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World War 1: A Tragedy of Miscalculation

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. Because Germany had made such a bitter enemy of France, it decided to protect itself by making alliances with other countries in Europe. Germany formed an alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy known as the Triple Alliance. To the keep the ‘Balance of Power’ in Europe, France allied itself with Great Britain and Russia; known as the Triple Entente. Both allies swore to help their allies if their countries were attacked. When a Serbian Nationalist assassinated the Archduke of Austria-Hungary, Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Germany remembered their treaty with Austria-Hungary, declared war on Russia. They also declared war on France and invaded Belgium using the Schlieffen Plan. Afterwards Britain declared war on Germany and Austria-Hungary because of their alliance with Belgium, France and Russia. Germany’s military reliance on the Schlieffen Plan working was a serious miscalculation. The Schlieffen Plan was a German war plan drawn up before 1914. Its essence was to avoid a two-front war for Germany, by first swiftly conquering France, the western front, through Belgium and then concentrating on the eastern front against Russia. ‘The invasion of Belgium was considered an essential element of the German war ... ... middle of paper ... ...to expand into the Balkans itself and was supported by Germany. It was the creation of conflicts and miscalculations by the movements in the Balkans that led to World War1. ‘Veni, vidi, vici’ (I come, I saw, I conquered) – Julius Caesar, Roman Emperor (100BC-44BC) No power had been able to perceive the extent of damages brought by a general war, which lasted fifty-one months. They had believed the Third Balkan War would be a short war like the First and Second Balkan Wars. This serious misconception brought harm to all European powers. On the other hand, World War 1 was made inevitable by the long-term antagonism between the powers, as a result of rival nationalist movements, secret alliances, militarism and empirical dashes. ‘I think, that in our eyes, it’s obvious that the First World War changed the world’ – Stephane Audoin-Rouzeau, University of Picardie.
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