To what extent were the decisions made by Germany's leaders responsible for the outbreak of the First World War?
All of the sources give different impressions as to wether Germany's leaders are responsibe for the outbreak of the First World War. Source 1 seems to strongly suggest that German leaders and the German Government did in fact push for the war with Hewitson blaming the Army and suggesting that Germany was looking for an opportunity to start war however he does not fully support the view that German leaders were responsible.Porter and Armour (Source 2) strongly supports this view by again pointing to the millitary and prime minister Bethmann Hollweg looking for an opportunity to wage war but again not fully placing the blame on Germany but looking at the threating actions of Russia and Britain. In contrast to both Source 1 and 2 Norman Stone
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This contrasts with Mark ( source 1 ) who says that German leaders did not neccessary plan the war, Schlieffen Plan was created 1905, which suggest that German millitary leaders were thinking about planning the war way back before the tension in Europe was high. Norman ( source 3) does seem to disagree with source 1 as it says " the situation in which the First World War did break out was forseen... for five years beforehand" this suggest that the politicians and leaders would of known about the possibilty of war, and therefore some planning would need to be done in case of the war.
In conclusion the German Leaders alone cant be responsible for the outbreak of war due to tense situation in Europe, triple entente being put in place which would encircle and therfore endanger Germany. However the sources suggest that to a large extent German leaders were contributing towards creating the tension in Europe by their dangerous policy, their army leaders who wanted to quickly start a war and go through Belgium to gain France which would cause Britain to enter the War with the hopes of Germany not having to fight on two fronts and also the contribution to making the relationship between Britain and Germany thorugh policies such as Weltpolitik or