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The Ottoman Road to War in 1914: The Ottoman Empire and the First World War (Cambridge Military Histories) Paperback – December 9, 2010

ISBN-13: 978-0521175258 ISBN-10: 0521175259 Edition: 1st

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Product Details

  • Series: Cambridge Military Histories
  • Paperback: 234 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (December 9, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521175259
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521175258
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 8.9 x 5.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #607,669 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"What Aksakal offers is a meticulous analysis of the factors that induced the political leaders of the Ottoman Empire to enter the war on the German side in October 1914." Erik-Jan Zürcher, Diplomacy and Statecraft

"In this new study, Mustafa Aksakal demonstrates with authority that the general apprehension of dissolution and partition that drove Ottoman officials in 1914 derived from the disastrous Balkan Wars of 1912 and 1913 ... and was based on a plethora of very real threats and secret negotiations leading up to the Ottoman signing of the alliance with Germany on August 2, 1914." Virginia Aksan, Insight Turkey

"Overall, this work is an impressive and very valuable contribution to our understanding of the relationship between Germany and the Ottoman Empire, as well as their respective foreign policies, on the eve of the First World War." -Emre Sencer, H-German

"This brilliant analysis sets out to answer two questions: why did the Empire go to war and why did it side with the Central Powers. It examines the intellectual milieu of the era, the specific problem of a war with Greece in 1914, the foreign policy imperatives, the reaction to the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the formation of the alliance with Germany and, finally, the uneasy relations with Germany after the alliance was formed....This study gives historians a much needed corrective to the view that the Empire should only be seen as a puppet of Germany." -- Contemporary Review

"..well organized and well written volume is extensively researched..." -Alexander M. Shelby, Journal of Military History

"This is a worthwhile book...It does an excellent job of illuminating a relatively dim corner of history." -Thomas E. Ward, Military Review

Book Description

Why did the Ottoman Empire enter the First World War, months after the war's devastations had become clear? Mustafa Aksakal's dramatic study demonstrates that responsibility went far beyond the war minister, Enver Pasha, and that the road to war was paved by the demands of a politically interested public.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By D. D. LeDu on October 25, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This is an interesting and enlightening book. I saw a review of it in the Hürriyet Daily News (an English language Turkish newspaper) or otherwise would have missed it. The author, Mustafa Aksakal, has written the first book I have found to take a comprehensive and believable look at the entrance of the Ottoman Empire into World War I.

Most books take one of two approaches: either the Ottomans were duped by an expansionist Germany, or Enver Pasha manipulated an incompetent Ottoman government into the war. By delving deep into the records of Turkey, Germany, France and Russia (which have been depleted by war, disinterest and, sometimes, deliberate cleansing) Aksakal has thrown light and understanding on the events of 1914.

"The Ottoman Road to War" shows that a myriad of conflicting self-interests prodded the several nations towards a result that was neither inevitable nor planned. Anyone with a bit of knowledge of the period and the region will find this book imminently believable. It is an excellent example of scholarship.

Most histories are filtered by hindsight. Aksakal has reviewed the documents that are available, evaluating them in terms of what was known and believed by the various parties at the time the decisions were being made. In doing so, he has shown that nations with conflicting interests can find themselves led into situations that are, with hindsight, both foolish and self-destructive.

The Ottomans of 1914 had just suffered a century of reverses and humiliations. Much of its Empire had been lost. Neighboring states (former colonies) were thirsting for revenge.
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