"Fall of Eagles" Dress Rehearsal (TV Episode 1974) - Plot Summary Poster

(TV Mini-Series)



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  • In 1908, the Russian Foreign Minister Isvolsky has his mind set on conquering the Dardanelles from the Turks, as the Dardanelles is the only way for the Russian fleet to pass from the Black Sea into the Mediterranean in case of a great war. He knows, however, that both Germany and Austria-Hungary have got important interests in the Balkans and would regard such a venture as a great threat to their respective empires. In order to stop Austria getting in the way, Isvolsky makes a secret agreement with Austrian Foreign Minister Aehrenthal which states that Austria gets an unopposed annexation of the small country of Bosnia-Herzegovina in exchange for their assent to Russia claiming the Dardanelles. Unbeknownst to everyone, the future battle lines of Europe have just been drawn.

  • Russia's Foreign Minister, Izolsky, is desperate to secure access for Russia's Black Sea fleet to the Mediterranean. To do so, he will need to secure access through the Dardanelles, under Turkish control. He meets with his Austro-Hungarian counterpart and they fashion a deal. In return for allowing them to annex Bosnia-Herzegovina, the Austrians will take no action on any Russian moves on the Dardanelles. They also demand that Russia ignore any protests from Serbia, which also has claims on its neighboring territory. Izolsky agrees but incurs the wrath of the Tsar who refuses to abandon Serbia. War is averted, but only just.


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