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During the course of the Balkan wars the Balkan League (Serbia, Montenegro, Greece, and Bulgaria) first conquered Ottoman-held Macedonia and most of Thrace and then fell out over the division of the spoils.

Balkan League against the Ottomans

Tensions among the Balkan states over their rival aspirations in Roumelia, E. Roumelia, Thrace and Macedonia subsided somewhat following intervention by the Great Powers in the mid-1800s aimed at securing both fuller protection for the provinces' Christian majority and protection of the status quo. The question of Ottoman rule's viability revived, however, after the Young Turk Revolution of July 1908 compelled the Sultan to restore the suspended Ottoman constitution.

Serbia looked to Kosovo and the south, Greek officers secured the appointment of a sympathetic government which they hoped would resolve the Cretan issue in Greece's favour and reverse their defeat of 1897 and Bulgaria, which had secured Ottoman recognition of her independence in April 1909 and enjoyed the friendship of Russia, also looked to districts of Ottoman Thrace and north-eastern Macedonia for expansion. In March 1910, an Albanian insurrection broke out in Kosovo. In August 1910 Montenegro followed Bulgaria's precedent by becoming a kingdom.

26.10.1912 Liberation of Thessaloniki

Montenegro started the first Balkan war by declaring war against the Ottomans on October 8, 1912. The Greeks took Thessaloniki, then Albania, Epirus, Macedonia and Thrace fell to the allies and the Ottomans were pressed to maintain the defense of Constantinople. An armistice was signed between Bulgaria (representing also Serbia and Montenegro) and Turkey on December 3rd. Greece continued the war alone, aiming at the capture of Ioannina, while it participated in the London peace conferences. The Treaty of London ended the First Balkan War on May 30, 1913, but disputes over territory remained unresolved. As a result, the Second Balkan War immediately followed.


Battles of the First Balkan War
Name Land/Sea Guest(1) General Home (2) General Date Side Treaty
Battle of Sarantaporo
Greeks Crown Prince Constantine Ottomans
Oct 9 1912 1
Battle of Giannitsa
Greeks Crown Prince Constantine Ottomans Hasan Tahsin Pasha Oct 19 1912 1
Battle of Kumanovo
Serbians
Ottomans
Oct 23 1912 1
Battle of Kirk Kelesse
Bulgarians
Ottomans
Oct 24 1912 1
Battle of Pente Pigadia
Greeks Lt Gen K. Sapountzakis Ottomans Esat Pasha Oct 24-30 1912 1
Battle of Prelep
Serbians
Ottomans
Oct 27 1912 1
Battle of Lule-Burgas
Bulgarians
Ottomans
Oct 28-31 1912 1
Battle of Vevi
Greeks
Ottomans
Nov 2 1912 2
Battle of Bitola
Serbians
Ottomans
Nov 16-19 1912 1
Naval Battle of Elli Sea Greeks Rear Adm Pavlos Kountouriotis Ottomans Adm Ramiz Bey Dec 3 1912 1
Siege of Adrianople
Bulgarians Gen. Vladimir Vazov
Ottomans Gen Ghazi Shulkri Pasha Nov 17-Dec 3 1912 1
Naval Battle of Lemnos Sea Greeks Rear Adm Pavlos Kountouriotis Ottomans
Jan 5-18 1913 1
Battle of Bizani
Greeks Crown Prince Constantine Ottomans Esat Pasha Feb 20-21 1913 1

Second Balkan War

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