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197 The Beginning of the End or the End of the Beginning?

Just as Bulgaria achieves what one author terms its first diplomatic success of the war, the country is losing another kind of war.



Major Characters in this Episode

PM Gueshov

Tsar Ferdinand

Tsar Nicholas II


Timeline for this Episode (old calendar)

  • 1913, Apr 19th - Metropolitan Neofit of Skopje writes a letter to Russian Tsar Nicholas II asking for his diocese to be transferred to Bulgaria.

  • 1913, Apr 22nd - Serbia and Greece come to an agreement for their mutual border and the potential of war against Bulgaria.

  • 1913, Apr 26th - Bulgaria signs the Petersburg Protocol in which it hands the city of Silistra and 3km of its surroundings to Romania, however this does not overcome the high tension between the two states.

  • 1913, Late April - A joint commission on the clash in Nigrita ends its work without a final conclusion.

  • 1913, Early May - Mass violence, described by some as Genocide, begins against Macedonian Bulgarians by Greek and Serbian forces.

  • 1913, May 5th - Serbia and Greece sign a military convention.

  • 1913, May 7th, 13th, and 14th - The Russian Foreign Minister sends telegrams to PM Geshov advising him to surrender Struga, Krushevo, Veles, and Kratovo to Serbia.

  • 1913, May 9-10th - Advancing Greek troops are stopped by force at the Angista river.

  • 1913, May 11th - The Greek and Serbian ambassadors in Sofia protest to PM Geshov over Bulgarian actions.

  • 1913, May 12th - The Serbian cabinet sends a note to the Bulgarian government stating that Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece have established a joint government in Macedonia.

  • 1913, May 15th - The ambassadors of the great powers in Sofia are handed a memorandum about Greek and Serbian violence in Macedonia.

  • 1913, May 17th - The Treaty of London is signed between the Ottoman Empire and the Balkan League.

  • 1913, May 18th - Greece and Serbia sign a formal alliance with the Treaty of Salonika.

  • 1913, May 18th - Geshov rejects Russian advice to surrender Macedonian territory to Serbia.

  • 1913, May 18th - Bulgarian troops withdraw to the new border but declare that the territory up to the Chataldja line will remain under Bulgarian control until the border is formally demarcated.

  • 1913, May 18th - Gueshov resigns as Prime Minister.


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

  • Foxy Ferdinand: Tsar of Bulgaria by Stephen Constant

  • The Balkans by Misha Glenny

  • Diplomacy by Henry Kissinger

  • The Human Rights of Muslims in Bulgaria in Law and Politics since 1878 by Fatme Muyhtar


The representatives at the London Peace Conference
The representatives at the London Peace Conference

The signing ceremony of the London Peace Treaty ending the First Balkan War.
The signing ceremony of the London Peace Treaty ending the First Balkan War.

A map showing the territorial gains following the Treaty of London.
A map showing the territorial gains following the Treaty of London.


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