This paper is a part of ongoing doctoral research dedicated to Russia’s military strategy and the Entente in the First World War. Based predominantly on documents from Russian archives, it attempts to examine the role that Russian military command played in October – February 1916 in Allied discussions of the fate of the Salonika front. It argues that archival sources that were previously discussed exclusively in the context of Russia’s national strategy in 1915-1916, can offer a new valuable insight on the Entente decision-making if considered alongside the timeline of Franco-British negotiations on the Salonika issue. It shows that the Russian high command took a very rigid stance on Salonika matters pushing the Allies towards a military expedition in Macedonia. At the same time, concerned with the military impact of Serbia’s loss on the Eastern Front, the Russian command was seemingly unaware of the French internal political crisis and promoted the Salonika expedition for reasons of military strategy. Thus, considering Russia as another influential actor in the Salonika negotiations might help us to re-evaluate the political framework that was often used in the past four decades to discuss the creation of the Salonika front.
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