Balkan Federation

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The border conditions in the Balkans in 1912 before the outbreak of the Balkan Wars
Contested zone for a Russian arbitration award

The Balkan Federation , or more rarely the Balkan Block , was a military alliance of the southeastern European states of Serbia , Bulgaria , Montenegro and Greece, concluded in 1912 . The common goal was to oust the Ottoman Empire from the Balkans and to divide up its remaining European provinces.

Since the Ottoman Empire was weakened by the Italo-Turkish War and various uprisings in the Balkan provinces, the governments of the Southeastern European states saw the opportunity to make further territorial acquisitions at the expense of the Sublime Porte .

On March 13, 1912, a secret defensive alliance was first concluded between Serbia and Bulgaria. This was expanded to include a military alliance on May 12th. On the same day, Bulgaria also concluded an alliance with Greece in Sofia after the latter had started negotiations on a defensive alliance with Bulgaria in order not to be excluded from a possible alliance against the Ottoman Empire. A similar agreement followed between Bulgaria and Montenegro. This resulted in a network of alliances that were directed against the Ottoman Empire. The leaderships of the participating states also agreed on military actions in the event of war.

However, no agreement could be reached on the division of the areas conquered, in this case. It was undisputed that Epirus (southern Albania) should fall to Greece, Kosovo to Serbia, and Thrace to Bulgaria; Montenegro should receive the city of Shkodra and northern Albania. Both Greece and Serbia and Bulgaria made claims on parts of Macedonia . Montenegro and Serbia were also divided over the Sanjak of Novi Pazar and areas in what is now Albania up to the course of the Drin River . Central Albania was to become Serbia's gateway to the sea.

With regard to the delimitation of the Serbian-Bulgarian claims to Macedonia, a provisional compromise was reached under Russian mediation or under Russian pressure. An undisputed Serbian zone, an indisputably Bulgarian zone and a remaining zone were agreed upon, which the Tsar was to decide personally after the war and whose arbitration both sides agreed to recognize. The undisputed Serbian zone comprised today's Kosovo. The undisputed Bulgarian zone should include all areas that ran south and east of a line from the Bulgarian-Serbian-Ottoman tri-border area to Lake Ohrid . The Russian arbitration decision was to decide on the remaining area to the north and east of Skopje and Kumanovo .

On September 25th Jul. / October 8, 1912 greg. Montenegro, in consultation with allies, declared war on Turkey; the other states followed on July 4th . / October 17th greg. . This was the beginning of the First Balkan War .

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Individual evidence

  1. ^ A b Richard C. Hall: The Balkan Wars 1912-1913. Prelude to the First World War. Routledge, London / New York 2000, ISBN 0-415-22947-2 , pp. 55f.
  2. ^ Edward C. Thaden: Russia and the Balkan Alliance of 1912. Pennsylvania State University Press, University Park 1965.
  3. Vladimir P. Potjomkin (ed.): History of diplomacy. Volume 2, Berlin 1948, pp. 264-267.
  4. Katrin Boeckh: From the Balkan Wars to the First World War. Small State Policy and Ethnic Self-Determination in the Balkans. Verlag Oldenbourg, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-486-56173-1 , p. 34.