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62 votes
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Why didn't the British Grand Fleet force an engagement with the German Imperial Navy in WW1?

tl;dr Sea control is good. Sea denial is not that much worse. Sinking an enemy ship at the cost of significant damage to your own is less desirable than keeping your enemy holed up in port (where his ...
DevSolar's user avatar
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49 votes
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In the "Christmas truce" of 1914 were there any football (soccer) matches between British and German troops?

This depends a bit on the definition of "match": modern rules 90 minutes kicking, level playfield, three referees, 11 players on each side, two nicely timbered goals, etc. Most popular accounts now ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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46 votes

In 1914 why didn't Germany simply mobilize its army without declaring war?

Mobilization is hugely expensive Industry slows down for the lack of workers, agriculture stops for the lack of horses. It is not something a nation can afford to do lightly. Speed of mobilization is ...
sds's user avatar
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39 votes
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What was the "Favorable result" that the German admiralty was expecting from the naval attack on the Royal Navy in 1918?

The point was not to cripple the Royal Navy, or even win the war. The point was to "go down in glory". (Edit: Or having a moment of glory, if you like that better.) Admiral Scheer's take on ...
DevSolar's user avatar
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25 votes
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Why did Germany decide not to restore the Hohenzollern dynasty to the throne of a German Empire after the defeat of Hitler in World War Two?

SUMMARY: Because Hohenzollern dynasty and the general conception of Prussia as a kingdom, or Germany as an empire, had already been "destroyed" in minds. Detailed answer: Prussia officially ...
totalMongot's user avatar
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24 votes
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Was there any practical use for German spiked helmets (Pickelhaube)?

Helmet spikes and flanges were originally intended to deflect saber blows. Those on the Pickelhaube are somewhat stylized, but they still served the original purpose. Source: German Wikipedia. I ...
o.m.'s user avatar
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22 votes
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Why did the Schlieffen Plan prioritize invading France?

Plan, what plan, exactly? The "Schlieffen Plan" did not "prioritize" invading France. That plan was a relatively short memorandum and solely about invading France, with the ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.6k
22 votes

Was it widely known during his reign that Kaiser Wilhelm II had a deformed arm?

I'm going to say that, yes, it must have been fairly well-known. For instance, a number of (American) newspapers in 1893/4 quote Harper's Bazar in saying: The Empress of Germany shares her husband's ...
CDR's user avatar
  • 997
19 votes

Why did Germany decide not to restore the Hohenzollern dynasty to the throne of a German Empire after the defeat of Hitler in World War Two?

@totalMongot's third paragraph is a good start. None of the victors wanted a recidivist Germany or even (at the time) a united Germany. Creating a new Kingdom of Germany was for that reason a non-...
Mark Olson's user avatar
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18 votes
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The WWI Christmas truce of 1914 resulted in no consequences, in spite of clear warnings against such beforehand - why were there no courts-martial?

First, for clarity, it is worth noting the commanding officers of the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) in December 1914: Sir John French was the Commander-in-Chief of the BEF. Under him were ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
17 votes

What was the "Favorable result" that the German admiralty was expecting from the naval attack on the Royal Navy in 1918?

Note: The original question title read: Q Why German admiralty was so optimistic about the possible outcome of the naval attack on Royal Navy in 1918? This answer still responds to both versions of ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.6k
16 votes

Why didn't the British Grand Fleet force an engagement with the German Imperial Navy in WW1?

Because if they did, they would have been playing into German hands. The Germans did not plan to match the British navy. What they did was create a Risk Fleet about 60% of the British fleet, one that ...
Tom Au's user avatar
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16 votes
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Where did Otto von Bismarck say "lying awake all night, hating"?

1) 1897 The earliest reference I could find is Christoph von Tiedemann on p. 42 of Persönliche Erinnerungen an den Fürsten Bismarck (S. Hirze, 1898, link) based on a 1897 talk: "ich habe nicht ...
Indiana Jenna's user avatar
16 votes

Why did the Schlieffen Plan prioritize invading France?

Railroads. The French and especially the Germans had elaborate mobilization plans involving railways. The Russians had not. They have a much smaller railroad network and their logistics weren't up to ...
Jos's user avatar
  • 22.4k
16 votes

During the time of the German Empire, were Polish or Jewish people permitted to join the Social Democratic Party?

Rosa Luxemburg was a fairly prominent SPD member before WWI. She was from a Jewish family in Poland. This SPD-affiliated page says that in 1914, the SPD had 12 Jewish Reichstag members (out of a total ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 9,216
15 votes

Why didn't the linguistic split overlap with the religion split in Prussian Silesia?

The maps are simplifications for a very complicated setup. As such they are misleading in several ways. Spatially they represent large swathes of land with a limited number of gradients to ease ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
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15 votes
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What was the standard time in the Principality of Lippe?

which time was used in the Principality of Lippe (Fürstentum Lippe)? Each town would have used its own local mean time (LMT). On 1848-01-18, railway time was introduced to the Prussian railway ...
Mark Johnson's user avatar
  • 9,706
14 votes
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Did anyone face consequences (charges / court-martial) for the 1914 Christmas truce in WWI?

On the British side, no one was court-martialed. This also appears to be true for the French, Belgians and Germans. French and Belgian participation in the Christmas truce was, in any case, very ...
Lars Bosteen's user avatar
14 votes
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Besides Mexico, who was considered as a potential ally of the Central Powers?

(Presumably the question rules out the many co-belligerents of the Central Powers, for which Wikipedia has a detailed article.) The Kingdom of Romania is possibly the best example. In fact, the ...
Semaphore's user avatar
  • 97.5k
12 votes

Is there any good reason to call the German Emperor "the Kaiser", implying something uniquely German about him?

This is indeed a hold-over from he propaganda of the First World War. Although the term started its career earlier. Compare the official definition for Kaiser on the Wikipedia disambiguation page: ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.6k
11 votes

In 1914 why didn't Germany simply mobilize its army without declaring war?

Germany strategically wanted a war The strategic position of the German Empire prior to WW1 was complicated, with France on one side and Russia on the other. The general strategy was to hope for a ...
SJuan76's user avatar
  • 12.4k
10 votes

How long would it take a Victorian to travel from central Germany to the UK?

(The maps are from an Atlas Obscura article on Isochronic maps and the wikipedia entry on German Railways.) Here's an isochronic map centered on London from the early 1880s to give a feel of how long ...
Denis de Bernardy's user avatar
10 votes
Accepted

Where could I find a map of the communes for Bavaria region before 1930?

Update Here is a 1931 overview map of Bavaria (click on the link Zur historischen Karte im DigiTool-Viewer) appearing to show the municipal (ie gemeinden) divisions, labelled as Bezirksamtsgr(enze). ...
Pieter Geerkens's user avatar
10 votes

When was the first usage of the slogan "Wer hat uns verraten..."?

Summary Members of the radical left started to speak of "betrayal" by the Social-Democrats in 1914, as a workers' party wasn't supposed to vote for financing a war. The conservatives as war-...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.6k
10 votes

What was the "Favorable result" that the German admiralty was expecting from the naval attack on the Royal Navy in 1918?

The Battle of Jutland was not a German defeat. Although the German navy failed to achieve their strategic goal of breaking the power of the British Grand Fleet, they scored a tactical victory, ...
Mark's user avatar
  • 8,539
10 votes

Why did Germany decide not to restore the Hohenzollern dynasty to the throne of a German Empire after the defeat of Hitler in World War Two?

In addition to the other answers, it may also be of interest that even in Germany, few people would have wanted that. (The following points are mostly based on the recent book "Die Hohenzollern ...
Toffomat's user avatar
  • 275
9 votes
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How did Hindenburg and Ludendorff lose WWI?

It is easy for an "armchair general" to criticize an actual general who was fighting a war without a benefit of a 20/20 hindsight. Both sides made numerous mistakes, and the the Entente's victory was ...
sds's user avatar
  • 27k
9 votes

Did the Germans occupy Kiev or Odessa in WW I?

The Germans and Austrians did occupy Kiev, and they did so as a result from military action, albeit one with less resistance than otherwise expected on that front. When the Bolshevik delegation tried ...
LаngLаngС's user avatar
  • 80.6k
9 votes

Was Erich Ludendorff any form of nobility?

There seems to be three different claims as to why Ludendorff should be considered noble in the question: Ludendorff being descended from Eric XIV of Sweden. Ludendorff being descended from several ...
andejons's user avatar
  • 5,623
9 votes

In 1914 why didn't Germany simply mobilize its army without declaring war?

Aggression Wins Wars In addition to the political and economic cost of "just" mobilizing (which you could theoretically justify mobilizing without war by saying "look at how our mighty ...
Jaques Birch's user avatar

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