The Coming of the ‘Horrible Hun’

  • Richard Scully
Part of the Britain and the World book series (BAW)


Positive depictions of Wilhelm II continued to appear in Punch and Judy for many months after his departure from British shores in 1901. As late as October, 1902 (Wilhelm having returned for a shooting holiday with his uncle), George Hebblethwaite could depict a lounge-suited Kaiser enjoying port and cigars with John Bull, and refusing to see a scruffy delegation of refugee Boer statesmen (Figure 16.1). This apparent fondness of Wilhelm for Britain (and Britain for Wilhelm) perturbed Chancellor Bülow and the imperial court when, upon his return to Berlin, the Kaiser continued to wear civilian clothes and affect English manners: a sure sign to his aides of his being infected by ‘Anglo-mania’ and ‘un-German-ness’.1


Giant Killer State Visit Daily Telegraph Imperial Court British Press 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    J. Van Der Kist, Crowns in a Changing World: the British and European Monarchies, 1901–1936, Stroud: Alan Sutton Press, 1993, p. 2; T. A. Kohut, Wilhelm II and the Germans: a Study in Leadership, Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1991, p. 207.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    J. Amery, The Life of Joseph Chamberlain, Volume IV: 1900–1903, London: Macmillan & Co., 1951, pp. 167–8.Google Scholar
  3. 15.
    Kennedy, Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, pp. 258–60. Rudyard Kipling ‘The Rowers’, The Times, 22 December, 1902, p. 9.Google Scholar
  4. 17.
    Sean McMeekin, The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany’s Bid for World Power, Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 2010, pp. 50, 263.Google Scholar
  5. 18.
    B. Ireland and E. Grove, Jane’s War at Sea: 1897–1997, London: Harpercollins, 1997, p. 68.Google Scholar
  6. 20.
    Kennedy, Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, p. 284; L. Cecil, Wilhelm II: Volume 2 – Emperor and Exile, 1900–1941, Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 1996, pp. 100–1.Google Scholar
  7. 21.
    On the political, military and cultural impact of the Dreadnought, see Robert J. Blyth, Andrew Lambert and Jan Rüger (eds), The Dreadnought and the Edwardian Age, Farnham: Ashgate, 2011.Google Scholar
  8. 23.
    W. Churchill, Letter to W. Royle, 20 December 1911, cited in R. Churchill, Winston S. Churchill: the Official Biography, Volume II, London: Cassell, 1967, pp. 1336–7.Google Scholar
  9. 24.
    William Mulligan, ‘From Case to Narrative: the Marquess of Lansdowne, Sir Edward Grey, and the Threat from Germany, 1900–1906’, International History Review, 30, 2008, pp. 273–302.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 25.
    R. B. Haldane, Richard Burdon Haldane – An Autobiography, London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1929, p. 201. Also see pp. 184–5, 200–7.Google Scholar
  11. 33.
    R. Hill, War at Sea in the Ironclad Age, London: Cassell, 2000, p. 190.Google Scholar
  12. 39.
    Lothar Reinermann, ‘Fleet Street and the Kaiser: British Public Opinion and Wilhelm II’, German History, 26, 4, August 2008, 478–9.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 43.
    The Sketch, 20 April 1910, p. 49; 4 May 1910, p. 113; 18 May 1910, p. 179; 1 June 1910, p. 251; E. T. Reed (‘Essence of Parliament’, Punch, 15 July 1908, p. 49.Google Scholar
  14. 44.
    Massie, Dreadnought, pp. 715–43. The expression ‘Place in the sun’ is Bülow’s. See: J. Holmes, ‘Mahan, a ‘Place in the Sun’, and Germany’s Quest for Sea Power, Comparative Strategy, Vol. 23, No. 1, January–March, 2004, p. 27; Wilhelm II, Speech to the North German Regatta Association, 1901, at Modern History Sourcebook,, accessed 2 November, 2007.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 46.
    P. Rowland, David Lloyd George – A Biography, Macmillan: New York, 1975, pp. 250–1; Steiner and Neilson, Britain and the Origins of the First World War, pp. 75–82.Google Scholar
  16. 51.
    The degree to which this was a period of actual détente is however, a focus for debate. Some argue this was the case (B. E. Schmitt, The Coming of the War, 1914, Vol. 1, New York: Charles Scribner’s Sons, 1930, p. 74;Google Scholar
  17. Z. Steiner, Britain and the Coming of the First World War, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1977, p. 145;CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. S. M. Lynn-Jones, ‘Détente and Deterrence: Anglo-German Relations, 1911–1914’, International Security, Vol. 11, No. 2, Autumn, 1986, pp. 121–50, esp. p. 125; Weber, Our Friend ‘The Enemy’, p. 223; Mulligan, The Origins of the First World Wa r , pp. 78, 126);CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. others see it as a false dawn (R. J. Crampton, The Hollow Détente: Anglo-German Relations in the Balkans, 1911–1914, London: George Prior, 1977, p. vi; Kennedy, Rise of the Anglo-German Antagonism, pp. 452–3; Robbins, ‘The Foreign Secretary, the Cabinet, Parliament and the parties’, p. 19; Rüger, ‘Revisiting the Anglo-German Antagonism’, p.614).Google Scholar
  20. 63.
    Rebentisch, Die vielen Gesichter des Kaisers, p. 149; Andre Gailani, Picture Research & Permissions, Punch Ltd., email correspondence with the author, 31 October 2007; Ramsden, Don’t Mention the War, p. 107.Google Scholar
  21. 69.
    J. Berger, Ways of Seeing, Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972, p. 28.Google Scholar
  22. 72.
    J. Thorpe, English Masters of Black-and-White, London: Art and Technics, 1948, p. 33; ‘Crocodile Tears’, in E. J. Sullivan, The Kaiser’s Garland, London: W. Heinemann, 1915, pp. 10, 34. For Boucher, see above, Chapter 13.Google Scholar
  23. 76.
    J. Keegan, The First World War: An Illustrated History, London: Hutchinson, 2001, pp. 26–7.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Richard Scully 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard Scully
    • 1
  1. 1.University of New EnglandAustralia

Personalised recommendations