Militarism and Humiliation Cast Shadow on GermanyBreaking News
tags: World War I, Kiel
On June 28, 1914, Kaiser Wilhelm II was preparing to indulge in a favorite pastime: racing his yacht Meteor at a regatta that is still held each year in this seafaring stronghold. When he learned of the assassination in Sarajevo of Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the Hapsburg Empire, he hastened to Berlin. But he quickly returned to this Baltic Sea port, on which he lavished so much money and time in his frantic race to match or outdo British naval superiority.
In many ways, Kiel epitomized Germany’s rapid industrialization and militarization from 1870 to 1914, under Otto von Bismarck and then the kaiser. Numbers alone tell a story: In 1870, as Bismarck unified Germany, Kiel had around 30,000 inhabitants. By 1914, when Europe’s leaders stumbled into World War I, its population exceeded 227,000.
Four years later, Kiel bore witness to the depths of German defeat. A sailors’ rebellion that started here spread nationwide and helped force the abdication of the kaiser in November 1918. The next year, rather than let the Imperial Fleet fall to the enemy, German commanders on Scapa Flow, off Scotland, scuttled 52 of the fleet’s 74 vessels. Under the Treaty of Versailles, signed five years to the day after the archduke’s assassination, the proud navy was limited to just a few ships and 15,000 men — far fewer than the 35,000 German sailors who had perished in World War I.
comments powered by Disqus
- The original Watergate lock that burglars picked open is going to auction
- Trump, Mueller And The Ancient History Of Grants Of Immunity
- Documents show Gorbachev was assured US wouldn't expand NATO into Central and Eastern Europe
- Memorial to honor 4,000 victims of lynching to be built in Montgomery, Alabama
- Study: Inequality is a phenomenon of the past 10,000 years
- Linda Gordon’s new book captures how white supremacy has long been part of our political mainstream
- Yale Civil Rights history course is a "call to action" and a chance "to be woke”
- Gil Troy back’s Trump decision on Jerusalem
- College Board revises AP European history test in response to criticism by conservatives
- AHA says it’s feasible to stop the proposed tax on grad student tuition waivers