Balkan League - Aftermath


In the resulting war, the combined Balkan armies effectively destroyed Ottoman power in Europe in a series of victories. However, the League's triumph was short-lived. The antagonisms between the Balkan states still persisted, and after the successful conclusion of the First Balkan War, they resurfaced, especially over the partition of Macedonia. Mounting tensions effectively tore the League apart, and the Second Balkan War broke out when Bulgaria, confident of a quick victory, attacked her former allies Serbia and Greece. The Serbian and Greek armies repulsed the Bulgarian offensive and counterattacked penetrating into Bulgaria. The Ottoman Empire and Romania took advantage of the situation and invaded Bulgaria too. The subsequent peace left Bulgaria with gains in territory, but led to the loss of Eastern Thrace to the Ottomans and most of Macedonia to the Greeks. Defeat turned Bulgaria into a revanchist country, ensuring her participation in the First World War on the side of the Central Powers, since her Balkan enemies (Serbia, Greece and Romania) were involved in the war on the side of the Entente.

During the war, the Greek king was assassinated in Thessaloniki under yet unresolved conditions. That generated a shift in the Greek foreign policy from clearly pro-Entente to neutrality, since the new King, unlike his father and his popular Prime Minister, was pro-German and tried to keep the country neutral in the upcoming World War. With the outbreak of World War I and the Entente's intervention in Macedonia, the conflict between king and first minister steadily deteriorated, leading eventually to the National Schism, that greatly contributed to the loss of the next war against Kemalist Turkey in Asia Minor, and dominated Greek politics for over a half of a century.

The outcome of the Balkan Wars caused a permanent break-up of the Russo-Bulgarian alliance, and left Serbia as the only ally of Russia in this critical region. Victorious in two wars and enjoying Russia's full support, Serbia now had the necessary self-confidence to resume her aspirations over Austro-Hungarian occupied Bosnia, to ignite the July crisis of 1914 and to keep the uncompromising position that led, through the existing European chains of alliances, to the outbreak of World War I.

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