There is a reason for every war being fought. There is always a guilty party behind occurrence of the war. If that party had not done something to make another mad, the war would have never started. Sometimes it is hard to find the group responsible for this action. Sometimes it is very obvious who is to blame. Germany's offensives started World War I and made more countries join as the war went on.
"On June 28, 1914, a Serbian student named Gavril o Prince, who was part of the militant group called the "Black Hand", assassinated Austrian archduke Frances Ferdinand and his wife" (Germany 1). This was an important event because Germany had initially given Austria their support in case of a war. Russia, likewise, had given Yugoslavia their support. If Austria retaliated against Yugoslavia, Russia would attack Austria, and Germany would then attack Russia. This involves four countries already. When they begin fighting, more countries will help to support and World War I starts.
If Germany had not been on Austria's side, they would have not attacked because they would have been against a larger and much stronger Russia. Germany was trying to get Austria to attack Yugoslavia. "According to one historian 'in the seventeen months from January 1, 1913 to June 1, 1914 Conrad, by his own statements, urged war on Serbia no less than 25 times" (Dedijer 3). The Austrians would not have started the war if they did not know that Germany would definitely defend them against Russia. Starting a war was very inviting to Germany. If Austria were to be taken, all of Germany's neighbors would be its enemies.
If Germany could take Yugoslavia, it would hurt Russia. It would also make Greece and Bulgaria vulnerable. These reasons give Germany the view that they would win the war easy. Germany also had much confidence because a treat they had made with Turkey. "Germany had recently made an alliance with Turkey, and that gave them confident that they could defeat any European country" (Germany 2).
This gave Germany more support. This support not only made them more confidence but it also gave the countries on their side more support. The increase in support gave them more reason to attack. England had not come into the picture yet. They were not to enter the war if Russia made the offensive moves. Russia would be the aggressor because they would be attacking Germany for backing Austria against Yugoslavia.
This was another reason Germany wanted to get the war started. "Little did Germany know that the general consensus around Europe was that even if Serbia had been involved in the assassination it was not grounds to conquer it" (Germany 2). This was one thing that made it become a World War. Even though Russia would be an aggressor, England would enter the war because they felt that Serbia should have never been taken in the first place.
Austria was the first country to declare war. They declared war on Yugoslavia when they refused to remove the Serbs from Albania. This declaration of war can be considered the start of the war. The war, even though declared by Austria, was caused by Germany. Germany pushed Austria into the war and gave them support. They ended up declaring war because they knew that Germany would protect them from Russia's retaliation.
"Militarily the war in the west began on August 4, 1914, when German troops from seven Armies swept into Luxembourg and Belgium as part of the 'Schlieffen Plan,' " (Blanchard 2). The Schlieffen plan was made so that Germany could defeat the French before the Russians had time to get ready for war. They invaded Belgium as a way to sneak behind the French troops. The Belgian army gave the Germans an unexpected fight and delayed them greatly. This gave the French time to move their forces and prepare for a war.
The Russians also surprised the Germans and were ready to fight earlier than expected. Even though it was called the Schlieffen Plan, it was not the same as originally planned by Alfred von Schlieffen. When he died, the plan was changed to accommodate the times. "Moltke argued that Belgium's small army would be unable to forces from stop German quickly entering France. Moltke suggested that 34 divisions should invade Belgium whereas 8 divisions would be enough to stop Russia advancing in the east" (Schlieffen 1). Once the German troops broke through Belgium, they knew they had to defeat France quickly because Russia would soon be ready for war.
The French were drove back to the Marne River. This is where they turned the offensive around and drove the Germans back. Germany would now be fighting a two front war, which the Schlieffen plan was made to prevent. By invading Belgium, they not only started a war but they also brought Belgium in to the war.
Belgium would have stayed neutral in the war if Germany had not invaded their country. When Germany invaded Belgium and Luxembourg, it drew England even more into the war. England entered the war because they did not feel that Germany had good reason for the actions they were taking. When the invasion took place, England's involvement increased. "The Germans were also surprised by how quickly the British Expeditionary Forces reached France and Belgium" (Schlieffen 1). The Germans were not ready for the English to come to the aid of France and Belgium.
This is one of the reasons that the Germans were turned back when they reached the Marne. Russia mobilized their troops against Austria and Germany but claimed that they would not attack with their troops if peace talks would occur. "Germany then replied that Russia must demobilize within the next twelve hours" (Germany 3). This was a very short amount of time for demobilization. It did not let Russia have an apt amount of time to fully consider the taking down of their troops. It also shows that Germany was ready for a war because they did not consider holding peace talks.
If they wanted to avoid they war, they would have agreed to peace talks. If peace talks would have occurred, the Western front would have been closed and the Germans would not have had to fight any more battles. German offensives caused Australia, New Zealand, and The United Stated of America to enter the war. The German use of poison gas caused Australia and New Zealand to enter when France and Britain attacked to open a new front (History 1028). When Germany was blockaded in the North Sea, they began to sink allied ships.
The Unites States sent an Ultimatum on Germany but the Germans kept on advancing and soon began to sink American ships (Germany 7). By sinking American ships, Germany forced the United States to enter the war. By bringing America into the war, Germany made the involvement of countries worldwide. Germany had many chances to avoid a war. They also had many chances to make the war a shorter one. Many countries were drawn into the war because of the moves Germany and its allies made.
Without Germany, World War I would not have happened. They caused the war and are the reason for most countries being a part of it. Blanchard, Edward. "The Western Front 1914-1918." Real History. 17 April 2002. Dedijer, Vladimir.
"The Assassination of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand." World War I. Ed. Brigadier Peter Young. New York: Marshall Cavendish, 1986. 3-8 "Germany During World War One." World War One.
21 April 2002. "History of the World." The Volume Library 1. Nashville, TN: The Southwestern Company, 1994. 1028. "Schlieffen Plan." 19 Dec. 2001.
28 April 2002.