Germany Promises to Go To War
The term “battleship” was officially adopted by the Royal Navy in 1892. These were heavily armored ships, mounting a mixed battery of guns in turrets, and without sails. In 1906 the British Royal Navy launched the revolutionary HMS DREADNOUGHT which made existing battleships obsolete with 10 12-inch guns and unprecedented speed and protection. The ship’s name became a classification for this style of ship. A naval arms race commenced around the world to match these new developments.
The Second Moroccan Crisis in 1911 pitted France against Germany. England was dragged into the crisis and supported of France much to Germany’s surprise. Besieged in Fez, Sultan Abde Hafid of Morocco was pressured by France and members of the French pro-colonial lobby to ask for French troops to protect the country. In May 1911 French troops arrive in Morocco. This did not sit well with other European powers who fear Morocco will become a French protectorate. Germany threatened to respond with force and sent the gunboat AGADIR to Morocco in July 1911 which alarmed Great Britain. What began as an exercise by Germany intended to drive a wedge between France and England results in increasing British fear and hostility towards Germany and to draw Britain closer to France. Negotiation started between France and Germany to cool down the situation diplomatically. In November 1911 the Second Moroccan Crisis ended with the signing of a Franco-German peace treaty.The Balkan War began in October 1912 pitting 4 Balkan national entities against the decaying Ottoman Empire. Different European superpowers such as Austria-Hungary and Russia which border the Balkans have been drawn in and made promises of support to different countries.
On December 2, 1912 German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg told the Reichstag in a speech that Germany would go to war if Austria-Hungary was attacked by any other nation as a matter of defending Germany’s future and security.
German Chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg