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By F. McDonough

The 1st ever significant learn reading of the perspectives of the Conservative social gathering in the direction of the major points of Anglo-German family from 1905 to 1914. Drawing on a large choice of unique assets, it examines the Conservative reaction to the German possibility, and argues that the reaction of the Conservative celebration in the direction of Germany confirmed a marked absence of open hostility in the direction of Germany. total, this significant new learn offers a robust and past due corrective to the normal depiction of the Conservative celebration in competition as 'Scaremongers' and the executive resource of Germanophobic perspectives one of the British political events.

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Even more significant was Balfour’s admission that his previous ‘openminded’ attitude towards Germany had undergone some change. He expressed apprehension about the immense preparations made by the German navy, and although he considered himself ‘one of those most reluctant ever to believe in the German scare’, he now accepted that ‘every German thinks the enemy is England’.

The views of Balfour, as presented to the sub-committee on invasion are very important because they offer a clear and behind-closed-doors expression of the Opposition leader’s views on the German naval threat in the spring of 1908. Balfour began his evidence by denying he had ever said the invasion of the British Isles could be prevented by naval power alone. He said a new investigation of invasion was necessary because of the rapid growth of German naval power. Even more significant was Balfour’s admission that his previous ‘openminded’ attitude towards Germany had undergone some change.

Given Balfour’s long-standing preoccupation with imperial defence, it was only natural for him to view Russia as the ‘traditional enemy’ of the British Empire. 11 To strengthen Britain’s strategic position in Asia, therefore, Balfour supported the signing of the Anglo-Japanese Treaty in 1902. He even contemplated a war with Russia in 1904, after a merchant vessel was sunk at Dogger Bank by a Russian battleship. The event which eased Balfour’s fears of Russian power in Asia somewhat was the spectacular Japanese naval defeat of Russia at Tsishima in May 1905.

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