papalagi (papalagi) wrote,

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer-Churchill (30 ноя 1874 - 24 янв 1965) The world crisis (1923)

August 20-September 6, 19 14

'For while the dagger gleam'd on high
eel'd soul and sense, reel'd brain and eye.'
Scott, 'The Lady of the Lake,' Canto V-XVL

Prudence and audacity may be alternated but not mixed.

At the outset of the
war Germany had a choice between a prudent and an audacious strategy. She could either have fallen, as she did, upon France with her main strength and held off Russia meanwhile, or have fallen upon Russia with ample forces and stood on the defensive against France. If she had taken the second course she would have said to France and to Europe: "This is an Eastern quarrel. Let us endeavour to limit the area of the conflict. We are going to rescue our ally Austria from Russia. We have no dispute with France. We have no intention of invading French territory. Unless you attack us, we shall not touch you: if you attack us, we shall have to defend ourselves. As for Belgium, it is sacred to us." The German Government would then have appealed to England to help to localise the struggle, and a well-meaning effort would most probably have been made with that object. France would therefore have had to choose between deserting her ally and invading Germany in cold blood, alone. Neither Belgium nor England would have entered the war. By the winter the Russian armies would have been torn to pieces in the East, and France brought to a standstill before barbed wire and entrenchments on German soil in the West.

appealed to England to help to localise the struggle...

All these tremendous political-strategic considerations were present in the minds of British Ministers, and Mr. Lloyd George in particular would never believe, until the mass invasion of Belgium was an actual fact, that the Germans would be so unwise as to ignore them. Ludendorff, however, tells us that the German General Staff rejected such a plan for one decisive reason, namely, that it involved a long war. This answer seems insufficient.

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