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Spies in UniformBritish Military and Naval Intelligence on the Eve of the First World War$
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Matthew S. Seligmann

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199261505

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2010

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261505.001.0001

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Harbingers of the German Menace: The Service Attachés’ Perspective on Germany

Harbingers of the German Menace: The Service Attachés’ Perspective on Germany

Chapter:
(p.159) 4 Harbingers of the German Menace: The Service Attachés’ Perspective on Germany
Source:
Spies in Uniform
Author(s):

Matthew S. Seligmann (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199261505.003.0005

This chapter focuses on threat perception and the origins of the First World War. It evaluates the image of Germany held by Britain's service attachés with particular emphasis on whether they believed that Germany had hostile intentions towards Britain. It demonstrates that the majority of service attachés (from 1906 a unanimity) believed that Germany's powerful and well-equipped armed forces did not just exist to defend the Reich, but were intended to be used offensively. In their view, a war of aggression launched by Germany against its neighbours, including Britain, was extremely likely and it was predicted that such a war would commence between 1913 and 1915.

Keywords:   threat perception, war of aggression, First World War, 1914

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