The mobilization of Russia due to both their alliance with France and their need to assert their strength to the other European powers as well as the resulting response that Germany had are important considerations in understanding the events surrounding the First World War. The resulting actions that Germany took to the mobilization of Russia was to arm themselves and post troops along their borders. These events transpired during the early 20th century and would ultimately lead to the start of the First World War. At this time, there were various political and social upheavals that dramatically altered the relationships among European nations.
A major question that comes to light in regards to the mobilization of these nations is whether or not Russia could have avoided war in 1914. Evidence of a memorandum that was sent to the Tsar of Russia by Peter Durnovo in 1914 can help to provide insight into the circumstances leading up to the conflict. This document seems to indicate that the previous minister believed that war between Germany and Great Brittain would be inevitable. He also indicates in this document that this war could potentially spread throughout Europe and should be approached with caution. He also speculates in this document about the potential for an uprising in Russia itself, foreshadowing the revolutions that would come. This demonstrates an important context in regards to the events leading up to the First World War. It shows that there was consideration being given for the potential of a large scale war by Russia prior to the events that would soon transpire.
Further insight can be achieved by developing an understanding of the view that Germany had moving forward during this period, and their perceived prospects for success in light of the developments in Russia. The article Germany and the Next War demonstrates the viewpoint that the German aristocracy had at the time regarding their relationship with Russia and other European nations. This source is an essay by General Friedrich von Bernhardi of Germany, who was attempting to outline the specific goals that Germany should adopt moving forward. He seemed to believe that by doing so, any actions would be carried out in an effective and efficient manner. The paper comments on the deep divide that existed in Germany at the time between those who believed that Germany should assert its dominance in Europe and those who understood the profound implications of taking such actions. These circumstances are highlighted by the decision of Russia to mobilize.
The positive view that the German people had regarding the early prospects of the war is indicated in the source German Industry Responds This document presents an overview of the German industrial mobilization that took place as the threat of impending war became imminent. It provides an understanding of the view that Russia had during this period that made it feel as though it was surrounded on all sides by enemies. This most likely had a profound impact on their decision to go to war. In particular, their view of the impending threat of Russia can help to provide insight as to how the mobilization of Russia was seen in Germany and what exactly the reaction to these circumstances were. This source is important in that it provides insight into the reaction that Germany had to the Russian presence. The implications of the increased industrial production had a profound effect on the view that people had of the war.
Insight into the Russian Revolution can help to further indicate the events surrounding the mobilization of Russia prior to The first World war. This source provides insight into the historical events that surrounded the Russian revolution and subsequent mobilization in the face of the European nations. This demonstrates the underlying consideration that Germany had of Russia at the time in regards to the literature that Russia was implementing. This demonstrates an important source that can help to provide insight into these important considerations. This can help to demonstrate the events surrounding the revolution, providing insight into the implications that the mobilization of forces had on the Russian view of their rulers. This would ultimately lead to the overthrow of the Tsarists regime, which would reestablish the balance of European power.
The article “My Four Years in Germany” demonstrates how Germany would have been perceived by outsiders prior to the First World War. James W. Gerard, an ambassador to the German Imperial court, provides insight into the German view around the time of World War I. This can help to provide insight into the consideration that was given regarding the events that were transpiring. This source demonstrates the profound buildup of powers that took place as the nations of Europe postured for power and the violence began to escalate. The source demonstrates the lack of consideration that was being given for the extreme mortality rates. This paper provides important insight into the view that Germans had of the Russian presence during this time.
These primary sources allow insight into the relationships between the nations of Europe during this time. In particular, the increasingly hostile views that Germany and Russia had towards one another as well as the various warning signs that presented evidence of the impending conflict. Viewing these sources indicates how these realities can be understood in the context of these changes.
“Could Russia Have Avoided War in 1914?,” Russia's Great War and Revolution, http://russiasgreatwar.org/media/international/avoided.shtml
“Germany and the Next War (Deutschland und der nächste krieg),” The World War I Document Archive, http://www.gwpda.org/comment/bernhardi.html.
“German Industry Responds (after August 1914),” German History in Documents and Images, http://germanhistorydocs.ghi-dc.org/sub_document.cfm?document_id=933.
Issac Don Levine, 'The Russian Revolution,' The World War I Document Archive, http://www.gwpda.org/1918p/levine.pdf.
James W. Gerard, 'My Four Years in Germany,' The World War I Document Archive, http://www.gwpda.org/memoir/Gerard/4yrsTC.html.