Prev | Next | Contents
Bulgaria's belated acceptance of Russian arbitration was not destined to establish peace. Yet Dr. Daneff, the prime minister, who received me on June 27 and talked freely of the Balkan situation (perhaps the more freely because in this conversation it transpired that we had been fellow students together at the University of Heidelberg), decided on June 28 not to go to war with the Allies. Yet that very evening at eight o'clock, unknown to Dr. Daneff, an order in cipher and marked "very urgent" was issued by General Savoff to the commander of the fourth army directing him on the following evening to attack the Servians "most vigorously along the whole front." On the following afternoon, the 29th, General Savoff issued another order to the army commanders giving further instructions for attacks on the Servians and Greeks, including an attack on Saloniki, stating that these attacks were taking place "without any official declaration of war," and that they were undertaken in order to accustom the Bulgarian army to regard their former allies as enemies, to hasten the activities of the Russian government, to compel the former allies to be more conciliatory, and to secure new territories for Bulgaria! Who was responsible for this deplorable lack of harmony between the civil government and the military authorities has not yet been officially disclosed. Did General Savoff act on his own responsibility? Or is there any truth in the charge that King Ferdinand after a long consultation with the Austro-Hungarian Minister instructed the General to issue the order? Dr. Daneff knew nothing of it, and though he made every effort to stop the resulting hostilities, the dogs of war had been let loose and could not now be torn from one another's throats.
There had been sporadic fighting in Macedonia between the Allies for some months past. Greece and Servia had concluded an anti-Bulgarian alliance on June 1. They also entered into a convention with Roumania by which that power agreed to intervene in case of war between the late Allies. And war having been declared, Roumania seized Silistria at midnight, July 10. Meanwhile the Servian and Greek forces were fighting the Bulgarians hard at Kilkis, Doiran, and other points between the Vardar and the Struma. And, as if Bulgaria had not enemies enough on her back already, the Turkish Army on July 12 left the Chataldja fortifications, crossed the Enos-Midia line, and in less than two weeks, with Enver Bey at its head, re-occupied Adrianople. Bulgaria was powerless to stop the further advance of the Turks, nor had she forces to send against the Roumanians who marched unopposed through the neighboring country till Sofia itself was within their power.
No nation could stand up against such fearful odds. Dr. Daneff resigned on July 15. And the new ministry had to make the best terms it could.
Prev | Next | Contents