Germany vs its neighbours

Discussion in '1800-1914' started by Juha, Dec 6, 2011.

  1. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    Hello Siegfried
    Not wanting to derail aviation threads I put some point in which I disagree here
    On the claim that Germany/Prussia participated on only 8 wars during 1480-1940, in fact there were many more, didn’t bother to count beyond Thirty Years War:
    WWII
    WWI
    Franco-Prussian War 1870-71
    Austro-Prussian War 1866
    Second Schleswig War of 1864
    First Schleswig War 1848–1851
    Wars of Liberation 1813-14 against France
    Napoleon’s invasion to Russia 1812
    War of 1806 against France
    French Revolutionary Wars -1795
    third Silesian War / Seven Years War 1756-63
    Second Silesian War (1744–1745)
    First Silesian War (1740–1742)
    Great Northern War 1715-20
    Second Northern War (1655–60)
    30 Years War (1618-48)

    On the outbreak of the WWI
    All sides made mistakes, beginning with Serbs and Austro-Hungarians, who put the ball rolling. But Germany, with the Chancellor and at least part of army high command thinking that earlier war was preferable to later war because of the growing power of Russia, whose GS had only one war plan, pre-emptive attack against France and whose Navy had followed Tirpitz’s Risk Theory, not a brightest one when one takes account of British shipbuilding resources, wasn’t blameless.
    And on using denial of food as a weapon, how about the siege of Paris in 1870-71? Now if the denial of food supplies was an acceptable form of siege warfare, why should that not be allowed during a blockade? After all Paris in 1870 had a little fewer than 2 million inhabitants. And of course the attack through the neutral Belgium.

    Juha
     
  2. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo Active Member

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    Juha none claimed that
    was claimed that "Of the 278 wars involving European states during this period, the
    percentage of participation by the principal states was: England, 28;
    France, 26; Spain, 23; Russia, 22; Austria, 19; Turkey, 15; Poland,
    11; Sweden, 9; Netherlands, 8; Germany (Prussia), 8; Italy
    (Savoy-Sardinia), 9; and Denmark, 7.7 "

    so around 22 for prussia/germany
     
  3. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #3 Juha, Dec 6, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2011
    Thanks Vincenzo
    I should have reread the Siegfried's message from the beginning when I returned on it after a distraction. Anyway, I had missed at least 3 wars in 17th century: Swedish-Brandenburgian War 1675-79, difficult to understand how I forgot that one, Franco-Dutch War 1672-73 and the Cow War 1651. And there was a small comflict, the War of the Jülich Succession 1610, just before Thirty Years War. So at least 20 wars from 1610-1940, difficult to believe that there was only 2 between 1480 and 1608. And then there was the "unofficial small wars" in 1919-20, like the operations of the Iron Division in Baltic States

    Juha
     
  4. Tante Ju

    Tante Ju Banned

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    #4 Tante Ju, Dec 9, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
    AKA "Napoleonic Wars"... :rolleyes: and basically the driving force behind almost all major war after 100 year war and up to World War II was one country, France, and its european ambitions for hegemony. IMHO. Its natural given the fact that with the winning of the 100 year war, France become the most potent of all european states. It lost this status with the catastrophic results of the Franco-Prussian war in 1870, and the boogeyman of Europe become Germany, the new industrial-military giant of Europe. The driving force between World War I and II were largely France willingness to contest this new situation - without any success in long term.

    We live in peace now because France wisely accepted the new status qou after 1945.

    I tend to think France is the main culprit for World War I. After all, in the great summary of things, Bismarckian politcs were all about avoiding a next war, French politics were all about forging an Allience against Germany. Germany was sure not blameless in events, it was one important cogwheel in the outbreak of the war, nevertheless the situation was developed by others which left Germany no other option than to launch a preventive attack before itself is put into a disadvantagous situation and be overrun. Knowing Russia's backing and founding of Serb terrorist, Russia's willingness to go to war with Austria and the fact Russia was Allied with France left Germany hardly other option that to grab the initiative. What were other alternative? Wait until Russia smashes Austria and be left alone in a circle of hostile countries..?

    Juha, can you tell me a single siege of city in history where foodstoof and other commodities were to be passed through...? I think an analouge between the besieging of a city by well accepted rules of war and between wanton attempt of famine causing in a country is massively different things. As to why, I believe international blockade rules were only allowing for war contraband to be stopped, ie. shipment directly useful for warfare. Foodstuff is obviously not such thing.
     
  5. Juha

    Juha Well-Known Member

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    #5 Juha, Dec 9, 2011
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2011
    While true that France was trying to enlarge its area at least in 15th and 17th centuries, it wasn’t the only one European country doing that. Look at for ex Brandenburg/Prussia from 1600 to 1795 or Russia. Or even Sweden from 1550 to 1658. after which it tried unsuccessfully to keep its status and area..
    And IMHO between the WWI and WWII the main theme was the revanchism in Germany and Russia/SU because of the lost WWI, that’s why they were able to make Rapallo and Molotov-Ribbentrop treaties, both wanted back the territories they lost in 1917-21.

    And IMHO we have lived in peace after 45 mostly because of firstly the A-weapons and secondly because of Germany was so clearly beaten in 1945 that the “stab into back” legend could not get so large acceptance than after 1918. Nobody could deny that Russian troops put the red flag over the Reichtag. And of course because of the behaviour of Nazi Germany became well known. Germany was also occupied after 45 and victors monitored Germany much more tightly after 45 than after 18. Of course there were even after 45 two rather opposite theories why Germany lost even if it should have win. A) the betrayal of GS officers and B) Germany would have win but Hitler and his cronies who spoiled all.




    There was surely revanchism in France between 1871 and 1914, no doubt in that. But after all, France didn’t began the war. And while also it had offensive strategy it attacked over the common border, not through a neutral country.

    Now of course there was no innocent great power in 1914, but Germany gave cart blank to Austria, which then declared war on Serbia, which happened to be an ally of Russia. Nobody should have been surprised if Russia reacted to that.


    My point on the food question was that if the use of blockade of food supplies of a metropolitan like Paris was acceptable why should it be criminal against a nation. For ex there was a slightly fewer inhabitants in Finland than in Paris in 1870. So if it was legal to try to starve 1.85 million Parisians why would it have been criminal try to starve 1.75 million Finns?
     
  6. davebender

    davebender Well-Known Member

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    Avalon Project - The Franco-Russian Alliance Military Convention - August 18, 1892

    No, their Russian ally did when Russia began mobilizing 26 July 1914. Per the Franco-Russian Military Alliance Convention this required France to mobilize at least 1.3 million soldiers and move them into staging areas opposite the German border.

    France followed the alliance terms and began making mobilization preparations on 27 July 1914.

    France mobilized 5 army corps (an entire field army) on 30 July 1914 followed by the rest of the army on 2 August 1914.


    Now for the rest of the story.

    20 July 1914. Six days before Russia began WWI by mobilizing.
    French President and Prime Minister arrived in St. Petersburg to confer with the Russian Government. I have yet to see any minutes of that meeting but I would bet they discussed whether to invade Germany and Austria-Hungary, using the Austro-Serbian crisis as a casus beli.
     
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