Balkan Wars

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Balkan Wars

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The name of the two wars that took place in the Balkans in southeastern Europe, as a result of the conflict of the Balkan countries: Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, between 1912-1913 to control Macedonia and most of Thrace which was still under Ottoman control, and control of spoils.

Bulgaria suffered defeat in the end and lost most of what it had promised in the initial partition plan.

Balkan Association

It was an alliance formed by a series of bilateral treaties concluded in 1912 between the Christian Balkan States and directed against the Ottoman Empire, which controlled most of the Balkan Peninsula.

Since the beginning of 1900, the Balkans have been through years of guerrilla warfare in Macedonia, followed by the Turkish revolution and the Bosnian crisis.

The weakness of the Ottomans was exacerbated by the outbreak of the Italian-Turkish war in 1911, which encouraged the Balkans.

With the Russian influence, Serbia and Bulgaria broke their differences and formed an alliance, originally against Austria and Hungary on March 13, 1912, but by adding a secret chapter to it, the alliance changed mainly to become against the Ottoman Empire.

Serbia had signed a reciprocal alliance with Montenegro, while Bulgaria had done the same with Greece.

The Association won the first Balkan War, which broke out in 1912, successfully wresting control of all the Ottoman lands.

However, after that victory, the previous differences between these allies on the sharing of spoils, especially Macedonia, led to the breakup of the Association, and immediately followed on June 16, 1913, by a Bulgarian attack on its former allies, to begin the second Balkan war.

 Balkan War I

Bulgaria and Serbia held a secret treaty between them in 1912. According to the agreement, the largest part of Albania was to Serbia.

The war began on October 8, 1912, between Turkey on a hand and Montenegro, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece on the other.

Turkey suffered heavy losses during the war, and signed a military agreement on December 3, 1912, after the Turks requested a truce to stop the fighting.

This was followed by a peace conference in London, where Balkan states asked Turkey to abandon the occupied territories and pay war reparations. Turkey rejected these demands, leading to the resumption of the war from 3 February to 3 May 1913.

Greece, Bulgaria, and Montenegro seized more land on the peninsula.

A second peace conference was held in London on 20 May 1913 under the auspices of the great powers. A peace treaty was signed on May 30 under which Turkey gave up most of its European territory.

 Balkan War II

The Balkans saw fundamental differences between them during the first days after the first Balkan war, when the Bulgarians insisted on sending troops to Salonica in Greece, while Montenegro was not satisfied with the London Treaty, as the great powers gave Schkoder to Albania, contrary to what was agreed upon secretly before the first Balkan war.

Bulgaria and Serbia realized that the Partition Treaty was outdated and needed an amendment. Serbia wanted to help Russia’s Caesar dividing Macedonia among Serbia and Bulgaria, but Bulgaria did not have strong confidence in Russia’s emperor.

Bulgaria hoped that Austria and Hungary, fearful of the growing strength of Serbia, would help them.

Serbia held an alliance treaty with Greece on 1 June 1913.

The Balkan War II began on 29-30 June 1913, when Bulgaria’s armies attacked Greece and Serbia.

It was a short war, but it was bloodier than the first.

The Turks joined the war with the Greeks and the Serbs. Bulgaria was unable to withstand that alliance and then demanded a truce to stop the fighting.

The Treaty of Bucharest was signed on August 10, 1913.

The result of that war was that Bulgaria lost most of the territory it had taken from Turkey.

 Beyond the War

World War I

The war began on the Balkan Peninsula and Bulgaria and Turkey joined forces with Germany, Austria, and Hungary in the World War I.

After World War I, the territory of Serbia and Montenegro and the areas north of them were annexed to the former Yugoslavia.

World War II

Bulgaria, Hungary, and Romania joined forces with Germany and Italy.

Bulgaria occupied Serbian territory from the former Yugoslavia and the northern part of Greece.

The German and Italian armies occupied the rest of the territory of Greece and Yugoslavia, while Turkey remained neutral most of the war.

Beyond World War II

All the Balkan Peninsula countries have been under communist control except Turkey and Greece, which have become members of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO).

In the late 1980s and early 1990s, the Communists lost control of Albania and Bulgaria, and Turkey and Greece have been at odds over the oil reserves of the Aegean Sea since the mid-1970s.

In 1991, four republics within the former Yugoslavia declared independence: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, and Slovenia.

There was a war between the Serbs on a hand and Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina on the other. It did not end until the end of 1995 after the region was re-divided according to specific agreements.

In 1999, NATO launched strong strikes against Serbia in an effort to put an end to attacks by Serbia against Kosovo Albanian citizens.

 

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