By Bunge F.G.
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Extra resources for Einleitung in die Liv Esth und Curlandische Rechtsgeschichte und Geschichte der Rechtsq
61 Not least, there was a historic joint The Strategic Imperative in 1914 l 33 army-navy planning meeting that February in Petersburg, chaired by Foreign Minister Sazonov and attended by Girs, the ambassador to Constantinople, that aimed to make Russia’s Black Sea naval and amphibious forces strong enough to seize Constantinople on their own—ungrateful Bulgarians, German-Ottoman inspector-generals, British dreadnoughts, and all. ”63 In the admittedly competitive field of disingenuous and misleading First World War memoirs, this crucial passage in Sazonov’s Fateful Years must rank near the top of the list.
Heavy industry in the Ukraine, depen dent on supplies imported directly through the Straits via the Black Sea, had nearly ground to a halt. 51 Because this revenue paid for the imports of manufactured components on which Russian industry increasingly depended, not least in the Ukraine and south Russia, the evaporation of the Black Sea export trade had devastated Russia’s recently favorable trade balance, with a surplus of some 430 million rubles in 1910 plummeting to 200 million in 1913. 52 To understand the overriding importance of the Straits question for Petersburg, however, we must go beyond numbers.
All Black Sea port officials were already under naval command. 69 As for Sazonov’s contention that Russian intentions in February 1914 were “peaceful” because she was not yet ready to wage war, this is an even greater howler. ”70 The conference held the following month, moreover, was a war planning session. The issue addressed by Russia’s top diplomats, generals, and naval admirals on 8/21 February 191471—a meeting convened by order of His Majesty Nicholas II, under the chairmanship of Sazonov himself—was, according to the original transcript, “the possibility of the Straits question being opened, even quite possibly in the near future” (byit’ mozhet’ dazhe v blizkom budushchem).
Einleitung in die Liv Esth und Curlandische Rechtsgeschichte und Geschichte der Rechtsq by Bunge F.G.