An enterprise to build a railway from Baghdad to Constantinople (which was connected to Berlin by rail), begun in 1903 with substantial German financial involvement. It became controversial because it potentially challenged British and Russian involvement in Persia and the Middle East. In recognition of this the German government was always lukewarm about the project, but through skilful negotiations it managed to gain Russian acceptance in 1911, and British approval as late as June 1914. Hence the scheme is notable less for the minor irritation which it caused to international relations than for the demonstration that German diplomacy in the years before World War I could be low‐key, tactful, and successful. After many interruptions the railway was finally completed in 1940.
Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).