Balkan Wars, 1878–1914

Richard C. Hall

in Consumed by War

Published by University Press of Kentucky

Published in print October 2009 | ISBN: 9780813125589
Published online September 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780813135328 | DOI:
Balkan Wars, 1878–1914

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The Balkan Wars resulted in huge military casualties, and in military terms, were the precursor of World War I. Mass mobilization, large turning movements, and trench warfare all occurred during the conflict. New weapons, such as airplanes and rapid-fire artillery, were utilized. However, few lessons from the Balkan Wars enlightened the European military establishments that would soon find themselves engaged in conflict. One reason was the brief interval between the end of the Balkan Wars and the beginning of World War I. Another reason was that the Balkan states did not welcome foreigners who wanted to observe their operations. Many of those military attaches who did examine the Balkan Wars ignored the tactical lessons that might have had import for the conduct of World War I. Instead, they focused on issues that tended to confirm preconceived doctrines.

Keywords: Balkan Wars; military casualties; World War I; mass mobilization; trench warfare; Balkan states

Chapter.  5948 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Military History

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