How The World Went To War In | Imperial War Museums
Austria-Hungary and Serbia hated each other. This article traces the development of tension between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, which was eventually to. Austria-Hungary, with German encouragement, declared war on Serbia on 28 July. by a combination of long and short-term foreign policy goals, political pressures at Relations between Austria-Hungary and neighbouring Serbia had been. Oct 28, In the days following the Austrian break in relations with Serbia, the rest of Europe, including Russia's allies, Britain and France, looked on with.
Petersburg that suggested Serbians should not set up resistance but instead withdraw southward and appeal to the Great Powers for mediation. Mobilization commenced on 26 July. More thanreservists enrolled in the ranks. The Serbian operational army had somecombatants distributed across eleven infantryone cavalry division and several detachments.
In total it had battalions, fifty cavalry squadrons, and was equiped with machine guns and cannons. The complete concentration was developed by 10 August. The main Serbian force, its Second Army, had stopped the invaders, pushing them back over the borders from 16 to 20 August.
After recovering and regrouping its armies General Oskar Potiorek launched his second offensive on Serbia by the end of September.
Austria–Serbia relations - Wikipedia
After fifty-five days of fierce, entrenched battles during which its artillery ammunition ran out,  the Serbian Army began a slow retreat some fifty to sixty kilometers south leaving even the capital Belgrade.
When no one, especially Potiorek, expected it, the Serbian Army launched a counteroffensive on 3 December. The Austro-Hungarian troops were pushed out of Serbia for the second time within ten days. After several appeals for assistance by Essad Pasha Toptanithe Serbian government decided to support him and sent the troops in June to occupy important communications posts along the River Drin and the towns of Elbasan and Tirana.
This mission was carried out in spite of advice against it and even some threats by the Allies. This Serbian move proved helpful six months later during the retreat through Albania. The Central Powers had assembled twenty-six divisions eight German, eight Austro-Hungarian, ten Bulgarian, in total battalions, sixty-six cavalry squadrons, batteries,rifles, 9, horsemen, and 1, artillery pieces.
Serbia pursued its war efforts through anything and anyone it could mobilize. It finally assembled 8, officers andmen battalions,rifles, forty cavalry squadrons, and artillery pieces. The Montenegrin Army assisted with 48, men eighty-two battalions and guns. The Russians sent marine engineers, gunners, cannon, mines and torpedo batteries.
Austro-Serbian relations up to
The British and French sent assistance in the form of guns, men and ammunition. Their primary task was to improve the defense of Belgrade and the right bank of the Dunube by introducing heavy coastal guns, mines and torpedos. The French were engaged in establishing an air force. They came with one squadron and soon incorporated the small Serbian forces into the French Military Aviation Mission.
The principle targets were Belgrade and the Morava Valley where the Central Powers would establish direct contact with Bulgaria and Turkey, push Serbia out, and cut off the supply route to Russia from Salonika. On 12 October, the Bulgarians joined the Central Powers.
In addition, Austria-Hungary sent its Tenth mountain brigade. By the end of October, they pushed forward strongly once again. Unfortunately, the French and British arrival in Salonika was far too slow to create a strong army ofmen on time, and match Bulgarian advancement in South Serbia. However, the Allies for many reasons did not engage in larger-scale action.
Meanwhile, the Second Bulgarian Army managed to cut off the Serbian escape route to Salonika by taking Skopje on 22 October and then pushed northwestward to Kosovo. On 25 November, the Serbian High Command issued the order to retreat through Montenegro and Albania, to join the Allies and continue the war out of the country. The Serbian High Command emphasized that its army was not in a favorable condition for a counteroffensive, but that capitulation was viewed as a worse choice.
The sufferings were similar for the civilians and prisoners of war POW who moved alongside their once victors. An Inter-Allies commission was set up in Rome to help coordinate joint efforts. The Greek island of Corfu was occupied for this purpose as the most suitable spot for the endeavor.
The first phase was evacuation from Albania. Some eighty-seven liners and hospital ships were engaged, along with seventy war ships. The second phase was recovery and reorganization.
Somesoldiers and civilians were transferred to Corfu, Bizerte, Italy, and France. After several months of recovery, someSerbian troops were shipped to Khalkidhiki nearby Salonika.
They joined the Serbian Army in after a long journey from Vladivostok or Archangelsk. They were once part of the 44, men strong Serbian Yugoslav voluntary corps in Russia. Austro-Hungarian prisoners of war in Russia, if they were of South Slav origin, were granted the opportunity to switch sides and join the Allies.
Serbia had sent officers from Corfu for this purpose. The reorganized army was smaller, but possessed more fire power than before. Soon, they halted the Bulgarian offensive and took over dominant mountain peaks, pushing the enemy back on the second mountain chain. Monastir Bitolj was liberated, becoming the first Serbian ground. Within next two years, the front was basically peaceful with no large-scale operations. The next successful offensive, in Septemberhad far-reaching consequences.
It proved the advocates of the Balkan front right and legitimized their farsighted view on its strategic significance. They were later joined by some Americans who developed the very same ideas: The blow was so tremendous that enemy could not regroup. Both Serbian armies continued to pursue the demoralized Bulgarian troops and crushed all attempts made by reserves.
The Bulgarians quickly faltered and concluded a truce at the end of September. The entire territory of the former Kingdom of Serbia was liberated by 1 November It was not only a military collapse. The breach near Salonika supported the belief that Germany and Austria must capitulate, as had Bulgaria previously. This contributed to an upswing of liberal ideas in central Europe.
In response to the news of the Serbian advancement, the South Slav movement started to gather momentum. The press spread optimism, foreshadowing great events ahead - the collapse of Austria-Hungary and Yugoslav unification. The first included instructions for crossing the rivers Drina, Sava and Danube with smaller detachments, to enable him to declare that his troops had advanced into Austria-Hungary.
Who was responsible for the killing, besides the assassins themselves? Was a war inevitable after the murder, or did policy-makers let the crisis escape their control? Finally, why did a Balkan crisis lead to a world war inwhen other crises had not? Focusing on the Balkans From a Balkan perspective, it is crucial to look at the actors and decision-makers who were at work during the conflict between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, the two states involved in the original Sarajevo crisis.
Doing so highlights factors that are somewhat different from those at work among the Great Powers at large, or those cited in general explanations for the war. A common theme is the passive nature of Great Power policy: With some justification, scholars conclude that French leaders had little choice: France was the object of a German invasion. England in turn entered the war because a successful German attack on France and Belgium would have made Germany too powerful.
Both Germany and Russia mobilized their armies in haste, because each one feared defeat by powerful enemies if they delayed. Germany and Russia also rashly committed themselves to support Balkan clients -- Austria-Hungary and Serbia, respectively -- because Berlin and St. Petersburg feared that failure to do so would cost them the trust of important allies and leave them isolated.
This interpretation treats Balkan matters largely through their influence on policies elsewhere. An analysis rooted in a Balkan perspective, on the other hand, can evaluate the proactive steps taken in the region from the start of the crisis.
Unfortunately, when Austrians, Hungarians and Serbs made important decisions early in the crisis, they consistently avoided compromise and risked war. Two months passed between the murder of Franz Ferdinand, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by a Bosnian Serb high school student on June 28, and the coming of general war at the end of August. In other words, there was plenty of time for calculation, caution and decision. Who chose to risk war, and why? The purpose of the murder itself The murder itself was hardly a mystery.
There were scores of witnesses and the killers were immediately arrested: The conspirators willingly confessed: Nor was the fact of murder per se crucial. It was an age of assassins: Franz Joseph's wife, the Empress Elizabeth, had been murdered in in Switzerland by an Italian, but Austria did not seek war with Italy or Switzerland.
A look at the actual participants tells us something about South Slav nationalist dissatisfaction in Habsburg-ruled Bosnia. The first conspirator along the parade route was Mehmed Mehmedbasic, a year old carpenter, son of an impoverished Bosnian Muslim notable: After planning a plot of his own to kill Governor Potiorek, Mehmedbasic joined the larger plot.
When the car passed him, he did nothing: He was the only one of the assassins to escape. Cubrilovic was recruited for the plot during a political discussion: Cubrilovic had been expelled from the Tuzla high school for walking out during the Habsburg anthem. Cubrilovic too did nothing, afraid of shooting Duchess Sophie by accident. Under Austrian law, there was no death penalty for juvenile offenders, so Cubrilovic was sentenced to 16 years.
In later life he became a history professor. Nedelko Cabrinovic was the third man, a year old idler who was on bad terms with his family over his politics: His father ran a cafe, did errands for the local police, and beat his family.
Nedeljko dropped out of school, and moved from job to job: In Cabrinovic worked for the Serbian state printing house in Belgrade. He was a friend of Gavrilo Princip, who recruited him there for the killing, and they travelled together back to Sarajevo.
Cabrinovic threw a bomb, but failed to see the car in time to aim well: Cabrinovic swallowed poison and jumped into a canal, but he was saved from suicide and arrested. He died of tuberculosis in prison in The fourth and fifth plotters were standing together. One was Cvetko Popovic, an year old student who seems to have lost his nerve, although he claimed not to have seen the car, being nearsighted.
Popovic received a year sentence, and later became a school principal. Nearby was year old Danilo Ilic, the main organizer of the plot; he had no weapon. Ilic was raised in Sarajevo by his mother, a laundress. His father was dead, and Ilic worked as a newsboy, a theatre usher, a laborer, a railway porter, a stone-worker and a longshoreman while finishing school; later he was a teacher, a bank clerk, and a nurse during the Balkan Wars.
His real vocation was political agitation: He obtained the guns and bombs used in the plot. Ilic was executed for the crime. The final two of the seven conspirators were farther down the road. Trifko Grabez was a year old Bosnian going to school in Belgrade, where he became friends with Princip. He too did nothing: He too died in prison: Gavrilo Princip was last. Also years old, he was a student who had never held a job. His peasant family owned a tiny farm of four acres, the remnant of a communal zadruga broken up in the s; for extra cash, his father drove a mail coach.
Gavrilo was sickly but smart: He soon turned up his nose at commerce in favor of literature, poetry and student politics. For his role in a demonstration, he was expelled and lost his scholarship. In he went to Belgrade: During the Balkan Wars he volunteered for the Serbian army, but was rejected as too small and weak. On the day of the attack, Princip heard Cabrinovic's bomb go off and assumed that the Archduke was dead. By the time he heard what had really happened, the cars had driven past him.
By bad luck, a little later the returning procession missed a turn and stopped to back up at a corner just as Princip happened to walk by. Princip fired two shots: Princip was arrested before he could swallow his poison capsule or shoot himself.
Princip too was a minor under Austrian law, so he could not be executed.
Austria-Hungary declares war on Serbia
Instead he was sentenced to 20 years in prison, and died of tuberculosis in All were Bosnian by birth. Most were Serbian, or one might say Orthodox, but one was a Bosnian Muslim: None of the plotters was older than Their anger over conditions in Bosnia seems directed simply at the visible authorities.
The assassins were not advanced political thinkers: From statements at their trial, the killing seems to have been a symbolic act of protest. A closer look at the victims also supports this view: Assassination attempts were not unusual in Bosnia. Some of the plotters originally planned to kill Governor Potiorek, and only switched to the royal couple at the last minute. Franz Ferdinand had limited political influence.
He was Emperor Franz Joseph's nephew, and became the heir when Franz Joseph's son killed himself in his sisters could not take the throne. Franz Ferdinand's wife, Sophie Chotek, was a Bohemian noblewoman, but not noble enough to be royal. She was scorned by many at court, and their children were out of the line of succession Franz Ferdinand's brother Otto was next. Franz Ferdinand had strong opinions, a sharp tongue and many political enemies. He favored "trialism," adding a third Slavic component to the Dual Monarchy, in part to reduce the influence of the Hungarians.
His relations with Budapest were so bad that gossips blamed the killing on Magyar politicians. There have been efforts to say that Serbian politicians had him killed to block his pro-Slav reform plans, but the evidence for this is thin.
Who was involved within Serbia, and why? The planning was secret, and most of the participants died without making reliable statements. Student groups like Mlada Bosna were capable of hatching murder plots on their own. During several of the eventual participants talked about murdering General Oskar Potiorek, the provincial Governor or even Emperor Franz Joseph.
Once identified as would-be assassins, however, the Bosnian students seem to have been directed toward Franz Ferdinand by Dimitrijevic-Apis, by now a colonel in charge of Serbian intelligence. Princip returned from a trip to Belgrade early in with a plan to kill Franz Ferdinand, contacts in the Black Hand who later supplied the guns and bombs, and information about the planned June visit by the heir, which Princip would not have known without a leak or tip from within Serbian intelligence.CROATIA VS. SERBIA (relations)
InApis took credit for planning the killing, but his motives can be questioned: In fact, the Radical Party and the king were afraid of Apis and had him shot. Those who believe Apis was at work point to "trialism" as his motive. Apis is supposed to have seen the heir as the only man capable of reviving Austria-Hungary. If Franz Ferdinand had reorganized the Habsburg Empire on a trialist basis, satisfying the Habsburg South Slavs, Serbian hopes to expand into Bosnia and Croatia would have been blocked.
In early JuneApis is said to have decided to give guns and bombs to Princip and his accomplices, and arranged to get the students back over the border into Bosnia without passing through the border checkpoints. Pasic and the state While Apis may or may not have been guilty of planning the murder, the murder did not necessarily mean war. There was no irresistable outburst of popular anger after the assassination: Austria-Hungary did not take revenge in hot blood, but waited almost two months.
When the Habsburg state did react against Serbia, it was in a calculated manner as we will see in a moment. For now, suffice it to say that the Austrians chose to blame the Pasic government for the crime.
How culpable was the Serbian regime? There is no evidence to suggest that Pasic planned the crime. It is unlikely that the Black Hand officers were acting on behalf of the government, because the military and the Radical Party in fact were engaged in a bitter competition to control the state.