61

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 ships do little to no harm and your own ships stay undamaged). As basically all naval strategy questions, this one puts too much emphasis on "defeating the ...


45

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 seem to imply this. If it's that, then it's a resounding no. But bringing a ball to the trenches (in itself quite an astonishing thing to do?) and playing with ...


35

A Russian revolution caused by the Bolsheviks was most definitely the goal of the Germans when they allowed Lenin to pass through their lands. Germany wished to undermine, or end, the Russian war effort and sending Lenin back was done for that purpose. If true, who came up with the idea and was there any consideration that a communist Russia could ...


33

The moral justification isn't hard to find. Russia was the only Allied power to enter the war "on its own". If you look at the stated reasons of other countries: Germany declared war on France because it expected France to ally with Russia. Great Britain joined the war because Germany violated Belgian neutrality. And USA joined the war because of German ...


28

Germany–Poland The initial border was drawn during the Potsdam Conference in the aftermath of the second world war, on 1945-08-02. The border was finalised by a joint East German-Polish commission in the aftermath of the Treaty of Zgorzelec on 1951-01-27. The last change happened on 1989-05-22 with redrawing of the sea border north of Usedom, gaining (then) ...


27

I think the book For the Common Defense: A Military History of the United States of America said it best on page 346 "The American role in World War I derived its character less from strategic thinking than from the geopolitical notion that the future well-being of the United States depended upon the balance of power in Europe and the outcome of the war." ...


23

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 thought I remembered something similar from the English Civil War, but a bit of googling got me nothing.


17

I'll just try to put some further tidbits into the three questions. "Lenins Rückkehr nach Russland 1917: Die deutschen Akten" has from Page 39 on a telegram conversation between the German ambassador in Bern von Romberg and the Auswärtige Amt (Foreign Bureau). It starts with von Romberg 7th September 1914: Russian, who seems to have contact with russian ...


15

By naming Russian mobilisation as the initial aggression. One needs to look no further than the German declaration of war itself. That document succinctly laid out Berlin's position that the Russian mobilisation was an existential threat as well as an act of aggression towards Germany. Presenting Germany as a peaceful mediator, it claims that: [Russia] ...


15

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 could defeat the British fleet under ideal conditions (e.g. operating in home waters where the Germans would enjoy the benefit of mines, shore batteries, etc.)....


15

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 identifications of majorities. Which inhabitants are located where is necessarily less precise than the situation on the ground. Temporally these maps show just one ...


15

How come that in WWI, the Germans were able to maintain a submarine blockade of Britain... They weren't, at least not one which had a major impact on the war effort. Submarines and submarine tactics were in their infancy. They were slow, short ranged, largely blind, vulnerable on the surface, and they had to spend most of their time on the surface. Rather ...


14

Hitler says early in Mein Kampf I studied Bismarck's exceptional legislation in its original concept, its operation and its results. He praises various policies and the diplomacy of Bismarck's government, and towards the end declaims What miserable pigmies our sham statesmen in Germany appear by comparison with him. And how nauseating it is to ...


14

All legal privileges of the aristocracy were abolished when the Weimar Republic was founded. The current Federal Republic of Germany does not recognize any nobility but allows the use of hereditary titles as part of a name, unlike Austria where even that is banned. As for individual Kingdoms and other entities, their fates are as follows: Kingdoms were ...


14

(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 Romanians technically were allied to the Central Powers - they were a secret party to the Triple Alliance. At the start of the Great War, King Carol I wanted to ...


12

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 Lieutenant-General Sir Douglas Haig, Commander BEF I Corps General Horace Lockwood Smith-Dorrien, Commander BEF II Corps. His chief of staff was Brigadier General G.T. ...


11

In the big picture, Germany wanted a large empire and a large navy, which was incompatible with Britain's survival as a Great Power. This really didn't have anything to do with how the war directly started, but shaped a lot of the diplomacy around it. This doesn't assign responsibility either, as it would be just as reasonable to accuse Britain of holding ...


10

(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 it would take ~20 years later: The German rail network in 1861 suggests there already was a track nearby (you can see a track between Eisenach and Bamberg if ...


10

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). Your required time-frame is uncertain, so I am not sure if that is early enough for your need. Translations: Landesgrenze => national borders Kreisgrenze => ...


10

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 limited, and there was no truce on the Eastern Front (as cipricus notes in a comment, Russian Christmas is in January). Turkish troops actually upped their attacks ...


9

Germany's borders were defined by three wars. After its victory in the Franco-Prussian War in 1871 Germany took Alsace, and a quarter of Lorraine from France, defining its Western border. After the Allied victory in World War I in 1918, France took back Alsace-Lorraine, some adjustments were made in Belgium's favor further north, and a 60-mile wide "Polish ...


9

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 not assured until the very end. There are two basic ways to win a war: crush the enemy on the battlefield choke the enemy economically Both sides tried ...


9

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 to stall the Brest-Litovsk peace treaty negotiations the Central Powers resumed offensive aggression in the East against very weak forces. This is known as the ...


8

The Reichstag was the Parliament of the German Empire from 1871- 1918. It had less force than government, but still was very powerful. The legislature was bicameral; the two houses were the Reichstag and Bundesrat. After the Parliament of United Kingdom, the Reichstag was one of the most progressive parliaments in Europe. Members of the Reichstag were ...


8

The german Wikipedia has a bit about this. In short: No - it was illegal in WWI. And during the Nazis it was deadly. EDIT: Den Ersten Weltkrieg betrachtete die Deutsche Friedensgesellschaft ebenso wie die SPD als deutschen Verteidigungskrieg und lehnte die Kriegsdienstverweigerung deshalb weiterhin ab. Sie erlitt mit anderen deutschen pazifistischen ...


8

The German Empire in 1871 was nearly 2 1/2 times as large (in area) as Prussia alone had been 11 years earlier: According to Wikipedia the population of Prussia in 1871 was 24.6MM, and that of the entire German Empire was 40.0MM; note of course that the former includes all the territories conquered/coalesced in the preceding decade. The German Empire's ...


8

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 nobles listed in the question. Ludendorff belonging to the "Junker" class. The first of these is relatively straightforward. Eric XIV had only two legitimate ...


8

'Naturally' Germany, Austria-Hungary and Turkey would be interested in anyone joining their cause. This is not about who ended up in 1918 being at war with Germany, Austria-Hungary, Bulgaria and Ottomans. This is about all those considered by one side or the other as potentially siding with "them" from 1914–1918. And this list of attempts is surprisingly ...


7

A short answer with a slightly out-of-the box viewpoint: Germany wanted power and a big empire. This put Germany at odds with Britain, and their allies Austria-Hungary was already at odds with Russia, which together put these two allies at odds with most of Europe. This could have been solved and handled in various ways, but as Germany was during this time ...


7

The U.S. entered World War I because Germany (needlessly) DIRECTLY threatened U.S. interests. The sinking of the Lusitania, with the loss of 128 American lives caused a lot of ill-will in the United States. And the resulting "unrestricted submarine" warfare was a threat to American notions of free trade going back at least to the War of 1812. But the "last ...


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