WW1 was Britain's chief geopolitical mistake? Britain transformed a smaller continental war into real World War, and weakened her own global position

Oct 2015
999
Virginia
They could hardly have allowed France to be defeated and have Germany dominate the continent.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,447
SoCal
Given the sheer number of casualties that Britain endured in WWI for little gain as well as the fact that Britain was subsequently unwilling to enforce the post-WWI peace settlement (thus paving the way for WWII to break out), Yes, I do think that there's a decent case to be made that Britain should have stayed out of WWI. Ditto for the US. One certainly shouldn't fight a war if one is unwilling to subsequently uphold the post-war peace in the event of victory in this war.
 
Feb 2019
1,122
Serbia
The article doesn't claim that Britain transformed a small continental war into a real world war. Indeed, this notion is at odds with historical reality. France joined before Britain and would've joined regardless of what Britain did, same goes for Russia. It would've been a World War with or without Britain. Ferguson allegedly makes some assertions in the article but there is no depth at all and no actual argument, just because he allegedly says that Britain could've lived with a German dominated Europe doesn't make it true. Naturally, a German-dominated Europe would break the balance of power which Britain strove to maintain, would separate Britain from its allies on the continent and would be a stain on British prestige due to them ignoring their rival. The British decision to enter the war was perfectly logical and justified from multiple angles.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,447
SoCal
The article doesn't claim that Britain transformed a small continental war into a real world war. Indeed, this notion is at odds with historical reality. France joined before Britain and would've joined regardless of what Britain did, same goes for Russia. It would've been a World War with or without Britain. Ferguson allegedly makes some assertions in the article but there is no depth at all and no actual argument, just because he allegedly says that Britain could've lived with a German dominated Europe doesn't make it true. Naturally, a German-dominated Europe would break the balance of power which Britain strove to maintain, would separate Britain from its allies on the continent and would be a stain on British prestige due to them ignoring their rival.
Is a price of a million lost lives really worth it in order to preserve the prestige of one's nation, though?

The British decision to enter the war was perfectly logical and justified from multiple angles.
If Britain insisted on entering the war, it should have also been willing to subsequently uphold the post-war peace. Had Britain been more willing to do this, WWII might have been avoided.
 

Futurist

Ad Honoris
May 2014
23,447
SoCal
FWIW, some ethnic groups--such as Ukrainians, Jews, and possibly even Russians--would have probably ended up in a far superior position in the event of a German/CP WWI victory than they did in real life. The Ukrainians wouldn't have had to deal with Bolshevik oppression and Bolshevik-caused famines, the Jews wouldn't have to deal with the Holocaust, and the Russians might experience an early liberation from Bolshevik rule thanks to the Germans.
 

redcoat

Ad Honorem
Nov 2010
7,944
Stockport Cheshire UK
If Britain insisted on entering the war, it should have also been willing to subsequently uphold the post-war peace. Had Britain been more willing to do this, WWII might have been avoided.
Hindsight. It has no bearing on the rightness or otherwise of the decision to go to war.
 
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