Second Balkan War
The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies and Greece, on 16 / 29 June 1913. Serbian and Greek armies repulsed the Bulgarian counter-attacked, entering Bulgaria. With Bulgaria having engaged in territorial disputes with Romania, this war provoked Romanian intervention against Bulgaria; the Ottoman Empire took advantage of the situation to regain some lost territories from the previous war. When Romanian troops approached the capital Sofia, Bulgaria asked for an armistice, resulting in the Treaty of Bucharest, in which Bulgaria had to cede portions of its First Balkan War gains to Serbia and Romania. In the Treaty of Constantinople, it lost Edirne to the Ottomans; the political developments and military preparations for the Second Balkan War attracted an estimated 200 to 300 war correspondents from around the world. During the First Balkan War, the Balkan League succeeded in driving out the Ottoman Empire from its European provinces, leaving the Ottomans with only the Çatalca and Gallipoli peninsulas.
The Treaty of London, signed on 30 May 1913, which ended the war, acknowledged the Balkan states' gains west of the Enos–Midia line, drawn from Midia on the Black Sea coast to Enos on the Aegean Sea coast, on an uti possidetis basis, created an independent Albania. However, the relations between the victorious Balkan allies soured over the division of the spoils in Macedonia. During the pre-war negotiations that had resulted in the establishment of the Balkan League and Bulgaria signed a secret agreement on 13 March 1912 which determined their future boundaries, in effect sharing northern Macedonia between them. In case of a postwar disagreement, the area to the north of the Kriva Palanka–Ohrid line, had been designated as a "disputed zone" under Russian arbitration and the area to the south of this line had been assigned to Bulgaria. During the war, the Serbs succeeded in capturing an area far south of the agreed border, down to the Bitola–Gevgelija line. At the same time, the Greeks advanced north, occupying Thessaloniki shortly before the Bulgarians arrived, establishing a common Greek border with Serbia.
When Bulgarian delegates in London bluntly warned the Serbs that they must not expect Bulgarian support on their Adriatic claims, the Serbs angrily replied that, a clear withdrawal from the prewar agreement of mutual understanding according to the Kriva Palanka-Adriatic line of expansion, but the Bulgarians insisted that in their view, the Vardar Macedonian part of the agreement remained active and the Serbs were still obliged to surrender the area as agreed. The Serbs answered by accusing the Bulgarians of maximalism, pointing out that if they lost both northern Albania and Vardar Macedonia, their participation in the common war would have been for nothing; when Bulgaria called upon Serbia to honor the pre-war agreement over northern Macedonia, the Serbs, displeased at the Great Powers' requiring them to give up their gains in northern Albania, adamantly refused to alienate any more territory. The developments ended the Serbo-Bulgarian alliance and made a future war between the two countries inevitable.
Soon thereafter, minor clashes broke out along the borders of the occupation zones with the Bulgarians against the Serbs and the Greeks. Responding to the perceived Bulgarian threat, Serbia started negotiations with Greece, which had reasons to be concerned about Bulgarian intentions. On 19 May/1 June 1913, two days after the signing of the Treaty of London and just 28 days before the Bulgarian attack and Serbia signed a secret defensive alliance, confirming the current demarcation line between the two occupation zones as their mutual border and concluding an alliance in case of an attack from Bulgaria or from Austria-Hungary. With this agreement, Serbia succeeded in making Greece a part of its dispute over northern Macedonia, since Greece had guaranteed Serbia's current occupation zone in Macedonia. In an attempt to halt the Serbo-Greek rapprochement, Bulgarian Prime Minister Geshov signed a protocol with Greece on 21 May agreeing on a permanent demarcation between their respective forces accepting Greek control over southern Macedonia.
However, his dismissal put an end to the diplomatic targeting of Serbia. Another point of friction arose: Bulgaria's refusal to cede the fortress of Silistra to Romania; when Romania demanded its cession after the First Balkan War, Bulgaria's foreign minister offered instead some minor border changes, which excluded Silistra, assurances for the rights of the Kutzovlachs in Macedonia. Romania threatened to occupy Bulgarian territory by force, but a Russian proposal for arbitration prevented hostilities. In the resulting Protocol of St. Petersburg of 8 May 1913, Bulgaria agreed to give up Silistra; the resulting agreement was a compromise between the Romanian demands for the entire southern Dobruja and the Bulgarian refusal to accept any cession of its territory. However the fact that Russia failed to protect the territorial integrity of Bulgaria made the Bulgarians uncertain of the reliability of the expected Russian arbitration of the dispute with Serbia; the Bulgarian behavior had a long-term impact on the Russo-Bulgarian relations.
The uncompromising Bulgarian position tο review the pre-war agreement with Serbia during a second Russian initiative for arbitration between them led Russia to cancel its alliance with Bulgaria. Both acts made conflict with Romania and Serbia inevitable
Stefan Mikhailov Nerezov was a Bulgarian General and Chief of the Bulgarian Army Staff. Stefan Nerezov was born at the time part of the Ottoman Empire. After the liberation of Bulgaria he was a volunteer in the Student's Legion during the Serbo-Bulgarian War and took part in the defense of the unification of the Principality of Bulgaria and the province of Eastern Rumelia. After the war he served for a short time as a corporal in the 12th Infantry Regiment and in 1887 he was accepted in Sofia Military School. After his graduation he served in the 4th Artillery Regiment but in 1892 was sent to specialize in the Turin Military Academy in Italy. There he spent four years between 1892 and 1896. With his return to Bulgaria he performed different duties in the General Staff of the Army and in some of the field units. In 1903 Prince Ferdinand took him in his retinue and made him Commandant of the Palace and promoted to major. In 1908 Nerezov was appointed Chief of the Operations Department of the Army Staff and as such took part in the preparations for the war against the Ottoman Empire in 1912.
In 1911 he was promoted to colonel During the First Balkan War besides Chief of the Operations Department of the Army Staff he was Assistant to the chief of the General Staff general Ivan Fichev. With the end of that war the growing tension between the former allies general Fichev, opposed to a military solution of the disputes between Bulgaria and Serbia, preferred to resign from his post but his resignation was never accepted, he did not take part in the preparation of the war. Some of his functions were assumed by colonel Nerezov. Bulgaria didn't have a general plan for a war against its former allies so in May colonel Nerezov submitted his suggestions for approval by the High Command. In them he planned a simultaneous attack by all five Bulgarian armies with the bulk of the forces directs against Macedonia while the rest drive deep into the prewar borders of Serbia in order to cut its supply and communication lines; this was not fulfilled as intended. When the war began on 16 June 1913 only two of the Bulgarian armies were ordered to attack while the other three remained idle for one week.
This and the entry of Romania in the war meant. The Bulgarian High Command chose to withdraw the forces deployed against Old Serbia though they had achieved success in the initial operations by taking Knjaževac and were poised to take Pirot and advance to Niš; the Bulgarians now concentrated their forces to the south and managed to halt the Serbian advance after the battle of Kalimanci and encircle the Greek Army in the battle of Kresna Gorge. These successful military operations couldn't prevent the Romanian Army from threatening the rear of the Bulgarian Army and reaching the vicinity of capital Sofia which forced the Bulgarian capitulation. In 1914 colonel Nerezov took the command of the 2nd Infantry Brigade of the Ninth Pleven Infantry Division and was promoted to major general the next year and took command of the entire division. With the entry of Bulgaria in the war his division was assigned to the First Army for operations against the valleys of the rivers Timok and Morava. In the following battles the Serbian Army was defeated but managed to avoid encirclement at Kosovo Pole.
With the end of the Serbian Campaign the Ninth Division arrived at the Macedonian Front where it became part of the 11th German Army. On 25 November 1916 he was appointed commander of the Third Army on the Dobrudja Front where he remained for one year. In 1917 he was appointed to command the newly created Morava Army Region in occupied Serbia. In Summer of 1918 when the 5th Bulgarian Division was defeated at the Battle of Skra-di-Legen the Commander in Chief general Nikola Zhekov decided that a command change was needed in the First Army in order to increase the morale of its troops. General Dimitar Geshov was replaced with general Nerezov, described as "more healthy, more lively and more steadfast". In August he was promoted to Lieutenant General. In September the Allies began their final offensive to knock out Bulgaria out of the war; the Bulgarian Army, stretched on a 350 km front with all its forced arrayed in a single line had little reserves to prevent a breakthrough at the Battle of Dobro Pole.
General Nerezov's First Army was attacked by the Greeks at the Battle of Doiran. The fighting was hard but unlike other sectors of the front the Bulgarian troops kept their high morale and battle readiness due to the personal visits of the commander of the army on the battlefield. Unlike other commanders he had positioned his forces in such a way that made available two infantry regiments as an immediate reserve; as a result, the Bulgarians achieved an important victory which encouraged general Nerezov to begin preparations for a counter-attack with his army. However the Senior German and Bulgarian commanders were overwhelmed by the Dobro Pole debacle and feared giving a last general battle with all available forces. Instead the First Army was ordered to retreat and for the remaining days of the war it was pursued by the British and fought only small rearguard battles; the war ended in Bulgarian defeat and the First Army was demobilized in October 1918. After the war general Nerezov served as Inspector of the Infantry and in 1919 as Chief of the Bulgarian Army Staff.
In 1920 he was promoted to General of the Infantry, the highest rank in the Bulgarian Army and went into the reserve. General Nerezov died on 16 April 1925. Order of Bravery, II grade and III grade,1 and 2 class Order of St Alexander, IV and V g
IV Army Corps (Greece)
The IV Army Corps is an army corps of the Hellenic Army. Established before the First World War, it served in all conflicts Greece participated in until the German invasion of Greece in 1941. Re-established in 1976, it has been guarding the Greco-Turkish land border along the Evros River, is the most powerful formation in the Hellenic Army; the IV Army Corps was established by Royal Decree on 23 December 1913 at Kavala, East Macedonia, during the reorganization of the Hellenic Army following the Balkan Wars. When East Macedonia was occupied by Bulgarian and German forces during World War I, the entire Corps, under its commander Col. Ioannis Hatzopoulos and forbidden to offer resistance by the government in Athens, was carried by rail to Görlitz, Germany, as "guests" of the German Government, where they remained for three years. During the Greco-Turkish War it was stationed in Adrianople. In 1922, after the defeat of the Hellenic forces in Asia Minor, it covered the withdrawal of many units to Thrace, formed part of the Army of Evros.
In November 1940, during the Greco-Italian War, it was renamed again as East Macedonia Army Section joining the rest of the army, fighting in Albania. In April 1941 it surrendered to German forces. In 1976 the Corps was reformed in Xanthi and is the most powerful formation of the Hellenic Army. IV Army Corps, headquartered at Xanthi, Thrace consisting of 1st Artillery Regiment-MLRS, based at Drama, Macedonia HQ Company 193rd Multiple Rocket Launcher Battalion 194th Multiple Rocket Launcher Battalion Observation Battery 1st Communications, EW, Surveillance Regiment, based at Xanthi, Thrace Corps Field and Air Defense Artillery Command and units Corps Engineer Command and units Corps HQ Battalion 12th Mechanized Infantry Division, based at Alexandroupoli, Thrace organised in 7th Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Sarantaporos", based at Lykofytos, Thrace 31st Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Kamia", based at Feres, Thrace Tactical Command/41st Infantry Regiment, based at Samothraki, North Aegean 3rd Armoured Cavalry Squadron Division Artillery Command and units 12th Signal Battalion Division HQ Company 16th Mechanized Infantry Division, based at Didymoteicho, Thrace organised in 3rd Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Rimini", based at Kavyli, Thrace 30th Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Tomoritsa", based at Lagos, Thrace Tactical Command/21st Infantry Regiment "Drama", based at Orestiada, Thrace 4th Armoured Cavalry Squadron Division Artillery Command and units 16th Signal battalion Division HQ Company 20th Armored Division, based at Kavala, Macedonia organised in 21st Armored Brigade "Cavalry Brigade Pindus", based at Komotini, Thrace 23rd Armored Brigade "3rd Cavalry Regiment Dorylaeum", based at Alexandroupoli, Thrace 25th Armored Brigade "2nd Cavalry Regiment Ephesus", based at Xanthi, Thrace Division Artillery Command and units 20th Signal Battalion Division HQ Company 50th Independent Mechanized Infantry Brigade "Apsos", based at Soufli, Thrace 29th Motorized Brigade "Pogradets", based at Komotini, Thrace
Bulgaria during World War I
The Kingdom of Bulgaria participated in World War I on the side of the Central Powers from 14 October 1915, when the country declared war on Serbia, until 30 September 1918, when the Armistice of Thessalonica came into effect. In the aftermath of the Balkan wars of 1912 and 1913, Bulgaria found itself isolated on the international scene, surrounded by hostile neighbors and deprived of the support of the Great Powers. Anti-Bulgarian sentiment grew in France and Russia, whose political circles blamed the country for the dissolution of the Balkan League, an alliance of Balkan states directed against the Ottoman Empire; the failure of Bulgarian foreign policy turned revanchism into a focus of Bulgaria's external relations. When the First World War started in July 1914, still recovering from the negative economic and demographic impact of recent wars, avoided direct involvement in the new conflict by declaring neutrality. Strategic geographic location and a strong military establishment made the country a desired ally for both warring coalitions, but Bulgaria's regional aspirations were difficult to satisfy because they included territorial claims against four Balkan countries.
As the war progressed, the Central Powers of Austria-Hungary and the German Empire found themselves in a better position to fulfil Bulgarian demands and persuaded the country to join their cause in September 1915. Though the smallest member of the Central Powers in area and in population, Bulgaria made vital contributions to their common war effort, its entry to the war heralded the defeat of Serbia, thwarted the foreign-policy goals of Romania, ensured the continuation of the Ottoman war effort by providing a geographical conduit for material assistance from Germany to Istanbul. Though the Balkan theatre of the war saw successful campaigns of rapid movement in 1915 and 1916, the conflict degraded into a state of attritional trench warfare on both the Northern and the Southern Bulgarian Fronts after most Bulgarian territorial aspirations had been satisfied; this period of the war weakened the Bulgarian economy, created various supply problems and reduced the health and morale of Bulgarian troops on the front lines.
Under these circumstances, the Allied armies based in Greece, composed of contingents from many Allied countries, managed to break through on the Macedonian Front during the Vardar Offensive and cause the rapid collapse of a part of the Bulgarian Army. There followed an open military rebellion and the proclamation of a republic by the rebellious troops at Radomir. Bulgaria, forced to seek peace, accepted an armistice with the Allies on 30 September 1918. For the second time in half a decade, the country found itself in the midst of a national catastrophe. Tsar Ferdinand I assumed responsibility for his country's foreign-policy and military failures and abdicated in favor of his son Boris III on 3 October 1918; the Treaty of Neuilly marked the formal conclusion of Bulgaria's participation in World War I. Stipulations of the treaty included the return of all occupied territories, the cession of additional territories and the payment of heavy war reparations; when Bulgaria proclaimed its independence from the Ottoman Empire on 22 September 1908, its status was promoted to that of a kingdom and Prince Ferdinand of Bulgaria assumed the title of tsar.
The country was now able to focus on completing its national unification by turning its attention toward the lands populated by Bulgarians that remained under Ottoman control. To achieve its goals, the Bulgarian government, under Prime Minister Ivan Geshov, approached the governments of the other Balkan countries in hopes of creating an alliance directed against the Ottomans, his efforts culminated in a series of bilateral treaties concluded in 1912 to form the Balkan League. By summer of the same year, Ottoman grip on their Balkan provinces deteriorated in Albania and Macedonia, where open rebellions had erupted; the Allies decided to exploit the vulnerable state of the Ottoman Empire and declared war on it in October 1912. The opening stages of the First Balkan War began with decisive Allied victories in both Thrace and Macedonia. Within a month, the Ottomans found themselves driven back by the Bulgarians to within 40 kilometers of Constantinople and badly beaten by the Serbians and the Greeks.
A short armistice brought no conclusion to the conflict and fighting once again broke out in January 1913. A major Ottoman counter-offensive was defeated by the Bulgarians, who seized the fortress of Adrianople in March and forced the Ottoman Empire to admit defeat and return to the peace table. While the Bulgarian army was still fighting, a new challenge arose from the north: Romania demanded territorial compensations from Bulgaria in return for its neutrality during the war. A conference, held in Saint Petersburg, sought to resolve the dispute by rewarding Romania the town of Silistra, but this decision antagonized both countries and sowed the seeds of further enmity between them; the formal ending of the war was marked by the signing of the Treaty of London of 1913, which awarded all Ottoman territory to the west of the Midia-Enos line, with the exception of Albania, to the Allies. The treaty failed to make clear provisions for the division of the former Ottoman territories between the victors, which brought about the dissolution of the Balkan League.
Geshov foresaw this outcome, which signalled the collapse of his goal of forming a permanent alliance directed against the Ottoman Empire, resigned from his post as prime minister. He was replaced by the hard-liner Stoyan Danev; the new government was not willing to compromise with Bulgarian claims in Macedonia, neither were Serbia and Greece, whose interests were frustrated by the creation of an Albanian state. Russ
Thessaloniki familiarly known as Thessalonica, Salonica or Salonika, is the second-largest city in Greece, with over 1 million inhabitants in its metropolitan area, the capital of Greek Macedonia, the administrative region of Central Macedonia and the Decentralized Administration of Macedonia and Thrace. Its nickname is η Συμπρωτεύουσα "the co-capital", a reference to its historical status as the Συμβασιλεύουσα or "co-reigning" city of the Eastern Roman Empire, alongside Constantinople. Thessaloniki is located at the northwest corner of the Aegean Sea, it is bounded on the west by the delta of the Axios/Vardar. The municipality of Thessaloniki, the historical center, had a population of 325,182 in 2011, while the Thessaloniki Urban Area had a population of 824,676 and the Thessaloniki Metropolitan Area had 1,030,338 inhabitants in 2011, it is Greece's second major economic, industrial and political centre. The city is renowned for its festivals and vibrant cultural life in general, is considered to be Greece's cultural capital.
Events such as the Thessaloniki International Fair and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival are held annually, while the city hosts the largest bi-annual meeting of the Greek diaspora. Thessaloniki was the 2014 European Youth Capital; the city of Thessaloniki was founded in 315 BC by Cassander of Macedon. An important metropolis by the Roman period, Thessaloniki was the second largest and wealthiest city of the Byzantine Empire, it was conquered by the Ottomans in 1430, passed from the Ottoman Empire to Greece on 8 November 1912. It is home to numerous notable Byzantine monuments, including the Paleochristian and Byzantine monuments of Thessaloniki, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, as well as several Roman and Sephardic Jewish structures; the city's main university, Aristotle University, is the largest in Greece and the Balkans. Thessaloniki is a popular tourist destination in Greece. In 2013, National Geographic Magazine included Thessaloniki in its top tourist destinations worldwide, while in 2014 Financial Times FDI magazine declared Thessaloniki as the best mid-sized European city of the future for human capital and lifestyle.
Among street photographers, the center of Thessaloniki is considered the most popular destination for street photography in Greece. The original name of the city was Θεσσαλονίκη Thessaloníkē, it was named after princess Thessalonike of Macedon, the half sister of Alexander the Great, whose name means "Thessalian victory", from Θεσσαλός'Thessalos', Νίκη'victory', honoring the Macedonian victory at the Battle of Crocus Field. Minor variants are found, including Θετταλονίκη Thettaloníkē, Θεσσαλονίκεια Thessaloníkeia, Θεσσαλονείκη Thessaloneíkē, Θεσσαλονικέων Thessalonikéōn; the name Σαλονίκη Saloníki is first attested in Greek in the Chronicle of the Morea, is common in folk songs, but it must have originated earlier, as al-Idrisi called it Salunik in the 12th century. It is the basis for the city's name in other languages: Солѹнь in Old Church Slavonic, סלוניקה in Ladino, Selânik سلانیك in Ottoman Turkish and Selanik in modern Turkish, Salonicco in Italian, Solun or Солун in the local and neighboring South Slavic languages, Салоники in Russian, Sãrunã in Aromanian, Salonica or Salonika in English.
Thessaloniki was revived as the city's official name in 1912, when it joined the Kingdom of Greece during the Balkan Wars. In local speech, the city's name is pronounced with a dark and deep L characteristic of Modern Macedonian accent; the name is abbreviated as Θεσ/νίκη. The city was founded around 315 BC by the King Cassander of Macedon, on or near the site of the ancient town of Therma and 26 other local villages, he named it after his wife Thessalonike, a half-sister of Alexander the Great and princess of Macedonia as daughter of Philip II. Under the kingdom of Macedonia the city retained its own autonomy and parliament and evolved to become the most important city in Macedonia. After the fall of the Kingdom of Macedonia in 168 BC, in 148 BC Thessalonica was made the capital of the Roman province of Macedonia. Thessalonica became a free city of the Roman Republic under Mark Antony in 41 BC, it grew to be an important trade-hub located on the Via Egnatia, the road connecting Dyrrhachium with Byzantium, which facilitated trade between Thessaloniki and great centers of commerce such as Rome and Byzantium.
Thessaloniki lay at the southern end of the main north-south route through the Balkans along the valleys of the Morava and Axios river valleys, thereby linking the Balkans with the rest of Greece. The city became the capital of one of the four Roman districts of Macedonia, it became the capital of all the Greek provinces of the Roman Empire because of the city's importance in the Balkan peninsula. At the time of the Roman Empire, about 50 A. D. Thessaloniki was one of the early centers of Christianity. Paul wrote two letters to the new church at Thessaloniki, preserved in the Biblical canon as First and Second Thessalonians; some scholars hold that the First Epistle to the Thessalonians is the first written book of the New Testament. In 306 AD, Thessaloniki acquired a patron saint, St. Demetrius, a Christian whom Galerius is said to have put to death. Most scholars
George Milne, 1st Baron Milne
Field Marshal George Francis Milne, 1st Baron Milne, was a senior British Army officer who served as Chief of the Imperial General Staff from 1926 to 1933. He served in the Second Boer War and during the First World War he served on the Western Front but spent most of the war commanding the British forces on the Macedonian front; as CIGS he promoted the mechanization of British land forces although limited practical progress was made during his term in office. Born the son of George Milne and Williamina Milne and educated at MacMillan's School in Aberdeen and the Royal Military Academy, Milne was commissioned into the Royal Artillery on 16 September 1885, he was posted to a battery at Trimulgherry in India and joined a battery at Aldershot in 1889 before being posted back to India to a battery at Meerut in 1891. Promoted to captain on 4 July 1895, he joined the garrison artillery in Malta and took part in the Suakin Expedition in 1896. Next he was appointed battery captain at Hilsea and attended the Staff College, Camberley in 1897.
There he became a friend of his classmate William Robertson. He took part in the Nile Expedition in 1898, seeing action at Omdurman and scoring a direct hit on the Mahdi's tomb with his battery, he served in the Second Boer War in South Africa, where he was appointed Deputy Assistant Adjutant-General on 18 February 1900, was promoted to major on 1 November 1900. He was mentioned in despatches on 2 April 1901, awarded the Distinguished Service Order in the South Africa Honours list published on 26 June 1902. Following the end of the war in June 1902, Milne received the brevet rank of lieutenant-colonel on 22 August 1902, returned to the United Kingdom on the SS Orotava which arrived at Southampton in early September, he was appointed a Deputy-Assistant Quartermaster-General in the intelligence division at Headquarters on 26 January 1903 and having been promoted to colonel on 1 November 1905, became a general staff officer at Headquarters North Midland Division in April 1908. He joined the general staff at Headquarters 6th Division in Cork in 1909 and, having been appointed a Companion of the Order of the Bath in the King's Birthday Honours 1912, became Brigadier General Royal Artillery for 4th Division at Woolwich on 1 October 1913.
At the outbreak of the First World War in July 1914, Milne was commanding the divisional artillery of 4th Division which formed part of the British Expeditionary Force in France. He fought on the Aisne, he joined the general staff of III Corps in January 1915 and, having been promoted to major general on 23 February 1915, was mentioned in despatches for his service during the Second Battle of Ypres. He was appointed General Officer Commanding 27th Division in July 1915. Milne was appointed to command XVI Corps in Salonika in January 1916 with orders to oppose Bulgarian advances on the Macedonian front; when he succeeded Bryan Mahon as Commander-in-Chief of the British Salonika Army, Milne became overall Commander-in-Chief of British Troops in Macedonia on 9 May 1916. As late as 3 June 1916 Milne was ordered by Robertson, now Chief of the Imperial General Staff, not to participate in any attack on the Bulgars, he was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of the White Eagle by the King of Serbia on 1 July 1916.
The British Government accepted the need to maintain a presence in Salonika to keep the French happy, but Robertson, who communicated by secret letters and "R" telegrams to generals in the field told Milne that he did not favour offensive operations. Milne broadly agreed with Robertson that any attempt to attack across the mountains to cut the Nis-Sofia-Constantinople railway was logistically impractical, although he did stress that his forces must either advance or retreat from the malaria-infested Struma Valley and that the Bulgarians might be beaten if pressed hard. On 23 July he was told to “engag the maximum of Bulgar forces” whilst the Romanians mobilised and attacked, followed by secret messages from Robertson that he should “guard against being committed for any serious action” until it was certain that Romania was coming in. With Bulgaria seeming close to collapse in October and November 1916, Milne advised Robertson that the Germans would do all they could to keep her in the war.
The 60th Division was sent to Salonika in December. Milne was promoted to permanent lieutenant general on 1 January 1917. On 3 January 1917 Milne arrived at the Rome Conference independently of the French General Sarrail; the official French record of the Rome Conference did not mention Milne as a participant. As a result of the Conference Milne was placed under Sarrail's command, with right of appeal to his own government – who overruled him when he protested against Sarrail's movement of a British brigade outside the British zone; this precedent was much discussed in the next few months when David Lloyd George, the Prime Minister, attempted to place the BEF on the Western Front under General Robert Nivelle. Milne undertook numerous offensives in support of his French and Serbian Allies with limited resources, his attack at Lake Doiran in spring 1917 cost 5,000 dead and wounded, one quarter of all British casualties throughout the entire Salonika Campaign. Another British attack in the Struma Valley was more successful.
His troops were suffering from malaria. Milne was appointed a Grand Officer of the Order of Saints Maurice and Lazarus by the King of Italy on 31 August 1917 and advanced to Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath on 1 January 1918. Although Milne was repulsed again
First Balkan War
The First Balkan War, lasted from October 1912 to May 1913 and comprised actions of the Balkan League against the Ottoman Empire. The combined armies of the Balkan states overcame the numerically inferior and strategically disadvantaged Ottoman armies and achieved rapid success; as a result of the war, the League captured and partitioned all remaining European territories of the Ottoman Empire. Ensuing events led to the creation of an independent Albania which angered the Serbs. Despite having the greatest success, the main victor, was dissatisfied over the division of the spoils in Macedonia, which provoked the start of the Second Balkan War. Tensions among the Balkan states over their rival aspirations to the provinces of Ottoman-controlled Rumelia, namely Eastern Rumelia and Macedonia, subsided somewhat following intervention by the Great Powers in the mid-19th century, aimed at securing both more complete protection for the provinces' Christian majority and protection of the status quo.
By 1867, Serbia and Montenegro had both secured independence, confirmed by the Treaty of Berlin. The question of the viability of Ottoman rule was revived after the Young Turk Revolution of July 1908, which compelled the Sultan to restore the suspended Ottoman constitution. Serbia's aspirations to take over Bosnia and Herzegovina were thwarted by the Bosnian crisis and the Austrian annexation of the province in October 1908; the Serbs directed their expansionism to the south. Following the annexation, the Young Turks tried to induce the Muslim population of Bosnia to emigrate to the Ottoman Empire; those who took up the offer were re-settled by the Ottoman authorities in districts of northern Macedonia where there were few Muslims. The experiment proved to be a catastrophe for the Empire since the immigrants united with the existing population of Albanian Muslims, they participated in the series of Albanian uprisings before and during the spring Albanian Revolt of 1912. Some Albanian government troops switched sides.
In May 1912, the Albanian Hamidian revolutionaries, who wanted to reinstall Sultan Abdulhamit II to power, drove the Young Turkish forces out of Skopje and pressed south towards Manastir, forcing the Young Turks to grant effective autonomy over large regions in June 1912. Serbia, which had helped arm the Albanian Catholic and Hamidian rebels and sent secret agents to some of the prominent leaders, took the revolt as a pretext for war. Serbia, Montenegro and Bulgaria had all been in talks about possible offensives against the Ottoman Empire before the Albanian revolt of 1912 broke out. On 18 October 1912, Peter I of Serbia issued a declaration,'To the Serbian People', which appeared to support Albanians as well as Serbs: The Turkish governments showed no interest in their duties towards their citizens and turned a deaf ear to all complaints and suggestions. Things got so far out of hand, it became unbearable for the Albanians, too. By the grace of God, I have therefore ordered my brave army to join in the Holy War to free our brethren and to ensure a better future.
In Old Serbia, my army will meet not only upon Christian Serbs, but upon Muslim Serbs, who are dear to us, in addition to them, upon Christian and Muslim Albanians with whom our people have shared joy and sorrow for thirteen centuries now. To all of them we bring freedom and equality. In a search for allies, Serbia was ready to negotiate a treaty with Bulgaria; the agreement provided that, in the event of victory against the Ottomans, Bulgaria would receive all of Macedonia south of the Kriva Palanka–Ohrid line. Serbia's expansion was accepted by Bulgaria as being to the north of the Shar Mountains; the intervening area was agreed to be "disputed". During the course of the war, it became apparent that the Albanians did not consider Serbia as a liberator, as suggested by King Peter I, nor did the Serbian forces observe his declaration of amity toward Albanians. After the successful coup d'état for unification with Eastern Rumelia, Bulgaria began to dream that its national unification would be realized.
For that purpose, it developed a large army, identified as the "Prussia of the Balkans." But Bulgaria could not win a war alone against the Ottomans. In Greece, Hellenic Army officers had rebelled in the Goudi coup of August 1909 and secured the appointment of a progressive government under Eleftherios Venizelos, which they hoped would resolve the Crete question in Greece's favour, they wanted to reverse their defeat in the Greco-Turkish War of 1897 by the Ottomans. An emergency military reorganization led by a French military mission had been started for that purpose, but its work was interrupted by the outbreak of war in the Balkans. In the discussions that led Greece to join the Balkan League, Bulgaria refused to commit to any agreement on the distribution of territorial gains, unlike its deal with Serbia over Macedonia. Bulgaria's diplomatic policy was to push Serbia into an agreement limiting its access to Macedonia, while at the same time refusing any such agreement with Greece. Bulgaria believed that its army would be able to occupy the larger part of Aegean Macedonia and the important port city of Salonica before the Greeks.
In 1911, Italy had launched an invasion of Tripolitania in present-day Libya, whi