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The First Balkan War, which lasted from October 1912 to May 1913, pitted the Balkan League (Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria) against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success. As a result of the war, almost all remaining European territories of the Ottoman Empire were captured and partitioned among the allies. Ensuing events also led to the creation of an independent Albanian state. Despite its success, Bulgaria was dissatisfied over the division of the spoils in Macedonia, which provoked the start of the Second Balkan War.
SerbiaSerbia called upon about 255,000 men (out of a population of 2,912,000 people) with about 228 guns, grouped in 10 infantry divisions, two independent brigades and a cavalry division, under the effective command of former War Minister Radomir Putnik. The Serbian High Command, in its pre-war wargames, had concluded that the likeliest site of the decisive battle against the Ottoman Vardar Army would be on the Ovče Pole plateau, before Skopje. Hence, the main forces were formed in three armies for the advance towards Skopje, while a division and an independent brigade were to cooperate with the Montenegrins in the Sanjak of Novi Pazar.The First Army (132,000 men) was commanded by General Petar Bojović, and was the strongest in number and force, forming the center of the drive towards Skopje. The Second Army (74,000 men) was commanded by General Stepa Stepanović, and consisted of one Serbian and one Bulgarian (7th Rila) division. It formed the left wing of the Army and advanced towards Stracin. The inclusion of a Bulgarian division was according to a pre-war arrangement between Serbian and Bulgarian armies, but that division ceased to obey orders of Gen. Stepanović as soon as the war began, followed only the orders of the Bulgarian High Command. The Third Army (76,000 men) was commanded by General Božidar Janković and, being the right-wing army, had the task to liberate Kosovo and then join the other armies in the expected battle at the Ovče Polje. There were also two other concentrations in northwestern Serbia across the Serbo-Austrohungarian borders, the Ibar Army (25,000 men) under General Mihail Zhivkovich and the Javor brigade (12,000 men) under Lt Colonel Milovoje Anđelković.
The Balkan War's 1 and 2
The Second Balkan War was a conflict that broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies Serbia and Greece, on 29 June 1913. Bulgaria had a prewar agreement about the division of region of Macedonia. But Serbia, displeased with being forced by the Great Powers to evacuate Albania, refused to give up any more territory. Bulgaria then declared war on Serbia. Soon thereafter, minor clashes broke out along the borders of the occupied zones between Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece. Serbia began negotiations with Greece, which had also been concerned about Bulgaria's intentions. The Serbian and Greek armies immediately repelled the Bulgarian attack. Romania also attacked Bulgaria on the pretext of their previous territorial boundaries. The Ottoman Empire also took advantage of the situation to regain some lost territory from the First Balkan War.After much violent fighting with equally numerous casualties on both sides, the Serbian front calmed down. Greece launched a counteroffensive and managed to rapidly penetrate Bulgarian-occupied territory, pushing back the Bulgarians to their pre-war border and cutting them off from the Aegean Sea. However, King Constantine of Greece, believing that Bulgaria had been defeated, ordered the Greek army to march farther into the Bulgarian capital Sofia. Constantine wanted a decisive victory, despite the objections of Eleftherios Venizelos. When the Greek army marched in without precautions, it was ambushed at Kresna by the Bulgarian 1st and 2nd Armies which had already taken defensive positions there. The Greeks and Bulgarians were in stalemate and had sustained heavy casualties during the previous days of fighting. In the end, both the Bulgarian and Greek governments wanted peace and ended the fighting. The war ended when Romana , Bulgaria asked for an armistice, which Romania accepted the truce and the war ended. A general armistice was agreed to in July and the territorial spoils divided on 10 August 1913 in the Treaty of Bucharest and the Treaty of Constantinople.With the strong diplomatic support of Russia, Bulgaria succeeded in retaining Western Thrace, its outlet to the Aegean Sea, with the port of Dedeagach (Alexandroupolis), and part of Macedonia. Thus, Bulgaria enlarged its territory by 16% compared to before the First Balkan War, and increased its population from 4.3 to 4.7 million people. Bulgaria lost most of the territories gained in the First Balkan War, including the southern Dobrudja (to Romania), most of Macedonia, and Eastern Thrace (to the Ottoman Empire). Serbia made gains in northern Macedonia, while Greece gained the region’s southern half. The boundary settlements of the Treaties of Bucharest and Constantinople were only temporary; a mere ten months later, World War I erupted.The Second Balkan War led to the disintegration of the Russo-Bulgarian alliance, thus giving Serbia the upper hand as the only Russian ally in the Balkans. Emboldened by Russia's support, Serbia ignited the July crisis of 1914, and later maintained an uncompromising position against Austria-Hungary that led to World War I.
The Second Balkan War ended in Romania's capital city Bukurest by a deal for a safe and a solo country.
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