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205 The Die Is Cast

As Summer 1915 turns to Fall, Bulgaria makes it choice to join the Central Powers and attack Serbia. But in the final weeks before that decision becomes known, the country faced political turmoil and exceptionally difficult questions about the future...




Major Characters in this Episode:

Tsar Ferdinand

PM Radoslavov

Alexander Stamboliiski

General Nikola Zhekov


Timeline for this episode:

  • 1915, Sep 4th - Ferdinand holds a meeting with leaders of the opposition parties (minus Dimitar Blagoev and Yanko Sakozov of the socialist parties). Stamboliiski threatens Ferdinand and is placed under house arrest.

  • 1915, Sep 6th - Stamboliiski is arrested.

  • 1915, Sep 10th - General mobilization is announced.

  • 1915, Sep 22nd - Anglo-French troops fleeing the failed Gallipoli operation disembark at Thessaloniki. They form a new army and are ordered to advance to Skopje.

  • 1915, Sep 25th - General Nikola Zhekov is appointed commander-in-chief of the army.

  • 1915, Sep 27/8th - Serbian troops invade Bulgaria territory, seizing the border post at Salashki pass near Belogradchik. Bulgarian troops push the Serbs back and retake the border during the next day.

  • 1915, Sep 28th - Bulgarian troops occupy the western bank of the Maritsa river according to the terms of the August 24th agreement with the Ottomans.

  • 1915, September - The Communist Dobruja revolutionary organization is founded in Vienna.

  • 1915, Oct 1st - Bulgaria officially enters the 1st World War on the side of the Central Powers by declaring war on Serbia.

  • 1915, Oct 3rd - Bulgarian troops take Vranje, severing the rail link between Nis and Thessaloniki.

  • 1915, Oct 3rd - Russia, Britain, and France declare war on Bulgaria.

  • 1915, Oct 5th - There is a mutiny in the 27th Chepinski regiment.


Sources used in this episode:

Foxy Ferdinand: Tsar of Bulgaria by Stephen Constant

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

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

A Concise History of Bulgaria by R.J. Crampton

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

The Balkans by Misha Glenny

Peasants in Power by John D. Bell

Balkan Breakthrough by Richard C. Hall

The First World War by John Keegan

Kosovo: A Short History by Noel Malcolm



General Zhekov around the time Bulgaria entered the war.
General Zhekov around the time Bulgaria entered the war.

Stamboliiski around the time of his life imprisonment for opposing Bulgaria's entry into the war.
Stamboliiski around the time of his life imprisonment for opposing Bulgaria's entry into the war.

A German postcard commemorating Bulgaria's entry into the war on their side.
A German postcard commemorating Bulgaria's entry into the war on their side.

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