Talk:World War I/Archive 13

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Mark IV tank[edit]

In the infobox, below the image there is a link that reads "Mark IV tank", the link leads to a page called "Mark I tank", that article has a section about the Mark IV so the link should go to that section instead of the article itself --Sir Mike (talk) 15:10, 29 April 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Brian Eetar (talkcontribs)

Fixed Farawayman (talk) 18:10, 9 October 2009 (UTC)

Isolationism vs Non-interventionism[edit]

Isolationism generally means closing off all alliances and all trade with foreign nations. It is a combination of non-interventionism and protectionism. Since the U.S. wasn't protectionist (it traded with other countries and allowed immigration) should the heading under "Entry of the United States" be changed to "Non-interventionism"? (Blackrx (talk) 22:13, 24 November 2008 (UTC))

At a first glance, I'd say no. The usual description of the U.S. as isolationist, while perhaps not strictly accurate, is commonly known. Link to isolationism & let people who want to know more read for themselves. Of course, my style of preferring the most accessible hasn't gained a lot of supporters.... TREKphiler hit me ♠ 00:39, 25 November 2008 (UTC)

> The usual description of the U.S. as isolationist, while perhaps not strictly accurate, is commonly known

You mean it's propaganda. If it's inaccurate, then it has no right being here.

> while perhaps not strictly accurate

It's either accurate or it's not. And it's not. It's not accurate in the slightest.

Blackrx is correct. It should be changed to "Non-interventionism" in order to support accuracy and not to perpetuate common misconception. The purpose of a factual article is to provide black-and-white facts, and to dispel any misunderstandings. Using the term "isolationism" weakens the integrity of this article. R4bidFox (talk) 02:50, 12 May 2009 (UTC)
No, actually, the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth. We have to follow what reliable sources say about the subject even if we think they are wrong. Wikipedia is not the place to correct great injustices. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 02:57, 12 May 2009 (UTC)

Title Error?[edit]

Shouldn't the title of this article be 'First World War'? We're not talking about a Hollywood film and sequel - i.e. WWI and WWII. World War I seems an awfully crude title for a war that cost millions of lives. Grimerking (talk) 12:34, 8 May 2009 (UTC)

The war is known as World War I and the First World War. They are conveying the same message.-- (talk) 10:31, 10 May 2009 (UTC)

Plenty of object/events/etc have multiple names. What is your point? I am stating that 'First World War' and 'Second World War' are more respectful to the untold millions that died. WWI and WWII reduce their suffering to the level of marketing. I really believe the name of the article needs to be changed. Grimerking (talk) 22:54, 17 May 2009 (UTC)

Notice: Pending Rewrite[edit]

I am currently in the process of restructuring and rewriting the article along the lines we discussed above (similar to the chapter-layout of multiple books on the war). I will give updates for each section as it is written, and allow several days of comment before I shift it to the WWI page. My sandbox for the article is located Here (as a notice, I have also semi-protected the page, so no IP editing or vandalism). I invite everyone to comment as I work on it. Cam (Chat) 07:33, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Hi Cam. It looks like you're making good headway, but this version isn't ready for one massive rollout without discussion on one of the most-read pages on WP. I'll comment at your sandbox talk and I suggest other editors pitch in there too. LeadSongDog (talk) 14:36, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Good move. The way I've approached big topics in the past is to get the article structure determined, then move as much useful imformation as there is from the current article into a sandbox until there is a readable and moderately referenced article in the sandbox, then move the sandbox to the article, and then rewrite each section in turn with great attention to comprehensiveness, referencing and so on. This might be a useful way to proceed here - it's a lot easier than trying to start from scratch, and reduces the chance of people making productive edits to the article when it has been superceded... Though, obviously I'm not the one doing most of the work here :-) The Land (talk) 16:20, 26 January 2009 (UTC)
Alright. I think the lead is ready to be replaced. If I don't hear any objections to it over the next week, I'll add the lead on Friday. Cam (Chat) 00:23, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
First let me just state that I am nowhere near as knowledgable about the subject as you are, so feel free to dismiss any suggestions I make at your own will.
> majority of the world's Great powers
This a purely minor and purely stylistic thing, but should Great be capitalized. I realize that Great Powers can be used as a proper noun, but it looks a bit strange in the middle of the sentence. Putting it lower case makes it look more natural, and readers can find out the Great Powers can be capitalized when the go to that appropriate article.
> the major combatants placed their scientific and industrial capabilities completely at the service of the war effort
Completely? That's sounds like an exageration.
I've removed that word, although significant scientific resources were put towards things like chem warfare etc. Cam (Chat) 01:06, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
> The proximate trigger for the war
How about catalyst?
Catalyst works better. Cam (Chat) 01:06, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
No link to Austria-Hungary?
Oopsies. Cam (Chat) 01:06, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
Other than that, looks it looks good. Good work! A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 00:57, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
I think "for retribution" is just fine. Without it, it there's no linkage to how the demands were related to the assasination. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:02, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
You could try "resulting demands". That might work. A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:23, 17 February 2009 (UTC)
If you are changing the lead in the current article to rectify its deficiencies in the short term, I am OK with that. However summarizes are usually written after the rest of the article is complete because there maybe other information that comes to light which needs to be in the summary. All I am saying is that I do not consider the lead to be cast in stone even if you change the main article outside of the sandbox. The whole article should be assessed in its entirety and not in a piecemeal fashion.Spinnaker gybe (talk) 21:42, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
Obviously. As I've said, the sandbox version that I'll gradually transfer is by no means complete and by no means comprehensive. I only have so many books on WWI (although frequent library raids do fluctuate that number;), and there are definitely things that other books that I do not possess cover in much more detail. My goal here is to get the structure figured out and some content in said structure. My version will still need a lot of editing before FA (the eventual goal). Cam (Chat) 23:23, 18 February 2009 (UTC)
That's a good point, Spinnaker. I was wondering that, too. Of course, you can write the lead now, and then modify it after the article is complete. (On a side note, I'm embarking on a project of a similar nature so I'm partly following your rewrite so I can learn from this.) A Quest For Knowledge (talk) 01:26, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I see that the word "retribution " has been reintroduced to the article even though it violates WP:NPOV rules regarding the use of words with negative connotations. I don't want to be constantly changing it back so let's resolve this issue here and now. I would accept "resulting demands" and leave whether the demands were reasonable or not to a link.Spinnaker gybe (talk) 20:25, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
I'm not seeing what's wrong with 'Retribution'. And 'I would accept' is a little imperious, don't you think? Look, I called you on this a while ago; you talk a lot here, but are you actually going to do any work on the article itself - perhaps like Cam is doing, in a sandbox for example? Skinny87 (talk) 21:15, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Skinny87, I have changed the wording twice already in the sandbox leaving my reasons for doing so first without hidden text and then in hidden text. I also asked whether I was leaving my comments in the right place. No response. Again, I reference the [WP:NPOV] rules and the WordWeb dictionary where the definition of retribution is "The act of taking revenge" and since we have already agreed "revenge" was not an appropriate word, the word "retribution" should not be allowed either by definition. My acceptance of "resulting demands" is solely agreement with A Quest For Knowledge's suggestion. Make it known, I asked for a mediator for this page but to my knowledge one has not been assigned. As for being imperious, I'll leave that up to others to decide who is in fact being imperious but pointing out violations to the rules is everyone's responsibility. (talk) 23:51, 19 February 2009 (UTC)Spinnaker gybe (talk) 23:54, 19 February 2009 (UTC)
Alright, I have changed the wording. I'm ready to transfer the lead to here if everyone is in agreement. Cam (Chat) 00:54, 20 February 2009 (UTC)
Have made a few tweaks for style in the sandbox. Hope you don't mind. The Land (talk) 10:19, 22 February 2009 (UTC)

NOTICE: I have completed my rewrite of the "Causes of the War" section, entitled "Background" here. This will replace sections 1.1 through to 2. I have cut a lot of the unnecessary stuff out of the article, as this article is currently about twice the acceptable FA length, and as a result we need to do some cutting. I will give one week for general comments and criticism to be made on the page (using either hidden comments or the talk-page). If, in that time, there are no massive outstanding issues, I will shift it over to the article. Cheers, Cam (Chat) 18:42, 15 March 2009 (UTC)

WWI article

In the first paragraph it is stated that 'the "proximate cause" for the war was the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne...' It is a rather simple explanation of the highly complex political, social and military situation in Europe, the build up of national sentiments and a struggle for power by already large imperialistic power states.

Wouldn’t more appropriate term, instead be: 'trigger' !?..the assassination was a trigger that set off the start of the war, that was bound to happen at any rate due to the already built up tension in the power struggle. Catalyst is a pretty adequate term as well.

Healinglightsss (talk) 10:07, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Ottoman Losses[edit]

It is peculiar that while counting the war dead and related statisitcs, no mention of the number of Ottoman-Turkish lives WWI took. After all, the reason why a European war became a World war was the shameless race to grab the remaining pieces of the Ottoman Empire. This issue is also entirely missing from the whole article. Ottomans fought the war in multiple fronts, against the major powers of the time at a cost of 100s of thousands of men, their cities became battle grounds and they were ethcially cleansed from their historical lands, many died in the process. Is it an innocent omission, or some religions and races do not count? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:40, 16 May 2009 (UTC)

WWI article In the first paragraph it is stated that 'the"proximate cause" for the war was the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne...' It is a rather simple explanation of the highly complex political, social and military situation in Europe, the build up of national sentiments and a struggle for power by already large imperialistic power states.

Wouldn`t more appropriate term, instead be: 'trigger' !?..the assassination was a trigger that set off the start of the war, that was bound to happen at any rate due to the already built up tension in the power struggle.

Healinglightsss (talk) 09:48, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Schlieffen Plan[edit]

I may be mistaken but i see no mention of the Schlieffen Plan which was really quite important (it being the plan for the German invasion of France!) This was the reason that the German Army went through Belgium violating its neutrality and being the direct cause for Britain joining the war. The plan was simple, Germany realised that the Triple Entente surrounded it meaning, if war was declared, that it would have to fight on two fronts. So they decided to knock France out of the war at the beginning by sweeping through Belgium and aiming straight for Paris. In the end it didnt work because the Germans underestimated Belgian troops, because the British Expeditionary Force held them up long enough for France to make a makeshift defense and because Russia mobilised quicker than the 6 weeks that the Germans expected. The plan was introduced by the German Head of General Staff Alfred Von Schlieffen after France and Russia signed the Franco-Russian treaty of 1894 and was revised by General Moltke who may have weakened it by lowering the amount of troops who were to attack, (instead moving them to Alsace and Lorraine were the Germans expected the French to make a counter-attack, which they did).Willski72 (talk) 10:46, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Reading through this article looking for clarity...[edit]

I'm in about the third paragraph and I'm already confused. In the opening, I learned there were two powers: Entente and Central. I also learn that Russia was defeated. Then I learn that Russia was an Entente power. While I might be able to read why Russia changed sides, or how it was that one of the Entente powers lost when the others won, that should have been clarified in the first section.

Otherwise, it's simply not true that there were two sets of powers (which implies a stable set on each side) but instead, shifting sets of powers - a simple addition of a few words (noting which nations shifted) would be good.

I'm no historian, but I thought Russia stayed on the same side as France and Britain throughout WWI and therefore was not totally defeated as stated in the opening.--Levalley (talk) 20:02, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

Initially Italy was one of the Central Powers however they did not join the war in 1914 and instead swapped sides in 1915 when offered concessions by Britain and France.Willski72 (talk) 20:30, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

That wasnt a random comment it was an example of a country changing sides. Sorry!Willski72 (talk) 20:34, 19 May 2009 (UTC)

A minor inaccuracy[edit]

A minor point, but the statement that Canada was an independent participants and signatory to the Versailles Treaty whilst the other Dominions were represented by Britain is incorrect. Australia, at least, was also an independent participant and signatory. The Australian PM, Hughes, had several vociferous debates with Wilson and, ultimately and unfortunately, played a significant role in the defat of several of the racial-equality and anti-colonial elemnts of Wilson's proposals. I am not sure how many other Dominions also had separate representation, but this needs to be altered to preserve accuracy.Waler77 (talk) 08:50, 21 May 2009 (UTC)

No maps?[edit]

I'm shocked there isn't a single map in this article. A "before-and-after" map would really be quite good here. RobertM525 (talk) 00:29, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Do you know of such a map which is available on a license suitable for use in Wikipedia? If so, please add it. Nick-D (talk) 00:37, 23 May 2009 (UTC)

Sadly, I do not. That's why I was coming here, to this article, to find one. Wikipedia seems to have some fantastic map makers, and I was assuming they had made some for this article. I was rather surprised no one had. (Or, if they have, that these maps have been moved around to other WWI-related articles and removed from the main article.) RobertM525 (talk) 05:30, 24 May 2009 (UTC)

Cause of War (another)[edit]

I just read the article on proximate causes and ultimate causes, and it seems to me that the 28 June 1914 assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria was the ultimate cause, and not the proximate cause of the war. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:34, 3 June 2009 (UTC)

Hi everyone, Saying that the main reason for war was industrial rivalry between Britain and Germany is at best erroneous. The British empire entered the war only because Belgium neutrality was not respected by the German army. A more commonly agreed cause is the Franco-German war of 1870 and the loss of Alsace-Lorraine which led to a strong desire for revenge within the French 3rd republic. Within the german public this war is primarily seen as a Franco-German war. Overall this article overwhelmingly understates the involvment of the French army on the western front, which was arguably the major allied power fighting Germany. The supreme allied commander in 1918 was a Frenchman for that very reason - similar to Eisenhower being the supreme allied commander in 1944-5, which reflected the US army being the major player on the western front. British contribution to the western front was enormous and with Britain, the French army would probably have not been able to contain German advance. I do not mean to play down the enormous sacrifices from the British army, especially during the battle of the Somme. But playing down French involvement on the Western front is completely inaccurate. Just look at the number of troops involved during the first years of the war, as well as casualties, and it is pretty obvious that the war was overwhelmingly franco-german, and became more internationalised from 1917 - especially after the losses suffered by the French army in Verdun. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Zodiarel (talkcontribs) 16:56, 17 September 2008 (UTC)

Not so simple, I'm afraid. Violation of Belgian neutrality was only the proximate cause, not the entire one. Had Germany not begun building BBs/CCs & threatening RN superiority, it's entirely possible (likely is another issue) Britain would've stayed out. German indl growth/rivalry was another underlying reason. As to the French contribution, you're undoubtedly right, & it also influenced British strategy (late war British attacks to take the pressure off a French Army on the brink of mutiny, just for instance), but it's partly an issue of sources in English/translation... TREKphiler hit me ♠ 08:35, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

In Britain many commentators were expecting conflict with Germany several years before the outbreak of war. The reason for this was that germany's economy was now bigger than Britain's and in string competition.If it had not been the issue of Belgium, there would have been another issue to cause serious conflict Johncmullen1960 (talk) 10:15, 18 September 2008 (UTC)

The thing is, it's never just one issue. It's a "straw that breaks the camel's back", or sometimes, a country that's determined to have war & just wants an excuse, which applied in WW1. Austria demanded concessions from Serbia she expected would be refused, only to have Serbia accede to most (all?) of them, & declared war anyhow. As noted, it's maybe not likely Britain would have stayed out absent violation of Belgian neutrality, & it may've been nothing beyond a suitable excuse, but it was by no means certain, & there was strong opinion in Britain to stay out. We shouldn't fall into the common trap of thinking things had to go as they did. TREKphiler hit me ♠ 13:23, 19 September 2008 (UTC)
I recommend to read Pity of War by Nial Fergusson. He wrote if Germany did not violate Belgium neutrality, Britain would. He also wrote Britain fought for not to allow France to fall, the naval race was already over and was not a reason. And during 1914-1915 it was almost German-Franco war only on the western front. Britain truely started in 1916 on the Somme after they lost and evaculated Gallipoli. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:32, 3 February 2009 (UTC)

I Agree with that. I think the present sentence, using the verb "includes" takes this into accountJohncmullen1960 (talk) 14:19, 19 September 2008 (UTC)

The main reason Britain entered the war was that they were a declining power trying to maintain control of the status quo. Britain was the dominant power in Europe, and the continent was in a state of relative balance of power; That is, of course, until Germany unified and began to industrialize, develop weapons, and build an army and navy. Britain felt threatened by a new power possibly displacing Britain's influence on the continent and in colonization. When Germany marched through Belgium to get to France, an old treaty to protect Belgium's sovereignty became relevant. Britain had a reason to stop German power growth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:39, 17 February 2009 (UTC)

No, not really. Britain was NOT the dominant power in Euope - France was, possibly also Germany. Britain was the global power because of the Royal Navy but had a very weak army compared to the Europeans. By 1914, the naval arms race was irrelevant. Whether or not an old treaty, it was still in force and Britain was legally and morally obliged to honour it. (Kentish 28 Feb 09) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:36, 28 February 2009 (UTC)

Dont talk rubbish, britain had not honored a whole host of treaties in the years leading up to the war. No country ever went to war against its interests to enforce a legal treaty - who is going to punish them for breaking it? The international court?? Belgium?? Utter tut —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:41, 15 April 2009 (UTC)

Neither Britain nor France were the dominant power in Europe at the time, their Empires were the biggest but they were scattered around the world and so was their influence and power. Germany did have overseas territories but nowhere near as many, its main strength was its massive continental army and its large central bulk (much bigger than now). Therefore i would say that Germany had become the dominant power in Europe by this time. In the world it was probably still Britain (if only just) however in Europe probably Germany. This being because it had all its power centrally and because it focused on both a strong army and navy. Were they went wrong however was creating a naval arms race with Britain, by building up a powerful navy and acting aggressively in Agadir etc they seemed to confirm to Britain that they were too dangerous an enemy to ignore. On the entente side France was suppossed to have the army while Britain had the navy to combat a threat. unfortunately the navy side worked but the Army didnt (France was driven back and Britain sent in troops.Willski72 (talk) 09:27, 18 May 2009 (UTC)

Just a note - there is a factual inaccuracy in the beginning of the article: "In 1913, the First Balkan War was fought between the Balkan League and the fracturing Ottoman Empire." The First Balkan War actually started in October 1912, with several crucial Bulgarian advances in the winter of 1912 leading up to the peace negotiations in London. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:19, 14 June 2009 (UTC)

Brookwood Military Cemetery[edit]

I've reinstated this link as although Brookwood Military Cemetery also has the war dead from World War II it has a number of unique features and memorials symbolising areas of the conflict that may be overlooked. Apart from being the largest UK Military cemetery the war dead represent a number of former colonies and show the contribution of Indians and Muslims. Those who lost their lives in the UK itself during the Great War are noted on the Great War Memorial and the cemetery is the only one in the UK with burials of Americans from the American Expeditionary Force of WW1. In some respects it is a microcosm of participation in the conflict. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wyrdlight (talkcontribs) 09:09, 17 June 2009 (UTC)

Sorry, but I do not think an external link to a single cemetery is relevant for inclusion on the primary WW1 article. Thanks/wangi (talk) 18:27, 17 June 2009 (UTC)
Agree with wangi, I first removed it because I thought it gave undue weight to one of thousands of cemeteries. On the British and Commonwealth side the link which exists to the Commonwealth War Graves Commission covers all cemeteries and memorials. MilborneOne (talk) 17:53, 18 June 2009 (UTC)

Images for the Italian-Austrian alpine front[edit]

I notice that the paragraphs about the Italian front is quite lacking in photos. I think that the mountain warfare deserves some pictures: here's the link to a good photo ( depicting the Italian Alpini positions on the Rotwand. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:58, 29 June 2009 (UTC)

Change to starting date[edit]

I am changing the date of the start of the war from June 28, 1914, to July 28, 1914. While June 28, the assasination of the Archduke, was the cause of the war, there was no actual fighting until the 28th of July, when Austria Hungary declared war against Serbia.bob bobato (talk) 14:12, 12 July 2009 (UTC)

German fleet surrendering[edit]

The Commons has this amazing image of the German fleet surrendering to the English showing a U-boat in front of the London Tower Bridge.

German fleet surrendering to the English. First German U-boat near the Towerbridge. London, England, 1918.

I think it would look great in the section on 'naval war'. Could someone please add it for me? My account is too new to do it myself.Yhoitink (talk) 09:12, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

{{editsemiprotected}}  Done

Ottamon Empire[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} The Ottamon Empire went on til 1923, and Worls war one went on till 1918 so the Territorial changes can't say "... end of ... and Ottamon ... Empires (talk) 15:51, 13 July 2009 (UTC)

Not done: please be more specific about what needs to be changed. Provide both the text that you think should be replaced and the replacement text as mentioned in {{editsemiprotected}}. "... end of ... and Ottamon ... Empires" is a little vague. Can you include the whole sentence and, perhaps, a section title? Thanks.—C45207 | Talk 22:34, 13 July 2009 (UTC)
In the results box it says "end of the German, Russian, Ottoman, and Austro-Hungarian Empires"". The Ottoman empire went on till 1923 and World war One ended in 1918, so I think that Ottoman should be romoved should be removed for the sentence —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:26, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
It should stay. The dissolution of the Ottoman empire was a direct result of the war. Algebraist 23:56, 14 July 2009 (UTC)
Not done: please establish a consensus for this alteration before using the {{edit semi-protected}} template.-Optigan13 (talk) 08:44, 15 July 2009 (UTC)

World War I photographs - NARA - 285377.jpg‎ ???[edit]

World War I photographs - NARA - 285377.jpg

"U.S. engineers returning from the front during the Battle of Saint-Mihiel in September 1918"

All I see are Engineers stringing wire defenses. Not in Marching order of any sort. --VertigoOne (talk) 04:50, 16 July 2009 (UTC)

Reworded Austria's motives in July Crisis[edit]

I have reworded Austria's motives in July Crisis to better reflect the information in the "Causes" and "July Crisis" article. —Preceding unsigned comment added by StevenWT (talkcontribs) 19:06, 27 July 2009 (UTC)

Russian role in World War[edit]

I can see only few lines about Russia here and mostly ugly words. May be Russia had not participated in WW? The bolsheviks are red alert. Russians are very eivil. Quite everything about Russia should be rewritten and it should take the fitting place in this article. --VetMax (talk) 16:47, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

South African troops attack the German garrison at Ramansdrift on the Orange River.[edit]


Piece of article that I wish to address: "Some of the first clashes of the war involved British, French and German colonial forces in Africa. On 7 August, French and British troops invaded the German protectorate of Togoland. On 10 August German forces in South-West Africa attacked South Africa; sporadic and fierce fighting continued for the remainder of the war."

The article states that forces from German South West Africa attacked South Africa at the onset of hostilities that took place on African soil, however, I do believe that German South West Africa was attacked by forces from the Uion of South Africa first. A small German force did prepare defences on South African soil: "On 21 August 1914, while a group of senior officers met under the chairmanship of General (later Field Marshal) J C Smuts, a report was published in The Star about a German force digging trenches on a kopje in South African territory near Nakob. This invasion of South African territory was a highly provocative act." Follow this link to get further details:


I don't think that this act by the Germans should be described as an attack on South Africa, since it can be misinterpreted when reading the article for having been a major act of aggression. By simply saying that German forces attacked South Africa leaves too much open for interpretation, for most people will assume, after reading this, that it was an aggressive act from German South West aimed at conquering South Africa, when it was merely a desperate effort to improve their defense against a much larger and better equiped enemy that was planning on invading them.

"August 15 A radio telegram from Kamina, Togo informs the Government of South West Africa that war has been declared.

September 15  South African troops attack the German garrison at Ramansdrift on the Orange River." 

Link to the site that provides this information: [2] —Preceding unsigned comment added by Aksiram (talkcontribs) 08:45, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Not done: Welcome and thanks for wanting to improve this article. The {{editsemiprotected}} template requires a 'Please change X to Y' level of detail. I couldn't determine from your request what exact change you wanted. Also, factual changes like this requires verifiable reliable sources. The two web sites you referenced do not qualify as reliable sources. The first is a message board of some sort and the other is a stand alone web page with no credentials. The page above the timeline is blank except for some slogan. Both of these are basically self-published and lack the review (peer, editorial or otherwise) that a reliable source requires. Celestra (talk) 13:11, 18 August 2009 (UTC)

Attrocities in Serbia[edit]

This article doesn't mention Austrian and Bulgarian war crimes in Serbia during occupation (and they were bigger than the Rape of Belgium). I think that Archibald Reiss can be good source. -- Bojan  03:15, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

IF that material were very important it would best go in Serbian Campaign (World War I). Because I don't see anything there, I question the importance.!StevenWT (talk) 04:07, 10 August 2009 (UTC)
Well, those atrocities were not as big as Armenian genocide, but they are certainly more important then the Rape of Belgium. -- Bojan  15:08, 10 August 2009 (UTC)

Well, go ahead and add them, with sources. Hxseek (talk) 10:55, 20 August 2009 (UTC)

Is the little headlines for each of the paragraphs in the USA section nesissary?[edit]

Theres a title to each of the little paragraphs... but only in the USA section of it.. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:43, 22 August 2009 (UTC)

Empereror Wilhelm II's memorandum of july 30th 1914[edit]

After the war Germany got the full blame of the entire war at Verseilles. But this item was never among the 14 conditions for peace in the "Wilson-doctrine". If president Woodrow Wilson not had became ill early during the conference, Clemenceau probobly would not got this added (and a lot of other things) into the final peace tractate. (Germany had laid down their weapons in november 1918 mainly on president Wilsons contitions, not the adding parts of Clemenceau.) Therefore already here the prologue to the second war began. Even without Hitler being born a new german-french war was already in the summer of 1919 just a matter of time.


As a proof against Germanys hard verdict is the Memorandum of Emperor Wilhelm II of july 30:th 1914 (two days before the war began) wich was telegraphed all over Germany (and it´s coming enemies) It states as follows (after the emperor got the news of the russian mobilisation) Cruelness and weakness will crush the world into the most terrible war, wich is ment to destroy Germany. There can no longer be any doubts, England, France and Russia have gathered themselves for a holocaust war against us Sorry for bad english, this is from the fairly new book (from 2003) by H.P.Wilmott "First World War" - swedish edition, translated back to english by me (as good as I can). In the British original version words is of course a bit different, but not the essence (have no access to english version). But however theese words does not seem to come from an empereror who most of all wants a war at all. I do not thow, state that Germany is free of guilt - but I think it's time to understand that the outbreak of "The great war" was dued to a lot of unfortunate circumstances, and that any comparing between the german empereror and Adolf Hitler is utterly wrong. I think this should be written a bit more clearly in the beginning of this otherwise very good article. /J.P.Eriksson (danish in southern Sweden)

The Kaiser's startling Memorandum was written on a document stating that Russia would not cancel its mobilization. The following translation is from Michael Balfour's The Kaiser and his Times, Houghton Mifflin (1964) pp. 350–51.
For I no longer have any doubt that England, Russia and France have agreed among themselves—knowing that our treaty obligations compel us to support Austria—to use the Austro-Serb conflict as a pretext for waging a war of annihilation against us ... Our dilemma over keeping faith with the old and honorable Emperor has been exploited to create a situation which gives England the excuse she has been seeking to annihilate us with a spurious appearance of justice on the pretext that she is helping France and maintaining the well-known Balance of Power in Europe, i.e. playing off all European States for her own benefit against us.
Previously, on 28 July 1914, when the Kaiser read Serbia's reply to the Austro-Hungarian ultimatum, he wrote on it:
Eine brillante Leistung fur eine Frist von bloss 48 Stunden! Das ist mehr, als man erwarten konnte! Ein grosser moralischer Erfolg fur Wien; aber damit fallt jeder Kriegsgrung fort, und (der Gesandte) Giesl hatte ruhig in Belgrad bleiben sollen. Daraufhin hatte ich niemals Mobilmachung befohlen! [Emil Ludwig, "Wilhelm der Zweite," Ernst Rowohlt Verlag, Berlin, 1926, p421].
A brilliant solution—and in barely 48 hours! This is more than could have been expected. A great moral victory for Vienna; but with it every pretext for war falls to the ground, and [the Ambassador] Giesl had better have stayed quietly at Belgrade. On this document, I should never have given orders for mobilisation. [Emil Ludwig, Wilhelm Hohenzollern: The Last of the Kaisers, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York (1927) p. 444]
Unknown to the Kaiser, Austro-Hungarian ministers and generals had already convinced the 84-year-old Francis Joseph I of Austria to sign a declaration of war against Serbia. As a direct consequence, Russia began a general mobilization to attack Austria in defence of Serbia. Italus (talk) 15:25, 1 September 2009 (UTC)

Revelations made in Kaiser's Memoirs[edit]

A scanned copy of the Kaiser's My Memoirs: 1878-1918, Cassell and Company (1922) is available at

and contains the following truly startling revelations about various schemes that were being concocted by the other powers.

1. The British-American-French agreement of 1897

On pp. 69-70, the Kaiser wrote the following.

Professor Usher, in his book published in 1913, made known for the first time the existence and contents of an 'agreement' or 'secret treaty' between England, America and France, dating from the spring of 1897. In this it was agreed that, in case Germany or Austria, or both of them, should begin a war for the sake of 'Pan-Germanism,' the United States should at once declare in favour of England and France and go to the support of these Powers with all its resources. Professor Usher cites at length all the reasons, including those of a colonial character [conquest of the Spanish dependencies, control over Mexico and Central America, the opening up of China and the annexation of coaling stations], which inevitably imposed upon the United States the necessity of taking part, on the side of England and France, in a war against Germany, which Professor Usher, in 1913, prophesied as imminent!

Roland Greene Usher was a professor of political science at Washington University, in St. Louis. His book Pan-Germanism was published in February 1913. The various scanned chapters are at

Chapter X discusses the secret agreement of 1897.

2. The Russo-French proposal for war against England in 1900

On pages 79-84, the Kaiser discusses how the Kruger telegram was composed by Marshall and the controversy that it created. The Kaiser also makes the following revelation.

In February, 1900, [...] I received news by telegraph [...] that Russia and France had proposed to Germany to make a joint attack on England, now that she was involved elsewhere [in the Boer War], and to cripple her sea traffic. I objected and ordered that the proposal should be declined.
Since I assumed that Paris and St. Petersburg would present the matter at London in such a way as to make it appear that Berlin had made this proposal to both of them, I immediately telegraphed from Heligoland to Queen Victoria and to the Prince of Wales (Edward) the facts of the Russo-French proposal, and its refusal by me. The Queen answered expressing her hearty thanks, the Prince of Wales with an expression of astonishment.

3. Joseph Chamberlain’s proposal for war against Russia in 1901

On pp. 101-103, the Kaiser makes some startling revelations about Joseph Chamberlain's proposal, made in the spring of 1901, for an alliance between Britain and Germany. According to the Kaiser:

I immediately asked: 'Against whom?'--for it was evident that if England so suddenly offered to make an alliance in the midst of peace, she needed the German army, which made it worth while to find out against whom the army was needed and for what reason German troops were to fight, at England's behest, by her side. Thereupon the answer came from London that they were needed against Russia, for Russia was a menace both to India and to Constantinople.
The first thing I did was to call London's attention to the old traditional brotherhood-in-arms between the German and Russian armies, and the close family ties between the reigning dynasties of the two countries; in addition I pointed out the dangers of a war on two fronts, in the event of France coming in on the side of Russia, [. . .] and that there was no reason to unloose a conflict with Russia at this time, when we were in the midst of peace;

The Kaiser also realized that:

in case of our making common cause against Russia, Germany would be the only one who would be in great danger [. . .] and Chamberlain's 'plan' therefore came to nothing. Soon afterwards England concluded her alliance with Japan (Hayashi). The Russo-Japanese War broke out, in which Japan--owing to the fact that it fitted in with her schemes--played the role of pawn in England’s interests, which role had originally been reserved for Germany. By this war, Russia was thrown from the East back to the West, where she might concern herself again with the Balkans, Constantinople and India--a result clearly to Japan’s advantage--leaving Japan with a free hand in Korea and China.

4. The role of the "Grand Orient Lodge" in the outbreak of the war

Chapter 10 is entitled "The Outbreak of War." In pp. 245-252, the Kaiser lists 12 "proofs," from the more extensive "Comparative Historical Tables" that he had compiled, which demonstrate the preparations for war by the Entente Powers made in the spring and summer of 1914. Page 246 contains the following.

(5) According to the memoirs of the then French Ambassador at St. Petersburg, M. Paléologue, published in 1921 in the Revue des Deux Mondes, The Grand Duchesses Anastasia and Militza told him, on July 22, 1914, at Tsarskoe Selo, that their father, the King of Montenegro, had informed them in a cipher telegram, "we shall have war before the end of the month [that is, before the 13th of August, Russian style] . . . nothing will be left of Austria. . . . You will take Alsace-Lorraine. . . . Our armies will meet at Berlin. . . . Germany will be annihilated."
Certain pundits have dismised the Kaiser's memoirs as being self-serving and unreliable. However the above was indeed written in Maurice Paléologue’s memoirs at: . The following is under Wednesday, July 22, 1914 at:
I was one of the first to arrive. The Grand Duchess Anastasia and her sister, the Grand Duchess Militza, gave me a boisterous welcome. The two Montenegrins burst out, talking both at once:
"Do you realize that we're passing through historic days, fateful days! ... At the review to-morrow the bands will play nothing but the Marche Lorraine and Sambre et Meuse. I've had a telegram (in pre-arranged code) from my father to-day. He tells me we shall have war before the end of the month.... What a hero my father is! ... He's worthy of the Iliad! Just look at this little box I always take about with me. It's got some Lorraine soil in it, real Lorraine soil I picked up over the frontier when I was in France with my husband two years ago. Look there, at the table of honour: it's covered with thistles. I didn't want to have any other flowers there. They're Lorraine thistles, don't you see! I gathered several plants on the annexed territory, brought them here and had the seeds sown in my garden ... Militza, go on talking to the ambassador. Tell him all to-day means to us while I go and receive the Tsar ..."
At dinner I was on the left of the Grand Duchess Anastasia and the rhapsody continued, interspersed with prophecies . "There's going to be war ... There'll be nothing left of Austria .... You're going to get back Alsace and Lorraine .... Our armies will meet in Berlin ... Germany will be destroyed ... ." Then suddenly:
"I must restrain myself. The Emperor has his eye on me."
Under the Tsar's stern gaze the Montenegrin sybil suddenly lapsed into silence.
Does anyone have more information about this telegram sent by the King of Montenegro to his daughters? Italus (talk) 20:26, 15 September 2009 (UTC)

On pp. 253-54, the Kaiser makes the following startling revelation concerning the information given to the Kaiser by a German Freemason about the role played in the preparation of the war by the "Grand Orient Lodge."

He said that, in 1917, an international meeting of the "Grand Orient" was held, after which there was a subsequent conference in Switzerland. There the following programme was adopted: dismemberment of Austria-Hungary, elimination of the House of Habsburg, abdication of the German Emperor, . . . restitution of Alsace-Lorraine to France, union of Galicia with Poland, elimination of the Pope and the Catholic Church, elimination of every State Church in Europe. Italus (talk) 02:15, 2 September 2009 (UTC)