Skip to comments.Letter "reveals WWI plans one year before assassination"
Posted on 01/09/2014 6:39:29 AM PST by Ravnagora
ANDRIĆGRAD -- Plans for the start of World War I existed 13 months before the Sarajevo assassination and 14 months before Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia.
The Serbian Kingdom soldiers are seen during the Battle of Kolubara (Wikipedia)
This can be inferred from a copy of the letter that Director of the Archives of Serbia Miroslav Periić presented in Andrićgrad, in the RS, Bosnia.
Governor of Bosnia-Herzegovina Oskar Potiorek sent this letter to the then Minister of Austria-Hungary Bilinski on May 28, 1913, and its copy was made public at the history department of Kamengrad (Andrićgrad) on Sunday.
Periić noted that the letter is of manifold importance for all those engaged in the study of World War I, as it not only uncovers the intentions of Viennese pro-war circles, but also the stands the ruling circles took on Serbs, Croats, Muslims and their relations, especially in relation to Vienna's policy on the Serbs in Bosnia and Serbia, and proponents of the idea of unification of the South Slavs.
Potiorek's letter is a document that falls into the category of primary sources, as it was created at the time when the event took place and it is one of the most important historical sources when doing a research on the issue of blame and accountability for the beginning of World War I, Periić said.
He noted that the reasons for keeping this letter away from the public eye are not difficult to grasp, because its content did not conform to the desired, or fabricated, unscientific picture of the pre-history of World War I.
Up to now, this document of utmost importance has not been available to historians and was not used in research papers, although it was published for the first time in 1928 in the Sarajevo-based daily Večernja Pota and was kept in the so-called 'cabinet noir' containing the most classified mail, Periić said.
The copy of this historical document, which is important for shedding light on the immediate trigger and root causes of World War I, is presently kept in the Archives of Serbia, while the search for the original is still under way.
Miroslav Jovanović, a member of the Viegrad-based Ivo Andric Institute Committee tasked with marking the centenary of the start of World War I, said that the Sarajevo assassination was not decisive, but rather the immediate trigger for the outbreak of the Great War which claimed lives of nine million soldiers and five million civilians.
Austria-Hungary laid the blame for World War I at the door of Serbia and Russia, which was later backed by many renowned historians such as Chris Clark and Sean McMeekin, Jovanovic said.
Film director and Kamengrad's creator Emir Kusturica said that the re-publication of the letter in Historical Notebooks of the Ivo Andrić Institute should improve the historical and media take on the start of the war.
Numerous assassinations of tyrants made history, and in recent times they even took place in front of TV cameras. The Sarajevo assassination has been misused in historical terms, and served as a screen for persecution of the Serb people and the beginning of the Great War, Kusturica said.
He underscored that Gavrilo Princip "killed the occupier Franz Ferdinand, a racist and anti-Semite, on his own doorstep in Sarajevo, and not in Vienna or some summer palace in Austria-Hungary."
When Gavrilo Princip killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand in occupied Sarajevo, his uncle Franz Joseph, according to the memoir literature, said that one has not to defy the Almighty. His reaction was not just an expression of antagonism toward his nephew (Ferdinand), but also illustrates the state of affairs in one of the most powerful empires in the history of mankind the RS Srna news agency quoted Kusturica as saying, and Banja Luka-based media reported.
He said that the re-publication of the document marks the start of efforts that the Ivo Andrić Institute will invest in revealing the documents that divert the public attention from the track of propaganda and organized oblivion which even those who were on the winning side in World War I have now found themselves on.
In any case, it will be useful to read what Potiorek said to Bilinski one year before Austria (Hungary) declared war on Serbia and thus dragged Europe and the world into flames that left, according to Oleg Airapetov, 9.5 million soldiers and five million civilians dead, he noted.
Kusturica confirmed that he will film a documentary in view of the anniversary of the beginning of World War I, and announced that the Ivo Andric Institute will organize numerous events, promotions of documents and books, and present the truth about the war in international forums.
For any interested I found this VERY enjoyable, it’s the first time I had actually listened to the John Batchelor show. I don’t like his commentary or the way he talks very much but I love when he has this type stuff on his show!
Guest: Sean McMeekin, author, July 1914: Countdown to War
But for some reason, the letter itself is not incorporated into this article.
I can’t find a link to a translation of this letter, so it’s impossible to know whether it really does indicate that there were plans for war so early.
bump too and looking forward to some educated commentary on the subject.
nations must plan for many contingencies in case of war, planning what might happen if neighbors attack and their allies reciprocate, seems logical to have an idea of what might be done to counteract such events.
i too would like to have seen the letter.
Possibly because it is just another communication from one of Conrad von Hötzendorf's allies in the Dual Monarchy's armed forces recommending preventative war against Serbia. Potiorek was the commander of K-u-K forces in and I believe the governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina. He certainly wouldn't have been given that post if he didn't agree with Conrad's views about Serbia. The Balkan Wars of 1912-13 led to Serbia doubling its size and having its prestige in the Slav world greatly elevated since Serbia was seen (correctly) as the driving force in organizing the Balkan League and setting the war against the Ottoman Empire in motion. Serb battlefield victories against first the Turks and then the Bulgars when the latter suddenly attacked its allies to attempt to grab a bigger slice of captured Turk territory brought even more prestige to the Serb Kingdom. Conrad kept agitating for a military solution to the threat a large and powerful Serbia posed to the Dual Monarchy as Serbia would never be content unless Bosnia and Herzegovina were made Serbian.
There is no big secret here. Conrad kept rattling his saber and his allies in the Army did likewise. Franz Ferdinand was as unimpressed with this clamor as he was with Conrad's other pet rock, a preventive war against Italy. In this the Emperor and his heir Franz Ferdinand fully concurred in spite of the otherwise frigid relationship between the two men.
Franz Ferdinand continues to be subjected to frenetic abuse in certain Serb circles, not because he was a ‘bad man’ but because his likely policy when he ascended to the throne would frustrate what these ultra nationalists most wanted, A Greater Serbia erected from the debris of the Empire. Franz Ferdinand was a very clear eyed and opposed opposed Holzendorf’’s preventive war schemes as foolish and deeply dangerous to the very existence of the Empire. Instead he looked forward to incorporating the Slav peoples, especially the South Slavs of the Empire as the Third Nation of the Empire, co-equal with German Austria and the Kingdom Of Hungary. To do this he planned on shearing off the Slav portions of Hungary and incorporating them with Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina into a Slav Kingdom of the Empire.
This is why Serbs hated Franz Ferdinand.
Franz Ferdinand grasped that to have any chance of bringing this realignment withing the Empire about he would need a number of years of peace firmly opposed all military adventures on the part of Austria-Ungary while at the same time pressing for enlarging and modernizing the Empire's military establishment. There was no contradiction in policy here. Ti be able to carry out this major reorganization of the Empire Austria-Hungary would have to be formidable enough to discourage Russia and its Slav allies from trying to use force or the threat of force to thwart this reorganization. So Franz Ferdinand simultaneously wanted Austria -Hungary to be powerful and allied closely with the greatest military power on the Continent, Germany while pursuing a pacific and nonthreatening foreign policy. Very unfortunately for Central Europe and the entire world the boldness of Franz Ferdinand brought about his murder by terrorists belonging to a secret organization ‘the Black Hand’ within the Serbian Army intelligence bureau. The assassination at Sarajevo led to World War 1 and the destruction of the European world.
maybe I'm wrong, but there seems to be a gap for what exactly caused WWI. Most could explain causation for WWII in a few sentences but only talk about the assignation of Ferdinand for WWI.
Now Brits say the conflict was because of the conflict between monarchies and non-monarchies which seems to explain it better.
Finally they found the smoking gun....
The assassination of the Duke excuse was like the youtube excuse that Clinton and obama used for Benghazi
Actually, the plans for war were being fomented some 50 years before the assassination - not just one year. They thought it would be over in a few brief months and that Serbia would be crushed and subjugated easily.
They were wrong...
News flash....plans for World War III exist, in writing and have existed for years. It’s called contingency planning...aka “wargaming”. In fact there is almost certainly a “war plan” in place for fighting bug eyed monsters, zombies and little green men from mars.
There’s a difference between “Offensive” planning and “Defensive” planning.
The plans against Serbia were “Offensive” planning.
Oskar Potiorek was in the same car as the Archduke and Princip intended to shoot him but the bullet hit and killed the Archduke's wife Sophie instead. Potiorek survived until 1933.
Yes....there is a difference between them.
And the US along with most governments have
reams of plans of BOTH types involving scenarios
of virtually ever possible combination of combatants
imaginable. The US even has contingency plans on
how to attack/defend against conflict with such
countries as the UK and Canada.
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