Published online by Cambridge University Press: 12 February 2009
The great Helmuth von Moltke, addressing the German Reichstag in May 1890 in the last year of his very long life, gave a sombre warning of wars to come: Gentlemen, if the war which has hung over our heads for more than ten years like a sword of Damocles—if this war were to break out, no one could foresee how long it would last nor how it would end. The greatest powers in Europe, armed as never before, would confront each other in battle. None of them could be so completely overthrown in one or two campaigns that they would have to admit defeat, accept peace on harsh terms, and not be able to revive again after a years' -long interval to renew the struggle. Gentlemen, it could be a Seven Years' War; it could be a Thirty Years' War; and woe to the man who sets Europe ablaze, who first throws the match into the powder barrel.
It was only some months after completing the text of this lecture that I came across the treatment of the ‘Thirty Years War’ question by Dr P. H. M. Bell in his excellent work The Origins of the Second World War in Europe (London and New York 1986). I am deeply ashamed of this oversight. Had I read Dr Bell's work, I would have adopted a different approach, if indeed I had tackled the problem at all. But I hope that I have provided at least a tentative answer to some of the questions he raised.
1 Reichsarchiv, , Der Weltkrieg 1914 bis 1918: Kriegsriistung und Kriegswirtschqft, AnUtgen zum ersten band. (Berlin 1930) 43Google Scholar.
2 See e.g. sources cited by Erdman, Karl Dietrich in The Origins of The First World War: Great Power Rivalry and German War Aims, ed. Koch, H.W. (2nd edn., 1984) 345Google Scholar.
4 See Howard, Michael, ‘Prussia in German History’ in Lessons of History (Oxford 1991), 49Google Scholar.
5 In British Documents on the Origins of the War 1898–1914, eds. Gooch, G. P. and Temperley, Harold, III (1928), 397–420Google Scholar.
6 Quoted by Geiss, Immanuel in The Origins of the First World War: Great Power Rwialry and German War Aims, ed.Koch, H.W. (2nd edn., 1984) 50–2Google Scholar. see also Smith, Woodruff D., The Ideological Origins of Imperialism (Oxford, 1984)Google Scholar and Kennedy, Paul, The Rise of the Anglo-German Antogonism (1980)Google Scholar.
7 Ernst Lissauer, Germany's Hymn of Hale first appeared in the Munich journal Jugend and was published in an English translation by Barbaba Henderson in 1914 by the Gental Commitee for Politcal Organisations, Leaflet No. 112. Its refrain ran:
We shall never forego our hatc
We have all but a sigle hate
We love as one, we hate as one
We love one foe and one alone
11 See n. 5 above.
15 Hitler, Adolf, Mein Kampf, trsl. Mannheim, Karl (1969) passim, esp. 126–37Google Scholar. On the Jews, see Hitler's Table Talk 1941–44 (2nd edn., 1973), 332.
16 Rich, Norman, Hitler's War Aims: Ideology, the. Nazi State and the Course of Expansion (1973), 212–49Google Scholar.
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20 Hillgruber, Andreas, Hitlers Strategie: Politik und Kriegsfuhrung 1940–41 (Bernard und Graefe Verlung, Frankfurt am Main, 1965)Google Scholar.
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24 Mein Kampf, 91, 109, III.