How I’m Pretty Sure World War One Started By Frederick von Hoenzollern-Mountbatten De Valois The Imperial Palace. Potsdam. July 28, 1914. [A conclave of German military brass awaits the arrival of Kaiser Wilhelm II.] General von Moltke: I’m telling you, dude, over by Christmas. General von Falkenhayn: I dunno. I feel like the mopping up could take a while. Sometimes Paris only seems close. von Moltke: So what, like, Valentine’s Day? General von Kluck: Here he comes! [Enter Kaiser Wilhelm II, flanked by German Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg.] The Generals: All Hail, The All-Highest! Kaiser Wilhelm: Yeah, hail me. Let’s get down to it, boys. As I’m sure you’ve heard, this shit just got real. Bethy, lay it on them. Bethmann-Hollweg: The Austro-Hungarian Ambassador came to us this morning with the news that his government has declared war on Serbia. von Kluck: About time, too. von Falkenhayn: Fucking Serbs. Kaiser: And lest you have any illusions, we have had our boot in Franz Joseph’s wrinkled bum to ensure this precise happenstance. So let the world know, we are going to take this opportunity to teach all those Slavic schweinhunts not to mess with their betters. We are going to war. The Generals: [several minutes of hooting and table-thumping.] Bethmann-Hollweg: All-Highest, we have received no word from the Russian government… von Moltke: That’s a formality, Bethy. Kaiser: Exactly. The Tsar can’t just let the Serbs get stomped. They’ve been all “We’re gonna Protect All the Slavs!” for decades. They back down now, the whole Balkan penninsula falls into Austria’s lap.