37 Days has been a brilliant docudrama about the events leading up to WWI from the point of view of the political figures involved and in the tradition of the program i shall try to organize my points by the countries.
Great Britain: Sir Edward Grey was astonished that not only had Serbia agreed to Austria’s demands but that Austria was refusing to accept this. He also refused to believe that Germany was pulling Austria’s things and this was little more than a Balkan dispute. He tried to organise a international conference to get Serbia, Russia, Austria and Germany round the table but this was ill fated, Germany never intended to attend they were just pulling the wool over Sir Edward’s eyes to sort out Austria’s invasion. As Russia partially mobilized its troops on its southern borders the situation continued to escalate with Austria finally invading Serbia. Sir Edward tried to negotiate with the Russian ambadassor with a terse exchange ended the ambadassor reminded Sir Edward of an exchange 5 yrs previously along the lines of we’re neighbours in Asia (Afghanistan and India) so if we WEREN’T friends we’d be enemies basically threatening Britain if they don’t support Russian action. Russia’s mobilsation and Germany’s potential mobilisation meant France became a main player they had an alliance with Russia since the late 19th Century effectively to protect them from Germany. They came to Sir Edward they wanted to mobilise before the Germans as the Germans can mobilise far more quickly, just as war seemed inevitable with the suggestion from Winston Churchill for the BRITISH to mobilise the Navy, Sir Edward rang the Prince his friend, the German ambadassor who has already demonstrated he can’t be trusted and told him France won’t get involved if Germany don’t attack France, which was a complete fabrication as the French ambadassor was sitting in Sir Edward’s office.
Germany: The Kaiser’s plan for a quick Balkan war to punish the Serbians hadn’t worked out. The Russians had gotten over their outrage at the regicide and had mobilised their southern troops, the Chancellor then tried to hide Sir Edward’s international conference idea further provoking the Kaiser, enter stage left Chief of Staff Moltke who clearly has a chip on his shoulder due to the miliatary prowess of his father and grandfather he comes up with a frankly ludicrous plan of not only provoking the Russians into general mobilisation but the French as well by claiming they fear for their borders believing that if they didn’t fight the Russians now they would become too powerful however I can’t recall why he wanted to invade France as well probably because he’s crazy or to take them out the equation early before they could mobilize, oh I remembered cos they know nothing bout war which he justified by saying they’d had 42 war ministers in 43 years. The Kaiser was on board with this cos there was no other alternatives but the chancellor was very apprehensive and I don’t blame him ludicrous. However just as the Germans were about to invade Luxembourg the telegram came through from The Prince about Sir Edward’s confirmation that France would stay out the war if they weren’t attacked, the Kaiser then ordered all troops to go East and war with France was avoided for now. Moltke was furious and launched into a tirade AT THE KAISER what and idiot!
Russia: We saw Tsar Nicholas II for the first time today, ruler of Russia, cousin of the Kaiser. Clearly ruling and war is a family affair but even more interesting than the Tsar was his general, who has a young wife apparently she didn’t look that young but far younger than him anyway according to Moltke (another of his war justifications) she loves Faberge eggs so, the general takes backhanders meaning the Russians only have 4,000 machine guns for 1 million troops but he feared if Germany didn’t act now he may be replaced by someone competant which would be bad news for Germany.
4 DAYS TO WAR!!!!!!!!