Winner of the 2015 Norman B. Tomlinson, Jr. Book Prize Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914 is the first history of the Great War to address in-depth the crucial events of 1914 as they played out on the Balkan Front. James Lyon demonstrates how blame for the war's outbreak can be placed squarely on Austria-Hungary's expansionist plans and internal political tensions, Serbian nationalism, South Slav aspirations, the unresolved Eastern Question, and a political assassination sponsored by renegade elements within Serbia's security services. In doing so, he portrays the background and events of the Sarajevo Assassination and the subsequent military campaigns and diplomacy on the Balkan Front during 1914. The book details the first battle of the First World War, the first Allied victory and the massive military humiliations Austria-Hungary suffered at the hands of tiny Serbia, while discussing the oversized strategic role Serbia played for the Allies during 1914. Lyon challenges existing historiography that contends the Habsburg Army was ill-prepared for war and shows that the Dual Monarchy was in fact superior in manpower and technology to the Serbian Army, thus laying blame on Austria-Hungary's military leadership rather than on its state of readiness. Based on archival sources from Belgrade, Sarajevo and Vienna and using never-before-seen material to discuss secret negotiations between Turkey and Belgrade to carve up Albania, Serbia's desertion epidemic, its near-surrender to Austria-Hungary in November 1914, and how Serbia became the first belligerent to openly proclaim its war aims, Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914 enriches our understanding of the outbreak of the war and Serbia's role in modern Europe. It is of great importance to students and scholars of the history of the First World War as well as military, diplomatic and modern European history.
The Kingdom of Serbia waged war against Austria-Hungary and the other Central Powers from 28 July 1914 when the Austro-Hungarian government declared war, until the capitulation of Austria-Hungary. In the first two years of the war, Serbia defeated the Austro-Hungarian Balkan Army. The following year, her army was faced with the Axis invasion. Unwilling to surrender, the Serbian Army retreated through Albania and evacuated to Corfu where it rested, rearmed and reorganized. From there the army transferred to the Salonika Front, where it recorded successes by 1916. After a long lull, the struggle to penetrate the Front began in September 1918. Serbian and other Allied forces broke through the Front and Bulgaria was soon forced to surrender. The Serbian Army advanced rapidly and on 1 November 1918 Belgrade was liberated. Thanks to the Serbian military victories and diplomatic efforts, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) was created.Serbia paid for her victory in the Great War in a disproportionately exorbitant manner: it is estimated that she lost close to one million inhabitants, of whom about 400,000 were conscripts and the rest civilians, which accounted for nearly a third of the total population, or close to 60% of the male population. No other country that participated in the Great War paid so dearly for its freedom.The Serbian Army in the Great War, 1914 1918 offers readers a very thorough analysis of the Serbian Army of the period, including its organization, participation in military operations, weapons, equipment, uniforms, and system of orders and medals. This book is a synthesis of all available literature and periodicals, appearing for the first time in the English language. The book is well supported by around 500 illustrations, out of which more than 300 are contemporary photographs and other documents, while this is complemented by dozens of color plates of uniform reconstructions and color photographs of the preserved pieces of uniform, equipment and weapons. A special emphasis has been placed on the colors of Serbian uniforms from the period. The book is the result of two decades of research and will enable readers to gain a clearer picture of this subject.REVIEWS profusely illustrated with contemporary images of military leaders, soldiers, equipment, and battle scenes. Three chapters focus specifically on Serbian Army weaponry and equipment, uniforms, and standards and decorations..This fine book, a worthy successor to the author s earlier 2015 study The Serbian Army in the Wars for Independence against Turkey, 1876-1878 (reviewed in Vojnoistorijski glasnik [Serbian Military Historical Journal] 2 : 197-198), highlights and illustrates the Serbian Army s military operations during the Great War. It is definitely an interesting and eye-opening chronicle, worthy of a place on military historians book shelves.Serbian Military Historical Journal (Vojnoistorijski glasnik)"
Mitrovic's volume fills the gap in Balkan history by presenting an in-depth look at Serbia and its role in WWI. The Serbian experience was in fact of major significance in this war. In the interlocking development of the wartime continent, Serbia's plight is part of a European jigsaw. Also, the First World War was crucial as a stage in the construction of Serbian national mythology in the twentieth century.
Recent history should remind us that it was events in the Balkans which sparked off the Great War, with the assassination of the Austrian heir Prince Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo, and the consequent invasion of Serbia by Austro-Hungarian armies on 2 August 1914. Nevertheless, the subsequent four-year war in that theatre is always overshadowed by the simultaneous campaigns on the Western Front. For the first time this book offers a concise account of these complex campaigns, the organisation, orders of battle, and the uniforms and insignia of the armies involved: Austro-Hungarian, German, Ottoman, Serbian, Montenegrin, Albanian, British, French, Italian, Russian, Bulgarian, Greek and Rumanian.
'Without question one of the classics of post-war historical scholarship, Stone's boldly conceived and brilliantly executed book opened the eyes of a generation of young British historians raised on tales of the Western trenches to the crucial importance of the Eastern Front in the First World War' Niall Ferguson 'Scholarly, lucid, entertaining, based on a thorough knowledge of Austrian and Russian sources, it sharply revises traditional assumptions about the First World War.' Michael Howard
The History of World War I series recounts the battles and campaigns that took place during the 'Great War'. From the Falkland Islands to the lakes of Africa, across the Eastern and Western Fronts, to the former German colonies in the Pacific, the World War I series provides a six-volume history of the battles and campaigns that raged on land, at sea and in the air. The act that sparked World War I – the assassination in Sarajevo of the heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne, Archduke Franz Ferdinand – was the culmination of a series of events stretching back into the nineteenth century. A mixture of ethnic tensions, nationalism, political opportunism, and the quest for power and status within the Balkans helped to plunge all of Europe into a conflict that would cost millions of lives. Austro-Hungary faced conflict with both Serbia and Russia during the opening phase of the war. German allegiance to Austria had been clear from the outset, but the decision of the Bulgarians to commit themselves to the Central Powers in October 1915 made a notable difference to the war in the Balkans. It led to the opening of the Salonika front in Greece, where 150,0000 British and French troops saw little fighting unitl the disastrous 1918 Doiran campaign. At the war's outbreak in 1914, the British authorities in Africa were totally unprepared, with relatively few forces available to attack the German colonies, who themselves were effectively left isolated from help. The German commander in East Africa, Paul von Lettow-Vorbeck, set about launching a brilliant guerrilla campaign with scant resources, conducting lightning attacks on Allied targets, particularly the Uganda Railway. He was opposed by the South African General Jan Smuts and his mixture of Boer, British, Rhodesian, Indian, African, Belgian and Portuguese soldiers. Fighting would continue in the African colonies until November 1918. Italy entered the war against the Central Powers in April 1915. For two years, Austro-Hungarian forces were kept at bay on Italy's northern borders, until disaster overtook the Italian forces at the Battle of Caporetto in October 1917. The humiliation of such a defeat by a combined German and Austro-Hungarian force would only be partially relieved by the Allied victory at Vittorio Veneto in November 1918, which led to the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. With the aid of over 300 black and white and colour photographs, complemented by full-colour maps, The Balkans, Italy & Africa provides a detailed guide to the background and conduct of the war in the Balkan, Italian and African theatres from the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo to the surrender of the Central Powers.
The length of the front in the East was much longer than in the West. The theater of war was roughly delimited by the Baltic Sea in the West and Moscow in the East, a distance of 1,200 kilometers, and Saint Petersburg in the North and the Black Sea in the South, a distance of more than 1,600 kilometers. This had a drastic effect on the nature of the warfare. While World War I on the Western Front developed into trench warfare, the battle lines on the Eastern Front were much more fluid and trenches never truly developed. This was because the greater length of the front ensured that the density of soldiers in the line was lower so the line was easier to break. Once broken, the sparse communication networks made it difficult for the defender to rush reinforcements to the rupture in the line to mount a rapid counteroffensive and seal off a breakthrough. There was also the fact that the terrain in the Eastern European theater was quite solid, often making it near impossible to construct anything resembling the complicated trench systems on the Western Front, which tended to have muddier and much more workable terrain. In short, on the Eastern front the side defending did not have the overwhelming advantages it had on the Western front. Because of this, front lines in the East kept on shifting throughout the conflict, and not just near the beginning and end of the fighting, as was the case in the West. In fact the greatest advance of the whole war was made in the East by the German Army in the summer of 1915. With the aid of numerous black and white and color photographs, many previously unpublished, the World War I series recreates the battles and campaigns that raged across the surface of the globe, on land, at sea and in the air. The text is complemented by full-color maps that guide the reader through specific actions and campaigns.
Strife appears endemic to the Balkans. A crossroads of three continents, the area has provided the site for often violent convergence of three of the world's major religions and several major races and a swirl of human activity. This volume explores the battles that have taken place in the region. Beginning with Turkey, the author describes the battles and examines the small arms, artillery, armoured vehicles, warships and warplanes used. Accompanying each weapons illustration throughout the book is a set of specifications providing the tactical abilities of the weapon in the field.