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, as a result of the war, the League captured and partitioned almost all remaining European territories of the Ottoman Empire. Ensuing events also led to the creation of an independent Albania, despite its success, Bulgaria was dissatisfied over the division of the spoils in Macedonia, which provoked the start of the Second Balkan War. By 1867, Serbia and Montenegro had both secured independence, which was 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. Serbias aspirations to take over Bosnia and Herzegovina were thwarted by the Bosnian crisis, 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 and 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 readily united with the 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. Serbia, which had helped arm the Albanian Catholic and Hamidian rebels and sent secret agents to some of the prominent leaders, things got so far out of hand that no one was satisfied with the situation in Turkey in Europe. It became unbearable for the Serbs, the Greeks and for the Albanians, 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. To all of them we bring freedom, brotherhood 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, serbias expansion was accepted by Bulgaria as being to the north of the Shar Mountains. The intervening area was agreed to be disputed, it would be arbitrated by the Tsar of Russia in the event of a war against the Ottoman Empire. After the successful coup détat for unification with Eastern Rumelia, Bulgaria began to dream that its national unification would be realized, for that purpose, it developed a large army, and identified as the Prussia of the Balkans. But Bulgaria could not win a war alone against the Ottomans and they also 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, 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. Bulgarias diplomatic policy was to push Serbia into an agreement limiting its access to Macedonia, 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, the Italians decisive military victories over the Ottoman Empire encouraged the Balkan states to imagine they might win a war against the Ottomans
Image: Balkanskata voina Photobox
Greek artillerymen with 75 mm field gun
Ottoman troops during the Balkan Wars
"Bulgarians overrun the Ottoman positions à la bayonette", by the Czech painter Jaroslav Věšín.