Balkan Wars

By : Neha Dhyani

Updated : Apr 26, 2022, 8:47

The Balkan Wars prophesied the arrival of World War Ⅰ. The Balkan Wars were two consecutive conflicts in the Balkan foreland between 1912 and 1913.

In the First Balkan War, the four united alliance of Balkan states, Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, defeated the Ottoman Empire. After that, Bulgaria fought against the other territories of the first war and was, in consequence, defeated by them.

What Caused the Balkan Wars?

The Balkan Wars began with a discontent building between Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria by a discord in Macedonia. The 1908 Young Turk Revolution brought into force in Constantinople a ministry set on reform that insisted on the principle of centralised control.

Hence, no compromise happened between Macedonia's Christian residents and the Greeks, Serbs, and Bulgarians. This would not be acceptable to the Balkan States, and thus they began the war against the Ottoman Empire.

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Balkan Wars - Overview

First Balkan War -

The Balkan Wars originated in the aspirations of the nationalist states, i.e., Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and the Ottoman Empire during the period between 1912 and 1913.

These states previously attained freedom during the 19th century from the Ottoman Empire. However, later, the nationalist states banded together to fight against their common enemy, that is, the Turks, and aimed to end the oppression and take Macedonia from Turkey. The Ottoman Empire lost the bulk of its territory in Europe from these united territories.

Second Balkan War -

After the victory, the Second Balkan War originated with a quarrel between Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Romania over the division of their joint invasion in Macedonia.

The second war began after Greece and Serbia allied against Bulgaria. However, the King of Bulgaria started the war from his side on 29-30 June 1913. He ordered his troops to attack the rival state's forces in Macedonia.

These attacks become the signal of the outbreak of war. The Greek and Serbian forces' counterblow pushed the Bulgarian force. As soon as the Bulgarian force stabilised the condition, they were attacked by the Romanian and Ottoman armies.

In consequence, Bulgaria was defeated and lost even more territory. On 30th July 1913, the war ended. They signed a peace treaty on 10th August 1913, in which Serbia and Greece divided most of Macedonia and left Bulgaria with only a small piece of the region.

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Consequences of the Balkan Wars

  • Ottoman Rule of the Balkan Peninsula came to an end.
  • Greece obtained southern Macedonia and the Crete Island.
  • Serbia got Kosovo and expanded into northern and central Macedonia.
  • Albania became an independent state under a German prince.
  • The ambitions of the Serbs and Montenegrins in Albania considerably increased Austro-Hungarian hostility toward these two states.
  • In December 1912, April 1913, and October 1913, the Austro-Hungarians went to war with the Montenegrins and Serbs for an Albanian dispute. However, this did not resolve the Austria-Hungary Southern Slav issue.
  • The Balkan Wars led to the beginning of the First World War.

The Balkan Wars were a significant sign leading to the First World War, also a major disaster. This war led to the loss of numerous lives as well as territories. However, Greece enjoyed a favourable victory, managed to liberate and obtain regions, and considered the war a period of epic achievements.

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FAQs on Balkan Wars

Q.1) What Caused the Balkan Wars?

The Balkan Wars began with a discontent building between Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria by a discord in Macedonia.

Q.2) Who fought with whom in the Balkan Wars?

In the First Balkan War, the four united alliance of Balkan states, which are Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro, defeated the Ottoman Empire. After that, Bulgaria fought against the other territories of the first war and was, in consequence, defeated by them.

Q.3) What caused the first war in the Balkan Wars?

The Balkan Wars originated in the aspirations of the nationalist states, i.e., Serbia, Greece, Bulgaria, Montenegro, and the Ottoman Empire during the period between 1912 and 1913.

Q.4) What was the major consequence of the Balkan Wars?

After the Balkan Wars, the Ottoman Rule of the Balkan Peninsula came to an end. Greece obtained southern Macedonia and Crete Island. Serbia got Kosovo and expanded into northern and central Macedonia. Albania became an independent state under a German prince.

Q.5) What is the significance of the Balkan Wars?

The Balkan Wars were a significant sign leading to the First World War, also a major disaster. This war led to the loss of numerous lives as well as territories. However, Greece enjoyed a favourable victory, managed to liberate and obtain regions, and considered the war a period of epic achievements.