Anyone looking for evidence that the European powers merely saw WWI as a national opportunity surely would have to included the fighting in far off places such as Togoland, in West Africa. On August 26, British and French forces conquered this German protectorate, taking it for themselves.
While the effects of this action upon the actual course of the war could be considered marginal at best, possession of it offered two interesting possibilities:
1) If the Entente won the war, they could divide the spoils among themselves
2) If the Central Powers won the war, the Entente could use Togoland as a bargaining chip during the process of forming a peace treaty.
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Of much greater importance was fortified Longwy, just inside the French border near Luxembourg, of which the Germans had been attempting to gain control since the early days of the war. After a brief siege, Longwy’s defenders surrendered, widening another avenue of advance for the German armies into France.