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Editorial Reviews. Review. “Wonderful No book published in recent years has more lasting relevance to our understanding of the Middle East.” ―Jack Miles. Request PDF on ResearchGate | On Jan 10, , Luis Schulz and others published DOWNLOAD PDF A Peace To End All Peace: The Fall Of. DOWNLOAD A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Middle East By David Fromkin [PDF EBOOK EPUB.

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The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and Creation of the Modern Middle East - A Peace to End All Peace by David Fromkin. Professor Albert Blaustein is advising one of. Namibia's leading political parties on a new constitu- tional formulation for that soon to be independent na- tion. A Peace to End All Peace: The Fall of the Ottoman Empire and the Creation of the Modern Print/export. Create a book · Download as PDF · Printable version.

Except in combination with the French as part of a general battle do not at this stage be brought to action against superior forces. One would have expected the Germans to use the Goeben against the French Navy, in the manner envisioned by Churchill.

But the Germans never used that strategy. Instead the Germans gave the Goeben to the Ottoman Empire. The Goeben was a Trojan Horse, a gift offered in malice, which once accepted, would lead to the destruction of the Ottoman Empire.

There are several accounts of what happened to the Goeben, including three published by the Times of London.

One version consists of the articles published by the Times as the events happened. Now lets try to figure out what happened, based on all these sources. On August 3, Germany declared war on France. Back then, Algeria was part of France and the two cities were known as Philippeville and Bone. View Northern Algeria in a larger map After the attack, a fleet of French warships began chasing after the Goeben.

Neither side fired a shot as Britain and Germany had not yet declared war on each other. A few days after this encounter, the Times reported that the English fleet contained two Inflexible class battlecruisers.

This information nearly matches what the German warrant officer reported. By his recollection, the the two battlecruisers were the Indefatigable and the Inflexible and they were accompanied by two additional vessels, the Gloucester and the Weymouth.

And now our business was to clear out, as their superiority was altogether too much for us, he said. Though the Goeben may have been the best ship in the Mediterranean, she wouldve had a hard time defeating two British battlecruisers by herself.


The other German ship, the Breslau, was much smaller. She only weighed 4, tons, which was lighter than even the Gloucester, which weighed 4, tons.

The Times didnt think much of the Breslau. While the Times referred to the Goeben as a great battle-cruiser, the Time denigrated the Breslau, calling her unimportant. But the Goeben was faster and managed to outrun them. At the end of the day, Britain declared war on Germany. View Messina Straits in a larger map The Allied warships could not attack them inside the straits, as the straits belonged to Italy and Italy was neutral.

Nor could the German ships seek refuge inside Italian waters forever. To maintain her neutrality, Italy was required to either disarm the German ships or force them to leave within 24 hours of their arrival. According to a Times article published on the 7th, there was an English Fleet waiting for them at the south side of the straits and a French squadron guarding the north side.

There will be much gratification at the news that the two vessels have at last been cornered, said the Times. The German vessels must now be disarmed or come out and fight. In any case they can hardly be a menace to the commerce and coast towns of the Mediterranean much longer. According to Admiral Souchon, instead of placing their ships at the southern entrance of Messina, the British placed them in the Straits of Otranto.

But so confident were they that the Goeben and Breslau must try and break through to the Adriatic in order to reach an Austrian port that they thought it safe to wait in the Straits of Otranto.

Fromkin agrees that the British blocked the entrance to the Adriatic, though in addition, he claims they placed their vessels west of Sicily to prevent the Germans from interfering with the French transports. Page 63 Curiously, he also cites the following quote. Who but an Admiral would not have put a battle-cruiser at both ends of the Messina Straits, instead of putting two at one end and none at the other?

Page 63 The quote appears to contradict Fromkin. It implies the British blocked the north side of the straits but not the south whereas Fromkin implies they really didnt block either side of the straits. After leaving Messina, the German warships sailed to the Dardanelles, which was their plan all along.

The Dardanelles is a narrow strip of water, controlled by the Ottomans, which separates Europe from Asia. View The Dardanelles in a larger map Once the ships arrived at the straits, the Ottomans faced a dilemma. They wanted to remain neutral. But they had signed several treaties which prohibited them from allowing foreign warships to pass through the Dardanelles. The Ottomans did not allow the ships to pass through the straits.

Nor did they disarm them or refuse them entry. Instead they bought the Goeben and Breslau.

The Times argued that the sale was illegal, that the ships were trying to evade capture, that the Ottoman Empire, as a neutral country, could not buy the ships under those circumstances. The sale saved the ships. Had the Ottomans forced them to sail back into the Mediterranean they would have faced a vastly superior Allied fleet.

Nevertheless, the Allies indicated they would accept the sale as long as the German officers and crew were removed from the ships. Their sailors did not know how to operate the German warships. Only the Germans knew how, which meant the Ottomans had to keep the German crew in order to operate the ships. Page 65 The Ottoman government declared they bought the ships to ensure their fleet would be as strong as the Greek fleet.

The Balkan equilibrium was upset. We know by the experience of the last Balkan war how fatal is naval inferiority and that the war might have taken another turn if we had been stronger on the sea. To further bolster his case for buying the ships, the ambassador noted that, as the war started, Britain was building two battleships for the Ottomans - the Reshadieh and the Sultan Osman I.

David fromkin a peace to end all peace creating the

Page 54 Although the Ottomans had already paid for the ships, Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty, decided that his navy needed the ships for the war and so he expropriated them, an act which for the Ottomans was a cruel disappointment, according to their ambassador. Britain told the Ottomans they would be compensated. That was a lie. The British never compensated the Ottomans. Had Britain not stolen the ships, the Ottomans would not have had to buy the other two ships from the Germans, at least that was the implication made by their ambassador.

Not only could the Goeben help the Ottomans against the Greeks, the Goeben could also help them against the Russians, who had no vessels in the Black Sea comparable to the Goeben as regards age and power, and her battleships in commission, though powerful enough, are handicapped by the speed of the German battle cruiser, which could literally steam round any one of them, according to the Times.

Instead the money flowed in the opposite direction. Less than a month after the Germans handed over the Goeben, they delivered sixty boxes of gold to the Ottomans. Page 71 But after receiving the payment, they changed their minds and decided to maintain their neutrality. The Germans were desperate.

They made every promise they could think of, made every argument, plausible or not, all in the hopes of convincing the Ottomans to join the war on their side.

Notes: A Peace to End All Peace

The perpetual menace to Turkey from Russia might, it was suggested, be averted by a timely alliance with Germany and Austria. Egypt might be recovered for the Empire. India and other Moslem countries represented as groaning under Christian rule might be kindled into a flame of infinite possibilities for the Caliphate of Constantinople.

Turkey would emerge from the war the one great Power of the East, even as Germany would be the one great Power of the West. Such was the substance of German misrepresentations.

Unfortunately for them, after the Goeben and Breslau arrived, their voices of opposition grew weaker and weaker whereas the voices calling for war grew stronger and stronger, in part because the German warships were not empty.

They were filled with German soldiers who had their own agenda. Not only did these ships remain under effective German control, but a strong German element was imported into the remainder of the fleet, said Mallet.

Large numbers of Germans were imported from Germany as unostentatiously as possible, to be employed in the forts of the Dardanelles and Bosphorus and at other crucial points. While the Germans were exerting the greatest effort, pulling the Ottomans towards them, into the abyss, the British were pushing them in the same direction, closer and closer to the Germans.

At the end of September, in accordance with the orders given to them by Churchill, the British navy prevented an Ottoman torpedo boat from leaving the Dardanelles after they discovered the boat contained German sailors.

Enraged by what the British had done, the Ottomans sealed off the Dardanelles in retaliation. Page 67 Once again the Ottoman authorities were violating their obligations under international law, and once again they appeared to have been provoked to do so by the actions of Winston Churchill, said Fromkin.

The closure of the Dardanelles was a devastating blow for Russia who sent half of her exports through there. After the attack, he met with the Grand Vizier.

His Highness convinced me of his sincerity in disclaiming all knowledge of or participation in the events which had led to the rupture, and entreated me to believe that the situation was even now not irretrievable, said the ambassador.

I replied that the time had passed for assurances. The British demanded the Ottomans expel the German mission or else there would be war. The Grand Vizier again protested that even now he could undo what the War party had done without his knowledge or consent, said the ambassador.

Later that evening, the Turkish Council held a meeting in which the Grand Vizier asked the members to support his efforts to avoid a war against the Allies. The ministers voted in favor of peace, though no one put forth a motion to remove the German mission.

Two days after the attack, on October 31, Winston Churchill ordered his navy to begin hostilities against the Ottomans immediately.

Page 72 Churchill had finally succeeded in dragging the Ottomans into the war. This was the outcome Churchill wanted. If you don't believe me, consider his words. After the Ottomans joined the war, he openly argued that having the Ottomans as an adversary had its advantages, as that would allow Britain to chop up and consume their empire after the war.

Page 74 The importance of the Goeben No two warships have had such an important effect upon the war as the Goeben and the Breslau. They will always be remembered in naval history. For the Ottomans, the Goeben was a pledge and proof of Germanys power.

The Ottomans were compelled to reciprocate. The arrival of the Goeben in the Dardanelles gave the war party in Turkey the upper hand, and thus led to the Turkish declaration of war, said the Times. An intentional mistake Very rarely in war has a single error had more far-reaching consequences. John Fisher, the First Sea Lord of the British Navy at the start of the war, said the Goeben escaped because the British battle-cruisers that were in the Mediterranean were not used.

The Germans too believed the British could have destroyed the Goeben if they wanted to.

A few days after the Goeben escaped, the German Chancellor, Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg, wrote, After thorough consideration I regard it as probable that England is holding back so as to prevent any decision which would lead to the prolongation of the war.

Were this explanation untrue, then the escape was, from his perspective, a gigantic mistake of the British Admiralty. From the moment she arrived in Messina, the Allies had 24 hours to mass a fleet of ships on both sides of the straits to sink the Goeben upon her departure. Instead, by most accounts, when the Goeben finally left Messina, she faced no opposition whatsoever.

Instead of blocking the south entrance, the British stationed their fleet in the Adriatic Sea. This makes no sense.

Account Options

Even if you believe the Goeben was headed for the Adriatic, once she realized a British fleet was waiting for her there, she would chart another course, as going to the Adriatic would mean her certain destruction. Though there was little to prevent the Goeben from leaving Messina, after the Goeben entered the Dardanelles, there was an overwhelming force outside the straits to prevent her escape.

One wonders where these ships were when the Goeben left Messina. One wonders why the Allies were willing to let the Goeben leave Messina, but not the Dardanelles. Their actions indicate they wanted the Goeben to reach the Dardanelles, but not be able to leave. Their actions indicate they wanted to put the Ottomans in a bind. The Ottomans could not allow the Goeben to sail through the Dardanelles. That would have violated their treaty obligations.

Oil entered the picture only in the early twentieth century. But it did not play a major role in the Great Game even then, both because there were few politicians who foresaw the coming importance of oil, and because it was not then known that oil existed in the Middle East in such a great quantity. In , for example, the United States produced times more oil than did Persia.

From the beginning of the Great Game until far into the twentieth century, the most deeply felt concern of British leaders was for the safety of the road to the East. When Queen Victoria assumed the title of Empress of India in formal recognition was given to the evolution of Britain into a species of dual monarchy—the British Empire and the Empire of India.

The line between them was thus a lifeline, but over it, and casting a long shadow, hung the sword of the czars. British leaders seemed not to take into account the possibility that, in expanding southwards and eastwards, the Russians were impelled by internal historical imperatives of their own which had nothing to do with India or Britain.

In each case, the dream was to fill out an entire continent from ocean to ocean. The Russian Imperial Chancellor, Prince Gorchakov, put it more or less in those terms in in a memorandum in which he set forth his goals for his country. He argued that the need for secure frontiers obliged the Russians to go on devouring the rotting regimes to their south.

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He pointed out that the United States in America, France in Algiers, Holland in her colonies—all have been drawn into a course where ambition plays a smaller role than imperious necessity, and the greatest difficulty is knowing where to stop. The British feared that Russia did not know where to stop; and, as an increasingly democratic society engaged generation after generation in the conflict with despotic Russia, they eventually developed a hatred of Russia that went beyond the particular political and economic differences that divided the two countries.

Britons grew to object to Russians not merely for what they did but for who they were. At the same time, however, Liberals in and out of Parliament began to express their abhorrence of the corrupt and despotic Middle Eastern regimes that their own government supported against the Russian threat.

Atrocities committed by the Ottoman Empire against Christian minorities were thunderingly denounced by the Liberal leader, William Ewart Gladstone, in the election campaign in which he overthrew and replaced the Conservative Prime Minister, Benjamin Disraeli, Earl of Beaconsfield. When the Conservatives returned to office, it was too late to go back.

They have just thrown it away into the sea, without getting anything whatever in exchange. The German Empire, formally created on 18 January , within decades had replaced Russia as the principal threat to British interests. Military factors were also involved. The development of railroads radically altered the strategic balance between land power and sea power to the detriment of the latter.

Sir Halford Mackinder, the prophet of geopolitics, underlined the realities of a new situation in which enemy railroad trains would speed troops and munitions directly to their destination by the straight line which constitutes the shortest distance between two points, while the British navy would sail slowly around the circumference of a continent and arrive too late. Walter Bagehot, editor of the influential London magazine, The Economist , drew the conclusion that, because of Germany, Russian expansion no longer needed to be feared: The Conservative government of Arthur James Balfour —5 nonetheless continued to pursue the old rivalry as well as the new one, allying Britain not only with Japan against Russia, but also with France against Germany.

Russia was the ally of France, he wrote, we could not pursue at one and the same time a policy of agreement with France and a policy of counteralliances against Russia. Grey therefore negotiated a treaty with Russia, executed in , that reconciled the differences between the two countries in Asia.

The Great Game had seemingly been brought to an end. It could have been anticipated that the settlement of would arouse fears in Constantinople that Britain would no longer protect Turkey against Russia.

A Palmerston or a Stratford Canning might have allayed such fears, but neither Sir Edward Grey nor his ambassador in Constantinople took the trouble to do so. There was an intellectual time lag between London and the outposts of empire. But British officers, agents, and civil servants stationed along the great arc that swung from Egypt and the Sudan to India failed in many cases to adopt the new outlook.

Events in and the succeeding years were to bring their Victorian political views back into unexpected prominence. In one respect officers in the field and ministers in London were in agreement: Asquith and Grey had no desire for Britain to expand further into the Middle East, while junior British officers in Cairo and Khartoum harbored designs on the Arab-speaking provinces to their east.

Both groups believed, however, that the Ottoman Empire in the Middle East would collapse one day and that one or more of the European powers would have to pick up the pieces. This assumption—that when the Ottoman Empire disappeared, Europe would have to take its place—proved to be one of those motors that drive history.

For decades and indeed centuries before the outbreak of the First World War in , the native regimes of the Middle East had been, in every sense, losing ground to Europe. The Arab sheikhdoms along the Gulf coast route from Suez to India had been brought under British sway; and Cyprus and Egypt, though formally still attached to Turkey, were in fact occupied and administered by Britain.

In the Moslem Middle East, only the Ottoman Empire effectively retained its independence—though precariously, as its frontiers came under pressure. Indeed, the still-independent Turkish Sultanate looked out of place in the modern world. Like a ruined temple of classical antiquity, with some of its shattered columns still erect and visible to tourists such as those aboard the Enchantress , the Ottoman Empire was a structure that had survived the bygone era to which it belonged. It was a relic of invasions from the east a millennium ago: Pagan or animist in religious belief, and speaking one or other of the Mongolian or Turkish languages, they carved out a variety of principalities and kingdoms for themselves, among them the empires of Genghis Khan and Tamerlane.

The Ottoman or Osmanli Empire, founded by Turkish-speaking horsemen who had converted to Islam, was another such empire; it took its name from Osman, a borderland ghazi warrior for the Moslem faith born in the thirteenth century, who campaigned on the outskirts of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire in Anatolia.

Riding on to new conquests, the Ottoman Turks expanded in all directions: It stretched from the Persian Gulf to the river Danube; its armies stopped only at the gates of Vienna. The Ottomans never entirely outgrew their origins as a marauding war band.

They enriched themselves by capturing wealth and slaves; the slaves, conscripted into the Ottoman ranks, rose to replace the commanders who retired, and went on to capture wealth and slaves in their turn.

Invading new territories was the only path they knew to economic growth. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, when the conquests turned into defeats and retreats, the dynamic of Ottoman existence was lost; the Turks had mastered the arts of war but not those of government.

Ottoman leaders in the nineteenth century attempted programs of sweeping reform. A start—but not much more—was made along these lines. Most of the reforms took place only on paper; and as an anachronism in the modern world, the ramshackle Ottoman regime seemed doomed to disappear.

The empire was incoherent. Its Ottoman rulers were not an ethnic group; though they spoke Turkish, many were descendants of once-Christian slaves from Balkan Europe and elsewhere. Though European observers later were to generalize about, for example, Arabs, in fact Egyptians and Arabians, Syrians and Iraqis were peoples of different history, ethnic background, and outlook.

The multinational, multilingual empire was a mosaic of peoples who did not mix; in the towns, Armenians, Greeks, Jews, and others each lived in their own separate quarters. Religion had some sort of unifying effect, for the empire was a theocracy—a Moslem rather than a Turkish state—and most of its subjects were Moslems.

The Ottoman Sultan was regarded as caliph temporal and spiritual successor to the Prophet, Mohammed by the majority group within Islam, the Sunnis. And for those who were not Moslem perhaps 25 percent of the population at the beginning of the twentieth century , but Greek Orthodox, Roman Catholic, Armenian Catholic, Armenian Gregorian, Jewish, Protestant, Maronite, Samaritan, Nestorian Christian, Syrian United Orthodox, Monophysite, or any one of a number of others, religion was a divisive rather than a unifying political factor.

The extent to which religion governed everyday life in the Middle East was something that European visitors in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries found remarkable; for religion had played no such role in Europe for centuries.

Indeed, Europeans visited the Middle East largely to see the past. They came to see Biblical sites, or excavated wonders of the ancient world, or nomads who lived as they had in the time of Abraham.

The Porte, too, appeared to live in the past. Ottoman officials continued to pretend, for example, that Bulgaria formed part of the empire long after losing control of that territory in , and counted Egyptians as among its subjects even after Britain occupied Egypt in Until the early twentieth century, the Ottoman Empire was for most of the time under the absolute personal rule of the Sultan.

In at least one respect he was quite unlike a European monarch: Under his rule civil, military, and Holy Law administrations could be discerned in an empire carefully divided into provinces and cantons. But the appearance of orderly administration—indeed of effective administration of any sort—was chimerical. As Gertrude Bell, an experienced English traveler in Middle Eastern lands, was later to write, No country which turned to the eye of the world an appearance of established rule and centralized Government was, to a greater extent than the Ottoman Empire, a land of make-believe.

Gertrude Bell, in the course of her travels, found that outside the towns, Ottoman administration vanished and the local sheikh or headman ruled instead. There were districts, too, where brigands roamed at will. The rickety Turkish government was even incapable of collecting its own taxes, the most basic act of imperial administration.

On the eve of the First World War, only about 5 percent of taxes was collected by the government; the other 95 percent was collected by independent tax farmers.

Foreign countries exercised varying degrees of influence and control within the empire. It was not only that Egypt and Cyprus were in fact governed by Britain, which had occupied them in the late nineteenth century; and that the sheikhdoms along the Gulf coast were under British control.

Lebanon, a separate canton under arrangements established in , was governed by a Christian military governor directly serving under the Porte which, however, was obliged to act only in consultation with six European powers. Russia and France reserved to themselves the right to protect, respectively, the Orthodox and Catholic populations of the empire; and other powers also asserted a right to intervene in Turkish affairs on behalf of the groups they sponsored.

What was more than a little unreal, then, was the claim that the Sultan and his government ruled their domains in the sense in which Europeans understood government and administration. What was real in the Ottoman Empire tended to be local: This confused European observers, whose modern notions of citizenship and nationality were inapplicable to the crazy quilt of Ottoman politics. Europeans assumed that eventually they themselves would take control of the Ottoman domains and organize them on a more rational basis.

In the early years of the twentieth century it was reasonable to believe that the days of Turkish dominion were numbered. It had been in a retreat since the eighteenth century that finally looked like a rout. For decades, in the Ottoman army and in the schools, discontented men had told one another in the course of clandestine meetings that the empire had to be rapidly changed to meet the intellectual, industrial, and military challenges of modern Europe. In the final years before the outbreak of the First World War, obscure but ambitious new men took power in the Ottoman Empire, relegating the Sultan to a figurehead position.

Constantinople—the city originally called Byzantium and today known as Istanbul—was for more than eleven centuries the capital of the Roman Empire in the East, and then for more than four. Before becoming a historian, he worked as a lawyer and political advisor. Upgrade to Premium now and get unlimited access to the Blinkist library. The Blinkist app gives you the key ideas from a bestselling nonfiction book in just 15 minutes.

Available in bitesize text and audio, the app makes it easier than ever to find time to read. Get unlimited access to the most important ideas in business, investing, marketing, psychology, politics, and more. Stay ahead of the curve with recommended reading lists curated by experts. Discover by category See recently added titles See popular titles.

Audio available. Read for free today only Start free trial to read Read now Upgrade now to read Buy book. Send to Kindle.From its foundation, the relationship between Britain and its new Arab allies was precarious. A Peace to End All Peace: Britain then told Faisal of its plans to create a French protectorate in Syria, as agreed upon in the secret Sykes-Picot Agreement. Although most people living in the Middle East spoke a variant of the same language and practiced Islam, there were still huge differences in culture, ethnicity and especially religion.

The book I intended to write was only about how Europe went about changing the Middle East; the book that emerged was also about how Europe changed at the same time, and about how the two movements interacted.

Two stories are told in the book and then merge into one.

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