Great War in the Balkans

Oct 2007
308
#1
The Great War (WWI) began due to crises in the Balkans, but rarely is the fighting that occurred between Serbia, Russia, the Western powers, Greece, and their enemies Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Turkey, and Bulgaria talked about. What battles, offensives, and critical moments occurred in the Balkan Peninsula?
 
Jul 2006
1,315
Hellas
#2
Greece participated in WWI in 1917 because politcal "division" of the country between King Konstantine I wanted neutrality (that favored Axis powers - his wife had ancestry with Kaiser Willhelm) from the one side and Prime Minister Eleuhterios Venizelos who wanted participation with the Allies, so the conflict was inevitable and bloody (many assassinations from both sides), so the country could not take part in war.
Only after 1916 when the French occupied Thessaloniki and the English threatened to bombard Pireus a "rebel" government was established in Macedonia and founded 3 divisions who won with the Allies a great victory at Skra in 1917.
 
Oct 2007
366
Southern Vermont
#3
The displacement of the entire Serbian population is interesting. I do not know much about it, but I don't think anything comparable has happened in modern European history.
 
Oct 2007
366
Southern Vermont
#5
As much as I hate to quote wikipedia, "...it was overpowered by the joint forces of the German Empire, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria in 1915. Most of its army and some people went to exile to Greece and Corfu where it healed, regrouped and returned to Macedonian front (World War I) to lead a final breakthrough through enemy lines on 15 September 1918, freeing Serbia again and ending the World War I on 11 November.[20] In World War I, Serbia had 1,264,000 casualties — 28% of its total population, and 58% of its male population."
 
Oct 2007
308
#6
Well, not the entire population. Serbia and Montenegro each had a number of fortified villages that held out throughout both WWI and WWII. The men of the villages went out as snipers and guerrillas to kill who they could, when they could.

A Serb I interviewed last summer had traveled through a Montenegrin village in the 1960's. The village had a church whose fence was made entirely of Mauser rifle barrels from slain German soldiers. While he was there, a group of young German backpackers came through, but were seen out of town by taunts, rocks, and bitter words. My interviewee asked the locals why they did, they replied that they hated Germans, to which he replied they were not old enough to have seen World War II, but the villagers did not care.
 
Oct 2007
366
Southern Vermont
#8
It really is amazing how little one can find on the internet on this subject. most search engines do not produce any results from reputable (.edu, peer-reviewed, etc.) sources, though there is an abundance of sites evaluating the Balkan cause(s) of World War I. However, I remembered an interesting propoganda poster from my American Studies Class that can be found at the link below (it the last poster on the page). I also found the online text of a book titled "The Salonika Front", by CAPTAIN A. J. MANN, R.A.F.. I have not read it yet. The second link leads to a site where you can download the book in different formats, including plain text and PDF.



http://www.archive.org/details/salonikafront00mannuoft