“The Balkans for the Balkan Peoples”

Such is the convenient slogan of the Entente powers, Britain, France and Russia, for the outcome of the First Balkan Wars was undoubtedly a favorable result, broadening a political barrier against Austria-Hungary and Germany, while removing the unstable Ottoman presence in this region.  The present pivot is around the fate of Albania.  Here it is a the common position  of Austria-Hungary and Italy to be against any direct sea access via Albania by Serbia, who has been informed by its Russian ally that it will not go to war over this question.  In fact Tsarist Russian was in a poor position to intervene in the Balkans or against the Ottomans, as a result of the disastrous defeats in the 1905 Russo-Japanese War, where two Russian fleets were destroyed.  The still intact Black Sea Fleet had been caught up in the 1905 revolution in European Russia that followed, highlighted by the famous mutiny of the battleship  Potemkin, whose sailors, lacking any confidence in their commanders feared they might  be next to be sent to the Pacific.

Britain and France optimistically hoped then to take advantage of the favorable development to advance their trade presence in the Balkans at the expense of the Austrian-Hungarian and German positions, without this leading to the danger of a war involving these and Russia.

However, “preliminary” draft notices had been sent about in Germany, producing the so-called “socialist agitation”.


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