The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 eBook

Jacob Gould Schurman
This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 87 pages of information about The Balkan Wars.

Just here, however, was the rub.  The secret treaty of March, 1912, providing for the offensive and defensive alliance of Bulgaria and Servia against the Ottoman Empire regulated, in case of victory, the division of the conquered territory between the Allies.  And the extreme limit, on the south and east, of Turkish territory assigned to Servia by this treaty was fixed by a line starting from Ochrida on the borders of Albania and running northeastward across the Vardar River a few miles above Veles and thence, following the same general direction, through Ovcepolje and Egri Palanka to Golema Vreh on the frontier of Bulgaria—­a terminus some twenty miles southeast of the meeting point of Servia, Macedonia, and Bulgaria.  During the war with Turkey the Servian armies had paid no attention to the Ochrida-Golema Vreh line.  The great victory over the Turks at Kumanovo, by which the Slav defeat at Kossovo five hundred years earlier was avenged, was, it is true, won at a point north of the line in question.  But the subsequent victories of Prilip and Monastir were gained to the south of it—­far, indeed, into the heart of the Macedonian territory recognized by the treaty as Bulgarian.

If you look at a map you will see that the boundary between Servia and Bulgaria, starting from the Danube, runs in a slightly undulating line due south.  Now what the military forces of King Peter did during the war of the Balkan states with the Ottoman Empire was to occupy all European Turkey south of Servia between the prolongation of that boundary line and the new Kingdom of Albania till they met the Hellenic army advancing northward under Crown Prince Constantine, when the two governments agreed on a common boundary for New Servia and New Greece along a line starting from Lake Presba and running eastward between Monastir and Florina to the Vardar River a little to the south of Ghevgheli.


But this arrangement between Greece and Servia would leave no territory for Bulgaria in Central and Western Macedonia!  Yet Servia had solemnly bound herself by treaty not to ask for any Turkish territory below the Ochrida-Golema Vreh line.  There was no similar treaty with Greece, but Bulgaria regarded the northern frontier of New Greece as a matter for adjustment between the two governments.  Servia, withdrawn behind the Ochrida-Golema Vreh line in accordance with the terms of the treaty, would at any rate have nothing to say about the matter.  And, although the Bulgarian government never communicated, officially or unofficially, its own views to Greece or Servia, I believe we should not make much mistake in asserting that a line drawn from Ochrida to Saloniki (which Bulgaria in spite of the Greek occupation continued to claim) would roughly represent the limit of its voluntary concession.  Now if you imagine a base line drawn from Saloniki to Golema Vreh, you have an equilateral triangle resting on Ochrida as apex.  And this equilateral triangle represents approximately what Bulgaria claimed in the western half of Macedonia as her own.

Project Gutenberg
The Balkan Wars: 1912-1913 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
Follow Us on Facebook