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Encyclopedia > Balkans Campaign (World War I)
Balkans Theatre
Part of World War I
Date August 3, 1914-August, 1918
Location Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria
Result Treaty of Versailles, Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Treaty of Neuilly, Treaty of Trianon, Treaty of Bucharest
Belligerents
Flag of German Empire German Empire
Flag of Austria-Hungary Austria-Hungary
Bulgaria
Flag of Russia Russian Empire
France
Flag of the United Kingdom United Kingdom
Flag of Serbia Serbia
Romania
Flag of Greece Greece
Flag of Montenegro Montenegro
Commanders
Flag of German Empire Paul von Hindenburg
Flag of German Empire Erich von Falkenhayn
Flag of German Empire August von Mackensen
Flag of Austria-Hungary Conrad von Hötzendorf
Flag of Austria-Hungary Oskar Potiorek
Nikola Zhekov
Georgi Todorov
Vladimir Vazov
Flag of Russia Aleksei Brusilov
Flag of France Louis Franchet d'Esperey
Flag of France Maurice Sarrail
Flag of Serbia Radomir Putnik
Constantin Prezan
Flag of Greece Panagiotis Danglis
Flag of Montenegro Nicholas I

The Balkans Campaign of World War I was fought between Central Powers: Bulgaria, Austria-Hungary and Germany on one side and the Allies: France, Russia, the United Kingdom, Serbia (and later Romania and Greece, who sided with the Allied Powers) on the other side. Image File history File links Unbalanced_scales. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... This article is about the Treaty of Versailles of June 28, 1919, which ended World War I. For other uses, see Treaty of Versailles (disambiguation) . The Treaty of Versailles (1919) was a peace treaty that officially ended World War I between the Allied and Associated Powers and Germany. ... The first two pages of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in (left to right) German, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ottoman Turkish and Russian The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) between the Russian SFSR and the Central Powers, marking... The Treaty of Neuilly, dealing with Bulgaria for its role as one of the Central Powers in World War I, was signed on the November 27, 1919 at Neuilly-sur-Seine, France. ... The negotiations on June 4, 1920. ... A French caricature on the treaty: the Kaiser points a dagger at a woman (Romania), while showing her the Peace Treaty Delegates at the Peace of Bucharest The Treaty of Bucharest was a peace treaty which was signed on May 7, 1918 forced by Germany to the Romanian side. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... For German colonial territories, see German Colonial Empire. ... Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bulgaria_(1878-1944). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Russia. ... The subject of this article was previously also known as Russia. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_United_Kingdom. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Anthem: Bože Pravde [[Image:|250px|center|Location of the Kingdom of Serbia]] Capital Belgrade Largest city Belgrade Serbian Government Monarchy  - King Milan (1882-1889)  - King Aleksandar (1889-1903)  - King Peter I (1903-1918) Proclamation March 6, 1882 Area  - Total  km² ([[List of countries and outlying territories by area|]])  sq... Image File history File links Flag_of_Greece_(1828-1978). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Montenegro_(1941-1944). ... Flag Anthem: Ubavoj nam Crnoj Gori, Onamo, namo! The Kingdom of Montenegro in 1913 Capital Cetinje Language(s) Serbian Religion Eastern Orthodox Government Monarchy King Nicholas I Historical era World War I  - Established 28 August, 1910  - Disestablished 26 November, 1918 Currency Montenegrin perper The Kingdom of Montenegro (Serbian: Краљевина Црнe Горe... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Paul Ludwig Hans Anton von Beneckendorff und von Hindenburg, known universally as Paul von Hindenburg (2 October 1847 – 2 August 1934) was a German field marshal and statesman. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Erich von Falkenhayn Chief of the General Staff Erich von Falkenhayn (11 November 1861 - 8 April 1922) was a German soldier and Chief of the General Staff during World War I. Falkenhayn was a career soldier. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_the_German_Empire. ... Field Marshal August von Mackensen August von Mackensen (December 6, 1849–November 8, 1945), was a German Field Marshal, born August Mackensen in Haus Leipnitz, in the Prussian province of Saxony, to Louis and Marie Louise Mackensen. ... Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf Franz Graf Conrad von Hötzendorf, or Count Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf. ... Oskar Potiorek Oskar Potiorek (1853 – 1933) was an Austrian general who served as the Austro-Hungarian governor of Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1911 and 1914. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bulgaria_(1878-1944). ... Nikola Zhekov (1864 - 1949) was a Minister of War of Bulgaria in 1915 and served as Commander-in-Chief from 1916-1918 during World War I. Zhekov served during two earlier conflicts: Serbo-Bulgarian War in 1885, and the Balkan Wars 1912-1913, where during the latter he served as... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bulgaria_(1878-1944). ... Georgi Todorov (Bulgarian: ) (born on 10 August 1858 in Bolgrad (contemporary Ukraine); died on 16 November 1934 in Sofia) was a Bulgarian General who fought in the Russo-Turkish War (1877–1878), Serbo-Bulgarian War (1885), Balkan Wars (1912-1913) and First World War (1914-1918). ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Bulgaria_(1878-1944). ... Vladimir Minchev Vazov is a Bulgarian officer, lieutenant-general. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Russia. ... General Brusilov at 64 (1917) Aleksei Alekseevich Brusilov (Russian: Алексей Алексеевич Брусилов) (August 19, 1853 - March 17, 1926) was a Russian cavalry general most noted for the development of a military offensive tactic used in the Brusilov offensive of 1916. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Louis Félix Marie François Franchet dEspèrey ( 25 May 1856 – 3 July 1942) was a French general during the First World War. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Maurice-Paul-Emmanuel Sarrail (1856–1929) was a French general of the First World War. ... Image File history File links This is a lossless scalable vector image. ... Marshal Radomir Putnik Radomir Putnik, also known as Vojvoda Putnik, (Радомир Путник - Војвода Путник) (born January 24, 1847 in Kragujevac, died May 17, 1917) was a Serbian Field Marshal and Chief of General Staff in the Balkan Wars and the First World War, and took part in all wars that Serbia waged from 1876... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Greece_(1828-1978). ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Image File history File links Flag_of_Montenegro_(1941-1944). ... Coat of arms of Petrović-NjegoÅ¡ King Nikola I Mirkov Petrović-NjegoÅ¡ (Serbian Cyrillic: Краљ Никола I Мирков Петровић-Његош) (October 7 [O.S. September 25] 1841 – March 1, 1921) was the only king of Montenegro, reigning as king from 1910 to 1918 and as prince from 1860 to 1910. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Combatants Central Powers, Bulgaria Triple Entente, United States, Italy, Serbia, Romania, Greece The European Theater of World War I was the primary site of the fighting of this great war. ... Combatants Belgium British Empire Australia[1] Canada[2] India[3] Newfoundland[4] New Zealand[5] South Africa[6] United Kingdom France and French Overseas Empire Portugal[7] United States Germany Commanders No unified command until 1918, then Ferdinand Foch Moltke → Falkenhayn → Hindenburg and Ludendorff → Hindenburg and Groener Casualties ~4,800... ‹ The template below (Expand) is being considered for deletion. ... Combatants Italy United Kingdom  France  Austria-Hungary  German Empire Commanders Armando Diaz Luigi Cadorna Lord Cavan Conrad von Hötzendorf Svetozar Boroević Otto von Below The Italian campaign refers to a series of battles fought between the armies of Austria-Hungary and Italy, along with their allies, in northern Italy... Combatants Ottoman Empire, Military Mission of the German Empire Russian Empire, Armenia, British Empire, Australia, India, Newfoundland, New Zealand, United Kingdom, France Strength 2,850,000 2, max strength: 800,000 Casualties 550,000 KIA 3, 891,000 WIA, 240,000 sick, 103,731 MIO, 239,000-250,000 POW... Combatants Ottoman Empire Russian Empire Democratic Republic of Armenia Central Caspian Dictatorship Democratic Republic of Georgia Commanders Enver Pasha Vehip Pasha Kerim Pasha Mustafa Kemal Kazım Karabekir Friedrich Freiherr Kress von Kressenstein Illarion Vorontsov-Dashkov Nikolai Yudenich Andranik Ozanian Drastamat Kanayan Garegin Njdeh Movses Silikyan Lionel Dunsterville Strength •3rd... Combatants United Kingdom British India  Ottoman Empire Commanders General Nixon, General Maude Khalil Pasha, General von der Goltz Strength 112,000 90,000 ? Casualties 92,000 100,000 ? The Mesopotamian campaign was a campaign in the Middle Eastern theatre of the Great War fought between Allied Powers represented by the... Combatants United Kingdom Australia New Zealand Ottoman Empire Commanders Sir John Maxwell Archibald Murray Henry George Chauvel Philip Chetwode Charles Dobell Edmund Allenby Djemal Pasha Kress von Kressenstein Jadir Bey Tala Bey Erich von Falkenhayn Otto Liman von Sanders The Sinai and Palestine Campaign during the Middle Eastern Theatre of... Combatants British Empire Australia British India Newfoundland New Zealand United Kingdom Egyptian labourers[1] France Senegal  Ottoman Empire Commanders Sir Ian Hamilton Lord Kitchener John de Robeck Otto von Sanders Mustafa Kemal Strength 5 divisions (initial) 16 divisions (final) 6 divisions (initial) 15 divisions (final) Casualties 252,000[2] 195... Persia was neutral in World War I, but was affected by the rivalry between the Allied Powers and the Central Powers. ... Combatants United Kingdom ‎South Africa ‎ France ‎Belgium ‎Portugal German Empire The African Theater of World War I comprises geographically distinct campaigns around the German colonies scattered in Africa: the German colonies of Cameroon, Togo, South-West Africa, and German East Africa. ... This article describes the conquest and occupation of German held South-West Africa, now called Namibia, by forces from the Union of South Africa acting on behalf of the British Imperial Government at the start of World War I. The outbreak of hostilities in Europe in August 1914 had long... Combatants Great Britain, France, Belgium Germany The West Africa Campaign of World War I consisted of two small and fairly short military operations to capture the German colonies in West Africa: Togoland and Kamerun. ... Combatants Great Britian, South Africa, France, Belgium, Portugal Germany Commanders Jan Smuts Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck Strength 40,000 15,500 // Introduction German East Africa (modern-day Tanzania, Burundi, and Rwanda) was a large territory with complex geography (including the massive Rift Valley and Lake Victoria). ... Combatants Empire of Japan British Empire United Kingdom Australia New Zealand German Empire The Asian and Pacific Theater of World War I was a largely bloodless conquest of a number of German controlled islands in the Pacific Ocean. ... The First Battle of the Atlantic (1914–1918) was a naval campaign of World War I, largely fought in the seas around the British Isles and in the Atlantic Ocean. ... Combatants Allied Powers Cemtral Powers Some limited sea combat took place between the Central Powers navies of Austria-Hungary, Germany and the Ottoman Empire and the Allied navies of France, Italy, Greece, Japan and the British Empire. ... British battleship HMS Irresistible abandoned and sinking, 18 March 1915, during the Battle of Gallipoli Naval combat in World War I was mainly characterized by the efforts of the Allied Powers, with their larger fleets and surrounding position, to blockade the Central Powers by sea, and the efforts of the... Color Autochrome Lumière of a Nieuport Fighter in Aisne, France 1917 One of the many innovations of World War I, aircraft were first used for reconnaissance purposes and later as fighters and bombers. ... “The Great War ” redirects here. ... Kaiser Wilhelm II, Mehmed V, Franz Joseph: The three emperors of the Central Powers in World War I European military alliances in 1914. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Austria-Hungary, also known as the Dual monarchy (or: the k. ... Map of the World showing the participants in World War I. Those fighting on the Allies side (at one point or another) are depicted in green, the Central Powers in orange, and neutral countries in gray. ... Anthem: Bože Pravde [[Image:|250px|center|Location of the Kingdom of Serbia]] Capital Belgrade Largest city Belgrade Serbian Government Monarchy  - King Milan (1882-1889)  - King Aleksandar (1889-1903)  - King Peter I (1903-1918) Proclamation March 6, 1882 Area  - Total  km² ([[List of countries and outlying territories by area|]])  sq...

Contents

Overview

The prime cause of World War I being the hostility between Serbia and Austria-Hungary, it is hardly surprising that some of the earliest fighting took place between Serbia and its powerful neighbour to the north: Austria-Hungary. Serbia held out against Austria-Hungary for more than a year before it was conquered in late 1915. Year 1915 (MCMXV) was a common year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a common year starting on Thursday[1] of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ...


Allied diplomacy was able to bring Romania into the war in 1916 but this proved disastrous for the Romanians. Shortly after they joined the war, a combined German, Austrian, Bulgarian and Ottoman offensive conquered two-thirds of their country in a rapid campaign which ended in December of 1916. However, the Romanian and Russian armies managed to stabilize the front and hold on to Moldavia. Year 1916 (MCMXVI) was a leap year starting on Saturday (link will display the full calendar) of the Gregorian calendar (or a leap year starting on Friday of the 13-day-slower Julian calendar). ... Ottoman redirects here. ... For other uses of Moldavia or Moldova, see Moldova (disambiguation). ...


In 1917, Greece entered the war on the Allied side, and in 1918, the multi-national Army of the Orient, based in northern Greece, finally launched an offensive which drove Bulgaria to seek peace, recaptured Serbia and finally halted only at the border of Hungary in November 1918. 1917 (MCMXVII) was a common year starting on Monday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Tuesday of the 13-day slower Julian calendar (see: 1917 Julian calendar). ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ...


Serbian Campaign

The Serbian Army was able to fight off the larger army of Austria-Hungary thanks, in large part, to the fact that the Austro-Hungarians had to focus their attention on fighting off the huge Russian Army. In 1915 the Austro-Hungarians brought more soldiers to the front and, with diplomacy, brought in Bulgaria as an ally. Serbian forces were attacked from both the north and the east and were forced to retreat. The retreat was skillfully carried out and the Serbian Army remained operational, even though it was now based in Greece. Combatants  Austria-Hungary Bulgaria  German Empire Serbia Montenegro Commanders Oskar Potiorek Nikola Zhekov Kliment Boyadzhiev Georgi Todorov Ivan Valkov August von Mackensen Radomir Putnik Živojin MiÅ¡ić Stepa Stepanović Petar Bojović Nicholas I The Serbian Campaign was fought from August 1914, when Austria-Hungary invaded Serbia at the outset of... The Austro-Hungarian Army was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. ...


Romanian Campaign

Romania before the war was an ally of Austria-Hungary but, like Italy, refused to join the war when it started. The Romanian government finally chose to side with the Allies in August 1916, the main reason being Transylvania. The war started as a total disaster for Romania. Before the year was out, the Germans, Austrians, Bulgarians and Ottomans had conquered Wallachia and Dobruja – and captured more than half of its army as POWs.[citation needed] Combatants Central Powers, Bulgaria Romania, Russia Commanders General Falkenhayn General Mackensen General Averescu, General Zaionchovsky Strength 450,000 600,000 Casualties 60,000 roughly 330,000 (50% POWs) The Romanian Campaign was a campaign in the Balkans theatre of World War I fought between Romania and Russia against armies of... Anthem Marcia Reale dOrdinanza (Royal March of Ordinance)¹ The Kingdom of Italy at the height of its power in 1940. ... This article is about the region in Romania. ... Map of Romania with Wallachia in yellow. ... Map of Romania with Northern Dobruja highlighted in orange and Bulgaria with Southern Dobruja highlighted in yellow. ...


In 1917, re-trained (mainly by a French expeditionary corps under the command of General Henri Berthelot) and re-supplied, the Romanian Army, together with a disintegrating Russian Army, were successful in containing the German advance into Moldavia.


In May 1918, after the German advance in Ukraine and Russia signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, Romania, surrounded by the Central Powers forces, had no other choice but to sue for peace (see Treaty of Bucharest, 1918). The first two pages of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, in (left to right) German, Hungarian, Bulgarian, Ottoman Turkish and Russian The Treaty of Brest-Litovsk was a peace treaty signed on March 3, 1918, at Brest-Litovsk (now Brest, Belarus) between the Russian SFSR and the Central Powers, marking... A French caricature on the treaty: the Kaiser points a dagger at a woman (Romania), while showing her the Peace Treaty Delegates at the Peace of Bucharest The Treaty of Bucharest was a peace treaty which was signed on May 7, 1918 forced by Germany to the Romanian side. ...


After the successful offensive on the Thessaloniki front which knocked Bulgaria out of the war, Romania re-entered the war on November 10, 1918. Thessaloniki or Salonica (Greek: ) is Greeces second-largest city and the capital of Macedonia, the largest Region of Greece. ... is the 314th day of the year (315th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1918 (MCMXVIII) was a common year starting on Tuesday of the Gregorian calendar (see link for calendar) or a common year starting on Wednesday of the Julian calendar. ...


Bulgarian Campaign

In the aftermath of the Balkan Wars Bulgarian opinion turned against Russia and the western powers, whom the Bulgarians felt had done nothing to help them. The government aligned Bulgaria with Germany and Austria-Hungary, even though this meant also becoming an ally of the Ottomans, Bulgaria's traditional enemy. But Bulgaria now had no claims against the Ottomans, whereas Serbia, Greece and Romania (allies of Britain and France) were all in possession of lands perceived as Bulgarian. Bulgaria, recuperating from the Balkan Wars, sat out the first year of World War I, but when Germany promised to restore the boundaries of the Treaty of San Stefano, Bulgaria, which had the largest army in the Balkans, declared war on Serbia in October 1915. Britain, France and Italy then declared war on Bulgaria.


Although Bulgaria, in alliance with Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans, won military victories against Serbia and Romania, occupying much of Macedonia (taking Skopje in October), advancing into Greek Macedonia, and taking Dobruja from the Romanians in September 1916, the war soon became unpopular with the majority of Bulgarian people, who suffered enormous economic hardship. The Russian Revolution of February 1917 had a great effect in Bulgaria, spreading antiwar and anti-monarchist sentiment among the troops and in the cities.


In September 1918 the Serbs, British, French, Italian, Russian, and Greeks achieve penetration on the Macedonian front, triggering revolts in the troops. Tsar Ferdinand was forced to sue for peace. In order to head off the revolutionaries, he persuaded Ferdinand to abdicate in favour of his son Boris III. The revolutionaries were suppressed and the army disbanded. Under the Treaty of Neuilly (November 1919), Bulgaria lost its Aegean coastline to Greece and nearly all of its Macedonian territory to the new state of Yugoslavia, and had to give Dobruja back to the Romanians (see also Dobruja, Western Outlands, Western Thrace).


Macedonian front

In 1915 the Austrians gained military support from Germany and, with diplomacy, brought in Bulgaria as an ally. Serbian forces were attacked from both north and south and were forced to retreat. The retreat was skillfully carried out and the Serbian army remained operational, even though it was now based in Greece. The front stabilised roughly around the Greek border, through the intervention of a Franco-British-Italian force which had landed in Salonica. The German generals had not let the Bulgarian army advance towards Salonika, because they hoped they could persuade the Greeks to join the Central powers. Three years later (1918) this mistake was already irreparable. Combatants Central Powers:  Austria-Hungary  German Empire Bulgaria Allied Powers: Serbia  France (1915-1918) United Kingdom (1915-1918) Greece (1916-1918) Italy (1916-1918) Commanders August von Mackensen Oskar Potiorek Nikola Zhekov Petar Bojović Živojin MiÅ¡ić Maurice Sarrail Adolphe Guillaumat Franchet dEsperey George Milne Panagiotis Danglis Conquest of... Thessaloniki or Salonica (Greek: ) is Greeces second-largest city and the capital of Macedonia, the largest Region of Greece. ... The White Tower The Arch of Galerius Map showing the Thessaloníki prefecture Thessaloníki (Θεσσαλονίκη) is the second-largest city of Greece and is the principal city and the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia. ...


In 1918, after a prolonged build-up, the Allies, under the energetic French General Franchet d'Esperey leading a combined French, Serbian, Greek and British army, attacked out of Greece. His initial victories convinced the Bulgarian government to sue for peace. He then attacked north and defeated the German and Austrian forces that tried to halt his offensive. By October 1918 his army had recaptured all of Serbia and was preparing to invade Hungary proper. The offensive halted only because the Hungarian leadership offered to surrender in November 1918. Louis Félix Marie François Franchet dEspèrey ( 25 May 1856 – 3 July 1942) was a French general during the First World War. ...


Results

While the Allies hoped that the addition of Greece and Romania to their side would increase their strength against the Central Powers, in actual fact, both the Greeks and the Romanians cost the Allies extra, in terms of men and materials that had to be supplied in order to save them from destruction by the German, Austria, and Bulgarian armies.


The Russians had to pour extra divisions and supplies to keep the Romanian army from being utterly destroyed. According to John Keegan, the Russian Chief of Staff, General Alekseev was very dismissive of the Romanian army and argued that they would drain, rather than add to the Russian reserves (John Keegan, World War I, pg 307). Alekseev was proved correct in his analysis. 07:55, 7 Jan 2005 (UTC) Categories: Possible copyright violations ...


The French and British kept six divisions each on the Greek frontier from 1916 till the end of 1918. Originally, the French and British went to Greece to help Serbia, but with Serbia's conquest in the fall of 1915, their continued presence was pointless. For nearly three years, these divisions accomplished essentially nothing and only tied down half of the Bulgarian army, which wasn't going to go far from Bulgaria in any event.


In fact, Keegan argues that "the installation of a violently nationalist and anti-Turkish government in Athens, led to Greek mobilization in the cause of the "Great Idea" - the recovery of the Greek empire in the east - which would complicate the Allied effort to resettle the peace of Europe for years after the war ended." (Keegan pg. 308).

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