Moses, John: Know your enemy: German war aims and Australian involvement in the Great War

John Moses

Know your enemy: German war aims and Australian involvement in the Great War’, Honest History, 10 March 2017

The author argues that any discussion about the origins and significance of Anzac commemoration will be baseless if it fails to take account of the reasons for Australasian involvement in the Great War against Germany and her allies. It is important to be aware of German war aims, the culture that gave rise to them, and the consequences of a German victory, including German dominance of the Pacific and Indian Oceans.

These issues were top of mind among Allied policy-makers at the time and there is plenty of relevant modern literature, in both German and English. John Moses has written extensively on the subject (including this earlier article in Honest History on the dangers of ‘presentism’ in the study of history). He has recently translated from the German a long article by Helmut Bley, Bebel und die Strategie der Kriegsverhütung 1904-1913 (‘Bebel and the strategy of war prevention 1904-1913’). Bley’s article looks in detail at the behaviour of the German Social Democrats in the lead-up to World War I. A copy of this translation can be obtained direct from Dr Moses jamoses@bigpond.com .

John Moses is a Professorial Associate of St Mark’s National Theological Centre, Charles Sturt University, Canberra. Among many publications, he is co-author with George F. Davis of Anzac Day Origins: Canon DJ Garland and Trans-Tasman Commemoration (2013).

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