Two Balkan wars took place shortly before the 1st World War. The first battles were exclusively liberation, anti-Turkish. The subsequent actions were caused by contradictions between the winners in the first battle.
The Balkan wars (at the first stage) allowed the Turks to be displaced from the territory of Europe. The Union of Serbia, Greece, Montenegro and Bulgaria planned to deprive the Ottoman Empire of all possessions on European territory. Subsequently, in connection with the developing contradictions within the Union, some territories returned to the Turks. In general, the Balkan wars provoked further aggravation of foreign policy contradictions. These military operations to a certain extent accelerated the unleashing of the 1st World War. Together with this, the Balkan wars contributed to the development of military equipment. During the battles, new planes, submarines, armored vehicles were used. In addition, the importance of a massive gun, machine gun, and artillery fire was confirmed.
The first Balkan war lasted from October 9, 1912 to May 30, 1913. During this period, Montenegro, Serbia, Greece and Bulgaria, united in the Union, fought against the Ottoman Empire. The peoples of the Balkan Peninsula had to fulfill an important historical task of liberation from the national and feudal oppression of the Turks. However, some backwardness of the peasantry and the weakness of the proletariat, the intervention of the imperialist powers in the affairs of the peninsula, led to the fact that this was realized not by a revolutionary but by military means.
The Balkan Union was led by the Serbian and Bulgarian bourgeoisie, which sought to dominate the greater territory of Macedonia. The Bulgarian representatives of the board assumed by joining Western Thrace and Thessaloniki to gain access to the Aegean Sea. Along with this, the Serbian ruling circles expected to gain access to the Adriatic Sea by splitting Albania.
The acceleration of the First Balkan War was triggered by uprisings in Albania and Macedonia, the Russian-Turkish war. The reason for the announcement of the beginning of offensive movements was the refusal of the Turks to grant the autonomy of Thrace and Macedonia and to stop the mobilization of Turkish troops.
Montenegro was the first to start military operations on October 9, 1912. On October 18, the remaining countries of the Union (Bulgaria, Serbia, Greece) joined the battle. Under the plan of the Allies, the Turkish forces were to be divided up to reinforcements from Asia Minor. It should be noted that the combined forces outnumbered the Turks not only in numbers, but also in armament, and in the level of training of soldiers. At the same time the army of the Ottoman Empire was reorganized.
The main blow to the Eastern Turkish army was inflicted in Thrace. Crossing the border, the first and third Bulgarian armies defeated the third corps of the Turks. After the defeat of the fourth corps, the Eastern Ottoman army fled. The troops of the Bulgarians were stopped at the Chataldzhin positions, fortified hard enough.
In South Macedonia, Greek troops won the battle of Enidzha and launched an offensive in Thessaloniki, which was supported by the Bulgarian attacks. The Greeks, in addition, supported the Serbian army, which was advancing in Macedonia.
The Greek fleet dominated the Aegean Sea .
The successes of the member countries of the Balkan Union in the battles have set quite complex tasks for other great states. For example, Russia feared that the conquest of the Turkish capital by the Bulgarians could raise the issue of straits in unfavorable conditions for tsarism. Therefore, the Russian emperor proposed to suspend military operations and move to peace negotiations.
As a result of the complex international situation, the unsuccessful attempt to capture Istanbul by the Bulgarians, a truce was concluded between Serbia and Bulgaria on the one hand and Turkey on the other. However, the hostilities were soon resumed. Only after the new defeats of the Turkish army was signed a truce between all countries of the Union and Turkey.
The second Balkan war was caused by contradictions within the Union. Countries expressed their dissatisfaction with the results of the first battle. Military operations were conducted between Turkey, Montenegro, Romania, Greece and Serbia on the one hand and Bulgaria on the other.
As a result of the fighting, the Bulgarians lost a significant part of the territory, Romania withdrew from the Triple Alliance and became close to the Entente. Bulgaria itself became close to the Austro-German bloc.