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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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(p.261) Conclusion
Spies in Uniform

Matthew S. Seligmann (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

The book ends by summarizing the case made. It concludes that service attachés were a vital source of military and naval information for the British government, that they predicted developments ranging from the impact of Fokker aircraft through to the probability of Germany starting a major war between 1913 and 1915, and that their views influenced those in charge of British policy. This conclusion challenges the arguments of those revisionist historians who contend that Germany posed no threat to the existing European order and that the British Government had no reason to suppose that Germany had aggressive intentions. On the contrary, courtesy of the reports of the military and naval attachés, the Admiralty, War Office and Foreign Office and, through them, the rest of the Government had extensive grounds for worrying about Germany's aggressive intent. That they shaped their policy accordingly was, therefore, not irrational, as some historians suggest, but the logical response to the information available to them, as was Britain's entry into the First World War.

Keywords:   revisionist historians, First World War, German aggression

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