Ο ελληνοτουρκικός ναυτικός ανταγωνισμός στο Αιγαίο το 1914 και οι ΗΠΑ (Journal article)

Μαλακάσης, Γιάννης Θ.


This research paper indulges on what can be perceived as the decisive part exercised by the United States Navy to positively reinforce the Greek Naval Establishment, with the acknowledged and explicit aim to thaw, the later, the imminent Turkish threat, against Greece’s eastern Aegean islands. And more precisely, to enable the Greek naval apparatus, to withstand an impending challenge by far more superior and terrifying Turkish naval forces. Indeed, the naval antagonism to which Greece is drawn to, quite unwillingly, it should be emphasized, and more so unprepared, arose out of the compined efforts by the Porte to reestablish its predominance in the Aegean Archipelago, from which she had been shot "off by the rising naval power of Greece and more fundamentaly, in the process, to reduce Greece to a status of an almost a client state depending on Turkish good will. The formal ending of the Balkan wars, and the peace treaties which sealed it, did not provide for an adequate and acceptable settlement of the largest Aegean islands, Greek inhabited and of Greek heritage and national consciousness, and which had been wrestled from the Ottoman Empire by the advances of the Greek Fleet. Turkish nationalism wiped to a frenzy byjthe firebrands of the Young Turks, seemed determined to agressively reclaim the lost territory with a new military show-down with the emerging naval power of Greece. And to make good her claims, the Porte undertook the most awaresome if not systematic program of naval rearmament the Mediterranean had ever seen. Fulfilement of such an ambitious project could have far reaching repercussions for time to come in the broader areas of the confines of the Empire. But its.most visual ones, which perplexed the administration in Athens, was the concrete agression which this rearmament implied, and which was directed against the national sovereignity of the country. Spasmodic if not haphazardus strives to beef up her naval defences, Fleet, due to the perennial Greek indecisiveness and equally one, lack of financial resources, were proving ineffective. The greatest part of 1914 being consumed in a fruitless and morale testing search for the procurement of what could be considered a bare minimum to stem off the Turkish threat, left the administration in Athens, indeed, with limited choises if any. Extraordinary efforts they became necessary and approaches beyond the traditional European markets seemed to provide the only alternative if any. In that manner feelers were directed to AVashington by the Greek prime minister himself pleading, literally, the survival of the country. The American Navy at the time thought the moment opportune to unload two if its less successful ventures in dreadnought building the battleships USS Mississipi and the USS Idaho which had served their usefulness. For Greece, however, it was a heaven sent opportunity, which, of course, momentarily only restored the equilibrium in the naval power in the Aegean. That purchase literally saved the day for Greece until the outbreak of the Great War in the last days of the summer of 1914. Furthermore, the American action provided for a signi- ficent diplomatic coup d'6tat in the region. For it was the first known instance that the American foreign policy in the region, quite insignificant by all counts, up to the time, abandons her neutral posture in spite the rather large American financial interests in the Ottoman Empire to take sides in a regional dispute, in such a decisive manner as to determine In greece’s favor the final outcome of the Greco-Turkish conflict.
Institution and School/Department of submitter: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Φιλοσοφική Σχολή. Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας
Keywords: -
URI: http://olympias.lib.uoi.gr/jspui/handle/123456789/6108
Publisher: Πανεπιστήμιο Ιωαννίνων. Φιλοσοφική Σχολή. Τμήμα Ιστορίας και Αρχαιολογίας
Appears in Collections:Τόμος 16 (1987)

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