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Triple Alliance with Austria and Italy (May 20, 1882)

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Article III. If one, or two, of the high contracting parties, without direct provocation on their part, should chance to be attacked and to be engaged in a war with two or more Great Powers nonsignatory to the present treaty, the casus foederis will arise simultaneously for all the high contracting parties.

Article IV. In case a Great Power nonsignatory to the present treaty should threatened the security of the states of one of the high contracting parties, and the threatened party should find itself forced on that account to make war against it, the two others bind themselves to observe towards their ally a benevolent neutrality. Each of them reserves to itself, in this case, the right to take part in the war, if it should see fit, to make common cause with its ally.

Article V. If the peace of any of the high contracting parties should chance to be threatened under the circumstances foreseen by the preceding articles, the high contracting parties shall take counsel together in ample time as to the military measures to be taken with a view to eventual cooperation.

They engage henceforward, in all cases of common participation in a war, to conclude neither armistice, nor peace, nor treaty, except by common agreement among themselves.

Article VI. The high contracting parties mutually promise secrecy as to the contents and existence of the present treaty.

Article VII. The present treaty shall remain in force during the space of five years, dating from the day of the exchange of ratifications.

Article VIII. The ratifications of the present treaty shall be exchanged at Vienna within three weeks [ . . . ].

H. VII of Reuss
C. Robilant

Source of English translation: The Secret Treaties of Austria-Hungary, 1879-1914, vol. I, Alfred Franzis Pribam, ed. Eng. Ed. by Archibald Cary Coolidge, Tr. by Denys P. Myers and J. G. D’Arcy Paul. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1920, pp. 65, 67, 69, reprinted in Theodore S. Hamerow, ed., The Age of Bismarck: Documents and Interpretations. New York: Harper & Row, 1973, pp. 285-87.

Original German text reprinted in B. Schwertfeger, Die Diplomatische Akten des Auswärtigen Amtes 1871-1914 [The Diplomatic Files of the Foreign Office 1871-1914], vol. 1, pp. 266ff, and in Ernst Rudolf Huber, ed., Dokumente zur Deutschen Verfassungsgeschichte [Documents on German Constitutional History], 3rd rev. ed., vol. 2, 1851-1900. Stuttgart: Kohlhammer, 1986, pp. 497-98.

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