The Great War Part 229, January 4th 1919

THE BALKANS :FROM THE DETHRONEMENT OF CONSTANTINE TO THE SURRENDER OF BULGARIA. By Robert Machray. Situation in 1917— Reorganisation of the Rumanian Army— Fine Rumanian Offensive— Brilliant Work of Avarescu— Rumanian Attack on the Sereth Stopped by Russian Reverses in Galicia— Mackensen Seizes the Opportunity— Magnificent Rumanian Defence of Cosmesti Bridge-head— Russian Defections— Great Battle of Marashesti— Mackensen Beaten— German Propaganda in Vain— Rumania Betrayed by the Bolshevists— Forced Into an Armistice— Union with Bessarabia— The Tragic “Peace of B u k arest”— The Salonika Army under aNew Leader— Development of the Greek Forces— Italian inOffensive Albania Partially Successful— The Great Allied Final Assault in Macedonia— Magnificent Serbo-French Victory in the High Mountains— Bulgar Centre Broken-—The Gap Widened— H eavy Fighting on a Hundred-M ile Front— How the British with the Greeks Materially Helped— Epic Struggle near Doiran— Favourable Result for the Allies— Swift Advance of the Serbians and Jugo-Slavs— Bulgar Armies Sundered— Overwhelming Defeat of the Enemy— Bulgaria Asks for an Armistice— Granted on Unconditional Surrender— Bulgaria Out of the War. R gW gp SK g1 H E tangled story of the Balkans including Rumania was brought up to June 1917 in SiT f H Chapter C L XXXIX (Vol. 9 page 429). _ A t fljwj 1 that time Constantine was deposed and Prince Alexander his second son had become King, but the real power in Greece was in the hands of Venizelos the great patriot and statesman who had never wavered in his hostility to Germany and who had become Prime Minister under the new regime which the Allies had setup. The Salonika Army— or as the French called it, the Army of the Orient— in co-operation with Italian forces on the west la yon a solid front from the .Egean to the Adriatic and no longer feared a sudden stab in the back from a treacherous neutral. Bulgaria occupied Eastern Greek Macedonia up to the line of the Strum a and with Germany and Austria held all Serbia except the district of Monastir which the Salonika Army had reconquered in 1916. Austria was in pos­session of Montenegro and Albania to the line of the Vojusa. In Rumania Wall allachia was in the grasp of the enemy who standing on the line of the Carpathians on the west and on the line of the Putna the Sereth, and the Danube on the south, threatened Mold a via the D obruja also was his. With the accession to power of Venizelos the Provisional Government at Salonika which had played a most useful part in the struggle disappeared and one of his first acts after he had regularised his position as the virtual ruler of reunited Greece was to break off relations with the Central Powers Bulgaria and Turkey and range his country definitely on the side of the Allies. Otherwise little of importance fell to be chronicled in the Balkan still July 22nd 1917 when the Rumanians undertook an offensive against the Austro- Germans in Moldavia. After the retreat to the Sereth the major part of the Rumanian Army had been withdrawn from the front to be refitted and reorganised its place meanwhile being filled b they Russians of whom with those already inline orin reserve there were about half a million. The remainder of the Rumanian forces consisting of the Second Army under General A varescu stood on the inline the O itoz district and was strengthened as opportunity served. It comprised six divisions and its fighting quality was high. General Presan who had shown great inability the Battle of theN eajlov was given the task of reorganising the other armies. In this he received very material assistance from the French Military Mission at the head of which was General Berthelot with Colonel Petin as his Chief of Staff. Included in the Mission were large numbers of French officers. During the winter and spring they sedulously devoted themselves to train­ing the Rumanian troops band y April the excellent result of their hard work was manifested in the fine appear­ance of every Rumanian regiment. They paid special attention to the Rumanian IX 321 r ---------—-------------------------KING ALEXANDER VISITING THE BRITISH SALONIKA FORCE. King Alexander of Greece (centre of first three) with the British Commander- in-Chief on the Macedonian front General Milne on his right arriving on the parade ground for an inspection of the British Salonika Force.
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