chapter  2
19 Pages

Rival Plans and Armies

InthedecadebeforeI9I4Europehadbecomedividedintotwoarmedcamps.The rivalriesoftheGreatPowershadforcedthemtolookforalliesandprepareforafuture war.Warindeedwaspossibleoveravarietyofissues,andinparticular,thequestionofthe instabilityoftheBalkans,whereAustria-HungaryandRussiacompetedforpowerand influence.TheGermanshadenteredintoanalliancewithAustria-Hungarywiththe Italianslooselyassociated.TheFrenchandtheRussianshadalsoenteredintoanalliance, withtheobjectiveofcontainingGermanpower.TheBritishhadslowlybeendrawninto theFranco-RussianalliancebecauseofGermany'sambitionsinEuropeandoverseaswhich appearedtothreatentheBritishEmpire.ButtheBritishcommitmenttoassisttheFrench intheeventofwarwithGermanywasnotclearlydefinedbeyondmilitarystafftalksand secretunderstandings.