• The treaty of Versailles placed all the blame on Germany in 1919 for the outbreak of First World War. 
  • There is evidence that Germany was planning for war:
  • 1. 1912 - Germany only proposed to Britain that they would stop increasing the size of their navy if Britain agreed to remain neutral in any future war - this suggests that Germany was planning for war. 
  • 2. The Schlieffen plan (made while Marshall Schlieffen was in office between 1891-1905) which aimed to fight a war on two front against Russia and France - knocking France out first then turning it's efforts to Russia over the course of 6 weeks. 
  • 3. 'War Council' -  shows Germany's clear intentions to wage war. 
  • 4. A document written by the private secretary of Bethmann-Hollweg, Kurt Riezler written 9 September 1914 - outlined plans for peace negociations that he expected to take place in the near future - Fischer argued that these plans were the continuation of policy made before the outbreak of war. 
  • A defensive war? - Germany feared encirclement - evidence is in the obsession shown in Germany foreign policy to break the alliances in Europe during the early 1900s. 
  • German Aggression? - Arms race with Britain - German increasing their army and navy. 
  • Germany was an aggressive power pursuing an aggressive foreign policy - The Schlieffen plan was not a defensive war - France and Russia although prepared for war did not want it. 
  • The blame lies with the German General staff who held considerable power and almost acted as a state within a state - who's opinions overrided the Reichstag's due to the layout…


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