100 Years Ago Today

A History Of Events And Happenings From Exactly One Hundred Years Ago

European Powers Make Moves In The Balkans

The deteriorating power of the Ottoman Empire has resulted in losing possessions in Northern Africa to Italy and losing several battles in the on-going Balkan War. In October 1912 the Serbian Army defeated the Ottoman army in Vardar Macedonia which suffered heavy losses in manpower and in war materiel. When the Ottoman forces abandonedMacedonia, Serbia stood to double in size and along with Montenegro gain access to the Adriatic Sea.

Austria-Hungary felt threatened that not only would this give it neighbors increased power but cause nationalistic uprisings among it’s own Slavic population within it’s domain. This would put the Catholic Austria-Hungary in direct conflict with Russia who backed the Slavic Orthodox Christian nations. Austria-Hungary proposed that instead of letting Serbia and Montenegro expand to the sea both cities would be part of new, independent nation, Albania. The French premier Raymond Poincare, to show his support for the proposition, assured the Russian ambassador that France would back up Russia in any conflict with Austria-Hungary or Germany.

On November 22, 1912 Germany’s Kaiser Wilhelm II promised Austria that Germany would back up Austria-Hungary in a war. Serbian forces had reached the Adriatic Sea at Alessio so on the same day Austria-Hungary mobilized 3 army corps along the Russian border near Serbia to check any military support Russia might offer Serbia or Montenegro.

Proposed country of Albania – 1912

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