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202 The Great War Begins

As Romania and Serbia crack down on the Bulgarian populations of their newly acquired territories, Bulgaria's Prime Minister attempts to finally build a governing coalition. At the same time, war clouds gather over Europe as the Great War finally begins.

Major Characters in this Episode:

PM Radoslavov

Tsar Ferdinand

Alexander Stamboliiski

Timeline for this episode:

  • 1914, Feb 23rd - New elections are won by the ruling Liberal coalition headed by Radoslavov.

  • 1914, mid Feb - The “Dobrudja Brotherhood” is established as a secret Bulgarian organization committed to combating Romanian authority and control in southern Dobrudja.

  • 1914, Mar 20th - The 17th National Assembly convenes.

  • 1914, Apr 1st - A new Romanian law forces a third of all land in southern Dobrudja to be handed over to the state or their owners can pay the government what the land is worth.

  • 1914, Apr 5th - A general conference of International Socialists is held in Sofia with the aim of unifying the narrow and broad socialist parties, but this fails.

  • 1914 Apr 10th - 220 Bulgarian conscripts in Macedonia are shot after refusing to take oaths to the Serbian army.

  • 1914 Apr 15th - The Sofia stock exchange is established, though it wouldn’t really begin to function until 1918.

  • 1914 May 9th - The National Assembly assigns another 200k leva to support refugees.

  • 1914 May 9th - The National Assembly creates a commission to look into the Balkan Wars including how military supplies were acquired, the diplomatic preparations, etc.

  • 1914 May 24th - The Levski sports club is founded in Sofia.

  • 1914 May 27-30th - Five French banks hold a conference and decide to deny Bulgaria the loans it had requested despite pressure from the French government.

  • 1914, Jun 15th - Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, is assassinated in Sarajevo.

  • 1914 Jul 12th - After a year long struggle between German and French banks, several German banks are given the right to build a rail line to the Aegean.

  • 1914, Jul 15th - The First World War begins.

  • 1914, Jul 24th - Russia proposes an alliance with Bulgaria to bring it into the war, but Sofia rejects this and proclaims its neutrality.

  • 1914, Aug 1st - Martial law is proclaimed in Bulgaria as a result of the outbreak of the First World War.

  • 1914, Aug 4th - Sandanski and several other revolutionaries are granted amnesty.

  • 1914, Aug 6th - A secret treaty of friendship is signed between Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire.

  • 1914, Aug 9th - Bulgaria refuses to allow food shipments bound for Serbia through its territory. However, it does allow 621 German officers disguised as civilians to cross Bulgaria on their way to Constantinople to aid the Ottomans.

Sources used in this episode:

  • The Problem of the appurtenance of Dobrudja region, 1913-1940: Bulgarian and Romanian methods of claiming rights over the territory by Ana-Teodora Kurkina

  • Foxy Ferdinand: Tsar of Bulgaria by Stephen Constant

  • Bulgaria 1879-1946: The Challenge of Choice by Tatiana Kostadinova

  • The Rose of the Balkans: A Short History of Bulgaria by Ivan Ilchev

  • A Concise History of Bulgaria by R.J. Crampton

  • История на България в Дати by Vasil Katsunov, Plamen Mitev, Valeri Kolev, Evgenia Kalinova, and Iskra Baeva

  • Peasants in Power: Alexander Stamboliski and the Bulgarian Agrarian National Union, 1899-1923 by John D. Bell

  • Alexander Stamboliiski by R.J. Crampton

  • For Freedom and Perfection: The Life of Yané Sandansky by Mercia MacDermott

A depiction of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.
A depiction of the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand.

A map showing the first invasion of Serbia.
A map showing the first invasion of Serbia.

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