"On the knives!" Despite the talent of the artist, the outcome of the war was decided not by the Bulgarian bayonets, but by machine guns
If you ask today what the Second Balkan War is, most readers will shrug. World War II is remembered. And the Second Balkan in people's memory is like a cat with a tongue licked! Meanwhile, it was this internecine skirmish of the Slavs in the summer of 1913, the mother of two world wars of the twentieth century. There were both her blitzkrieg, and the stormy diplomatic correspondence of the great powers, who were striving to appease Serbia and Bulgaria, and a sad conclusion: the world Slavic brotherhood with the drinking song “Gay, Slavs!” Is just a scientific myth of cabinet theorists. But in practice, the "fraternal peoples" are ready to release the guts from each other for some kind of chicken coop, hanging on the disputed slope of the Rhodope Mountains. And here the Serb will not let the Bulgarian descend, and the Montenegrin will give in to the heat in a fight between two “brothers”!
A hundred years ago, the world was aiming for giantomania. "Pan" - in Latin "all." Pan-Germanism, Pan-Mongolism, Pan-Americanism ... Naturally, Petersburg could not remain aloof from the political mainstream. In response, he took out his trump card - “Pan-Slavism”, invented in Moscow kitchens. The instrumental task of this teaching was simple - we will unite the Balkan Slavs against the Turks, and the Austrian - against Austria! And thus weaken the two largest great neighbor powers!
At first, everything went smoothly. At that time, Turkey owned in Europe not only the environs of Istanbul, as it is now, but almost half of the Balkan Peninsula. Under the auspices of Russia 13 March 1912, the Serbian-Bulgarian Treaty of Friendship and Alliance was signed. The very first article of this treaty stated: “The Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Serbia guarantee each other state independence and the integrity of their state territories, pledging to come to the aid of each other with all their strength if one of them were attacked by one or more other powers. "
UNDER THE CAP OF PETERSBURG. In the memoir book “Diplomacy and World War”, the Austro-Hungarian diplomat Count Andrassy called this agreement “the first triumph of Russian politics,” adding that Russia “managed to create the Balkan Union under its protectorate, first of all - against Turkey, , - against us".
Bulgarian artillery. Despite the high fighting qualities, she could do nothing with the coalition of Serbia, Montenegro, Greece and Romania
The treaty between Serbia and Bulgaria contained a secret annex on a joint statement against Turkey. But it could be undertaken only with the approval of Russia. The first article of this secret application stated: “If internal turmoil occurs in Turkey that would endanger the interests of both contracting parties or one of them ... then that of the contracting parties who would first be convinced of the need to start hostilities would turn to a motivated the other side "...
A coarse meaning lurked behind these streamlined polite phrases: if Bulgaria comes up with the idea of breaking into the Turks, they will invite the Serbs for this, and if the Serbs want to attack Turkey, the Serbs will necessarily invite the Bulgarians to participate in this fun.
The war in the Balkans broke out when the ink on this treaty had not yet dried out. At that time, the unusually militant King Ferdinand, who even the German Kaiser Wilhelm II contemptuously called the “pacifist”, sat on the throne in Sofia. And Serbia was led by two august racketeers - King Peter and his son, prince Alexander. The habits of these brave guys can be judged at least by the fact that they came to power by throwing their predecessor, King Alexander from the Obrenovic dynasty together with his wife, from the royal palace in Belgrade. Just like that, they just banged their heads on the pavement - and that was all. Only brains splattered!
Peter and his son belonged to the Karageorgievich dynasty - Black George was their ancestor (“pun” in Turkish - “black”). And the most influential "party" in Serbia, under them, was called the "Black Hand" - as in a children's horror story. Only it was the most real long-time handler. Its members were officers of the army and special services, who knew each other only within the secret fives. But they had to carry out any orders of their direct commanders - up to the murders of political opponents, both in Serbia and abroad. There are five fingers on the hand. In the top five five members. Thousands of "black hands" encompassed all the Balkans.
Remember the march "Farewell of the Slav"? It is nagging, nostalgic, but with such a hope slipping between notes, breaking the enemy’s snout and returning to the arms of a beloved mourner at the train station ... It was written by headquarters trumpeter Vasily Agapkin in a fit of sincere sympathy for the Slav brothers who attacked Turkey in the fall of 1912. Then the First Balkan War began. But it was not Serbia or Bulgaria that unleashed it, but tiny Montenegro, the king of which Alexander III once called "Russia's only friend", except for the army and fleetnaturally.
Montenegrins fired the first shots at the Turks on October 9. And after nine days, Bulgaria, Serbia and Greece that joined them rushed into battle. The Bulgarians mobilized 420 thousands of people and launched an offensive against Adrianople. The Serbs deployed a 150-thousandth army and attacked Macedonia, which was then part of Turkey. And the Greeks put under the gun 80 thousands of hot guys, ready to dance "Sirtaki" on cut off Turkish little heads.
The moment for the attack was chosen extremely insidious. On the day when Bulgaria and Serbia declared war on Turkey, she barely managed to sign a peace treaty with Italy, which chopped off a piece of Africa from her.
TURKS CUT BY THOUSANDS. The defeat of the Turks was lightning. Only in the battle of Lule-Burgas, about 40 thousand fell. The correspondent of the English newspaper The Daily Chronicle, who drove a car through the battle sites, wrote: “The catastrophe is no less Mukden. Three quarters of Turkish artillery guns went to the Bulgarians. The Bulgarians allowed the Turks to go very close, let them start hand-to-hand combat, then quickly retreated, and machine guns mowed down the Turks in the hundreds, thousands. The retreat of the Turks turned into an indiscriminate flight of stupefied, hungry, exhausted, distraught crowds. Doctors are few. There are no dressings. No supplies. I have witnessed many military campaigns, but I have never imagined such a terrible disaster, such beatings by masses of hungry, tortured, exhausted, helpless peasants from Anatolia (Asian Turkey). ”
Armored cruiser "Georgios Averov". This Greek ship was the strongest floating monster of the Second Balkan War.
Especially painful instant defeat of Turkey perceived in Berlin. After all, her army was trained by German instructors. When the German emperor, before the war, asked the opinion of his General Holtz about the military training of the Turks, he replied: "Just like us." Now these words sounded like mockery. Especially when you consider that the Bulgarian and Serbian troops were trained by the Russians, and the Bulgarians even wore a uniform that was almost an exact replica of the uniforms of the Russian Imperial Army. And then the Bulgarian destroyers torpedoed the Turkish cruiser! In general, there was something to be saddened not only in Istanbul, but also in Berlin.
Alarmed and in Vienna. They simply announced mobilization, reasoning that after the defeat of Turkey, the Serbs and Bulgarians will rush to Austria, and Russia will not be able to resist not to help them. It was at this point that a conversation took place between French Defense Minister Millerand and Russian military attaché in Paris, Colonel Ignatiev, the future author of his memoirs on 50 years in the ranks.
The Frenchman asked: "What do you think the colonel, the goal of the Austrian mobilization?". Ignatiev replied: "It is difficult to prejudge this question, but it is certain that the Austrian preparations against Russia are still defensive in nature." Then Millerand directly asked: “Can't you, at least, explain to me what people in Russia think about the Balkans?”. “The Slavic question remains close to our heart,” Ignatiev answered. “But история I learned first of all to think about our own state interests, without sacrificing them in favor of abstract ideas. ”
DO NOT SHARE ANOTHER. Russia's interests were not to allow the Bulgarians and Serbs to take Constantinople by any means. Petersburg decided to save the ancient capital of the Byzantine emperors for itself. That is why from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia to Belgrade and Sofia flew a strict cry: "Stop!". It is difficult to say whether this had effect or the Turks gathered their forces on the outskirts of the capital, but after the capture of Adrianople, the Bulgarian offensive failed. Front stopped at 45 km from Istanbul. Began peace negotiations.
The head of the "Black Hand" prince Alexander was ready to blow up all of Serbia for the vineyards in Macedonia
And here something happened that no one expected. The two largest Slavic "brothers" of Russia quarreled among themselves over the Turkish heritage. The Serbs demanded access to the Adriatic Sea. The Bulgarians claimed Macedonia across the river Vardar, occupied by the Serbian army. Frustrated by the heir to the Serbian throne, Alexander (the same one who ruled the “Black Hand”) in May 1913 of the year explicitly stated in an interview with the Belgrade newspaper Politika that Serbia would not give Bulgaria one inch in Zavardar Macedonia. And that there is no other way to solve the Serbian-Bulgarian conflict, EXCEPT THE WAR. In a private conversation with Alexander Tucholke, the Russian Consul General, Alexander spoke even more frankly: “The Serbs will in no way yield to the valley of Vardar and would rather fight with Europe rather than sign their death sentence. Otherwise, let Austria take Serbia, if you die anyway. ”
There was a typical Serbian psychopathy: if we are not given the Vardar valley, then life is not sweet to us! Let all Serbia die, but these vineyards should be ours!
Slavs vs. Slavs. Just yesterday, the Serbs and the Bulgarians were attacking Istanbul with joint efforts, and today they are bristling with bayonets against each other, ready to shed brotherly blood. And then there was the heat of Greece. She claimed the city of Monastir in Macedonia and was very afraid that he would leave Bulgaria. The Greek crown prince Nikolai wrote over the head of Russian Foreign Minister Sazonov personally to Nicholas II: “I fear that Sazonov is ready to cede Monastir to the Bulgarians (under the pretext that the Bulgarians live there). But if this is the case, then peace will never be established in the future, since Bulgaria, having become almost twice as large as Greece, will take advantage of the very first excuse to start a war, and then, having crushed Greece, will attack Serbia, or vice versa ... I fully trust in you, knowing that you will do everything possible to protect the interests of our country, partly for the sake of Greece itself, and also in memory of dear father. ”
Russia attempted to reconcile everyone by gathering a conference in St. Petersburg. But the Balkan brothers came simply in an insane state. Nobody wanted to give in. Everyone grabbed hold of revolvers. And then they gave up on them. As 9 wrote in July 1913, Russia's envoy to Athens Dimidov to Foreign Minister Sazonov: “If you win, Bulgaria will become a tool in Austria’s hands ... In case of defeat, she will turn her eyes to Russia, which will be easier than before. because of necessity, it will be more compliant ... her loyalty to us is directly proportional to her failures and inversely proportional to her success. From this point of view, Greece and Serbia will make our task easier for us at the present time ... perhaps leading to a repentant and humiliated Bulgaria. ”
The militant Bulgarian king Ferdinand even German Kaiser Wilhelm called miserable "pacifist"
The war of Bulgaria with the former allies lasted exactly a month - from June 29 to July 29 1913. Romania also joined Montenegro, Serbia and Greece. And near Constantinople, the breathless Turks went on the counteroffensive. Romanian cavalry rushed at Sofia. The vineyards of Macedonia occupied the Serbs. And surrounded by the enemy of the "pacifists" from all sides, the Bulgarian king Ferdinand asked for peace. “This is not a war,” he said. “That damn what!”
Balkan devilry truly fatal 1913, dispelled in the wind the tale of eternal Slavic friendship. In Petersburg, they were mistaken. Broken Bulgaria did not become more accommodating and did not become an obedient satellite of Russia. Instead, her king entered into a military agreement with Germany. In addition to the small lush Serbia, the Russian Empire did not remain in the Allied Balkans. Now Serbia had to be supported in any case in order not to be left without allies at all. In Vienna, they were afraid that the Serbs would revolt the Austrian Slavs, who made up half the population of Austria-Hungary. Wilhelm II in Berlin, in annoyance, called Belgrade the “nest of murderers” and added that “this trash must be put in its place.” The door to World War I was open.