What is your controversial historical opinion?

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Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,160
SoCal
I think that would have been the case at the start of the war, just like WW2. The French were pretty much cavalier and disorganised at the outset, but once they got themselves together they were a tough nut to crack and good on the offensive. In 1914 I would agree with you, but in 1915 I would say stalemate.
For the record, I was thinking of a long war here. I don't think that Germany was capable of achieving a quick victory over France and Russia even if Britain would have stayed out of the war. However, in the long(er)-run, I think that France and Russia would have collapsed before Germany did.
 
Aug 2010
16,202
Welsh Marches
It would have become increasingly difficult for Britain to just stand aside if France came to be set against Germany trench warfare (which would probably have happened anyhow if Britian had not joined the war at the beginning?) and began to look vulnerable
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,160
SoCal
It would have become increasingly difficult for Britain to just stand aside if France came to be set against Germany trench warfare (which would probably have happened anyhow if Britian had not joined the war at the beginning?) and began to look vulnerable
Would the Brits have actually had the appetite to fight for France once it would have become clear that the Western Front was going to be a meat-grinder, though?

I mean, Britain didn't introduce conscription until 1916, so it's possible. Still, I'd like to hear your thoughts on this.
 
Aug 2010
16,202
Welsh Marches
That's a really interesting point actually, people had such illusions about the war would be like when they entered (often with real enthusiasm), would anyone have been willing to enter it when it had become clear what it was really like. I simply don't know, but would remark that America entered the war two and a half years after the beginning.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
20,160
SoCal
That's a really interesting point actually, people had such illusions about the war would be like when they entered (often with real enthusiasm), would anyone have been willing to enter it when it had become clear what it was really like. I simply don't know, but would remark that America entered the war two and a half years after the beginning.
I mean, Italy, Romania, and the U.S. entered World War I in 1915, 1916, and 1917, respectively. Thus, it's certainly possible for Britain to have still entered the war.

Of these countries, though, the U.S. is probably the closest analogue since it, like Britain, historically didn't have a large army. Of course, it is worth noting that the U.S. would have had a strong casus belli--specifically unrestricted submarine warfare--than Britain would have in this scenario. Sure, it could argue "European balance of power," but is that actually going to be an attractive slogan to sell to the British masses? Indeed, "protecting poor little Belgium" sounds much, much better!
 

Linschoten

Ad Honoris
Aug 2010
16,202
Welsh Marches
It was obviously to the benefit of the Russians that there should be a second front; it was also to the benefit of the countries that were therefore not invaded by the Russians. Otherwise more of continental Europe would merely have fallen under a second form of servitude.
 

martin76

Ad Honorem
Dec 2014
6,509
Spain
This is too big a question to discuss in a thread like this. 'Warmonger' is a wholly inappropriate word for Grey, suggesting that he was merely seeking an excuse to go to war, while in fact he thought tha Britian would have no alternative. This assessment seems right to me. "In the end, Grey’s hands were tied as Britain found herself having to choose between an almost certain Germany victory which would see her gaining a position of hegemony on the continent, and losing her only near-allies, France and Russia. When Grey managed to sway the doubters in the Cabinet, it was because Germany committed the Belgian outrage which was necessary to convince them, and the public, that Britain could not remain on the margins." The war would have come about irrespective of whether Britian joined it.

http://oro.open.ac.uk/45198/3/45198.pdf

Grey was so stricken with worries about whether he could have done more to avoid the war that he suffered a serious decline and his health and energy gave way long before he resigned toward the end of 1916; that is not the reaction of a 'warmonger', I utterly reject the notion that he can be described as such.

I agree with you it is too long to talk about Grey... I think he was not a warmonger... not at early... but at the end of the crisis... when he saw the war between the Central Empires and French-Russian alliance was unavoidable.. he wanted Great Britain took part in war next to France.
July 31st 1914, British public opinion was against the war. The British government was split between the wargmonger (as Eyre Crowe) and the pacificst (Most of the gabinet.. as Lloyd George... in fact, in the government votation.. 16 secretaries vote NO to any British intervention in War (between them Lloyd George and Lord Morley.) Only 4 vote YES (Asquith, GREY, Churchill and Eyre). That the reason because I name Grey warmonger... because from July 31th.. he was a warmonger (I think you are right about why Grey and the other warmongers wanted to go to the war).
That day, Lord Grey had to comunicate to Cambo... Britain could not commit for the moment. The King either want to take part in the war between their counsis.. Wilie and Nicky.
On Saturday 1st... Lord Grey again said to Cambo.. that the government don´t want to be involved in the conflict...but that he (together Churchill and Asquith) would press Lloy George... but it was impossible. Still August 2nd, Lloyd George said NO to British intervention.

So, I would say the British Cabinet was a Pacific government with few wargmongers...mainly Lord Grey, Asquith and Churchill. And I know Lord Grey became in warmongers only at the end... Churchill was a warmonger from the first day.
 
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