Balkan wars

Article

August 11, 2022

The Balkan Wars refer to two wars fought in the period from 1912 to 1913. The Balkan Wars were a prelude to a larger-scale conflict, the First World War. (see: Causes of the First World War).

First Balkan War

The First Balkan War (8 October 1912 - 30 May 1913) was fought between the Balkan allies (Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece) and Turkey. The Ottoman Empire, which was already shaken by the Young Turk Revolution in 1908, was weakened even more in 1912 by the war against Italy. The Balkan countries use this weakness of Turkey and start a war against Turkey with the aim of liberating the territories of the Balkans that are under Turkish rule. The war began on October 8, 1912, when Montenegro declared war on Turkey. The military Kingdom of Serbia won two important victories in the battles of Kumanovo and Bitola, which freed all of Macedonia. In less than two months, Turkey lost territories in almost the entire area of ​​the European continent, so a truce was established on December 4, 1912 with all opponents, except Greece. After Turkey's refusal to fulfill its demands and the coup d'état in January 1913, the war continued, where Turkey lost the fortresses of Edirne, Ioannina and Skadar, as well as supremacy at sea from the Greek navy, so on May 30, 1913, under the mediation of the Great Powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, France, Great Britain and Italy), peace was established by the London Peace Treaty, according to which Turkey handed over to the Balkan allies all its territories west of the Enos-Midi line (Aegean Sea coast - Black Sea coast), as well as islands in the Aegean Sea, including Crete. As a result of the First Balkan War, Albania was created as an independent state, which Austria-Hungary insisted on, to the detriment of the winning countries, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro.

Second Balkan War

Dissatisfaction with the division of the conquered Turkish territories, especially Macedonia, led to the Second Balkan War (June 29 - August 10, 1913). On June 29, 1913, a Bulgarian military unit was ordered by General S. Kočeva attacked Serbian forces on the Bregalnica River (the so-called Battle of Bregalnica), and on June 30, Greek forces in the area of ​​Thessaloniki. The Greek army under the command of King Constantine defeated the Bulgarians in the Battle of Kukush, where both sides suffered heavy losses.