By Hew Strachan

This is often the 1st actually definitive heritage of worldwide struggle I, the warfare that has had the best impression at the process the 20 th century. the 1st new release of its historians had entry to a constrained diversity of resources, and so they targeted totally on army occasions. more moderen ways have embraced cultural, diplomatic, fiscal, and social historical past. during this authoritative and readable heritage, Hew Strachan combines those views with an army and strategic narrative. the result's an account that breaks the boundaries of nationwide preoccupations to develop into either international and comparative. the 1st of 3 volumes during this magisterial examine, To palms examines not just the reasons of the warfare and its starting clashes on land and sea, but additionally the information that underpinned it, and the motivations of the folks who supported it. It presents pioneering money owed of the war's funds, the struggle in Africa, and the critical Powers' bid to widen the battle open air Europe.

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Bethmann Hollweg wished to use the specific issue of a naval agreement to secure a much wider objective, that of British neutrality. 33 Bethmann Hollweg's efforts at detente were not limited to Britain. Germany's rivalry with France and Russia found its focus in Europe and not further afield; the roots of the Triple Entente were to be traced to colonial questions, and thus the chances that long-term imperial tensions between the Entente 32 33 Steiner, Britain and the origins, 60-4. Ibid. 54-6; Epkenhans, Wilhelminische Flottenrustung, 32-91.

Poincare reaffirmed his Russian policy by appointing Delcasse as 44 45 Hayne, French foreign policy, 242-3. Stevenson, Armaments and the coming of war, 239-41. 3O THE O R I G I N S OF THE WAR France's ambassador in St Petersburg in February 1913-45 In the summer, the French government intervened in Russian negotiations on the French stock market for a loan to finance railway construction. 47 All the threads of Poincare's foreign policy were brought together during the course of 1913 by the debate on the extension of the period of military service to three years.

A. Stolypin, the chairman of the 27 28 Williamson, Politics of grand strategy, ch. 3, esp. 72-4, 81-3. Gooch, Plans of war, 217. 2O THE O R I G I N S OF THE WAR Council of Ministers from 1906 to 1911, was the corollary of this point: peace was necessary to enable domestic consolidation. Thus, both Stolypin and Russia's foreign minister, A. P. Izvolsky, were anxious not merely to end Russia's forward policy in the Far East but also to secure its frontiers elsewhere. Settlement with Britain in Central Asia was one element in a package that might also embrace Germany in the Baltic and Austria-Hungary in the Balkans.

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