London Treaty (1913)

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Signing of the London Treaty on May 30, 1913

The London Treaty was signed on May 30, 1913 and ended the First Balkan War . Contracting states were on the one hand the states united in the Balkan Alliance - Serbia , Greece , Bulgaria and Montenegro - on the other hand their war opponents, the Ottoman Empire . The treaty was brokered by the European powers Great Britain , France , Germany , Russia , Austria-Hungary and Italy .

In the war that broke out in October 1912, the Balkan Federation had defeated the Ottoman Empire militarily in a short time and was able to occupy almost the entire territory of European Turkey . It was now necessary to negotiate how the conquests were to be divided. A conference of ambassadors of the great powers had already met in London at the end of 1912 to negotiate the reorganization of the Balkans. Above all Russia, Italy and Austria-Hungary pursued their own interests.


The peace conference primarily had to solve three problems:

  • the clarification of the status of Albania , which had proclaimed its independence in November 1912 but was not recognized by the Balkan countries. The Albanian areas were largely occupied by Serb, Montenegrin and Greek troops.
  • the affiliation of the Sanjak of Novi Pazar , which was occupied by Austrian troops from 1878 to 1908, but which Serbia claimed
  • the division of the other conquered territories: Kosovo , Macedonia and Thrace .

Austria-Hungary and Italy vehemently supported Albanian independence. The Danube Monarchy wanted to prevent Serbia from gaining access to the Adriatic ; the Italians hoped to be able to submit the weak new state on the other side of the Adriatic to their will. Russia supported Serbia and Montenegro. France joined the Russian position. Germany and Great Britain were neutral. The other territorial questions were decided mainly in favor of Serbia and Greece.


The provisions of the peace treaty were:

  • Albania becomes independent, with large parts of the Albanian settlement area (especially Kosovo and Epirus ) falling to Serbia and Greece, smaller parts to Montenegro. The final Albanian borders will be determined by a commission of the great powers. Serbia, Montenegro and Greece have to withdraw their troops from Albania.
  • The Novi Pazar sanjak is divided between Serbia and Montenegro.
  • Macedonia is divided between Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria. Bulgaria receives the smallest part, Serbia receives the inland area with Skopje , Ohrid , Prilep and Bitola , Greece the coastal region with Thessaloniki .
  • Thrace falls to Bulgaria.

Bulgaria in particular was dissatisfied with the London Treaty. A few weeks later, on June 29, 1913, the Second Balkan War began ; this ended with a defeat of Bulgaria and the signed peace treaty of Bucharest on August 10, 1913 .

Crete was ceded to Greece, while it was left to the great powers to decide the fate of the other islands in the Aegean.


  • Karl Adam: Britain's Balkan Dilemma. British Balkan policy from the Bosnian crisis to the Balkan wars 1908–1913 (= series of publications studies on historical research of the modern age. 61). Kovač, Hamburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-8300-4741-4 (At the same time: Erlangen-Nürnberg, University, dissertation, 2009: Great Britain's Balkan Policy from the Bosnian Crisis to the Balkan Wars 1908–1913 ).
  • Katrin Boeckh : From the Balkan Wars to the First World War. Small state politics and ethnic self-determination in the Balkans (= Southeast European works. 97). Oldenbourg, Munich 1996, ISBN 3-486-56173-1 (also: Munich, University, dissertation, 1994/1995).
  • Richard C. Hall: The Balkan wars 1912–1913. Prelude to the First World War. Routledge, London et al. 2000, ISBN 0-415-22946-4 .
  • Robert Raymond Kritt: The London Ambassadors Conference 1912–1913. Vienna 1960, (Vienna, University, dissertation, 1961).

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