V. The Modern Period, 1789–1914 > B. The French Revolution and Europe, 1789–1914 > 6. European Diplomacy, 1848–1914 > 1912, Feb. 8
  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
1912, Feb. 8
Haldane mission to Berlin. Haldane suggested that Britain would be willing to support German colonial aspirations in Africa in return for abstention from increase of the fleet. The Germans were unwilling to make naval concessions without a political agreement. German chancellor Theobald von Bethmann-Hollweg demanded a promise of neutrality under certain conditions, whereas Grey refused more than an assurance not to attack or take part in a hostile combination against Germany.  1
March 8
Publication of the new German naval bill, providing for an increase in the number of ships, an increase in personnel, and the establishment of a third squadron in commission. With this the Anglo-German discussions came to an end, though conversations regarding the Baghdad Railway and colonial affairs continued, and an effort was made on both sides to put relations on a better footing.  2
March 13
Treaty of alliance between Bulgaria and Serbia. This had been under discussion since 1908 and had been warmly supported by the Russians (especially Nicholas Hartwig, the minister at Belgrade). Serious negotiations were initiated in Oct. 1911, in view of the Tripolitan War, but were delayed by the insistence of the Bulgarians that the alliance be directed against the Ottoman Empire rather than Austria and that Macedonia should receive autonomy. The secret annexe of the treaty provided for a possible war against the Ottoman Empire. The treaty was supplemented by a military convention (May 12). Its general tenor became known to most of the powers at an early date, but it was not taken very seriously. The Russians, who had sponsored it, regarded it chiefly as a defensive bulwark against Austria and relied on their ability to hold back the Balkan states from aggression against the Ottomans.  3
April 18
The Italians bombarded the Dardanelles, which were thereupon closed by the Ottomans. After vigorous protests from Russia and other powers, they were reopened on May 4.  4
May 4–16
The Italians conquered Rhodes and other islands of the Dodecanese, thereby establishing a footing in the eastern Mediterranean and causing much uneasiness in Britain and France.  5
May 29
Treaty of alliance between Bulgaria and Greece. This had been proposed by Venizelos a year before but had been evaded by the Bulgarians for fear of becoming involved in a war concerning Crete. Such a war was not provided for in the treaty, and the definition of claims in Macedonia was postponed. A military convention was concluded on Oct. 5.  6
July 16
Naval convention between France and Russia, to supplement the military convention of 1893. This was part of Raymond Poincaré's (French premier since Jan. 14, 1912) policy of strengthening the alliance with Russia.  7
Sept. 18
Bulgaria and Serbia decided for war against the Ottoman Empire, using the demand for reform merely as a blind. The two powers were anxious to take advantage of the Tripolitan War, which was coming to a close.  8
Sept. 30
Mobilization of the Balkan states. Russia announced a trial mobilization in Poland.  9
Oct. 8
Austro-Russian note to the Balkan states, demanding respect for the status quo and promising reforms for Macedonia.  10
Oct. 8
Montenegro declared war on the Ottoman Empire.  11
Oct. 18
OUTBREAK OF THE FIRST BALKAN WAR, between Bulgaria, Serbia, and Greece on the one hand, and the Ottomans on the other.  12
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.