Serbian, Bulgarian Irregulars Mobilize and Enter the War

February 1912 Highlights from Wikipedia

February 12 – The Qing Dynasty of China, also called the Manchu Dynasty, comes to an end after 268 years.
February 24 – Italy makes a surprise attack on the Ottoman port of Beirut, when the cruiser Giuseppe Garibaldi and the gunboat Volturno bombard the harbour. The attack kills 97 sailors and civilians.
February 29 – Serbia and Bulgaria secretly sign a treaty of alliance for a term of eight years, with each pledging to come to the defense of the other during war.

It is clear that the tone towards both Ottoman Turkey and Tsarist Russia in the mainstream British press of the time had changed dramatically from that of 1878.  Then they threatened Russia with battleships off Constantinople; now they complain of Turkish constraints on Russian agriculture.   This strategic pivot of Britain and France, together with the entrance of Italy into the imperialist sweepstakes in the Mediterranean and North Africa, comprised the decisive shifts in the balance between the Great Powers since the emergence of Germany in the 1870’s.


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