What things make an eventual war inevitable?


It cannot be denied that the matter has been cleverly orchestrated by Russia. Under constant assurances that it is not yet making "mobile" preparations, but only "just in case", that it has not called up any reservists "so far", it is getting ready for war so far that, if it really announces mobilization, it will be ready in a few days can be ready for the advance. It puts Austria in a desperate situation and puts the responsibility on it by forcing Austria to protect itself against a Russian surprise. It will say: You are mobilizing Austria against us, so you want him War with us. Russia assures Germany that it will not do anything, but it knows very well that Germany cannot stand idly by a military clash between its ally and Russia. Germany too will be forced to mobilize, and Russia will again be Being able to say to the world: "I didn't want the war, but Germany brought it about." This is how things will and must develop, if not, one might almost like to say, a miracle will happen to prevent a war at the last hour that will destroy the culture of almost all of Europe for decades to come.

Germany does not want to bring about this terrible war. The German government knows, however, that it would fatally injure the deep-rooted feelings of loyalty to the federal government, one of the most beautiful features of German emotional life, and contradict all the feelings of its people if it did not want to help its ally in a moment who has to decide about its existence.

According to the news available, France also appears to be taking preparatory measures for a possible mobilization at a later date. It is evident that Russia and France go hand in hand in their actions.

So if the clash between Austria and Russia is inevitable, Germany will mobilize and be ready to take up the fight on two fronts.

For the military measures we intend to take, it is of the greatest importance to obtain clarity as soon as possible as to whether Russia and France are willing to go to war with Germany. The further our neighbors' preparations go, the sooner they will be able to finish their mobilization. As a result, the military situation is becoming more and more unfavorable for us every day and, if our prospective opponents continue to prepare calmly, it can lead to disastrous consequences for us.



Source: Helmuth J. L. von Moltke to Theobald von Bethmann Hollweg (July 29, 1914), in Walther Schücking and Max Montgelas, eds., The German documents on the outbreak of war. 5 volumes, Berlin, 1922, vol. 5, p. 349.

Printed in Imanuel Geiss, July crisis and outbreak of war 1914. 2 volumes, Hanover, 1963-64, Vol. 2, pp. 261-63.