World War 1: A Tragedy of Miscalculation To some extent, the outbreak of the First World War was a tragedy of miscalculation. Austria declared war on Serbia, in the hope that it would only be a short and local war. Germany had miscalculated the risk of a two-front war. Germany’s war plan – the Schlieffen Plan, inevitably involved France, Russia, Belgium and Britain. In “The war to end all wars”, Germany also did not take into calculation the ‘Domino Effect’ of the alliances between France, Russia and Britain.
When he gave Austria-Hungary the ‘blank cheque’, Bethmann Hollweg realized that the crisis might escalate into a European war. It appeared like Germany hoped that the Austro-Serb crisis might divide the big Entente powers and with that give Germany a blood free victory. In addition to that Zechlin accepts the fact that Germany took advantage of the crisis to advance its own plan. The Gerhard Ritter thesis Gerhard Ritter supposes that Germany can’t be blamed for the outbreak of World War One. Ritter’s six main claims were: 1.
In 1879 Germany had made a secret alliance with Austria-Hungary, and Italy joined three years later to create... ... middle of paper ... ... 1914. The motive for the assassination was that they feared that once the Archduke came to the throne he would continue to persecute the Serbs within the Austrian Empire. The Austro-Hungarian government blamed Serbia, and issued the Austro-Hungarian government a list of demands to the Serbian government, who inevitably refused these demands and denied having any part in the assassination. Therefore, World War One broke out. It is therefore reasonable to suggest that Alliances and Ententes were to blame for the outbreak of WWI because if countries such as Austria and Serbia did not have any allies there would not have been a World War, just a European War.
The Austro-Russian rivalryé¬¥çˆ in the Balkans was unsolved. At the Congress of Berlin 1878, Bismarck placed Bosnia-Herzegovina under Austrian administration, but trisected "Big Bulgaria" to depriveå‰å¥ª Russia of an outletå‡ºè·¯ to the sea. As a result, Germany and Austria-Hungary formed the Dual Allianceå…©åœ‹ (å¾·å¥§) åŒç›Ÿ in 1879 against Russia. Nonetheless, the danger of a two-front war still lingeredå¾˜å¾Š. Bismarck feared that Russia might leané å‘ to France against Germany.
His main arguments are his explanations of how each country was responsible for the creation of the war. His first explanation is that of how Serbia was partly responsible. Fay explains that Serbia knew that by not co-operating with the Austrian government over the implications of the Archduke Francis Ferdinand assassination they were indirectly preparing for a war they would fight but did not want. Fay says that Austria was more responsible for the war than any other power but not in military attack, but more in the form of self-defence. He makes it clear that Austria was justified in their battle and that they didn’t have to, “sit back and await the dismemberment at the hands of its neighbors.” (Fay, The origins of the World War).
After the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, Austria-Hungary blamed Serbia for their deaths - even though the terrorist was not connected to the Serbian government. A month later, on 31 July 1914, Austria-Hungary went one step further and declared war on Serbia. At this point it still seemed that the war would not spread, but ... A number of alliances existed between the countries of Europe. Russia supported Serbiaand was drawn into the quarrel. Russia mobilised its army ready to help the Serbs against Austria-Hungary.
Serbia and Austria-Hungary also had the incredibly strong rivalry and this was proven by the assassination... ... middle of paper ... ...n powers were not going to take oppositions to their alliance decisions very lightly. The Germans wanted to get rid of the rise in Socialism (which eventually formed communism) in Russia. By achieving a victorious war, this would boost the popularity of Germany, and show Europe that even though a new country, they should not be taken as a weak one. This not only shows how the crisis in July 1914 was so badly mismanaged, in my opinion it is clearly proven by the implementing of the Schlieffen Plan, when Russia fully mobilised its army when only given permission to half mobilise. By directly attacking the encirclement, Germany had signed the piece of paper which would ultimately lead to war – this happened in 1914 because of the consequences of an incredibly badly mismanaged crisis between the Balkans and Western Europe.
The nation responsible for the onset of World War I is Austria-Hungary because of the territorial and political stances with Serbia that provoked the assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand. After Ferdinand's death, Austria-Hungary initiated a call for support to the Germans about the problems in the Balkans, resulting in Germany confirming their assistance by issuing a “Blank Check.” Austria later gave Serbia a list of ultimatums that consisted of extreme demands in hopes of Serbia rejecting it. Since Serbia is a country where Slavic nationalism was idealized, it refused the idea of Austria gaining the right to control the investigation of Franz Ferdinand's assassination and have authority over the state of Serbia and this did in fact compel Serbia to reject the ultimatums. Austria knew that Serbia would not accept this list of ultimatums and therefore sent it as a rational motive to declare a war. Not long after, Austria declared war on Serbia, and Germany, Austria's ally, declared war on Russia, an ally of Serbia.
Serbia’s decline of the Ultimatum led to Austria-Hungary declaring war on the Serbs. Another key event in the July Crisis was Austria-Hungary sending a “blank cheque” to Germany. This cheque meant to ask if Germany would help Austria-Hungary if they went to war. Germany agreed to the “blank cheque”. As Austria-Hungary went to war against Serbia; Serbia had alliances with France, Russia, Italy, and the Ottoman Empire to join the war on their side.
By the Treaty of Berlin in 1878, Austria-Hungary was permitted to occupy and administer Bosnia and Herzegovina. When Austria-Hungary annexed Bosnia in 1908, it stirred an upsetting reaction from the West, and many Serbians wanted a pan-Slav state directed by Serbia, a province that had better relations with Russia than with Austro-Hungary. Serbia protested for independence and Serbian newspapers demanded a strip of territory extending across Novi-Bazar and Bosnia-Herzegovina to the Adriatic. The Government of the Dual Monarchy refused to receive the Serbian protest by denying that Serbia had any right to raise question the annexation. Austria-Hungary, which was a dynastic empire, comprising of many different races, hated Pan Slavism, the nationalism which Slav races of the Balkan aspire to set up in their own nation-states.