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Old 14 February 2014, 09:09 PM
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Andrew of Ware Andrew of Ware is offline
 
Join Date: 22 April 2003
Location: Ware, Hertfordshire, England
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[QUOTE=Johnny Slick;1802334](Incidentally, I think the Schlieffen Plan was a terrible idea from the start and von Molttke was right to monkey around with it on the fly.)[QUOTE]

Some modern historians have questioned whether the German operations of 1914 should be called the Schlieffen Plan, preferring the von Molttke Plan instead. Personally I would still call it the Schlieffen Plan altered, as you say, by von Molttke with disastrous consequences (for Germany that is).

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But that's England, specifically. I think in the 2 weeks after the assassination of Franz Ferdinand, there was something of a political game being played between France and Germany in particular but also involving Austria-Hungary and Russia. France dearly wanted to go to war (in a manner that seems flat-out strange to modern readers, in fact) but wanted Germany to be labeled the aggressors.
Indeed France did want war to recover lost lands in 1870. However, it could not rely on Russia and so would be reluctant to enter a war with Germany without British support. Britain did not want a German dominated Europe (which was why it honoured its treaty with Belgium), but would not want to fight a war just for France to recover its lost land.

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I imagine you've read Barbara Tuchmann's "The Guns of August" but I recommend it in general anyway, as it's probably the best account of the first few months of the war, including what could have been done to stop it, that exist. I also recommend her book "The Proud Tower", which speaks to the environment leading up to that war.
The BBC has already started its World War I documentary series. Hundreds of television and radio programmes are planned over the next four years (and beyond). Of relevance to this debate is 37 Days which looks at the time between the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand and the start of the war. It is a three-part series, broadcast over three successive days from 25th February. Whether it will be on BBC America I don't know, but it should be interesting.
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