Monday, December 19, 2011
Goeben & Breslau.
Thanks to the author Geoffrey Miller we have the full and entire story of:
"Superior Force - - the conspiracy behind the escape of Goeben and Breslau"
This is great stuff. Please read! I recommend it highly.
German naval vessels pursued by the warships of the Royal Navy [RN] during the Great War [WW1], as described in a chapter of the book: "The Guns of August" by Barbara Tuchmann.
NOT so much the pursuit and escape of the Goeben and Breslau of such consequence it turns out [and I was not aware of this] but rather THE AFTERMATH OF THE CHASE OF GREAT IMPORTANCE IN A WAY NOT APPRECIATED!!
From the wiki we have:
"The pursuit of Goeben and Breslau was a naval action that occurred in the Mediterranean Sea at the outbreak of the First World War . . . The German ships [Goeben and Breslau] evaded the British fleet and passed through the Dardanelles to reach Constantinople [Istanbul] where their arrival was a catalyst that contributed to the Ottoman Empire joining the Central Powers by issuing a declaration of war against the Triple Entente"
"a bloodless 'battle' . . . they brought 'more slaughter, more misery, and more ruin than has ever before been borne within the compass of a ship.'"
"Although not a widely known historical event now, the escape of Goeben [and Breslau] to Constantinople ultimately precipitated some of the most dramatic events of the 20th century."
* "the entry of the Turks into the war allowed the outnumbered Central powers to fight on for two years longer than they would have been able on their own.".
* "the closure of Russia′s only ice-free trade route through the Dardanelles effectively strangled the Russian economy. Unable to export grain nor import munitions, the Russian army was isolated from her allies and slowly began to collapse"
That British naval force in pursuit hesitant and acting in a half-hearted manner, those in command condemned and found lacking from a lack of initiative - - criticism probably not warranted!
Those great empires of the Old World collapsing as a result of the Great War, German, Austro-Hungarian, Russian and Ottoman breaking up into the various nation-states - - unresolved problems of WW1 only a prelude to much greater conflict to follow.
Thanks to Geoffrey Miller for this web site and a clarification of an episode of history not well known or understood.