Background to the First World War . The Central Powers (24 January, 2013, Shevet 13, 5773).
We identify the Lost Ten Tribes with Western Peoples. The Ten Tribes had their own roles to play in history. Amongst the Ten Tribes the two Tribes of Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh, were especially important. Ephraim dominated the British and offshoots of the British such as Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and part of South Africa. Manasseh determined much of the national character of the USA and provided its leadership even though that here too many from Ephraim and from the other Tribes were also to be found amongst the general population.
The role played by the Ten Tribes, especially those of Joseph, in world affairs helps confirm their Israelite Ancestry. This may be seen in World Wars 1 and 2. These wars to some degree foreshadow what may happen in the future. They helped create the modern world, and from an historical point of view they are of interest in their own right.
2. The Central Powers.
At the beginning of WW1 the British, French, and Russians faced the Central Powers meaning the German Empire, Austria-Hungary, and Bulgaria, and the Ottoman Empire. These were all formidable forces of proven military ability. In addition, Italy was formally committed to the Central Powers though it remained neutral at first and then changed sides and joined the Allies. Below we give a brief outline of the Central Powers.
In ca. 700 BCE Germany was practically uninhabited. After that, numerous Tribes of different origins settled in Germany or passed through her.
Charlemagne, King of the Franks, founded the Carolingian Empire in 800 CE. This included France, Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium, Switzerland, northern Italy, Hungary, and parts of the eastern Adriatric. The Empire was divided in 843. The Holy Roman Empire resulted from the eastern portion of this division. A German king was crowned Holy Roman Emperor of these regions in 962. Under the Hohenstaufen emperors (1138-1254), German princes expanded south and east into territories inhabited by Slavs. This was followed by German settlement in these areas and the Germanization of the Slavs and others (Ostsiedlung). This lead to the creation of Prussia and neighboring states.
Martin Luther began the Protestant Reformation in 1517. A separate Lutheran church became the official religion in many German states after 1530. Religious conflict led to the Thirty Years' War (1618-1648), which reduced the population by about 30%. The Peace of Westphalia (1648) ended religious warfare but left the empire de facto divided into numerous independent principalities. The south and west were Catholic while the north was Protestant. The French under Napoleon conquered Germany, introducing reforms, and amalgamating several provinces some of whom (such as Bavaria) were active participants on the French side. The rule of Napoleon was short-lived but his influence remained. The forces of Liberalism in Germany would always be considered as somewhat foreign. In what is now East Germany the autocratic Province of Prussia had become a world power in its own right. A German Confederation was created by the Congress of Vienna in 1815 to act as a buffer between the powerful states of Austria and Prussia. In 1866 Prussia defeated Austria and took over much of the confederation. In 1871 Prussia beat France in war, and annexed Alsace and part of Lorraine both of which had belonged to France. Prussia extended its rule over all of Germany. The Chancellor of Prussia at the time was Otto von Bismarck. The King of Prussia became the Kaiser of the German Empire. This was the Second Reich, the First Reich having been the Holy Roman Empire. Germany began to acquire colonies overseas. It also built up its navy in rivalry with the British Empire which had ruled the seas. Preparations for warfare between Britain and Germany received priority. A need was also felt to eliminate what was considered to be a threat from France and from Russia.
The earliest settlers of Austria appear to have been at least partly Israelite or Judaean as recorded by the Austrian Chronicle. This Israelite contingent overlapped that of peoples of Celtic culture who dwelt in the area. At one stage it was a center for the Celtic peoples. Most of the Celts moved out and the region was occupied by Bavarian, Slav, and Avar (Turkish type) invaders. The Khazars also had control of the region for a while. The Slavic Carantanians ruled over Austria until it was conquered by Chalemagne in 788 CE. Austria became part of the Holy Roman Empire. Its language was German. Austria was part of Eastern Francia which included much of present-day Germany. From the 1000s CE onwards Austria was recognized as a separate province but usually ruled over by the rulers of German or Bohemian (Czech) principalities. In 1278 Austria fell under the control of the Germanic Hapsburg Dynasty that originally hailed from Baden-Wurtemburg. Through dynastic marriages and wars the Hapsburgs expanded their territories creating an Empire. Eventually they ruled over Spain, the Netherlands, Austria, Bohemia, Hungary, and areas of Italy and north Africa. The Turks were to their east and they fought frequently with each other. In 1683 Vienna withstood a Turkish siege. By 1699 the Hapsburgs had gained control of all Hungary. In 1772 and 1795 Austria, Russia, and Prussia partitioned Poland between them.
In 1804-6, the French invaded, the Holy Roman Empire was abolished, and the Austrian Empire created. With the defeat of Napolean and the Congress of Vienna in 1815 Austria emerged as one of the four dominant powers of continental Europe (France, Russia, Prussia, Austria with Britain off the coast and not a continental). Austria and Prussia were rivals as to who would control the states of Germany. In 1866 Austria was defeated by Prussia and pushed out of internal German affairs.
In 1867 the Austro-Hungarian Empire came into being. This meant in effect that Austrians and Hungarians would have equal rights but would each (in their own regions) rule over the subject peoples. The Austrian-Hungarian Empire included various Slavic groups such as Croats, Czechs, Poles, Rusyns (Ruthenians i.e. West Ukrainians) , Serbs, Slovaks, Slovenes and Ukrainians, as well as large Italian and Romanian communities. These all, to some degree, wished to be independent.
Celts, Illyrians, and others had originally dwelt in Hungary which became the Roman Province of Pannonia (after 9 BCE). Later the Huns ruled over it followed by
Ostrogoths, Lombards, and Gepids, and the Avars who were a mixed Mongolian-Turkish type people. In the late 800s CE the land was inhabited by Slavic peoples and Avars. Another Turkish-type group the Magyars took control in 895. At one stage they comprised ca.20% of the population but then their numbers diminished. The Magyars however managed to impose their language and culture. Medieval Greek sources referred to Hungary as "Western Tourkia". Most Hungarians considered themselves to be Magyars. In the1240s Turkish Cumans and Sarmatian Jassis fleeing the Mongols also moved into Hungary and were assimilated amongst the population. Over the centuries more and more settlers from Saxony in Germany moved in until, according to some researchers, they must have comprised a majority of the population though the national consciousness was Magyar. From the 1540s until 1718 different portions of of Hungary were ruled by the Ottoman Turks. In 1867 Hungary became a partner in the Austro-Hungarian Empire.
In World War 1 Austria-Hungary drafted 9 million (fighting forces: 7.8 million) soldiers in World War I (over 4 million from the Kingdom of Hungary) on the side of Germany, Bulgaria and Turkey.
Turkey straddles Asia and Europe. The majority section in Asia is also known as Anatolia. Originally different peoples including Greek Ionians, Trojans, Phrygians, Hurrians, Hittites, Edomites, Togarmians, some ancestors of the Germans, Danites and other Israelites lived in Anatolia. The eastern section of the Roman Empire was centered on Byzantium (also known as Constantinople and later as Istanbul) whose language was Greek. Various Muslim Turkish tribes conquered the region and imposed their language and customs. The ethnic bases of the population however was derived more from the former peoples rather than from Turks. It was worth noting that ca. 20% of the population of present-day Turkey is Kurdish. In addition about 20 million of the present day population of ca. 67 Million belong to Muslim Shiite and Alevi sects most of whom are of non-Turkish origin and discriminated against. The Turkish Tribesman who made Turkey "Turkish" themselves may also originally have come from Anatolia, gone north and east, and then returned.
In 1453 the Ottoman Empire, named after its founder Osman Bey, was created.
The empire reached its peak in 1590, covering parts of Asia, Europe and Africa. The Ottomans expanded into Europe until being stopped by the Hungarians and Austrians. Stifled by Islam the Ottomans gradually fell behind the Europeans in their development. The European powers (Russia, Poland, Austria-Hungary) all ate into the Ottoman dominions.
Britain took control of Cyrpus from Turkey in 1878 and of Egypt in 1882.
By 1914 the Ottomans had been driven out of nearly all of Europe and North Africa. Many Muslims from the Balkans and other parts of Europe followed the retreat of the Ottomans and moved to Turkey. By 1914 the Ottoman Empire still controlled 28 million people, of whom 17 million were in modern-day Turkey, 3 million in Syria, Lebanon and Palestine, and 2.5 million in Iraq. Another 5.5 million people were under nominal Ottoman rule in the Arabian peninsula. The Ottoman Turks had been falling more and more German influence. At the outbreak of war they joined the Germans. Their armies were staffed with German officers and advisors. Under cover of war about 1.5 million Armenians were massacred along with another million from other minorities such as the Christian Nestorian "Assyrians" and the Greek Christians.
Bulgaria was originally part of Thrace whose population included Canaanite and Edomite tribes as well as Israelites. In the 500s CE south Slavic peoples settled in the region. In the 600s Bulgar (a Turkish type people) tribes took control. For a short period the Khazars ruled over them. In the 1400s the Ottoman Turks took over. They forcibly Islamized part of the population as they did everywhere else. [Later, in recent times 300,000 Bulgarian Muslims were forcibly transferred to Turkey in 1984.] In 1877 due to Russian intervention Bulgaria became independent. In religion and culture much of the population was close to Russia but German influence was also strong and in 1914 Bulgaria joined the German side.
The Bulgarian forces numbered ca. 1,200,000 and in 1917 they inflicted serious defeats on the British (who were attempting to open another front via the Balkans) before being eventually defeated.