The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 eBook

Jacob Gould Schurman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 74 pages of information about The Balkan Wars.

Happily for Mr. Venizelos’s government the Young Turk party who then governed the Ottoman Empire rejected all these proposals.  Meanwhile their misgovernment and massacre of Christians in Macedonia were inflaming the red Slav nations and driving them into War against Turkey.  When matters had reached a crisis, the reactionary and incompetent Young Turk party were forced out of power and a wise and prudent statesman, the venerable Kiamil Pasha, succeeded to the office of Grand Vizier.  He was all for conciliation and compromise with the Greek government, whom he had often warned against an alliance with Bulgaria, and he had in readiness a solution of the Cretan question which he was certain would be satisfactory to both Greece and Turkey.  But these concessions were now too late.  Greece had decided to throw in her lot with Servia and Bulgaria.  And a decree was issued for the mobilization of the Greek troops.

THE WAR

There is not time, nor have I the qualifications, to describe the military operations which followed.  In Greece the Crown Prince was appointed commanding general, and the eve proved him one of the great captains of our day.  The prime minister, who was also minister of war, furnished him with troops and munitions and supplies.  The plains and hills about Athens were turned into mock battlefields for the training of raw recruits; and young Greeks from all parts of the world—­tens of thousands of them from America—­poured in to protect the fatherland and to fight the secular enemy of Europe.  The Greek government had undertaken to raise an army of 125,000 men to co-operate with the Allies; it was twice as large a number as even the friends of Greece dreamed possible; yet before the war closed King Constantine had under his banner an army of 250,000 men admirably armed, clothed, and equipped;—­each soldier indeed having munitions fifty per cent in excess of the figure fixed by the general staff.

GREEK MILITARY AND NAVAL OPERATIONS

The Greek army, which had been concentrated at Larissa, entered Macedonia by the Pass and the valley of the Xerias River.  The Turks met the advancing force at Elassona but retired after a few hours’ fighting.  They took their stand at the pass of Sarandaporon, from which they were driven by a day’s hard fighting on the part of the Greek army and the masterly tactics of the Crown Prince.  On October 23 the Greeks were in possession of Serndje.  Thence they pushed forward on both sides of the Aliakmon River toward Veria, which the Crown Prince entered with his staff on the morning of October 30.  They had covered 150 miles from Larissa, with no facilities but wagons for feeding the army and supplying ammunition.  But at Veria they struck the line of railway from Monastir to Saloniki.  Not far away was Jenitsa, where the Turkish army numbering from 35,000 to 40,000 had concentrated to make a stand for the protection

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The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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