The treaty stipulated that Germany and Austria-Hungary were to help Italy if it was attacked by France without Italian provocation; Italy would help Germany if Germany were attacked by France. In the event of a war between Austria-Hungary and Russia, Italy promised to remain neutral. This abstention would result in the release of Austrian troops that would otherwise have been necessary to guard the Austro-Italian border. Britain, traditionally in control of the seas, regarded the German Navy as a serious threat to its Royal Navy in 1909. .

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