The Survival of the Dual Alliance and the Worsening of Franco-German Relations

  • Christopher Andrew


DELCASSÉ’S long term ambition was to make the Entente Cordiale only the first step in a major diplomatic revolution which would unite England, France, and Russia in a defensive coalition against Germany. This was an idea which had attracted him for at least ten years before he became foreign minister and one which he had discussed with the British ambassador during his first months in office.1 After despairing of this objective for several years at the turn of the century, his hope of a Triple Entente revived early in 1903 after he received evidence that Edward VII and Joseph Chamberlain, the two men he then regarded as the mainsprings of British diplomacy, were both in favour of an understanding with the Dual Alliance.2 Most European diplomats, however, continued to regard Russia and England, ‘the bear and the whale’, as traditional enemies, and few saw any prospect of a reconciliation between them. The German government was convinced that the signs of a rapprochement between France and England were bound to weaken the Dual Alliance. ‘The Russians are not pleased’, the Kaiser jovially remarked to the French military attaché, ‘and one day they are going to give you a —’ (William left the sentence unfinished, but thumbed his nose expressively).3


Diary Entry Finance Minister Foreign Minister Russian Government General Staff 
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Copyright information

© Christopher Andrew 1968

Authors and Affiliations

  • Christopher Andrew
    • 1
  1. 1.CambridgeUSA

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