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Old November 26th, 2012, 05:06 PM   #101

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Originally Posted by falcon View Post
I think Serbia was not treated right in the Balkan wars, or even recently in the breakup of Yugoslavia.
They should have provided for access to the Adriatic sea in both cases, but I think the big powers diid not have any concern for Serbia in either case.

Now with regards to the second question I think that even if Albania was not created, and it was divided, the 2nd Balkan War would still had happened as long there were disputes not settled among Bulgaria,Greece, Serbia, Turkey and maybe Romania.
Originally Posted by sylla1 View Post
Wasn't the Second Balkan War fundamentally caused by border conflicts of Bulgaria with her neighbors?
Of course. To make it simple, Balkan War no. 2 started because Bulgaria was unsatisfied with their share of Macedonia. I personally think that it was going for the entire Macedon region. I also started because it tried to prove its domination over Balkans.

So in short... if Macedonia was divided as per agreement, and even the neutral territory was given to Bulgaria (let's say that Russian emperor decided so, even tho I think that at that moment he would ALWAYS choose Serbia over Bulgaria), no matter if Serbia and Hellas divided Albania, would Bulgaria still invade Serbia and Hellas? Or would they work on their alliance? Or maybe something different?

I know that this is a little bit "fantasy" scenario, but I hope that it won't bother anyone.

*as for treatment of Serbia in Balkan wars no. 1 and 2, and the breakup of Yugoslavia... I would agree with you falcon.
I think that Serbia was to be granted access to Adriatic sea in Balkan Wars, and that by creating Albanian state, Austria-Hungary created a very not-needed buffer-enemy state in the region. Especially since that state got some of the territory that was traditionally Serbian (Shkodėr aka Skadar in Serbian), and that Albanians, Serbians, and peoples of Macedonia region were not that different culture wise at that moment.
As for breakup of Yugoslavia... I am firm believer in negotiable self determination. If they were hell bent on creating nation-states out of former Yugoslavia, they should've made a referendum on which state you want to join, or demographic survey and then draw borders. UN backed disintegration plan was bad imo.

Last edited by Glowin; November 26th, 2012 at 05:14 PM.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 07:02 PM   #102
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I'm not very familiar with the secret treaty?/understanding?/agreement? between Serbia and Bulgaria before the 1st BW, but I think the idea that the Macedonian region would have been divided among those two was wrong to begin with, simply because it did not take into consideration the Greek claiims on it, not only for historical reasons but for many others too. It could be because when the secret agreement(?) was initiated Greece was not yet in the Balkan alliance at that time but joined later.

There were not any borders after the 1st BW; the understanding before the war was that whatever lands were occupied by each of the individual states (Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece, Montenegro) from the Ottomans were going to be theirs.

Apparently after the 1st BW Bulgaria thought it ought to have more lands from the ones it already occupied, not this time from the Ottomans but from her allies, and therefore having mobilized a lot more people from the others (Serbia and Greece) it felt confident that it would beat the Greeks in the South and the Serbians in the West and push them back; however they forgot about their Southeastern flank where Turkey having lost practically all of Thrace in the 1st BW was waiting to take it back, which they did in the 2nd BW with the capture of Andrianople; as if that wasn't enough, Bulgaria already fighting Greece and Serbia on the other side was also attacked from Romania from the North with which they had border disputes even before the 1st BW.
The result was a catastrofe for Bulgaria ending losing lands to everybody else.
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Old November 26th, 2012, 11:31 PM   #103

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The accent on the reasons for the second Balkan War should be put on the Bulgarian-Greek relations. It has been written in a few previous Balkan War threads - the Greek main goal was Thessaloniki/Solun, the Bulgarian was its outskirts and the rest of Northern Macedonia. Considering that in the city most of the population was Jewish at the time, the Bulgarian Tzar neglected the very idea of the war - unification of the nation, and went for the strategical city port. If the city was left in Greek hands and the outskirts in Bulgarian, I am fairly sure there would be no second war. Serbia would never dare an attack on its own, not to mention Romania. Only the threat of Turkish retaliation would remain, which is something the Tzardom was prepared for.
Sturm was correct when mentioning the Macedonian lobby, which also dragged Bulgaria into defeat by insisting on maximum territorial gain in Macedonia, while neglecting all the Thracians and thus resulting in the Thracian catastrophe afterwards. I'm sure if the capital was somewhere in the East, instead of Sofia, the whole war outcome would be very different.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 02:16 PM   #104

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Serbian expansions in 1913

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Old November 27th, 2012, 07:11 PM   #105

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Apologies in advance for advancing a little more than 12 months from the specific Balkan Wars topic:

The map which Glowin has provided sparked another speculative "what if" regarding the Austro-Serb campaigns of 1914.

The Austrians were forced during October and November to commit the large majority of their reserve formations to fighting at the Northern edge of the Carpathians and around Krakow.

It seems that Durres would possibly be an early stage objective for capture by the Austrians during the 1914 campaign in the event that the Great Power conference which established a sovereign Albania had INSTEAD allowed for a Serb coastline. To allow the Serbs to be re-supplied by the French, British (ASIDE: or any vendor of bullets compatible with Serb rifles, were Serb rifles French or Russian designed? Were older Serb rifles supplied by the Austrians under the political arrangements of 1870s and 1880s?) during the '14-'15 winter would have a cost.

The effect on reserve levels for the Austrians to send to neutralize the Russian advance in Galicia would have been negative, its possible that the Russians would have held some railways and perhaps Krakow population and industries at the beginning of 1915 assuming that "mid-level" quality Austrian forces were called on to deny Serbia the Adriatic coastline.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 02:53 AM   #106

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At the outset of WW1 the Serbian Army was on the one side both tough and able, with them fighting two wars in two years prior, and on the other seriously underequipped. Many units lacked any uniform other than the standard issue greatcoat and šajkača (traditional Serbian hat), leaving the Serbian soldiers to wear their own clothes beneath. To compound matters, there was a severe shortage of rifles and ammunition throughout the Serbian army.

Like many European Armies, the Serbian Army had its troops divided into 1st, 2nd and 3rd Line, with 1st Line (or "Ban") units consisting of younger men, and being allotted the best and modern equipment. So in 1914 no infantry regiment had its full complement of weapons. (Many units lacked 10% of their prescribed number of rifles, some 15% or even more.) Only 1st and 2nd Ban units had modern rifles, usually M1899 7mm Mauser, carried with the standard M1895 big leather German ammunition pouches, while 3rd Ban were given older large calibre Russian rifles. (Many units even lacked these pouches, and the soldiers had to carry their ammo in their pockets)
Only 1st and 2nd Ban units were given machine guns: Maxim type, but not more than 4 guns per regiment.

The standard uniform of the Serbian Army was the M1908, made from thin, airy grey-green cloth. The branch-colour was shown on the standing collar, red for the infantry. When the M1908 greatcoat was not used, it was often carried in a rolled up form. The trousers were loose, tight from the knee, worn either with black or brown marching boots, or with the traditional woolen socks with the also traditional Serb opanci, moccassin-style shoes. This uniform was introduced from 1912, but by the outbreak of the war only 1st Ban units had got it. The 2nd Ban wore a mixture of pre-1912 coloured uniform and often a 1912 cap and greatcoat: the old coloured uniform included a single-breasted, dark blue tunic, double-breasted for officers. Units of the 3rd Ban often got no uniforms at all, but fought in their civilian clothing. On the head the traditional serb šajkaca cap was worn, and often this was the only uniform item that the men in the 3rd Ban got. The back pack was of a rucksack variety and pretty light, giving the Infantry men a standard load of only some 12-15kg, copmpared with, say the Austro-Hungarian 25kg per man, which of course increased the mobility of the Serb fighters. Water Bottles were either in the form of standard army issue items, but private items was also usual. A slung bread bag in lightbrown cloth completed the outfit.

So yeah, the supplying of Serbian army would be far easier if they controlled at least ONE coastal port (which imo should have been allowed, and by that I am not saying that Albania shouldn't have been given its independence), which could have allowed them to resupply or even trade with France (principal trading partner for military goods during and in few years after the war).

But, it would've been very hard for A-H and Bulgarian armies to destroy Serbian army that easily if they owned north Albanian mountains. In there they could have organized defense, and waited for allied help. Or at least it could have made for an easier and safer route to Greece during the military exodus. More people would have survived that way.
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