Learning Curve, The Great War
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Useful notes: Source4
Message from the German ambassador in Britain to the British government on the German invasion of Belgium in August 1914
(Catalogue ref: FO 371/2161)
  • The German ambassador sent this telegram to Britain on 4 August 1914.
  • This was the day when German forces invaded Belgium as part of the Schlieffen Plan to knock France out of the war quickly.
  • Before this event, there had been many messages between the British and German governments about the position of Belgium. This message suggests that the Germans thought that if they went through Belgium quickly and left quickly, then Britain might stay out of the war.
  • In the event, Belgium resisted the German advance and Britain did declare war on the same day. This still raises questions about whether Britain was defending Belgium or itself, or whether these two things could not be separated.
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