Fleet to do so was virtually nil.
2. The support of Britain and France were far from guaranteed in the case that Russia did actually invade the Ottoman Empire during the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913.
3. Tsar Nicholas II was infuriated by the Bulgarian threat to march on and annex Tsargrad for themselves, which provoked him to effectively force an early peace to the war in 1912 by threatening to send troops to “protect” Constantinople from the Balkan armies, whom the Tsar viewed with fundamental suspicion and contempt.
4. The Imperial government was biding for the time when their Army and Navy would finally be strong enough to fulfill their goals of conquering Constantinople and colonise the Ottoman territories with the support of their other Great Power allies, not attempting to secure a general peace within Europe.
I woud also like to point out - though I have very strong reservations against McMeekin but as his book became part of the conversatio here - one of his main arguments was that Russia wanted WWI because they accepted that the road to Constantinople lead through Vienna and Berlin.
 
Indeed. His minimization of the Genocide by trying to exonerate the officials involved in it by showing haphazard Tsarist support for Armenian nationalists is pretty much genocide denial and whataboutism. Tsarist support for Armenian nationalists in the OE has never been in doubt, but that cannot and should not be used as a means to justify the Armenian Genocide as McMeekin does.
And I say that as a generally pro-Ottoman poster.
Plus, it's not like the Ottomans weren't trying to incite an Armenian uprising against the Russians. Around the same time that WWI began and the Ottomans allied with Germany, the Ottomans was trying to get the ARF to incite an Armenian uprising against Russia (if the Ottomans went to war against Russia), but the ARF refused and instead resolved that the Armenians should fight for the countries of their citizenships.
 
So as I understand it you are making the argument that because Russia had made 228 or 293 invasion plans of Constantinople in 14 years that means another, more enthusiastic plan doesnt mean Russia did actively seek that operation, mainly because Sazonov said so later?... Are you sure about that? I mean If I make 2-3 new invasion plans per month on average of a territory for 14 years I think that a pretty solid proof of me being very interested in acquaring it.
The point is most armies have plans for invading a lot of countries all the time, and that is is more true of great powers, especially great powers who have actually fought each other in recent history (as Russia and teh Ottomans had done).

Not only is is it good to have options and to have them as circumstances change but it's good practice and training for you planning dept

So this really isn't some great revealing point
 
I woud also like to point out - though I have very strong reservations against McMeekin but as his book became part of the conversatio here - one of his main arguments was that Russia wanted WWI because they accepted that the road to Constantinople lead through Vienna and Berlin.
Given a free choice yes the Russia would like black sea access to the Med, but getting there by beating Vienna and Berlin is really going the long way round to get.
 
Given a free choice yes the Russia would like black sea access to the Med, but getting there by beating Vienna and Berlin is really going the long way round to get.
No, they get there by being necessary for the UK and France.
 
Russia also lived under a perceived doomsday clock.
They felt that the impeding German control of the Straits and railroad expansion would choke their vital grain trade route to the global markets.
It made strategic sense for them to prepare for this eventuality and seek to counter it.

Mere Mahanism does not explain the significant resources poured to their naval reconstruction efforts and their focus to the Black Sea. These resources were also put to actual use - the end result was that the Russian Black Sea fleet was an aggressive and competent force, and IMO the most successful combined army-navy operations force in the whole WW1. They routinely turned the flanks of Ottoman defensive lines with naval landings at the Black Sea coast.
 
No, they get there by being necessary for the UK and France.
Not sure how that answers my point about that being a really long winded route?

Yes if the Ottomans join the CP (not certain when Russia would have to be laying this cunning plan), and yes if the Entente wins it's possible a victorious Russia get's the straits

But there's a lot has to happen just right and still it not certain at the end. On top of that a clear Russian victory here is going to change a lot of SE Europe in way larger than this anyway.

It theory that sounds plausible in abstract but:

1) start Continental European war = Med access for the black sea has too many moving parts

more importantly for the reason it's being raised here

2). it doesn't actaully change any of the moves made by the key players in June and July 1914, so it's retroactively fitting a conspiracy theory to actions we already know about and they don't fit. Russia's moves already make sense in the context of local rivalry with AH and support of Serbia, general rivalry with CP along side France. At most getting the straits would be bonus sure, but this conspiracy theory comes with no extra proof of Russia driving for continental European war specifically for this reason.

3). Germany and AH and doing more than enough pushing for everyone anyway, Russia doesn't need a secret cunning plan to manipulate Europe into a general war.



Frankly McMeekin wears his heart on his sleeve when it come to bias, and this comes off as chucking everything at the wall to see what sticks.
 
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