Auf dem Weg zur Weltmacht? Des Kaisers Admiral: Otto von Diederichs zwischen Pazifik und Atlantik

  • Volker Schult (Autor/in)

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The years around 1900 were crucial for Germany's "new course" towards "world politics". Opportuntties arose in China and the Philippines to finally establish Germany as a world power. The Kaiser's man on the spot in the Far East, Vice-Admiral Otto von Diederichs was responsible for the acquisition of Kiaochow in North China and in the summer of 1898 he even confronted the United States of America in the Philippines. But soon the limits of "world politics" became evident. Contacts with Philippine revolutionaries came to nothing. After the threat of a belligerent conflict with the United States, Germany backed down and the United States took possession of the Philippines. After these experiences, von Diederichs, as newly appointed Chief of the Admiralty Staff, developed plans for naval operations against the other great powers, including the United States. Bold plans of invading America's east coast and of shelling New York City were designed. But the balance of power in Europe altered to Germany's disadvantage and in the end she had to give up such plans. Germany's drive for world power was shattered even before the catastrophe of World War I.