Germany and the Origins of the Great War

Caption: The Comdt by all accounts appeared to have an enjoyed meeting with German Professor Mike Epkenhans this week. Among the topics discussed was the possible opportunities for increased academic collaboration moving forward. (L-R) LCol Jan von der Felsen,LCol Ralf Heimrich,Prof. Dr. Michael Epkenhans, commandandant, BGen Al Meinzinger, RMCC principal, Dr Harry Kowal, Dr. Jim Kenny, Interim Dean of Arts, Dr. Christian Leuprecht of RMCC’s Faculty of Arts and Department of Political Science.

Photo by: Curtis Maynard 

Germany and the Origins of the Great War

On Tuesday 29 July, Prof. Dr. Michael Epkenhans, Director of Historical Research at the Centre for Military History and Social Sciences of the German Armed Forces (ZMSBw) at Potsdam, Professor at Potsdam University and Naval History at the German Navy School in Flensburg, editor of Militärgeschichtliche Zeitschrift (Germany’s leading journal on military history), and Commander (Naval reserve) of the German Navy, visited RMCC, courtesy of the Federal Republic of Germany in Ottawa.

His well-attended and well-received talk on “Germany and the Origins of the Great War” surveyed multiple developments in Germany and across Europe leading up to war and, in the process, took aim at the premise of Dr. Christopher Clark’s best-selling The Sleepwalkers: How Europe went to war in 1914.

Prior to the formal presentation, Chief Librarian Sarah Toomey guided Dr. Epkenhans on a tour of the Massey Library’s Crerar collection of primary and secondary documentation collected by Canadian troops in Germany during and after the Second World War, which precipitated a discussion to explore greater research cooperation between RMCC and Germany’s Military Archive.

That was followed by a tour of RMCC, lead by IV NCdt Alexandra Laplante and III NCdt Jérémie Fraser.

Dr. Epkenhans was accompanied by Germany’s newly posted defence attaché to Canada, LCol Ralf Heimrich, and Germany’s Consul General in Toronto, Mr. Walter Stechel as well as by LCol Jan von der Felsen, the German Armed Forces Visiting Defence Fellow at the Queen’s University Centre for International and Defence Policy, and Dr. Christian Leuprecht of RMCC’s Faculty of Arts and Department of Political Science who, together, had orchestrated the visit.

More Curtis Maynard photos from the presentation

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