Bethmann Hollweg was a German lawyer, civil servant and politician. He was linked to the liberal Progressive People's Party and was appointed to the office of German Imperial Chancellor by Kaiser Wilhelm II in 1909. At the time of the July Crisis of 1914, he insisted on the German Empire’s loyalty to its alliance with Austria-Hungary. After Paul von Hindenburg and Erich Ludendorf were appointed to the 3rd Supreme Army Command (OHL), which represented a strengthening of nationalist forces, Bethmann Hollweg’s room for manoeuvre became increasingly restricted. After the conflicts with the OHL came to a head, Bethmann Hollweg was dismissed from office in July 1917. His successor was Georg Michaelis.