The origins of the First World War

Diplomatic and military documents

Translated and Edited by Annika Mombauer

The origins of the First World War


  • Paperback

Book Information

  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN: 978-0-7190-7420-2
  • Pages: 688
  • Publisher: Manchester University Press
  • Price: £80.00
  • Published Date: June 2013
  • BIC Category: Humanities / First World War, History, First World War, c 1910 to c 1919, POLITICAL SCIENCE / International Relations / Diplomacy, HISTORY / Military / World War I, Society & social sciences / Diplomacy, Modern History
  • Series: Documents in Modern History


Annika Mombauer's essential source reader translates, cross-references and annotates a vast range of international diplomatic and military documents on the origins of the First World War. It collects together documents which are newly discovered or were not previously available in English, drawn from a broad range of sources and countries into a single, indispensible text for students and scholars alike.

The volume includes a detailed scholarly introduction which analyses the most controversial issues in the debate on the origins of the War and provides a comprehensive overview of the history of document collections on the war's origins. The documents cover the period 1911-14, with particular emphasis on the July Crisis and immediate outbreak of war. Thoroughly cross-referenced and annotated, these fascinating sources are presented with authoritative commentary, enabling readers to make connections between the documents to illuminate how the decisions for war were taken, and why.

This will be an invaluable resource for anyone studying or teaching the origins of the First World War.


Mombauer's expertise and skillful annotation makes this diverse, translated collection a valuable contribution to the historiography and an essential volume for Great War specialists. Features such as a glossary of names provide information on the roles of the key figures writing and receiving the documents and make the collection more accessible for nonspecialists as well.

Anika Mombauer is an authority on the origins and opening phases of the First World War.

This collection of documents will be useful to specialists in diplomatic and military history of the First World War period, as well as instructors and students who seek convenient access to a cross-section of primary material on the origins of First World War.


List of main characters mentioned in the documents
Part 1: Documents before the July Crisis
Introduction: 1911-14: The period of 'avoided wars'
1. 1911
2. 1912
3. 1913
4. 1914
Part 2: Documents from the July Crisis
1. Immediate reactions to the assassination
2. The Hoyos mission
3. Planning the ultimatum
4. Reactions to the ultimatum
5. The machine is in motion
6. Mediation proposals and ultimatums
7. The European War becomes reality

Translator and Editor

Annika Mombauer is a Senior Lecturer in Modern European History at the Open University

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