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196 The Fortresses Fall

As the First Balkan War enters its final stages, the final 3 Ottoman fortresses are each forced to surrender. But even before the guns fall silent, the true battlefield has shifted to the negotiating table.


Major Characters in this Episode

General Savov

General Fichev

PM Gueshov

Tsar Ferdinand

PM Venizelos

PM Pašić

King George of Greece

Prince Constantine of Greece


Timeline for this Episode (old calendar)

  • 1913, Jan 30th - Feb 2nd - Bulgarian-Romanian negotiations occur in which Romania demands southern Dobrudja.

  • 1913, February 9th - Serbian PM Pasic requests a revision to the Serbo-Bulgarian treaty.

  • 1913, February 19-21st - Battle of Bizani

  • 1913, Feb 20th - The Greek army successfully takes the fortress at Ioannina. Greek troops also attack Bulgarian forces near Nigrita.

  • 1913, Mar 11-13th Bulgarian units with Serbian assistance complete the conquest of Adrianople, leading to the resumption of peace talks.

  • 1913, Mar 18th - The St. Petersburg conference begins in which the Great Powers meet to resolve the Bulgarian-Romanian dispute over Dobrudja.

  • 1913, Mar 18th - King George of Greece is assassinated.

  • 1913, Mar 25th - The Ottomans propose a new armistice.

  • 1913, Mar 28th - The great powers initiate a blockade of Montenegrin ports.

  • 1913, second half of March - A Bulgarian-Serbian military commission’s attempts to decide the status of the Doiran district ends without a conclusion.

  • 1913, Mar 30-Apr 26th - A Bulgarian-Greek commission attempting to decide on the distribution of territory ends without a conclusion.

  • 1913, Mar - Bulgarian muslims from Yakoruda are converted by threats of violence.

  • 1913, Apr 1st - A new truce is signed between Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro and the Ottomans. Once again, Greece does not sign.

  • 1913, Apr 10th - The fortress of Scutari surrenders to Montenegro.


Sources used in this episode:

  • The Balkan Wars 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War by Richard C. Hall

  • Prelude to the First World War: The Balkan Wars 1912-1913 by E.R. Hooton

  • The Wars of Yesterday: The Balkan Wars and the Emergence of Modern Military Conflict, 1912-1913 Edited by Katrin Boeskh and Sabine Rutar

  • The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914 by Christopher Clark

  • The Rough Road to Statecraft: The Life of Bulgaria’s Ivan E. Gueshoff by Elena Statelova

Ottoman prisoners captured by the Greeks at Bizani
Ottoman prisoners captured by the Greeks at Bizani

Crown Prince Constantine of Greece observing artillery firing on Bizani.
Crown Prince Constantine of Greece observing artillery firing on Bizani.

A depiction of the surrender of Ioannina
A depiction of the surrender of Ioannina

Serbian artillery firing on Adrianople.
Serbian artillery firing on Adrianople.

A map showing the siege of Adrianople.
A map showing the siege of Adrianople.

General Markholev (left) with his adjutants in front of Adrianople.
General Markholev (left) with his adjutants in front of Adrianople.

A caricature showing Albania resisting Montenegro, Serbia, and Greece.
A caricature showing Albania resisting Montenegro, Serbia, and Greece.

The assassination of King George I of Greece
The assassination of King George I of Greece

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