To what extent was Germany responsible for the outbreak of WWI?
There is much debate about the degree of responsibility that should be given to Germany for the outbreak of war. One could argue that the outbreak of war was entirely Germany’s fault due to their aggression with the other Great Powers of Europe and the very presence of the Schlieffen Plan. One could also argue that Germany was merely protecting herself against aggression and the idea of encirclement. Or was it a misfired attempt at strengthening relationships with the Entente powers? Either way one can deduce that Germany had a significant role in the outbreak for war, but should not necessarily be held fully accountable.
Aggression already existed between the Entente and Germany, it is clear that Germany aimed to prevent their empire from falling due to the prevalent risk of fighting a war on two fronts. This was amended by the creation of the Schlieffen Plan. It was produced by General Alfred Von Schlieffen in 1905, it showed German intentions to invade France, but the time they would execute the plan remained ambiguous, however this is irrelevant. The very existence of a plan to attack another Great Power highlighted the resentment Germany held toward France, their depth of knowledge and the assumptions they made, strengthened the fact that Germany would eventually invade, and each step was carefully calculated so it was timeless plan that could be executed at any moment and without a doubt lead to the outbreak of world war.
The other side of this argument is that the outbreak of war was not Germany’s fault and that her armament was a defensive technique. Germany was potentially going to have to face the greatest navy in the world along with her allies, by 1904, German military advisors were adamant that with Russia industrializing and French resentment, Germany would eventually be pulled into a war on two fronts as both countries were a threat. Germany had close to no colonies in the...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document