The Great World War A History, Part VII

THE GREAT WORLD WAR VOLUME III CHAPTER I THE DARDANELLES CAMPAIGN—FIRST PHASE (February-M arch 1915) The Purpose of the Dardanelles Campaign— The Scene of Naval Operations—The Turkish Forts in the Straits—A ttacks of the Allies on February Operations from March 1 to 7— The Case of the Moral of the Story. THE reader will remember that after the declaration of war by Turkey the Russian Em­pire was all but wholly blockaded. Germany dominated the Baltic and when Turkey became openly hostile, Russian trade to the Mediterranean byway of the Bosphorus Sea of Marmora or Dardanelles was neces­sarily suspended. There remained only Archangel in the extreme north of Europe on the White Sea and in the most remote east the ports on the Sea of Japan and the North Pacific. Archangel is accessible only by one line of railway and is closed by ice in winter. The eastern ports could be reached only along the Siberian Railway slowly and at a prohibitive cost for transport. This interruption produced a great altera- .Vol. I I I .25 and the Following Day— The Bad Weather— Am ethyst—The Grand Attack of March 18— The tion in the rate of exchange to the detriment of Russia and it was known to all the world that unless the empire could find some means of placing its. produce on the markets of the world, more rapid and less costly than the routes by Archangel and the Far East great financial embarrassments would inevitably be felt in the spring of 1915. There was a peremptory necessity for Russia to find outlets, and her allies whose interests were also concerned were under an obliga- ' O tion of honour to give her effectual aid. The best way in which help could be given was by opening the trade route between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Other good results would follow the successful performance of this operation. The command of the route implied the 85
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