Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source6
Letter from the British ambassador in France on the French attitude to the international situation, 30 July 1914
(Catalogue ref: FO 800/55 f.129-30)
  • This source is an extract from a report written by the British ambassador in France to the Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, in July 1914. Britain entered the war five days later.
  • 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 document seems to suggest that the Germans had some reason to be concerned.
  • The writer wishes that the French would 'moderate their zeal' (be less enthusiastic in supporting) the Russians in their aggressive attitude towards Austria and Germany.
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