The Second Balkan War was a conflict which broke out when Bulgaria, dissatisfied with its share of the spoils of the First Balkan War, attacked its former allies, Serbia and Greece, on 29 June 1913. Serbian and Greek armies repulsed the Bulgarian offensive and counter-attacked, entering Bulgaria. With Bulgaria also having previously engaged in territorial disputes with Romania, this war provoked Romanian intervention against Bulgaria. The Ottoman Empire also took advantage of the situation to regain some lost territories from the previous war. When Romanian troops approached the capital Sofia, Bulgaria asked for an armistice, resulting in the Treaty of Bucharest, in which Bulgaria had to cede portions of its First Balkan War gains to Serbia, Greece, Romania and the Ottomans.
The main attack was launched without warning on the night of June 29-30 by the Bulgarian 4th Army against the Serbian 1st and 3rd Armies south of the town of Štip. The Bulgarians managed to advance as far the town of Udovo, about 25 miles west of the current border between Bulgaria and the Macedonian Republic, when internal conflicts in the Bulgarian command derailed the campaign.
Amazingly, Tsar Ferdinand had started the Second Balkan War without consulting or informing Bulgaria’s civilian government; in fact the Bulgarian prime minister, Stoyan Danev, was just about to leave for St. Petersburg to participate in Russia’s planned mediation of the dispute with Serbia when the war broke out. On July 1, Danev, understandably annoyed at being excluded from key affairs of state, frantically ordered the Bulgarian chief of staff, Mikhail Savov, to halt the attack. Savov obeyed and was duly rewarded by being fired by Tsar Ferdinand for disobedience on July 3 (on July 3 parliament also fired Savov for launching the initial attack, giving him the distinction of being fired twice on the same day, albeit for different reasons). Ferdinand ordered his new commander, Radko Dimitriev, to resume the attack – but by now it was too late.
The Bulgarians had stopped fighting for two days, but their enemy hadn’t: the Serbians took advantage of the pause to bring up reinforcements, reposition their armies, and launch a devastating counterattack which pushed the Bulgarians all the way back to the Bregalnica River by July 8. The Bulgarian 5th Army hurried to help, but by now the front was collapsing and the 4th Army was in headlong retreat. By the time they assumed defensive positions behind the Bregalnica, the Bulgarians had suffered 20,000 casualties, compared to around 17,000 for the Serbs, while managing to lose most of the territory they’d conquered in the First Balkan War.
- Iznenadnim noćnim napadom bugarske Četvrte i Pete armije na srpske položaje, čime je izazvan Drugi balkanski rat, počela je Bregalnička bitka, okončana 9. jula 1913. potpunim slomom Bugara. Posle ogorčenih borbi na Ovčem polju, Prva i Treća srpska armija i Crnogorska divizija u protivnapadu su potisle Bugare
preko reke Bregalnice i probile njihov front na Rajčanskom ridu. Srpski gubici iznosili su oko 16.600 ljudi, a bugarski više od 20.000. Na napad protiv dotadašnjeg saveznika u borbi protiv Otomanskog carstva, koje su zajedno proterali s Balkana, Bugarsku su podstakle Nemačka i Austrougarska, jer Berlinu i Beču nisu bili u interesu jačanje Srbije i sloga balkanskih država. U rat na strani Srbije uključile su se Grčka i Rumunija. Posle poraza, Bugarska je kapitulirala, a mirovnim ugovorom u Bukureštu 10. avgusta 1913, utvrđene su nove granice između balkanskih država
The Effort to Prevent Outbreak of the Second Balkan War, 1913.
1. THE TREATY OF LONDON, MAY 30, 1913.
The Treaty of London signed on May 30, 1913, settled the frontier line between the Balkan States and Turkey, but left conflicting claims between themselves unsettled. On June 9 the London Peace Conference met for the last time, the attempt to reach an agreement on the points left unsettled by the Treaty of London having been abandoned and a protocol adopted leaving it to the Balkan States to supplement the treaty by direct conventions.
2. THE DISPUTE BETWEEN GREECE AND BULGARIA.
Of this there was, however, very little prospect. There was, in the first place, the dispute between Greece and Bulgaria respecting their respective shares of Macedonia. The Greeks had occupied Salonika, which Bulgaria greatly desired, and Bulgaria found herself in possession of Thrace, which she did not much care for.
3. DISPUTE BETWEEN SERBIA AND BULGARIA.
There was a similar dispute between Bulgaria and Serbia, the latter being in possession of that section of Macedonia of which Monastir is the center -- a city and section that Bulgaria claimed as her portion. Bulgaria insisted that Serbia execute the arrangements agreed upon as to the future frontier between the two States in the treaty of March 13, 1912. But Serbia maintained that the creation of an independent Albania invalidated the provisions of the treaty.
4. ALLIANCE BETWEEN SERBIA AND GREECE, 1913.
After their return from London, Premiers Venizelos and Pashitch, representing Greece and Serbia respectively, made an offensive and defensive alliance for 10 years directed against Bulgaria, and military conventions were arranged.
5. THE CZAR PROPOSES TO ACT AS ARBITRATOR.
On May 28, Serbia demanded that Bulgaria should renounce her rights under the treaty of March 13, 1912. The Czar of All the Russias then stepped in as peacemaker, sending, on June 8, an identical telegram to the Kings of Bulgaria and Serbia, offering to act as arbitrator in this "fratricidal war," in accordance with the terms of their treaty of alliance.
Neither of the disputants appears to have desired the arbitrament by the Czar, but both agreed to submit to Russian arbitration, Serbia and Greece proposing that each of the three countries involved reduce its army one-fourth, in order to facilitate a pacific solution of the controversy.
6. BULGARIA BEGINS THE SECOND BALKAN WAR.
But in the meantime a new cabinet had been formed in Bulgaria, where the warlike Dr. Daneff replaced the pacific M. Gueshoff as premier. On June 15, Bulgaria proposed simultaneous demobilization on condition that the contested districts should be occupied by mixed garrisons. Under circumstances which are still somewhat obscure, on June 29, Bulgaria began the Second Balkan War by an attack on the Serbian and Greek positions.
Source: Anderson, Frank Maloy and Amos Shartle Hershey, Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia, and Africa 1870-1914. Prepared for the National Board for Historical Service. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1918.