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.
a dangerous situation.  Mr. Venizelos declared not long ago, with the enthusiastic approval of the chamber, that the security of Greece lay alone in the possession of a strong navy.  For Mr. Venizelos personally nothing in all these great events can have been more gratifying than the achievement of the union of Crete with Greece.  This was consummated on December 14, when the Greek flag was hoisted on Canea Fort in the presence of King Constantine, the prime minister, and the consuls of the Great Powers, and saluted with 101 guns by the Greek fleet.


Fortune in an extraordinary degree has favored the King of the Hellenes—­Fortune and his own wise head and valiant arm and the loyal support of his people.  When before has a Prince taken supreme command of a nation’s army and in the few months preceding and succeeding his accession to the throne by successful generalship doubled the area and population of his country?

[Map:  map3.png Caption:  The Balkan Peninsula after the Wars of 1912-1913.]


The Balkan wars have been bloody and costly.  We shall never know of the thousands of men, women, and children who died from privation, disease, and massacre.  But the losses of the dead and wounded in the armies were for Montenegro 11,200, for Greece 68,000, for Servia 71,000, for Bulgaria 156,000, and for Turkey about the same as for Bulgaria.  The losses in treasure were as colossal as in blood.  Only rough computations are possible.  But the direct military expenditures are estimated at figures varying from a billion and a quarter to a billion and a half of dollars.  This of course takes no account of the paralysis of productive industry, trade, and commerce or of the destruction of existing economic values.

Yet great and momentous results have been achieved.  Although seated again in his ancient capital of Adrianople, the Moslem has been expelled from Europe, or at any rate is no longer a European Power.  For the first time in more than five centuries, therefore, conditions of stable equilibrium are now possible for the Christian nations of the Balkans.  Whether the present alignment of those states toward one another and towards the Great Powers is destined to continue it would be foolhardy to attempt to predict.


But without pretending to cast a horoscope, certain significant facts may be mentioned in a concluding word.  If the Balkan states are left to themselves, if they are permitted to settle their own affairs without the intervention of the Great Powers, there is no reason why the existing relations between Greece, Servia, Montenegro, and Roumania, founded as they are on mutual interest, should not continue; and if they continue, peace will be assured in spite of Bulgaria’s

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