The original plan for Easter Rising had been for more than 20,000 armed men to seize control of the country. The 20,000 belonged largely to the Irish Volunteers, with a sprinkling of others, such as the small socialist Irish Citizens Army. Hidden within the mass of the Volunteers was the radical seam of the Irish Republican Brotherhood, whose leaders were the driving forces behind the planned coup. This leadership hoped that a mass outbreak of violence would act as a spur for further thousands to join the ranks of the rebels. England, to them, was vulnerable. The Great War had already been raging for two exceptionally bloody years. Massively committed to the fight against Germany on the continent, the British would be unable to suppress a large rebellion in Ireland, or easily take back control of the country once lost. Or, at least, so the Irish Republican Brotherhood (IRB) leaders thought. To succeed, however, the plan depended on a variety of factors, not the least of which was the arrival of 20,000 rifles and ammunition from Germany. The ship carrying the weapons, however, was intercepted at sea by the British, and on hearing this news, the rebel leadership divided. Most judged that an insurrection was now hopeless. A hard-line minority dominated by the IRB wanted to push ahead regardless. Contradictory orders were sent out to both cancel and continue the Rising. In the end, instead of 20,000 taking coordinated action throughout the country, perhaps 1,200 took to the streets of Dublin.1