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

By Richard C. Hall | Go to book overview

7

INTERALLIED WAR

The Bulgarian attack on Serbian positions on the night of 29-30 June unleashed the hostilities which had been escalating since the previous autumn. The Bulgarians, Greeks, and Serbs all perceived war as the means to resolve their disputes. Essentially, all three were fighting for Macedonia. The war presented the Bulgarians with an opportunity to reverse the Serbian alliance of 1912 and acquire all Macedonia. A greater Bulgaria could dominate the Balkans. The Greeks and Serbs not only faced the prospect of dividing the rich region between themselves, but also of preventing Bulgarian hegemony. Their alliance agreements in the spring of 1913 provided for northern Macedonia, including Skoplje, to remain with Serbia and southern Macedonia, including Salonika, to stay with Greece. After the fighting began, the Romanians seized the opportunity to resolve their dispute with Bulgaria over Dobrudzha, and the Ottomans used the occasion to take back Adrianople.


Military preparations

The Serbs and Greeks held the advantage militarily. In the war with the Ottomans, they had faced comparatively weak forces and had taken relatively light casualties. Also the fighting in Macedonia and Albania, except around the two besieged Albanian cities of Janina and Scutari, had been of short duration. For the Serbs, the fighting was over after the Battle of Bitola, although they did lend troops to their Bulgarian and Montenegrin allies. For the Greeks, the fighting had ended with the fall of Janina in March 1913. This time had enabled the Greeks and Serbs to construct strong defensive positions in Macedonia. The Bulgarian forces, depleted from the heavy fighting in Thrace and exhausted from standing at arms over nine months since the previous autumn, would have to attack to gain their goal of Macedonia.

The Bulgarians did possess some advantages of their own. They controlled internal lines of communication and supply. A single language and a unified command also aided the Bulgarians. Although the Greek and Serbian

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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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