In The genesis Of The World War, Harry Elmer Barnes shows that World War 1 was the product of 4 or 5 people. Three stand out: Raymond Poincare`, President of France, Sergei Sazonov, Russian Foreign Minister, and Alexander Izvolski, Russian Ambassador to France. Poincare` wanted Alsace-Lorraine from Germany, and the Russians wanted Istanbul and the Bosphorus Strait, which connects the Black Sea to the Mediterranean. They realized that their ambitions required a general European war and worked to produce the desired war.
A Franco-Russian Alliance was formed. This alliance became the vehicle for orchestrating the war. The British government, thanks to the incompetence, stupidity, or whatever of its Foreign Minister, Sir Edward Grey, was pulled into the Franco-Russian Alliance. The war was started by Russia’s mobilization. The German Kaiser, Wilhelm II, was blamed for the war despite the fact that he did everything possible to avoid it.