That the responsibility for precipitating the second Balkan War rests on Bulgaria is demonstrated in the latter portion of this volume. Yet the intransigent and bellicose policy of Bulgaria was from the point of view of her own interests so short-sighted, so perilous, so foolish and insane that it seemed, even at the time, to be directed by some external power and for some ulterior purpose. No proof, however, was then available. But hints of that suspicion were clearly conveyed even in the first edition of this volume, which, it may be recalled, antedates the outbreak of the great European War. Thus, on page 103, the question was put:
“Must we assume that there
is some ground for suspecting that
Austria-Hungary was inciting Bulgaria to war?”
And again, on page 108, with reference to General Savoff’s order directing the attack on the Greek and Servian forces which initiated the second Balkan War, the inquiry was made:
“Did General Savoff act on his own responsibility? Or is there any truth in the charge that King Ferdinand, after a long consultation with the Austro-Hungarian Minister, instructed the General to issue the order?”
These questions may now be answered with positive assurance. What was only surmise when this volume was written is to-day indubitable certainty. The proof is furnished by the highest authorities both Italian and Russian.
When the second Balkan War broke out San Giuliano was Prime Minister of Italy. And he has recently published the fact that at that time—the summer of 1913—the Austro-Hungarian government communicated to the Italian government its intention of making war on Servia and claimed under the terms of the Triple Alliance the co-operation of Italy and Germany. The Italian government repudiated the obligation imputed to it by Austria-Hungary and flatly declared that the Triple Alliance had nothing to do with a war of aggression. That Austria-Hungary did not proceed to declare war against Servia at that time—perhaps because she was discouraged by Germany as well as by Italy—makes it all the more intelligible, in view of her bellicose attitude, that she should have been urgent and insistent in pushing Bulgaria forward to smite their common rival.
This conclusion is confirmed by the positive statement of the Russian government. The communication accompanying the declaration of war against Bulgaria, dated October 18, contains the following passage:
“The victorious war of the united Balkan people against their ancient enemy, Turkey, assured to Bulgaria an honorable place in the Slavic family. But under Austro-German suggestion, contrary to the advice of the Russian Emperor and without the knowledge of the Bulgarian government, the Coburg Prince on June 29, 1913, moved Bulgarian armies against the Serbians.”
The “Coburg Prince” is of course Ferdinand, King of Bulgaria. That he acted under Austro-Hungarian