The Straits question, 1908-1914

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A. L. Macfie


In the period preceding the First World War, exploiting opportunities
created by the Anglo-Russian understanding of 1907, the Bosnia-Herzegovina
crisis of 1908, the Italian occupation of Tripolitania, 1911, and the Balkan
Wars, 1912-13, the Russians repeatedly sought to secure the opening of the
Straits to their ships-of-war. Moreover, increasingly concerned lest another
great power, in particular Germany, should obtain control of the area, they
endeavoured where possible to preserve their interests there. As a result the
problem of the Turkish Straits became increasingly bound up with the
complex progression of events that heralded the First World War.

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