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The Wars of Yesterday: The Balkan Wars and the Emergence of Modern Military Conflict, 1912-13

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The Wars of Yesterday

The Balkan Wars and the Emergence of Modern Military Conflict, 1912-13

Edited by Katrin Boeckh and Sabine Rutar

446 pages, 4 illus., bibliog., index

ISBN  978-1-78533-774-1 $135.00/£99.00 Hb Published (January 2018)

ISBN  978-1-78920-843-6 $29.95/£23.95 Pb Not Yet Published (December 2020)

eISBN 978-1-78533-775-8 eBook

Hb Pb View cartYour country: United States - Click here to remove geolocation   Buy the eBook! $29.95 Request a Review or Examination Copy (in Digital Format) Recommend to your Library Available in GOBI®


“This is a well-curated and well-intended collection of essays. The editors and contributors have brought considerable knowledge and insight of the Balkan wars into the mainstreams of the New Military History. The collective linguistic and research scope of the contributors is comprehensive. Students and scholars of southeastern Europe will read these essays with profit, but it is the fields of European and global war studies that will benefit most from this excellent volume.” • Slavic Review

“This excellent volume is a timely addition to the literature on the Balkan Wars and beyond. Its versatility, diversity, and empirical depth are bound to make a serious impact in the field.” • Uğur Ümit Üngör, Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences


Though persistently overshadowed by the Great War in historical memory, the two Balkan conflicts of 1912–1913 were among the most consequential of the early twentieth century. By pitting the states of Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro against a diminished Ottoman Empire—and subsequently against one another—they anticipated many of the horrors of twentieth-century warfare even as they produced the tense regional politics that helped spark World War I. Bringing together an international group of scholars, this volume applies the social and cultural insights of the “new military history” to revisit this critical episode with a central focus on the experiences of both combatants and civilians during wartime.

Katrin Boeckh is a Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg and a Professor for East and Southeast European History at the LMU Munich. She is the author of Von den Balkankriegen zum Ersten Weltkrieg. Kleinstaatenpolitik und ethnische Selbstbestimmung auf dem Balkan (1996) and co-editor, with Sabine Rutar, of The Balkan Wars from Contemporary Perception to Historic Memory (2017).

Sabine Rutar is a Senior Researcher at the Leibniz Institute for East and Southeast European Studies. She is Editor-in-Chief of the quarterly Südosteuropa: Journal of Politics and Society and the author of Kultur – Nation – Milieu: Sozialdemokratie in Triest vor dem Ersten Weltkrieg (2004).

Subject: History: 20th Century to Present
Area: Southern Europe


List of Tables


Introduction: The Wars of Yesterday: The Balkan Wars and the Emergence of Modern Military Conflict, 1912/13. An Introduction
Katrin Boeckh and Sabine Rutar

Chapter 1. 'Modern Wars' and 'Backward Societies': The Balkan Wars in the History of Twentieth-Century European Warfare
Wolfgang Höpken


Chapter 2. Ottoman Diplomacy on the Origins of The Balkan Wars
Gül Tokay

Chapter 3. Austria-Hungary, Germany, and the Balkan Wars: A Diplomatic Struggle for Peace, Influence, and Supremacy
Alma Hannig

Chapter 4. Not Just a Prelude: The First Balkan War Crisis as the Catalyst of Final European War Preparations
Michael Hesselholt Clemmesen


Chapter 5. The Ottoman Mobilisation in the Balkan War. Failure and Reorganisation
Mehmet Beşikçi

Chapter 6. The Thracian Theatre of War 1912
Richard C. Hall

Chapter 7. Morale, Ideology, and the Barbarization of Warfare among Greek Soldiers
Spyridon Tsoutsoumpis

Chapter 8. A Forgotten Lesson: The Romanian Army between the Campaign in Bulgaria (1913) and the Tutrakan Debacle (1916)
Claudiu-Lucian Topor

Chapter 9. Serbian Chetniks. Traditions of Irregular Warfare
Alexey Timofeev


Chapter 10. The Future Enemy’s Soldiers-To-Be: Fear of War in Trieste, Austria-Hungary
Sabine Rutar

Chapter 11. The Plight of the Muslim Population in Salonica and Surrounding Areas
Vera Goseva and Natasha Kotlar-Traykova

Chapter 12. Cleansing the Nation: War-Related Demographic Changes in Macedonia
Iakovos D. Michailidis

Chapter 13. Jewish Philanthropy and Mutual Assistance Between Ottomanism and Communal Identities
Eyal Ginio

Chapter 14. The Assistance of the British Red Cross to the Ottoman Empire
Oya Dağlar Macar

Chapter 15. War Neurosis and Psychiatry in the Aftermath of the Balkan Wars
Heike Karge

Katrin Boeckh and Sabine Rutar


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