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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Mobilisation


Old Tom

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Russian mobilisation was one of the several factors leading to the Great War but which seems to have been treated somewhat differently by different authors. Last night's 37 Days introduced, for me, a new twist i.e, that the Germans influenced the Russians so that they mobilised along both the border with Austro- and Hungary and Germany having first confined their troops to the Austro-Hungarian border. Many authors simply refer to Russian mobilisation and, at least one, suggests that the Tsar's intention was to mobilised on the Austro-Hungarian front only but his staff said their plans detailed a complete mobilisation and that it had started. Much the same situation as the Kaiser being told by von Molkte that the invasion of Luxembourg and Belgium could not be stopped when the Kaiser had second thoughts. Has anyone else encountered this divergence of description?

Old Tom

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  • 3 weeks later...

May I refresh this item? It is, I believe, an important issue in identifying the causes of the Great War. I am currently reading 'The War that Ended Peace' and note that the author, Margaret MacMillan, provides more detail than I have so far seen on Russian mobilisation plans. Her source is a Russian writer. She says that discussions in 1912 lead to a new plan

19A which provided for an early attack on Germany and Austro-Hungaria and that was meant to be a variant 19G which alloted most of the forces to the Austro-Hungarian front and remained on the defensive against Germany, but this plan was never worked out in detail. If I recall correctly this expands on the account in 'The Sleep Walkers'. Such a senario adds weight to the idea that the Russians provoked Germany.

Old Tom

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