Page:Ambassador Morgenthau's Story.djvu/27

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the Kaiser's conspiracy for world domination. This German diplomat came to Constantinople with a single purpose. For twenty years the German Government had been cultivating the Turkish Empire. All this time the Kaiser had been preparing for a world war, and in this war it was destined that Turkey should play an almost decisive part. Unless Germany should obtain the Ottoman Empire as its ally, there was little chance that she could succeed in a general European conflict. When France had made her alliance with Russia, the man power of 170,000,000 people was placed on her side, in the event of a war with Germany. For more than twenty years Germany had striven diplomatically to detach Russia from this French alliance, but had failed. There was only one way in which Germany could make valueless the Franco-Russian Alliance; this was by obtaining Turkey as an ally. With Turkey on her side, Germany could close the Dardanelles, the only practical line of communication between Russia and her western allies; this simple act would deprive the Czar's army of war munitions, destroy Russia economically by stopping her grain exports, her greatest source of wealth, and thus detach Russia from her partners in the World War. Thus Wangenheim's mission was to make it absolutely certain that Turkey should join Germany in the great contest that was impending.

Wangenheim believed that, should he succeed in accomplishing this task, he would reap the reward which for years had represented his final goal—the chancellorship of the Empire. His skill at establishing friendly personal relations with the Turks gave him a great advantage over his rivals. Wangenheim had precisely that combination of force, persuasiveness, geniality, and