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Bismarck knew that the great European war would erupt in the Balkans for several reasons. Germany's main ally in Europe was Austria-Hungary, but Austria was an empire in decline. She was grabbing land in the Balkans and didn't much care for the independence of her many minorities, such as the Croats, Poles, Czechs and Slovenes.

At the same time, the Ottoman Empire had lost its centuries old dominance in the region and only controlled a narrow strip of land in Europe around Constantinople. The Austrians took fool advantage of this, and rather than having multiple independent Balkan states, she sought to annex many of them. The main target in Bismarck's age was Bosnia, as Austria bullied and attempted to annex them.

Also during this time were the conflicting ambitions of Serbia. Serbia had expressed many times that they sought to completely unify the Balkan peninsula under their rule and create the state of Yugoslavia. This terrified Austria-Hungary, and the two countries nearly went to war a few times before 1914. The tensions in the Balkans were at boiling point, and Bismarck knew that war in the Balkans would most likely mean war for the rest of Europe.

The web of alliances that spread across Europe would be dragged in. Russia was allied to Serbia, and France was allied to Russia. Germany and Italy were both allied to Austria-Hungary on the other hand, so if Austria attacked Serbia, or vice versa, it could drag everybody else into the war. Bismarck for saw this, and thus he predicted the war would begin in the correct place.

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12y ago

That would be Otto Von Bismarck, Chancellor of Germany from 1871-1890

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Q: How did Bismarck predicted that the great war will start in the east?
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