The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War

By Richard C. Hall | Go to book overview

6

THE INTERBELLUM

The armistice at Chataldzha on 15 April and the surrender of Scutari to the Montenegrins on 22 April ended the fighting of the First Balkan War. Diplomatic activity among the Great Powers and among the Balkan allies intensified. At the same time, the implosion of the Balkan League accelerated. By mid-May, the situation of Bulgaria had become desperate. Pressured by their erstwhile allies and Romania, lacking a final peace with the Ottomans, and increasingly insecure about Russian patronage, the Bulgarians sought a resolution of their problems that would secure Macedonia for themselves.


St Petersburg Ambassadors Conference

The St Petersburg Ambassadors Conference met at the end of March 1913 with the intention of resolving the Romanian-Bulgarian dispute. It was an adjunct to the London Ambassadors Conference, intended primarily to preserve Russian interests in Bulgaria while extending those same interests to Romania. The St Petersburg government ardently sought the detachment of Bucharest from the Triple Alliance. This was an ambitious undertaking that proved beyond the capabilities of Russian diplomacy. At the same time, the Triple Alliance powers endeavored to maintain Romanian loyalty at the expense of pro-Russian Bulgaria. This meant that Bulgaria would have to pay the price for the interests of the Great Powers.

On 8 May, the St Petersburg Ambassadors Conference rendered a decision in the Bulgaro-Romanian dispute that assigned the Bulgarian Danubian port of Silistra to Romania. This was a compromise between the Romanian demands for southern Dobrudzha and the Bulgarian refusal to accept any meaningful cession of its territory. Naturally this decision antagonized both sides. The Romanians sought further concessions from Bulgaria in southern Dobrudzha. At the same time, the loss of this ethnically Bulgarian town outraged the Sofia government. The duplicitous Russian policy also made the Bulgarians, who relied on Russia to mediate the growing dispute with Serbia, uncertain about the reliability of the power they depended upon to protect their interests. If Russia would not preserve the territorial integrity

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The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents v
  • Preface ix
  • 1 - Balkan War Origins 1
  • 2 - The First Balkan War 22
  • 3 - First Balkan War 45
  • 4 - The Armistice 69
  • 5 - Three Sieges 80
  • 6 - The Interbellum 97
  • 7 - Interallied War 107
  • 8 - Consequences and Conclusions 130
  • Notes 144
  • Works Cited 158
  • Index 168
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