Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source5
Report of a conversation between the British Foreign Secretary and the German ambassador to Britain in July 1914
(Catalogue ref: FO 371/1899 f.389)
  • This source is an extract from a report written by Sir Edward Grey, the British Foreign Secretary. He was reporting on his conversation with the German ambassador to Britain in July 1914.
  • Relations in Europe were tense at this time. On June 28th, Serbian nationalists had assassinated Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria. There had been bad relations between Serbia and Austria for many years. The fear was that Austria would attack Serbia, Russia would help Serbia, this would pull Germany into the war and France would have to help its ally Russia.
  • Germany was very worried about the attitude of Russia towards Germany. This is why the ambassador was concerned about co-operation between Russia and Britain.
  • It was Britain's policy not to allow any one country to become completely dominant in Europe.
  • Herr Bethmann Hollweg was the German Chancellor. He was the most senior politician in Germany and the Kaiser's chief adviser.
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