Author Topic: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?  (Read 25708 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Greenowl

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 584
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #15 on: October 25, 2007, 06:05:46 PM »
Imperial Angel, thanks ever so much for posting those immortal poems. I shiver every time I read those evocative and well-known lines "If I should die, think only this of me: That there's some corner of a foreign field That is forever England" and "In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row". With regard to your question as to whether there were really well known poems by those who fought, but lived: would any of Siegfried Sassoon's poems qualify??

Mari, with regard to your question: in my view the answer is "in theory probably YES, in reality probably NO". Had Archduke Franz Ferdinand not been assassinated and had Kaiser Wilhelm not been so impulsive and had the Austro-Hungarian and German general staffs been a bit more realistic things MIGHT have been different, and then of course had the system of alliances not existed....there are so many "ifs" and of course we are always wiser in hindsight.

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #16 on: October 25, 2007, 07:59:19 PM »
I shiver too, particularly in regards to the Flanders Field one. I wasn't familiar with Sassoon before you mentioned him, but I looked him up on he internet, and yes, he would qualify, just from reading what I read there. From what I read, it appears his attitude towards the war was not favorable, and quiite different than those of the other soldiers  and their poems I have posted so far. The one poem I came across that I really liked of his was The Deathbed, where he talks about a young soldier dying who hated war. It is rather long, but if I have the time, I will post it. It studies the same theme as in these other poems, a young soldier dying, but in a really different way, and it isn't autobiographical, as these others ended up being because Sasson survived the war. As for whether it could have been prevented, perhaps had the leadership been wiser, and the alliance sysrem different, agreed. As well, there was such complacency about war.. it was ''the war that would be over by Christmas'', and then ''the war to end all wars'', the leaders and people involved in this war just had no idea what this war would become, or that war would happen and it would be so devastating.

Offline Mari

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 991
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #17 on: October 26, 2007, 03:43:28 AM »
Apparently the "War to end all Wars" view was not shared by many of the Soldiers of that period. 

Quote
Memoirs show that soldiers expressed a wide variety of views about the war, and most of them did not express Remarque's pessimism.  Although none of the survivors were ever again the same as they had been in 1914, every soldier had changed in a different way.  Some who survived the war became dedicated to pacifism.  Others looked forward to the next war.  Most, however, never entirely made up their minds.

In an odd Irony, the above View could almost be said to reflect the Politics of the 1920's and 30's among various Countries.
http://www.firstworldwar.com/poetsandprose/ww1lit.htm

Offline Rachel

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 7
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #18 on: October 31, 2007, 10:18:09 PM »
Annie, this is very interesting thanks for posting it! I think World War I was the war that stated all the drama. Anyone notice that World War II is more discussed and know about more than World War I. This is very informative.

And that little fact is currently the bane of my existence! I am desperate for info on Russia during WW1, and all I keep finding is WW2. I mean, come on! There's more to European history than WW2.

Nik Cornish's book does an excellent job of laying out the basics, but I require more information than that and I'm having a devil of a time finding it.

I think part of the problem with WW1 was that the conflict was never clarified, it was almost entirely political. There was no one thing that people could rally around and say they were fighting for, such as with WW2. There was no central evil power to fight against. That could be part of the reason why so little has been written about WW1 as opposed to the mountains of works on WW2.

Offline imperial angel

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 4608
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #19 on: November 01, 2007, 03:15:03 AM »
True.. I also believe that at the time, even if clearly not in retrospect as much, Germany was seen as the evil they were fighting against, and the Kaiser the form of it. Of course, that was all propaganda and used as such. That least was used as propaganda for the war, which shows it was believed at some level. I enjoyed your illiminating thoughts! All in all, World War I is a much harder conflict to understand than World War II.

Offline Colm

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #20 on: November 07, 2007, 07:37:32 AM »
Well, could WWI have been prevented?

I think that the assaination of the Duke was just an excuse to begin the war and not it's cause, conditions in Europe at that time, made war inevitable, it had been developing since the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-1871, intence nationalism of the various European countries was exaggerated to such an extent, that it went further than the love of ones own to his  >:(country, to a lack of respect and contempt for the peoples of other nations,  >:( i have noticed quite a lot of this on the various topics on the forum, even today this exists, interesting article by Solana, posted by Lyss regarding this and Europe

Offline Greenowl

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 584
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #21 on: November 08, 2007, 07:01:04 AM »
I agree Colm, the assassination in Sarajevo was only the trigger and had that not happened some other incident would probably had led to a similar situation. Nationalism was a very powerful force from the mid-19th century all across Europe and in its most extreme form led to all sorts of problems.

Offline Colm

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #22 on: November 08, 2007, 09:48:21 AM »
I agree Colm, the assassination in Sarajevo was only the trigger and had that not happened some other incident would probably had led to a similar situation. Nationalism was a very powerful force from the mid-19th century all across Europe and in its most extreme form led to all sorts of problems.

Just to add to this/ Russias's foreign policy at the time concenrated on the Balkans and her support for Serbia also contributed to the wars outbreak, as it was the largest Slav nation in the Balkans she rallied them against Austrian and German encroachment, as a result Russia lost millions of men at this time,and a lot of land, up unti 1917 to 1920 the white and red armies continued to fight within Russia, pro-anti communists, the antis supported by Britain and France, who hoped to end Bolshevik rule, also various British French American and Japanese military units occupied parts of Russia, then Poland in 1920 invaded Byelorussia and also in the Ukraine,the white armies where all eventually defeated and it was'nt until 1921 that the Japanese left Serbia, the last allied nation to leave Russian soil

Offline Mari

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 991
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #23 on: November 09, 2007, 04:00:06 AM »
Quote
Most historians and popular commentators include causes from more than one category of explanation to provide a rounded account of the causal circumstances behind the war. The deepest distinction among these accounts is that between stories which find it to have been the inevitable and predictable outcome of certain factors, and those which describe it as an arbitrary and unfortunate mistake

Some Historians and their Schools of thought on the War:

Quote
A.J.P. Taylor's “Railway Thesis”. In Taylor’s opinion, none of the great powers wanted a war, but all of the great powers wished to increase their power relative to the others. Taylor argued that by engaging in an arms race and having the general staffs develop elaborate railway timetables for mobilization, the continental powers hoped to develop a deterrent that would lead the other powers to see the risk of war as being too dangerous. Taylor argued, the need to mobilize faster than one' s potential opponent made the leaders of 1914 prisoners of their own logistics.

West German historian Andreas Hillgruber argued that in 1914, a “calculated risk” on the part of Berlin had gone awry. Hillgruber argued that what the Imperial German government had attempted to do in 1914 was to break the informal Triple Entente of Russia, France and Britain, by encouraging Austria-Hungary to invade Serbia and thus provoke a crisis in an area that would concern only St. Petersburg. Hillgruber argued that the Germans hoped that both Paris and London would decide the crisis in the Balkans did not concern them and that lack of Anglo-French support would lead the Russians to reach an understanding with Germany. In Hillgruber’s opinion, the German government had pursed a high-risk diplomatic strategy of provoking a war in the Balkans that had inadvertently caused a world war.

Samuel R. Williamson lays most of the blame with the Austro-Hungarian elites rather than the German in his 1990 book, Austria-Hungary and the Coming of the First World War. Another recent work is Niall Ferguson's The Pity of War which completely rejects the Fischer thesis, laying most of the blame on diplomatic bumbling from the British. Recently, American historian David Fromkin has allocated blame for the outbreak of war entirely to Germany and Austria-Hungary in his 2004 book Europe's Last Summer. He theorised that the German military leadership, in the midst of a European arms race, believed that they would be unable to further expand the German army without extending the officer corps beyond the traditional Prussian aristocracy. Rather than allowing that to happen, they manipulated Austria-Hungary into starting a war with Serbia in the expectation that Russia would intervene, giving Germany a pretext to launch what was in essence a pre-emptive strike.
Quote


All very interesting which do you lean toward? I find the Serbian and Austrian-Hungarian Conflict very complicated in itself left over from the treaty of Berlin 1878! Where is the article by Solana?




http://members.aol.com/TeacherNet/WWI.html
This site has some original documents that look interesting!

Offline Greenowl

  • Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 584
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #24 on: November 09, 2007, 07:12:09 AM »
I think that while ALL of the above-mentioned theories played a role (especially the so-called railway thesis, the arms race and the system of alliances) , the most important cause was (a) nationalism in Austria-Hungary and (b) Germany's miscalculations (i.e. promising  Austria-Hungary unconditional support although the general staff must have been aware of the weakness and inefficiency of the Austro-Hungarian army, assuming that Britain would not become involved and would ignore the breach of Belgian neutrality and finally assuming that Russia would be so slow to mobilise that they could deliver a knock out blow to France and end the war on the western front before dealing with Russia.....had German politicians and staff officers been more clear-sighted they would not have been so eager for a war and would have tried to "restrain" the Kaiser, thus the war, had it occurred at all, might have been another local conflict confined to the Balkans).

Offline dmitri

  • Velikye Knyaz
  • ****
  • Posts: 2018
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #25 on: November 09, 2007, 07:40:52 AM »
The ending of the Three Kaiser League was a disaster. It was fatal for Russia, Geman and Austria-Hungary not to be allied. Of course Nicholas II and his full mobilisation of the Russian army was insane. He started the ball rolling in a major way. Talk about opening Pandora's Box when you have no way of closing it and do not possess the weapons to fight Germany. How insane that was.

Offline Colm

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 46
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #26 on: November 09, 2007, 01:08:01 PM »
The ending of the Three Kaiser League was a disaster. It was fatal for Russia, Geman and Austria-Hungary not to be allied. Of course Nicholas II and his full mobilisation of the Russian army was insane. He started the ball rolling in a major way. Talk about opening Pandora's Box when you have no way of closing it and do not possess the weapons to fight Germany. How insane that was.
Dmitri sorry for using your last post as my quote but i stiil am not sure how to send a new post without Quoting a previous one.

It's so interesting researching and reading other opinions and having the chance to get a point of view accross, just in response to Mari, re Javiers Solanas article on the E.U It was posted by Lyss under no Hitler no Stalin and it's on the economist web, i would not know what way to lean about the 1st world war there was so may counteralliances which woulh give you the head staggers.

 another point to note is that besides the Hapsburg empire suspisions re Serb Nationalism well before the Duke was assasinated by a secret agent resident in Bosnia but of Serbian nationality, just as noted by Greenowl in a previous post i noticed this war was planned by all the major powers but this Extended further than within Europe, i would agree that Germay at the time was the better equipped than Russia but it looks like Germany was unwilling to restrain Austria willingness to keep control of Bosnia 25 days after assasination Austria gave Serbia 10 demands and only 8 where met the 2 remaining where submitted to the hague, Germany at this point gave Russia a 24 hour ultimatum

Offline Peter C

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 11
    • View Profile
Re: WWI- ever notice how many wars were started by the "War to End all Wars"?
« Reply #27 on: November 16, 2007, 04:14:38 AM »
The basic cause of WW1 was rivalry between the imperialist (capitalist) states of Western Europe, principally the UK, France and Germany. This was reflected in the massive armament race between these countries during the 10-15 years preceding the outbreak of hostilities in 1914. It was also reflected in the redistribution of colonies after 11 November 1918, including so-called mandates from the League of Nations.

Imperialism is a necessary consequence of capitalism, since corporate survival demands continuous expansion of markets and production, which involves continuously increasing needs for raw-material inputs. Western Europe is not self-sufficient in the mineral resources required to sustain large modern industrial societies. They must be obtained elsewhere, and history from 1492 onward shows that the representatives of the West European market economy were and are prepared to use any means at their disposal to acquire what they needed – including genocide on a unique scale.

Those of you who enjoy repeating fantasy figures about deaths in the Soviet Union should consider the fact that the European marketeers exterminated about 90% of the indigenous population of what is now called Latin America in their frenetic search for riches. The figure for North America is around 98%. Who cares?

WW1 could probably have been prevented if the British Labour Party and the German Social Democrats had voted against the huge monetary appropriations that were needed to prosecute the war. But they sold out as usual to their capitalist masters. For some time prior to August 1914 both Lenin and the great Irish socialist James Connolly had warned that the working-class of Western Europe was going to be led to the slaughter in the service of imperialist rivalries, and they were absolutely correct.

WW1 in itself led to nothing but death or misery for most of the participants, but it did not definitively resolve the imperialist conflict, which erupted again in what is called WW2. The other causal factor in WW2 was of course the continuation of the war against the Soviet Union that had begun in 1919. The fear and loathing of socialism was and is shared by capitalists despite their internal conflicts.

The infamous Munich pact signed by the British, the French and the Germans was not appeasement, as represented in the Western media. It was a clear case of collusion. Chamberlain told the Germans that they could have “a free hand” in Central and Eastern Europe if they promised not to attack British international shipping. See In Our Time, Leibovitz and Finkel, Monthly Review Press, New York 1998, and The Drift to War 1922-1939, Richard Lamb, W. H. Allen, 1989. E.g. at meetings between British and French government representatives on November 28, 1938, Chamberlain mentioned the hopes that the Nazi regime embodied for the British upper class, i.e. the destruction of the USSR.

Wars subsequent to 1945have generally resulted from attempts to break out of the imperial grasp. Every country that has attempted to establish independence from imperial domination has been subject to either economic, political or military attack, or all three. For details, see Killing Hope, William Blum, Common Courage Press. 1995.
The Korean War was started by the US – see The Hidden History of the Korean War, I.F. Stone, Monthly Review Press, 1965.

The US war on Vietnam was a continuation of the French imperial war. At the treaty of Paris in 1954 the French, Americans, British and Vietnamese agreed that the French forces would be allowed to withdraw without being attacked, and nation-wide elections would be held in Vietnam within 18 months. But as President Eisenhower wrote, everyone knew that Ho Chi Minh would be elected, and he was a Communist. So that was that.

The reason for US support of the French and US need for domination of Vietnam was given by Eisenhower. In 1953 the Eisenhower government asked the US Congress to allocate 400 million dollars (about USD 2.8 billion in today’s money) to help the French, who were fighting desperately to maintain their colonies in what was then called Indo-China and is now known as Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. For various reasons, there was opposition to this request within the US. Some Congressmen said it was a giveaway that served no purpose.

Eisenhower: “Now let us assume that we lose Indo-China. If Indo-China goes, several things happen right away. The Malayan peninsula, the last bit of land hanging down there (sic!), would scarcely be defensible - and the tin and tungsten that we so greatly value from that area would cease coming . . . . All of that weakening position around there is very ominous for the United States, because finally if we lost all that, how would the free world (sic!) hold the rich empire of Indonesia? . . . So when the United States votes $400 million to help that war, we are not voting a giveaway program. We are voting for the cheapest way that we can to prevent the occurrence of something that would be of the most terrible significance to the United States of America - our security, our power and ability to get certain things we need from the riches of the Indo-Chinese territory and from Southeast Asia.” From Remarks, Governors’ Conference, August 4, 1953, Public Papers of the Presidents, 1953, p. 540.

This is one of the clearest statements of the imperialist imperative on record. And imperialism without war has never and will never exist.