The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others - Vol. 9

The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others - Vol. 9

Read FREE!

The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others - Vol. 9

The Literary Digest History of the World War: Compiled from Original and Contemporary Sources: American, British, French, German, and Others - Vol. 9

Read FREE!

Excerpt

Three months after the war began, but seven months before she herself declared war on Austria, Italy committed an act which, in a time of European peace, would have precipitated something like an international crisis; she landed Italian marines at Valona on the eastern side of the Adriatic. in the presence of desperate battles going on in Flanders and Poland, the act at the time was almost ignored. When thought of at all, it was recognized, however, as promising another complication, another major change in European conditions when at last peace should be restored.

At the lower end of the Adriatic both shores—the Italian and the Albanian—are visible in good weather from the deck of a steamer in midchannel. On the Albanian side lies Valona (or Avlona) with its wide bay. Only forty miles here separate Italy from Albania. in capable hands Valona commands the Adriatic, in Austrian hands it was a menace to Italy. All the good harbors in the Adriatic are found on the eastern shore, and most of them were under Austro-Hungarian flags—Trieste, Sebenico, Gravosa, Fiume, and Cattaro, the last the finest of all. Each had belonged to the Hapsburgs since the Congress in Vienna in 1814, but without exception they bore Italian names and were splendid monuments of the ancient Venetian supremacy, of which Freeman and Jackson have written charming books.

Out of territory formerly Turkish a kingdom of Albania had been created at the Conference of London at the close of the Balkan wars in 1913. It was a direct consequence of conflicting rivalries. None of the Great Powers cared for Albania in herself, but Austria was resolved that the . . .

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