French Military Missions in the Balkan Wars, 1912-1913 Cover Image

Француске војне мисије у Балканским ратовима (1912–1913)
French Military Missions in the Balkan Wars, 1912-1913

Author(s): Biljana Stojić
Subject(s): Diplomatic history, Military history, Political history, International relations/trade, Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919)
Published by: Institut za strategijska istraživanja
Keywords: France; Balkans; Balkan alliance; Ottoman Empire; Balkan Wars; military missions; General Herr; Colonel Mondesir;

Summary/Abstract: The First Balkan War, which started on 8 October 1912, attracted French diplomatic and military attention. In order to closely observe the military operations and tactics of the belligerents, the French War Office sent six military missions to the Balkans. With an approval of both the Balkan Allies and the Ottoman Empire, French officers, guided by local officers, had full access to the battlefields. These missions all had great interest to observe the use of artillery, fortification systems, coordination between different army corps, etc. Moreover, they paid significant attention to the local customs, traditions, and history. After returning from the Balkans, the members of the missions submitted their reports to the French General Command, but some of them thought that war experiences from the Balkans must be shared publicly outside military circles. Thus they published papers in scholarly army journals or as special military studies. These published works drew great attention to the Balkan Wars, and eventually led to the question whether the French Army was ready for the type of war that took place in the Balkans. In order to prepare, all European armies, including France’s, started to conduct various reforms and restructuring. The Balkan experience was of substantial significance to each army, providing them with the possibility of examining flaws in their own military system and thereafter correcting them. Unfortunately, an unexpected war which broke out less than a year after the Bucharest peace conference caught most of these reforms in progress, so it is impossible to assess the longterm military benefit to foreign nations from the Balkan Wars.

  • Issue Year: 2016
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 26-44
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Serbian