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Controversial POV 100 yrs after WWI - "Britain should have stayed out of The War."

Article about: Britain entering first world war was 'biggest error in modern history' Historian Niall Ferguson says Britain could have lived with German victory and should have stayed out of war. Britain c

  1. #11


    Isn't "History" merely a consensus based misconceptions?

    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  2. #12


    This is an interesting thread and one that I hope continues to receive attention because WWI was historically the most important event of the 20th Century with regard to cause-and-effect results in all aspects of Western Society's institutions. The posters have correctly identified the two issues that have the greatest historical significance with respect to the war per se and its outcome; Britain's entry into the war and America's entry into the war. In both cases sound arguments can me made that neither of those two countries should have become involved. However, there is also a sound argument for Britain's involvement in the war, but, in my mind, there is no rational argument supporting America's involvement in the war.

    I am one of those who believes that WWI was a trade war between Germany and Britain. Given that, the need for the British to send troops to France was nonexistent because the Royal Navy had the means and the will to establish an airtight distant blockade and maintain it to the point of Germany's economic exhaustion. Britain is in the unique geographical position to control all of Germany's seaborne trade coming out of the Mediterranean, across the Atlantic, and through the North Sea. That seaborne trade constituted 70% of Germany's critical imports in raw materials and chemical fertilizers. In WWI, the British Blockade was so effective that Germany's trade, even with the Nordic countries across the Baltic was reduced by more than 50% and seaborne trade from the United States and South America ceased entirely. It was the Royal Navy that won the war of attrition with Germany, not British ground troops in France and not America's intervention in 1917. A purely Naval Blockade strategy would have meant a long siege, but the casualties would have been vastly fewer, the strain on the National Treasury far less, and economic shortages at home would have been less severe. Yes, the U-boats would have remained a problem, but without raw materials to continue construction and without adequate fuel to power them, Germany would have been unable to effectively break the Blockade. It is true that the British were very slow to recognize the need for, and to develop, effective antisubmarine warfare measures. But they did, and certainly would have. Dwight

  3. #13


    Wasn’t it the interception and decoding by British cryptographers of the Zimmermann Telegram of January 1917 that actually brought the US in to the “European War”?

    In the telegram Mexico was offered generous financial support by Germany to help Mexico regain the territories of Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona that had been lost to the United States in exchange for a military alliance with Germany.
    I collect, therefore I am.

    Nothing in science can explain how consciousness arose from matter.

  4. #14


    StefanM: That is correct, the so-called Zimmermann Telegram was the cause Belli that President used to enter the war. But the truth was that while the German attempt to bring Mexico into the war as a German Ally was considered a diplomatic affront to the United States, the probability of that actually happening was considerably more than remote. The U.S. had suffered several affronts during the war from both the British and the Germans without declaring war. The Zimmermann Telegram was an excuse to go to war rather than a good reason for going to war. The United States economy was very strong in April 1917, and all that going to war accomplished was to push up the National Debt and cause 48,900 KIAs, which is very low compared to the other warring nations, and U.S. National Security was not serious threatened by Germany. Dwight

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