« ПретходнаНастави »
$$173-174] GERMANY'S PLACE IN THE SUN
a policy in the case of Austria when we declared our readiness to protect if necessary with armed intervention, the final annexation of Bosnia and Herzegovina by our ally on the Danube. Our policy towards Italy must follow the same lines, especially if in any Franco-German war an opportunity should be presented of doing her a really valuable service. It is equally good policy in every way to support Turkey.
A part of our surplus population, indeed—so far as present conditions point-will always be driven to seek a livelihood outside the borders of the German Empire. Measures must be taken to the extent at least of providing that the German element is not split up in the world, but remains united in compact blocks, and thus forms, even in foreign countries, political centres of gravity in our favor, markets for our exports, and centres for the diffusion of German culture.
We must rouse in our people the unanimous wish for power together with the determination to sacrifice on the altar of patriotism, not only life and property, but also private views and preferences in the interests of the common welfare. Then alone shall we discharge our great duties of the future, grow into a world power, and stamp a great part of humanity with the impress of the German spirit. If, on the contrary, we persist in that dissipation of energy which now marks our political life, there is imminent fear that in the great contest of the nations, which we must inevitably face, we shall be dishonorably beaten.
(Von Bernhardi, “Germany and the Next War,” in “Germany's War Mania," 163.)
3. [$174] Germany's Place in the Sun.
BY FOREIGN MINISTER BERNHARD VON BUELOW (1900).
With regard to our oversea policy the position of the Government is by no means an easy one. On the one side we are being urged, and occasionally we are urged in a stormy fashion, to safeguard our oversea interests with greater zeal; on the other side we hear that we are already too heavily engaged and are entering upon adventurous paths. I will endeavor to demonstrate that we have not fallen into either extreme, nor do we intend to fall into either, but on the contrary, to confine ourselves to the peaceful middle line which is equidistant from the neglect and likewise from the overstraining of our oversea interests. Upon one point, indeed, there can be no doubt, namely, that matters have arisen in the world's affairs which could not have been predicted two years ago.
It has been said that in every century a great distintegration, a great liquidation, takes place in order that influence, power,
and possessions may be divided up afresh. In the sixteenth century the Spaniards and Portuguese parcelled out the New World amongst themselves; in the seventeenth century the Dutch, the French, and the English entered into competition with them while we were at fisticuffs with one another; in the eighteenth century the Dutch and the French lost most of what they had won to the English. In our nineteenth century England has continued to extend farther and ever farther her Colonial empire, the greatest empire known in the world since the days of the Romans; the French have firmly settled down in North Africa and East Africa and have founded for themselves a new empire in Farther India; Russia has begun her powerful course of conquests, which has been carried on to the boundaries of the high tableland of the Pamirs and to the coast of the Pacific Ocean. Four years ago the Chinese and Japanese War, and hardly eighteen months ago the Spanish-American War, have set things rolling that have brought about great, far-reaching, decisive effects—ancient empires being shaken, and new and vigorous ferments of effervescence introduced into the world's development. No one can overlook the consequences which will follow the war which has only a few weeks ago set South Africa aflame.
An English Prime Minister observed long ago that the strong States would grow ever stronger and the weak ones ever weaker. Everything that has happened since has proved the correctness of this saying. Are we once again at the threshold of a new partition of the world as the poet dreamed a hundred years ago ? I do not believe it, and moreover, I would rather not believe it. But in any case we cannot allow any foreign Power, any foreign Jupiter, to say to us, “What is to be done?” The world has already been given away. We do not wish to give offence to any foreign Power to tread on our toes; we will not allow ourselves to be pushed aside by any foreign Power either in a political or in an economic sense.
WHAT SHALL WE DO?
It is high time that we should clearly determine what position we mean to take up in the face of the world-situation which has so materially altered during the last two years, with regard to the outlook for the future, which has become considerably modified, and with regard to the events taking place around us, which carry within them the germ of the future configuration of the relative importance of the Powers, perhaps for an immeasurable period of time. To stand aside, inactive, as we have so often done before, either out of modesty or because we were absorbed in our own internal dissensions or from doctrinairinism, dreaming while other people divide up the cakes amongst themselves, that we cannot and will not do.
(Official reports of the Reichstag translated in Germany's War Mania, 138-39.)
GERMAN MILITARY POLICY
4. [$175] Aims and Obligations of the German
By the GERMAN STAFF.
STRENTHENING THE SWORD.
Our new army law is only an extension of the military education of the German nation. Our ancestors of 1813 made greater sacrifices. It is our sacred duty to sharpen the sword that has been put into our hands and to hold it ready for defence as well as for offence. We must allow the idea to sink into the minds of our people that our armaments are an answer to the armaments and policy of the French. We must a necessity, in order to combat the provocations of our adaccustom them to think that an offensive war on our part is versaries. We must act with prudence so as not to arouse suspicion, and to avoid the crises which might injure our economic existence. We must so manage matters that under the heavy weight of powerful armaments, considerable sacrifices, and strained political relations, an outbreak (Losschlagen) should be considered as a relief, because after it would come decades of peace and prosperity, as after 1870. We must prepare for war from the financial point of view; there is much to be done in this direction. We must not arouse the distrust of our financiers, but there are many things which cannot be concealed.
COLONIES AND SECRET ALLIES.
We must not be anxious about the fate of our colonies. The final result in Europe will settle their position. On the other hand, we must stir up trouble in the north of Africa and in Russia. It is a means of keeping the forces of the enemy engaged. It is, therefore, absolutely necessary that we should open up relations, by means of well-chosen organizations, with influential people in Egypt, Tunis, Algeria, and Morocco, in order to prepare the measures which would be necessary in the case of a European war. Of course, in case of war, we should openly recognize these secret allies; and on the conclusion of peace we should secure to them the advantages which they had gained. These aims are capable of realization. The first attempt which was made some years ago opened up for us the desired relations. Unfortunately these relations were not sufficiently consolidated. Whether we like it or not, it will be necessary to resort to preparations of this kind, in order to bring a campaign rapidly to a conclusion.
Risings provoked in time of war by political agents need to be carefully prepared and by material means. They must break out simultaneously with the destruction of the means of communication; they must have a controlling head to be found among the influential leaders, religious or political. The Egyptian School is particularly suited to this purpose; more and more it serves as a bond between the intellectuals of the Mohammedan World.
SMALL STEPS TO BE COVERED.
However this may be, we must be strong in order to annihilate at one powerful swoop our enemies in the east and west. But in the next European war it will also be necessary that the small stakes be forced to follow us or be subdued. In certain conditions their armies and their strong positions can be rapidly conquered or neutralized; this would probably be the case with Belgium and Holland, so as to prevent our enemy in the west from gaining teritory which they could use as a base of operations against our Aank. In the north we have nothing to fear from Denmark or Scandinavia, especially as in any event we shall provide for the concentration of a strong northern army, capable of replying to any menace from this direction. In the most unfavorable case, Denmark might be forced by England to abandon her neutrality; but by this time the decision would already have been reached both on land and on sea. Our northern army, the strength of which could be largely increased by Dutch formations, would oppose a very active defence to any offensive measures from this quarter.
In the south, Switzerland forms an extremely solid bulwark, and we can rely on her energetically defending her neutrality against France, and thus protecting our flank.
As was stated above, the situation with regard to the small states on our northwestern frontier cannot be viewed in quite the same light. This will be a vital question for us, and our aim must be to take the offensive with a large superiority from the first days. For this purpose it will be necessary to concentrate a large army, followed up by strong Landwehr formations, which will induce the small states to follow us or at least to remain inactive in the theatre of operations, and which would crush them in the event of armed resistance. If we could induce these states to organize their system of fortification in such a manner as to constitute an effective protection for our flank we could abandon the proposed invasion.
But for this, army reorganization, particularly in Belgium, would be necessary in order that it might really guarantee an effective resistance. If, on the contrary, their defensive organization was established against us, thus giving definite advantages to our adversary in the west, we could in no circumstances offer a Belgium a guarantee for the security of her neutrality. Accordingly, a vast field is open to our diplomacy to work in this country on the lines of our interests.
The arrangements made with this end in view allow us to hope that it will be possible to take the offensive immediately after the complete concentration of the army of the lower Rhine. An ultimatum with a short time-limit, to be followed immediately by invasion, would allow a sufficient justification for our action in international law,
Such are the duties which devolve on our army and which demand a striking force of considerable numbers. If the enemy attacks us, or if we wish to overcome him, we will act as our brothers did a hundred years ago; the eagle thus provoked will soar in his flight, will seize the enemy in his steel claws and render him harmless. We will then remember the provinces of the ancient German Empire, the County of Burgundy and a large part of Lorraine, are still in the hands of the French; that thousands of brother Germans in the Baltic provinces are groaning under the Slav yoke. It is a national question of restoring to Germany her former possessions.
(J. R. H. O’Regan, German War of 1914.)
5. [$176] Defense of Great Britain's Policy. BY PRIME MINISTER HERBERT H. ASQUITH (October 2, 1914).
I will not repeat, and I certainly cannot improve upon it, and indeed I am not here tonight to argue about propositions which British citizens in every part of the world today regard as beyond the reach of controversy. I do not suppose that in the history of mankind there has ever been, in such a vast and diverse community, agreement so unanimous in purpose, so concentrated, a corporate conscience so clear, so convinced, cooperation so spontaneous, so ardent, and so resolute. Just consider what it means, here in this United Kingdom-England, Scotland, Ireland, and Wales—to hear one plain, harmonious, united voice, while over the seas from our great Dominions Canada, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, our Crown Colonies, swell the chorus.
In India—where, whatever we won by the sword we hold and we retain by the more splendid title of just and disinterested rule, by the authority, not of a despot, but of a trustee —the response to our common appeal has moved all our feelings to their profoundest depths, and has been such as to shiver and to shatter the vain and ignorant imaginings of our enemies. That is a remarkable and indeed a unique spectacle.
FOUNDATION OF THE EMPIRE.
What is it that stirred the imagination, aroused the conscience, enlisted the manhood, welded into one compact and irresistible force the energies and the will of the greatest Imperial structure that the world has ever known? That is a question which, for a moment, it is well worth asking and answering. Let me say, then, first negatively, that we are not impelled, any of us, by some of the motives which have occasioned the bloody struggles of the past. In this case, so far as we are concerned, ambition and aggression play no part. What do we want? What do we aim at? What have we to gain? We are
a great, world-wide, peace-loving partnership. By the wisdom and the courage of our forefathers, by great deeds of heroism and adventure on land and sea, by the insight and corporate sagacity, the tried and tested experience of many