1961 'Griff Nach Der Weltmacht'- Germany's aims in the first world war.
- Germany went to war for worldwide domination like Hitler did with the Nazis.
- Germany wanted the 'blank cheque' which was given to Austria to result into war
- The roots of this tension were in economic, social and political tensions which troubled Germany pre1914.
- Bethmann Hollwegs plan for 'security of the German Reich in the West and East for all imaginable time'> International domination
- Hollweg's private secretary's archives outlined plans for peace negotiations before war- Fischer says these plans were made my politicians, military leaders and industrialists before the outbreak of war.
- 'September Plans' where plans of annexation were already being written out
- Also> Places Hollweg at centre. > Doesn't diffrenciate between expansionist and moderate politicans>Linked fp and domestic p together- saying it was about maintaining dd.
Examples of Fischer's world dominance case study
- Wanted France to be weakend and Russia thrust back as far as possible from Germany's Eastern Frontier.
- Wanted France to be annexed and impose a commercial treaty on France to make them financially dependant
- Reduction on Belgium's statehood- Luxembourg- Annex.
- Holland was to have a close relationship with Germany.
Fischer's 2nd Book
- War of Illusions> Greater relationship between German domestic tensions and fp
- GG used war as a solution to difficult internal problems & the idea that there was a strong will to war.
- > Attention drawn to Admiral Muller reffering to a meeting between the Kaiser ad advisers Dec 1912 that if a German attack on France happened, Britiain would come to French aid.
- Emphasis on the social and political structures of Kaiser's Germany> emphasis on the power hungry anti modern anti democratic Junkers who felt their social position to be under threat from the forces of social democracy.
- Germany's leaders were culturally pessimistic and needed to break encirclement ^^
- War in 1914 was a bold leap foward to establish German dominance.
- Validity of the war council in 1912 and the extent to which it supports the view Germany was planning for war since that time
- Were German leaders policies really aimed at expansionist ambitions or did they result from insecurity?
- Ritter-whilst civil authorities abandoned their responsibility, this did not amount to premeditated aggresion.
- Egmont Zechlin- Despite the calculated risks Hollweg took, they were essentially defensive aims
- Actions of other states
- How military commanders caused war
- Encirclement Theory e.g. Anglo Russian entente. GFP was obssesively trying to break this encirclement. >Defensive, rather than offensive.
Encirclement theory & Hans Ulrich Wehler
- Europe had seen no major war for decades.
- Diplomatic arragement of Europe
- E.g. entente, Cordial of Russia, France and Britain formed against the triple alliance of Germany, Austria Hungary and their unreliable ally- Italy.
Hans Ulrich Wehlher (similar to Fischer)
- Disruptive impact of industrilisation caused tension in Germanys Social and Econimic structure
- Junkers, financiers and industrialists resisted attempts by MC to gain grater political power through the Reichstag.
- Growth of the SPD- Challenge e.g. winning 110 seats in 1912.
- Diverted outwards into fp and dp to preserve seats
- Judgement> Scapegoat?
- Policies of all powers pre 1914 were agressive- directly because of capitalism
- War caused by economic rivalries by cliques of organised finaciers
- Strong Anglo- German commercial rivalry- ships e.g. naval arms race
- Scramble for Africa etc
- Traditional desires for prestige e.g Germany's desire to expan
- Why didn't the USA become involved?
- Hitler was an 'oppurtunist'- he did not intend to start WW2.
- He wanted expansion, but was no different from any German leader
- This was a product of what the German people wanted and not something unique
- FP did not change from Bismark to Hitler
- In War By Timetable, evaluated plans and actions of military and civillian leaders prior to ww1.
- Concluded that war was inevitable because of the military planning put in place.
Woodrow Wilson/ David Llyod George
- Selfish Greed & secret diplomacy of Pre war 1914 caused war
The League of Nations would be the only solution
- H Burnes & Sidney Fay
- > Fay blamed the Serbian gov and thought Germany should not have promised Austria help
- Fay> Russian mobilisation was the last catastrophe leading onto German mobilisation
- Reckless policy of A-H> Germany did not plan/want war.
Ruth Heing- Austria and Nationalism
- Tensions in Eastern Europe as a result of political frontiers- caused conflict between Austria Hungary and Serbia
- Austria's external policy in the years before 1914 as primarily defensive- aimed at peace keeping
- > Undermined by the collapse of Turkish empires
- After Balkans, serious conflict became inevitable
Some look at Austria's attempts to show Serbia as agressive and totally reckless.
- Austrian policy became more desperate after Germany backed out of war
- German decision making
- Germany decisive to profit diplomatically and militarily.