Serbia And Montenegro And The Two Balkan Wars 1908-13

The winter of 1908-9 marked the lowest ebb of Serbia's fortunes. The

successive coups and faits accomplis carried out by Austria, Turkey,

and Bulgaria during 1908 seemed destined to destroy for good the Serbian

plans for expansion in any direction whatever, and if these could not be

realized then Serbia must die of suffocation. It was also well understood

that for all the martial ardour displayed in Belgrade the army was in no

condition to take the field any more than was the treasury to bear the

cost of a campaign; Russia had not yet recovered from the Japanese War

followed by the revolution, and indeed everything pointed to the certainty

that if Serbia indulged in hostilities against Austria-Hungary it would

perish ignominiously and alone. The worst of it was that neither Serbia

nor Montenegro had any legal claim to Bosnia and Hercegovina: they had

been deluding themselves with the hope that their ethnical identity with

the people of these provinces, supported by the effects of their

propaganda, would induce a compassionate and generous Europe at least to

insist on their being given a part of the coveted territory, and thus give

Serbia access to the coast, when the ambiguous position of these two

valuable provinces, still nominally Turkish but already virtually

Austrian, came to be finally regularized. As a matter of fact, ever since

Bismarck, Gorchakov, and Beaconsfield had put Austria-Hungary in their

possession in 1878, no one had seriously thought that the Dual Monarchy

would ever voluntarily retire from one inch of the territory which had

been conquered and occupied at such cost, and those who noticed it were

astonished at the evacuation by it of the sandjak of Novi-Pazar. At the

same time Baron Achrenthal little foresaw what a hornet's nest he would

bring about his ears by the tactless method in which the annexation was

carried out. The first effect was to provoke a complete boycott of

Austro-Hungarian goods and trading vessels throughout the Ottoman Empire,

which was so harmful to the Austrian export trade that in January 1909

Count Achrenthal had to indemnify Turkey with the sum of L2,500,000 for

his technically stolen property. Further, the attitude of Russia and

Serbia throughout the whole winter remained so provocative and threatening

that, although war was generally considered improbable, the Austrian army

had to be kept on a war footing, which involved great expense and much

popular discontent. The grave external crisis was only solved at the end

of March 1909; Germany had had to deliver a veiled ultimatum at St.

Petersburg, the result of which was the rescue of Austria-Hungary from an

awkward situation by the much-advertised appearance of its faithful ally

in shining armour. Simultaneously Serbia had to eat humble pie and

declare, with complete absence of truth, that the annexation of Bosnia and

Hercegovina had not affected its interests.

Meanwhile the internal complications in the southern Slav provinces of

Austria-Hungary were growing formidable. Ever since the summer of 1908

arrests had been going on among the members of the Croato-Serb coalition,

who were accused of favouring the subversive Pan-Serb movement. The press

of Austria-Hungary magnified the importance of this agitation in order to

justify abroad the pressing need for the formal annexation of Bosnia and

Hercegovina. The fact was that, though immediate danger to the monarchy as

a result of the Pan-Serb agitation was known not to exist, yet in the

interests of Austrian foreign policy, the Serbs had to be compromised in

the eyes of Europe, the Croato-Serb coalition within the Dual Monarchy had

to be destroyed to gratify Budapest in particular, and the religious and

political discord between Croat and Serb, on which the foundation of the

power of Austria-Hungary, and especially that of Hungary, in the south

rested, and which was in a fair way of being eliminated through the

efforts of the coalition, had to be revived by some means or other. It is

not possible here to go into the details of the notorious Agram high

treason trial, which was the outcome of all this. It suffices to say that

it was a monstrous travesty of justice which lasted from March till

October 1909, and though it resulted in the ostensible destruction of the

coalition and the imprisonment of many of its members, it defeated its own

ends, as it merely fanned the flame of nationalistic feeling against

Vienna and Budapest, and Croatia has ever since had to be governed

virtually by martial law. This was followed in December 1909 by the even

more famous Friedjung trial. In March 1909 Count Achrenthal had begun in

Vienna a violent press campaign against Serbia, accusing the Serbian

Government and dynasty of complicity in the concoction of nefarious

designs and conspiracies against the integrity of Austria-Hungary. This

campaign was thought to be the means of foreshadowing and justifying the

immediate military occupation of Serbia. Unfortunately its instigator had

not been sufficiently particular as to the choice of his tools and his

methods of using them. Among the contributors of the highly tendencious

articles was the well-known historian Dr. Friedjung, who made extensive

use of documents supplied him by the Vienna Foreign Office. His

accusations immediately provoked an action for libel on the part of three

leaders of the Croato-Serb coalition who were implicated, in December

1909. The trial, which was highly sensational, resulted in the complete

vindication and rehabilitation both of those three Austrian subjects in

the eyes of the whole of Austria-Hungary and of the Belgrade Foreign

Office in those of Europe; the documents on which the charges were based

were proven to be partly forgeries, partly falsified, and partly stolen by

various disreputable secret political agents of the Austrian Foreign

Office, and one of the principal Serbian 'conspirators', a professor of

Belgrade University, proved that he was in Berlin at the time when he had

been accused of presiding over a revolutionary meeting at Belgrade. But it

also resulted in the latter discrediting of Count Achrenthal as a diplomat

and of the methods by which he conducted the business of the Austrian

Foreign Office, and involved his country in the expenditure of countless

millions which it could ill afford.

There never was any doubt that a subversive agitation had been going on,

and that it emanated in part from Serbia, but the Serbian Foreign Office,

under the able management of Dr. Milovanovi['c] and Dr. Spalajkovi['c]

(one of the principal witnesses at the Friedjung trial), was far too

clever to allow any of its members, or indeed any responsible person in

Serbia, to be concerned in it, and the brilliant way in which the clumsy

and foolish charges were refuted redounded greatly to the credit of the

Serbian Government. Count Achrenthal had overreached himself, and moreover

the wind had already been taken out of his sails by the public recantation

on Serbia's part of its pretensions to Bosnia, which, as already

mentioned, took place at the end of March 1909, and by the simultaneous

termination of the international crisis marked by Russia's acquiescence in

the fait accompli of the annexation. At the same time the Serbian Crown

Prince George, King Peter's elder son, who had been the leader of the

chauvinist war-party in Serbia, and was somewhat theatrical in demeanour

and irresponsible in character, renounced his rights of succession in

favour of his younger brother Prince Alexander, a much steadier and more

talented young man. It is certain that when he realized how things were

going to develop Count Achrenthal tried to hush up the whole incident, but

it was too late, and Dr. Friedjung insisted on doing what he could to save

his reputation as a historian. In the end he was made the principal

scapegoat, though the press of Vienna voiced its opinion of the Austrian

Foreign Office in no measured tones, saying, amongst other things, that if

the conductors of its diplomacy must use forgeries, they might at any rate

secure good ones. Eventually a compromise was arranged, after the

defendant had clearly lost his case, owing to pressure being brought to

bear from outside, and the Serbian Government refrained from carrying out

its threat of having the whole question threshed out before the Hague


The cumulative effect of all these exciting and trying experiences was the

growth of a distinctly more sympathetic feeling towards Serbia in Europe

at large, and especially a rallying of all the elements throughout the

Serb and Croat provinces of Austria-Hungary, except the extreme clericals

of Agram, to the Serbian cause; briefly, the effect was the exact opposite

of that desired by Vienna and Budapest. Meanwhile events had been

happening elsewhere which revived the drooping interest and flagging hopes

of Serbia in the development of foreign affairs. The attainment of power

by the Young Turks and the introduction of parliamentary government had

brought no improvement to the internal condition of the Ottoman Empire,

and the Balkan peoples made no effort to conceal their satisfaction at the

failure of the revolution to bring about reform by magic. The

counter-revolution of April 1909 and the accession of the Sultan Mohammed

V made things no better. In Macedonia, and especially in Albania, they had

been going from bad to worse. The introduction of universal military

service and obligatory payment of taxes caused a revolution in Albania,

where such innovations were not at all appreciated. From 1909 till 1911

there was a state of perpetual warfare in Albania, with which the Young

Turks, in spite of cruel reprisals, were unable to cope, until, in the

summer of that year, Austria threatened to intervene unless order were

restored; some sort of settlement was patched up, and an amnesty was

granted to the rebels by the new Sultan. This unfortunate man, after being

rendered almost half-witted by having been for the greater part of his

life kept a prisoner by his brother the tyrant Abdul Hamid, was now the

captive of the Young Turks, and had been compelled by them to make as

triumphal a progress as fears for his personal safety would allow through

the provinces of European Turkey. But it was obvious to Balkan statesmen

that Turkey was only changed in name, and that, if its threatened

regeneration had slightly postponed their plans for its partition amongst

themselves, the ultimate consummation of these plans must be pursued with,

if possible, even greater energy and expedition than before. It was also

seen by the more perspicacious of them that the methods hitherto adopted

must in future be radically altered. A rejuvenated though unreformed

Turkey, bent on self-preservation, could not be despised, and it was

understood that if the revolutionary bands of the three Christian nations

(Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria) were to continue indefinitely to cut each

others' throats in Macedonia the tables might conceivably be turned on


From 1909 onwards a series of phenomena occurred in the Balkans which

ought to have given warning to the Turks, whose survival in Europe had

been due solely to the fact that the Balkan States had never been able to

unite. In the autumn of 1909 King Ferdinand of Bulgaria met Crown Prince

Alexander of Serbia and made an expedition in his company to Mount

Kopaonik in Serbia, renowned for the beauty of its flora. This must have

struck those who remembered the bitter feelings which had existed between

the two countries for years and had been intensified by the events of

1908. Bulgaria had looked on Serbia's failures with persistent contempt,

while Serbia had watched Bulgaria's successful progress with speechless

jealousy, and the memory of Slivnitsa was not yet obliterated. In the

summer of 1910 Prince Nicholas of Montenegro celebrated the fiftieth

anniversary of his reign and his golden wedding. The festivities were

attended by King Ferdinand of Bulgaria and the Crown Prince Boris, by the

Crown Prince Alexander of Serbia and his sister, grandchildren of Prince

Nicholas, by his two daughters the Queen of Italy and the Grand Duchess

Anastasia of Russia, and by their husbands, King Victor Emmanuel and the

Grand Duke Nicholas. The happiness of the venerable ruler, who was as

respected throughout Europe as he was feared throughout his principality,

was at the same time completed by his recognition as king by all the

governments and sovereigns of the continent. The hopes that he would

simultaneously introduce a more liberal form of government amongst his own

people were unfortunately disappointed.

The year 1911, it need scarcely be recalled, was extremely fateful for the

whole of Europe. The growing restlessness and irritability manifested by

the German Empire began to make all the other governments feel exceedingly

uneasy. The French expedition to Fez in April was followed by the

Anglo-Franco-German crisis of July; war was avoided, and France was

recognized as virtually master of Morocco, but the soreness of the

diplomatic defeat rendered Germany a still more trying neighbour than it

had been before. The first repercussion was the war which broke out in

September 1911 between Italy and Turkey for the possession of Tripoli and

Cyrenaica, which Italy, with its usual insight, saw was vital to its

position as a Mediterranean power and therefore determined to acquire

before any other power had time or courage to do so. In the Balkans this

was a year of observation and preparation. Serbia, taught by the bitter

lesson of 1908 not to be caught again unprepared, had spent much money and

care on its army during the last few years and had brought it to a much

higher state of efficiency. In Austria-Hungary careful observers wore

aware that something was afoot and that the gaze of Serbia, which from

1903 till 1908 had been directed westwards to Bosnia and the Adriatic, had

since 1908 been fixed on Macedonia and the Aegean. The actual formation of

the Balkan League by King Ferdinand and M. Venezelos may not have been

known, but it was realized that action of some sort on the part of the

Balkan States was imminent, and that something must be done to forestall

it. In February 1912 Count Aehrenthal died, and was succeeded by Count

Berchtold as Austro-Hungarian Minister for Foreign Affairs. In August of

the same year this minister unexpectedly announced his new and startling

proposals for the introduction of reforms in Macedonia, which nobody in

the Balkans who had any material interest in the fate of that province

genuinely desired at that moment; the motto of the new scheme was

'progressive decentralization', blessed words which soothed the great

powers as much as they alarmed the Balkan Governments. But already in May

1912 agreements between Bulgaria and Greece and between Bulgaria and

Serbia had been concluded, limiting their respective zones of influence in

the territory which they hoped to conquer. It was, to any one who has any

knowledge of Balkan history, incredible that the various Governments had

been able to come to any agreement at all. That arrived at by Bulgaria and

Serbia divided Macedonia between them in such a way that Bulgaria should

obtain central Macedonia with Monastir and Okhrida, and Serbia northern

Macedonia or Old Serbia; there was an indeterminate zone between the two

spheres, including Skoplje (Ueskueb, in Turkish), the exact division of

which it was agreed to leave to arbitration at a subsequent date.

The Macedonian theatre of war was by common consent regarded as the most

important, and Bulgaria here promised Serbia the assistance of 100,000

men. The Turks meanwhile were aware that all was not what it seemed beyond

the frontiers, and in August 1912 began collecting troops in Thrace,

ostensibly for manoeuvres. During the month of September the patience of

the four Governments of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro, which

had for years with the utmost self-control been passively watching the

awful sufferings of their compatriots under Turkish misrule, gradually

became exhausted. On September 28 the four Balkan Governments informed

Russia that the Balkan League was an accomplished fact, and on the 30th

the representatives of all four signed the alliance, and mobilization was

ordered in Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia. The population of Montenegro was

habitually on a war footing, and it was left to the mountain kingdom from

its geographically favourable position to open hostilities. On October 8

Montenegro declared war on Turkey, and after a series of brilliant

successes along the frontier its forces settled down to the wearisome and

arduous siege of Scutari with its impregnable sentinel, Mount Tarabo[)s],

converted into a modern fortress; the unaccustomed nature of these tasks,

to which the Montenegrin troops, used to the adventures of irregular

warfare, were little suited, tried the valour and patience of the intrepid

mountaineers to the utmost. By that time Europe was in a ferment, and both

Russia and Austria, amazed at having the initiative in the regulation of

Balkan affairs wrested from them, showered on the Balkan capitals threats

and protests, which for once in a way were neglected.

On October 13 Greece, Bulgaria, and Serbia replied that the offer of

outside assistance and advice had come too late, and that they had decided

themselves to redress the intolerable and secular wrongs of their

long-suffering compatriots in Macedonia by force of arms. To their dismay

a treaty of peace was signed at Lausanne about the same time between

Turkey and Italy, which power, it had been hoped, would have distracted

Turkey's attention by a continuance of hostilities in northern Africa, and

at any rate immobilized the Turkish fleet. Encouraged by this success

Turkey boldly declared war on Bulgaria and Serbia on October 17, hoping to

frighten Greece and detach it from the league; but on the 18th the Greek

Government replied by declaring war on Turkey, thus completing the

necessary formalities. The Turks were confident of an early and easy

victory, and hoped to reach Sofia, not from Constantinople and Thrace, but

pushing up north-eastwards from Macedonia. The rapid offensive of the

Serbian army, however, took them by surprise, and they were completely

overwhelmed at the battle of Kumanovo in northern Macedonia on October

23-4, 1912. On the 31st King Peter made his triumphal entry into Skoplje

(ex-Ueskueb), the ancient capital of Serbia under Tsar Stephen Du[)s]an in

the fourteenth century. From there the Serbian army pursued the Turks

southward, and at the battles of Prilep (November 5) and Monastir

(November 19), after encountering the most stubborn opposition, finally

put an end to their resistance in this part of the theatre of war. On

November 9 the Greeks entered Salonika.

Meanwhile other divisions of the Serbian army had joined hands with the

Montenegrins, and occupied almost without opposition the long-coveted

sandjak of Novi-Pazar (the ancient Serb Ra[)s]ka), to the inexpressible

rage of Austria-Hungary, which had evacuated it in 1908 in favour of its

rightful owner, Turkey. At the same time a Serbian expeditionary corps

marched right through Albania, braving great hardships on the way, and on

November 30 occupied Durazzo, thus securing at last a foothold on the

Adriatic. Besides all this, Serbia, in fulfilment of its treaty

obligations, dispatched 50,000 splendidly equipped men, together with a

quantity of heavy siege artillery, to help the Bulgarians at the siege of

Adrianople. On December 3 an armistice was signed between the

belligerents, with the condition that the three besieged Turkish

fortresses of Adrianople, Scutari, and Yanina must not be re-victualled,

and on December 16, 1912, peace negotiations were opened between

representatives of the belligerent countries in London. Meanwhile the

Germanic powers, dismayed by the unexpected victories of the Balkan armies

and humiliated by the crushing defeats in the field of the German-trained

Turkish army, had since the beginning of November been doing everything in

their power to support their client Turkey and prevent its final

extinction and at the same time the blighting of their ambitions

eventually to acquire the Empire of the Near East. During the conference

in London between the plenipotentiaries of the belligerents, parallel

meetings took place between the representatives of the great powers, whose

relations with each other were strained and difficult in the extreme. The

Turkish envoys prolonged the negotiations, as was their custom; they

naturally were unwilling to concede their European provinces to the

despised and hated Greek and Slavonic conquerors, but the delays implied

growing hardships for their besieged and starving garrisons in Thrace,

Epirus, and Albania. On January 23, 1913, a quasi-revolution occurred in

the Turkish army, headed by Enver Bey and other Young Turk partisans, and

approved by the Austrian and German embassies, with the object of

interrupting the negotiations and staking all on the result of a final

battle. As a result of these events, and of the palpable disingenuousness

of the Turks in continuing the negotiations in London, the Balkan

delegates on January 29 broke them off, and on February 3, 1913,

hostilities were resumed. At length, after a siege of nearly five months,

Adrianople, supplied with infinitely better artillery than the allies

possessed, was taken by the combined Serbian and Bulgarian forces on March

26, 1913. The Serbian troops at Adrianople captured 17,010 Turkish

prisoners, 190 guns, and the Turkish commander himself, Shukri Pasha.

At the outbreak of the war in the autumn of 1912 the Balkan States had

observed all the conventions, disavowing designs of territorial

aggrandizement and proclaiming their resolve merely to obtain guarantees

for the better treatment of the Christian inhabitants of Macedonia; the

powers, for their part, duly admonished the naughty children of

south-eastern Europe to the effect that no alteration of the territorial

status quo ante would under any circumstances be tolerated. During the

negotiations in London, interrupted in January, and resumed in the spring

of 1913 after the fall of Adrianople, it was soon made clear that in spite

of all these magniloquent declarations nothing would be as it had been

before. Throughout the winter Austria-Hungary had been mobilizing troops

and massing them along the frontiers of Serbia and Montenegro, any

increase in the size of which countries meant a crushing blow to the

designs of the Germanic powers and the end to all the dreams embodied in

the phrase 'Drang nach Osten' ('pushing eastwards').

In the spring of 1913 Serbia and Montenegro, instead of being defeated by

the brave Turks, as had been confidently predicted in Vienna and Berlin

would be the case, found themselves in possession of the sandjak of

Novi-Pazar, of northern and central Macedonia (including Old Serbia), and

of the northern half of Albania. The presence of Serbian troops on the

shore of the Adriatic was more than Austria could stand, and at the

renewed conference of London it was decided that they must retire. In the

interests of nationality, in which the Balkan States themselves undertook

the war, it was desirable that at any rate an attempt should be made to

create an independent state of Albania, though no one who knew the local

conditions felt confident as to its ultimate career. Its creation assuaged

the consciences of the Liberal Government in Great Britain and at the same

time admirably suited the strategic plans of Austria-Hungary. It left that

country a loophole for future diplomatic efforts to disturb the peace of

south-eastern Europe, and, with its own army in Bosnia and its political

agents and irregular troops in Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, even though

enlarged as it was generally recognized they must be, would be held in a

vice and could be threatened and bullied from the south now as well as

from the north whenever it was in the interests of Vienna and Budapest to

apply the screw. The independence of Albania was declared at the

conference of London on May 30, 1913. Scutari was included in it as being

a purely Albanian town, and King Nicholas and his army, after enjoying its

coveted flesh-pots for a few halcyon weeks, had, to their mortification,

to retire to the barren fastnesses of the Black Mountain. Serbia,

frustrated by Austria in its attempts, generally recognized as legitimate,

to obtain even a commercial outlet on the Adriatic, naturally again

diverted its aims southwards to Salonika. The Greeks were already in

possession of this important city and seaport, as well as of the whole of

southern Macedonia. The Serbs were in possession of central and northern

Macedonia, including Monastir and Okhrida, which they had at great

sacrifices conquered from the Turks. It had been agreed that Bulgaria, as

its share of the spoils, should have all central Macedonia, with Monastir

and Okhrida, although on ethnical grounds the Bulgarians have only very

slightly better claim to the country and towns west of the Vardar than any

of the other Balkan nationalities. But at the time that the agreement had

been concluded it had been calculated in Greece and Serbia that Albania,

far from being made independent, would be divided between them, and that

Serbia, assured of a strip of coast on the Adriatic, would have no

interest in the control of the river Vardar and of the railway which

follows its course connecting the interior of Serbia with the port of

Salonika. Greece and Serbia had no ground whatever for quarrel and no

cause for mutual distrust, and they were determined, for political and

commercial reasons, to have a considerable extent of frontier from west to

east in common. The creation of an independent Albania completely altered

the situation. If Bulgaria should obtain central Macedonia and thus secure

a frontier from north to south in common with the newly-formed state of

Albania, then Greece would be at the mercy of its hereditary enemies the

Bulgars and Arnauts (Albanians) as it had previously been at the mercy of

the Turks, while Serbia would have two frontiers between itself and the

sea instead of one, as before, and its complete economic strangulation

would be rendered inevitable and rapid. Bulgaria for its own part

naturally refused to waive its claim to central Macedonia, well knowing

that the master of the Vardar valley is master of the Balkan peninsula.

The first repercussion of the ephemeral treaty of London of May 30, 1913,

which created Albania and shut out Serbia from the Adriatic, was,

therefore, as the diplomacy of the Germanic powers had all along intended

it should be, the beginning of a feud between Greece and Serbia on the one

hand, and Bulgaria on the other, the disruption of the Balkan League and

the salvation, for the ultimate benefit of Germany, of what was left of

Turkey in Europe.

The dispute as to the exact division of the conquered territory in

Macedonia between Serbia and Bulgaria had, as arranged, been referred to

arbitration, and, the Tsar of Russia having been chosen as judge, the

matter was being threshed out in St. Petersburg during June 1913.

Meanwhile Bulgaria, determined to make good its claim to the chestnuts

which Greece and Serbia had pulled out of the Turkish fire, was secretly

collecting troops along its temporary south-western frontier[1] with the

object, in approved Germanic fashion, of suddenly invading and occupying

all Macedonia, and, by the presentation of an irrevocable fait accompli,

of relieving the arbitrator of his invidious duties or at any rate

assisting him in the task.

[Footnote 1: This was formed by the stream Zletovska, a tributary of the

river Bregalnica, which in its turn falls into the Vardar on its left or

eastern bank about 40 miles south of Skoplje (Ueskueb).]

On the other hand, the relations between Bulgaria and its two allies had

been noticeably growing worse ever since January 1913; Bulgaria felt

aggrieved that, in spite of its great sacrifices, it had not been able to

occupy so much territory as Greece and Serbia, and the fact that

Adrianople was taken with Serbian help did not improve the feeling between

the two Slav nations. The growth of Bulgarian animosity put Greece and

Serbia on their guard, and, well knowing the direction which an eventual

attack would take, these two countries on June 2, 1913, signed a military

convention and made all the necessary dispositions for resisting any

aggression on Bulgaria's part. At one o'clock in the morning of June 30

the Bulgarians, without provocation, without declaration of war, and

without warning, crossed the Bregalnica (a tributary of the Vardar) and

attacked the Serbs. A most violent battle ensued which lasted for several

days; at some points the Bulgarians, thanks to the suddenness of their

offensive, were temporarily successful, but gradually the Serbs regained

the upper hand and by July 1 the Bulgarians were beaten. The losses were

very heavy on both sides, but the final issue was a complete triumph for

the Serbian army. Slivnitsa was avenged by the battle of the Bregalnica,

just as Kosovo was by that of Kumanovo. After a triumphant campaign of one

month, in which the Serbs were joined by the Greeks, Bulgaria had to bow

to the inevitable. The Rumanian army had invaded northern Bulgaria, bent

on maintaining the Balkan equilibrium and on securing compensation for

having observed neutrality during the war of 1912-13, and famine reigned

at Sofia. A conference was arranged at Bucarest, and the treaty of that

name was signed there on August 10, 1913. By the terms of this treaty

Serbia retained the whole of northern and central Macedonia, including

Monastir and Okhrida, and the famous sandjak of Novi-Pazar was divided

between Serbia and Montenegro. Some districts of east-central Macedonia,

which were genuinely Bulgarian, were included in Serbian territory, as

Serbia naturally did not wish, after the disquieting and costly experience

of June and July 1913, to give the Bulgarians another chance of separating

Greek from Serbian territory by a fresh surprise attack, and the further

the Bulgarians could be kept from the Vardar river and railway the less

likelihood there was of this. The state of feeling in the Germanic

capitals and in Budapest after this ignominious defeat of their protege

Bulgaria and after this fresh triumph of the despised and hated Serbians

can be imagined. Bitterly disappointed first at seeing the Turks

vanquished by the Balkan League--their greatest admirers could not even

claim that the Turks had had any 'moral' victories--their chagrin, when

they saw the Bulgarians trounced by the Serbians, knew no bounds. That the

secretly prepared attack on Serbia by Bulgaria was planned in Vienna and

Budapest there is no doubt. That Bulgaria was justified in feeling

disappointment and resentment at the result of the first Balkan War no one

denies, but the method chosen to redress its wrongs could only have been

suggested by the Germanic school of diplomacy.

In Serbia and Montenegro the result of the two successive Balkan Wars,

though these had exhausted the material resources of the two countries,

was a justifiable return of national self-confidence and rejoicing such as

the people, humiliated and impoverished as it had habitually been by its

internal and external troubles, had not known for very many years. At last

Serbia and Montenegro had joined hands. At last Old Serbia was restored to

the free kingdom. At last Skoplje, the mediaeval capital of Tsar Stephen

Du[)s]an, was again in Serbian territory. At last one of the most

important portions of unredeemed Serbia had been reclaimed. Amongst the

Serbs and Croats of Bosnia, Hercegovina, Dalmatia, Croatia, Slavonia, and

southern Hungary the effect of the Serbian victories was electrifying.

Military prowess had been the one quality with which they, and indeed

everybody else, had refused to credit the Serbians of the kingdom, and the

triumphs of the valiant Serbian peasant soldiers immediately imparted a

heroic glow to the country whose very name, at any rate in central Europe,

had become a byword, and a synonym for failure; Belgrade became the

cynosure and the rallying-centre of the whole Serbo-Croatian race. But

Vienna and Budapest could only lose courage and presence of mind for the

moment, and the undeniable success of the Serbian arms merely sharpened

their appetite for revenge. In August 1913 Austria-Hungary, as is now

known, secretly prepared an aggression on Serbia, but was restrained,

partly by the refusal of Italy to grant its approval of such action,

partly because the preparations of Germany at that time were not complete.

The fortunate Albanian question provided, for the time being, a more

convenient rod with which to beat Serbia. Some Serbian troops had remained

in possession of certain frontier towns and districts which were included

in the territory of the infant state of Albania pending the final

settlement of the frontiers by a commission. On October 18, 1913, Austria

addressed an ultimatum to Serbia to evacuate these, as its continued

occupation of them caused offence and disquiet to the Dual Monarchy.

Serbia meekly obeyed. Thus passed away the last rumble of the storms which

had filled the years 1912-13 in south-eastern Europe.

The credulous believed that the Treaty of Bucarest had at last brought

peace to that distracted part of the world. Those who knew their central

Europe realized that Berlin had only forced Vienna to acquiesce in the

Treaty of Bucarest because the time had not yet come. But come what might,

Serbia and Montenegro, by having linked up their territory and by forming

a mountain barrier from the Danube to the Adriatic, made it far more

difficult for the invader to push his way through to the East than it

would have been before the battles of Kumanovo and Bregalnica.