Serbia: Ottoman Empire and Narodna Odbrana Essay

Submitted By KimFarrar1
Words: 1605
Pages: 7

It was Serbian terrorism that actually precipitated World War I although many other forces were at wirk that led to the War. Austria-Hungary's annexation of Bosnia (1908) has intendified ethnic tensions in the Balkans. Serbian nationalists assassinatied Archduke Francis Ferdinand (June 28, 1914). There is no evidence that the Serbian government was directtly responsible, although Government officials did support terroist groups. Austro-Hungarian officials were concerned with the rising demands of Slavic national groups and decided that reducing Serbia which had made substantial gains in the Balkan Wars (1912-13) would help to control the Slavs and Pan-Slavism. Austria issued a an ultimatum with a list of demands (July 23). Serbia wished to avoid the War. The Serbs were exhausted by the two Balkan Wars. War with the much larger Austria-Hungary Army was a ausome threat. The Serbian Government thus accepted all of the Austrian demands, except the demand for Austrian officials to participate in Serbian courts. The Serbs held out as a result of Russian pledges to support Serbia in case of Austrian attack. The Germans supported the Austrians rejected efforts by the British (Sir Edward Grey) to negotiate. Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia (July 28). Russian mobilization resulted in a German ultimatum (July 31). When the Russians continued to mobilize, the Germans declared war on Russia (August 1) and on France (August 3). Thus launching World War I. The Serbian war plan was to rapidly double the size of the army from 5 to 10 divisions. Unlike Austria-Hungary, the small Serbian Army was battle tested, having participated in a series of Balkan wars. Although the War began in the Balkans, the campaign there is the least reported campaign of World war I. Austria began the campaign by launching three offensives against Serbia (1914). The Central Powers convinved the Bulgarians to enter the War by offering territory that the Serbs had gained in the Balkan wars (September 6, 1915). The Austro-German forces attacked across the Danube (October 6). The Bulgars in the south, into eastern Serbia (October 11) and into Macedonia (October 14). The western Allies attempted to assist Serbia. Greece was neutral, but Prime Minister Eleuthérios Venizélos favored the Allies and made the port of Salonika available. The Allies diverted troops from the Gallipoli campaign. Commanded by French General Maurice Sarrail the Allied troops arrived at Salonika (October 5). Nevertheless the Allies pressed forward north up the Vardar into Serbian Macedonia. Bulgar forces, however, prevented them from linking up with the Serbs. The Allied forced fell back to Salonika (mid-December 1915. The Serbian Army facing destruction executed a terrible winter retreat west over the Albanian mountains. They were accompanied by the King and many civilians. They sought refuge on the island of Corfu. Allied naval power made it impossible for the Astrian-German forces attack them. This meant, however, that Serbia was finally occupied by the Central Powers. The Allies planned a new offensive. The Allies forces at Salonika were reinforced by the Serb Army transported from Corfu and more British and French troops as well as some Russians. What followed was a sea-saw battle with the Bulgars in Macedonia. The Allies were eventually reinforced by the Greek Army when Greece enter the War (June 1917). Greek and Serbian troops eventually proved decisive in breaking the Bulgar lines. This then opened up the liberation of Serbia.
Serbian Independence (1878)
Serbia is a relatively new nation, but has an amcient heritage. The medieval Christan kingdom of Serbia was absorbed into the Ottoman Empire, bur reemerged as an independent country in the 19th century. Serbian resistance to Ottoman rule began to grow in the 18th century. The first major uprisings occurred in 1804 and 1815. The Ottoman Empire was declining and faced increasing resistance in the largely Christian Balkan provinces.