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MonarchistCatherine

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Reply with quote  #61 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist
The return of Lenin back to Russia was engineered deliberately by the Kaiser to distabilize the Russian monarchy in order to ensure that Russia could not continue the war.  He was ultimately successful in that the Bolshevics ended up signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk ending Russia's involvement in WWI.  He may not have intended to have the Romanovs massacred, but that was one of many extremely negative results and he does bear some good portion of ultimate responsibility not only for their deaths, but for the miseries that the Communist revolution caused.

I think that the German General Staff, not the Kaiser, is to blame for helping Lenin and for the Communist Revolution which caused miseries, genocide and wars.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist
Archduke Franz Ferdinand and Duchess Sophie were indeed assasinated by Gavrilo Princip, a Bosnian Serb nationalist, and that did light the match that ignited all of Europe.  However, you are skipping over the fact that Austria jumped at the chance to end Serbian influence in it's Balkan territories. In response to the assasination Vienna issued 10 demands in an ultimatum.  The demands were intentionally set to be unacceptible to Serbia and intentionally set to cause a war.  Serbia actually bent over backwards and accepted 8 of the 10 demands of the July Ultimatum, but Austria attacked anyway.  Russia was Serbia's ally and came to their aid which it was obligated to by treaty and which was also in it's political interests.  Germany came to Austria's aid also because it was in it's political intersest and it had treaty obligations as well.  There is plenty of blame to go around for starting the war, but the overrunning of neutral states by the Kaiser was inexcusable. 

I also think overrunning neutral states is bad, but... It was necessary to make the Schlieffen Plan possible. German foreign policy and this plan were defensive, not aggressive. It was the Franco-Russian Alliance of 1892(Britain joined later, forming the Triple Entente) that was aggressive and was a threat to Germany.
Yes, German soldiers were brutal in Belgium, but not as brutal as the British propaganda depicted it, creating the myth of "Rape of Belgium" and many horrible stories.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist
In response to the assasination Vienna issued 10 demands in an ultimatum.  The demands were intentionally set to be unacceptible to Serbia and intentionally set to cause a war. 

The Treaty of Versailles was much more unacceptible and harsh towards Germany. It also caused a war. Blaming the Kaiser for war and forcing him to abdicate was one of the greatest mistakes in history.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist


Quote:
It is also worth to point out that during the war, the General Staff had more power than the Kaiser.


Actually the General Staff were constantly overruled by and interfered with by the Kaiser and blamed him for many strategic blunders, and they were largely devoted monarchists.  They did manage to take over responsiblity but only after it was too late to make a differnce for the German cause.

 

The Kaiser unsuccessfully tried to interfere and was constantly overruled by the General Staff, especially Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg and General Erich Ludendorff. It was too late for the German cause because the Allies wanted to destroy the German monarchy(Wilhelm II was lucky to get asylum in the Netherlands, the British PM David Lloyd George wanted to hang him).

Quote:
Originally Posted by DutchMonarchist


Quote:
Originally Posted by MonarchistCatherine

Austria-Hungary entered the war because their Crown Prince was assasinated. Germany helped its ally, Austria-Hungary. It is a honourable cause to enter a war. Germany didn't start the war. The responsibility is on the Allied side, but they won... It is also worth to point out that during the war, the General Staff had more power than the Kaiser.

So what about his role in bringing Lenin back to Russia? Firstly, if it was his decision, he didn't know that Lenin will order to execute Romanovs - Kaiser's cousins. Secondly, it probably wasn't his own decision, because it was in 1917, when he lost control of his government.

I agree with what Ethio already said about this and furthermore, I think that even having your crown prince assasinated is not a "honourable" cause to enter a war, even if it wouldn't have been a (dumb) tactical move by Austria. War is terrible and ruins so many millions of lives - how could you possibly want that just to satisfy childish feelings like revenge? Killing more people, even innocent people, just because someone is murdered is stupid - it doesn't bring anyone back who is dead, it only causes more harm. 

You're right, it was not only revenge, but aslo a tactical move by Austria (not so dumb). The Serbian nationalism(and not only Serbian) was a threat to the existence of Austria-Hungary, a multi-national empire. The assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie was one of many acts of terrorism against the Empire(there were also other, unsuccessful atempts to kill Austrian officials). It was not a murder of two people, but the nationalists' desire to destroy the Empire that provoked the war. They wanted to harm the Empire as much as they could.
Of course each war is a terrible thing, but in 1914 nobody expected it to be that long and cost that many lives.


Quote:
Originally Posted by royalcello

Quote:
Originally Posted by MonarchistCatherine
Whoever was in charge in Germany(and I think it was not the Kaiser), they would not tolerate Communism anywhere else, and used Lenin only as a tool to weaken the Russian Empire.
By then the Russian Empire had already fallen; it was Kerensky's republican Provisional Government, which was committed to continuing the war, that the German military wanted to undermine. 

You're right, my error. But it doesn't make much difference, the Provisional Government was as aggressive against Germany as the Russian Empire was.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidV
When the Constituent Assembly was elected in 1917, the Bolsheviks didn't even win a majority. They were rejected by the majority of those who voted, as was the case with several other such examples (e.g. Spain in 1936, Chile in 1970). If the Bolsheviks hadn't come to power and democracy eventuated, how would the monarchist cause have fared I wonder?

Better of course. But it would have fared much better if the Central Powers had won the war. And as I said before, helping Lenin was not the Kaiser's decision.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter
My personal opinion however is that while the Entente is not free from blame the Central Powers were considerably more culpable in starting it.

My personal opinion is that while the Central powers are not free from blame, the Entente was considerably more culpable in starting it.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DavidV
Wilhelm II also opposed Japan's annexation of Korea which, as we all know, was in fact a gradual process.
  

Are gradual processes always good and inevitable?

I side with the Central Powers, because they were defending their countries, not attacking others without cause, and they represented better values.

Sorry for a long and maybe boring post, but I wanted to respond to all of you.
Pragmatist

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Reply with quote  #62 
Quote:
Originally Posted by BaronVonServers
I'd like to see the quote on Cain's position.
There is no need to 'speak in favour' of the birthright, 'I support the constitution' is enough...



I already did in a previous thread. Or Google it.

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BaronVonServers

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Reply with quote  #63 
You introduce the argument, you should introduce the evidence....
Just saying....


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jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #64 
My two cents (Canadian) for what it's worth. I have always belonged to the school that believes that the world would have been a better place had the Central Powers won, and this from a man who had an Uncle in the AEF and a grandfather in King George's Army (Royal Field Artillery).

Had the Central Powers not had their backs to the wall in '17, Lenin would not have been sent back to Russia (no matter whether it was the Kaiser or the Generals who were responsible), Communism would probably not have found a foothold there and millions of people murdered by the Bolsheviki would not have died.

Without an Allied victory, the 'war guilt clause' in the Treaty of Versailles and the ruinous reparations, I can also not see the rise of Hitler and National Socialism, ergo, millions more not murdered, plus the millions who died in the 1939-45 War.

All of that said, I cannot see how anyone can argue that the Central Powers did not start the war. Austria's demands to Serbia in the ultimatum were deliberately written so that no self-respecting, independent nation could accept them. Germany, as Peter has pointed out, had been warned that a violation of Belgian neutrality would lead to war and to refer to the Schlieffen Plan as 'defensive' is disingenuous. It was 'defensive' only insofar as it was designed, hopefully, to give Germany a victory in a two front war by taking out the French before Russia could fully mobilise. 

Other than that it was a purely aggressive plan of offense, based on hitting the French, 'the firstest with the mostest', defeating them and then redirecting the troops to the Eastern Front.

***ETA*** Re: the Schlieffen Plan, I don't see how any plan to invade two neighbouring countries can, by any stretch of the imagination, be called 'defensive'.

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royalcello

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Reply with quote  #65 
Reluctantly (because I don't like to blame Wilhelm II or Franz Joseph) have to agree with Jovan on both counts.

If only Britain and Germany could have worked out their differences and formed an alliance, leaving the French Republic in the cold.  If the British and German Empires had been allies, who could have stood against them, Balkan troubles or no Balkan troubles? 

Ethiomonarchist

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Reply with quote  #66 

I regret the loss of the great monarchies of continental Europe, especially that of Austria and Russia, (the Ottomans not so much) and wish the war never happened as well.  I blame the war for the rise of Communism, and the Central Powers for the war.  The assasination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a terrible act, but not one that justifies such a terrible war.  Wilhelm II was not a man I admire much for reasons other than just his role in the war, and the war is not the be all end all for my feelings about him.  I am far more sympathetic to Kaiser Franz Joseph, and I admire Kaiser Karl (the Blessed) as a man of decency and honor.  


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jovan66102

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Reply with quote  #67 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ethiomonarchist

I regret the loss of the great monarchies of continental Europe, especially that of Austria and Russia, (the Ottomans not so much) and wish the war never happened as well.  I blame the war for the rise of Communism, and the Central Powers for the war.  The assasination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand was a terrible act, but not one that justifies such a terrible war.  Wilhelm II was not a man I admire much for reasons other than just his role in the war, and the war is not the be all end all for my feelings about him.  I am far more sympathetic to Kaiser Franz Joseph, and I admire Kaiser Karl (the Blessed) as a man of decency and honor.  


Ethio, I totally agree. It is my understanding from my reading that Kaiser Franz Joseph was 'encouraged' in his intransigence on the Serbian ultimatum by Kaiser Wilhelm as well.

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'Monarchy can easily be ‘debunked;' but watch the faces, mark the accents of the debunkers. These are the men whose tap-root in Eden has been cut: whom no rumour of the polyphony, the dance, can reach - men to whom pebbles laid in a row are more beautiful than an arch. Yet even if they desire equality, they cannot reach it. Where men are forbidden to honour a king they honour millionaires, athletes or film-stars instead: even famous prostitutes or gangsters. For spiritual nature, like bodily nature, will be served; deny it food and it will gobble poison.' C.S. Lewis God save Her Majesty Elizabeth the Second, by the Grace of God of the United Kingdom, Canada and Her other Realms and Territories Queen, Head of the Commonwealth, Defender of the Faith, etc.! Vive le Très haut, très puissant et très excellent Prince, Louis XX, Par la grâce de Dieu, Roi de France et de Navarre, Roi Très-chrétien!
DavidV

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Reply with quote  #68 
Never mind Europe, some bad mistakes were made in the Middle East that we're still dealing with today.
Peter

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Reply with quote  #69 
I thought about replying to Catherine yesterday on her specific response to me, but was too busy to do it properly so put it off. Glad I did, as I doubt I would have been half as incisive as Jovan was. I wish very much that the monarchies of the Central Powers would have survived the war, not to mention that of Russia, as this would have been far better for both their peoples and the entire world; I can't imagine how a world without no Soviets and no Nazis could fail to be a better place. But, like Jovan, I can't see any serious grounds for debating that the Central Powers did start the war, and neither Franz Josef nor Wilhelm II were exactly figureheads, so... I give Russia and Nicholas II a share of blame as well. As for Niall Ferguson and blaming Britain, while I haven't read his arguments, just seen summaries of some of them, the impression one gets is of a determined and very clever effort to show that almost any position can be argued for, however preposterous. And, though I am possibly being unfair here, of a typical academic/Scottish anti-British attitude (either one, or quite possibly both).
DutchMonarchist

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Reply with quote  #70 

I also agree - if I could change the past, I'd probably take my chances with a victory by the Central Powers. Though I wonder what would have been the fate of Belgium and Luxembourg then... permanent annexation by Germany?

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