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By Luciano Canfora

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La trattativa segreta che si è svolta tra Inghilterra e Russia, e di cui solo in parte i documenti resi via via liberi danno conto, verteva appunto su questo, cioè la Tracia – quella che noi non chiamiamo più Tracia, probabilmente, ma che è la zona dove si trova Istanbul, e che insiste da una parte sul Mar Nero, dall’altra sui Dardanelli – in quali mani sarebbe alla fine caduta e quali garanzie l’Inghilterra era pronta a dare alla Russia per tale controllo, per il controllo di quello strategico, nevralgico punto di sutura tra il Mar Nero e il Mediterraneo?

Da un lato c’è il cancelliere in carica – Bethmann-Hollweg, subentrato a Bülow, dopo l’incidente del «Daily Telegraph» – il quale, Bethmann-Hollweg, è reputato storiograficamente, e da taluni tuttora considerato, un moderato, al quale si 41 contrappone, via via che la guerra procede, un’ala più oltranzista, cosiddetta «annessionista», che cioè ritiene che la guerra debba produrre delle annessioni territoriali, dei vantaggi territoriali per la Germania; Bethmann sarebbe invece favorevole ad una conclusione senza annessioni, una conclusione di compromesso magari più accettabile per i paesi che alla Germania si oppongono.

Perché il governo tedesco ritiene che sia scontato che la Francia interverrà a fianco della Russia. Anche questo è molto sintomatico: si sa che c’è un patto, un’intesa franco-russa bilaterale – come ce 45 n’è una franco-inglese, naturalmente. Non è ovvio ma è congetturale che la Francia si schiererà al fianco della Russia e quindi può costituire una minaccia alla Germania sul fronte occidentale. La Germania previene questa minaccia dichiarando guerra alla Francia: 2 agosto. A questo punto la guerra è europea a 360 gradi.

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