Was the “blanque check” by Imperial Germany the main reason for the start of WWI?

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,969
Republika Srpska
What was the USSR's goal for the Winter War? The Finns ended up having to cede 11% of their territory to the Soviets.
Their primary goal was to take Finnish territory in order to better secure Leningrad, but their creation of a puppet Terijoki government seems to suggest that at least at some point the USSR had plans to completely subjugate Finland and install a Communist government. This did not happen, but the Soviets managed to achieve their primary goals.
 
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pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,983
What trains? Russia's railway network was ****.

And you do understand that demobiliation is not just "play backwards" of mobilization? You have to have a complete new demob plan after you had mobilized.
It still remained sometingthat was posssible,
 
Apr 2014
208
New York, U.S.
I am responding to my own post because I think that several important events/ideas have yet to be discussed.

The first deals with the alliance between Russia and France. originally, this alliance was defensive in nature, that is, if either country was attacked by a third party the the terms of the alliance would go into effect.
However, in 1913 the terms were modified to include what historians call “the Balkan inception “. If Russia should attack a country over a dispute in the Balkans, then France would give full support to her ally. This modification was clearly aimed at AH and her ally Germany.

A second point deals with French President Poincare’s state visit to France as the July Crisis was developing. Poincare emphatically told the Czar to be resolute in dealing with AH and its treatment of Serbia. He also emphasized that Russia had France’s full support. Was this a French “blanque check” that emboldened Russia?

Another point is about Serbia. Did Serbia desire to have a war with AH? Serbia’s long standing goal was to create a Greater Serbia that would include all the Slavic people of the Balkans. AH stood in the way of accomplishing this goal. A war with AH in which Serbia had the support Russia could result in a Greater Serbia. Hmmmm
Just some food for thought.
 
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Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
5,006
Dispargum
I don't know how useful it is to think in terms of offensive vs defensive. Germany saw it as imperative that they neutralize France first before attacking Russia. Germany didn't really have a defensive option. They were taking the view that the best defense was a good offense. And France had pretty much figured out the German strategy. For instance, they urged Russia to attack Germany as quickly as possible, even before fully mobilizing, while the bulk of Germany's armies were in the west. This would become the Battle of Tanenburg, but it was part of the French and Russian war plans from before 1914. It was also the French strategy to get the British Army into combat as soon as possible on the theory that once British blood was shed British support for the war would increase. The French deployed the British on the left flank, directly in front of the Schleifen Plan's right hook. Everybody had a pretty good idea of how the war was going to open. The only ones really surprised were the Germans by the early Russian advance into East Prussia. Given that Germany was not going to wait before launching her offensive into France, defense wasn't an option. I find it easy to believe that as early as 1913, if not earlier, the French and Russians had abandoned any defensive ideas.
 
Apr 2014
208
New York, U.S.
[QUOTEI find it easy to believe that as early as 1913, if not earlier, the French and Russians had abandoned any defensive ideas.
[/QUOTE]
Another point about France and Russia.
France had loaned Russia huge sums of money. The specific purpose of these loans was twofold:
First, to rearm Russia with new weapons that would be bought from French firms (especially artillery).
Second, the money would be used to build double track railroads that would facilitate Russian mobilization in the event of war with German and AH.
 

pugsville

Ad Honorem
Oct 2010
9,983
However, in 1913 the terms were modified to include what historians call “the Balkan inception “.
got a source for this?

Was the Treaty formally modified or did the French just give an understanding?
 
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Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,969
Republika Srpska
Another point is about Serbia. Did Serbia desire to have a war with AH? Serbia’s long standing goal was to create a Greater Serbia that would include all the Slavic people of the Balkans. AH stood in the way of accomplishing this goal. A war with AH in which Serbia had the support Russia could result in a Greater Serbia. Hmmmm
Just some food for thought.
Did Serbia want a war with Austria-Hungary not even a year after the Balkan Wars? Unlikely.

Also, Yugoslavia =/= Greater Serbia.
 
Last edited:
Oct 2011
548
Croatia
Did Serbia want a war with Austria-Hungary not even a year after the Balkan Wars? Unlikely.

Also, Yugoslavia =/= Greater Serbia.
Serbia wanted dissolution of Austria-Hungary since gaining independence from Ottomans. I do agree that a war not a year after the Balkan wars is unlikely, but Serbia definitely did desire a war someday. And yes, Yugoslavia was a way of creating Greater Serbia, though not the final goal.
 

Larrey

Ad Honorem
Sep 2011
6,107
Their primary goal was to take Finnish territory in order to better secure Leningrad, but their creation of a puppet Terijoki government seems to suggest that at least at some point the USSR had plans to completely subjugate Finland and install a Communist government. This did not happen, but the Soviets managed to achieve their primary goals.
To which should be added that they attack along the entire border, and the Finns eventually captured the operational plans that came with the single restrictive caveat that under no circumstances were the Soviet forces to cross the Swedish border.

So the primary objective was all along the complete investiture of Finland.

Once the war started going seriously badly for the Soviets the Finns also started finding at least very suggestive circumstantial evidence that the Soviets did not in fact expect the Finns to even fight. A Ukranian division completely annihilated in one of the "motti" lacked winter uniforms but turned out to have brought their dress uniforms and the instruments of the regimental band – for the victory parade.
 

Maki

Ad Honorem
Jan 2017
3,969
Republika Srpska
Serbia wanted dissolution of Austria-Hungary since gaining independence from Ottomans. I do agree that a war not a year after the Balkan wars is unlikely, but Serbia definitely did desire a war someday.
True, they wanted to take over A-H's South Slavic parts but it was not something Serbia actively worked on. Their main foreign policy focus was to the south, towards Ottoman Kosovo and Macedonia.

And yes, Yugoslavia was a way of creating Greater Serbia, though not the final goal.
How? I can accept that Yugoslavia could have gotten corrupted into Greater Serbia (though this is a topic that needs to be discussed), but the creation of Yugoslavia was not a sneaky way to get Greater Serbia. Had Serbia simply wanted Greater Serbia, they would have accepted the Treaty of London.
 
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