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Documents Diplomatiques Français Rélatifs Aux Origines De La Guerre De 1914. Third Series, Volume I
Documents Diplomatiques Français Rélatifs Aux Origines De La Guerre De 1914. Third Series, Volume I
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Costes, 1929, 659 pp
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A large group of French scholars has been entrusted by the French Government with the work of publishing the important documents in the French archives dealing with the period from 1871-1914. In order to facilitate the progress of this huge work it has been decided to publish simultaneously three series, beginning respectively with the years 1871, 1900 and 1911. The present volume is the first to appear, and covers the period from November 4, 1911, to February 7, 1912, that is, from the signature of the Franco-German Moroccan agreement to the departure of the Haldane Mission to Berlin. The entire work, it is expected, will fill fifty volumes, and some idea of the fullness can be gained from this first volume, which contains over six hundred documents, more than twice as many as are devoted to the same period in the German collection. The arrangement is admirable in every respect, for the obvious objections to the purely chronological arrangement that has been chosen are met by the inclusion of a topical guide. On the whole, however, the material is disappointing. The lack of marginal notes robs these documents of the intimate touch that is found in the German and English collections, and so much is already known from the existing sources that the reader will look in vain for revelations of major value. Perhaps the most interesting documents in this particular volume are those which deal with the effort of the Russians to open the Straits to their warships in the last months of 1911, an incident which is now pretty much cleared up. The rest of the material serves chiefly as an introduction to the complicated Balkan developments of 1912.