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176 The Boatmen of Thessaloniki

In the aftermath of the bloody Gorna Dzumaya Uprising, yet more violence comes to Macedonia in the form of the Boatmen. As terrorist attacks rock Thessaloniki (Salonika), several other major political figures meet their end, whether by natural causes or the assassin's bullet.



Major Characters in this Episode

Petko Karavelov

Gotse Delchev

Stoyan Danev General Racho Petrov

King Alexander of Serbia

Draga Mašin

King Peter Кarađorđević of Serbia

Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria

Todor Ivanchov


Timeline for this Episode

  • 1903 Jan 15th - First dairy coop is founded in Studena, Pernik, by the initiative of the government.

  • 1903 Jan 24th - Petko Karavelov dies.

  • 1903 Jan 31st - Under Russian pressure, the government disbands the 2 Supreme Macedonian-Odrin committees. Their members are arrested on the 1st of February.

  • 1903 Feb 23rd - After continuous pressure from Bulgaria, the sultan accepts the Austrian-Russian project for reforms in Macedonia.

  • 1903 Feb-July - БРСДП splits into “wide” and “narrow” socialists.

  • 1903 March 15-16th - Assassinations by the group of the “гемиджии” in Salonica. The French steamboat Guadalquivir is blown up, as well as a train line, the waterline and gas installation, the branch of the Ottoman bank.

  • 1903 beginning of April - The Balkan Committee is founded in London, headed by notable British liberals.

  • 1903 Apr 17-24th - Congress of the Bitolya revolutionary district.

  • 1903 Apr 21st - Turkish posse defeats Gotse Delchev’s detachment during which Delchev is killed.

  • 1903 May 5th - A cabinet is formed with non-party gen. Racho Petrov as head with the People’s Liberals’ activists in it.

  • 1903 end of May - Conversations with The Gate aiming to take the pressure off start (the Nachovich mission).

  • 1903 May 31st - Violent clashes between Pando Klyashev and Vasil Chakalarov’s detachments on the Lokvata and Vinyari peaks.

  • 1903, June 11th, King Alexander of Serbia is assassinated

  • 1903 June 16th - The cabinet sends a note to France, Austro-Hungary, and Russia, insisting they stand up for Bulgarian autonomy in the dispute with European Turkey.

  • 1903 June 30th - The first state court sentences the accused ministers from Todor Ivanchov’s cabinet to 8 months in prison. They’re amnestied on Nov 22nd.

  • 1903 July 20th-Nov 2nd - The Ilinden uprising.


The French ship "Guadalquivir" burning in the harbor.
The French ship "Guadalquivir" burning in the harbor.

The Ottoman Bank of Thessaloniki after being bombed.
The Ottoman Bank of Thessaloniki after being bombed.

A Bulgarian postcard depicting the Boatmen.
A Bulgarian postcard depicting the Boatmen.

The grave of Petko Karavelov
The grave of Petko Karavelov

King Alexander of Serbia and his wife
King Alexander of Serbia and his wife

The new Peter I of Serbia.
The new Peter I of Serbia.

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