If Serajevo had not come along when it did--with the German military establishment just built up to a peace-footing of nearly one million officers and men and re-armed at a cost of two hundred and fifty million dollars; with von Tirpitz's Fleet at the acme of its efficiency; with the Kiel Canal reconstructed for the passage of super-dreadnought ironclads--Germany's readiness for war might have been fatally inferior to that of her enemies-to-be.
The Fatherland was ready, armed to the teeth, as nation never was before. The psychological moment had dawned. This was the reassuring state of affairs at home. What did the War Party see when it put its mailed hand to the vizor and looked abroad, across to England, west over the Rhine to France, and toward Russia? It saw Great Britain on what truly enough looked to most of the world like the brink of revolution in Ireland.
It saw a France, of which a great Senator had only a few days before said that her forts were defective, her guns short of ammunition and her army lacking in even such rudimentary war sinews as sufficient boots for the troops. It saw a Russia stirred by industrial strife which seemed to need only the threat of grave foreign complications to inflame her always rebellious proletariat into revolt. Serajevo had all the earmarks of providential timeliness.
The "trippers" from Hamburg and nearer-by points in Schleswig-Holstein, whom the Sunday of Kiel Week attracts by the thousand, were far more stunned than von G. The esplanade, which had been throbbing with bustle and glittering with color, did not know at first why all the ships in the harbor, British as well as German, had suddenly lowered their pennants to half-mast, or why the Austrian royal standard had suddenly broken out, also at the mourning altitude. The Kaiser was racing in the Baltic. He's been going for many a day.
The sleek white naval dispatch-boat Sleipner tore through the Bay, Baltic-bound. Sleipner dodged eel-like, through the lines of British and German men-of-war, ocean liners, pleasure-craft and racing-yachts anchored here, there and everywhere. In fifteen minutes she was alongside the Emperor's fleet schooner, Meteor V , which had broken off her race on receipt of wireless tidings of the Archducal couple's murderous fate.
The Hohenzollern had already "wirelessed" for the fastest torpedo-boat in port to fetch the Kaiser and his staff off the Meteor , and the destroyer and Sleipner snorted up, foam-bespattered, almost simultaneously. The Emperor clambered into the torpedo-boat and started for the harbor. It was the face of a William II, blanched ashen-gray, which turned from the bridge of the destroyer to acknowledge, in solemn gravity, the salutes of the officers and crew of the British flagship, as the Kaiser's craft raced past the King George V.
Always stern of mien, the Emperor now looked severity personified. His staff stood apart. He seemed to wish to be alone, absolutely, with the overwhelming thoughts of the moment. Three minutes later, and he stepped aboard the Hohenzollern. Now another pennant showed at the mainmast of the Imperial yacht--the blue and yellow signal flag which means: "His Majesty is aboard, but preoccupied. Did he, like von G. I suppose the first stars and stripes to be half-masted anywhere in the world that dread sundown were those which drooped from the stern of Utowana , Mr.
A puffing little launch took me out to the Utowana as soon as I had gathered some coherent facts, which I wanted to present to Mr. Armour and his guests, American Ambassador and Mrs. James W. Gerard, of Berlin, who had motored to Kiel the day before. Gerard's sister, Countess Sigray, is the wife of a Hungarian nobleman, and the Ambassador's wife, if my memory serves me correctly, once told me of her sister's acquaintance with both of the assassinated Royalties.
We Americans discussed the immediate consequences of the day's event--how the Kaiser would take it, how it would affect poor old Emperor Francis Joseph. The Kaiser and the future ruler of Austria-Hungary had become great friends. They were not always that. People often said it was a case of Greek meet Greek, and that two such insistent personalities were inevitably bound to clash. Others said that the Archduke, inspired by his brilliantly clever consort, always insisted that German overlordship in Vienna would cease when he came to the throne.
Still others knew that despite antipathies and antagonisms, the two men had at length come to be genuinely fond of each other, and that their ideas and ideals for the greater glory of Germanic Europe coincided. These things we chatted and canvassed, irresponsibly, on Utowana's immaculate deck. All of us were persuaded of the imminency of a crisis in Austrian-Serbian relations in consequence of Princip's crime. But I am quite sure not a soul of us held himself capable of imagining that, because of that remote felony, Great Britain and Germany would be at war five weeks later.
Beyond us spread the peaceful panorama of British and German war-craft, anchored side by side, and the thought would have perished at birth. Returned to the terrace of the Seebade-Anstalt, one found the atmosphere heavily charged with suppressed excitement. Immaculately-groomed young diplomats, down from Berlin for the Sunday, were twirling their walking-sticks and yellow gloves which were not, after all, to accompany them to Grand-Admiral Prince Henry of Prussia's garden-party.
That, like everything else connected with Kiel Week, had suddenly been called off. A party of Americans flocked together at the entrance to the hotel to exchange low-spoken views on the all-pervading topic. There was big Lieutenant-Commander Walter R. Gherardi, who had motored me around the environs of Kiel that morning; Albert Billings Ruddock, Third Secretary of the Embassy, and his pretty and clever wife; and Lanier Winslow, Ambassador Gerard's private secretary, his effervescent good nature repressed for the first time I ever remembered observing it in that unbecoming and unnatural condition.
Secretary Ruddock's father, Mr. Charles H. Ruddock, of New York, completed the group. I met Mr. Ruddock, Sr. I pleaded a lapse of recollection. The aspect of Kiel became in the twinkling of an eye as funereal as Serajevo and Vienna themselves must have been in that blood-bespattered hour.
Bands stopped playing, flags not lowered to half-mast were hauled down altogether, and beer-gardens emptied. A week of gaiety unsurpassed evaporated into gloom and foreboding. For myself it had been a week crowded with great recollections. Special correspondents telegraphing to influential foreign newspapers, particularly if they were English and American newspapers, were always persona gratissima with German dignitaries, even of the blood royal.
The group of us on duty at what, alas! Before we were at Kiel twenty-four hours we were deluged with invitations to garden-parties at the Commanding Admiral's, to soirees innumerable ashore and afloat, to luncheons at the Town Hall, to the grand balls at the Naval Academy, and to functions of lesser magnitude for the bluejackets. Captain Lohlein, the courteous chief of the Press Bureau of the Navy Department at Berlin, had equipped me with credentials which practically made me a freeman of Kiel harbor for the time being.
In no single direction was effort lacking, on the part of the authorities who have the most practical conception of any Government in the world of the value of advertising, to enable special correspondents at Kiel to practise their profession comfortably and successfully.
I must not forget to mention the visit paid me by Baron von Stumm, chief of the Anglo-American division of the German Foreign Office; for Stumm's opinion of me underwent a kaleidoscopic and mysterious change a few weeks later. Treasured conspicuously in my memories of Kiel, too, will long remain the call I received from Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach's private secretary, and the message he brought me from the Master of Essen.
It seems less cryptic to me now than then. I sought an interview from the Cannon Queen's consort about the visit he and his staff of experts had just paid to the great arsenals and dockyards of Great Britain. I wonder how many American newspaper readers, in the hurly-burly of the fast-marching events which preceded and ushered in the war, ever knew of the little army of eminent and expert "investigators" who honored England with their company on the very threshold of hostilities?
June saw the presence in London, ostensibly for "the season," of Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach, accompanied not only by his plutocratic wife, but by his chief technical expert, Doctor Ehrensberger of Essen, an old-time friend of American steel men like Mr. Not with the eyes of Cook tourists, but with the practised gaze of specialists, they were privileged to look upon sights which must have sent them away with a vivid, up-to-date and accurate impression of Britain's capabilities in the all-vital realm of production of war materials for both army and navy.
It was from this personally conducted junket through the zone of British war industry that Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach returned--not to Essen, but to Kiel where he has his summer home and to the Kaiser and von Tirpitz. It was to them his report was made. I think I understand better now why he could not see his way to letting me tell the British public what he saw and learned in England. I was guileless when I sought the interview.
Bibliography on the 1914-45 World War, I: 1870 – 1918
Let this be my apology to Herr Krupp von Bohlen und Halbach for attempting to penetrate into matters obviously not fit "to discuss in public. During July England entertained three other important German emissaries, each a specialist, as befitted the country of his origin and the object of his mission. Doctor Dernburg came over. He spent ten strenuous days "in touch" with financial and economic circles and subjects. No man could be relied upon to bring back to Berlin a shrewder estimate of the British commercial situation.
A few days later Herr Ballin, the German shipping king, crossed the channel. I recall telegraphing a Berlin newspaper notice which explained that the astute managing director of the Hamburg-American line went to England to "look into the question of fuel-oil supplies. He must have dabbled in high politics a bit, too, for only the other day Lord Haldane revealed that he arranged for Herr Ballin to "meet a few friends" at his lordship's hospitable home at Queen Anne's Gate.
Germans always felt a proprietary right to seek the hospitality of the Scotch statesman who acknowledged that his spiritual domicile was in the Fatherland. His visit fell within a week of Germany's declaration of war against France and Russia. The Prince, who enjoyed many warm friendships in England and visited the country at frequent intervals, also spent a busy week in London. Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty. Englishmen only conjecture how he put in the rest of his time. Perhaps an episode in the trial of Karl Lody, the German naval spy who was executed at the Tower of London on November 6, has its place in the unrecorded history of Prince Henry of Prussia's epochal visit to the British Isles.
Lody confessed to his military judges at Middlesex Guildhall that he received his orders to report on British naval preparations from "a distinguished personage. His request was granted. When we were officially notified that the Kaiser would proceed next morning by special train to Berlin, we made our own preparations to depart. The British squadron had still a day and a half of its scheduled visit to complete, and Vice-Admiral Warrender told us he would remain accordingly. The German Admiralty had extended him the hospitality of the new War Canal for the cruise of his fleet into the North Sea, but he decided to send only the light cruisers by that route and take his battleships home, as they had come, by the roundabout route of the Baltic.
On Monday noon, June 29, I went back to Berlin, to live through five weeks of finishing touches for the grand world blood-bath. Armageddon was plotted, prepared for and precipitated by the German War Party. It was not the work of the German people. What is the "War Party"? Let me begin by explaining what it is not. It maintains no permanent headquarters or National Committee, and holds no conventions.
The only barbecue it ever organized is the one which plunged the world into gore and tears in August, , though its attempts to drench Europe with blood are decade-old. You would search the German city directories in vain for the War Party's address or telephone number. No German would ever acknowledge that he belonged to Europe's largest Black Hand league. You could, indeed, hardly find anybody in Germany willing even to acknowledge that the War Party even existed. Yet, unseen and sinister, its grip was fastened so heavily upon the machinery of State that when it deemed the moment for its sanguinary purposes at length ripe, the War Party was able to tear the whole nation from its peaceful pursuits and fling it, armed to the teeth, against a Europe so flagrantly unready that more than a year of strife finds Germany not only unbeaten but at a zenith of fighting efficiency which her foes have only begun to approach.
When the German War Party pressed the button for the Great Massacre, the Fatherland had, roundly, sixty-seven million five hundred thousand inhabitants within its thriving walls. At a liberal estimate, no one can ever convince me that more than one million five hundred thousand Germans really wanted war. They were the "War Party.
I do not believe that William II, deep down in his heart, craved for war. I can vouch for the literal accuracy of a hitherto unrecorded piece of ante-bellum history which bears out my doubts of the Kaiser's immediate responsibility for the war, though it does not acquit him of supine acquiescence in, and to that extent abetting, the War Party's plot. The Frau Generalstabschef was in a state of obvious mental excitement. Dog-tired, he threw himself on to the couch, a total wreck, explaining to me that he had finally accomplished the three days' hardest work he had ever done in his whole life--he had helped to induce the Kaiser to sign the mobilization order!
There is the evidence, disclosed in the homeliest, yet the most direct, fashion, of the German War Party's unescapable culpability for the supreme crime against humanity. The "sword" had, indeed, been "forced" into the Kaiser's hand. This is no brief for the Kaiser's innocence. No man did more than William II himself, during twenty-six years of explosive reign, to stimulate the military clique in the belief that when the dread hour came the Supreme War Lord would be "with my Army.
Perhaps that is why General von Moltke had to force the pen, which for the nonce was mightier than the sword, into the reluctant hand of William II. The Kaiser was constitutionally addicted to swaggering war talk, but, in my judgment, he preferred the bark to the bite. He likes his job. Like our Roosevelt, he has a "perfectly corking time" wielding the scepter. Raised in the belief that the Hohenzollerns were divinely appointed to their Royal estate, William II dearly loves his trade. He does not want to lose his throne. In peace there was little danger of its ever slipping from under him, thanks to a Socialist "movement" which was noisy but never really menacing.
In war Hohenzollern rule is in perpetual peril. Hostile armies, if they ever battered their way to Potsdam, would almost surely wreck the dynasty, even if the mob had not already saved them that trouble. The Kaiser, sagacious like every man when his livelihood is at stake, always had these dread eventualities in mind. His personal interests, the fortunes of his House, all lay along the path of manifest safety--peace.
Meantime his concessions to the War Party were generous and frequent. He rattled the saber on its demand. He donned his "shining armor" at Austria's side when the Germanic Powers coerced Russia into recognition of the Bosnian annexation in It hoped that history in Northwestern Africa would repeat itself--that the Triple Entente would yield to German bluff as it yielded in Southeastern Europe two years previous. Next time the sword would be "forced" into his hand. I did not will this war.
One year has elapsed since I was obliged to call the German people to arms. Herewith I place Frau Generalstabschef von Moltke on the stand as chief witness in the Kaiser's defense. I have said that sixty-six million Germans wanted peace and one million five hundred thousand demanded war. But in Germany minority rules. It rules supreme when the issue is war or peace, and when the German War Party insisted upon deeds instead of speeches the nation, Kaiser and all, Reichstag and Socialist, Prince and peasant, had but one alternative--to yield.
In July, , the War Party imperiously asked for war, and war ensued. That is the ineffaceable long and short of Armageddon. I am persuaded that William II on July 31 was confronted with something strangely like an abrupt alternative of mobilization or abdication. Assertions of the German people's consecration to peace may strike the reader as incongruous in face of the magnificent unanimity with which the entire Fatherland has waged and is still waging the war.
But such a view leaves wholly out of account the most prodigious and amazing of all the German War Party's preparations--the skilful manipulation of public opinion for "the Day. I count the merely material preparations of the War Party--the steady expansion of Krupps, the development of the Fleet, the invention of the forty-two centimeter gun, the vast secret storage of arms and ammunition, the increase of the Army, the accumulation of a war-chest of gold, the stealthy organization of every conceivable instrument and resource of war down to details too minute for the ordinary mind to grasp; all these, I count as nothing compared to the hypnotization of the German national mind extending over many years.
In England and America the name of Bernhardi was on everybody's lips as the archpriest of the war. I doubt if one man in ten thousand in Germany ever heard of Bernhardi before August, He became an international personality mainly through the graces of foreign newspaper correspondents in Berlin, who, recognizing his book, Germany's Next War , as classic proclamation of the War Party's designs on the world, dignified it with commensurate attention, not because of its authorship, but because of its innate authoritativeness. The result was the translation of Germany's Next War into the English language, and subsequently, I suppose, into every other civilized language in the world.
Perhaps I am myself to some extent responsible for Bernhardi's vogue in the United States. He was going to cross our country en route back to Europe from the Far East, and wrote to ask me to suggest to him the name of an American translator and publisher for his books. Bernhardi, a mere retired general of cavalry with a gift for incisive writing, woke up to find himself famous.
But nothing could be more beyond the mark than to imagine that he was the pioneer of German war-aggression. He was merely its most plain-spoken prophet. The way had been blazed for decades before he appeared upon the scene. After Bernhardi had been successfully launched on the bookshelves of the world, the German War Party took him up, and it was not long before Die Post , the Deutsche Tageszeitung and other organs of blood-and-iron were able to make "the highly gratifying" announcement that Bernhardi's manual had been compressed into a fifty-pfennig popular edition, so that the German masses might be educated in the inspiring doctrine of manifest Teuton destiny, as Bernhardi so unblushingly set it forth.
The German War Party's certificate of incorporation is dated Versailles, January 18, , when, on the one hundred and seventieth anniversary of the creation of the Kingdom of Prussia, Bismarck and Moltke crowned victorious William I of Prussia German Emperor. To the credit of Bavaria, Saxony, Baden and Wurttemberg be that forever remembered. Denmark and Austria, during the seven years preceding Versailles, had had their lessons. Now France lay prostrate, despoiled of her fairest provinces and financially bled white, as the conqueror imagined.
From that moment the Prussian head began swelling with invincible self-esteem, to emerge in the succeeding generation in an insensate and megalomaniac conviction that to the race which had accomplished what the Germans had achieved nothing was impossible. In the reconstruction years following the campaign non-military Germany was bent on laying the foundations of Teuton industrial greatness. The project was vouchsafed no support from the military hotspurs who, within ten years of Sedan and Paris, did their utmost to force Bismarck into giving humbled France a fresh drubbing, that her power to rise from the dust might be crushed for all time.
Then the Prussian War Party demanded that the scalp of Russia be added to its insatiable belt. Bismarck propitiated the Bernhardis of that day by thundering in the Reichstag that "We Germans fear God, and nothing else in this world! Nouveau riche Germany, with France's one billion two hundred and fifty million dollars of gold indemnity in its pocket, ceased to be the Fatherland of homely virtues, celebrated in song and story, and became the plethoric Fatherland, drunk with power and wealth won by arms, the Fatherland which was to adopt the gospel of political brutality as a new national Leit-motif.
Our military prowess and our intellectual superiority make German Weltmacht manifest destiny. Full steam ahead! During the war the English-reading world has heard much of Treitschke and Nietzsche, just as it has had its ears dinned full of Bernhardi. Germans with scars on their faces and other marks of a college education--a gentry numbering several millions--know and venerate their Treitschke and Nietzsche, and to their pernicious dogma is due in large degree the war lust of so-called cultured Germany; yet to the German masses these renowned apostles of Might is Right are little more than names.
Of far more importance for the purpose of tracing the origin of the Armageddon are the living captains of the "War Party," not its deceased intellectual sponsors. Historians of the present era will gain the really illuminating perspective by relegating Nietzsche, "that half-inspired, half-crazy poet-philosopher," and Treitschke, his more modern kindred spirit, to the dead past and elevating Tirpitz and the Crown Prince, Koester of the German Navy League and Keim of the German Army League to their places.
It is men like them, politicians like Heydebrand, literary firebrands like Reventlow and Frobenius, and press-pensioners like Hammann who were the real pioneers of Armageddon. These are names with which the English-reading world, enchanted by the myopic prominence given to the writings of Nietzsche, Treitschke and Bernhardi, are not familiar.
But they are the real stage managers of the war tragedy, and it is with them I shall deal before narrating the culminating effects of their devilry. Bismarck's aphorisms are quoted by Germans with the awesome regard in which Anglo-Saxons cite Shakespeare. When he proclaimed that Germany demanded her "place in the sun," he flung into the fire fat which was to go sizzling down the age.
It was worth its weight in precious gems to the blood-and-iron brigade. They snatched it up with alacrity, and, being Germans, proceeded to exploit it with masterly efficiency and deadly thoroughness. A "place in the sun" forthwith inspired an entirely new German literature. It became the spiritual mother of this war. Like all the War Party's dogma, the "place in the sun" doctrine is sheer cant. Germany has occupied an increasingly expansive "place in the sun" for forty-four years without interruption.
In , Doctor Karl Helfferich, a director of the Deutsche Bank, who is now Secretary of the Imperial Treasury, in a pamphlet spread broadcast throughout the world, thus summarized Germany's "place in the sun":. The annual increase in wealth is about two thousand five hundred million dollars, as against a sum of from one thousand one hundred twenty-five to one thousand two hundred fifty million dollars fifteen years ago.
These solid figures summarize, expressed in money, the result of the enormous economic labor which Germany has achieved during the reign of our present Emperor. Doctor Helfferich continued the story of the incessant widening of the Fatherland's "place in the sun. When war broke out in , the German colonial empire oversea was hundreds of thousands of square miles more extensive than Germany in Europe. It is true that the Germans went in for colonial land-grabbing late in the game, after England, particularly, had acquired the best territory in both hemispheres, and many years after the Monroe Doctrine had effectually checked European expansion in the Americas.
As the result of "colonial empire" in inferior regions of the earth, the total white population of German colonies in was less than twenty-eight thousand, or roundly, three and one-half per cent. Although acquired nominally for "trade," Germany's commerce with her colonies in imports and exports totaled in a fraction more than twenty-five million dollars, or about one-half of one per cent. Germany's lust for a larger "place in the sun," as it has been aptly described by the author of J'Accuse , is "square-mile greed," pure and simple, and as the same frank and brilliant writer points out, Germany not only demands a "place in the sun," but claims it for herself alone, insisting that the rest of the world shall content itself with "a place in the shade.
To popularize the "place in the sun" theory two great German national organizations went valiantly to work--the Pan-German League and the German Navy League. The Pan-Germans, whose efforts were seconded by a subsidiary society called the Association for the Perpetuation of Germanism Abroad, set themselves the task of educating German public opinion in regard to "the bitter need" of a "Greater Germany," to be achieved by hook or crook. The German Navy League dedicated itself to fomenting agitation designed to meet the Kaiser's expressed "bitter need" of vast German sea power.
Ostensibly private in character, both of these militant propaganda organizations enjoyed more or less official countenance and support. On occasion, when their activities appeared too pernicious or threatened to obstruct the subtle machinations of German diplomacy, the Government would convincingly "disavow" the leagues. But all the time they were working for Germany's "place in the sun. As the Pan-Germans and the Navy League cherished twin aspirations, it was not surprising that two men, General Keim, a retired officer of the army, and Count Ernst zu Reventlow, a retired officer of the navy, should be moving spirits in both organizations.
General Keim, in his zeal to support Admiral von Tirpitz's big navy schemes, eventually went to such extremes in the pursuit of his duties as president of the Navy League that the organization's existence as a national association was momentarily threatened. It was giving the game away. Koester was suaviter in modo , but no less fortiter in re than Keim. Entering the presidency of the Navy League in the midst of the Dreadnought era, when Germany's dream of her "future upon the water" was sweetest, his systematic fanning of the public temper, especially against England, left nothing to be desired.
General Keim, deposed from the leadership of the Navy League, was presently kicked up-stairs by the German War Party and made president of the newly-formed "German Defense League. The methods which had caused Keim's "downfall" from the presidency of the Navy League were promptly employed by him in the new army league. With a host of influential newspapers and "war industry" interests at their back, plus the benevolent patronage of the Imperial family and Government, Koester and Keim carried out for six years preceding August, , the most prodigious and audacious propaganda crusade in European history.
Germany's need for "a place in the sun," on whatever particular chord they harped, was always their keynote. The "Defense League" scored its crowning triumph in by accomplishing the passage of the celebrated Army Bill whereby the land forces of the Empire were augmented at an expense of two hundred fifty million dollars--the immediate preliminary step to the assault of Europe by the Kaiser's legions.
Count Reventlow, a Jingo of Jingoes, rendered both the navy and army leagues valiant support in the columns of his newspaper, the Deutsche Tageszeitung , and in a regular grist of pamphlets and books which his facile pen from time to time reeled off. Reventlow was one of the archpriests of the War Party. A champion hater of everything foreign, he was temperamentally fitted to advocate the doctrine of Force and Germany's right to world-conquest by fire and sword.
Count Reventlow, whom it was my pleasure to know intimately, hated England, France and Russia with a ferocity delightful to behold. His Francophobism was little diminished by his marriage to a charming French noblewoman. He hated America, too. I could never quite divine the gallant Count's reason for eating an American alive, in his mind, every morning for breakfast, and for despising us as cordially as he detested Mr. Thenceforth, apparently, Reventlow's anti-Americanism knew no bounds. It was more explosive than usual during his discussion of the Lusitania massacre, but it was pathological.
Hammann for twenty years, because one of the craftiest, has been one of the most powerful men in German politics. For two decades he survived the incessant vicissitudes and intrigues of the Foreign Office, which indeed were more than once of his own making. Hammann's nominal duties were confined to manipulating the German press for the Government's purposes and to exercising such "control" over the Berlin correspondents of foreign newspapers as might from time to time appear feasible or possible.
Himself a retired journalist of unsavory reputation--he was a few years ago under indictment for perjury in an unlovely domestic scandal--he seemed to his superiors an ideal personage to deal with the Fourth Estate, which Bismarck trained Germans to look upon as "the reptile press. Under his shrewd direction German newspapers, restlessly propagating the Fatherland's need for "a place in the sun," systematically distorted the international situation so as to represent Germany as the innocent lamb and all other nations as ravenous wolves howling for her immaculate blood.
That Hammann is regarded as having rendered "our just cause" priceless service was proved only a few months ago by his promotion to a full division-directorship in the Foreign Office. He had hitherto ranked merely as a Wirklicher Geheimrat , or sub-official of the department, although as a matter of fact five Foreign Secretaries, "under" whom he nominally served, were mere putty in the hands of Germany's Imperial Press Agent-in-Chief.
Grand-Admiral von Tirpitz, of course, has for years been one of the super-pillars of the German War Party. The Kaiser's Fleet is the creation of von Tirpitz, though William II receives popular credit for the achievement, and von Tirpitz created it essentially for war. Von Tirpitz once honored me with a heart-to-heart confab on Anglo-German naval rivalry. He rebuked me in a paternal way for specializing in German naval news. Germany had no ulterior motive, he said.
She was building a defensive fleet primarily, though one that would be strong enough, on occasion, to "throw into the balance of international politics a weight commensurate with Germany's status as a World Power. German sailors chafed under the corroding restraint of peace. They hankered for laurels. They were tired of manning a dress-parade fleet, whose functions seemed to be confined to holding spectacular reviews for the Kaiser's glorification at Kiel.
They hungered for "the Day. But it was the unspoken prayer which lulled them to well-earned sleep, for in consequence of the iron discipline and remorseless labor which von Tirpitz imposed on his officers and men in anticipation of "Germany's Trafalgar," the Kaiser's Fleet was the hardest worked navy in the world.
It was the Fleet which made its very own that other hypocritical German battle-cry, "The Freedom of the Sea," which means, of course, a German-ruled sea. Von Tirpitz's task was not only to build the fleet but to agitate German public opinion uninterruptedly in favor of its constant expansion. To him and the Navy League, which he controlled, and to his Press Bureau and its swarm of journalistic and literary parasites, were due the remarkable Anglophobe campaigns which resulted in the desired periodical additions to the Fleet.
A politician of consummate talent, von Tirpitz held successive Reichstags in the palm of his hand. No Imperial Chancellor, though nominally his chief, was ever able to override the imperious will of von Tirpitz the Eternal. Repeatedly in the years preceding the war England held out the hand of a naval entente. The War Party and von Tirpitz said "No! I have enumerated only the outstanding figures of the German War Party. Their class-rooms have been the real breeding ground and recruiting camps of the German War Party.
And then, of course, in addition to the admirals who wanted war, and the professors who glorified war, and the editors, pamphleteers, Navy and Army League leaders and paid agitators who wrote and talked war, there was the German Army, represented by its corps of fifty thousand or sixty thousand officers, which was the living, ineradicable incarnation of war and with every breath it drew sighed impatiently for its coming.
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I suppose armies in all countries more or less constitute "war parties. It was written in the stars that it was only a question of time when they would realize their aspiration to prove that the German war machine of the day was not only the peer, but incomparably the superior, of the Juggernauts with the aid of which Frederick the Great and Moltke remapped Europe. For ten years he was the apple of the army's eye. William II's oratorical peace palaverings long ago convinced his military paladins that their hopes could no longer with safety be pinned on the monarch who would do nothing but rattle his saber.
They placed their destinies in the keeping of the Imperial hotspur who wrote in his book, Germany in Arms , that "visionary dreams of everlasting peace throughout the world are un-German. These, then, are the men, and these their principal methods, which provided the scenario for the impending clash. As with every great "production," preliminary plans were well and truly laid. Rehearsals, in the form of stupendous maneuvers on "a strictly warlike basis," had brought the chief actors, scene shifters and other accessories to first-night pitch.
The stage managers' work was done. They had now only to take their appointed places in the flies and wings and let the tragedy proceed. The rest could be left to the puppets on both sides of the footlights. A month of slow music, and then the grand finale. July in Berlin of the red summer of began as placidly as a feast day in Utopia. The electric shock of Serajevo soon spent its force. Germans seemed to be vastly more concerned over the effect of the Archduke's assassination on the health of the old Austrian Emperor than over resultant international complications.
It was Sir Edward Goschen, British Ambassador in Berlin, previously accredited to the Vienna court, who recalled to me Francis Joseph's once-expressed determination to outlive his heir. The doddering octogenarian had realized his grim ambition. Ties of deep affection united him to his aged Austrian ally. It was universally assumed that the Kaiser, with characteristic impetuosity, would rush to Vienna to comfort Francis Joseph and attend the Archduke's funeral. So, as events developed, he ardently desired to do; but intimations speedily arrived from the Hofburg that "Kaiser Franz" had chosen to carry his newest cross unmolested by the flummery and circumstance of State obsequies, and William II remained in Berlin for honorary funeral services in his own cathedral in memory of the august departed.
He had telegraphed the orphans of the murdered Archduke and Duchess that his "heart was bleeding for them. Francis Joseph liked and trusted him. Austria was frequently governed from Potsdam. With the great bar to his ascendency removed from the scene, the German Emperor may well have thought the hour at length arrived for the virile Hohenzollerns to save the crumbling Hapsburgs from themselves, and invertebrate Austria-Hungary from the Hapsburgs.
But Vienna decided it was better the Kaiser should stay at home. His political physicians, on the evening of July 1, suddenly discovered that His Majesty was suffering from that famous German malady known as "diplomatic illness," whereupon the court M. On Monday, July 6, William's "lumbago" having yielded to treatment, there was sprung one of the most dramatic of all the coups which preceded the fructification of the German War Party's now fast-completing conspiracy. Although martial law was being ruthlessly enforced in Bosnia and Herzegovina and all Austria-Hungary was in a state of rising ferment over the "expiation" which public opinion insisted "the Serbian murderers" must render, the Kaiser's mind was made up for him that the international situation was sufficiently placid for him to start on his annual holiday cruise to the North Cape.
Four days previous, July 2, though the world was not to know it till many weeks afterward, the military governor of German Southwest Africa unexpectedly informed a number of German officers in the colony that they might go home on special leave if they could catch the outgoing steamer. These officers reached Germany during the first week in August, to find orders awaiting them to join their regiments in the field. Notifications issued to Austrian subjects in distant countries were subsequently found also to bear date of July 2.
Things were moving. The Hohenzollern steamed away to the fjords of Norway with the Kaiser and his customary company of congenial spirits. The Government-controlled Lokal-Anzeiger and other journalistic handmaids of officialdom forthwith proclaimed that "with his old-time tact our Emperor, by pursuing the even tenor of his way, gives us and the world this gratifying and convincing sign that however menacing the storm-clouds in the Southeast may seem, lieb' Vaterland mag ruhig sein.
All is well with Germany.
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Germany and Europe were thus effectually lulled into a false sense of security, for, as one read further in other "inspired" German newspapers, "our patriotic Emperor is not the man to withdraw his hand from the helm of State if peril were in the air. The Kaiser's departure from Germany was particularly well timed to bolster up the fiction subsequently so insistently propagated, that Austria's impending coercion of Serbia was none of Germany's doing.
The Hohenzollern had hardly slipped out of Baltic waters when Vienna's "diplomatic demarche " at Belgrade began. It was specifically asserted that these "representations" would be "friendly. The official bulletin from the Hohenzollern read: "All's well on board. To-morrow the Kaiser will inspect the Fridthjof statue which he presented to the Norwegian people three years ago. Austria-Hungary has a press bureau, too, and doubtless a Hammann of its own; now it cleared for action.
While Vienna's "friendly representations" were in progress at Belgrade, the papers of Vienna and Budapest began sounding the tocsin for "vigorous" prosecution of the Dual Monarchy's case against the Serbian assassins and their accessories. The Serbian Government meantime remained imperturbable. Princip and Cabrinovitch, the takers of the Archduke and Duchess' lives, after all were Austrian-Hungarian subjects, and their crime was committed on Austrian-Hungarian soil. Serbia, said Belgrade, must be proved guilty of responsibility for Serajevo before she could be expected to accept it.
Then the Berlin press bureau took the field. The Lokal-Anzeiger "admitted" that things were beginning to look as if "Germany will again have to prove her Nibelung loyalty," i. By the end of the second week of July the world's most sensitive recording instruments, the stock exchanges, commenced to vibrate with the tremors of brewing unrest. The Bourse at Vienna was disturbingly weak. Berlin responded with sympathetic slumps. To the Daily Mail in London and the New York Times I was able, on the night of July 10, to cable the significant message that the German Imperial Bank was now putting pressure on all German banks to induce them to keep ten per cent.
On the same day an unexplained tragedy occurred in Belgrade: the Russian minister to the Serbian court, Monsieur de Hartwig, Germanism's arch-foe in the Balkans, died suddenly while taking tea with his Austrian diplomatic colleague, Baron Giesling. Germany the while was going about its business, which at mid-July consists principally in slowing down the strenuous life and extending mere nocturnal "bummeling" in home haunts to seashore, forests and mountains for protracted sojourns of weeks and months.
The "cure" resorts were crowded. In the al fresco restaurants in the cities, one could hear the Germans eating and drinking as of peaceful yore. The schools were closed and Stettiner Bahnhof, which leads to the Baltic, and Lehrter Bahnhof, the gateway to the North Sea, were choked from early morning till late at night with excited and perspiring Berliners off for their prized Sommerfrische. Herr Bankdirektor Meyer and Herr and Frau Rechtsanwalt Salzmann were a good deal more interested in the food at the Logierhaus they had selected for themselves and the kinder at Heringsdorf or Westerland-Sylt than they were in Austria's avenging diplomatic moves in Belgrade.
Stock-brokers were only moderately nervous over the gyrations of the Bourse. Germans who had not yet made off for the seaside or the Tyrol felt surer than ever that war was a chimera when they read that Monsieur Humbert had just revealed to the French Senate the criminal unpreparedness of the Republic's military establishment. Strain between Austria and Serbia was now increasing. Canadian Pacific, German stock-dabblers' favorite "flyer," tumbled on the Vienna and Berlin Bourses to the lowest level reached since Real war rumors now cropped up.
Austria was reported to have "partially mobilized" two army corps. Canadian Pacifics continued to be "unloaded" by nervous Germans in quantities unprecedented. Now Serbia was "reported" to be mobilizing. It was July England, we gathered in Berlin, was thinking only of Ireland. Berlin correspondents of great London dailies who were trying to impress the British public with the gravity of the European situation had their dispatches edited down to back-page dimensions--if they were printed at all. One colleague, who represented a famous English Liberal newspaper, had arranged, weeks before, to start on his holidays at the end of July.
He telegraphed his editor that he thought it advisable to abandon his preparations and to remain in Berlin. The German War Party, acting through Hammann, now perpetrated another grim little witticism. It was solemnly announced in the Berlin press--on July that the third squadron of the German High Seas Fleet was to be "sent to an English port in August!
King George spent Sunday, July 19, quietly at sea, steaming up and down the endless lines of dreadnoughts and lesser ironclads. The Lord Mayor of London opened a new golf course at Croydon. And Ulster was smoldering. Highly instructive now were the recriminations going on in the German, Austrian and Serbian press. Belgrade denied that reserves had been called up. The North German Gazette , the official mouthpiece of the Kaiser's Government, no longer seeking to minimize the seriousness of the Austrian-Serbian quarrel, expressed the pious hope that the "discussion" would at least be "localized.
Acerbities between Vienna and Belgrade were growing more acrimonious and menacing from hour to hour. Diplomatic correspondence of historic magnitude, as the impending avalanche of White Papers, Blue Books, Yellow Books and Red Papers was soon to show, was already July 20 in uninterrupted progress, though the quarreling Irishmen and militant suffragettes of Great Britain knew it not, any more than the summer resort merrymakers and "cure-takers" of Germany.
The foreign offices, stock exchanges, embassies, legations and newspaper offices of the Continent were fairly alive to the imminence of transcendent events, but the great European public, though within ten days of Armageddon, was magnificently immersed in the ignorance which the poet has so truly called bliss. Her "friendly representations" at Belgrade having proved abortive, Austria now prepared for more forceful measures. On July 21 Berlin learned that Count Berchtold, the Viennese foreign minister, had proceeded to Ischl to submit to the Emperor Francis Joseph the note he had drawn up for presentation to Serbia.
As the world was about to learn, this was the fateful ultimatum which poured oil on the European embers and set them aglare, to splutter, burn and devastate in a long-enduring and all-engulfing conflagration. Simultaneously--though this, too, was not known till months later--the Austrian minister at Belgrade sent off a dispatch to his Government, declaring that a "reckoning" with Serbia could not be "permanently avoided," that "half measures were useless," and that the time had come to put forward "far-reaching requirements joined to effective control. It meant that nothing less than the abject surrender of Serbian sovereignty would appease Vienna's desire for vengeance for Serajevo.
During all these hours, so pregnant with the fate of Europe, the German Foreign Office was stormed by foreign newspaper correspondents in quest of light on Germany's attitude. Was she counseling moderation in Vienna, or fishing in troubled waters? Was she reminding her ally that while Serajevo was primarily an Austrian question, it was in its broad aspects essentially a European issue? These are the questions we representatives of British and American newspapers persistently launched at the veracious Berlin Press Bureau.
What did Hammann and his minions tell us? That Germany regarded the Austrian-Serbian controversy a purely private affair between those two countries; that Germany had at no stage of the imbroglio been consulted by her Austrian ally, and that the last thing in the world which occurred to the tactful Wilhelmstrasse was to proffer unasked-for counsel to Count Berchtold, Emperor Francis Joseph's Foreign Minister, at so delicate and critical a moment. Vienna would properly resent such unwarranted interference with her sovereign prerogatives as a Great Power--we were assured. Germany's attitude was that of an innocent bystander and interested witness, and nothing more.
That was the version of the Fatherland's attitude sedulously peddled out for both home and foreign consumption. Behind us lay a week of tremor and unrest unknown since the days, exactly forty-four years previous, preceding the Franco-Prussian War. The money universe, most susceptible and prescient of all worlds, rocked with nervous alarm. Its instinctive apprehension of imminent crisis was fanned into panic on the night of July 23, when word came that Austria had presented Serbia an ultimatum with a time limit of forty-eight hours.
My own information of Vienna's crucial step was prompt and unequivocal. I was gratified to learn at the Daily Mail office in London three weeks later that I had given England her first news of the match which had at last been applied to the European powder barrel. It was five or six hours later before general announcement of the Austrian ultimatum arrived in Fleet Street. I was not surprised to learn that my startling telegram had aroused no little skepticism. During many days preceding it was the despair of the Berlin correspondents of British newspapers that they seemed utterly unable to impress their home publics with the fast-gathering gravity of the European situation.
London was no less nonchalant than Paris and St. England was immersed to the exclusion of everything else in the throes of the Irish-Ulster crisis. Redmond and Sir Edward Carson loomed immeasurably bigger on the horizon than all Austria and Serbia put together. In St. Petersburg one hundred sixty thousand working men threatened an upheaval which bore an uncomfortable resemblance to the revolutionary conditions of But it was the invincible indifference of London, as it seemed in Berlin, which appealed to us most.
He was put out to pasture. Lord Crewe remained loyal to Asquith and was not considered. It still does. The Secret Elite stamped their authority over every important level of government. Milner ensured that his close friends were given positions of influence and authority. Take for example the meteoric rise of Rowland Prothero. In addition, Arthur Lee, who had accommodated many of the secret meetings which foreshadowed the coup, was appointed Director-General of food production.
Other known members and supporters of the Secret Elite who shamelessly benefitted from the coup included H. Lloyd George had risen to high office through the unseen patronage of the Secret Elite. His performance at the Board of Trade  guaranteed him the benevolent approbation of leading figures in shipping and ship-building.
As Chancellor he laid claim to saving the City , took advice from Lord Rothschild, financiers and insurance brokers, linked the British economy to America through Morgan-Grenfell and met and socialised with the great mine-owners and manufacturers of the time. In December he revolutionised government control of production by bringing businessmen into political office.
Unfortunately the appointment of interested parties to posts from which their companies could reap great profit was not a success. Sir Joseph Maclay was appointed in charge of shipping. Maclay was proved right  though shipowners still reaped unconscionable fortunes. The new prime minister made Lord Devonport food controller. Imagining that his hard-man image equated to strength of character, Lloyd George appointed Minister of Food Control.
Lord Rhondda, the Welsh coal magnate and industrialist was entrusted with the Local Government Board and his popularity grew when he was asked to take over the role of the incompetent Devonport as minister of food control. He grasped the nettle, by fixing food prices and ensuring government purchases of basic supplies. Pearson had acquired oil concessions in Mexico through his questionable relationship with the Mexican dictator, Diaz. Nickel hardens armour and special steels. Basically it is a strategic material which came to the fore in the so-called naval race prior to The Mond companies made great profits during the prolonged war.
In Britain sent twelve times the amount of nickel to Sweden that it had in Questionable deals were subsequently negotiated between the British government and the British-American Nickel Corporation which were strongly criticised in parliament  but Alfred Mond ended his career as Lord Melchett of Landforth. It did not stop there. I wish you would not turn down John Buchan, without seeing him yourself…. It was as if the Monday Night Cabal had kidnapped the prime minister.
He was in charge. They could see it and railed against it. They are rather a class of travelling empirics in Empire, who came in with Lord Milner … The governing ideas are not those of Mr. Lloyd George … but of Lord Milner … Mr George has used Toryism to destroy Liberal ideas; but he has created a Monster which, for the moment, dominates both. It was indeed. Elected parliamentary government had been purged. The Secret Elite spurned democracy because they ordained that democracy did not work. Their dictatorship was masked by Lloyd George, happy to pose and strut as the man who would win the war.
Perhaps you were taught that he did? It is a self-serving myth. He operated inside a political straitjacket and fronted an undemocratic government. Morgan, Grenfell and Co. Hankey also recorded in these minutes that the Press had been informed that the War cabinet would meet every weekday. He grew into a repository of secrets, a chief Inspector of Mines of information. Possibly the Censor removed it. See The Anglo-American Establishment pp. But this is not how the Secret Elite work.
In stepping down temporarily, Montagu earned the right to be promoted to the prestigious position of Viceroy of India in During his tenure there he became popular with the business class whose interests he often championed. Boyce, Co-operative Structures in Global Business , pp. II, p. They subsequently enjoyed stellar careers in journalism, politics, banking and finance every area of Secret Elite influence. Massingham, The Nation 24 February, The next four blogs will concentrate on the Scottish novelist John Buchan.
Both of us knew of him in different ways. Gerry has recently directed an adaptation of his most famous works, The Thirty-Nine Steps and had read all of the Richard Hannay novels as a youngster. Neither of us knew of his links to the Secret Elite. Any background information accompanying his novels omits his propaganda work and even in the twenty-first century, a veil has been drawn over his role as a writer of falsified history.
How a man with no diplomatic background was elevated to one of the top administrative positions in the post-war British Empire? A son of the manse, he first won a scholarship to Glasgow University before going on to Oxford. This was precisely the route taken by every aspiring member of the elite who was not sufficiently fortunate to be born into a titled household. At which point, according to his autobiography, Buchan was suddenly jolted out of his comfortable rut, like one of the characters in his later novels. The Lord High Commissioner had been given funds, most likely by his ardent admirer, Cecil Rhodes  to bring together an exceptionally talented group of young men to help him reconstruct South Africa after the Boer War.
All of his chosen men proved their loyalty to Lord Milner and there was much for which the High Commissioner had reason to be grateful to his acolytes. Bound to his coat-tails, all were included in the ranks of the Secret Elite. It was humanitarian and international … we believed that we were laying the basis of a federation of the world.
As for the native races under our rule, we had a high conscientiousness; Milner and Rhodes had a far sighted native policy. It was a crime which outraged opinion in Britain and abroad. What he and the British government lamented was the bad publicity which in their eyes allowed the Boers to make political capital from the condition of the camps.
These abuses of historic fact are typical of how Secret Elite historians and journalists rewrote history to their own benefit. Few assistant private secretaries have ever started their careers as civilian administrator of a host of disease-ridden concentration camps where, in , the death-rate hit a scandalously high per thousand of the population. Incredibly he was referring to concentration camps. Using tactics which bordered on impropriety, he operated a clandestine scheme whereby his agents posed as private land dealers to buy up land from unsuspecting, and often desperate Boers. On returning to London in , John Buchan claimed to be disturbed to find that both political parties were blind to the true meaning of Empire.
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Buchan was deeply upset by the treatment, as he saw it, of Ulster Unionists and had sufficient clout to bring F. According to Buchan, this pre-eminent former statesman confided in him that Britain was on a razor edge internationally, and had lost all its dignity and discipline in domestic affairs. Cato could have sat in their midst moaning about Carthage just as these elites denigrated the Kaiser and Germany. Buchan had neither the finance nor breeding nor political position to be placed in the inner circle of the Secret Elite, but he was most certainly intimately associated with them, trusted by them, allocated specific tasks by them and rewarded handsomely for his loyalty and dedication.
The Anglo-American Establishment, pp. They helped in the vital task of preparing the Empire for war against Germany. Lee Thompson, Forgotten Patriot , p. Moberly Bell, Flora Shaw , p. The first, unofficial, was carried out by Emily Hobhouse. The second report by Dame Millicent Fawcett was much more sympathetic to Lord Milner and the attempts through Buchan to improve conditions.
One of the main problems with which Hoover and his Commission for Relief in Belgium CRB had to contend was the proliferation of relief funds and war charities. Collections for Armenia, for the American Red Cross, for Jews suffering through the war, for prisoners of war, for the French wounded were among the many that sprung up like mushrooms in the United States.
Hoover was concerned that the Rockefeller Foundation intended to establish an independent relief channel into Belgium which would supplant his own,  an intolerable situation given that it would undermine the Secret Elite plan to supply Germany. There was a financial consideration too. Had the Rockefeller Foundation won the day, they would have operated through Rockefeller banks rather than the Morgan Guaranty Trust Bank through which future funds were to be channelled to Hoover. He lied and misrepresented his status in precisely the same manner, and called on his powerful political connections to enable him to have his way.
Ambassador Page dutifully dispatched a blunt cable to the Rockefeller Foundation which, in all probability, was ghost-written by Hoover himself. Hoover was absolutely insistent that shipping be organised by the CRB and wanted guarantees that the Rockefeller Foundation would restrict itself to the purchase and collection of food.
As part of his orchestrated move against the Rockefeller Foundation, Hoover had asked his friend and long term business associate, Lindon Bates, to open a branch office in New York to handle all shipping and transportation in the United States. While Hoover sought to give the CRB the appearance of inclusion by offering both the Rockefeller Foundation and de Forest representation on his Commission, he had no intention of sharing control with them.
Dishonesty and deceit. Does this read like a humanitarian venture? They stirred every issue to the advantage of the CRB, portraying a sense of immediate urgency either to the US government or the press. To permit the smooth running of the CRB, agreements were co-ordinated through diplomatic channels that operated well above the scope and level of access to which any ordinary citizen was normally accustomed.
The British Foreign Office liaised with the Belgians to rubber-stamp agreements between German military authorities and the neutral representatives, namely the American and Spanish Ambassadors in Belgium. The Spanish Ambassador proved to be exceptionally hard working on a day to day basis, and had no fear whatsoever of Prussian arrogance. That, he could meet with his own. The conditions under which the relief for Belgian civilians were permitted to operate were set in October and explained in a letter to Ambassador Page from the Foreign Office:.
As far as the British public were concerned, the Commission for Relief in Belgium was only permitted to operate under a series of strict and binding guarantees. The Germans guaranteed that they would not requisition supplies destined for the civil population. Ambassadors and Heads of Legations in Washington, Madrid, London, Berlin and Brussels were directly involved in a flurry of permits and promises.
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A group of American students drawn from Oxford University, Rhodes scholars, were employed as neutral observers. They were supposed to check the imported produce, where it went and how it was disbursed so that the CRB could prove that the international conditions were met. In truth, if all twenty-five of them concentrated on a single ship-load, there was no certainty that they had the necessary skills to understand what was happening. Despite all of the advantages of his connections both with the Secret Elite and the American and Belgian diplomatic corps, Hoover had to fight hard to establish his absolute control.
He had then to ensure that it, and it alone, had a monopoly of foodstuffs supplied through Rotterdam to Belgium, and, most importantly of all, to Germany. That was the unspoken part of this complicated equation. You will find no reference in the official histories of supplies being directed to Germany but they certainly were.
Irrefutable proof from German sources will be presented in future blogs. By the end of the first six months of the war, the structure was more of less in place. What grace of fortune kissed his venture and granted him rent-free premises two doors away from his own company offices in the very same prestigious London Wall Buildings? In many ways the organisation that Hoover led was utterly unique. It ran its own fleet of ships with its own flag. It made claim to be American but that, as we shall demonstrate, was also a flag of convenience. More appropriately we would describe it as a piratical state organised for and by unaccountable men who masked the immense benefits they reaped for themselves behind the good works of others.
A number can be found in the New York Times throughout July , from which those mentioned in the text are drawn. Historians blandly state that Churchill and the British government knew nothing of the secret agreement that Turkey signed with Germany on 2 August, or that the German warships were heading towards Constantinople. Apparently, no-one even considered the possibility that Goeben and Breslau were engaged in a political mission that would profoundly affect and prolong the course of the war.
It is quite astonishing that the treaty between Turkey and Germany was kept secret from most of the Turkish cabinet, yet British and French Intelligence knew of it almost at once. On 3 August the Kaiser advised King Constantine of Greece by telegram that the Turks had thrown in their lot with Germany and that the two German warships presently in the Mediterranean would proceed to Constantinople.
Indeed it is perfectly possible that the plans approved by Berlin were known in London before Admiral Souchon had sight of them on board the Goeben. Public Records Office files in London reveal that naval intelligence had decrypted the encoded radio-message sent from Berlin to Souchon on 4 August. London knew that Souchon had been instructed to set course immediately for the Dardanelles. There was another source which constantly monitored all that was happening in and around Constantinople.
Indeed Sazonov was in ready contact with Sir Edward Grey at the Foreign Office, demanding and expecting effective action. The German cruisers had to be sunk. Their strategy enabled Turkey to replace the dreadnoughts which Britain had commandeered with two German warships. At a stroke, the Russian Black Sea fleet was effectively neutralised and Russia kept out out of Constantinople.
Appearances can be deceptive. Was Milne part of the conspiracy? It would certainly explain some of the bizarre events in this strange tale. Look again at the geographic position of the hunters and the hunted. The Germans were prevented from sailing west into the Mediterranean, or north to the Adriatic. The reasonable conclusion such tactics warrant is that Souchon was purposefully being shepherded towards the Aegean and Constantinople. This suggestion is not as outrageous as it might first appear. Admiral Milne was a favourite of the British monarchy and had been close to the late King Edward VII, a man who was himself intimately linked to the inner core of the Secret Elite.
Although comprehensively outgunned by Goeben, Kelly stubbornly trailed the German cruisers east. Milne signalled Gloucester to give up the chase. Was it to protect the Gloucester or to allow the German ships to disappear into the safety of the eastern Mediterranean? Souchon was forced to order Breslau to confront the small British cruiser, but the defiant Gloucester opened fire.
Eventually all three warships engaged in the fight, but no hits were scored by either side. At the end of the day he was the only British naval officer to emerge with any credit. Strangely, rather than facing a court-martial for disobeying an order from the Admiral, Kelly was given a CB Companion of the Bath and went on to enjoy a glittering naval career. Early on 7 August Admiral Milne informed the Admiralty that as soon as his three battle cruisers, Inflexible, Indefatigable and Indomitable , and the light cruiser Weymouth had completed coaling at Malta he would follow Goeben and Breslau into the Eastern Mediterranean.
He received no response.
Later that afternoon, at , the Admiralty received another signal from Milne repeating his intentions. At this point the saga became even murkier. The only report he received was that Goeben had passed Cape Matapan on the 7th, intelligence that he had previously sent himself to the Admiralty. After his escape from Messina, Souchon requested permission from the Greek government to take on much needed coal when he reached the Aegean.
Had they denied him fuel, or procrastinated long enough for the Mediterranean fleets to catch him, the matter might well have ended there and then. British intelligence knew well in advance where Souchon was headed, and what he required in order to escape to Constantinople. They opened the doors; they approved the fuelling; they ensured that the German ships continued in comparative safety. Most importantly, they hid all this from the Russians.
Venizelos had immediately informed Rear-Admiral Mark Kerr, that Goeben would rendezvous with a coal ship at Denusa in the days ahead. Kerr, a staunch British patriot, had previously been seconded from Britain to head the Greek navy. Considered from another angle, Kerr, like the Admiralty, knew that the Goeben and Breslau had been ordered to Constantinople.
King Constantine had personally shown him the telegram of 3 August from the Kaiser authorising this. It was part of the smoke-screen, part of the post-event blame-game which deflected any focus on the British Admiralty or Foreign Office. Above all else, under no circumstances could Russia be made aware about the depth of British culpability in this charade of a chase. While Souchon was more or less marooned in the south Agean Sea, Admiral Milne took his three heavy cruisers and a light cruiser east towards the Aegean.
He headed in a direction that would have led him to the German ships. En-route he received a message from the Admiralty that Austria had declared war on Britain. In accordance with long-standing and explicit orders detailing what he should do if Austria entered the war, Milne broke off his pursuit and headed north for the Adriatic to blockade the Austrian fleet. He was later informed that the report was false and back-tracked east, but 24 hours had been lost and Milne spent the whole day in a fruitless search of the western Aegean.
Are you prepared to accept that? It is a wonder that the Russians did. Against overwhelming odds, and thanks to the Secret Elite, Goeben and Breslau entered the Dardanelles at 5pm on 10 August and arrived unscathed at Constantinople the next day. There would be no amphibious landing of Russian forces at Constantinople. Sir Louis Mallet, the British ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, later revealed the truth when he stated that the presence of the Goeben and Breslau acted in British interests because they protected the Straits against Russia.
Canadian Journal of History , pp. The concept of a Christian duty to fight was virtually universal among the Anglican clergy. Few if any said otherwise from within the ranks of the Church of England. Given such unanimous support for the war by even the most liberal of Anglicans, it is not surprising that the pulpit became an adjunct for the recruiting office. Ponder these words for a moment. Young men, sitting in quiet country churches or great gothic cathedrals were exhorted to go to war, to do their duty, to accept the sacrifices. Their emotions were constantly battered by sermons drawn from the Old Testament that extolled the wrath of an avenging God.
How did they feel when the pastoral shepherd dropped the mantle of Christ the Peacemaker and became a bitter recruiting sergeant? Priests and Pastors would often stress duty and equate fighting for Britain and the Empire with fighting for Christ. The master of St. We need not have prayed and worked for them. Can you imagine hearing your own brother or son described in such outrageous terms? With what sense of self worth would a young man be left, who internalised these damning words? It was moral blackmail of a nefarious kind. In the early months of the war a further disconcerting practice of church recruiters was to appeal to the female relatives of potential recruits to take up the cause at home.
Men who had not enlisted were ridiculed in the street by middle-class women inspired from the pulpit to taunt and embarrass them into the recruitment centre. At the same time, parents whose sons had enlisted were praised, and bathed in their reflected glory until the true nature of the war was revealed in the lists of dead and missing.
He was an Oxford man who worked hard for the poor in the East End of London and was consequently popular with the people of Bethnal Green. With the blessing of Lord Salisbury in , Winnington-Ingram was appointed to the Bishopric of London and enthroned at St Pauls Cathedral where he remained for thirty eight years.
Winnington-Ingram claimed to have added ten thousand men to the armed services with his sermons and other recruiting crusades. He made no estimate of how many died or were maimed needlessly because of his work for God and country. As Bishop of London, he never shrank from the enthusiastic endorsement of the righteousness of the war and the British cause and the important role the Church of England must play in the whole affair. Cheer up, your only son is dead? His concept of comforting the mourners did not extend to the enemy. It was an odd kind of Christianity. Winnington-Ingram will long be remembered for words of a very different kind.
To kill them, not for the sake of killing, but to save the world; to kill the good as well as the bad; to kill the young men as well as the old, to kill those who have showed kindness to our wounded as well as those fiends who crucified the Canadian sergeant, who superintended the Armenian massacres, who sank the Lusitania… and to kill them lest the civilisation of the world should itself be killed. Apologists have claimed that these words have been taken out of context, but it is difficult to imagine any context at all in which they could comfortably sit. Dress these words any way you can but they will still reflect a blood-thirsty crusade against Germany.
This is a theme he returned to time and again. He was also ready to absorb every word of anti-German propaganda and repeated stories of atrocities without caution. His reference to the crucified Canadian soldier was one such myth that circulated early in the war. It was a vicious lie wrapped in fear and loathing to inspire vengeance. Propaganda was an important source for the tales of unforgivable German wickedness the Churches were willing to perpetuate.
Clergymen of all faiths became both participants in and victims of propaganda. Many Anglican ministers found it hard to believe that civilized Germans could be responsible for the atrocities claimed in the initial stories. However, the burning of Louvain and especially the university library, the horrors of the Bryce Report [see blog of 10 September] and the sinking of the Lusitania were all instrumental in changing their minds.
Once their faith in German civilization had been breached, nearly every atrocity story in circulation was accepted and transmitted to their flocks. In a spirit of reconciliation and humility there is great cause for the Church of England to reflect on its behaviour during the war, and apologise.
Not since Jesus was betrayed in Gethsemane has Christianity been so wilfully sold out. They saw their role as teachers and leaders, to state the given causes for the war, to explain the meaning of the war, to maintain morale on the home front and to remind the public that the primary obligation of young men was to enlist. Before examining the role of the Church of England from onwards, we should understand that its political power rested both with a select section of the chosen hierarchy and with the Prime Minister and senior members of the House of Lords who appointed them.
The C. The real control of the Church had once rested with the Crown but had been slowly transferred to Parliament between the fifteenth and seventeenth century. The Church of England was the religious preserve of the middle and upper classes, with its ministry drawn from university graduates, traditionally from Cambridge and Oxford. Indeed, the vast majority of Anglican churchmen were openly hostile to Trades Union and labour movements and they feared the social unrest which was assumed to accompany them.
His lucrative shareholding in Vickers Ltd was not unusual. A roll-call of Bishops who invested in the armaments firms like Vickers Ltd. There can be no question about the Secret Elite pedigree of the most important Anglican clerics in August Cosmo Lang became the suffragan assistant Bishop of Stepney from which comparatively lowly post he shot to the Archbishopric of York in At the invitation of prime minister Herbert Asquith, it took Lang a mere 18 years to rise to the second most esteemed office in the Anglican Church.
His War Times Sermons , published in , extolled the allied cause and by he was controversially installed as the Bishop of Durham and therefore became a Member of the House of Lords. The interlocking association between the Church of England hierarchy and the Secret Elite was again demonstrated in the elevation of the Editor of the Church Quarterly Review, Arthur Cayley Headlam, a fellow of All Souls for around forty years, to the professorship of Divinity at Oxford.