Ottoman Resurgent Edit

Chapter 3. The Balkan War

The Balkan war was the physical manifestation of the series of reforms of the Ottoman Empire. Re-invigorated and well run, the Empire successful conducted a war against a seizable coalition. Sensing that the Ottoman Empire was weak, the Balkan league' (consisting of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia and Montenegro) struck hard. The war took place on two main fronts along with the naval war.

The Bulgarian FrontEdit

The first land front was the Bulgarian front. While the Bulgarians intended to hit hard and fast, immense Turkish lines of defence slowed them to a bloody crawl as Ottoman re-enforcements were rushed up, along with heavier artillery and other supplies. The battle of Kirk was a defensive victory for the Ottomans as they held back the Bulgarians.

The Greek DefeatEdit

In the south, the Battle of Sarantaporo decided things as it stymied the Greek assault. With this loss the entire Greek battle plan was slowed down. The Ottomans gave up ground but they gave it grudgingly and they traded for time as more manpower was poured into the area.

Most importantly the naval Battle of Elli was what truly decided the war. Unlike on land which were mere defensive victories that bought time, this crushing blow on the Greek fleet helped decide the war. As the Ottoman fleet swept the Greek fleet from the sea, this opened up many opportunities for the Ottomans, as well as saving them from possible losses. The isles of Chios and Lesbos (among others) were safe from any invasions. More critically control of the Aegean allowed Ottoman reinforcements to reach battle grounds quickly, keeping the tight timetables.

After these three battles the war no longer in doubt. The Ottomans gained defensive lines and eventually crushed the Balkan league forces with over-whelming manpower. The Ottoman Empire had a rather crushing victory on the order of the 1897 war with Greece. No land was given up in the Balkans and the Ottoman fleet reigned supreme. The Balkan League was shattered and arguing fell out betweens its members (mainly between Greece and Bulgaria.) Turkish pride and trust in the reforms grew at the resounding victory.


Other side effects, often ignored, also came out of the war. One crucial one was the virtual destruction of of the more action-oriented liberal reform parties in Greece. Gone were the visions of a vast Greece straddling the Aegean, having extensive lands in Asia Minor. This crushing of 'Greek Spirit' was invaluable to the Ottoman's later on, as they encountered other troubles.

More subtly, it removed much of the “Sick Man' and “Eastern Question' stigma from the region. France, and especially Britain were less excited about dividing up a power that could defend itself. A stable Ottoman Empire seemed more likely and therefore easier to support then dividing it up amongst small incapable powers. Even Russian dreams of the Straits were dimmed as the Ottoman army sat comfortably in Thrace. This, combined with a general confidence in the Ottoman armed forces washed clean the stench of the Italio-Turkish war. )

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