Monday, October 15, 2012

Bulgaria enters WWI in October of 1915 and the Central Powers proceed with their planned annihilation of Serbia

Charles C. Vopicka
United States Ambassador to Romania

Bulgaria in 1915

"BULGARIA entered the war October 4, 1915, claiming that no agreement of any kind could be arrived at with the Entente Powers...

...With Bulgaria in the fray, it was decided that she, with Austro-Hungary and Germany, would combine in an attack which would annihilate Serbia. The doom of this country had been decreed before by the Germans, as a removal of the obstacle to their hopes for extension of power to the Turkish border. The German Minister in Bucharest told the Serbian Minister there, that if Serbia would permit the transportation of ammunition across her country to Turkey, no further attack would be made on her, but Serbia refused the offer.

Serbia expected that the Entente Powers would send at least 300,000 men to aid in her defense, but unfortunately assistance could not be furnished at that time and Serbia had to fight alone. The Greeks were bound by a treaty to aid the Serbians in case of Bulgarian attack, but they sent no assistance, claiming that the treaty held good only in case of attack by Bulgaria alone, and that it was invalid in the existing case of combined attack of Bulgaria, Austro-Hungary and Germany.

The Serbians, with an army of a little more than 200,000 men, worn and wearied by the wars of the preceding months, were attacked on all sides by a force of about 600,000 of the enemy. Owing to the scarcity of men, the railroad running between Salonika and Uskub [Skopje/Skoplje - Macedonia] was not protected, and this was seized by the Bulgarians, thereby cutting off any chance for help which might be sent.

The Germans and Austro-Hungarians outnumbered the Serbians more than two to one, and their artillery strength was five times as great, which odds were well nigh insuperable. The Germans had reviled the Austrians, because in every previous effort to cross the rivers Save (Sava) and Danube, they had been repulsed with losses of many thousands of men. But when the Germans attempted similar attacks at the same point, they met with the same fate, and were consequently jeered by the Austro-Hungarians.

After the armies of the Central Powers had effected these crossings by reason of vast superiority of numbers and equipment, their losses were greatly lessened and those of the Serbians greatly increased. Man against man, the Serbian officers and soldiers clearly demonstrated their superiority. In two months of bloody warfare there was no decisive battle, but the Serbians continually retreated toward what remained of New Serbia, and to Albania, with the enemy constantly closing in from all directions."

From Secrets of the Balkans
By Charles J. Vopicka
United States Ambassador to Romania


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