Bourbon-Parmin princes become ambassadors of peace talks. At the end of March 1917, things seem to be going well. The emperor receives the presented princes in person in Vienna Preconditions provided by France : Restoration of Alsace-Lorraine, restoration of independence of Belgium and Serbia. It answers ‘yes’, an emperor who wants peace at any cost. In Paris, the President Raymond Poincare And the Prime Minister was impressed. There is a chance to seize. But this excitement is short-lived.
Because both sides need to inform its allies: England and Italy to France and Austria to Germany.
The British had no qualms about making peace once Belgium was evacuated by Germany. But for Italy it is a different matter. she Entered the war in May 1915 to gain Austrian territories : Trentino, Trieste, Adriatic coast. So the Italian leaders would play a little tune: ‘Be careful, this Austrian plan is a trap to divide the Allies’.
On the German side, it is the same song, especially since we are not ready to give up Alsace-Lorraine or Belgium. We want At least keep the liege.
But the emperor of Austria persisted. He is one Ready to make peace alone and release his German partner. On May 9, 1917, he made a final proposal to the princes of Bourbon-Parma: to appease Italy, he would vacate the Italian-speaking territories, namely the Trentino region. If he guaranteed his new borders, he would sign a separate peace. In other words, Germany will lose its main ally… this is nothing!