Sunday, July 21, 2024

The First Balkan War

Written By Rebant Patodi (Grade 9)


The First Balkan War was fought from the 8th of October 1912 till 30th May 1913 between the Balkan League (Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro, Greece) and the Ottoman Empire in the Balkan Peninsula. 

The Balkan war originated in the aspiration of freedom from the Ottoman empire.  The main objective of the Balkan war was to annex the European territories of the Ottoman Empire as the nations under them were sick and worn out by their rule. As a result, the countries Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria and Montenegro sought to emulate the Balkan League. The Balkan League was formed under the influence of Russia in the spring of 1912 in order to take Macedonia from the Ottoman Empire, which was already involved in a war with Italy at the time. The Ottoman Empire was not ready to give up the state of Macedonia. During this period the Ottoman Empire was diminishing. After hearing the claims of the Balkan States, the Young Turks threatened to reinvigorate the absolute Monarchy form of the Ottoman Empire. Young Turks were a group of people who had revolted against the Ottoman Empire in the month of July 1908 as they found the Monarchy form of the Ottoman Empire outrageous, and wanted a constitutional form of the Empire. The Balkan States wanted to settle this peacefully. This was supported by Russia as they wanted to compensate for what they did in the Bosnian Crises. As a result, the Balkan League was founded. The Balkan League had plans ready to settle the dispute of Macedonia with help of Serbia, Bulgaria, Greece and Montenegro. In the year 1912, the Balkan league came into action and were ready to achieve their goals. 

Montenegro first started the Balkan war in the year 1912 in the month of October, without its allies even joining. The Ottoman Empire declared war on them in the year 1912 17th October. Now the state of Bulgaria attacked the fort of Adrianople and surrounded it with armed forces. Other Two armies of the Bulgarian state achieved major victory in the state of Kirk Kilisse (Lozengrad) and at Buni Hisar/Lule Burgas respectively. 

The Ottoman Empire now rallied at the Chataldzha, the last lines of defense before the Constantinople. An attack by the exhausted Bulgarians on 17 November against the Ottoman positions there had failed. Both sides then had settled in the trench warfare at Chataldzha.

The Serbian Army now broke into the western army of Kumanovo on 23th October. Now the Serbs had proceeded against the diminishing and shrinking resistance of Macedonia, Kosovo and on through Albania, reaching the Adriatic coast in December. 

The Greek navy now had prevented the Ottomans from shipping their reinforcements from the state of Anatolia to the Balkans, and now had occupied the Aegean Islands of the Ottomans.  The Greek army had advanced in two directions, entering the state of Salonika on the 8th of November, and further west, bringing the town of Janina under their siege. The Montenegrin forces now moved into the Sanjak of Novi in Pazar. From there they fled to the northern Albanian town of Scutari (Shkoder) and besieged it. 

After this, the Ottomans signed an armistice with Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria on the 3rd of December. The Ottoman Empire was limited to the besieged territories of Adrianople, Scutaria, Janina and Gallipoli and Eastern Thrace. A coup was returned on 23rd January in which the Young Turks powered in Constantinople. This Government was determined to continue the war mainly to retain Adrianople. It denounced armistice took place on 30th January, the hostilities recommenced and despite everything Adrianople fell in the hands of the Bulgarians on 26th March.  

While all of this was happening, in London, peace negotiations resulted in the preliminary Treaty of London, which was signed on the 30th of May 1913 between the Balkan allies and the Ottoman Empire. By this treaty, the Ottomans Empire in Europe were entitled to a narrow band of territory in the eastern Thrace which was defined by a straight line, drawn from the Aegean port in Enez to the Black Sea port of Midya.


Featured Image Courtesy – Omniatlas



Rebant Patodi
Rebant Patodi
I enjoy playing sports, especially cricket and have played for multiple clubs in and around Mumbai. I also enjoy playing the piano.

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