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C H A P T E R X I Collapse of the Alliance THOUGH the rapid decline of Germany's fortunes on :he Western Front in July and August 1918 had not passed unnoticed in Constantinople, it was only in the following month that the imminence of general disaster be­ came clear to the lttihad ve TeraXki leaders. The two most re­ sounding blows to hit the Turks in September 1918 were the catastrophic rout of their Army Group F in Palestine and the great Allied victories in Macedonia. But there were numerous other danger signs which could no longer be ignored. Deser­ tions from the Ottoman armed forces were rapidly increasing, there was mounting economic and administrative chaos in the interior of the empire, and the totally inadequate size of the Ottoman army facing the British in Mesopotamia made an­ other fiasco on that front virtually inevitable.1 With Gen. Allenby's forces pushing northward toward Anatolia, neighboring Bulgaria in the throes of military col­ lapse, and Constantinople itself becoming increasingly exposed to an Allied attack out of Thrace, the Porte readily accepted Germany's sudden decision in late September to sue for the cessation of hostilities and the initiation of peace talks "on the basis of the Fourteen Points." At the same time, however, the Porte cautioned Berlin that a Wilsonian peace settlement was 1Cf. Emin, pp. 261-67; Ahmed Emin Yalman, Tur\ey in My Time (Norman, Okla., 1956), pp. 60-62; Liman, Five Years in Tur\ey, pp. 268-305; Pomiankowski, pp. 380-84; Miihlmann, deutsch-tiir\ische Waffenbiindnis, pp. 225-37, and passim. For detailed analyses of the mili­ tary developments in Palestine and Macedonia during the latter half of September see especially Cyril Falls, Armageddon: igi8 (Philadel­ phia, 1964), pp. 35-125; and Military Operations Macedonia, 2 vols. (London, 1933-35), n> 147-253; Kriegsgeschichtliche Forschungsanstalt des Heeres, Der Weltfyrieg 1914 bis 1918, M (Berlin, 1942), 407-17, 439-41, and passim·, Muhlmann, Oberste Heeresleitung, pp. 228-38. Qollapse of the Alliance palatable to Turkey only if the President's call for the autono­ mous development of the non-Turkish nationalities in the Ot­ toman empire meant "autonomy . . . under republican [sic] sovereignty" and, secondly, if the proposed "international guarantees" of a new Straits regime extended to the continued "Turkish possession" of Constantinople itself. To keep the Balkan situation from getting any worse than it already was the Porte further urged Berlin to surrender the Northern Dobruja to the Rumanians the moment Bulgaria's withdrawal from the war was confirmed.2 On October 5, one day after Berlin had dispatched its first peace note to President Wilson, the Porte addressed a virtually identical message to the White House via the Spanish govern­ ment. Apparently because of a breakdown in telegraphic com­ munications, the Turkish note did not reach Madrid until Oc­ tober 12, and it was only on October 14 that it was delivered in Washington.3 The State Department duly informed the Allied governments of the Turkish peace proposal and requested their advice on how it should be answered. Since Britain, in particular, did not respond, the American reply to the Porte was delayed until October 31, by which time the Turks had already signed the Armistice of Mudros.4 The Porte's peace note to Wilson was sent with Berlin's 2 Harry R. Rudin, Armistice 1918 (New Haven, 1944), pp. 44-55 and passim.·, FO, Tiirkei 150, Bd. 10, Bernstorff to FO, 1 Oct 1918, No. 1,628. On the circumstances surrounding the decision of the German government to sue for peace, new primary evidence may be found in Matthias, 11, 738-98, passim; Erich Matthias and Rudolf Morsey, eds., Die Regierung des Prinzen Max von Baden (Diisseldorf, 1962), pp. 3-123, passim·, and Albrecht von Thaer, Generalstabsdienst an der Front und in der O.H.L. (Gottingen, 1958), pp. 232-42, and passim. 3See Schulthess, v. 59:2, 524, 620; Foreign Relations of the United States, 1918, Supplement 1, 1, 359-60. 4 See Laurence Evans, United States Policy and the Partition oj Tur\ey, 1914-1924 (Baltimore, 1965), pp. 84-85. For text of Lansing's reply to Turkey see Foreign Relations of U.S., 1918, Supplement /, 1, 428. Qollapse of the (Alliance knowledge.5 Three days after its dispatch, on October 8, Bernstorfi notified the WiIhelmstrasse that Talat's cabinet was on its way out and that efforts were being made to assemble a new council of ministers which...

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Additional Information

ISBN
9781400877591
Related ISBN
9780691051239
MARC Record
OCLC
966854685
Pages
450
Launched on MUSE
2017-01-01
Language
English
Open Access
No
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