1908 Phocion’s Sword: Prussian Militarism, and Navalism

“When Alexander the Great requested ships from an unwilling Athens, the Senate asked the incorruptible   for his opinion. He responded that “you should either have the sharpest sword, or keep upon good terms with those who have”.

In the Pact of London, signed on 5th September 1914, Britain, France and Russia agreed that none would make a separate peace with the Central Powers, deliberately making each indentured to the others: Even if one country achieved its aims, it had to remain in the fight until the other two succeeded in theirs. This must be considered at least a little odd given that their aims were very disparate, sometimes even opposed. The following April Italy signed this secret pact, having been promised far more extensive territorial gains by the Entente than by her former allies.”

This episode was written by Colm Ó Sé.

Colm was born and lives in Dublin; He is a medical graduate of Trinity College, Dublin, and works as a GP; he is an enthusiastic amateur historian.