BTRfan wrote:TR1 wrote:"Germany did not military lose in the First World War, it did not start the war, and it deserved better than Versailles."
Also, I am sorry but this needs to be addressed. Without putting unnecessary blame on the Germans, we also should not excuse them in totality.
1.) Germany turned what was a local Balkan war between Russia and Austria, into a European one. Then the French and British turned it into a fully European one. Everyone shares blame here.
2.) Germany was on the verge of total defeat. Hunderberg and Ludendorf knew this. After their last offensives failed, they were done. Because they did not have the stomach to admit this publicly, we got the silly stab in the back legend that Hitler exploited.
Once Russia ordered full/general mobilization it was a defacto declaration of war on Germany. Germany could not afford to sit back and HOPE that the Russian soldiers were only mobilizing to put pressure on Austria to negotiate.
If Russia had been willing to wait even 8-12 weeks, it might have been enough to allow diplomacy to start to work. I blame the bad advisers and sycophants who surrounded the Tsar and only cared about their own positions and their own agenda.
When you are Germany and Russia starts to mobilize, you have to go to war or else you get clobbered once Russia is able to bring its full might to bear.
Russian troops moved towards Austria only, and the Tsar specifically contacted the Kaiser and told him he had no intentions towards Germany.
Germany's mobilization is not "unique", but a product of its time...however by no means were they "forced at gunpoint" to mobilize.
Stop excusing Germany. They did not start WW1, but they are responsible for their own fate after they declared war and invaded the West. If Russia had waited 8-12 weeks, Serbia would have been crushed. The whole point of the mobilization was to deter AUstria from invading Serbia.