(this will be a long one again)
>I quote Prince Lichownowsky's (the German Ambassador to England) reply dated July 1914:
To dispute this statement from Lichinowsky, we have to know something about him.
Lichinowsky was stronly Anlgophile, and so he was vehemently against any war
between Germany and England. This led to severe wish-thinking in Lichinowsky,
resulting in his famous message to Berlin that London would stay neutral and
guarantee that France would stay neutral, too, if Germany would not wage war
against France. It was August the first, and the mobilization was already on
its move. In addition, the French fleet was already on its way to the mediterran
sea, leaving the protection of its coasts to the Royal Navy. Lichinowskys
message was basing on a phone call with Gray in which he likely had misunderstood
him or was deliberately led to this.
The Kaiser (more correct: Moltke) refused to stop the whole mobilization but gave
a guarantee to England that German troops would not violate French territory until
the third, and that if the proposal proofed to be true would not attack. At the same
time, the planned occupation of Luxemburg (especially the important railway-node there)
was postponed. Lichinovsky had to report some six hours later that there simply was
no such English proposal.
In his later estimation of the situation you have to consider that Lichinowsky
had only very few informations. He only knew from the German position what
they send them to London, he knew the opinions of his (mostly british) friends
and of course he had the british press.
He certainly did not knew that the Serbian secret service was really behind the
assassination or that even the Russian secret service had knowledge of it before
(a fact that was only confirmed by a Jugoslavian court in the fifties). He did
not knew about the full Russian mobilization that was (according do the british
Historian J. Turner) already running since the 26th, Turner states: "with French
knowledge". Lichinovsky also did not knew of the diplomatic proceedings between
Germany and Austria that had put Germany in the situation to either stop Austria
(thereby alienating the only left ally and showing weakness in the face of a
Russian threat) or to follow their lead.
Considering all of this, Lichinowsky´s opinion is imho just that: the personal
subjective opinion of someone whose dream of a British/German alliance was just
blown to hell by reasons he did not understand (or did not want to understand).
It is not my intention to proof that Germany was innocent on this war. I would
even dispute this statement. It is my point that Russia, Austria,
France and Great Britain had their part this conflict, and that it can be shown
that this war was prepared by all participants for years. Germany was not different
from all the other imperialistic nations (a term that imho meets the democracies,
too), they just had the worst diplomats.
Just remember that the original reason for the 1911-marocco crisis was not
a German expansion, but the French annexation of Marocco as a colony.
The reason for Germanies demand of some part of the Kongo was not Marocco, but
the fact that this colony was led in a way that not only Germany but France
and Britain threatened Belgium with war (it was the origin of "the heart of
darkness"). The fact that Marocco 1911 remained mainly as an act of German
militarism is another example of bad PR
(more to follow)