Once upon a time in a conversation over a glass of tea one of my friends said, "This is how the historian explain to me how is it that the Bulgarians, whom we liberated from centuries of Turkish rule, fought with us in both world wars? What's this crap? »
I tried to explain to him as best I could. Actually this text is my answer. Before you read any warning that the letters will be many and enticing pictures you will not see here.
A brief history. As the First World War began nearly 3 years earlier. Why Bulgaria was at war with Russia in two world wars. The forgotten war in the Balkans.
Continued under the cut ...
In 1878 Bulgaria was liberated by Russian troops, and maps a new state - the Principality of Bulgaria (formally remained part of Turkey, received the status of a self-governing territory). The southern part of Bulgaria (Eastern Rumelia remained under the control of Turkey). In 1908 Bulgaria declared itself an independent state - the 3rd Bulgarian Kingdom. Invited reign of Ferdinand I from the German Saxe-Coburg-Gotha dynasty, maternal grandson of the French King Louis Philippe I. However, the ethnicity of the king was not so important, and all the royal dynasties of Europe were related close family ties.
Young Balkan states - Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece, became immediately the area of interests of Russia, which saw them as their natural allies. Firstly, the common Slavic roots (excluding Greece), and, secondly, that, very importantly, the overall Orthodox Church. This gave Russia the right to claim a special role in the Balkans. Strengthening the role of Russia in the region, does not suit Turkey and Austria-Hungary, who considered the region a zone of its interests. They were supported by Germany, which opposed the strengthening of Russia.
It all started with the fact that in 1911 Italy has decided to take away from Libya and Turkey under the pretext of mustard manage this province (think of a better reason could not) required to transfer to Libya Italy. Turks simply ofigeli by such impudence, and rolled a large fig. Italy began the war against Turkey in Africa. Light the war for Italy was not, despite the weakness of the Ottoman Empire, and was delayed for a year.
And then the Balkans, you ask? Wait a bit.
At this time the Russian hard to cobble together a block of the Balkan states against Austria-Hungary. She almost succeeded, and created a Balkan union, which included Serbia, Bulgaria, Montenegro and Greece. Here are just a war with Austria-Hungary in the plans of the union is not included - their eyes turned to Turkey. A large part of the Balkans still belonged to Turkey, and grab a big chunk of this was much easier than fighting the Austro-Hungary. Balkan Union launched a war against Turkey.
Austria-Hungary, realizing that this war will inevitably lead to the destruction of Turkey, and strengthening Russia in the Balkans, was ready to come to the aid of Turkey. In turn, in this case, intervened in the conflict to Russia that it is likely to lead to joining the war on Germany. The threat of European war became real. Approximately it began three years later the First World War.
Wage war on two fronts, Turkey had no strength, giving Italy to Libya, she tried to fight back in the Balkans. But this war was successfully played it in six months. Under the threat of escalation of the war into the European great powers forced into warring parties to the negotiating table. Turkey has lost almost all its European possessions. Most of the conquered territories of Bulgaria withdrew.
This and took advantage of Austria-Hungary, skillfully igniting new conflict that split the Balkan alliance, promising to support the claims of one side of Bulgaria to Greece, and the other - the other Balkan countries aspiring to the territory ceded Bulgaria.
A new war has broken out between the former allies. Bulgaria fought against all. To its opponents immediately joined Turkey and then Romania has long tochivshaya tooth in southern Dobrogea (northern Bulgaria, adjacent to the Black Sea). Snitched on most Bulgarians do not want, and seized most of the reclaimed land, plus grabbed a piece of the Romanians. Bulgaria has taken offense at all. Bulgarian king said - "My revenge will be terrible!" Bulgaria's participation in the global war against the Balkan states on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary, so it was predictably.
About the beginning and during the First World War, perhaps, I keep silence, too much has been written on this topic. Skip this period. Although the stop, but what about the war with Russia in Bulgaria in the first world, you ask? It was. In August 1916, when the preponderance of forces began to lean to the side of the Entente, and Austria-Hungary suffered from the Russian worst military defeat, from which she was never able to recover, Romania (which the Romanians apparently become a habit) decided on a freebie grab your a piece from the Austro-Hungarian Empire and declared war. But the rescue came the Austro-Hungarian, German troops. The upshot is a momentary defeat of the Romanian fearless warriors. Russia had to rescue Romania and organize a new front. Here on this front, the Bulgarian troops from Austria-Hungary and Germany opposed Russia. Call it the war is difficult. The Bulgarian army of Activism against Russia did not lead. But Romania "returned thanks to" Russia, to grab her Bessarabia (Moldova) in 1918, after the war (habit - second nature). You already clear that the Bulgarians eventually put all his chips in the field. Quarter Union lost the war, and with it, and Bulgaria. Revenge failed. I had to wait another 20 years.
Forum Europe in 1918 at the end of the First World War, created in the Balkans, a new patchwork state - Yugoslavia. This is grabbed Serbia inherited the Austro-Hungarian.
Not so pleased were the Greeks, who were waiting for a lot more. Their plans included the revival of the Great Greece - the successor of the Byzantine Empire (well, at least not power of Alexander the Great). The fact is that in Turkey, on the Aegean and the Black Sea lived then a lot of ethnic Greeks, and with the dawn of time - years, that way, two thousand, long before the arrival of the Turks. Here on these territories and claimed Greece. Turkey, meanwhile, lost the war and have lost much of their territory shrank to the size of present-day Turkey, becoming almost mono-ethnic state.
The Greeks started in 1919 a new war against Turkey already defeated. This war is not very known in the world, but for the Turks it was a war of independence against the occupying forces of the Entente and Greece. The new government, headed by Kemal Ataturk, who led the struggle for the liberation of Turkey. Greek troops landed in Asia Minor, won a series of victories. In 1920, Turkey declared war when independent Armenia, hoping in turn to occupy the Turkish interior Armenia, where most of the Armenians than in Armenia itself (example Romanians was contagious). It is so close to victory, but the Turks have fought on its territory, fought violently and persistently - was nowhere to retreat. This war was a terrible genocide of civilians were noted both sides, the Turks massively slaughtered Armenians and Greeks, and the Greeks (where as a smaller scale) - Turks. The Armenian army was defeated, departed Turkey Western Armenia, but in the eastern part of the Red Army entered.
The war with Greece lasted two years. A decisive role in the final victory of the Turks played the Soviet Russia, the first to recognize the new government of Turkey and provide it with substantial military aid - rifles, machine guns, artillery, ammunition. The Turks defeated the Greeks. The peace treaty was signed. The Greeks have not received new territories, and the Turks to defend their independence. As a result, half a million Greeks were forced to leave the land where their ancestors lived for thousands of years, and 600 thousand Muslims, in turn, left Greece.
Balkan knot again was tied too tightly. On the one hand, Bulgaria is still thirsty for revenge on the other - Yugoslavia, an artificial entity, which gradually ripened new conflicts. Recall still lost the war to Greece. Do not forget Albania, which after World War I by the Treaty of Paris gathered together to share Italy, Greece and Yugoslavia, with which Albanians could not agree more. Let's not discount the new and Turkey.
But this topic is another, quite a long conversation.
P.S. Bulgaria fought on the side of Germany in the Second World War, contrary to popular belief, it was not at war with the USSR. She refused to declare war on the Soviet Union, and unlike all of Germany's allies on the Eastern Front troops were not sent. Moreover, it maintained diplomatic relations with the USSR. In 1944, the Soviet Union declared war on Bulgaria itself, but military action is not reached. As soon as the Soviet army entered Bulgaria, the communist coup occurred, and Bulgaria itself declared war on Germany.
© LysyyKamrad (yours truly)