Serbia 1914-1918

The assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand on June 28th 1914 in Sarajevo by Gavrilo Princip started a chain of events. Princip was arrested, and his connections to Serbian government organizations could not be denied. Austria-Hungary's ultimatum to Serbia was met with almost complete compliance; yet Austria-Hungary declared war, and within 1 week Europe was at war.
Having great powers as allies, such as Russia, France and Britain did little to help Serbia in the moment. The Serbs, together with tiny Montenegro, faced the Austrians and lacked access to the sea, for vital supplies. Russian forces advanced far into Austro-Hungarian territory, but by the end of 1914 they were stopped and in 1915 pushed far back. Meanwhile, the Austrians had taken Belgrade in December 1914, but it was retaken by the Serbs in the same month. The Serbs suffered severely from a typhus epidemics in 1915; the Allies opened a vital supply line over Salonica. In October 1915, Bulgaria entered the war, cutting the supplies from Salonica; Serbia's defense collapsed. The Serbs, under extremely difficult conditions, withdrew across Albania and evacuated to Corfu (Greece), where an exile government was established, presided by Nikola Pasic. Meanwhile, in southern Macedonia the Serbs were able to regain a small stretch of territory around Bitola in 1916.
Most of Serbia now was occupied by Austrian forces, and remained so until October 1918, when the Allies staged a major offensive which lead to Austria-Hungary's surrender at the end of the month.

Servia, from Catholic Encyclopedia, 1914 edition
History of Serbia and Montenegro, from yunet
DOCUMENTS List of Kings, Prime Ministers etc. of Serbia, from World Statesmen
Archduke Franz Ferdinand's Assassination, 28 June 1914 (Harrach Memoir), from First World War.com
Austrian Report on Archduke's Assassination in June 1914, from First World War.com
Austrian Ultimatum to Serbia, 23 July 1914, and Serbian Reply, from First World War.com
Serbia's Appeal for Russian Assistance, 24 July 1914, from First World War.com
Austria-Hungary's Declaration of War with Serbia, 28 July 1914, from First World War.com
Austrian Statement on Opening Moves in War Against Serbia, August 1914, from First World War.com
The Fall of Serbia by Erich von Falkenhayn, November 1915, from First World War.com
The Fall of Serbia by General von Cramon , November 1915, from First World War.com
Statement by the League of Neutral Countries on Bulgaria's Occupation of Serbia, 1917, from First World War.com
REFERENCE Fred Singleton, A Short History of the Yugoslav Peoples, Cambridge University Press (1985) 1999
Article : Servia, in : New International Year Book 1914 pp.631-633, Serbia 1916 pp.625-626, 1918 pp.579-580 [G]

This page is part of World History at KMLA
First posted in 2000, last revised on March 8th 2007

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