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    (Original post by Observatory)
    I don't think there is much doubt about it, unless you believe that 10m lives were expended over who owns the Namibian desert and the Bismarck Islands.
    I guess you missed out the vast riches of the Ottoman empire and Africa.
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    (Original post by Lin Chung)
    I guess you missed out the vast riches of the Ottoman empire and Africa.
    The Namibian desert is in Africa. Germany's African colonies had about the same economic potential as a medium sized town in the Somme valley, which I suggest explains the relative distribution of troops.

    OE was a great power in its own right.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The Namibian desert is in Africa. Germany's African colonies had about the same economic potential as a medium sized town in the Somme valley, which I suggest explains the relative distribution of troops.

    OE was a great power in its own right.
    I see you have left out the whole of the Ottoman empire yet again. Iraq? Oil? Gateway to India? Ottomans wanting the Balkans back? The Russians wanting parts of the Ottoman empire? The Germans wanting their "place in the sun"? The British wanting the German colonies? etc etc...

    This is an interesting take on events.
    http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/...ld-War-One.htm
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    (Original post by Lin Chung)
    I see you have left out the whole of the Ottoman empire yet again. Iraq? Oil? Gateway to India? Ottomans wanting the Balkans back? The Russians wanting parts of the Ottoman empire?
    The Ottoman Empire was a great power in its own right, and also the last country to enter the war in 1914. Although the Entente technically declared war on the Ottomans, this only happened after the Ottomans repeatedly attacked Russia without having declared war.

    If you are seriously claiming that WWI was caused by a desire of Britain to eat bits of the Ottoman Empire I don't think you have a basic grasp on the chronology.

    The Germans wanting their "place in the sun"? The British wanting the German colonies? etc etc...
    German/British African colonies were worthless and not a serious factor in anyone's considerations in 1914. The Kaiserliche Marine was a factor, but only because it directly threatened Britain in Europe.

    This is an interesting take on events.
    http://europeanhistory.about.com/od/...ld-War-One.htm
    I don't buy any of the conspiracy theory explanations of WWI, which smell a lot like people trying to use it as propaganda to push their present-day ideological views. It was simply a result of power-maximising actors rationally pursuing their interests. The war turned out to be a bad idea for most or all but they didn't have a perfect future knowledge of what would happen. WWI was a lot more rational in my view than WWII, in which very few countries acted in what seemed to be their best interest due to ideological factors.
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    (Original post by Observatory)

    The only major war I can think of fought over colonies in modern times was Japan's Pacific War. Before that, probably the American Revolution.
    Really? I suggest you go google colonial wars and learn something.
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    (Original post by Observatory)

    If you are seriously claiming that WWI was caused by a desire of Britain to eat bits of the Ottoman Empire I don't think you have a basic grasp on the chronology.
    That is what happened, the British ended up with vast chunks of the Ottoman empire including Iraq and its oil which the Germans wanted access to before the war even started.


    German/British African colonies were worthless
    So you are claiming that South Africa with all those diamonds and gold was worthless? OK...

    I don't buy any of the conspiracy theory explanations of WWI.
    I am not putting forth any conspiracy theories. I am actually stating a well known academic argument, that you do not know this is your problem but please refrain from calling actual academic research a conspiracy theory
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    (Original post by Observatory)


    I don't buy any of the conspiracy theory explanations of WWI,

    Four underlying causes of war

    The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand signalled the rapid slide into world war, but this wasn't the only cause. There were underlying causes in the run-up to the First World War.
    In the 1930s, historians argued that there were four underlying long-term causes of the First World War:

    • Nationalism - the belief that your country is better than others. This made nations assertive and aggressive.
    • Imperialism - the desire to conquer colonies, especially in Africa. This brought the powers into conflict - Germany wanted an empire. France and Britain already had empires.
    • Militarism (Arms Race) - the attempt to build up a strong army and navy gave nations the means and will to make war.
    • Alliances - in 1882, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. This alarmed, France, Britain and Russia. By 1907, they had all joined the Triple Entente. Europe was divided into two armed camps, to help each other if there was a war.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebit...usesrev1.shtml

    So no, not a conspiracy theory at all.
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    (Original post by Lin Chung)
    That is what happened, the British ended up with vast chunks of the Ottoman empire including Iraq and its oil which the Germans wanted access to before the war even started.
    You are making claims about intentions, not outcomes.

    Britain entered WWI on August 4th 1914 by declaring war on Germany. The Ottomans entered the war almost three months later on November 1st, when Russia declared war on them. Britain and France declared war on the Ottomans four days later on November 5th - doesn't look like they were chomping at the bit to add another enemy to their struggle with Germany, does it?

    The best thing about this is that Russia declared war on the Ottomans in response to repeated naval attacks on their forces by the Ottomans. Why did the Ottomans do this if they were not at war, and apparently wanted to avoid war with Britain and France, who were nefariously plotting to take the Ottomans' contiguous not-really-colonies away from them? We now know, although it was not known at the time, that the Ottomans had already secretly agreed with Germany that they would enter the war - if Russia declared war on Germany - on August 1st, two days before Germany attacked Belgium and France and before Britain had even considered intervening!

    The Ottoman Empire's involvement in the war had absolutely nothing to do with Franco-British colonial policy and everything to do with the Ottomans' pre-existing disputes with Russia. Disputes, I might add, that flowed directly from the Ottomans' own imperialism in the Slavic and Christian Balkans.

    So you are claiming that South Africa with all those diamonds and gold was worthless? OK...
    According to econometric data, the GDP of South Africa was about 4% that of the British Isles in 1914 source.

    South Africa was also by far the most important Sub-Saharan colony, as it had a large population of settlers, and the Germans never had any chance or intention of taking it.

    I am not putting forth any conspiracy theories. I am actually stating a well known academic argument, that you do not know this is your problem but please refrain from calling actual academic research a conspiracy theory
    In this case the well-known arguments are poor arguments.
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    (Original post by IlexBlue)
    We may have won, but at the expense of hundreds of thousands of lives through our country's own stupidity.

    It should be a day about the fallen, not celebrating that the country's politicians managed to bungle a win only through immense sacrifice.
    Our stupidity?

    Why so?

    It always strikes me as completely amazing that a central part of our increasingly liberal mindset is to make Britain the enemy.

    Now that is one way in which I wish we were more like America, proud of our identity, our history.
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    (Original post by Observatory)

    In this case the well-known arguments are poor arguments.
    Actually they are not but I am guessing you have not even read any of them. You just go around calling them conspiracy theories even though they are in set in exams in the UK education system. Also comparing the GDP of South Africa to the UK is a bit of a joke and proves nothing whatsoever, you claimed that German and British colonies in Africa were worthless, well obviously they were not or the Germans and British would not have been there. Do you even see how daft your claims were? Empire builders do not go to places which are worthless and stay there.The whole point of having an empire is to make money either from resources or monopolizing trade.
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    (Original post by Lin Chung)

    Four underlying causes of war

    The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand signalled the rapid slide into world war, but this wasn't the only cause. There were underlying causes in the run-up to the First World War.
    In the 1930s, historians argued that there were four underlying long-term causes of the First World War:

    • Nationalism - the belief that your country is better than others. This made nations assertive and aggressive.
    • Imperialism - the desire to conquer colonies, especially in Africa. This brought the powers into conflict - Germany wanted an empire. France and Britain already had empires.
    • Militarism (Arms Race) - the attempt to build up a strong army and navy gave nations the means and will to make war.
    • Alliances - in 1882, Germany, Austria-Hungary and Italy formed the Triple Alliance. This alarmed, France, Britain and Russia. By 1907, they had all joined the Triple Entente. Europe was divided into two armed camps, to help each other if there was a war.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/gcsebit...usesrev1.shtml

    So no, not a conspiracy theory at all.
    The BBC has a certain worldview, that seems to be shared by school teachers. The story basically goes: Europe was run by BAD people who wanted BAD things. As a result, a war happened. This is not surprising because wars are BAD. Things are much better now because people believe GOOD things. These GOOD things line up with their personal political views while the BAD things line up with those of their political opponents.

    In reality every country entered the war only when it believed that doing so would be more likely to make the balance of power more favourable to it than not entering the war. There was very little difference between the mindset behind their decisions, and that behind the powers' decisions in the Cold War, in which there was never a cataclysmic European confrontation. Austria-Hungary wanted to annex Serbia. The Russians viewed this as an affront against Orthodox/Slavic solidarity. Germany was afraid that Russia's economy was developing faster than their own, and preferred a war sooner rather than later. France was allied with Russia and knew it would be reduced to a vassal if Germany defeated them, acquiring a huge Eastern Empire and isolating France from all the other land powers. Britain decided that the prospect of Germany possessing the world's second most powerful navy, the world's largest economy and all the Channel ports at the same time was an existential threat to its sovereignty, and came to a similar decision about the acceptability of Germany defeating Russia.

    Colonies had pretty much nothing to do with this. By the time the colonial powers were brought into the war the situation was already out of control, and British naval supremacy meant there was never any doubt who would win the backwater colonial campaigns. The people who write these sorts of blurbs just don't like imperialism, they see that imperialism was happening at the time, so what the hell, just throw it into the cauldron of BAD things. At the time only the extreme left held views like this.

    Blaming the war on "alliances" makes a bit more sense, but only as much as blaming the casualties on "guns". They may be a proximal cause, but they're not a fundamental cause. Countries had to ally because several of them believed they could not defend themselves otherwise. As we've seen, the alliances just aligned with practical necessity, and the sides would likely have been the same even with no formal alliances. Britain was not formally allied to anyone except Japan, for that matter, while Italy broke its formal alliance with Austria and Germany because unlike the other participants it saw no benefit from joining the war: fighting France in a narrow stretch of mountain.

    The reason the war is remembered so badly is that no one really got what they want. The Ottomans and Austrians were simply wiped from the map, while the Eastern territory on the border of Russia and Germany the war was really being fought over was distributed to weak new states: effectively both sides lost. Britain and France actually did get more or less what they wanted - but what they wanted was just the status quo. Was it worth millions dead just to end up back in the same place? Well, if the alternative was to end up in a much worse place, yes. But it's hard to build up a big emotional feeling about that, especially if the alternative possibility of utter defeat and destruction was never rubbed in our faces, as it was in 1940.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    The BBC has a certain worldview, that seems to be shared by school teachers. The story basically goes: Europe was run by BAD people who wanted BAD things. As a result, a war happened. This is not surprising because wars are BAD. Things are much better now because people believe GOOD things.
    Oh I see what your argument is, everyone is wrong apart from you.. well good luck with that.

    Colonies had pretty much nothing to do with this.
    I have proven they did actually but hey you can ignore the evidence I am not too bothered.
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    (Original post by Lin Chung)
    Actually they are not but I am guessing you have not even read any of them. You just go around calling them conspiracy theories even though they are in set in exams in the UK education system. Also comparing the GDP of South Africa to the UK is a bit of a joke and proves nothing whatsoever, you claimed that German and British colonies in Africa were worthless, well obviously they were not or the Germans and British would not have been there. Do you even see how daft your claims were? Empire builders do not go to places which are worthless and stay there.The whole point of having an empire is to make money either from resources or monopolizing trade.
    Adding 4% to your GDP may be worthwhile if it only costs 0.5% of your GDP. That's a solid increase to your national wealth. But it's not an important one. Britain's ownership of South Africa most probably made no difference to the outcome of WWI.

    Though if you dig deeper, you see that Britain practically never was an imperialist power in the sense you mean. Britain almost never fought wars with other European powers merely to obtain colonies. It obtained colonies as a side-effect of defeating the navies of European powers in essentially defensive wars. In order to protect the British Isles from invasion, Britain needs Europe's strongest navy. If there are no other navies in the world aside from European navies (because other countries have low levels of economic development) then that means Britain has the world's strongest navy and can effectively control any coastline that is not backed by a large army. This is how the British Empire came into being. The collapse of the British Empire tracks very closely the emergence of non-European powers with comparably strong navies, much more so than its performance in European wars.
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    (Original post by Observatory)

    Though if you dig deeper, you see that Britain practically never was an imperialist power .
    Very very funny. I can see you know absolutely nothing about imperialist Britain. Anyway here is some more info for you on Germany's colonial ambitions.. you know the ones you think are a conspiracy theory.

    Deluded by the Moroccan fiasco, Lindequist resigned from the Colonial Office, but his ideas continued to dominate German colonial policy until the outbreak of World War I. In 1913, for example, the German Foreign Office opened a long series of negotiations with Britain on a possible partition of Portuguese colonies in South Africa, tightening again its possessions around the Congo borders. But diplomatic talks didn’t produce anything tangible, apart the British firm defence of Portuguese old authority in Angola and Mozambique. Thus it was with a certain relief that German imperialists welcomed the final outbreak of European hostilities in the summer of 1914: even if they knew the extreme vulnerability of their African colonies, encircled by French and British territories, they thought that a huge military victory on the Western Front could provide enough bargain power at the peace table for the definite achievement of the Mittelafrika scheme. Three years later, despite the bloody stalemate in Europe and the complete loss of all overseas possessions, they still believed in such a fantastic perspective: indeed, in the official list of war aims presented by the Reich’s government to the international public, Chancellor Benthmann Hollweg included a large series of territorial acquisitions in Central Africa, giving concrete realization to the old dream of Mittelafrika. According to such plan, the colonial area controlled by Germany should extend from Senegal to Kenya, with Nigeria, Angola, Congo and Rhodesia within its main borders – a titanic empire in the heart of Africa, rich of raw materials, arable lands, and commercial routes.

    http://perspectivesonafrica.wordpres...ire-1884-1918/
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    (Original post by Lin Chung)
    Oh I see what your argument is, everyone is wrong apart from you.. well good luck with that.
    These views are actually a lot less common once you move on from GCSE. But you've got to remember that BBC/school teaching serves a propaganda purpose connected to current politics as much as an academic training purpose. I've read a history textbook given to schoolchildren in 1919 that simply stated Britain saved the world by joining in WWI. The book was well reviewed by numerous national newspapers. What does that tell you about the origin of the current 'WWI was a worthless waste of life - and we probably caused it' narrative? Do you think that is what people believed at the time, when the horror was still fresh and detailed facts about the cause and course of the war were still common knowledge?

    I have proven they did actually but hey you can ignore the evidence I am not too bothered.
    A quote of a statement affirming an opinion does not prove that opinion.
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    (Original post by Lin Chung)
    Very very funny. I can see you know absolutely nothing about imperialist Britain. Anyway here is some more info for you on Germany's colonial ambitions.. you know the ones you think are a conspiracy theory.

    Deluded by the Moroccan fiasco, Lindequist resigned from the Colonial Office, but his ideas continued to dominate German colonial policy until the outbreak of World War I. In 1913, for example, the German Foreign Office opened a long series of negotiations with Britain on a possible partition of Portuguese colonies in South Africa, tightening again its possessions around the Congo borders. But diplomatic talks didn’t produce anything tangible, apart the British firm defence of Portuguese old authority in Angola and Mozambique. Thus it was with a certain relief that German imperialists welcomed the final outbreak of European hostilities in the summer of 1914: even if they knew the extreme vulnerability of their African colonies, encircled by French and British territories, they thought that a huge military victory on the Western Front could provide enough bargain power at the peace table for the definite achievement of the Mittelafrika scheme. Three years later, despite the bloody stalemate in Europe and the complete loss of all overseas possessions, they still believed in such a fantastic perspective: indeed, in the official list of war aims presented by the Reich’s government to the international public, Chancellor Benthmann Hollweg included a large series of territorial acquisitions in Central Africa, giving concrete realization to the old dream of Mittelafrika. According to such plan, the colonial area controlled by Germany should extend from Senegal to Kenya, with Nigeria, Angola, Congo and Rhodesia within its main borders – a titanic empire in the heart of Africa, rich of raw materials, arable lands, and commercial routes.

    http://perspectivesonafrica.wordpres...ire-1884-1918/
    This passage is talking about Germany's failed attempts to acquire colonies previously, where it repeatedly declined to go to war with Britain over various countries' African colonies as recently as the previous year. It then suggests that, since there is now a war with European causes, they might be able to negotiate some colonies in the peace settlement if they win. This suggests Germany never had any intention going to war only over colonies, supporting my hypothesis, not yours.
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    WW1 was definitely one of humanities darkest moments, millions of young men being led by tactically and strategically inept Generals, causing horrific casualties.

    It should be a moment in which the whole of Europe, (and Canada, US, Australia, etc) come together to mourn such a tragedy.
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    (Original post by Observatory)
    This passage is talking about Germany's failed attempts to acquire colonies previously,.
    Actually it is talking about German plans in WW1, that is pretty obvious to anyone who can read.
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    (Original post by Cannotbelieveit)
    millions of young men being led by tactically and strategically inept Generals, causing horrific casualties.
    Out of interest, what would you have done differently, excluding introducing new technologies that were not known about or couldn't have been built at the time? I've done some study in this regard and I can't think what I would've done better, even with perfect hindsight. They were certainly inexperienced right at the start of the war but by 1917 they were doing most things right, and it didn't make the war any more mobile or less horrible.
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    (Original post by Observatory)


    A quote of a statement affirming an opinion does not prove that opinion.
    I have posted up a few articles which back up my views from historians and even the BBC, you have posted up zilch but your opinion.
 
 
 
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