The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power, 1898 to 1918

The Berlin-Baghdad Express: The Ottoman Empire and Germany's Bid for World Power, 1898 to 1918

4.5 2
by Sean McMeekin
     
 

The modern Middle East was forged in the crucible of the First World War, but few know the full story of how war actually came to the region. As Sean McMeekin reveals in this startling reinterpretation of the war, it was neither the British nor the French but rather a small clique of Germans and Turks who thrust the Islamic world into the conflict for their

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Overview

The modern Middle East was forged in the crucible of the First World War, but few know the full story of how war actually came to the region. As Sean McMeekin reveals in this startling reinterpretation of the war, it was neither the British nor the French but rather a small clique of Germans and Turks who thrust the Islamic world into the conflict for their own political, economic, and military ends.

The Berlin-Baghdad Express tells the fascinating story of how Germany exploited Ottoman pan-Islamism in order to destroy the British Empire, then the largest Islamic power in the world. Meanwhile the Young Turks harnessed themselves to German military might to avenge Turkey’s hereditary enemy, Russia. Told from the perspective of the key decision-makers on the Turco-German side, many of the most consequential events of World War I—Turkey’s entry into the war, Gallipoli, the Armenian massacres, the Arab revolt, and the Russian Revolution—are illuminated as never before.

Drawing on a wealth of new sources, McMeekin forces us to re-examine Western interference in the Middle East and its lamentable results. It is an epic tragicomedy of unintended consequences, as Turkish nationalists give Russia the war it desperately wants, jihad begets an Islamic insurrection in Mecca, German sabotage plots upend the Tsar delivering Turkey from Russia’s yoke, and German Zionism midwifes the Balfour Declaration. All along, the story is interwoven with the drama surrounding German efforts to complete the Berlin to Baghdad railway, the weapon designed to win the war and assure German hegemony over the Middle East.

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780674057395
Publisher:
Harvard University Press
Publication date:
09/15/2010
Edition description:
New Edition
Pages:
496
Sales rank:
589,897
Product dimensions:
6.50(w) x 9.30(h) x 1.70(d)

Table of Contents

List of Maps

List of Abbreviations

A Note on Names and Translations

Prologue: The View from Haydarpasha 1

I THE VISION

1 The Kaiser, the Baron and the Dragoman 7

2 Berlin to Baghdad 32

3 Young Turks and Old Caliphs 54

II THE PROPHET ARMED

4 A Gift from Mars: German Holy War Fever 85

5 The War for the Porte 100

6 The First Global Jihad: Death to Infidels Everywhere! (Unless they be Germans, Austrians, Hungarians, Americans or -possibly - Italians) 123

III ADVENTURES IN GERMAN JIHAD

7 Parting the Red Sea 141

8 An Austrian in Arabia 153

9 Showdown at the Suez Canal 166

10 Gallipoli: From Disaster to Triumph 180

11 The Blood of the Prophet 191

12 The Shia Stratagem 201

13 To the Gates of India 209

IV BOOMERANG

14 Trouble on the Baghdad Railway 233

15 The Reluctant Mahdi 259

16 Iranian Implosion 275

17 Betrayal in Mecca 288

18 The Holy War Devours its Children 301

19 Consolation Prize? The Race for Baku 318

Epilogue: The Strange Death of German Zionism and the Nazi-Muslim Connection 340

Notes 367

Bibliography 413

Acknowledgements 427

Index 431

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