Where was Kaiser Willhelm at the outbreak of WWI?

Oct 2015
944
Norway
I've heard the kaiser was in Norway when WWI started. Is that true? I live not too far from one of his favourite hotels in Norway, so it would have been cool if eh was there.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,877
SoCal
Wasn't he back at Berlin at the time that WWI broke out? He did go on a summer cruise during the July Crisis (very foolishly, IMHO), but I was under the impression that he was back at Berlin by the time that WWI actually started.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,474
Dispargum
Yes, Wilhelm left Berlin on July 6 for his previously scheduled annual vacation cruise in the North Sea. I have a source that mentions him cruising in the Utenefjord. He was sailing on his royal yacht so I don't know how much need he had of hotels. He returned to Berlin on July 27. His absense from Berlin was used to reassure the British, French, and Russians that war was furthest from Germany's mind. In fact, the decision to go to war was made on July 5 when Wilhelm gave the Austrian ambassador the famous "blank check." Wilhelm was somewhat wishy-washy. When he returned from his vacation and saw that the preparations for war were well advanced, he got nervous and tried to stop it. Apparently his cabinet had suspected he would not see it through and encouraged him to keep his vacation plans so that they could start their war without kaiserly interference.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
21,877
SoCal
Yes, Wilhelm left Berlin on July 6 for his previously scheduled annual vacation cruise in the North Sea. I have a source that mentions him cruising in the Utenefjord. He was sailing on his royal yacht so I don't know how much need he had of hotels. He returned to Berlin on July 27. His absense from Berlin was used to reassure the British, French, and Russians that war was furthest from Germany's mind. In fact, the decision to go to war was made on July 5 when Wilhelm gave the Austrian ambassador the famous "blank check." Wilhelm was somewhat wishy-washy. When he returned from his vacation and saw that the preparations for war were well advanced, he got nervous and tried to stop it. Apparently his cabinet had suspected he would not see it through and encouraged him to keep his vacation plans so that they could start their war without kaiserly interference.
I was under the impression that Wilhelm didn't want a general European war when he gave his blank check to A-H.
 
Oct 2015
944
Norway
We're talking of the first world war, Futurist.
The kaiser visisted Norway every year, until the outbreak of the war I guess.Her did use hotels sometimes, perhaps when he stayed in one place for several days. I know of Hotel Øye by the Norangsfjord buildt in 1991. My sister had her wedding party there and it's withing driving distance. Willhelm II of Germany is listed as one of the guests there, so were several of the most famous people from around 1900. You can rent the room he used, his bathtub is even still there.

keiser-williams-badekar-1024x576.jpg

I just read he brought his own cooks ashore from the royal yacht when he ate there. There is a story that the kaiser liked to chat with the locals, I guess he found them exotic when he walked around admiring the landscape. In the interwar years one of those farmers recoginised the ex-kaiser visiting the hotel incognito. I don't know if that story is true or not, but the rest is.
 

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Feb 2014
322
Miami
I was under the impression that Wilhelm didn't want a general European war when he gave his blank check to A-H.
He didn’t, he thought the Serbian acceptance of a lot of the points but not all of the Austria demands as acceptable. He was a fool to not realize Austria was lead by idiots. The Great War channel overviews the lead up to war well.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,972
Iowa USA
He didn’t, he thought the Serbian acceptance of a lot of the points but not all of the Austria demands as acceptable. He was a fool to not realize Austria was lead by idiots. The Great War channel overviews the lead up to war well.
Actually, Edward Grey and most of the Liberal government were ready to lean towards the Austrian interests. Serbia was such a nationalist society that all the "compromise" solutions involving a limited duration foreign occupation of some of Serbia weren't going to be workable. However, personally, I credit Wilhelm for being advocate of finding a way out. He had lost too much credibility to be helpful though.

As one reads the earliest sources on 1914 there's a realization of just how much correspondence was destroyed. There seems to be a real lack of documents regarding what passed between the French and Grey and the Liberal party cabinet from the 25th of July. Or, rather, I haven't seen such documents in footnotes.
 
Mar 2019
106
Victoria, Australia
It is interesting to note that the Serbian almost accepted the Austrian ultimatum. I wonder what the Austrian would have done - whom drafted that ultimatum in the goal of causing a war - if it was accepted.

Anyway. Off topic. back the the OP. are we talking when the events of WWI begun to unfold or when Germany first officially declared war? just to clarify. quite some time happened between these two points.
 

Kotromanic

Ad Honorem
Dec 2011
4,972
Iowa USA
It is interesting to note that the Serbian almost accepted the Austrian ultimatum. I wonder what the Austrian would have done - whom drafted that ultimatum in the goal of causing a war - if it was accepted.

Anyway. Off topic. back the the OP. are we talking when the events of WWI begun to unfold or when Germany first officially declared war? just to clarify. quite some time happened between these two points.
Again, most of the documents were destroyed regarding who the Serbian PM was in contact with before the response was written. One imagines that the Hartwig, the Russian ambassador, had some people working with the PM.

The response left some small chance that "uninterested" powers, esp. UK, would be able to satisfy Austria's short term need to save face. However, neither Russia or Austria could back down without risking their status as Great Power. Of course the war ended up being much too long for both empires.
 
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