it’s the year of 1912 in the Balkans also called the Powder Keg of Europe tensions were at a high level we are before the First World War in the last years of the Ottoman Empire and of their deep rule in continental Europe in October 1912 a new war will start the identity of the Balkan region was dominated by its geographical position since the ancient times the area was known as a crossroads of culture and civilization.
this area has been a bridge between the Latin and Greek parts of the Roman Empire also it was the final destination of an important influx of migrators bull gars and Slavs in the middle age the region became an area where the two branches of Christianity met Orthodox and Catholic people met since the Great Schism after a few centuries the region will contact a new religion and a new culture under the rule of the Ottomans their first ruler was Osman which will be known as Asin the first the founder of the Ottoman Empire .
t’s not known for sure how small an Anatolian Balak started to dominate the region but the vulnerability of the Byzantine Empire created the situation for them to expand they passed into Europe defeating local leaders and taking profit from the instability of the region by the year 1400 the ottomans were a true power having control of much of the Balkans and Western Anatolia for the next centuries the Ottoman Empire will expand even further and will rule the Balkans for more than 400 years.
the majority of the people living in the area were Christians speaking a different language having another culture the differences between the Turkish culture and the Balkan ones were huge the ottomans reach their peak in the 16th century but in the next ones their military system fell behind that of their European rivals the Sultanate suffered military defeats in the 18th and 19th centuries also rebellions started to happen.
especially due to the rise of nationalism a popular sentiment which changed the history of Europe 19th century was a period of rebellions in the Balkans Serbs Greeks Romanians Bulgarians and others revolted in a way or another against the Ottoman rule Greeks declared their independence in 1821 and it was recognized in 1830 also independence of Romania Serbia and Montenegro and the semi independence for Bulgaria was recognized in 1878.
after a war even if some of these countries declared their freedom sooner by 1908 Bulgaria was recognized as fully independent tensions among the Balkan states over their rival aspirations to the provinces of Ottoman controled remilia namely eastern remilia Thrace and Macedonia subsided somewhat following intervention by the great powers.
in the mid 19th century aimed at securing both more complete protection for the provinces Christian majority and protection of the status quo even if these nations gained their long desired achievements through their independence Ottoman rule was still there over some of these people Bulgarian Serbians Greeks and others were left outside their motherland in this territory still controlled by the Ottomans tensions existed between Serbia and Bulgaria over.
some territories Serbia’s aspirations to take over bosnia and herzegovina were thwarted by the Bosnian crisis and the Austrian annexation of the province in October 1908 after the unification of Eastern ramela Bulgaria began to dream to its national unification a large army was developed but Bulgaria could not win a war alone against the Ottomans on March 13 1912 Serbia.
in Bulgaria signed a treaty which assigned northern Macedonia to Serbia and southern Macedonia to Bulgaria in May 1912 Greece and Bulgaria signed a similar treaty making use of the military actions against their common enemy Montenegro’s attachment to the league was secured by an informal arrangement with Bulgaria and Greece and a treaty with Serbia concluded.
in September 1912 but Bulgaria refused to commit to any agreement on the distribution of territorial gains unlike its deal with Serbia over Macedonia Bulgaria believed that its army would be able to occupy the larger part of Macedonia and the important port city thessaloniki before the greeks in 1911 Italy had launched an invasion of Tripolitania in present-day Libya the italians decisive military victories over.
the ottoman empire this and the repressive policies of the young turks encouraged the balkan league to imagine they might win a war against the ottomans and achieve their desire to liberate their people the first to declare war was Montenegro on the 8th of October 1912 an ultimatum was sent to Istanbul on the 13th of October Bulgaria Serbia and Greece declared war.
on the Empire on the 17th of October the Ottoman order of battle when the war broke out constituted a total of 12,000 officers three hundred and twenty-four thousand other ranks forty seven thousand nine hundred and sixty animals 2318 artillery pieces and three hundred and eighty-eight machine guns on the other side bulgaria mobilized around six hundred thousand men Serbia around two hundred and fifty five thousand Greece around 120 thousand and Montenegro around forty thousand men in the West and the theater of sanjeok.
the Serbs and Montenegrins coordinate their efforts more to the center the Bulgarians and Serbs focused together in the Macedonia the main theater of the ensuing conflict was Thrace the Bulgarians armies went south and besieged the major ottoman fortress at Adrianople called ed urns the siege was important adrianople was an important city for the ottomans.
it existed since ancient times and its importance existed in the Byzantine times as well the siege of the city had historical meanings Adrianople a major Byzantine city in Thrace was conquered by the Ottomans sometime in the 13th 60s and became the Ottoman capital until the fall of Constantinople in 1453 the fall of the city after some months since the start of the siege can be seen as a downfall of the Ottoman rule.
in the balkan region two major victories were at Kurt Scalise and at Lowell Burgos this one was the largest battle of this war and a decisive victory of the Bulgarians in just a short period of time these successes opened up the gates to Constantinople the Ottoman capital the Turkish rally depature Tulsa the last lines of defense before their capital an attack was made by the whole garyun forces already exhausted.
after important and hard battles on the 17th of November the attack failed and from that time on both sides settled into trench warfare elsewhere the Serbian army broke the western ottoman army akuma novo on the 23rd of october the serbs then proceeded against diminishing resistance into macedonia kosovo and on through albania reaching the adriatic coast.
in december even if the Greek army wasn’t the biggest however Greece was the only Balkan country to possess a substantial Navy this was vital to the league as it could prevent Ottoman reinforcements from being rapidly transferred by ship from Asia to Europe the Greek army advanced in two directions in the Battle of giannetta.
Greek armies were led by the crown prince Constantine and won a very important victory having as a result the capture of Thessaloniki on the 8th of November the city was wanted by Bulgarians who expected to capture it before the Greeks upon hearing about the Greek success Bulgarian High Command urgently dispatched a division from the north in the direction of the city the division arrived there a week later.
further west in the Epirus front the Greek army was initially heavily outnumbered but due to the passive attitude of the Ottomans pushed north after the victory at the Battle of Bassani in March 1913 Montenegrin forces moved into the sanjeok of Novi Bazaar and besieged in northern Albanian town of Scutari the ottoman signed an armistice with Bulgaria Montenegro and Serbia.
on the 3rd of December Greek military operations continued by this time Ottoman rule was limited to the three besieged towns of Adrianople Janina and qatari the Gallipoli Peninsula and Eastern Thrace behind the chital the lines while fighting took place at adrianople it’s Qatari and Janina the Armistice was signed and a peace conference met at London in December 1912.
as a result of the Ottoman collapse groups of Albanian Nobles supported by Austria and Italy declared Albanian independence on the 28th of November 1912 a coup on the 23rd of January 1913 returned a young turk government to power in Constantinople this government was determined to continue the war mainly in order to retain Adrianople.
it denounced the armistice on the 30th of January hostilities recommended to the detriment of the ottomans Janina fell to the Greeks on the 6th of March and Adrianople to the Bulgarians on the 26th of March meanwhile in London peace negotiations resulted in the preliminary Treaty of London.
signed in the 30th of May 1913 between the Balkan allies and the Ottoman Empire by this treaty the Ottoman Empire in Europe consisted of only a narrow band of territory and Eastern Thrace close to their capital in the war Ottoman army was quickly and decisively defeated as the Balkan forces drove the Turks from almost all of their territory.
in the southeastern Europe over the course of a month of course there were Ottoman victories too but with less impact the internal problem of the Ottomans the instability of some territories the wars and exhaustion of the Ottoman state as well as the large and vulnerable borders and Europe contributed to their defeat in the end at peace conferences over.
the course of in the next several months an agreement was reached Macedonia was partitioned between the victors of the first Balkan war the piece concluded on May 30th 1913 but the story of the Balkan Wars does not end there Bulgaria wasn’t so happy they imported territories but felt cheated out of their claims by Serbia and Greece this will be the foundation stone for the next balkan war.
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