Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Images of the Forgotten Balkan Wars

Turkish Forces on Left;  Greek, Serbian, Bulgarian, and Montenegrin on Right 

The Balkan Wars are seen as a precursor to the First World War and often as the culmination of a national struggle by the respective Balkan Powers against the Ottoman Empire.  This perspective is somewhat puzzling due mainly to the fact that most American, and for that matter European, scholars rarely comment on the First World War in the Balkans after summer of 1914. The “spark” for the war became a sideshow to the “more important” fronts in western and central Europe. There have been a few recent works on the Balkans in the First World War, but it remains under studied; yet the Balkans as the precipitating cause of the First World War remains a very common theme in many general histories of the conflict.
James N. Tallon

Below from Top to Bottom:
Turkish Cavalry Entering Adrianople; Serbian Troops in Trenches; Unidentified Battlefield;
Two Turkish Civilians Face Bulgarian Execution


  1. Personally, the only thing I can say, ala Scrooge, is that war "reduces the excess population."

    1. This is a very fascist response. THEY are not 'excess population', they are poor, modest, subsistence serfs just trying to live often in mixed ethnic groups. But get swept up in the carnage of war and are butchered by both sides as they flee into the great hoard of refugees. As some of their children buy into the propaganda of war and seek to kill their neighbors and join the cause... Some of mine were serfs from Slovakia, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, who came to America and never even wanted to look back.

  2. After a trip to Sarajevo in early Oct., I was curious to do a little research on the history of the Balkans. That unfortunate area was invaded at different times from all directions. The Huns, Goths, Visigoths, Romans, Turks, Franks, Tartars, Greeks and Normans, to name only some, at one time or another swept through the Balkans. Enemies in one war became allies in the next. When the Muhammadans weren't fighting the Christians, the Christians (Orthodox and Roman/Latin) were battling each other for dominance. Massacres seemed to be quite common among the combatants. I've only scratched the surface in my research and have yet to get a real clear picture of the history, but so far, it's fascinating!