Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Thursday, April 10, 2014

What It Was About — An Alternate Theory

What Was It About the Berlin to Baghdad Railroad?

One of things I have found most interesting in studying the First World War is in discovering how many researchers and commentators are fascinated by the Berlin to Baghdad Railway plan. Here is a broad all-encompassing theory about its importance.

The Proposed Route as of 1919
Incomplete Sections Represented by Broken Line

Germany's supreme object in the Great War was to challenge the world supremacy of the British Empire, and to achieve that purpose by turning the flank of the great sea Empire by means of a continuous railway from the German Ocean to the Persian Gulf. . .the pivot is to be found in the Near Eastern policy of Germany, and in her determination to connect Berlin not only with Constantinople, but with Baghdad and Basra. The key to the whole position was therefore in the keeping of Belgrade. To wrest the key from Serbia and to secure her line of communications, on the one hand with Constantinople, on the other with Salonika, was for Germany not merely the pretext but the reason for the war.

Europe and Beyond. . . 1870-1920, by Sir J.A.R. Marriott, 1921

Map from:  Geography of the Great War by Frank M. McMurry

1 comment:

  1. I find this intriguing; have you done further research; recommend any materials other than the cited 1921 Marriott work? Many thanks