World War I/Lesson 2 - Europe explodes - The crisis which lead to World War I

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The Balkan tensions: The boiling pot that led to The Great War[edit | edit source]

The First Balkan War[edit | edit source]


A Punch cartoon of October 2,1912, by English cartoonist Leonard Raven-Hill depicting Britain, France, German, Austria-Hungary, and Russia sitting on a lid on top of a pot marked "Balkan Troubles", satirizing the situation in the Balkans leading up to the First Balkan War (Credit: Wikimedia)

Before the death of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary, there where the Balkan Wars, a series of conflicts taking place between the years of 1912-1913. The First Balkan War broke out in October 8th, 1912 when the Balkan League, comprised of Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia and Montenegro declared war on the Ottoman Empire.

The war broke out when a desire to liberate their kinsman and a response to repressive policies of the Ottoman Empire to the Balkan States (countries).

Bulgarian Theatre[edit | edit source]

List of Military engagements on the Bulgarian theatre during the first Balkan war

Battle of Kirk Kilisse[edit | edit source]

The battle of Kirk Kilisse took place on October 24th, 1912, When Bulgaria defeated An Ottoman army (was unable to find which army group it was) in eastern Thrace.The Battle was fought between Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire. The initial skirmishes before the battle took place in small villages north of the town, and this forced the Ottoman army to retreat. On October 10th, the Ottoman forces threatened to split the 1st and 3rd Bulgarian army groups, but they where stopped by the 1st Sofian and 2nd Preslav Brigades of the Bulgarian army after a long a bloody fight in front of the town, the Ottomans again had to pull back on the morning of October 25th, ending the battle. The town of Kırk Kilise (Lozengrad) was now under the control of Bulgaria.

After the victory, the French minister of war Alexandre Millerand stated that the Bulgarian Army was the best in Europe and that he would prefer 100,000 Bulgarians for allies than any other European army.

Casualties and losses[edit | edit source]
  • Bulgarian losses:

887 KIA

4,034 men WIA

824 MIA

  • Ottoman losses:

1,500 KIA/WIA

2,000-3,000 POW

58 artillery cannons captured

2 planes captured

Outcome: Victory for Bulgaria

Battle of Lule Burgas[edit | edit source]

The Battle of Lule Burgas was fought by Bulgaria and the Ottoman Empire, it was fought between the 28th of October to the 2nd of November. Following the battle and capture of Kirk Kilisse, the Turkish forces retreated in a panic to the east and south lines. The Bulgarian second army began to besiege the town of Adrianople while the 1st and 2nd armies chased down the Turkish forces, but failed. This allowed the Turks to move long the Lule Burgas- Bunar Hisar line. Under the command of General Radko Dimitriev, the Bulgarian 3rd army reached the Ottoman lines on the 28th of October.The same day, three divisions, the 5th Danubian infantry on the left flank, the 4th Preslav infantry in the center and the 6th Bdin infantry in the right flank. By the end of the day, the 6th Bdin captured the town of Lule Burgas. When the First army arrived on the 29th of October (the very next day), attacks continued along the entire front, making this the single bloodiest battle in the entire war. These attacks where met with heavy resistance and to some extent, counterattacks by the Ottomans. Heavy fighting continued for the next two days and there where high casualties on both sides. In the end, the 4th and 5th divisions managed to push back the Ottomans, at the cost of heavy losses. They pushed them back 3.10 miles (5 kilometres) on the 30th of October. The Bulgarians pushed the Ottomans back along the entire front, the 6th division managed to breach the right flank, and after another two days of fighting, The Ottoman defense had failed. On the night of November 2nd, the Turks retreated on the right flank, allowing themselves to take position just 30 kilometres from Constantinople because the Bulgarians did not immediatly take chase.

First Battle of Çatalca[edit | edit source]

The First Battle of Çatalca was one of the first major military engagements in the First Balkan War. The battle was fought between Bulgaria And the Ottoman Empire.

The Battle was fought between the 17th and 18th of November. It began as an attempt to defeat the Turkish army at Çatalca using The Combined Bulgarian 1st and 3rd armies under the command of lieutenant general Radko Dimitriev, and break through the last line into Constantinople. High casualities caused the Bulgarian armies to fall back

Casualties and losses[edit | edit source]

  • Bulgarian losses:

1,506 KIA

9,127 WIA

1,391 MIA

  • Ottoman Losses

5,000–10,000 KIA/MIA

Outcome: Victory for the Ottoman Empire

Politics and other things that overall, led to the war[edit | edit source]

Suggestions/Improvements[edit | edit source]

When you edit the page, please type down what you did here, this is also for suggestions


Added summary for battle Catalca. 12/20/22

Added summary for Battle of Lule Burgas 12/21/22

Fixed grammar mistakes

Questions for this section[edit | edit source]

Milan of Serbia[edit | edit source]

The Milan I of Serbia Wikipedia article says, "On January 3, 1889, Milan adopted a new constitution much more liberal than the existing one of 1869." What does "liberal" mean in this context? Also, the term "Russian inroads" is used. What exactly does that mean?

The new constitution was developed because Milan I wanted to consolidate his reign. It also revised the definition of power which was administered by the parliament and the crown. Liberal means that the Serbians got more rights and Jews became full citizens. Slong 19:13, 18 November 2007 (UTC)

Discussing this section[edit | edit source]

Evacuees: during the war children where evacuated to various places of safety.

Women and War: How did the war affect women? What were the effects of removing so many men from daily interaction with women. How did new work opportunities for women affect gender roles?

Women now had to take the places of men as factory workers and farmers and other jobs that would normally be a "mans job".