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Kaiser Wilhelm concludes meeting with Archduke Franz Ferdinand


Jun 13, 1914:

Kaiser Wilhelm concludes meeting with Archduke Franz Ferdinand

On June 13, 1913, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany leaves Konopischt, Bohemia (today the Czech Republic), the hunting lodge and country estate of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, after a weekend visit.

Although Wilhelm had ostensibly come to admire the lavish gardens at Konopischt, the reality was that he and Franz Ferdinand wanted to discuss Austria-Hungary’s insecurities about the tenuous balance of power in the tumultuous Balkan region. In 1908, the Dual Monarchy of Austria-Hungary had annexed Bosnia-Herzegovina, formally still a province of the Ottoman Empire, and populated not only by Bosnians but also by Croats and Serbs. Serbia reacted angrily to the annexation, reasoning that if Bosnia were not under Turkish rule, it should be governed by Serbia. After two successful Balkan Wars—and enjoying support from the Russian empire, the other great European power in the region apart from Austria-Hungary—Serbia had emerged as a more powerful and ambitious nation than ever before, thus threatening the position of the Dual Monarchy, already in decline.

Historical evidence exists to suggest that Franz Ferdinand, at the behest of Austrian Emperor Franz Josef, was intending to extract a promise from Wilhelm (similar to a pledge the kaiser had made in November 1912) that Germany would back Austria unconditionally in the case of a confrontation with Serbia. Wilhelm resisted making such a commitment at the time, however, as he disagreed as to the extent of the Serbian threat. Also at the meeting, the two leaders discussed which Balkan nation should be wooed as their main ally in the region.

Though the Austrian government preferred Bulgaria, Serbia’s opponent in the Second Balkan War of 1913, Franz Ferdinand, along with the Germans, favored Romania, despite the latter country’s clash with the Magyars (Hungary’s majority population) over their oppressive rule in Transylvania, ethnically Romanian but part of Hungary. Franz Ferdinand detested the Magyars, and resented the weakness that forced Austria to partner with Hungary in government of the empire. Wilhelm was more inclined to negotiate with the Hungarian prime minister, Istvan Tisza; at Konopischt, he and Franz Ferdinand discussed the possibility of persuading Tisza to look more favorably on an alliance with Romania.

The meeting of June 12-13, 1914, at Konopischt was not, by any means, a war council. Both Wilhelm and Franz Ferdinand—though anxious over the situation in the Balkans and fearful of Serbian and Russian aggression—had up to that point been voices of restraint among their more belligerent colleagues in the government and military of the two nations. Some historians have argued that if the two men had continued to work together to pursue their common aims, the Great War of 1914 might never have happened. Two weeks later, however, on June 28, Franz Ferdinand and his wife Sophie were killed by a young Serbian nationalist during a diplomatic visit to Bosnia. Vienna, along with most of the world’s capitals, blamed Serbia. Kaiser Wilhelm was stunned, saddened and outraged. Barely a month later, Europe was at war.

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How to View Pictures One at a Time

How to View Pictures One at a Time

  1. Go to the Page
  2. You will see a bunch of pictures in a Mosaic
  3. Just Click on any of them
  4. You then can View them one at a time using the Arrow Button to go to the Next One!!
  5. And you can Comment on Each one also!!

I had some questions on this feature so here is an update!!

B. von Richter, Admin.

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HOW TO USE THE WEBSITE:

HOW TO USE THE WEBSITE:

 

Main Features:

There are 2 Major Sections to the Website. The Main Tabs at the Top of the Page and the Side Tabs on the Right Side of the Page.

 

The TOP TABS:

1. THE LOGO – If you Click on this anytime, It will bring you to the main page.
2. HISTORICAL OF SOCIETY OF GERMAN MILITARY HISTORY – tab will take you to the page that talks about our disclaimer.
3. ABOUT US – tab will take you to the page that talks about us.
4. CONTACT US – This is for anyone to contact the Administrator with questions or issues.
5. SUBSCRIBERS – This is how people become members so they can comment on pictures and use the chat rooms. Follow the Directions on the page.
6. SUBCRIBER CHAT ROOM – This is for members to be able to chat with each other about history. IN THE FUTURE, we will add more chat rooms on different subjects plus requests for such we will consider from members.
7. RULES – We have certain rules for members. This is must read since we do not allow any negativity.
8. HELP AND INFORMATION – is an area you can check for questions you have.
9. FOR SALE: is for members looking to sell their collectables or models, guns, medals, etc.
10. ONLINE STORE – this is not currently available, but we are looking into this for the future.
11. DONATIONS- If you wish to donate to our research or the costs, we always welcome it.

 

RIGHT SIDE TABS:

1. SEARCH BAR – you can enter a keyword then do a search on the site. If we do not have it then contact us as long as it pertains to German History.
2. RECENT POSTS- any news we recently posted.
3. RECENT COMMENTS – Is any recent comments by members or Admin.
4. PAGES – Are what used to be Albums on Facebook. We broke them down from Battles to Panzers, Vehicles, People, and kinds of things. There will be more. There are currently 175 Pages of them!! JUST CLICK ON THE PICTURES TO SEE THEM ONE AT A TIME!!
5. CATEGORIES – This is just a section breaking our different news stories.
6. LINK TO THE FACEBOOK PAGE – Simple no more to explain.
7. SUBSCIBE TO THE BLOG – This is so you can get updates in your email.
8. ARCHIVES – this is our former news stories broken down per month.
9. CALENDAR – this is the former news stories broken down per day.

 

Remember the Website is Done, but it is at the point we stopped after Facebook threatened us. So there are 1000’s of pictures to go and so much more for us to add to this. We are Never Done Updating!!!!

I hope you enjoy this and subscribe.

Thank you,

B. von Richter, Admin.

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WEBSITE IS READY!!

We are proud to announce that the website for the Historical Society of German Military History is completely ready for everyone to visit!!

We did a lot of work to get this thing up and running. One of the big feats was moving all the information and photos/images to the website from the Facebook Page. We did move 3,333 images/pictures with captions.

Why did we do this?

Some of you are new or missed the information in the past. We did it for 3 reasons:

1. We had the website idea for a long time. We actually had a smaller one for just the Admins and Moderators here, and we did want to include the public in the future.
2. Facebook had its limitations. We are able to add so many more features plus more in the future.
3. THE MAIN REASON that triggered all this was because people have been reporting us to Facebook for using controversial images such as Hitler, SS, Swastika’s, etc. While we are not Nazi’s, but just love German history we had to do something. Facebook threatened our personal accounts and to delete them plus the page. We cannot tell half the history so we choose the website.
What is different for the Facebook Page?

1. If you are just a fan of looking at pictures on Facebook then the page will be for you. We will still add some pictures.
2. There will be no more Albums with full descriptions of Panzers, Battles, People, etc. They will be all jumbled in one album called ‘History in Pictures’. We decided that we can’t tell HALF the history and cannot dedicate the time to the page as we did now with a website.
3. All the albums have been deleted except a few till their story is done.
4. We will add News Stories of History, but the link will be to the website.

 

THE WEBSITE!!!!

1. Has all the pictures/images the page used to have plus full descriptions and the controversial images some want to see such as Hitler, SS, and other items.
2. They are now called Pages instead of Albums.
3. Anyone can visit the Site.
4. There are 2 ways to Join. You can sign up with just your email and will get updates, but you will not be able to comment on pictures. OR you can join with a Username and Password then you can comment.
5. Commenting is controlled by Administration, but once you make the first comment is approved then you’re allowed anytime. Remember the Rules.
6. There will be an Online Store in the Future.
7. There is a For Sale: Area for people who want to sell their collectables or models, guns, medals, etc.
8. There is an Online Chat Room for members to enjoy conversation.
9. Ways to Contact Us.
10. And of course we will be Updating with Pictures and Stories.

Remember the Website is Done, but it is at the point we stopped after Facebook threatened us. So there are 1000’s of pictures to go and so much more for us to add to this. We are Never Done Updating!!!!

I hope you enjoy this and subscribe.

Thank you,

B. von Richter, Admin.

Ps. We will be sending out another Note on the features and how to use the website.

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Jun 12, 1940: Paris on the Verge of Invasion

Vonbock_paris (2)

Jun 12, 1940:

Paris on the verge of invasion

On this day in 1940, 54,000 British and French troops surrender to German Field Marshal Erwin Rommel at St. Valery-en-Caux, on the northern Channel border, as the Germans continue their gains in France.

Even after the evacuation of Dunkirk by the British Expeditionary Force, tens of thousands of British and Allied troops remained in France. Overwhelmed by the German invaders, over 3,000 Allied troops attempted to escape by sea but were stopped by German artillery fire. Surrender was the order of the day; among those taken prisoner were 12 Allied generals.

But all was not lost, as Britain refused to leave France to German occupation. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had already ordered more British troops back into France, and British bombers were also attacking German lines of communication. British and Allied troops were still active in other parts of France-some 50 British fighters and 70 bombers were moving on German forces.

But despite the British reinforcements and encouragement (Churchill flew to France himself to encourage the French leaders), General Maxime Weygand ordered the French military governor of Paris to ensure that the French capital remained an open city-that is, there was to be no armed resistance to the Germans. In short, he was pushing for an armistice, in effect, capitulation. The enemy would be allowed to pass through unchallenged. Weygand addressed his cabinet with his assessment of the situation: “A cessation of hostilities is compulsory.” He bitterly blamed Britain for France’s defeat, unwilling to take responsibility for his own inept strategies and failed offensives. Paris was poised for occupation.

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King Constantine of Greece Abdicates

Constantine I by Philip de László, 1914.
Constantine I by Philip de László, 1914.

Jun 12, 1917:

King Constantine of Greece Abdicates

On this day in 1917, King Constantine I of Greece, the foremost champion of Greek neutrality during World War I, abdicates his throne in the face of pressure from Britain and France and internal opponents—most notably Prime Minister Eleutherios Venizelos—who favored Greece’s entrance into the war on the side of the Allies.

As crown prince during the Balkan Wars of 1912-13, Constantine had led Greek troops to victory on the battlefield; he ascended to the throne in March 1913 upon the death of his father, George I. Educated in Germany and married to Sophia, a sister of Kaiser Wilhelm II, Constantine was naturally sympathetic to the Central Powers after the outbreak of World War I in the summer of 1914. For this reason, Constantine refused to honor Greece’s obligation to support Serbia—its ally during both Balkan Wars—when the latter country was attacked by Bulgaria in 1914. Constantine’s position was complicated, however, as Venizelos, along with the majority of the Greek government, was determinedly pro-Ally, and the British and French navies held an unwavering dominance over the Mediterranean Sea.

Despite dedicated efforts by the British and French to woo Greece with promises of territorial gains in Turkey, Constantine maintained a position of neutrality for his country. He did allow British and French forces to disembark at Salonika as part of an operation planned in late 1914 to aid Serbia against Austro-Hungarian and Bulgarian forces. By the time the Allied forces were ready, however, Serbia had fallen and the Central Powers drew closer to the Greek border.

By the end of 1915, Allied operations had bogged down in Salonika and failed spectacularly in the Dardanelles, and Constantine was understandably even less inclined to support the Entente. As the British cabinet was told at the time, “His Majesty’s decided opinion was that Germany was winning on all points, and that there were only two possible endings to European war, either that Germany would be entirely victorious or that the war would end in a stalemate largely in favor of Germany.”

In this position, Constantine was undermined by the charismatic and ambitious Venizelos, who led the movement in favor of joining the war on the side of the Entente in the name of building a more powerful Greek nation. Constantine dismissed Venizelos in October 1915; the ex-prime minister subsequently received Allied recognition of a provisional Greek government, under Venizelos’ control, in Thessalonica in 1916. Meanwhile, civil war threatened in Greece, and Constantine desperately sought promises of naval, military and financial assistance from Germany, which he did not receive.

By the summer of 1917, the Allies had lost their patience with Constantine. On June 11, they sent an ultimatum to Athens, demanding the king’s abdication. That same day, blatantly disregarding the country’s neutrality, British forces blockaded Greece and the French landed their troops at Piraeus, on the Isthmus of Corinth. The following day, Constantine abdicated in favor of his second son, Alexander, who reinstated Venizelos as prime minister. On July 2, 1916, Greece declared war on the Central Powers. Over the next 18 months, some 5,000 Greek soldiers would die on the battlefields of World War I.

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