How I’m Pretty Sure World War One Started Kaiser: …because that’s what happened last time? von Falkenhayn: Well, you put it that way… Kaiser: I’m seriously having doubts that I ever read this plan before now. Who did Schlieffen present this to? Was it Bismarck? von Moltke: All-Highest, we have improved everything about our army since the Franco- Prussian War. Surely we could not fail to achieve what an inferior army did forty-four years ago… Kaiser: Now I get it, Moltke. This isn’t about ensuring German victory. This is about you showing off how you’re better than your uncle, Big Moltke. von Moltke: May I assure Your Majesty that my uncle has nothing to do with this… Kaiser: My ass. Your uncle ran the show in every German triumph of the last century short of Waterloo. He out-mobilized the French and sent them scurrying back to Paris before they had their other boot on. Now, do you know why that happened? von Moltke: Superior German efficiency? Kaiser: Luck! Nobody in Europe knew that we could put a million men into uniform that fast! Hell, we didn’t even know until we did it! The French practically sashayed into our guns with flowers on their lapels. They thought we were pushovers. We showed them how wrong they were. von Falkenhayn: Plus, we had that assload of cannon… von Moltke: Precisely, All-Highest… Kaiser: Now, what on the entirety of God’s Green Earth makes you think they’re not going to see that coming again? von Falkenhayn: Do we actually have another plan? Kaiser: You said it yourself. They’ve been bulking up on their frontier. They’ve had forty- four years to learn from their mistakes. And you scheisskopfs are betting the future of my empire that they’ve spent it sitting around going DUHHHH LET’S NOT IMPROVE OUR MOBILIZATION OR UPGRADE OUR ARTILLERY DOYYYYYY. von Falkenhayn: Ever read their newspapers? They really hate us. von Moltke: All-Highest, even if this were true, our plan can make allowances for it. If I add more troops to Kluck’s right wing, the French will still be flanked and retreat in disorder. Kaiser: And what if they don’t?