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Title: The Balkan Peninsula
Author: Fox, Frank, Sir, 1874-1960
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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                64 & 66 FIFTH AVENUE, NEW YORK

                205 FLINDERS LANE, MELBOURNE


                309 BOW BAZAAR STREET, CALCUTTA

[Illustration: A BALKAN PEASANT]









This book was written in the spring of 1914, just before Germany plunged
the world into the horrors of a war which she had long prepared, taking
as a pretext a Balkan incident--the political murder of an Austrian
prince by an Austrian subject of Serb nationality. Germany having
prepared for war was anxious for an occasion which would range Austria
by her side. If Germany had gone to war at the time of the Agadir
incident, she knew that Italy would desert the Triple Alliance, and she
feared for Austria's loyalty. A war pretext which made Austria's
desertion impossible was just the thing for her plans.

It would be impossible to reshape this book so as to bring within its
range the Great War, begun in the Balkans, and in all human probability
to be decided finally by battles in the Balkans. I let it go out to the
public as impressions of the Balkans dated from the end of 1913. It may
have some value to the student of contemporary Balkan events.

My impressions of the Balkan Peninsula were chiefly gathered during the
period 1912-13 of the war of the Balkan allies against Turkey, and of
the subsequent war among themselves. I was war correspondent for the
London _Morning Post_ during the war against Turkey and penetrated
through the Balkan Peninsula down to the Sea of Marmora and the lines of
Chatalja. In war-time peoples show their best or their worst. As they
appeared during a struggle in which, at first, the highest feelings of
patriotism were evoked, and afterwards the lowest feelings of greed and
cruelty, the Balkan peoples left me with a steady affection for the
peasants and the common folk generally; a dislike and contempt, which
made few exceptions, for the politicians and priests who governed their
destinies. Perhaps when they settle down to a more peaceful
existence--if ever they do--the inhabitants of the Balkan Peninsula
will come to average more their qualities, the common people becoming
less simple-minded, obedient, chaste, kind: their leaders learning
wisdom rather than cunning, and getting some sense of the value of truth
and also some sense of ruth to keep them from setting their countrymen
at one another's throats. But at the present time the picture which I
have to put before the reader, with its almost unbelievable
contradictions of courage and gentleness on the one side and cowardly
cruelty on the other, is a true one.

The true Balkan States are Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro, and Albania.
Roumania is proud to consider herself a Western State rather than a
semi-Eastern Balkan State, though both her position and her diplomacy
link her closely with Balkan developments. Turkey, of course, cannot be
considered in any sense as a Balkan State though she still holds the
foot of the Balkan Peninsula. Greece has prouder aspirations than to be
considered one of the struggling nationalities of the Balkans and dreams
of a revival of the Hellenic Empire. But in considering the Balkan
Peninsula it is not possible to exclude altogether the Turk, the Greek,
the Roumanian. My aim will be to give a snapshot picture of the Balkan
Peninsula, looking at it as a geographical entity for historical
reference, and to devote more especial attention to the true Balkan

          FRANK FOX.


CHAP.                                                 PAGE

   I. The Vexed Balkans                                 1

  II. The Turk in the Balkans                          19

 III. The Fall of the Turkish Power                    37

  IV. The Wars of 1912-13                              53

   V. A Chapter in Balkan Diplomacy                    78

  VI. The Troubles of a War Correspondent in
      the Balkans                                      94

 VII. Jottings from my Balkan Travel Book             124

VIII. The Picturesque Balkans                         149

  IX. The Balkan Peoples in Art and Industry          162

   X. The Future of the Balkans                       175

   Index                                              207


                                                FACING PAGE

A Balkan Peasant                             _Frontispiece_

Trajan's Column in Rome                                 7

The Walls of Constantinople from the Seven Towers      10

Sancta Sophia, Constantinople                          21

King Peter of Serbia                                   28

King Nicolas of Montenegro                             33

Montenegrin Troops: Weekly Drill and Inspection of
Weapons                                                35

The King of Roumania                                   39

The Shipka Pass                                        42

King Ferdinand of Bulgaria                             46

King Ferdinand's Bodyguard                             48

Bulgarian Infantry                                     53

Bulgarian Troops leaving Sofia                         60

General Demetrieff, the Conqueror at Lule Burgas       69

Adrianople: A General View                             76

Roumanian Soldiers in Bucharest                        85

Adrianople: View looking across the Great Bridge       88

General View of Stara Zagora, Bulgaria                 92

Sofia: Commercial Road from Commercial Square         101

Bucharest: The Roumanian House of Representatives     108

General Savoff                                        117

Bulgarian Infantry                                    124

Ox Transport in the Balkans                           133

A Balkan Peasant Woman                                136

A Bagpiper                                            140

Some Serbian Peasants                                 149

General View of Sofia                                 156

Bucharest                                             161

A Bulgarian Farm                                      166

Albanian Tribesmen                                    176

Greek Infantry                                        181

Podgorica, upon the Albanian Frontier                 188

_Sketch Map on page xii._





The Fates were unkind to the Balkan Peninsula. Because of its position,
it was forced to stand in the path of the greatest racial movements of
the world, and was thus the scene of savage racial struggles, and the
depositary of residual shreds of nations surviving from great defeats or
Pyrrhic victories and cherishing irreconcilable mutual hatreds. As if
that were not enough of ill fortune imposed by geographical position,
the great Roman Empire elected to come from its seat in the Italian
Peninsula to die in the Balkan Peninsula, a long drawn-out death of many
agonies, of many bloody disasters and desperate retrievals. For all the
centuries of which history knows a blood-mist has hung over the Balkans;
and for the centuries before the dawn of written history one may
surmise that there was the same constant struggle of warring races.

It seems fairly certain that when the Northern peoples moved down from
their gloomy forests towards the Mediterranean littoral to mingle their
blood with the early peoples of the Minoan civilisation and to found the
Grecian and the Roman nations, the chief stream of these fierce hordes
moved down by the valley of the Danube and debouched on the Balkan
Peninsula. Doubtless they fought many a savage battle with the
aborigines in Thessaly and Thrace. Of these battles we have no records,
and no absolute certainty, indeed, that the Mediterranean shore was
colonised by a race from the North, though all the facts that we are
learning now from the researches of modern archaeologists point to that
conclusion. But whatever the prehistoric state of the Balkan Peninsula,
the first sure records from written history show it as a vexed area
peopled by widely different and mutually warring races, and subject
always to waves of war and invasion from the outside. The Slav historian
Jireček concludes that the Balkan Peninsula was inhabited at the
earliest times known to history by many different tribes belonging to
distinct races--the Thraco-Illyrians, the Thraco-Macedonians, and the
Thraco-Dacians. At the beginning of the third century, the Slavs made
their first appearance and, crossing the Danube, came to settle in the
great plains between the river and the Balkan Mountains. Later, they
proceeded southwards and formed colonies among the Thraco-Illyrians, the
Roumanians, and the Greeks. This Slav emigration went on for several
centuries. In the seventh century of the Christian era a Finno-ugric
tribe reached the banks of the Danube. This tribe came from the Volga,
and, crossing Russia, proceeded towards ancient Moesia, where it took
possession of the north-east territory of the Balkans between the Danube
and the Black Sea. These were the Bulgars or Volgars, near cousins to
the Turks who were to come later. The Bulgars assumed the language of
the Slavs, and some of their customs. The Serbs or Serbians, coming from
the Don River district had been near neighbours of the Volgars or
Bulgars (in the Slav languages "B" and "V" have a way of interchanging),
and were without much doubt closely allied to them in race originally.
Later, they diverged, tending more to the Slav type, whilst the Bulgars
approached nearer to the Turk type.

There may be traced, then, in the racial history of the Balkans these
race types: a Mediterranean people inhabiting the sea-coast and
possessing a fairly high civilisation, the records of which are being
explored now in the Cretan excavations; an aboriginal people occupying
the hinterland of the coast, not so highly cultivated as the coast
dwellers (who had probably been civilised by Egyptian influences) but
racially akin to them; a Northern people coming from the shores of the
Baltic and the North Sea before the period of written history and
combining ultimately with the people of the coast to found the Grecian
civilisation, leaving in the hinterland, as they passed towards the sea,
detachments which formed other mixed tribes, partly aboriginal, partly
Nordic; various invading peoples of Semitic type from the Levant; the
Romans, the Goths and the Huns, the Slavs and the Tartars, the Bulgars
and the Serbs, the Normans, Saracens, and Turks. Because the Balkan
Peninsula was on the natural path to a warm-water port from the north to
the south of Europe; because it was on the track of invasion and
counter-invasion between Asia and Europe, all this mixture of races was
forced upon it, and as a consequence of the mixture a constant clash of
warfare. There was, too, a current of more peaceful communication for
purposes of trade between the Levant and the Black Sea on the one side
and the peoples of the Baltic Sea on the other side, which flowed in
part along the Balkan Peninsula.

In _Italy and her Invaders_ Mr. T. Hodgkin suggests:

     During the interval from 540 to 480 B.C. there was a brisk
     commercial intercourse between the flourishing Greek colonies on
     the Black Sea, Odessos, Istros, Tyras, Olbia and
     Chersonesos--places now approximately represented by Varna,
     Kustendjix, Odessa, Cherson, and Sebastopol--between these cities
     and the tribes to the northward (inhabiting the country which has
     been since known as Lithuania), all of whom at the time of
     Herodotus passed under the vague generic name of Scythians. By this
     intercourse which would naturally pass up the valleys of the great
     rivers, especially the Dniester and the Dnieper, and would probably
     again descend by the Vistula and the Niemen, the settlements of the
     Goths were reached, and by its means the Ionian letter-forms were
     communicated to the Goths, to become in due time the magical and
     mysterious Runes.

     One fact which lends great probability to this theory is that
     undoubtedly, from very early times, the amber deposits of the
     Baltic, to which allusion has already been made, were known to the
     civilised world; and thus the presence of the trader from the
     South among the settlements of the Guttones or Goths is naturally
     accounted for. Probably also there was for centuries before the
     Christian Era a trade in sables, ermines, and other furs, which
     were a necessity in the wintry North and a luxury of kings and
     nobles in the wealthier South. In exchange for amber and fur, the
     traders brought probably not only golden staters and silver
     drachmas, but also bronze from Armenia with pearls, spices, rich
     mantles suited to the barbaric taste of the Gothic chieftains. As
     has been said, this commerce was most likely carried on for many
     centuries. Sabres of Assyrian type have been found in Sweden, and
     we may hence infer that there was a commercial intercourse between
     the Euxine and the Baltic, perhaps 1300 years before Christ.

A few leading facts with dates should give a fairly clear impression of
the story of the Balkan Peninsula. About 400 B.C. the Macedonian Empire
was being founded. It represented the uprise of a hinterland Greek
people over the decayed greatness of the coast-dwelling Greeks. At that
time the northern part of the Balkan Peninsula was occupied by the Getae
or Dacians. Phillip of Macedon made an alliance with the Getae.
Alexander the Great of Macedonia thrashed them to subjection and carried
a great wave of invasion into Asia from the Balkan Peninsula.


Commemorates the victories which brought all the Balkan Peninsula under
the Roman sway]

About the year 110 B.C. the Romans first came to the Balkan Peninsula,
finding it inhabited as regards the south by the Greek peoples, as
regards the north by the Getae or Dacians. The southern people were
quickly subdued: the northern people were never really subdued by the
Romans until the time of Trajan (the first century of the Christian
era). He bridged the Danube with a great military bridge at the spot now
known as Turnu-Severin, and Trajan's Column in Rome commemorated the
victories which brought all the Balkan Peninsula under the Roman sway.
Trajan found that the manners and customs of the Dacians were similar to
those of the Germans. These sturdy Dacians were conquered but not
exterminated by the Romans. Dacia across the Danube was made into a
Roman colony, and the present kingdom of Roumania is supposed to
represent the survival of that colony, which was a mixture of Roman and
Dacian blood.

In the third century of the Christian era the Goths made their first
appearance in the Balkan Peninsula. The Roman Empire had then entered
into its period of decline. The invasions of the Visigoths, the Huns,
the Vandals, the Ostrogoths, and the Lombards were to come in turn to
overwhelm the Roman civilisation. The Gothic invasion of the Balkan
Peninsula was begun in the reign of the Roman Emperor Phillip. Crossing
the Danube, the Goths ravaged Thrace and laid siege to Marcianople (now
Schumla) without success. In a later invasion the Goths attacked
Philippopolis and captured it after a great defeat of the Roman general,
Decius the younger. Then the Roman Emperor (Decius the elder) himself
took the field and was defeated and killed in a great battle near the
mouth of the Danube (A.D. 251). That may be called the decisive date in
the history of the fall of the Roman Empire. It was destined to retrieve
that defeat, and to shine with momentary glory again for brief
intervals, but the destruction of the Emperor and his army by the Goths
in 251 was the sure presage of the doom of the Roman Power.

One direct result of the battle in which Decius was slain was to bring
the headquarters of the Roman Empire to the Balkan Peninsula. It was
found that a better stand could be made against the tide of Gothic
invasion from a new capital closer to the Scythian frontier.
Constantinople was planned and built, and became the capital of the
Roman Empire (A.D. 330), and thus brought to the Balkan stage the death
throes of the mightiest world-power that history has known. From that
date it is wise for the sake of clearness to speak of the Roman Empire
as the Greek Empire, though it was some time after its settlement in
Constantinople before it became rather Greek than Roman in character.

With the issue between the Goths and the Greek Empire, in which peaceful
agreements often interrupted for a while fierce campaigns, I cannot deal
here at any length. It soaked the Balkan Peninsula deep in blood. But it
was only the first of the horrors that were to mark the death of the
Empire. Late in the fourth century of the Christian Era there burst into
the Balkans from the steppes of Astrakhan and the Caucasus--from very
much the same district that was afterwards to supply the Bulgars and the
Serbs--the Tartar hordes of the Huns. Of these Huns there is a vivid
contemporary Gothic account.

     We have ascertained that the nation of the Huns, who surpassed all
     others in atrocity, came thus into being. When Filimer, fifth king
     of the Goths after their departure from Sweden, was entering
     Scythia, with his people, as we have before described, he found
     among them certain sorcerer-women, whom they called in their native
     tongue Haliorunnas (or Al-runas), whom he suspected and drove forth
     from the midst of his army into the wilderness. The unclean spirits
     that wander up and down in desert places, seeing these women, made
     concubines of them; and from this union sprang that most fierce
     people [of the Huns], who were at first little, foul, emaciated
     creatures, dwelling among the swamps, and possessing only the
     shadow of human speech by way of language.

     With the Alani especially, who were as good warriors as themselves,
     but somewhat less brutal in appearance and manner of life, they had
     many a struggle, but at length they wearied out and subdued them.
     For, in truth, they derived an unfair advantage from the intense
     hideousness of their countenances. Nations whom they would never
     have vanquished in fair fight fled horrified from those
     frightful--faces I can hardly call them, but rather--shapeless
     black collops of flesh, with little points instead of eyes. No hair
     on their cheeks or chins gives grace to adolescence or dignity to
     age, but deep furrowed scars instead, down the sides of their
     faces, show the impress of the iron which with characteristic
     ferocity they apply to every male child that is born among them,
     drawing blood from its cheeks before it is allowed its first taste
     of milk. They are little in stature, but lithe and active in their
     motions, and especially skilful in riding, broad-shouldered, good
     at the use of the bow and arrows, with sinewy necks, and always
     holding their heads high in their pride. To sum up, these beings
     under the form of man hide the fierce nature of the beast!

[Illustration: _Sébah & Joaillier_


Not a lovable people the Huns clearly: and the modern peoples who have
some slight ancestral kinship with them hate to be reminded of the fact.
I remember the fierce indignation which a French war correspondent
aroused in Bulgarian breasts by his description--which had eluded the
censor--of the passage of a great Bulgarian train of ox wagons because
he compared it to the passage of the Huns.

The Huns were, with the exception of the Persians who had vainly
attacked the Greek States at an earlier period, the first successful
Asiatic invaders of Europe. For a full century they ravaged the Empire,
and the Balkan Peninsula felt the chief force of their barbarian rage.
By the fifth century the waves of the Hun invasions had died away,
leaving distinct traces of the Hunnish race in the Balkans. The Gepidae,
the Lombards, and later the Hungarians and the Tartars then took up the
task of ravaging the unhappy land which as the chief seat of power of
the Greek Empire found itself the first objective of every invader
because of that dignity and yet but poorly protected by that power.
Constantinople was never taken by these barbarians, but at some periods
little else than its walls stood secure against their ravages.

Meanwhile the first Saracens had appeared in the Peninsula, curiously
enough not as invaders nor as enemies, but as mercenary soldiers in the
army of the Greek Empire fighting against the Goths. To a Gothic
chronicler we are again indebted for a vivid picture of these Saracens,
"riding almost naked into battle, their long black hair streaming in the
wind, wont to spring with a melancholy howl upon their chosen victim in
battle and to suck his life-blood, biting at his throat." Perhaps the
Gothic war correspondent of the day studied picturesqueness more than
accuracy, like some of his modern successors. But, without a doubt, the
first contact with Asiatics, whether Huns or Saracens, gave to the
European peoples a horror and a terror which had never been inspired by
their battles among themselves--battles by no means bloodless or
merciful. As the Asiatic waves of invasion later developed in strength
the unhappy Balkan Peninsula was doomed to feel their full force as they
poured across the Bosphorus from Asia Minor, and across the Danube from
the north-eastern Asiatic steppes.

It would be vain to attempt to chronicle even in the barest outline all
the horrors inflicted upon the Balkans from the date of the first
invasion of the Huns in the fourth century to the first invasion of the
Turks in the fourteenth century. To say that those ten centuries were
filled with bloodshed suffices. But they also saw the development of the
Balkan nationalities of to-day, and cannot therefore be passed over
without some attention. Let us then glance at each Balkan nation during
that period.

_Roumania_, inhabited by the people of the old Roman-Dacian colony,
stood full in the way of the Northern invasions of Goths, of Huns, of
Hungarians, of Tartars. It was almost submerged. But in the thirteenth
century the country benefited by the coming of Teutonic and Norman
knights. The two kingdoms or principalities of Moldavia and Wallachia
(which, combined, make up modern Roumania) were founded in this century.

_Bulgaria._--In the seventh century Slavs had begun to settle in
Bulgaria. The Bulgars or Volgars followed. They were akin to the Tartars
and the Turks. Together Slavs and Bulgars formed the Bulgarian national
type and founded a very robust nation which was almost constantly at war
with the Greek Empire (with its capital at Constantinople). At times
Bulgaria seriously threatened Constantinople and the Greek Empire. A
boastful inscription in the Church of the Forty Martyrs at Tirnovo, the
ancient capital of Bulgaria, records:

     In the year 1230, I, John Asên, Czar and Autocrat of the
     Bulgarians, obedient to God in Christ, son of the old Asên, have
     built this most worthy church from its foundations, and completely
     decked it with paintings in honour of the Forty holy Martyrs, by
     whose help, in the 12th year of my reign, when the Church had just
     been painted, I set out to Roumania to the war and smote the Greek
     army and took captive the Czar Theodore Komnenus with all his
     nobles. And all lands have I conquered from Adrianople to Durazzo,
     the Greek, the Albanian, and the Serbian land. Only the towns round
     Constantinople and that city itself did the Franks hold; but these
     too bowed themselves beneath the hand of my sovereignty, for they
     had no other Czar but me, and prolonged their days according to my
     will, as God had so ordained. For without him no word or work is
     accomplished. To him be honour for ever. Amen.

The wars were carried on under conditions of mutual ferocity which still
rule in Bulgarian-Grecian conflicts. An incident of one campaign was
that the Greek Emperor, Basil, the Bulgar-slayer, having captured a
Bulgarian army, had the eyes torn out of all the men and sent them home
blinded, leaving, however, one eye to every centurion, so that the poor
mutilated wretches might have guides. In the early part of the
fourteenth century a Bulgarian Czar, Michael, almost captured
Constantinople. He formed a league with the Roumanians and the Greeks
against the Serbs, who were at the time promising to become the
paramount power of the peninsula. But Czar Michael was defeated by the
Serbs and Bulgaria became dependent upon Serbia, which was the position
of affairs at the time of the first serious Turkish invasion of the
Balkan Peninsula.

_Serbia._--Invading tribes of Don Cossacks began to come in great
numbers to the Balkan Peninsula in the sixth century. In the seventh
century they were encouraged by the Greek Empire to settle in Serbia, on
condition of paying tribute to Constantinople. They set up a kind of
aristocratic republic of a Slav type. In the ninth century they began to
fight with the neighbouring and kindred Bulgarians. Early in the tenth
century (A.D. 917) the Bulgarians almost effaced Serbia from the map;
but the Serbs recovered after half a century, only to come shortly
afterwards under the sway of the Greeks. In the eleventh century the
Serbians held a very strong position and were able to harass the Greek
Empire at Constantinople. They entered into friendly relations with the
Pope of Rome, and for some time contemplated following the Roman rather
than the Eastern Church. In the twelfth century King Stephen of Serbia
was a valued ally of the Greek Empire against the Venetians. He
established Serbia as a European "Power," and the Emperor Frederick
Barbarossa visited his court at Belgrade. This king was the first of a
succession of able and brave monarchs, and Serbia enjoyed a period of
stable prosperity and power unusually lengthy for the Balkans. Except
for the strife between the Eastern and Roman Catholic Churches for
supremacy in Serbia, the nation was at peace within her own borders, and
enjoyed not only a military but an economic predominance in the Balkans.
Mining and handicrafts were developed, education encouraged, and the
national organisation reached fully to the average standard of European
civilisation at the time. By 1275 the Serbs were the chief power in the
Balkans. They defeated the Greeks, marched right down to the Aegean and
reached the famous monastery of Mount Athos, to which the first King
Stephen (Nemanya) had retired in 1195 when he abdicated.

In 1303 the Serbians forgot their quarrel with the Greeks and helped
them against the Turks, undertaking an invasion of Asia Minor. In 1315
they again saved the Greek Empire from the Turks. When in 1336 Stephen
Dushan, the greatest of Serbian kings, who has been compared to Napoleon
because of his military genius and capacity for statesmanship, came to
the throne, Bulgaria was under the suzerainty of Serbia, and the Serb
monarch ruled over all that area comprised within the boundaries of
Bulgaria, Serbia, Albania, Montenegro, and Greece by the recent treaty
of Bucharest (1913). King Stephen Dushan was not only a great military
leader, he was also a law-maker and a patron of learning. His death on
December 13, 1356, at the Gates of Constantinople--he is said to have
been poisoned--opened the way for the Turkish occupation of the Balkan
Peninsula. That occupation was made possible in the first instance by
the mutual jealousies of the Christian peoples of the Balkans. It was
kept in existence for centuries by the same weaknesses arising from
jealousy. In 1912 it was swept away in a month because in a spasm of
common sense the Balkan Christian peoples had united. In 1913 it was in
part restored because internecine strife had broken out again among the
Balkan natives recently allied. It will probably continue until the
lesson of unity is learned again.



It seems to be difficult to speak without violent prejudice on the
subject of the Turk in the Balkans. One school of prejudice insists that
the Turk is the finest gentleman in the world, who has been always the
victim and not the oppressor of the Christian peoples by whose side he
lives, and whose territories he invaded with the best of motives and
with the minimum of slaughter. The other school of prejudice credits the
Turk with the most abominable cruelty, treachery, and lust, and will
hear no good of him. In England the issue is largely a political one. A
great Liberal campaign was once founded on a Turkish massacre of
Bulgarians in the Balkans. That made it a party duty for Liberals to be
pro-Bulgarian and anti-Turk, and almost a party duty for Conservatives
to find all the Christian and a few ex-Christian virtues in the Turk.
Before attempting to judge the Turk of to-day, let us see how he stands
in the light of history. It was in the fourth century that the first
Saracens came to the Balkan Peninsula as allies of the Greek Empire
against the Goths. They were thus called in by a Christian Power in the
first instance. It was not until the fourteenth century that the Turks
made a serious attempt to occupy the Balkan Peninsula. They were helped
in their campaign considerably by the Christian Crusaders, who,
incidentally to their warfare against the Infidel who held the Holy
Sepulchre, had made war on the Greek Empire, capturing Constantinople,
and thus weakening the power of Christian Europe at its threshold.
Bulgaria, too, refused help to the Greeks when the Turkish invasion had
to be beaten off. The Turks' coming to the Balkans was thus largely due
to Christian divisions.

[Illustration: _Sébah & Joaillier_


Built by Justinian I, consecrated 538, converted into a Mohammedan
mosque 1453. It is now thought that the design of its famous architect,
Anthemius of Tralles, was never completed. The minarets and most of the
erections in the foreground are Turkish]

Without being able at the time to capture Constantinople, the invading
Turks occupied soon a large tract of the Balkan Peninsula. By 1362 they
had captured Philippopolis and Eski Zagora, two important centres of
Bulgaria. It was not a violence to their conscience for some of the
Bulgarian men after this to join the Turkish army as mercenaries. When
the sorely-beset Greeks sent the Emperor John Paleologos to appeal for
help to the Bulgarians, he was seized by them and kept as a prisoner.

A united Balkan Peninsula would have kept off the Turks, no doubt. But a
set of small nations without any faculty of permanent cohesion, and
hating and distrusting one another more thoroughly than they did the
Turk, could do nothing. The Balkan nations of the time, though united
they would have been really powerful, allowed themselves to be taken in
detail and crushed under the heels of an invader who was alien in blood
and in religion. In 1366 the Bulgarians became the vassals of the Turks,
and the Serbians were defeated at Kossovo. The fall of the Greek Empire
and the subjugation of Roumania followed in due course, and by the
seventeenth century the Turks had penetrated to the very walls of
Vienna. At one time it seemed as if all Europe would fall under the sway
of Islam, for, as elsewhere than in the Balkans, there were Christian
States which were treacherous to their faith. But that happily was
averted. For the Balkan Peninsula, however, there were now to be
centuries of oppression and religious persecution. It will be convenient
once again to set forth under three national headings the chief facts
regarding the Turkish conquest of the Balkans.

_Bulgaria._--By 1366 weakness in the field and civil dissensions had
brought Bulgaria to the humiliation of becoming the vassal of the Turk.
In 1393 the Turks, not content with mere suzerainty, occupied Bulgaria
and converted it into a Turkish province. In 1398 the Hungarians and the
Wallachians (Roumanians) made a gallant attempt to free Bulgaria from
the Turkish yoke, but failed. Some of the Bulgarians joined in with
their Turkish conquerors, abandoned the Christian religion for that of
Islam, and were the ancestors of what are known to-day as the Pomaks.
The rest of the people gave a reluctant obedience to the Turkish
conqueror, preserving their Christian faith, their Slav tongue, and
their sense of separate nationality. The Greeks, who had come to some
kind of terms with the Turkish invaders, assisted to bring the Bulgarian
people under subjection. The Greek church and the Greek tongue rather
than the Turkish were sought to be imposed upon the Bulgarians. The
subject people accepted the situation with occasional revolts, but more
tamely than some other Balkan nations. It was not a general meek
acquiescence, though it was--possibly by chance, possibly because of the
fact that a racial relationship existed between conqueror and
conquered--not so fierce in protest as that of the Serbians. In writing
that, I do not follow exactly the Bulgarian modern view, which
represents as much more vivid the sufferings and the protests of the
Bulgarian people, and ignores altogether the racial relationship which
existed between Bulgarian and Turk, and enabled a section of the
Bulgarian nation to fall into line with the conqueror and embrace his
religion and his habits of life, a relationship which to this day shows
its traces in the Bulgarian national life. But in Balkan history as
written locally, there is usually a certain amount of political
deflection from the facts. A modern Balkan historian, giving what may be
called the official national account of the times of the Turkish
domination, says (_Bulgaria of To-day_):

     Had the rulers been of the same race and religion as the
     vanquished, the subjection might have been more tolerable. Ottoman
     domination was not, however, a simple political domination.
     Ottoman tyranny was social as well as political. It was keenly and
     painfully felt in private as well as in public life; in social
     liberty, manners and morals; in the free development of national
     feeling; in short, in the whole scope of human life. According to
     our present notions, political domination does not infringe upon
     personal liberty, which is sacred for the conqueror. This is not
     the case with Turkish rule. The Bulgarians, like the other
     Christians of the Balkan Peninsula, were, both collectively and
     individually, slaves. The life, possessions, and honour of private
     individuals were in constant peril. The bulk of the people, after
     several generations, calmed down to passivity and inertia. From
     time to time the more vigorous element, the strongest
     individualities, protested. Some Bulgarian whose sister had been
     carried off to the harem of some pasha would take to the mountains
     and make war on the oppressors. The haidukes and voivodes,
     celebrated in the national songs, kept up in mountain fastnesses
     that spirit of liberty which later was to serve as a cement to
     unite the new Bulgarian nation.

     But it is a noteworthy fact that the Osmanlis, being themselves but
     little civilised, did not attempt to assimilate the Bulgarians in
     the sense in which civilised nations try to effect the intellectual
     and ethnic assimilation of a subject race. Except in isolated
     cases, where Bulgarian girls or young men were carried off and
     forced to adopt Mohammedanism, the government never took any
     general measures to impose Mohammedanism or assimilate the
     Bulgarians to the Moslems. The Turks prided themselves on keeping
     apart from the Bulgarians, and this was fortunate for our
     nationality. Contented with their political supremacy and pleased
     to feel themselves masters, the Turks did not trouble about the
     spiritual life of the _rayas_, except to try to trample out all
     desires for independence. All these circumstances contributed to
     allow the Bulgarian people, crushed and ground down by the Turkish
     yoke, to concentrate and preserve its own inner spiritual life.
     They formed religious communities attached to the churches. These
     had a certain amount of autonomy, and, beside seeing after the
     churches, could keep schools. The national literature, full of the
     most poetic melancholy, handed down from generation to generation
     and developed by tradition, still tells us of the life of the
     Bulgarians under the Ottoman yoke. In these popular songs, the
     memory of the ancient Bulgarian kingdom is mingled with the
     sufferings of the present hour. The songs of this period are
     remarkable for the oriental character of their times, and this is
     almost the sole trace of Moslem influence.

     In spite of the vigilance of the Turks, the religious associations
     served as centres to keep alive the national feeling.

A conquered people which was allowed to keep up its religious
institutions (with "a certain amount of autonomy"), and later to found
national schools ("to keep alive the national feeling"), was not exactly
ground to the dust. And truth compels the admission that Bulgaria under
Turkish rule enjoyed a certain amount of material prosperity. When the
Russian liberators of the nineteenth century came to Bulgaria they
found the peasants far more comfortable than were the Russian peasants
of the day. The atrocities in Bulgaria which shocked Europe in 1875 were
not the continuance of a settled policy of cruelty and rapine. They were
the ferocious reprisals chiefly of Turkish Bashi-Bazouks (irregulars)
following upon a Bulgarian rising. The Turks felt that they had been
making an honest effort to promote the interests of the Bulgarian
province. They had just satisfied a Bulgarian aspiration by allowing of
the formation of an independent Bulgarian church, though this meant
giving grave offence to the Greeks. Probably they felt that they had a
real grievance against the Bulgars. After the Bulgarian atrocities of
1875 there ended the Turkish domination of the country.

_Serbia._--In December 1356 the great Serbian king, Stephen Dushan,
soldier, administrator, and economist, died before the walls of
Constantinople, and the one hope of the Balkan Peninsula making a stand
against the Turks was ended. Shortly after, the Turks had occupied
Adrianople, their first capital in Europe, defeating heavily a combined
Serbian and Greek army. Later the Serbian forces were again defeated by
the great Turkish sultan Amurath I., and the Serbian king was killed on
the battle-field. King Lazar, who succeeded to the Serbian throne, made
some headway against the invaders, but in 1389, at the Battle of
Kossovo, the Serbian Empire came tumbling to ruins. The Turkish leader,
Amurath, was killed in the fight, but his son Bajayet proved another
Amurath and pressed home the victory. Serbia became a vassal state of

But there was to be still a period of fierce resistance to the Turk. In
1413 the Turks, dissatisfied with the attitude of the Serbs, entered
upon a new invasion of the territory of Serbia. In 1440 Sultan Amurath
II. again overran the country and conquered it definitely, imposing not
merely vassalage but armed occupation on its people. John Hunyad, "the
White Knight of Wallachia," came to the rescue of the Serbs, and Amurath
II. was driven back. An alliance between Serbs and Hungarians kept the
Turk at bay for a time, and in 1444 Serbia could claim to be free once
again. But the respite was a brief one. In 1453 Constantinople fell to
the Turks, and the full tide of their strengthened and now undivided
power was turned upon Serbia. A siege of Belgrade in 1457 was repulsed,
but in 1459 Serbia was conquered and annexed to European Turkey. Lack of
unity among the Serbs themselves had contributed greatly to the national
doom, but on the whole the Serbs had put up a gallant fight against the
Turks. And even now a section of them, the Montenegrins, in their
mountain fastnesses kept their liberty, and through all the centuries
that were to follow never yielded to the Crescent.

The condition of the Serbs in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries was
very unhappy. They could come to no manner of contentment with Turkish
rule, and sporadic revolts were frequent. At times the Hungarians from
the other side of the Danube came to the aid of the revolters, but never
in such strength as to shake seriously the Turkish power. Very many of
the Serbs left their country in despair and sought refuge under the
Austrian flag. To-day a big Serb element, under the flag of
Austro-Hungaria, is one of the racial difficulties of the Dual

[Illustration: _Underwood & Underwood_


The Serb exiles carried to their new homes their old sympathies, and
largely because of their efforts Austria in 1788 went to the rescue of
Serbia, and for a brief while the land again was free. But the Turkish
power returned and Serbia stumbled blindly, painfully through years of
reprisals, which culminated in the great massacre of Serbs by Turks in
1804, which, like the Turkish massacre of Bulgarians in 1875, really
declared the doom of the Turkish power in the country. Following this
massacre George Petrovic, "Black George," or "_Kara_ George," as the
Serbians knew him, raised the standard of revolt among his countrymen.
He was a fierce blood-stained man, this first liberator of the Serbs, a
man on whose head was the blood of his father and his brother. His grim
character was fitted for his grim task. The story of that task will come
better within the scope of a following chapter, which will tell of the
liberation of the Balkans from the Turks.

_Roumania._--It was not until 1391 that the Turks crossed the Danube and
attacked the kingdoms of Wallachia and Moldavia, and reduced Wallachia
to the position of a tributary state. King Mirtsched made a gallant
fight against the invaders, but the Turks proved too strong. That was
the beginning of a Turkish dominance of Roumania, which was never so
complete as that exercised over Bulgaria and Serbia, but left the two
Roumanian kingdoms of Wallachia and Moldavia as vassal states. Mutual
jealousy between them prevented effective operations against the Turk,
and helped to make their vassalage possible. In the fifteenth century
both kingdoms had great rulers. Wallachia was ruled by Vlad the Impaler,
an able but cruel man, who seems to have earned the infamy of inventing
a form of torture still practised in the Balkans as a matter of
religious proselytising, that of sitting the victim on a sharp stake,
and leaving him to die slowly as the stake penetrated his body. Moldavia
had as king Stephen the Great, who has no such ghastly reputation of
cruelty. But able princes could effect little with communities weakened
by the luxury of the nobles and the helpless poverty of the serfs.
Still, the Roumanians had intervals of victory. In the sixteenth century
Michael the Brave (whose memory is commemorated by a statue in
Bucharest) drove the Turks back as far as Adrianople, liberating
Roumania and Bulgaria. He annexed Moldavia and Transylvania to
Wallachia, and was in a sense the founder of modern Roumania. But the
union thus effected was not enduring and the Turkish ascendancy grew
stronger. The Turkish suzerain forced upon the Roumanian peoples
governors of the Greek race, who carried on the work of oppression and
spoliation with an industrious effectiveness quite beyond the capacity
of the Turk, who at his worst is a fitful and indolent tyrant.

In the last quarter of the seventeenth century the Russian Power began
to take a close interest in Roumania. In 1711 there was a definite
Russian-Roumanian alliance. By this time the Roumanians were resolutely
hostile to the Turkish domination. True, they had been spared most of
the cruelties which were in Servia a customary and in Bulgaria an
occasional concomitant of Turkish rule. But they were deeply injured by
the corrupt, the luxurious, the exacting administration of the Greek
rulers forced upon them by the Turkish government. Though they suffered
little from massacre they suffered much from "squeeze." There was not
only the greed of the Turk but the greed of the intermediate Greek to be
satisfied. From 1711 until the final liberation of Roumania, Roumanian
sympathies were generally with the Russians in the frequent wars waged
by them against Turkey. In 1770 the Russians occupied Roumania and freed
it for a time from the Turk, but in 1774 the Roumanians went back to
the Turkish suzerainty. During the Napoleonic wars Russia gave Roumania
some reason to doubt the disinterestedness of her friendship by annexing
the rich province of Bessarabia, a part of the natural territory of the
Roumanian people. The year 1821 saw the outbreak of the Greek war of
independence, in which Roumania took no part, having as little love for
the Greek as for the Turk. She won one advantage for herself from the
war, the right to have her native rulers under Turkish suzerainty. In
1828, as a result of a Russo-Turkish war, Roumania won almost complete
freedom, conditional only on tribute being continued to be paid to the
Sultan. She found a new master, however, in Russia, and was forced to
keep up a Russian garrison within her borders, nominally as a protection
against Turkey, really as a safeguard against the growth in her own
people of a spirit of national independence. The Crimean War (1853)
freed Roumania from this Russian garrison, and in 1856 the Treaty of
Paris declared Roumania to be an independent principality under Turkish

[Illustration: _Underwood & Underwood_


_Montenegro._--The existence of Montenegro as a separate Balkan state
dates back to the Battle of Kossovo. The Montenegrin is a Serbian
Highlander, and whilst the Serbian Empire flourished, claimed for
himself no separate national entity. When, however, the rest of Serbia
was subjugated by the Turks, "the Black Mountain" held out, and there
gathered within its little area of rocky hill fastnesses the free
remnants of the Serbian race. The story of that little nation is quite
the most wonderful in all the world. It transcends Sparta, and makes the
fighting record of the Swiss seem tame. At the height of its power
Montenegro had a population of perhaps 8000 males, and little source of
riches from mines, from trade, or even from fertile agricultural land.
Yet Montenegro kept the Turks from her own territory, and was able at
times to give valuable help to the rest of Europe in withstanding the
invasion of Islam.

The system of government instituted was that of a theocratic despotism:
the head of the nation was its chief bishop, and he had the right to
nominate a nephew (not a son--as a bishop of the Greek Communion he
would be celibate) to succeed him. The Montenegrin dynasty was founded
in 1696 by King Danilo I., and has endured to this day, though recently
the functions of the chief priest and king have been separated, and the
present monarch is purely a civil ruler.

It is not possible here to give even the barest mention of the leading
facts in the proud history of little Montenegro. In the seventeenth
century she was the valued friend of Venice against the Turks; in the
eighteenth century she was aided by Peter the Great of Russia; later she
met without being subdued the warlike power of Napoleon. All the time,
during every century, every year almost, there was constant warfare with
the Turks. One campaign lasted without interruption from 1424 to 1436,
and was marked by over sixty battles. The little population of the patch
of rocks in the mountains was worn down by this incessant fighting, but
was recruited by a steady flow of exiles from other parts of the Balkan
Peninsula, anxious for freedom and for revenge on the Turk. Sometimes
the tide of battle went sorely against the mountaineers, and almost all
their country was put under the heel of the Moslem. But always one eyrie
was kept for the free eagles, and from it they swooped down with renewed
strength to send the invader once again across their borders. Repeatedly
the Turk levied great armies for the conquest of Montenegro (once the
Turkish force reached to the number of 80,000). Repeatedly great
European Powers which had proffered help or had been begged for help
failed little Montenegro at a crisis. But never were the stout hearts of
the Black Mountain quelled. In 1484, when Zablak had to be evacuated and
the whole nation was confined to the little mountain fortress of
Cettinje, Ivan the Black offered to his people the choice of ending the
war and making peace with the Turks. They rejected the idea, and swore
to stand by the freedom of Montenegro until the last. The oath was never
broken. Right down to 1832 a free Montenegro faced Turkey. In that year
the Turks, despairing of an occupation of the country, suggested that
Montenegro should agree at least to pay tribute. That offer was rejected
and yet another war entered upon. A war against Austria followed, in
which the desperate Montenegrins used the type of their printing presses
to make bullets for the soldiers.


Weekly Drill and Inspection of Weapons]

That there was lead type to be so used shows that the Montenegrins had
not altogether neglected the arts of peace. In 1493 a printing press had
been set up in Cettinje and the first Montenegrin book printed in the
Cyrillic character. During the next century this printing press was
kept busy with the issue of the Gospels and psalters under the rule of
the brave Bishop Babylas. The state of Montenegro at this time aroused
the admiration of the Venetians, and there is extant a book in praise of
Montenegro written in 1614 by a Venetian noble, Mariano Bolizza.

When the time came for the other Balkan States to throw off the Turkish
yoke Montenegro was not reluctant to join in the movement for
liberation, and she was later first in the field in the campaign of

This very brief record of the leading facts of Balkan history has now
brought each of the peoples up to the stage at which the final and
successful effort was made with the help of Russia to drive the Turks
out of Balkan territory. The story of that effort will be told in the
succeeding chapter.



In the nineteenth century the Turkish dominion was pushed back in all
directions from the Balkan Peninsula. At the dawn of that century
Montenegro was the only Balkan state entirely free from occupation,
vassalage, or the duty of tribute to the Sublime Porte. At the close of
that century Montenegro, Serbia, Roumania, Greece, and Bulgaria were all
practically free and self-governing.

In 1804, as has been recorded, Kara George in Serbia raised the standard
of revolt against Turkey. In 1806 the Serbs defeated the Turks in a
pitched battle, and for a moment Serbia was free. But in 1812 when the
Turkish power resolved upon a great invasion of Serbia, the heart of
Kara George failed him and he left his country to its fate, taking
refuge in Austria. Thus deserted by their leader, the Serbs did not
abandon the struggle altogether. Milosh Obrenovic stepped to the front
as the national champion, and though he could make no stand against the
Turkish troops in the open field he kept up an active revolt from a base
in the mountains. The contest for national liberty went on with varying
fortune. Troubles at this time were thickening around Turkey, and
whenever she was engaged in war with Russia the oppressed nationalities
within her borders took the opportunity to strike a blow for liberty. By
1839--it is not possible to make a record of all the dynastic changes
and revolutions which filled the years 1812-1839--Serbia was practically
free, with the payment of an annual tribute to Turkey as her only bond.
During the Crimean War she kept her neutrality as between Russia and
Turkey. The Treaty of Paris (1856) confirmed her territorial
independence, subject to the payment of a tribute to Turkey. In 1867 the
Turkish garrisons were withdrawn from Serbia; but the tribute was still
left in existence until the date of the Treaty of Berlin.

[Illustration: _Exclusive News Agency_


Roumania in 1828 (then Wallachia and Moldavia) had won her territorial
independence of Turkey subject only to payment of a tribute. The Treaty
of Paris (1856) left her under a nominal suzerainty to Turkey. In 1859
the two kingdoms united to form Roumania, and in 1866 the late King
Charles, as the result of a revolution, was elected prince of the united

Bulgaria had remained a fairly contented Turkish province until the
rising of 1875, and its cruel suppression by the Bashi-Bazouks. As a
direct consequence of that massacre European diplomacy turned its
serious attention to the Balkan Peninsula, and at a Conference demands
were made upon Turkey for a comprehensive reform applying to Serbia,
Montenegro, Bosnia, Herzegovina, and Bulgaria. The proposed reform was
particularly drastic as applied to Bulgaria, which was still in effect
Turkish territory, whilst all the other districts had achieved a
practical freedom. It was proposed to create two Bulgarian provinces
divided into Sandjaks and Kazas as administrative units, these to be
subdivided into districts. Christian and Mohammedans were to be settled
homogeneously in these districts. Each district was to have at its head
a mayor and a district council, elected by universal suffrage, and was
to enjoy entire autonomy in local affairs. Several districts would form
a Sandjak with a prefect (_mutessarif_) at its head who was to be
Christian or Mohammedan, according to the majority of the population of
the Sandjak. He would be proposed by the Governor-General, and nominated
by the Porte for four years. Finally, every two Sandjaks were to be
administered by a Christian Governor-General nominated by the Porte for
five years, with consent of the Powers. He would govern the province
with the help of a provincial assembly, composed of representatives
chosen by the district councils for a term of four years. This assembly
would nominate an administrative council. The provincial assembly would
be summoned every year to decide the budget and the redivision of taxes.
The armed force was to be concentrated in the towns and there would be
local militia besides. The language of the predominant nationality was
to be employed, as well as Turkish. Finally, a Commission of
International Control was to supervise the execution of these reforms.

The Sublime Porte was still haggling about these reforms when Russia
lost patience and declared war upon Turkey on April 12, 1877. Moving
through the friendly territory of Roumania, Russia attacked the Turkish
forces in Bulgarian territory. In that war the Russians found that the
Turks were a gallant foe, and the issue seemed to hang in the balance
until Roumania and Bulgaria went actively to the help of the Russian
forces. The Roumanian aid was exceedingly valuable. Prince Charles
crossed the Danube at the head of 28,000 foot soldiers and 4000 cavalry.
He was appointed Commander-in-Chief of the forces against Plevna, and
his soldiers were chiefly responsible for the taking of the Grivica
Redoubt which turned the tide of victory against the Turks. The
Bulgarians did but little during the campaign: it was not possible that
they should do much seeing that they could only put irregulars in the
field. Nevertheless some high personal reputations for courage were
made. During my stay with the Bulgarian army in 1912 I noted that there
were of the military officers three classes, the men who had graduated
in foreign military colleges--usually Petrograd,--very smart, very
insistent on their military dignity, speaking usually three or four
languages; officers who had been educated at the Military College,
Sofia; and the older Bulgarian type, dating sometimes from before the
War of Liberation. Of these last the outstanding figure was General
Nicolaieff, who as captain of a Bulgarian company rushed a Turkish
battery beneath Shipka after the Russians had been held up so long that
they were in despair. A fine stalwart figure General Nicolaieff showed
when I met him at Yamboli, a hospital base town of which he was military
commandant. Another soldier of the War of Liberation, a captain in rank,
I travelled with for a day once between Kirk Kilisse and Chorlu. We
chummed up and shared a meal of meat balls cooked with onions, rough
country wine (these from his stores), and dates and biscuits (from my
stores). He spoke neither English nor French, but a Bulgarian doctor who
spoke French acted as interpreter, and the old officer, who after long
entreaty at last had got leave to go down to the front in spite of his
age, yarned about the hardships and tragedies of the fighting around
Stara Zagora and the Shipka Pass. Some of the Bulgarians, he said, took
the field with no other arms than staves and knives, and got their first
rifles from the dead of the battle-fields.

[Illustration: THE SHIPKA PASS]

Serbia took a hand in this campaign, too, though she hesitated for some
time, going to the aid of Russia through fear of Austria. Beginning
late, at a time when the mountains were covered in the winter snows, the
Serbians suffered severely from the weather, but won notable victories
at Pirot, at Nish, and at Vranga. The Turks were in full retreat on
Constantinople when the armistice and Treaty of San Stefano put an end
to the war.

It seems to be one of the standing rules of Balkan wars and Balkan peace
treaties that those who do the work shall not reap the reward, and that
a policy of standing by and waiting is the wisest and most profitable.
In this Russo-Turkish war the Roumanians had done invaluable work for
the Russian cause. In return the Treaty of San Stefano robbed them
shamefully. The Bulgarians had done little, except to stain the arms of
the allies with a series of massacres of the Turks in reprisal for the
previous atrocities inflicted upon them by the Bashi-Bazouks. The
Bulgarians were awarded a tremendous prize of territory. If the grant
had been confirmed it would have made Bulgaria the paramount power of
the Balkan Peninsula. By the Treaty of San Stefano, Bulgaria was made
an autonomous principality subject to Turkey, with a Christian
government and national militia. The Prince of Bulgaria was to be freely
chosen by the people and accepted by the Sublime Porte, with the consent
of the Powers. As regards internal government, it was agreed that an
assembly of notables, presided over by an Imperial Commissioner and
attended by a Turkish Commissioner, should meet at Philippopolis or
Tirnova before the election of the Prince to draw up a constitutional
statute similar to those of the other Danubian principalities after the
Treaty of Adrianople in 1830. The boundaries of Bulgaria were to include
all that is now Bulgaria, and the greater part of Thrace and Macedonia.

The European Congress of Berlin which revised the Treaty of San Stefano
recognised that the motive of Russia was to create in Bulgaria a vast
but weak state, which would obediently serve her interests and in time
fall into her hands: and that the injury proposed to be done to Roumania
was inspired by a desire to limit the progress of a courageous but an
unfortunately independent-minded friend. The Congress was suspicious of
the Bulgarian arrangement, and clipped off much of the territory
assigned to the new principality. The injury done to Roumania was
allowed to stand. Then, as in 1912-1913, when Balkan boundaries were
again under the discussion of an inter-European Conference, the vital
interests of the great Powers surrounding the Balkan Peninsula were to
keep its peoples divided and weak. Both Russia and Austria had more or
less defined territorial ambitions in the Balkans: and it suited neither
Power to see any one Balkan state rise to such a standard of greatness
as would enable it to take the lead in a Balkan Union. Especially was it
not the wish of Austria that any Balkan state should grow to be so
strong as to kill definitely the hope she cherished of extending down
the Adriatic and towards the Aegean.

By the Treaty of Berlin, which followed the Congress of Berlin, the
greater part of the Balkan Peninsula was freed altogether from Turkish
rule. Roumania and Serbia were relieved from all suggestion of tribute
or vassalage. Bulgaria was left subject to a tribute (which was very
quickly afterwards repudiated). Where the Turkish power was left in
existence in European Turkey it was a threatened existence, for the
newly freed Christian peoples began at once to conspire to help to
freedom their nationals left still under Turkish rule. The war of 1912
began to be prepared in 1878.

There was, however, a period of comparative peace. Roumania, though
discontented, decided to bide her time. Her prince was crowned king with
a crown made from the metal of Turkish cannon taken at Plevna. That was
the only hint that she gave of keeping in mind the greatness of her
services which had been so poorly rewarded.

Montenegro, whilst deprived of the great and the well-deserved expansion
which the Treaty of San Stefano offered, had some benefit from the
Treaty of Berlin. The area of the kingdom was doubled and it won access
to the Adriatic. A little later the harbour of Dulcigno was ceded to
Montenegro by Turkey under pressure from the Powers, and she was left
with only one notable grievance, that of being shut off from Serbia by
the Sanjak of Novi-Bazar, which Austria secured for Turkey, apparently
with the idea of one day seizing it on her way down to Salonica.

[Illustration: _Chusseau Flaviens_


Serbia increased her territory by one-fourth under the Treaty of Berlin,
but was not allowed to extend towards the Adriatic, and, nurturing as
she did a dream of reviving the old Serbian Empire, was but poorly

Bulgaria, if it had not been for the promises of the Treaty of San
Stefano, might have been fairly content with the provisions of the
Treaty of Berlin. She had been the first nation in the Balkans to yield
to the Turks. She had allowed her sons to act as mercenary soldiers to
aid the Turks against other Christians: and during the period of
oppression she had suffered less than any from the rigours of the
invader, had protested less than any by force of arms. Yet now she was
given freedom as a gift won largely by the sacrifices of others. But,
though having the most reason to be content, Bulgaria was the least
contented of all the Balkan States. The restless ambition of the people
guiding her destinies was manifested in an internal revolution which
displaced the first prince (Alexander of Battenberg) and put on the
throne the present king (Ferdinand of Coburg). Bulgaria, too, repudiated
the friendly tutelage which Russia wished to exercise over her

The territorial settlement made by the Berlin Treaty was first broken by
Bulgaria. That treaty had cut the ethnological Bulgaria into two,
leaving the southern half as a separate province under the name of
Eastern Rumelia. In 1885 Eastern Rumelia was annexed to Bulgaria with
the glad consent of its inhabitants, but in spite of the wishes of
Russia. Serbia saw in this the threat of a Bulgarian hegemony in the
Balkans, and demanded some territorial compensation for herself. This
was refused. War followed. The Bulgarians were victorious at the Battle
of Slivnitza, an achievement which was in great measure due to the
organising ability of Prince Alexander. The victory secured Rumelia for
Bulgaria. But no sense of gratitude to Prince Alexander survived, and
the Russian intrigue which secured his abdication and flight was
undoubtedly aided by a large section of the Bulgarian people.
Stambouloff, a peasant leader of the Bulgarians and its greatest
personality since the War of Liberation, was faithful to Alexander, but
was not able to save him.

[Illustration: _Underwood & Underwood_


The Bulgarian throne after Alexander's abdication was offered to the
King of Roumania. The acceptance of the offer would possibly have led to
a real Balkan Federation. The united power of Roumania and Bulgaria,
exercised wisely, could have gently pressed the other Balkan peoples
into a union. That, however, would have suited the aims neither of
Russia nor of Austria, the two Empires which guided the destinies of the
Balkans, chiefly in the light of their own selfish ends. The Roumanian
king refused the throne of Bulgaria, and in 1887 Prince Ferdinand of
Coburg became Prince of the State. It was not long before he fell out
with Stambouloff, the able but personally unamenable patriot who chiefly
had made modern Bulgaria. In the conflict between the two Prince
Ferdinand proved the stronger. Stambouloff was dismissed from office,
and in 1895 was assassinated in the streets of Sofia. No attempt was
made to punish his murderers.

In 1908 Bulgaria shook off the last shred of dependence to Turkey. The
bold action was the crown of a clever diplomatic intrigue by Prince
Ferdinand. Since the murder of Stambouloff the Prince had been
sedulously cultivating in public the friendship of Russia: but that had
not prevented him carrying to a great pitch of mutual confidence a
secret understanding with Austria. The Austrian Empire was anxious to
annex formally the districts of Bosnia and Herzegovina, of which it had
long been in occupation. Objection to this would surely have come from
Russia; but Russia was impotent for the time being after the disastrous
war with Japan. Just as surely it would come from Serbia which would see
thus definitely pass over to the one Power, which she had reason to
fear, a section of Slav-inhabited country clearly connected to the Serbs
by racial ties. Serbia, it might be expected, would have the support of
France and England as well as Russia. For Bulgaria the offer to
neutralise Serbia made to Austria all the difference between an action
which was a little risky and an action which had no risk at all.
Bulgaria supported Austria in the annexation, and, as was to have been
expected, Serbia found protest impossible, since Russia, France, and
England swallowed the affront to treaty obligations to which they were
parties. It was Bulgaria's reward to have the support of the Triple
Alliance in throwing off all fealty and tribute to the Sublime Porte.
Prince Ferdinand became the Czar Ferdinand of Bulgaria.

Nor was that the end of Bulgarian ambition. The "big" Bulgaria of the
San Stefano treaty floated before the eyes of her rulers constantly, and
she began to prepare for a war against Turkey, of which the prize
should be Thrace and Macedonia. An obstacle in Macedonia was not only
that the Turks were in occupation, but that the Greeks considered
themselves entitled to the reversion of the estate. Rivalry between the
three nations was responsible for the Macedonian horrors, which went on
from year to year, and made one district of the Balkans a veritable hell
on earth. These horrors have been set at the door of the "Unspeakable
Turk." The Turk has quite enough to answer for in the many hideous
crimes which he has undoubtedly committed. It is not quite just to hold
him wholly responsible for the terrible state of Macedonia during the
last few years. Greek and Bulgarian were alike interested in making it
appear to the world that Turkish rule in Macedonia was impossible. To
effect this they insisted that rapine and massacre should become normal.
If the Turk did not wish for massacres he was stirred up to massacres.
Christian pastors were not prevented by their Christian faith from
murders of their own people, if it could be certain that the Turks would
have the discredit of them. Side by side with the atrocities which were
committed by Turks against Christians and Christians against Turks, the
two sets of warring Christians, the Bulgarian Exarchates and the Greek
Patriarchates, attacked one another with a fiendish relentlessness,
which equalled the most able efforts of the Turks in the way of rape,
murder, and robbery.

In excuse for part of this, _i.e._ that part which stirred up the Turks
to atrocities even when they wished to be peaceful, there could be
pleaded the good object of striving for the end of all Turkish rule in
Christian districts of the Balkans. The excuse will serve this far: that
without a doubt a Christian community cannot be governed justly by the
Turk, and the very strongest of steps are warranted to put an end to
Turkish domination of a district largely inhabited by Christians. But no
consideration, even that of exterminating Turkish rule, could justify
all the Christian atrocities perpetrated in Macedonia: and there is
certainly no shadow of an excuse for the atrocities with which Bulgarian
sought to score against Greek and Greek against Bulgarian. The era of
those atrocities has not yet closed. The Turk has been driven from
Macedonia, but Greek and Bulgarian continue their feud. For the time the
Greek is in the ascendant, whilst the Bulgarian broods over a revenge.



THE WARS OF 1912-13

By 1912, Greece, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Montenegro had contrived, in
spite of any past quarrels, in spite of the mutual jealousies even then
being displayed in the recurring Macedonian massacres, of Christians by
Christians as well as by Turks, to arrive at a sufficient degree of
unity to allow them to make war jointly on Turkey. Bulgaria and Serbia
concluded an offensive and defensive alliance, arranging for all
contingencies and providing for the division of the spoils which it was
hoped to win from the Turks. Between Bulgaria and Greece there was no
such definite alliance, but a military convention only. The division of
the spoil after the war was left to future determination, both Greek and
Bulgarian probably having it clearly in his head that he would have all
his own way after the war or fight the issue out subsequently. A later
Punch cartoon put this peculiarity of a Balkan alliance with pretty
satire. Greece and Serbia were discussing what they should do with the
spoils they were then winning from Bulgaria. "Of course we shall fight
for them. Are we not allies?" said one of the partners.

I was through the war of 1912 as war correspondent for the London
_Morning Post_, and followed the fortunes of the main Bulgarian army in
the Thracian campaign. In this book I do not intend to attempt a history
of the war but will give some impressions of it which, whilst not
neglecting any of the chief facts in any part of the theatre of
operations, will naturally be mainly based on observations with the

First, with regard to the political side of the war, one could not but
be struck by the exceedingly careful preparation that the Bulgarians had
made for the struggle. It was no unexpected or sudden war. They had
known for some time that war was inevitable, having made up their minds
for a considerable time that the wrongs of their fellow-nationals in
Macedonia and Thrace would have to be righted by force of arms. Attempts
on the part of the Powers to enforce reforms in the Christian Provinces
of Turkey had, in the opinion of the Bulgars, been absolute failures,
and they had done their best to make them failures, wishing for a
destroyed Turkey not a reformed Turkey. In their opinion there was
nothing to hope for except armed intervention on their part against
Turkey. And, believing that, they had made most careful preparation
extending over several years for the struggle. That preparation was in
every sense admirable. For instance, it had extended, so far as I could
gather, from informants in Bulgaria, to this degree: that they formed
military camps in winter for the training of their troops. Thus they did
not train solely in the most favourable time of the year for manœuvres,
but in the unfavourable weather too, in case that time should prove the
best for their war. The excellence of their artillery arm, and the proof
of the scientific training of their officers, prove to what extent their
training beforehand had gone.

When war became inevitable, the Balkan League having been formed, and
the time being ripe for the war, Bulgaria in particular, and the Balkan
States in general, were quite determined that war should be. The Turks
at this time were inclined to make reforms and concessions; they had an
inclination to ease the pressure on their Christian subjects in the
Christian provinces. Perhaps knowing--perhaps not knowing--that they
were unready for war themselves, but feeling that the Balkan States were
preparing for war, the Turks were undoubtedly willing to make great
concessions. But whatever concessions the Turks might have offered, war
would still have taken place. I do not think one need offer any harsh
criticism about the Balkan nations for coming to that decision. If you
have made your preparation for war--perhaps a very expensive
preparation, perhaps a preparation which has involved very great
commitments apart from expense--it is not reasonable to suppose that at
the last moment you will consent to desist from making that war. The
line which you may have been prepared to take before you made your
preparations you may not be prepared to take after the preparations have
been made. And, as the Turks found out afterwards, the terms which were
offered to them before the outbreak of the war were not the same terms
as would be listened to after that event.

To a pro-Turk it all will seem a little unscrupulous. But it is after
the true fashion of diplomacy or warlike enterprise. The simple position
was that Turkey was obviously a decadent Power; that her territories
were envied and that if there had not been a real grievance (there was a
real grievance) one would have been manufactured to justify a war of
spoliation. It not being necessary to manufacture a grievance, the
existing one was carefully nursed and stimulated: and when the ripe time
came for war the unreal pretext that war was the alternative to reform
and could be avoided by reform was put forward. No reform would have
stopped the war just as no "reform" would stop, say, San Marino
attacking the British Empire if she wanted something which the British
Empire has got and felt that she could get it by an attack.

I do not think that the Balkan League would have withdrawn from the war
supposing the Turks before the outbreak of the war had offered autonomy
of the Christian provinces. I was informed in very high quarters, and I
believe profoundly, that if the Turks had offered so much at that time
the war would still have taken place.

There is another interesting lesson to be gleaned from the political
side of this war. At the outset, the Powers, when endeavouring to
prevent hostilities, made an announcement that, whatever the result of
the war, no territorial benefit would be allowed to any of the
participants; that is to say, the Balkan States were informed, on the
authority of all Europe, that if they did go to war, and if they won
victories they would be allowed no fruits from those victories. The
Balkan States recognised, as I think all sensible people must recognise,
that a victorious army makes its own laws. They treated this _caveat_
which was issued by the Powers of Europe as a matter to be politely set
aside; and ignored it.

Political experience seems to show that if a nation, under any
circumstances, wishes its international rights to be respected, it must
be ready to fight for them. There is proof from contemporary history in
the respective fates of Switzerland and Korea. Both nations once stood
in very much the same position internationally; that their independence
was, in a sense, guaranteed. Korea's independence was guaranteed by both
the United States and Great Britain. But the independence of Korea has
now vanished. Korea could not fight for herself, and nobody was going to
fight for a nation which could not fight for herself. The independence
of Switzerland is maintained because Switzerland would be a very thorny
problem for any Power in search of territory to tackle. In case of an
attack on Switzerland, that country would be able to help herself and
her friends.

On the opposite side of the argument, we see the Balkan League entering
upon a desperate war, warned that they would be allowed no territorial
advantage from that war, but engaging upon it because they recognised
that a victorious army makes its own laws.

It was of wonderful value to the Bulgarian generals entering upon this
war that the whole Bulgarian nation was filled with the martial
spirit--was, in a sense, wrapped up in the colours. Every male Bulgarian
citizen was trained to the use of arms. Every Bulgarian citizen of
fighting age was engaged either at the front or on the lines of
communication. Before the war, every Bulgarian man, being a soldier, was
under a soldier's honour; and the preliminaries of the war, the
preparations for mobilisation in particular, were carried out with a
degree of secrecy that, I think, astonished every Court and every
Military Department in Europe. The secret was so well kept that one of
the diplomatists in Roumania left for a holiday three days before the
declaration of war, feeling certain that there was to be no war.
Bulgaria is not governed altogether autocratically, but is a very free
democracy in some respects. It has a newspaper Press that, on ordinary
matters, for delightful irresponsibility, might be matched in London.
Yet not a single whisper of what the nation was designing and planning
leaked abroad. Because the whole nation was a soldier, and the whole
nation was under a soldier's honour, secrecy could be kept. No one
abroad knew anything, either from the babbling of "Pro-Turks," or from
the newspapers, that a great campaign was being designed.

[Illustration: _Topical Press_


The Secret Service of Bulgaria before the war evidently had been
excellent. They seemed to know all that was necessary to know about the
country in which they were going to fight. This very complete knowledge
of theirs was in part responsible for the arrangements which were made
between the Balkan Allies for carrying on the war. The Bulgarian people
had made up their minds to do the lion's share of the work, and to have
the lion's share of the spoils. They knew quite definitely the state of
corruption to which the Turkish nation had come. When I reached Sofia,
the Bulgarians told me they were going to be in Constantinople three
weeks after the declaration of war. That was the view that they took of
the possibilities of the campaign. And they kept their programme as far
as Chatalja fairly closely.

The view of the Bulgarians as to the ultimate result of the war, and
what they had designed should be the division of spoil after the war, I
gathered from various classes in Bulgaria, speaking not only with
politicians but with bankers, trading people, and others. They concluded
that the Turk was going to be driven out of Europe, at any rate, as far
as Constantinople. They considered that Constantinople was too great a
prize for the Bulgarian nation, or for the Balkan States, and that
Constantinople would be left as an international city, to be governed by
a commission of the Great Powers. Bulgaria was, then, to have
practically all Turkey-in-Europe--the province of Thrace, and a large
part of Macedonia as far as the city of Salonica. Constantinople was to
be left, with a small territory, as an international city, and the
Bulgarian boundary was to stretch as far as Salonica. Salonica, they
admitted, was desired very much by the Bulgarians, and also very much by
the Greeks; and the Bulgarian idea in regard to Salonica before the war
was that it would be best to make it a free Balkan city, governed by all
the Balkan States in common, and a free port for all the Balkan States.
Then the frontier of Greece was to extend very much to the north, and
Greece was to be allowed all the Aegean Islands. The Serbian frontier
was to extend to the eastward and the southward, and what is now the
autonomous province of Albania (the creation of which has been insisted
on by the Powers) was to be divided between Montenegro and Servia.

That division would have left the Bulgarians with the greatest spoil of
the war. They would have had entry on to the Sea of Marmora; they would
have controlled, perhaps, one side of the Dardanelles (but I believe
they thought that the Dardanelles might also be left to a commission of
the Powers). It needed great confidence and exact knowledge as to the
state of the Turkish Army to allow plans of that sort to have been not
only formed, but to be generally talked about.

It must be tragical now for a patriotic Bulgarian to compare these high
anticipations with the actual results of the war, and to reflect that at
one time he had three-fourths of his hopes secure and then sacrificed
all by straining after the remainder.

The Bulgarian mobilisation--effected after lengthy preparation with
perfect success and complete secrecy--was a triumph of military
achievement. It emphasises a point often urged, that when a whole nation
is wrapt up in the colours, when every citizen is a soldier and taught
the code of patriotic honour of the soldier--then at a time of crisis,
spies, grumblers, critics are impossible. Bulgaria, as I have said, is
very democratic. Unlike Roumania, where a landed aristocracy survived
Turkish rule, the whole nation is of peasants or the sons and grandsons
of peasants. The nobles, the wealthy, the intellectuals were
exterminated by the Turk. Yet the strategy of the war suffered nothing
from the democracy of the people. They acted with a unity, a secrecy,
and a loyalty to the flag that no despotism could rival.

The mobilisation was effected on very slender resources. Official
statistics--perhaps for a reason--are silent regarding the growth of
railway material since 1909. But in that year there were only 155
locomotives in the country. As soon as war was anticipated these
provident and determined people set to amassing railway material, and
one railway official, without giving exact figures, talked of
locomotives being added by "fifties" at a time. I doubt that. But
perhaps there were between 200 and 225 locomotives in Bulgaria in
October 1912, though one military attaché gave me the figure at 193. It
was a slender stock, in any case, on which to move 350,000 men and to
keep them in supplies. But the people contributed all their horses,
mules, and oxen to the war fund. Soldiers were willing and able to walk
great distances, and within a few days all the armies were over the

The Bulgarians, by the way, began the war with a _moratorium_. (The week
of the declaration of hostilities, meeting some personages notable in
European finance, they ridiculed for this reason the idea of the war
being anything but a dismal failure from the point of view of the Balkan
States.) It was necessary to win in a hurry if they were to win at all.
They could take the field only because of the magnificent spirit of
their population. They could not keep the field indefinitely under any

The main line of communication was through Yamboli, and here the chief
force was massed whilst exploratory work was carried on towards
Adrianople and Kirk Kilisse. I believe that originally the capture of
Adrianople was the first grand object of the campaign, and that a
modification was made later either for political or military reasons, or
for a mixture of both. Up to the point at which Adrianople was invested
from the north, Kirk Kilisse captured, and the cavalry sent raiding
south-west to attack the Turk's lines of communication and to feel for
his field army, an excellent plan of campaign was followed. If the main
Bulgarian army had then swung over from Kirk Kilisse and had made a
resolute--and, under the circumstances, almost certainly
victorious--effort to rush Adrianople the natural course, from a
military point of view, would have been followed. The one risk involved
was that the Turkish field army would come up from the south and force a
battle under the walls of Adrianople, aided by a sortie from the
garrison. But the experience of Kirk Kilisse and the following battles
argued against this. There would have been, one may judge, ample time
allowed to subdue Adrianople with an army flushed by its success at Kirk
Kilisse, operating against a garrison thoroughly despondent at the

Kirk Kilisse, it must be noted in passing, was a vastly overrated
fortress. The Turks, I believe, valued it highly. The Bulgarians
triumphantly quoted a German opinion that it could withstand a German
army for three months. As a matter of fact, whilst it was a valuable
base for an enterprising field army, surrounded as it was by natural
features of great strength, it was not a real fortress at all. Still,
the moral effect of its capture was great, and on the flood of that
success the Bulgarian army could have entered Adrianople if it had been
willing to make the necessary great sacrifice of infantry.

A second sound--and more enterprising, and therefore probably better
course--was that which I thought at the time was being followed, to
pursue the Turks fleeing from Kirk Kilisse, to search out their field
army, give it a thrashing, and then swing back to subdue Adrianople. But
neither of these courses was followed. Kirk Kilisse was not followed up
vigorously in the first instance. After its capture the Bulgarian army
rested three days. During that time the fleeing Turks had won back some
of their courage, had come back in their tracks, recovered many of the
guns they had abandoned, and the battles of Ivankeui and Yanina--battles
in which the Bulgarian losses were very heavy--were necessary to do over
again work which had been already once accomplished. This criticism must
be read in the light of the fact that I am totally ignorant of the
transport position in the Bulgarian Third Army at the time. General
Demetrieff had made a wonderful dash over the wild country between
Yamboli and Kirk Kilisse, carrying an army over a track which took a
military attaché six days to traverse on horseback, and a hospital train
seven days to traverse by ox wagon. He might at the time have been
seriously short of ammunition, though Kirk Kilisse renewed his food and
forage supplies.

After three days the Bulgarians moved on. Ivankeui and Yanina were won,
and the pursuit continued until Lule Burgas, where the Turkish army in
the field was decisively defeated and driven with great slaughter
towards Chorlu, where its second stand was expected. That expectation
was not realised. The flight continued to Chatalja. This was the
turning-point of the campaign. Up to now the Bulgarian success had been
complete. If now Adrianople had been made the main objective, with a
small "holding" force left at Chorlu, the entry into Constantinople
would possibly have been realised. But the decision was made to "mask"
Adrianople and to push on with all available force towards

In considering this decision it is easy to be misled by giving
Adrianople merely the value of a fortress in the rear, holding a
garrison capable of some offensive, necessitating the detachment of a
large holding force. But that was not the position. Actually Adrianople
straddled the only practical line of communication for effective
operations against the enemy's capital. The railway from Bulgaria to
Constantinople passed through Adrianople. Excepting that line of
railway, there was no other railroad, and there was no other carriage
road, one might say, for the Turk did not build roads. Once across the
Turkish frontier there were tracks, not roads.


The effect of leaving Adrianople in the hands of the enemy was that
supplies for the army in the field coming from Bulgaria could travel by
one of two routes. They could come through Yamboli to Kirk Kilisse, or
they could come through Novi Zagora to Mustapha Pasha by railway, and
then to Kirk Kilisse around Adrianople. From Kirk Kilisse to the
rail-head at Seleniki, close to Chatalja, they could come not by
railway, but by a tramway, a very limited railway. If Adrianople had
fallen, the railway would have been open. The Bulgarian railway services
had, I think, something over 100 powerful locomotives at the outset of
the war, and whilst it was a single line in places, it was an effective
line right down to as near Constantinople as they could get.

But, Adrianople being in the hands of the enemy, supplies coming from
Yamboli had to travel to Kirk Kilisse by track, mostly by bullock wagon,
and that journey took five, six, or seven days. The British Army Medical
Detachment, travelling over that road, took seven days. If one took the
other road you got to Mustapha Pasha comfortably by railway. And then it
was necessary to use bullock or horse transport from Mustapha Pasha to
Kirk Kilisse. That journey I took twice; once with an ox wagon, and
afterwards with a set of fast horses, and the least period for that
journey was five days. From Kirk Kilisse there was a line of light
railway joining the main line. But on that line the Bulgarians had only
six engines, and, I think, thirty-two carriages; so that, for practical
purposes, the railway was of very little use indeed past Mustapha Pasha.
Whilst Adrianople was in the hands of the enemy, the Bulgarians had
practically no line of communication.

My reason for believing that it was not the original plan of the
generals to leave Adrianople "masked" is, that in the first instance I
have a high opinion of the generals, and I do not think they could have
designed that; but think rather it was forced upon them by the
politicians saying, "We must hurry through, we must attempt something,
no matter how desperate it is, something decisive." In the second
instance, after Adrianople had been attacked in a very half-hearted way,
and after the main Bulgarian army had pushed on to the lines of
Chatalja, the Bulgarians called in the aid of a Serbian division to help
them against Adrianople. I am sure they would not have done that if it
had not been their wish to subdue Adrianople. To be forced to invoke
Serbian aid was a serious wound to their vanity.

The position of the Bulgarian army on the lines of Chatalja, with
Adrianople in the hands of the enemy, was this: that it took practically
their whole transport facilities to keep the army supplied with food,
and there was no possibility of keeping the army properly supplied with
ammunition. So if the Bulgarian generals had really designed to carry
the lines of Chatalja without first attacking Adrianople, they
miscalculated seriously. But I do not think they did; I think it was a
plan forced upon them by political authority, feeling that the war must
be pushed to a conclusion somehow. Why the Bulgarians did not take
Adrianople quickly in the first place is to be explained simply by the
fact that they could not. But if their train of sappers had been of the
same kind of stuff as their field artillery, they could have taken
Adrianople in the first week of the war. The Bulgarians, however, had no
effective siege train. A Press photographer at Mustapha Pasha was very
much annoyed because photographs he had taken of guns passing through
the town were not allowed to be sent through to his paper. He sent a
humorous message to his editor, that he could not send photographs of
guns, "it being a military secret that the Bulgarians had any guns." But
the reason the Bulgarians did not want photographs taken was that these
guns were practically useless for the purpose for which they were

In short, whilst Adrianople stood it was impossible to keep 250,000 men
in the field at Chatalja with the guns and ammunition necessary for
their work. Therefore the taking of Adrianople should have followed the
Battle of Lule Burgas.

A reservation is perhaps necessary. If after Lule Burgas the victorious
Bulgarians had been able to push on at once, the fleeing Turks might
have been followed to the very walls of Constantinople. If even the
flower of the force to the extent of 50,000 men had gone on with all the
guns, ammunition, and food possible, the enterprise would probably have
succeeded. But one may judge that that too was impossible, in view of
the transport position. There was a long pause. Then an attempt was made
to do deliberately against an entrenched army what it was thought
impossible to do against a fleeing rabble. Reasons of humanity were
given to me to explain the hesitation to assault Adrianople. The
Bulgarians shrank from the great expenditure of men necessary, from the
sacrifice of the Christian population involved. Such reasons would be
admirable if truthful; but they are not war.

When the action against the lines of Chatalja was at last opened the
Turks had had time to entrench strongly, to recover their wind, to
recognise that they had come to the last ditch. On November 17, after
the artillery reconnaissance of the position by the Bulgarians, I had
slight hope that success would be possible; it looked as if they were
short of ammunition, and not well supplied with food. Shells were used
very sparingly. When a storm was necessary there was a shower. Even on
that day infantrymen were asked to do the work of shrapnel, and valuable
lives paid for very slight information. Still, the Turkish artillery
work was so poor; their sticking to their trenches was so persistent,
that I half anticipated that the night would see a big Bulgarian
success on the left flank, making an effective attack on the centre
possible with the morning. But by next morning little had been done.
That day was spent in a heroic display of infantry courage. Men rushed
out from trenches against forts the strength of which was unknown, with
practically no artillery backing. Certainly the day was misty, and
artillery work could not have been properly effective. If the position
was--as I guess it was--that there was no adequate supply of ammunition,
the choice of the day was good. If it were possible to succeed with
infantry alone it would have been possible on that day and with those
men. But it was impossible. That night operations were suspended, and
negotiations for peace followed.

Meanwhile in other quarters of the theatre of war the Balkan Allies had
been doing as well or even better. True, the Montenegrins were not very
successful against Scutari (it did not fall until the second phase of
the war), and the Greeks had been held up at Janina. But the Serbians
had swept the Turks from Old Serbia and from Northern Macedonia in fine
style, and had carried through an expedition of great gallantry over the
mountains to the Adriatic. As the Bulgarians and Turks stood at bay on
opposite ranges of hills within 25 miles of Constantinople, all that was
left of Turkish territory in Europe was the little peninsula on which
Constantinople stood, the peninsula of Gallipoli, and the towns of
Adrianople, Scutari, and Janina. It was certainly high time for the Turk
to talk of peace.

War was now interrupted for a time to allow the Balkan Allies who had
shown themselves so gallant in war to show their mettle as statesmen and
negotiators. It is one of the established facts of history that warlike
prowess alone has never made a nation securely great. Within the Balkan
Peninsula that was made plain during the invasions of the Goths and the
Huns. There was now to be a melancholy modern proof. At the end of 1912
the Balkan States, united and victorious, were in the position to take
the Balkan Peninsula for themselves and keep out European interference
for the future. They had soon dissipated all this advantage with mutual
jealousies and blundering negotiations. Already, before the Peace
Conference had actually begun its work, charges and counter-charges of
atrocities were bandied about between Bulgar and Greek. A Greek
official account set forth the following accusations:

     The detailed inquiry with regard to excesses and crimes committed
     by the Bulgarian army shows that they constitute a cause for the
     disturbances reported during the first days after the surrender of
     Salonica. According to this inquiry, the excesses of the Bulgarians
     can be divided into three categories: (1) damage to property; (2)
     crimes against the life and honour of private persons, especially
     Turks; and (3) offences--and these were the less frequent--due to
     misconceived political interest. In the majority of cases Bulgarian
     soldiers and peasants gave themselves up to pillaging. At
     Vassilika, Agiaparaskevi, Apostola, Alihatzilar, Serres, Langada,
     Asvestohori, Baroritza, Tohanli, Karaburnu, Vardar, Doiran, and
     Salonica pillaging and thefts of all kinds were committed, the
     stolen articles including horses, goats, sheep, barley, hay,
     jewels, and other articles of value, large sums of money, carpets,
     furniture, clothes, and arms. Attacks were made on Austrian
     subjects, and the Austrian Consulate in consequence, lodged an
     energetic protest. Unspeakable outrages were committed at Serres
     and at the other towns and villages mentioned above. At Doiran,
     despite the protests of the municipality, the Bulgarians seized and
     imprisoned the rich Turkish residents, who after having secured
     their liberty by the payment of enormous ransoms, were ambushed by
     the Bulgarians and massacred, sixty of them being killed.

     The political crimes were of little importance, as the greater
     number of the Bulgarians ardently desire the maintenance of the
     Balkan Alliance, especially a Greco-Bulgarian _entente_,
     safeguarding their political interests.

[Illustration: _Exclusive News Agency_


A general view, showing the Mosque of Sultan Selim on the left and the
Old Mosque on the right]

On the Bulgarian side just as positive charges against the Greeks were
made. It is not my province to attempt to judge as to the truth of the
Salonica events, but I quote this official charge as illustrative of the
spirit which had come over the Balkan League before the close of 1912.



Watching through many exciting weeks the course of a Balkan Peace
Conference, I had the opportunity of seeing another phase of the Near
Eastern character in its various sub-divisions--the Turkish, the
Grecian, the Roumanian, the Bulgarian, and the Serbian. It was in
certain general characteristics the same character with certain points
of difference, ranging from almost purely Oriental through various
grades until it reached to a phase which was rather more than half
European. In various aspects it was naïve, wily, deceitful,
vainglorious, truculent, servile, stubborn, supple. At times it was very
trying. Usually it was distinctly amusing. There were some exceptions
among the Balkan statesmen, but as a rule they were men of very ordinary
ability and very extraordinary conceit. Close association with them
dissipated for a time the extremely good impression that Bulgarian,
Serbian, Grecian, and Roumanian peasants and officials and traders had
made on me, meeting them as soldiers or as wayside hosts.

When the Bulgarian progress towards Constantinople was stopped at
Chatalja, the Bulgarian authorities favoured negotiations for peace. To
this Greece very strenuously, and Serbia more gently, objected. They
offered as an alternative suggestion to send aid to the Chatalja lines
to help Bulgaria to force things to a conclusion there. But by this time
the Balkan Allies were at least as much suspicious of one another as
they were hostile to the Turk. The troubles after the fall of Salonica
had given a picturesque illustration of the hollowness of the Balkan
League. Greece and Bulgaria had raced armies down for the capture of
that city, and the Greeks had won in the race by bribing the Turkish
commander to surrender to them--the Bulgarians said sourly (an absurd
accusation!). Now Bulgarian and Greek were at the point of open war in
Salonica, and were doing a little odd killing of one another to keep
their hands in practice. Around Adrianople Bulgarian and Serbian were
growling at one another, the Bulgarians treating their friends rather
badly, so far as I could judge. Both racial sections of the army of
siege were inclined to do very little, because each was waiting for the
other to begin. Bulgaria, too, was extremely anxious to have no more
friendly allied troops in the areas which she had marked out for
herself. She was aware that the Greek population of Thrace was agitating
for an autonomous Thrace instead of a Bulgarian annexation, and feared
that the presence of a Greek army in the province would strengthen this

In the upshot Serbia and Montenegro supported Bulgaria in the signing of
an armistice. Greece refused to sign an armistice, but joined in the
negotiations for a final peace which opened at the Conference of St.
James's, London, in December 1912. This Conference quickly resolved
itself into a wonderful acrobatic display of ground and lofty fiction,
of strange childish "bluffs," of complicated efforts at mystery which
would not deceive a Punch-and-Judy show audience.

In the East and the Near East, the man who wants to buy a horse goes to
the market-place in the first instance, and curses publicly all horses
and thoughts of horses. He proclaims that he will see his father's tomb
defiled before he will ever touch a horse again. Hearing of this, a man
who wishes to sell a horse appears in public, and proclaims that the
horse he has in his stall is the sun and the moon and the stars of his
life: that sooner than part with it he would eat filth and become as a
dog. At this stage the negotiations for a bargain are in fair progress.
After some days--the East and the Near East is not very thrifty with
time--a satisfactory bargain is struck.

The Balkan Peace Conference was carried on very much on those lines. In
a London winter atmosphere, among the unimaginative and matter-of-fact
London population, the effect was strangely fantastic. In an early stage
of the negotiations the Turkish delegates (who were out to gain time in
the desperate hope that something would turn up) said one day that they
must ask for instructions on some point, about which they were as fully
instructed as it was possible to be: said the next sitting day that
unfortunately their instructions had not arrived: and the next sitting
day that their instructions had arrived but unfortunately they could
not decipher some of the words, and must refer to Constantinople again!
With all this it was difficult to believe that we lived in a civilised
age of telegraphs and newspapers and railway trains. The mind was
transported back insensibly to the times of the great Caliph of Bagdad.

Whilst the Turks dallied in the hope that something would turn up, and
devoted a painstaking but painfully obvious industry to the task of
trying to sow dissensions among the Balkan Allies, these Balkan Allies
engaged among themselves in a vigorous Press campaign of mutual abuse
and insinuation. The seeds of dissension which the Turk was scattering
refused to germinate, because already the field which was sown had a
full-grown crop. But the Balkan Allies had one point of elementary
common sense. They were resolved to take from the Turk all that was
possible before they fell out among themselves as to the division of the
spoil. (As it happened, they forgot to take into account the contingency
that after the division it would still be within the power of the Turk
to seek some revenge if they abandoned their League of Alliance, which
alone had made the humiliation of the Turkish Empire possible.)

The first squabble between the Allies was over the appointment of a
leader or chief spokesman of the Balkan delegates. If there had been a
touch of imagination and real friendliness between them they would have
selected the senior Montenegrin delegate in acknowledgment of the
gallantry which had kept Montenegro during all the centuries unsubdued
by the Turkish invader. Or there were reasons why the chief Greek
delegate should have been chosen, as he was Prime Minister in his own
country, and therefore the senior delegate in official position. But
there was not enough good feeling among the Allies to allow of any such
settlement. The delegation was left without an official spokesman and
there had to be a roster of Presidents in alphabetical order as the only
way to soothe the embittered jealousies of rival allies. That was the
first of a series of childish incidents.

Some of the delegates talked with the utmost freedom to the Press: and
if what they told was not always accurate it was nearly always
interesting. The loathsome wiles of the other Balkan fellow and his
black treachery were explained at length. It seemed seriously to be
thought that British and European opinion would be influenced by this
sort of fulmination in the more irresponsible Press.

Diplomacy under these conditions was bound to fail. The Turkish position
was at the time plainly desperate if only military considerations were
taken into account. A united front on the part of the Balkan delegates,
combining firmness with some suavity, would have convinced even the
procrastinating Turkish mind that the game was up and the only thing to
do was to make a peace on lines of "cutting the loss." But the constant
quarrels of the Balkan States' representatives between themselves
encouraged the Turks day by day to think that a definite split must come
between the Allies, and with a split the chance for Turkey to find a way
out of her desperate position. As it happened, Turkey played that game
too long: and the war was resumed and further heavy bloodshed caused.
Then the Peace Conference resumed with Turkey and Bulgaria, apparently
very anxious for peace on terms dictated by the Powers: and Greece and
Serbia anxious now for delays because they had made up their minds that
it was necessary to defend themselves against Bulgaria, and they wished
time for their preparations.

[Illustration: _Underwood & Underwood_


Throughout both Conferences Roumania hovered about in the offing waiting
confidently for an opportunity for pickings. Roumania had learned well
the lesson taught her by European diplomacy after the War of Liberation.
Then she had done great work, made enormous sacrifices, and won not
rewards but robberies. In the Balkan Wars of 1912-13 she stood apart,
risking nothing, and waiting for the exhaustion of the combatants to put
in her claims.

The second session of the Balkan Peace Conference came to an abrupt end
through practically an ultimatum from the British Foreign Secretary, Sir
Edward Grey, that peace with Turkey on the lines determined by the
Powers must be signed at once. The Grecian and Serbian delegates saw
then that the game of delay could no longer be played, signed the Peace
of London, and hurried away to their homes expecting an attack from

Some strange infatuation drove the Bulgarian leaders at that time to a
fit of madness. They had just wrung the last atom of concession from
Turkey, and had an enormous undisputed access of territory in Thrace and
in eastern Macedonia, with a good coastal frontage on the Aegean. True,
they were faced with a demand for a small territorial concession by
Roumania, and Greece disputed the right of Bulgaria to an area of
northern Macedonia, and Serbia disputed with her over her Macedonian
area. It would have been quite within the rules of Balkan diplomacy for
Bulgaria to have sought the help of one of her neighbours, so that she
might withstand the others. With proper adroitness she might have robbed
each in turn with the help of the others. But Bulgaria elected to fight
all of them at once. To Roumania she was rude, to Serbia stiff, to
Greece provocative. By joining hands with Serbia, which had helped her
very gallantly at Adrianople, and was now much injured by the decision
of the Powers that she was not to keep the Adriatic territory which she
had won in the war, Bulgaria might have coerced Greece and Turkey at
least, and perhaps have struck a better bargain with Roumania. But she
had conciliation for none.

The events that followed are as tragical as any that I can recall in
history. Bulgaria had within a few weeks raised herself to a position
which promised her headship of a Balkan Confederation. She might have
been the Prussia of a new Empire. Within a few days her blunders, her
intolerance, and her bad faith had humbled her to the dust. As soon as
she attacked Greece and Serbia--to attack such a combination was
absurd--Roumania moved down upon her northern frontier, and the Turk
moved up from the south. Neither Roumanian nor Turk were opposed. The
whole Bulgarian strength was kept for her late Allies: and yet the
Bulgarian forces were decisively routed by both Serbians and Greeks.

Of the dark incidents of that fratricidal war no history will ever tell
the truth. No war correspondents nor military _attachés_ accompanied the
forces. From the accusations and counter-accusations of the combatants,
from the eloquent absence of prisoners, from the ghastly gaps in the
ranks of the armies when they returned from the field, it is clear that
the war was carried on as a rule without mercy and without chivalry.
There was no very plentiful supply of ammunition on either side. That
fact enabled the combatants to approach one another more closely and to
inflict more savage slaughter. During the course of the war with Turkey
the Balkan Allies lost 75,000 slain. During the war between themselves,
though it lasted only a few days, it is said that this number was

Roumania, whose army though invading Bulgaria engaged in no battle,
finally dictated terms of peace. The Peace of Bucharest supplanted the
Peace of London. Bulgaria, beaten to the ground, had to give up all that
Roumania demanded, and practically all that Greece and Serbia demanded.
It was a characteristic incident of Balkan diplomacy that the unhappy
Bulgarians, having the idea of conciliating Roumania, conveyed the
territory to that state with expressions of joy and gratitude, to which
expressions the wily Roumanians gave exactly their true value.

[Illustration: _Exclusive News Agency_


View looking across the Great Bridge]

Turkey, meanwhile, had taken full advantage of the opportunity given to
her by Bulgaria. Beaten decisively she had had to agree to give up all
her European possessions with the exception of those beyond a line drawn
from Enos on the Black Sea to Midia on the Aegean. She saw now Bulgaria
powerless and calmly marched back, and seized again practically all
Thrace, including Adrianople, over which had been fought such great
battles, and Kirk Kilisse. The Bulgarians protested, appealed to Europe,
to Roumania in vain, then accepted the situation and professed a warm
friendship for Turkey. There seemed to be a movement for a joint
Turkish-Bulgarian attack upon Greece, which would have put the last
touch upon this tragic comedy of the Balkans. But the Powers vetoed this
enterprise if ever it were contemplated, and the Balkans for a while,
except for a little massacring in Macedonia and Albania, enjoyed an
unquiet peace. But the forces of hate and revenge waited latent.

The city which figured most prominently in the Balkan Wars of 1912-13
and the intervening diplomacy was Adrianople, the city founded by the
Emperor Adrian. It has seen more bloodshed probably than any other city
of the world. It was before Adrianople that the Roman Emperor Valerius
and his army were destroyed by the Goths, and the fate of the Roman
Empire sealed (a.d. 378). It was Adrianople that was first captured by
the Turkish invaders of the Balkans to serve as their capital until they
could at a later date capture Constantinople. Many sieges and battles it
saw until 1912, when the Bulgarians and Serbians gathered around its
marshy plains, and after several months of siege finally carried it by
assault. Finally it was re-captured by a mere cavalry patrol of the

Adrianople has its beauties seen from afar. The great mosque with four
slender minarets shines out from the midst of gardens and picturesque
villas over the wide plain which marks the confluence of the Maritza and
the Tchundra Rivers. But on nearer examination Adrianople, like all
other Turkish towns, is dirty, unkempt, squalid. Most Turkish towns in
the Balkans--Mustapha Pasha on the Maritza was an exception, looking
dirty and unattractive from any point of view--have a certain
enchantment when they first catch the eye of the traveller. It is the
custom of the richer Turks to build their villas on the high ground
around a town if there is any, and to surround them with gardens. These
embowered houses and the slender fingers pointing skyward of the
minarets, give a first impression of ample space, of delicacy in
architecture. Closer knowledge discloses the town as a herd of hovels,
irregularly set in a sea of mud (in dry weather a dirty heap of dust),
with the hilly outskirts alone tolerable.

I regret the wild Balkan diplomacy which doomed that Adrianople should
go back to the Turks. The Bulgarians would have made a fine clean city
of it: and had a project to canalise the Maritza and bring to the old
city of Adrian all the advantages of a seaport. Possibly, that will come
in the near future if, in renewing their strength, the Bulgarian nation
learn also some sense of diplomacy and moderation in using it.

Now the position is that for the first time for very many years the old
principle has been broken that the Turkish tide may retreat but must
never advance in Europe. During the negotiations of the first session of
the Balkan Peace Conference, the Balkan Committee--a London organisation
which exists to befriend the Balkan States--urged:

     Any district which should be restored to Turkish rule would be not
     only beyond the possibility of rehabilitation, but would suffer the
     second scourge of vengeance.... It would be intolerable that any
     such districts should meet the fate meted out to Macedonia in 1878.
     There is no ground for such restoration except the claim arising
     from the continued Turkish possessions of Adrianople. But
     compensation for the brief period during which Adrianople may still
     be defended would be represented by a district adjoining Chatalja,
     not exceeding, at all events, the vilayet of Constantinople....

     It is clearly our duty to call attention to the governing principle
     laid down by Lord Salisbury that any district liberated from
     Turkish rule should not be restored to misgovernment.... The
     ostensible ground for the action of Europe, and particularly of
     England in 1878, was that the Powers themselves undertook the
     reform of Turkish government in the restored provinces. They have
     since that day persistently restrained the small States from
     undertaking reform or liberation, while notoriously neglecting the
     task themselves. The promise to undertake reform was regarded in
     1878 in many quarters as sincere. But renewed restoration of
     Christian districts to Turkey to-day would, after the experiences
     of the past, be devoid of any shred of sincerity....

     The restoration of European and civilised populations to Turkish
     rule would be resented now, not merely by those who have
     sympathised with the Balkan Committee, but by the entire public,
     which recognises that the Allies have achieved a feat of arms of
     which even the greatest Power would be proud.

In 1914 no more was heard of "Lord Salisbury's principle," and in public
repute the Balkan States were in a position worse than any they had
occupied for half a century. Coming after a successful war such a result
condemns most strongly Balkan statesmen and diplomats.

[Illustration: _Exclusive News Agency_


Roumanian diplomacy during 1912-13 was subtle, wily, and unscrupulous,
enough to delight a Machiavelli. With all its ethical wickedness it was
the most stable element in the wild disorders of 1913; was efficacious
in insisting upon peace: and imposed a sort of rough justice on all
parties. Grecian diplomacy was of the same character as the Roumanian,
but not so supremely able. The difference, it appeared to me, was that
the Roumanian sought a grand advantage with a humble air: the Greek
would seek an advantage, even a humble one, with a grand air. A lofty
dignity sits well on the diplomacy which is backed by great force: there
should be something more humble in the bearing of the diplomat relying
upon subtle wiles. The Greek is a little too conscious of his heroic
past not to spoil a little the working of his otherwise very pliant
diplomacy. The Serbian in diplomacy was not so childish as the Bulgarian
and a great deal more amiable and modest. Europe has long given the
Serbian a bad reputation for bounce and bluster. In the events of
1912-13 he did nothing to earn such ill-repute. His work in the field
was done excellently and with little _réclame_. In Conference he was not
aggressive, but moderate, and, in my experience, more truthful than
other Balkan types.



Being a war correspondent with the Bulgarian army gave one far better
opportunities of studying Balkan scenery and natural characteristics
than war operations. After getting through to Staff headquarters at
Stara Zagora and to Mustapha Pasha, which was about twelve miles from
the operations against Adrianople, I found myself a kind of prisoner of
the censor, and recall putting my complaint into writing on November 7:

     It is the dullest of posts, this, at the tail of an army which is
     moving forward and doing brave deeds whilst we are cooped up by the
     censor, thirsting for news, and given an occasional bulletin which
     tells us just what it is thought that we should be told. True, we
     are not prisoners exactly. We may go out within a mile radius. That
     is the rule which must be faithfully kept under pain of being sent
     back to headquarters. Perhaps, now and again, a desperate
     correspondent, thinking that it would not be such a sad thing
     after all to be sent back to headquarters, takes a generous view of
     what a mile is. (Perhaps he has been used to Irish miles, which are
     of the elastic kind; short when you pay a car fare, long, very
     long, at other times.) But, supposing, with great energy and at
     dread risk of being sent back to headquarters a correspondent _has_
     walked one mile and one yard; or his horse, which cannot read
     notices, has unwittingly carried him on; and supposing that he has
     made all kinds of brilliant observations, analysing a speck of
     shining metal showing there, a puff of smoke elsewhere, a flash, or
     a scar on the earth, still there remains the censor. A courteous
     gentleman is the censor, with a manner even deferential. He cuts
     off the head of your news with the most malignant courtesy. "I am
     sorry, my dear sir, but that refers to movements of troops; it is
     forbidden. And that might be useful to the enemy. Ah, that
     observation is excellent; but it cannot go."

     Afterwards, there remains in your mind an impression of your
     wickedness in having troubled so amiable a gentleman, and on your
     telegraph form nothing, just nothing. Of course, if you like, you
     can pass along the camp chatter, the stories brought in by Greeks
     anxious to curry favour, the descriptions of the capture of
     Constantinople by peasants whose first cousins were staying at the
     Pera Hotel the day it happened. The censor is too wise a gentleman
     to interfere with the harmless amusement of sending that on. It
     does not harm; it may entertain somebody.

     So at the rear of the army, which is making the Christian arm more
     respected than it has been for some time in this Balkan Peninsula,
     we sit and growl. Those of us who are convinced that we possess
     that supreme capacity of a general "to see what is going on behind
     the next hill" are particularly sad. There are so many precious
     observations being wasted, theories which cannot be expressed,
     sagacious "I told you so's" which are smothered. We are at the rear
     of an army, and endless trains of transport move on; and if we can
     by chance catch the sound of a distant gun we are happy for a day,
     since it suggests the real thing. Some of us are optimists, and
     feel sure that we shall go forward in a day or two; that we shall
     be allowed to see the bombardment of Adrianople; if not that, then
     its capture; if not that, then something. Others are pessimists,
     and have gone home.

     It is easy to understand the anxiety of the Bulgarians. They are
     engaged in a big war. They know that some of the Great Powers are
     watching its progress with something more than interest and
     something less than sympathy. It is their impression that they can
     beat the Turks; but that afterwards they may have to meet an
     attempt to neutralise their victory. So they are anxious to mask
     every detail of their organisation. Secrecy applies to the past as
     well as to the present and the future. But it is very irritating;
     and one goes home, or holds on in the hope that something better
     will come after a time.

     Meanwhile one may learn a little of the country and its
     people--this country which has been riven by many wars. The
     map--with its names in several languages--gives indications of the
     wounds they inflicted. In Bulgaria, too, it shows how determined is
     the nationality of the people who have within a generation
     reasserted their right to be a nation. They permit no Turkish names
     to remain on their maps. Not only do the Arabic characters go, but
     also the Turkish names. Eski Sagrah, for example, gives place to
     the title it has on the best English maps. "Sagrah" means in
     Turkish a "dell," a place sheltered by a wood. "Eski" means "old."
     The Bulgarian has changed that to Stara Zagora, Bulgarian words
     with exactly the same significance. He wishes to wipe away all
     traces of the defiling hand of the Turk from his country, though
     tolerant of his Turkish fellow-subjects.

     Almost completely he succeeds, but not quite completely. The
     Turkish sweetmeats, the Turkish coffee keep their hold on the taste
     of the people, and away from the towns, among the peasants who till
     rich fields with wooden ploughs, there remain traces of the Eastern
     disregard for time. But even in the country the people are waking
     up to modern ideas, aroused in part by the American "drummer"
     selling agricultural machinery. But in his city of Sofia, "the
     little Paris," as he likes to hear it called, and in his towns the
     Bulgarian has become keen and bustling. He rather aspires to be
     thought Parisian in manner. A "middle class" begins to grow up. The
     Bulgarian prospers mightily as a trader, and when he makes money he
     devotes his son to a profession, to the staff of the army, the law,
     to public life. Also the Bulgarian is keen to add manufacturing
     industries to his agricultural resources, and there are cotton
     mills and other factories springing up in different places. The
     Bulgarian has a great faith in himself. Thinking over what he has
     done within forty years, it is easy to share that belief and to
     think of him one day with a great seaport on the Mediterranean
     aspiring to a place in the family council of Europe.

Afterwards, when by dint of hard begging, hard travelling, hard living,
and some hard swearing, I had forced my way through to the front, I
concluded that with the exception of Mustapha Pasha--where the Second
Army had failed at its task and was set to work on a dull siege, and was
consequently very bad-tempered--the famous censorship of the Bulgarian
Army was not so vexatious to the correspondents as to their editors. The
censors were usually polite, and tried to make a difficult position

When the correspondents were despatched it was thought that the Balkan
States, needing a "good Press," would be fairly kind. The expectation
was realised in the case of the Montenegrins and the Greeks. The
Serbians allowed the correspondents to see nothing. The Bulgarian idea
was to allow nothing to be seen and nothing to be despatched except the
"Te Deums." It was an aggravation of the Japanese censorship, and if it
is accepted as a model for future combatant States the "war
correspondent" will become extinct. I am not disposed to claim that an
army in the field should carry on its operations under the eyes of
newspaper correspondents; and there were special circumstances in regard
to the campaign of the Bulgarian army (which was a desperate rush
against a big people of a little people operating with the slenderest of
resources) that made a severe censorship absolutely necessary. But, that
allowed, there are still some points of criticism justified.

One correspondent, and one only, was exempted from censorship, and he
was not at the front but at Sofia. His special position as an informal
member of the Cabinet led to a concession which, to a man of honour, was
more of a responsibility than a privilege. At the outset the Russian and
French correspondents were highly favoured, and two English
correspondents--who were working jointly--were granted passes of credit
to all the armies. That privilege was afterwards granted to me towards
the end of the war. It should have been granted to all or none. A
censorship which is harsh but has no favouritism may be criticised, but
it cannot be held suspect. Throughout the campaign there was some
favouritism, the Russians having first place, the French next, the
English and Americans next, the Italians, Germans, Austrians, and others
coming last. The differentiation between nations was comprehensible
enough, in view of the political situation in Europe, but
differentiations between different papers of equal standing of the same
country cannot be defended. As I ended the campaign one of the three
favoured English correspondents, I speak on this point without
bitterness. Indeed, I found no valid grounds for abusing the censorship
until just as I was leaving Sofia, when I found that some of my messages
from Kirk Kilisse to the _Morning Post_ had been seriously (and, it
would seem, deliberately) mutilated _after_ they had passed the censor.
They were of some importance as sent--one the first account from the
Bulgarian side of the battle of Chatalja, the other a frank statement of
the position following that battle, which I did not submit to the censor
until after close consultation with high authority, and which was passed
then with some modifications, and, after being passed, was mutilated
until it had little or no meaning.

[Illustration: _Exclusive News Agency_


Commercial Road from Commercial Square]

In lighter vein I may record some of the humours of the censorship,
mostly from Mustapha Pasha, where the Second Army was held up and
everybody was in the worst of tempers. Mustapha Pasha would not allow ox
wagons to be mentioned, would not allow photographs of reservists to be
sent forward because they were not in full uniform, would not allow the
fact that Serbian troops were before Adrianople to be recorded. Indeed,
the censorship there was full of strange prohibitions. Going down to
Mustapha Pasha I noticed aeroplane equipment. The censor objected to
that being recorded then, though two days after the official bulletin
trumpeted the fact.

At Mustapha Pasha the custom was after the war correspondent had written
a despatch to bring it to the censor, who held his court in a room
surrounded by a crowd of correspondents. The censor insisted that the
correspondent should read the despatch aloud to him. Then the censor
read it over again aloud to him to make sure that all heard. Thus we all
learned how the other man's imagination was working, and telegraphing
was reduced to a complete farce. Private letters had to pass through the
same ordeal, and one correspondent, with a turn of humour, wrote an
imaginary private letter full of the most fervent love messages, which
was read out to a furiously blushing censor and to a batch of
journalists, who at first did not see the joke and tried to look as if
they were not listening. I have described the early days of Mustapha
Pasha. Later, when most of the men had gone away, conditions improved.

The "second censorship"--the most disingenuous and condemnable part of
the Bulgarian system--was applied with full force to Mustapha Pasha.
After correspondents, who were forbidden to go a mile out of the town
and forbidden to talk with soldiers, had passed their pitiful little
messages through the censor, those messages were not telegraphed, but
posted on to the Staff headquarters and then censored again, sometimes
stopped. Certes, the treasures of strategical observation and vivid
description thus lost were not very great, but the whole proceeding was
unfair and underhand. The censor's seal once affixed a message should go
unchanged. Otherwise it might be twisted into actual false information.

In almost all cases the individual censors were gentlemen, and
personally I never had trouble with any of them; but the system was
faulty at the outset, inasmuch as it was not frank, and was made worse
when it became necessary to change the plan of campaign and abandon the
idea of capturing Adrianople. Then the Press correspondents who had been
allowed down to Mustapha Pasha in the expectation that after two days
they would be permitted to follow the victorious army into Adrianople,
had to be kept in that town, and had to be prevented from knowing
anything of what was going on. The courageous course would have been to
have put them under a definite embargo for a period. That was not
followed, and the same end was sought by a series of irritating tricks
and evasions. The facts argue against the continuance of the war
correspondent. An army really can never be sure of its victory until the
battle is over. If it allows the journalists to come forward to see an
expected victory and the victory does not come, then awkward facts are
necessarily disclosed, and the moving back of those correspondents is
tantamount to a confession of a movement of retreat. If I were a general
in the field I should allow no war correspondents with the troops except
reliable men, who would agree to see the war out, to send no despatches
until the conclusion of an operation, and to observe any interdiction
which might be necessary then. Under these circumstances there would be
very few correspondents, but there would be no deceit and no

The holding up of practically all private telegraphic messages by the
authorities at the front was a real grievance. It was impossible to
communicate with one's office to get instructions. One correspondent,
arriving at Sofia at the end of the campaign, found that he had been
recalled a full month before. The unnecessary mystery about the locality
of Staff headquarters added to the difficulty of keeping in touch with
one's office.

The Bulgarian people made some "bad friends" on the Press because of the
censorship; but the sore feeling was not always justifiable. The worst
that can be said is that the military authorities did in rather a weak
and disingenuous way what they should have had the moral courage to do
in a firm way at the outset. The Bulgarian enterprise against the Turks
was so audacious, the need of secrecy in regard to equipment was so
pressing, that there was no place for the journalist. Under the
circumstances a nation with more experience of affairs and more
confidence in herself would have accredited no correspondents. Bulgaria
sought the same end as that which would have served secrecy by an
evasive way. Englishmen, with centuries of greatness to give moral
courage, may not complain too harshly when the circumstances of this
new-come nation are considered.

When the army of Press correspondents were gathered, it was seen that
there were several Austrians and Roumanians, and these countries were at
the time threatening mobilisation against the Balkan States. It was
impossible to expect that the Bulgarian forces should allow Roumanian
journalists and Austrian journalists to see anything of their operations
which might be useful to Austria or Roumania in a future campaign. Yet
it would not have been proper to have allowed correspondents other than
the Austrians and Roumanians to go to the front, because that would
perhaps have created a diplomatic question, which would have increased
the tension. It certainly would have given offence to Austria and to
Roumania. It would have been said that there was an idea that war was
intended against those nations; and diplomacy was anxious to avoid
giving expression to any such idea. The military attachés were in
exactly the same position.

There were the Austrian attaché and the Roumanian attaché, and their
duty was to report to their Governments all they could find out that
would be to the advantage of the military forces of their Governments.
The Bulgarians naturally would not allow the Roumanian nor the Austrian
attaché to see anything of what went on. The attachés were even worse
treated than the correspondents, because, as the campaign developed, the
Bulgarians got to understand that some of us were trustworthy, and we
were given certain facilities for seeing. But we were still without
facilities for the despatch of what we had seen. But the military
attachés were kept right in the rear all the time. They were taken over
the battle-fields after the battles had been fought, so that they might
see what victories had been gained by the Bulgarians.

The Bulgarians were much strengthened in their attitude towards the war
correspondents by the fact that they admitted receiving much help in
their operations from the news published in London and in French
newspapers from the Turkish side. The Turkish army, when the period of
rout began, was in the position that it was able to exercise little
check on its war correspondents; and the Bulgarians had everything which
was recorded as being done in the Turkish army sent on to them. They
said it was a great help to them. I think the outlook for war
correspondents in the future is a gloomy one, and the outlook for the
military attaché also. In the future, no army carrying on anything
except minor operations with savage nations, no army whose interests
might be vitally affected by information leaking out, is likely to allow
military attachés or war correspondents to see anything at all.

The Balkan War probably will close the book of the war correspondent. It
was in the wars of the "Near East" that that book was first opened in
the modern sense. Some of the greatest achievements of the craft were in
the Crimean War, the various Turco-Russian wars, and the Greco-Turkish
struggle. It is an incidental proof of the popularity of the Balkan
Peninsula as a war theatre that the history of the profession of the war
correspondent would be a record almost wholly of wars in the Near East.

Certainly if the "war correspondent" is to survive he will need to be of
a new type. I came to that conclusion when I returned to Kirk Kilisse
from the Bulgarian lines at Chatalja, and had amused myself in an odd
hour with burrowing among a great pile of newspapers in the censor's
office, and reading here and there the war news from English, French,
and Belgian papers.

Dazed, dismayed, I recognised that I had altogether mistaken the duties
of a war correspondent. For some six weeks I had been following an army
in breathless anxious chase of facts: wheedling censors to get some few
of those facts into a telegraph office; learning then, perhaps, that the
custom at that particular telegraph office was to forward telegrams to
Sofia, a ten days' journey, by bullock wagon and railway, to give them
time to mature. Now here, piping hot, were the stories of the war. There
was the touching prose poem about King Ferdinand following his troops to
the front in a military train, which was his temporary palace. One part
of the carriage, serving as his bed-chamber, was taken up with a
portrait of his mother, and to that picture he looked ever for
encouragement, for advice, for praise. Had there been that day a "Te
Deum" for a great victory? He looked at the picture and added, "Te

[Illustration: _Exclusive News Agency_


The Roumanian House of Representatives]

It was a beautiful story, and why should any one let loose a brutal
bulldog of a fact and point out that King Ferdinand during the
campaign lived in temporary palaces at Stara Zagora and Kirk Kilisse,
and when he travelled on a visit to some point near the front it was
usually by motor-car?

In a paper of another nationality there was a vivid story of the battle
of Chatalja. This story started the battle seven days too soon; had the
positions and the armies all wrong; the result all wrong; and the
picturesque details were in harmony. But for the purposes of the public
it was a very good story of a battle. Those men who, after great
hardships, were enabled to see the actual battle found that the poor
messages which the censor permitted them to send took ten days or more
in transmission to London. Why have taken all the trouble and expense of
going to the front? Buda-Pest, on the way there, is a lovely city;
Bucharest also; and charming Vienna was not at all too far away if you
had a good staff map and a lively military imagination.

In yet another paper there was a vivid picture--scenery, date, Greenwich
time, and all to give an air of artistic verisimilitude--of the signing
of the Peace armistice. The armistice had not been signed at the time,
was not signed for some days after. But it would have been absurd to
have waited, since "our special correspondent" had seen it all in
advance, right down to the embrace of the Turkish delegate and the
Bulgarian delegate, and knew that some of the conditions were that the
Turkish commissariat was to feed the Bulgarian troops at Chatalja and
the Bulgarian commissariat the Turkish troops in Adrianople. If his
paper had waited for the truth that most charming story would never have
seen the light.

So, in a little book I shall one day bring out in the "Attractive
Occupations" series on "How to be a War Correspondent," I shall give
this general advice:

1. Before operations begin, visit the army to which you are accredited,
and take notes of the general appearance of officers and men. Also learn
a few military phrases of their language. Ascertain all possible
particulars of a personal character concerning the generals and chief

2. Return then to a base outside the country. It must have good
telegraph communication with your newspaper. For the rest you may
decide its locality by the quality of the wine, or the beer, or the

3. Secure a set of good maps of the scene of operations. It will be
handy also to have any books which have been published describing
campaigns over the same _terrain_.

4. Keep in touch with the official bulletins issued by the military
authorities from the scene of operations. But be on guard not to become
enslaved by them. If, for instance, you wait for official notices of
battles, you will be much hampered in your picturesque work. Fight
battles when they ought to be fought and how they ought to be fought.
The story's the thing.

5. A little sprinkling of personal experience is wise: for example, a
bivouac on the battle-field, toasting your bacon at a fire made of a
broken-down gun carriage with a bayonet taken from a dead soldier.
Mention the nationality of the bacon. You cannot be too precise in

Ko-Ko's account of the execution of Nankipoo is, in short, the model for
the future war correspondent. The other sort of war correspondent, who
patiently studied and recorded operations, seems to be doomed. In the
nature of things it must be so. The more competent and the more
accurate he is, the greater the danger he is to the army which he
accompanies. His despatches, published in his newspaper and telegraphed
promptly to the other side, give to them at a cheap cost that
information of what is going on _behind_ their enemy's screen of scouts
which is so vital to tactical, and sometimes to strategical,
dispositions. To try to obtain that information an army pours out much
blood and treasure; to guard that information an army will consume a
full third of its energies in an elaborate system of mystification. A
modern army must either banish the war correspondent altogether or
subject him to such restrictions of censorship as to veto honest,
accurate, and prompt criticism or record of operations.

Some of the correspondents--one in particular--overcame a secretive
military system and a harsh censorship by the use of a skilled
imagination, and of a friendly telegraph line outside the area of
censorship. At the Staff headquarters at Stara Zagora during the early
days of the campaign, when we were all straining at the leash to get to
the front, waiting and fussing, he was working, reconstructing the
operations with maps and a fine imagination, and never allowing his
paper to want for news. I think that he was quite prepared to have taken
pupils for his new school of war correspondents. Often he would come to
me for a yarn--in halting French on both sides--and would explain the
campaign as it was being carried on. One eloquent gesture he habitually
had--a sweeping motion which brought his arms together as though they
were gathering up a bundle of spears, then the hands would meet in an
expressive squeeze. "It is that," he said, "it is Napoleonic."

Probably the censor at this stage did not interfere much with his
activities, content enough to allow fanciful descriptions of Napoleonic
strategy to go to the outer world. But, in my experience, facts, if one
ascertained something independently, were not treated kindly.

"Why not?" I asked the censor vexedly about one message he had stopped.
"It is true."

"Yes, that is the trouble," he said,--the nearest approach to a joke I
ever got out of a Bulgarian, for they are a sober, God-fearing, and
humour-fearing race.

The idea of the Bulgarian censorship in regard to the privileges and
duties of the war correspondent was further illustrated to me on
another occasion when a harmless map of a past phase of the campaign was

"Then what am I to send?" I asked.

"There are the bulletins," he said.

"Yes, the bulletins which are just your bald official account of
week-old happenings which are sent to every news agency in Europe before
we see them!"

"But you are a war correspondent. You can add to them in your own

Remembering that conversation, I suspect that at first the Bulgarian
censorship did not object to fairy tales passing over the wires, though
the way was blocked for exact observation. An enterprising story-maker
had not very serious difficulties at the outset. Afterwards there was a
change, and even the writer of fairy stories had to work outside the
range of the censor.

The Mustapha Pasha censorship would not allow ox wagons, reservists, or
Serbians to be mentioned, nor officers' names. The censorship objected,
too, for a long time to any mention of the all-pervading mud which was
the chief item of interest in the town's life. Yet you might have lost
an army division in some of the puddles. (But stop, I am lapsing into
the picturesque ways of the new school of correspondents. Actually you
could not have lost more than a regiment in the largest mud puddle.)

Let the position be frankly faced that if one is with an army in modern
warfare, common sense prohibits the authorities from allowing you to see
anything, and suggests the further precautions of a strict censorship
and a general hold-up of wires until their military value (and therefore
their "news" value) has passed. If your paper wants picturesque stories
hot off the grill it is much better not to be with the army (which means
in effect in the rear of the army), but to write about its deeds from
outside the radius of the censorship.

Perhaps, though, your paper has old-fashioned prejudices in favour of
veracity, and will be annoyed if your imagination leads you too palpably
astray? In that case do not venture to be a war correspondent at all. If
you do not invent, you will send nothing of value. If you invent you
will be reprimanded.

Here is my personal record of "getting to the front" and the net result
of the trouble and the expense. I went down to Mustapha Pasha with the
great body of war correspondents and soon recognised that there was no
hope of useful work there. The attacking army was at a stand-still, and
a long, wearisome siege--its operations strictly guarded from
inspection--was in prospect. I decided to get back to Staff headquarters
(then at Stara Zagora) and just managed to catch the Staff before it
moved on to Kirk Kilisse. By threatening to return to London at once I
got a promise of leave to join the Third Army and to "see some

The promise anticipated the actual granting of leave by two days. It
would be tedious to record all the little and big difficulties that were
then encountered through the reluctance of the military authorities to
allow one to get transport or help of any kind. But four days later I
was marching out of Mustapha Pasha on the way to Kirk Kilisse by way of
Adrianople, a bullock wagon carrying my baggage, an interpreter
trundling my bicycle, I riding a small pony. The interpreter was gloomy
and disinclined to face the hardships and dangers (mostly fancied) of
the journey. Beside the driver (a Macedonian) marched a soldier with
fixed bayonet. Persuasion was necessary to force the driver to
undertake the journey and a friendly transport officer had, with more
or less legality, put at my command this means of argument. A mile
outside Mustapha Pasha the soldier turned back and I was left to coax my
unwilling helpers on a four days' journey across a war-stricken
countryside, swept of all supplies, infested with savage dogs
(fortunately well-fed by the harvest of the battle-fields), liable to
ravage by roving bands.

[Illustration: GENERAL SAVOFF]

That night I gave the Macedonian driver some jam and some meat to eke
out his bread and cheese.

"That is better than having a bayonet poked into your inside," I said,
by pantomime. He understood, grinned, and gave no great trouble
thereafter, though he was always in a state of pitiable funk when I left
the wagon to take a trip within the lines of the besieging forces.

So to Kirk Kilisse. There I got to General Savoff himself and won not
only leave, but a letter of aid to go down to the Third Army at the
lines of Chatalja. But by then what must be the final battle of the war
was imminent. Every hour of delay was dangerous. To go by cart meant a
journey of several days. A military train was available part of the way
if I were content to drop interpreter, horse, and baggage, and travel
with a soldier's load.

That decision was easy enough at the moment--though I sometimes
regretted it afterwards when the only pair of riding breeches I had with
me gave out at the knees and I had to walk the earth ragged--and by
train I got to Chorlu. There a friendly artillery officer helped me to
get a cart (springless) and two fast horses. He insisted also on giving
me a patrol, a single Bulgarian soldier, with 200 rounds of ammunition,
as Bashi-Bazouks were ranging the country.

It was an unnecessary precaution, though the presence of the soldier was
comforting as we entered Silviri at night, the outskirts of the town
deserted, the chattering of the driver's teeth audible over the clamour
of the cart, the gutted houses ideal refuges for prowling bands. From
Silviri to Chatalja there was again no appearance of Bashi-Bazouks. But
thought of another danger obtruded as we came near the lines and
encountered men from the Bulgarian army suffering from the choleraic
dysentery which had then begun its ravages. To one dying soldier by the
roadside I gave brandy; and then had to leave him with his mates, who
were trying to get him to a hospital. They were sorely puzzled by his
cries, his pitiful grimaces. Wounds they knew and the pain of them they
despised. They could not comprehend this disease which took away all the
manhood of a stoic peasant and made him weak in spirit as an ailing

From Chatalja, the right flank of the Bulgarian position, I passed along
the front to Ermenikioi ("the village of Armenians"), passing the night
at Arjenli, near the centre and the headquarters of the ammunition park.
That night at Arjenli seemed to make a rough and sometimes perilous
journey, which had extended over seven days, worth while. The Commander,
an artillery officer, welcomed me to a little mess which the Bulgarian
officers and non-commissioned officers (six in all) had set up in a
clean room of a village house. We had dinner, "Turkish fashion,"
squatting round a dish of stewed goat and rice, and then smoked
excellent cigarettes through the evening hours as we looked out on the
Chatalja lines.

Arjenli is perched on a high hill, to the west of Ermenikioi. It gave a
view of all the Chatalja position--the range of hills stretching from
the Black Sea to the Sea of Marmora, along which the Bulgarians were
entrenched, and, beyond the invisible valley, the second range which
held the Turkish defence. Over the Turkish lines, like a standard, shone
in the clear sky a crescent moon, within its tip a bright star. It
seemed an omen, an omen of good to the Turks. My Australian eye
instinctively sought for the Southern Cross ranged against it in the sky
in sign that the Christian standard held the Heavens too. I sought in
vain in those northern latitudes, shivered a little and, as though
arguing against a superstitious thought, said to myself: "But there is
the Great Bear."

Now there had been "good copy" in the journey. At Arjenli I happened to
be the witness of a vivid dramatic scene (more stirring than any battle
incident). It was a splendid incident, showing the high courage and
_moral_ of these peasant soldiers at an anxious time. To have witnessed
it, participated in it, was personal reward sufficient for a week of
toil and anxiety. To my paper, too, the reader might say, it was of some
value, if properly told and given to the London reader the next morning,
the day before the battle of Chatalja.

Yes. But it was the next afternoon before I could get to a telegraph
office within the Bulgarian lines. Then the censor said any long message
was hopeless. I was allowed to send a bare 100 words. They reached
London eight days later, a week after the battle had been fought, when
London was interested no longer in anything but the armistice
negotiations. The reason was that the single telegraph line was
monopolised for military business. My account of the battle of Chatalja
reached London a full fortnight after the event, though I had the
advantage of the highest influence to expedite the message.

Thus from a daily-newspaper point of view all the expense, toil, danger
were wasted.

Summing up, an accurate and prompt Press service as war correspondent
with the Bulgarian army was impossible, because--

1. The Bulgarian authorities were keen that correspondents should see

2. A rigid first censorship checked a full record of what little was

3. The first censorship being passed, despatches often had still to pass
a second censorship at Staff headquarters, a third censorship at Sofia.

4. Despatches passing through Roumania underwent another censorship
there, and yet another in Austria, possibly yet others in other European

5. In addition to these censorship delays the Bulgarian authorities made
newspaper messages yield precedence to military messages, and at the
front this meant that Press messages were sent on by mail (ox transport
most of the way) to the Staff headquarters or the capital.

6. In the meanwhile the imaginative accounts written nearer Fleet Street
had been published, and the accurate news was "dead" from a point of
public interest.

Most of these conditions will rule over all future wars. Therefore I
conclude that the day of the war correspondent--in the sense of a
truthful observer of a campaign--has gone, and he died with the Balkan
War. He can only survive if newspapers are willing to incur the very
great expense of sending out war correspondents not for the news, day by
day, but for what observation and criticism they could supply after the
campaign was over. To a daily newspaper such matter is almost valueless,
especially as during the progress of the campaign the correspondents of
the "new" school would be at work with their many inventions, raising
the hair of the public and the circulation of their journals with bright
feats of imagination.



These observations I will quote from my diary during 1912 in
illustration of phases of Balkan character, dating them at the time and
place that they were made.

Belgrade, _October 21_.--The declaration of war has not set the Serbians
singing in the streets. In the chief café there is displayed a great war
map. Young soldiers not yet sent to the front lounge about in all the
cafés and are lionised by the older men. They are the only signs of war.

[Illustration: _Underwood & Underwood_


The patriotic Serbian illustrates his case against the Turk by taking
you for a ramble around his capital. The old Turkish quarters of the
town are made up of narrow unpaved muddy lanes lined with low hovels.
The modern Serbian town has handsome buildings markedly Russian in
architecture, electric trams, and wood-blocked pavements. Near the
railway station one side of a street is as the Turks left it and shows a
row of hovels: the other side is occupied by a great school. The shops,
because it is war-time and business is largely suspended, are mostly
closed. But a few remain open with reduced staffs. The goods displayed
are as a rule woefully expensive when they are not of local origin.
Landlocked Serbia, surrounded by commercially hostile countries, finds
imports expensive. British goods are very much favoured, but are hard to

The Serbians speak bitterly of the efforts of Austria "to strangle them
commercially." "Whenever they wish to put diplomatic pressure upon us,"
said one Serbian to me, "they discover that swine fever has broken out
in our country and stop our exports of pigs and bacon--our chief lines
of export. What can we do? Once, in retaliation, we found that we
suspected a consignment of Austrian linen goods of carrying swine fever
and stopped it on the frontier. It almost caused war."

Nish (Serbia), _October 22_.--A military train carrying some members of
the army and Staff has brought also a band of war correspondents this
far. We were a merry but rather a hungry lot. The train has been sixteen
hours on the journey, and as we started at 6 a.m. most of us did not
bring any stores of food except such as were packed away and
inaccessible in the big baggage. The wayside refreshment rooms are swept
clean of all food. Finally we manage to obtain some bread, and five
hungry correspondents in one carriage eat at it without enthusiasm,
whilst in a corner sits a Serbian officer having a good meal of sausage
and onions and bread. We make remarks, a little envious, a little
jocose, in English, on his selfishness. "He is a greedy pig, anyhow,"
said one, putting the final cap on our grumbles. The Serbian officer had
not betrayed by a smile or a frown that he understood but now in good
English he remarked: "Perhaps you gentlemen will be so kind as to share
this with me." We all laughed and he laughed then: and we took a little
of the sausage, and liked that Serbian rather well: and no reference was
made to what had gone before. At nightfall we stop at Nish and all my
Press comrades leave the train to go on in the rear of the Serbian army.
I push on to Sofia. Clearly these Balkan peoples are not quite so
savage as I had thought once.

Sofia, _October 24_.--The position of the Bulgarian nation towards its
Government on the outbreak of the war is, I think, extremely interesting
as a lesson in patriotism. Every man has gone to fight who could fight.
But further, every family has put its surplus of goods into the
war-chest. The men marched away to the front; and the women of the house
loaded up the surplus goods which they had in the house, and brought
them for the use of the military authorities on the ox wagons, which
also went to the military authorities to be used on requisition. A
Bulgarian law, not one which was passed on the outbreak of the war--they
were far too clever for that,--but a law which was part of the organic
law of the country, allowed the military authorities to requisition all
surplus food and all surplus goods which could be of value to the army
on the outbreak of hostilities.

The whole machinery for that had been provided beforehand. But so great
was the voluntary patriotism of the people that this machinery
practically has not had to be used in any compulsory form. Goods were
brought in voluntarily, wagons, cart-horses and oxen, and all the
surplus flour and wheat, and--I have the official figures from the
Bulgarian Treasurer--those goods which were obtained in this way
totalled in value some six million pounds. That represented the surplus
goods, beyond those necessary for consumption by the Bulgarian people,
at the outset of the war. The numbers of the Bulgarian people represent
half the population of London. The peasant population is very poor.
Their national existence dates back only half a century. But they are
very frugal and saving; that six millions which the Government signed
for represented practically all the savings which the Bulgarian people
had at the outbreak of the war. I am told that the gold supply in the
Bulgarian Treasury at the declaration of war was only three million
pounds. So that there was an army of 350,000 men put into the field, and
only three million pounds as the gold supply.

Kirk Kilisse, _November 7_.--The extraordinary simplicity of the
commissariat has helped the Bulgarian generals a great deal. The men
have had bread and cheese, sometimes even bread alone; and that was
accounted a satisfactory ration. When meat and other things could be
obtained, they were obtained; but there were long periods when the
Bulgarian soldier had nothing but bread and water. The water,
unfortunately, he took wherever he could get it, by the side of the
route at any stream he could find. There was no attempt to ensure a pure
water supply for the army. I do not think that, without that simplicity
of commissariat, it would have been possible for the Bulgarian forces to
have got as far as they did. There was an entire absence of tinned
foods. As I travelled in the trail of the Bulgarian army, I found it
impossible to imagine that an army had passed that way, because there
was none of the litter which is usually left by an army. It was not that
they cleared away their rubbish with them; it simply did not exist.
Their bread and cheese seems to be a good fighting diet.

Seleniki, _November 13_.--The transport was, naturally, the great
problem which faced the generals. I have seen here (Seleniki, which is
the point at which the rail-head is), within 30 miles of Constantinople
as the crow flies, ox wagons which have come from the Shipka Pass in the
north of Bulgaria. I asked one driver how long it had been on the road;
he told me three weeks. He was carrying food down to the front. The way
the ox wagons were used for transport was a marvel of organisation. A
transport officer at Mustapha Pasha, with whom I became very friendly,
was lyrical in his praise of the ox wagon. It was, he said, the only
thing that stuck to him during the war. The railway got choked, and even
the horse failed, but the ox never failed. There were thousands of ox
wagons crawling across the country. They do not walk, they crawl, like
an insect, with an irresistible crawl. It reminds you of those armies of
soldier ants which move across Africa, eating everything which they come
across, and stopping at nothing. I had an ox wagon coming from Mustapha
Pasha to Kirk Kilisse, and we went over the hills and down through the
valleys, and stopped for nothing--we never had to unload once. And one
could sleep in those ox wagons. There is no jolting and pulling at the
traces, such as you get with a harnessed horse. The ox wagon moved
slowly; but it always moved. If the ox transport had not been as
perfectly organised, and if the oxen had not been as patiently enduring
as they proved to be, the Bulgarian army must have perished by
starvation. And yet, at Mustapha Pasha, a censor would not allow us to
send anything about the ox wagons. That officer thought the ox cart was
derogatory to the dignity of the army. If we had been able to say that
they had such things as motor transport or steam wagons, he would have
cheerfully allowed us to send it.

But after Lule Burgas, the ox transport has had to do the impossible. It
is impossible for it to maintain the food and the ammunition supply of
the army at the front, which I suppose must number 250,000 to 300,000
men. That army has got right away from its base, with the one line of
railway straddled by the enemy, and with the ox as practically the only
means of transport.

Arjenli (Turkey), _November 15, 1912_.--It is Friday, and we expect
to-morrow the Battle of Chatalja. In the little Turkish village of
Arjenli, situated on a high hill a little to the rear of the Bulgarian
lines, is the ammunition park of the artillery, guarded by a small body
of troops under Lieutenant-Colonel Tchobanoff. Coming towards the front
from Chorlu, the fall of night and the weariness of my horses have
compelled me to halt at Arjenli, and this officer and Dr. Neytchef give
me a warm welcome to their little mess. There are six members, and for
all, to sleep and to eat, one room. Three are officers, three have no
commissions. With this nation in arms that is not an objection to a
common table. Discipline is strict, but officers and soldiers are men
and brothers when out of the ranks. Social position does not govern
military position. I found sometimes the University professor and the
bank manager without commissions, the peasant proprietor an officer. The
whole nation has poured out its manhood for the war, from farm, field,
factory, shop, bank, university, and consulting-room.

Here, at Arjenli, on the eve of the decisive battle, I think over early
incidents of the campaign. It is a curious fact that in all Bulgaria I
have met but one man who was young enough and well enough to fight and
who had not enlisted. He had become an American subject, I believe, and
so could not be compelled to serve. In America he had learned to be an
"International Socialist," and so he did not volunteer. I believe he was
unique. With half the population of London, Bulgaria had put 350,000
trained men under arms. But there was in the nation one good Socialist
who knew that war was an evil thing, and that it was better to sit
down meekly under tyranny than to take up arms.

[Illustration: _Underwood & Underwood_


I followed in the track of the victorious Third Army as it came down
through the border mountains on to Kirk Kilisse, then to Lule Burgas,
then past Chorlu to the Chatalja lines. At Arjenli I had overtaken them
in time to see the final battle, and now sat looking out on the
entrenched armies, talking over the position with a serene and cheerful
artillery officer. The past week had been one of hardship and horrors.
From Chorlu the road was lined with the bodies of the Turkish dead,
still awaiting burial. Entering the Bulgarian lines on their right flank
that morning, I had tried in vain to succour a soldier dying of the
choleraic dysentery which had begun its ravages. But here in the middle
of the battle line the atmosphere of noble confidence is inspiriting.
The horrors of war vanish; only its glory shows. The men around me feel
that they are engaged in a just war. They know that everything that man
can do has been done. Proudly, cheerfully, they await the issue.

During the evening, a Turk suspected of being a spy is brought in for
trial. He had attempted to rush past one of the sentries guarding the
ammunition wagons. He is given a patient hearing, is able to establish
his innocence, and is allowed to go. There is no feeling of panic or
injustice among these Bulgarians. I see the trial and its end (having
been asked to act as friend of the accused).

It is to-day forty days since the mobilisation. At the call this trained
nation was in arms in a day. The citizen soldiers hurried to the depots
for their arms and uniforms. In one district the rumour that
mobilisation had been authorised was bruited abroad a day before the
actual issue of the orders, and the depot was besieged by the peasants
who had rushed in from their farms. The officer in charge could not give
out the rifles, so the men lit fires, got food from the neighbours, and
camped around the depot until they were armed. Some navvies received
their mobilisation orders on returning to their camp after ten hours'
work at railway-building. They had supper and marched through the night
to their respective headquarters. For one soldier the march was
twenty-four miles. The railway carriages were not adequate to bring all
the men to their assigned centres. Some rode on the steps, on the roofs
of carriages, on the buffers even.

At Stara Zagora, early in November, I noted a mother of the people who
had come to see some Turkish prisoners just brought in from Mustapha
Pasha. To one she gave a cake. "They are hungry," she said. This woman
had five men at the war--her four sons in the fighting line, her husband
under arms guarding a line of communication. She had sent them proudly.
It was the boast of the Bulgarian women that not a tear was shed at the
going away of the soldiers.

Later, at a little village outside Kirk Kilisse, a young civil servant,
an official of the Foreign Office, spoke of the war whilst we ate a dish
of cheese and eggs. "It is a war," he said, "of the peasants and the
intellectuals. It is not a war made by the politicians or the soldiers
of the Staff. That would be impossible. In our nation every soldier is a
citizen and every citizen a soldier. There could not be a war unless it
were a war desired by the people. In my office it was with rage that
some of the clerks heard that they must stay at Sofia, and not go to the
front. We were all eager to take arms."

At Nova Zagora, travelling by a troop train carrying reserves to the
front, I crossed a train bringing wounded from the battle-fields. For
some hours both trains were delayed. The men going to the front were
decorated with flowers as though going to a feast. They filled the
waiting time by dancing to the music of the national bagpipes, and there
joined in the dance such of the wounded as could stand on their feet.
There was no daunting these trained patriots.

These and a score of other pictures pass through my mind and explain
Kirk Kilisse and Lule Burgas, and give confidence for the battle to
come. Here was a people ranged for battle with the steady nerves and the
stolid courage that come from tilling the soil, with the skill and the
discipline that come from adequate training, with the fervent faith of a
great patriotism. I have talked with Turkish prisoners and found
infantrymen who had been sent to the front after two days' training,
gunners who had been drafted into a battery after ten days' drill. Such
soldiers can only march to defeat.


Ermenikioi (Headquarters of the Third Bulgarian Army), _November 17
(Sunday)_.--The Battle of Chatalja has been opened. To-day, General
Demetrieff rode out with his Staff to the battle-field whilst the bells
of a Christian church in this little village rang. The day was spent
in artillery reconnaissance, the Bulgarian guns searching the Turkish
entrenchments to discover their real strength. Only once during the day
was the infantry employed; and then it was rather to take the place of
artillery than to complete work begun by artillery. It seems to me that
the Bulgarian forces have not enough big gun ammunition at the front.
They are ten days from their base, and shells must come up by ox wagon
the greater part of the way.

Ermenikioi, _November 18_.--This was a wild day on the Chatalja hills.
Driving rain and mist swept over from the Black Sea, and at times
obscured all the valley across which the battle raged. With but slight
support from the artillery, the Bulgarian infantry was sent again and
again up to the Turkish entrenchments. Once a fort was taken but had to
be abandoned again. The result of the day's fighting is indecisive. The
Bulgarian forces have driven in the Turkish right flank a little, but
have effected nothing against the central positions which bar the road
to Constantinople. It is clear that the artillery is not well enough
supplied with ammunition. There is a sprinkle of shells when there
should be a flood. Gallant as is the infantry, it cannot win much
ground faced by conditions such as the Light Brigade met at Balaclava.

Ermenikioi, _November 19_.--Operations have been suspended. Yesterday's
cold and bitter weather has fanned to an epidemic the choleraic
dysentery which had been creeping through the trenches. The casualties
in the fighting had been heavy. "But for every wounded man who comes to
the hospitals," Colonel Jostoff, the Chief of the Staff, tells me,
"there are ten who say 'I am ill.'" The Bulgarians recognise bitterly
that in their otherwise fine organisation there has been one flaw, the
medical service. Among this nation of peasant proprietors--sturdy,
abstemious, moral, living in the main on whole-meal bread and
water--illness was so rare that the medical service was but little
regarded. Up to Chatalja confidence in the rude health of the peasants
was justified. They passed through cold, hunger, fatigue, and kept
healthy. But ignorant of sanitary discipline, camped among the filthy
Turkish villages, the choleraic dysentery passed from the Turkish
trenches to theirs. There are 30,000 cases of illness, and the healthy
for the first time feel fear as they see the torments of the sick. The
Bulgarians recognise that there must be a pause in the fighting whilst
the hospital and sanitary service is reorganised.

Kirk Kilisse, _December 1_.--It seems certain now that peace must be
declared, and that the dream of driving the Turk right out of Europe
must be abandoned. These peasant peoples of the Balkans have done
wonderful things, but they have stumbled on one point--the want of
knowledge of sanitary science. I have seen only one attempt at a clean
camp since I have been in the field, and that was a Serbian camp, north
of Adrianople.

With the Bulgarian army there was not, at any stage of the campaign up
to the Battle of Chatalja--that is, until after the outbreak of
cholera--any precaution, to my knowledge, taken to secure a clean water
supply, or clean camping-grounds, or to take the most elementary
precautions against the outbreak of disease in the army. The medical
service was almost as bad. I have seen much of the hospital work at Kirk
Kilisse after the armistice; and it has been deplorable to see the fine
fellows whose lives were sacrificed, or whose limbs were sacrificed,
through neglect of medical knowledge. I am sure the Bulgarians would
have saved many hundreds of lives if there had been anything like a
proper medical service at the front.

At Chatalja the chief reason given for the stoppage of operations was
the ravages of disease in the Bulgarian lines. The illness was of a
choleraic type; it had, as usual, a profound moral as well as physical
effect. The courage of the men broke down before this visitation. The
victims howled with pain and terror, though the same men would withstand
serious wounds without a complaint or a wincing.

The Turks are blamed for the outbreak in the Bulgarian lines. It is more
than probable that their villages, inexpressibly filthy; the prisoners
taken from their ranks; the infection of the soil abandoned by them,
were contributing causes.

[Illustration: A BAGPIPER]

But it must be stated frankly that the almost complete absence of any
sanitary discipline or precaution in the Bulgarian lines at this place
earned for them all the diseases that afflict mankind. So far as I can
ascertain after careful investigation, there were no sanitary police; no
attempts to secure and safeguard a pure water supply; no latrine
regulations. I have seen the Bulgarian soldiers drinking from streams
running through battle-fields, though a few feet away were swollen
carcases. I have seen no attempt in the field at a proper latrine
service. Some hundreds of thousands of peasant soldiers, accustomed to
the simplest life on their own farms, were collected together and left
practically without sanitary discipline. The details can be filled in
without my setting them forth in print. There is one fact, however, to
be recorded of a pleasant character. In all investigations of the
hospital services I never found a case of any malady arising from vice.
There was also a complete absence of drunkenness. This might be ascribed
to the want of means to obtain alcohol. But in Turkey there was an
abundance of wines and spirits, and some beer in the captured villages
and towns; it led, however, to no orgies.

Naturally, the Bulgarian peasant is wonderfully healthy. His food is
rough whole-meal bread and cheese; his occasional luxuries, a dish of
the sour milk which is so well known in London, a little alcohol on
Sunday, some sweet stuff, and, rarely, grilled meat or meat soup with
vegetables. It is possible to judge that his alimentary tract differs
widely from that of the Western European. I should say he was almost
immune from enteric, unless attacked by a very virulent infection. He
can live on bread and water alone without serious inconvenience for
lengthy periods. His blood is very pure, and ordinarily heals in a way
that astonished the British surgeons.

Here, then, was the best of material from an army medical point of view.
Given the roughest food, the simplest sanitary precautions, and
ordinarily good field dressing, and the army would have marched without
disease and the wounded would have dropped out of the firing line for a
few days only. But there were no sanitary precautions; hence disease.
The hospital service as regards the first aid in the field was pitiably
deficient; hence serious and unnecessary losses of wounded. Without
seeking to pile up a record of horrors, I cite a few individual
instances to illustrate bad methods. At the front, punctured bayonet
wounds were closely bandaged--in some cases stitched up--without
provision for irrigation, without even proper cleansing. This led to
gangrene and often caused the sacrifice of a life or of a limb (which,
to these peasants, was almost as great a loss as that of life: their
feeling against amputations was very strong, and if they understood
that amputation was intended, they sometimes begged to be "killed
instead"). Bullet wounds also were often plugged up on the field. When
proper treatment was at last available, it was sometimes too late to
avoid death or amputation. No treatment at all on the field would have
been preferable to this well-intentioned but shocking ignorance.

Of the purely Bulgarian hospitals those at Kirk Kilisse are very
deficient: at Philippopolis, however, there were excellent Bulgarian
hospitals, and also at Sofia. The Russian hospital at Kirk Kilisse is
very good. The British Red Cross Hospital, under Major E. T. F. Birrell,
of the R.A.M.C., is excellently organised, has the fullest possible
equipment, and tries to specialise in serious cases. It is subjected
locally (as is the Russian hospital) to the criticism that by insisting
on perfection of system it unduly restricts its salvage work: that, in
short, it could deal with far more patients if it consented to more
"rough-and-ready" methods. I record this criticism, and acknowledge that
it is based on facts. Yet it may be urged on the other side that it was
ultimately far more useful to have a model hospital to show how things
should be done than to sacrifice that valuable lesson for the sake of
striving to cope in rough-and-ready fashion with the flood of wounded.
This hospital gives interesting proof that Great Britain is an Empire,
not an island nation. I first encountered three of its doctors in a
café. One was from the Mother Country, one from the West Indies, one an
Australian friend, who set at once to talking of gum trees and of
Melbourne University. Then a non-commissioned officer attached to the
hospital--most of its Staff are army men--is a Canadian, who had had war
experience in South Africa. His comments on the Bulgarian wounded are
full of sympathy. "These chaps," he said, "take their gruel better even
than the Tommies. The Tommy takes his all right, but he 'grouses' about
it. These chaps never grumble. One of them had to have a very painful
dressing. He winced a little. A comrade at once laughed at him. 'Ah,' he
said, 'you learn new kinds of dancing here.'" Nurses endorse this
evidence about the Bulgarian soldiers' patience, though one stated that
she found the officers sometimes to be rather neurasthenic.

On the whole, the Bulgarian army is not strong on science. In spade
work it was not good. I saw no perfect trenches--never a drained trench.
Undrained trenches caused some increase of mortality and of sickness. It
is uncomfortable to stay for days, or even hours, in a trench which the
rain has partly filled with water. In no case that I saw were there
trenches with overhead protection against howitzer fire. Except at the
Chatalja lines and around Adrianople the trenches were, of course,
intended to be of a very temporary use, and would naturally not be
elaborate. Gun-pits and emplacements were usually fairly good. It was
the custom to dig a pit, or to put up a little sod wall for the
gun-limber (most of the artillery work was from concealed and prepared
positions). At Chatalja the trenches were masked with the stalks of the
Turkish tobacco plants--about the only instance I saw of masking. It was
rare to see a trench zigzagged as a precaution against enfilading fire.
The Turkish trenches I saw were hopelessly bad.

Sofia, _December 6, 1912_.--Sofia, in spite of the great victories which
have been won, is neither joyous nor contented. The failure of the siege
of Adrianople seems to rest heavy upon the people: and there are gloomy
stories of the extent of the losses of the nation's manhood. So far no
lists of killed and wounded have been published. "The Mass at St.
Sofia," which was the battle-cry of the first days of the war, is
clearly not a possibility now. Some mystery attaches to the movements of
the king. It is said that he had made a vow that he would not return to
Sofia until a victorious peace was signed. The embittered relations with
the Greeks, the signs of disagreement with the Serbians, suggest gloomy
possibilities of future troubles.

Belgrade, _December 8, 1912_.--With the exception of the army before
Adrianople, the Serbians have finished their share of the war with
Turkey. Belgrade is satisfied, but not over-elated. Across the Danube, a
broad gloomy waste of dun waters under the winter mists, a division of
the Austrian army is mobilised. There is a fear, almost an expectation,
that Austria will make war. But there seems neither panic nor war-fever
in the city.

Business is creeping back to the normal state. At the Ministry for War
there are to be seen pathetic scenes as parents and other relatives seek
tidings of the soldiers. An old father, himself a captain of reserves,
hears that his only son, a lieutenant, has been killed, and bursts into
tears and tells to all around his sorrow. But generally tragic news is
received stoically. Amid the congratulations on the results of the
Allies' efforts there is an under-current of resolution to make a better
bargain with Bulgaria than the _ante bellum_ partition treaty proposed.
Reports of envious and rude treatment of the Serbian army before
Adrianople are current in the street: and there is some talk of
recalling the men. This is the irresponsible talk of men in the street
only: the authorities are very correct in their attitude towards "our
friend and ally," and express themselves as confident that Bulgaria of
her own volition will suggest better terms for her partner in the war.

A Serbian politician, who patiently endures my bad French or makes a
brave effort to talk in English, a tongue which he is learning to speak
and can read quite well, politely excuses the English for being such bad
linguists. "For you English who have all the poetry, all the romance,
all the science, all the philosophy a man may want in your own language,
it is not necessary to learn any other. For us in the Balkans, we must
learn other languages or remain ignorant of much that goes on in the

In truth the Balkan peoples are astonishing linguists. It is not at all
a rare thing to find that a man can speak Bulgarian, Serbian, Greek,
Turkish, and French. Often he adds either English or German to this
list. Bulgarian and Serbian, of course, are but differing dialects of
Russian--a Russian can make himself understood in both tongues though he
knows only Russian. But the grammar of one differs from that of the
other, and many of the words are different. The Balkan people who know
Turkish know it usually in its colloquial and spoken form and not the
literary language, which is very difficult to understand thoroughly
because it is really a blending of three languages.

[Illustration: _Underwood & Underwood_




It is difficult to dissociate the Balkans with bloodshed and disorder.
Insensibly the mind is tempted at every turn to direct attention to the
last battle or the future campaign which can be seen threatening. But if
the storm-racked peninsula could be granted a term of peaceful
development, there is no doubt at all but that it would be much favoured
by voyagers seeking picturesque beauty and wishing to go over the fields
which have been the scenes of some of the greatest events in history.
Mountain resorts to rival those of Switzerland, spas to match those of
Germany and Austria, autumn and winter seaside beaches of great beauty
and fine sunny climate--all these exist in the Balkan Peninsula, and
need only to be known, and to be known as peaceful, to attract

The Adriatic coast has charms of rugged coast-lines and bright waters;
the Black Sea littoral, though flat and sandy, has a warm sunny summer
or autumn climate; the Aegean is a sea of brilliant purples and rosy
mists, in which air, rock, and water mingle to greet the eye with a
great opal jewel. A November sunset on the Sea of Marmora gave to my
eyes such a feast of suffused colour as I had not seen since I left the
shores of the southern Pacific. The rocky hills had the rich red of the
Jersey cliffs, but the sea and sky were incomparably warmer and deeper
in tone. Across the sea the shores of distant Asia shone dimly through
two veils of mist, one of the tenderest rose, the other of the palest
gold. The greater part of the Greek coast has the same deliciousness of
colour in autumn and in summer.

A few travellers bolder than the ordinary search out nowadays the shores
of the Adriatic, the beautiful coast of Greece, and even the margin of
the Sea of Marmora in quest of beauty and relief from the tedium of
civilisation. But they must face poor means of communication (though to
Constantinople and to Trieste there is an excellent train service) and
scanty accommodation of any kind--almost none of good quality. Within a
very few years, if the Balkans could settle down to peace and the
legalised plunder of foreign visitors--a pursuit which is as profitable
as brigandage and far more comfortable,--the seaside resorts that would
spring up within Balkan territories would of themselves provide a
handsome revenue. The shores of the Aegean and of the Sea of Marmora in
particular would attract tourists wearied of the air of hackneyed
sameness which comes after a while to pervade seaside haunts in Italy
and France.

From another attraction the Balkan States could hope for a great tourist
traffic. I have caught but fleeting glimpses of the Balkan range and of
the Rhodopes and the Serbian mountains, but have seen enough to know
that they offer boundless delights to the climber, to the seeker after
winter sports, and to the lover of the picturesque; and the Swiss Alps
in these days are overcrowded, and the Tyrolean mountains and the
Carpathians begin to receive a big overflow of people who have a taste
for heights that are not covered with hotels and funicular railways. But
the mountains of the Balkan Peninsula offer prospects, I believe, of
greater beauty, certainly of greater wildness, than any other ranges of
Europe. Of the Rhodope mountains, in particular, one gets the most
alluring accounts from the rare travellers who have explored them. Seen
by the passing voyager as they stand guard with their farthest spurs
over Philippopolis, they suggest that no account of their charm could be
too glowing. I have promised myself one autumn or summer a month in this
range, exploring its flower-filled valleys and its wild cliffs, shining
through an air which seems now of rose and now of violet.

For winter sports the Serbian, Montenegrin, and Albanian mountains, as
well as the chief Balkan range, promise well. I believe that it was part
of the plan of Bulgarian reorganisation after the war, which King
Ferdinand had in his mind, to set up great winter hotels in the
mountains of his kingdom. The other Balkan States could with advantage
give hospitality to similar plans. Provided that security is
assured--and the Balkan peasant is in my experience the
gentlest-mannered kind who ever cut throats in a wholesale way at the
call of a mischief-maker--visitors to the mountains of the Balkan
Peninsula would find the wildness, the uncouthness of the surrounding
national life, very attractive. The picturesque national costumes, the
national music, wild and uncanny, the strange national dances, all add
to the fascination of the savage scenery. In an age when a fog of dreary
sameness comes over all the civilised world, the Balkans have a great
asset in their primitivism. Theirs is not a wholly European
civilisation; indeed, except in the capital cities, it is not chiefly a
European civilisation. Everywhere there is a touch of the mystery, the
fatalism, the desert-bred wildness of the Asiatic steppes. For centuries
the hand of the Turk has been heavy on the land, and a strong stream of
his blood courses still through the veins of most of the Balkan peoples.
It is not the East this Balkan Peninsula, but it is not the West, nor
will be for some generations.

There is yet another possible means of attracting great streams of
visitors to the Balkan regions. Throughout the mountains there are
numberless medicinal springs. In Serbia and Bulgaria the water of two
springs is being exploited for table use, and in Bulgaria the warm
medicinal springs are being developed for bathing resorts. At Sofia
there are now in course of erection great public baths which will be
equal to any in Europe when they are completed. In the mountains above
Sofia warm springs are being utilised, and quite a large spa village has
grown up. King Ferdinand, who has a fine commercial instinct whatever
the failures of his war diplomacy, has done good service to his kingdom
by developing its baths and springs.

The plain country of the Balkan Peninsula is but little attractive.
Under the Turkish rule nearly all plantations of trees were destroyed,
and a general air of desolation was maintained. Since the Turk left,
cultivation and development have been on strictly utilitarian lines, and
there has been little chance for gardens or woods. The eye of the
voyager misses them, and misses also the sight of castles, churches, or
great buildings. The dreariness of the plain is unrelieved by forests.
The rivers flow sullenly along without a bordering of trees. The
Thracian plain--the greater part of which has now gone back to Turkey
and thus lost hope of a redemption of its really fertile soil--is in
particular desolate and forbidding. But even there, and more frequently
in the plain country of Bulgaria and Serbia, there is now and again a
charming village in some dell with adornment of trees and gardens. The
average village, however, is a collection of hovels, their roofs lying
so close to the ground that they seem to be rather burrows than huts,
their aspect suggesting that they are hiding themselves and their
inhabitants from the eye of a possible ravager.

Desolate as this plain country is, it has its attractions at dawn and
sunset in the clear colourfull air of the Balkan Peninsula; and where
the hill slopes, denuded of their forests, have been covered over by a
dense oak scrub the autumn aspect of the plain at sunset is incomparably
lovely. The scrub, when the first of the autumn frosts come, blazes out
in such scarlet and gold as cannot be imagined in the moist and soft
climate of England. With the setting of the sun and the coming of the
violet night the earth's carpet seems to be here smouldering, there
burning, a sea of lambent fire so bright that you look to see its
burgeoning reflected in the sky.

I should advise the tourist wishing to see the Balkan Peninsula at its
best to choose the fall of the year for a visit. In the summer there is
great heat and dust and plague of flies. In the winter travel is
impossible with any comfort except along the railway lines, and the
whole Peninsula is frost-bound. The spring is a beautiful season at its
later end, but not at the time of the thaw.

As to the route for a voyage there are several alternatives. One may
take the Oriental Express through to Constantinople and work a way up
the Balkan Peninsula from there: or take train to Trieste and approach
the Balkans by the Adriatic side: or, taking the Oriental Express, leave
it at Bucharest and journey from there to Sofia: or, taking the Oriental
Express, leave it at Belgrade, making that the starting-point for a
riding trip. Certainly to enjoy the country one must leave the railways
and journey on horseback or by cart over the wilder tracks. An
interpreter who speaks English can be engaged in any one of the
capitals. The hire of horses, oxen, and carts is very cheap, if you are
properly advised by your interpreter and pay the local rates only.
Forage, too, is cheap: and so is "the food of the country," i.e. bread,
cheese, bacon, and goat and sheep flesh. Most civilised luxuries of food
can be obtained in the capitals and bigger towns, but they are dear.

[Illustration: _Exclusive News Agency_


General view, looking towards the Djumala Pass (45 miles away). Taken
from the front of Parliament House, showing monument of Alexander II,
known in Bulgaria as the "Tsar Liberator"]

Let me suggest a few typical Balkan tours.

Take train to Belgrade: then go by Danube steamer to Widdin. From Widdin
to Sofia go by rail, and then back to Belgrade on horseback, sending
on heavy luggage by rail, but making at Nish on the way a depot of
provisions and linen.

Take train to Bucharest. Go from there to Stara Zagora on horseback,
crossing the Roumanian frontier at Roustchouk, going over the trail of
the Russian Army of Liberation and seeing the Balkan mountain passes.

Take train to Sofia, and from there to Yamboli. At Yamboli go on
horseback (in the track of the Bulgarian Third Army of 1912) to Kirk
Kilisse, Lule Burgas, Chorlu, Silivri (on the Sea of Marmora), and
Constantinople. A somewhat wild trip this would be, but quite
practicable. The most comfortable way to travel would be to take ox
wagons for the luggage and the camping outfit. That would restrict the
day's march to twenty miles. The horses--(diverging to look at scenery
and battle-fields)--would do about thirty miles a day.

Take train to Constantinople, and from there boat to Salonica. Go on
horseback from Salonica to Belgrade. This would show the most disturbed
part of the Balkan Peninsula and some of its wildest scenery.

Take train to Philippopolis, and from there go on horseback and with ox
wagons for a tour of the Rhodope mountains.

Of course it is possible to take much tamer tours of the Balkans.
Practically all the big towns are connected with the European railway
systems. But you would see, thus, towns and not the country. The Balkan
towns are to my eye very dreary. There are practically no fine old
buildings, for in the Turkish occupation the greater number of these
were destroyed. The modern buildings have rarely any character. The
churches, usually of the Slav school of architecture, alone relieve the
monotony of economical imitations of French and British buildings. In
Belgrade, it is true, there has been an effort to carry the Slav note
farther, and some of the commercial and public buildings show a Moscow

Mr. Noel Buxton, M.P., that most enthusiastic admirer of the Bulgarians,
can carry his enthusiasm so far as to admire Sofia. He wrote recently
(_With the Bulgarian Staff_):

     Few sights can be more inspiring to the lover of liberty and
     national progress than a view of Sofia from the hill where the
     great seminary of the national church overlooks the plain. There at
     your feet is spread out the unpretentious seat of a government
     which stands for the advance of European order in lands long
     blighted with barbarism. Here resides, and is centred, the virile
     force of a people which has advanced the bounds of liberty. From
     here, symbolised by the rivers and roads running down on each side,
     has extended, and will further extend, the power of modern
     education, of unhampered ideas, of science, and of humanity. From
     this magnificent view-point Sofia stretches along the low hill with
     the dark background of the Balkan beyond. Against that background
     now stands out the new embodiment of Bulgarian and Slavonic energy,
     genius, and freedom of mind, the great cathedral, with its vast
     golden domes brilliantly standing out from the shade behind them.
     In no other capital is a great church shown to such effect, viewed
     from one range of hills against the mountainous slopes of another.
     It is a building which, with its marvellous mural paintings, would
     in any capital form an object of world interest, but which, in the
     capital of a tiny peasant State, supremely embodies that breadth of
     mind which

              ... rejects the lore
    Of nicely calculated less or more.

But I think that that is a too kindly view. What makes the Balkan
capitals additionally dreary is that there is no "society" in the
European sense. The Turkish idea of keeping the womenfolk in the harem
survives to the extent that woman is not supposed to frequent places of
entertainment, to receive or to pay visits. In Bulgaria the women are
secluded with an almost Turkish strictness: in Serbia, not quite so
strictly, but still strictly.

Bucharest is quite another story; but Bucharest would rather resent
being called a Balkan city. There is no seclusion of the very charming
Roumanian women, and the atmosphere of the city is a little more than
gay. Plant a section of Paris, a section including Montmartre, into the
middle of an enlargement of the old quarter of Belgrade, and that is
Bucharest. It is the one Balkan city which has a luxurious and to an
extent polished aristocracy.

Some of the smaller towns are slightly more interesting--Philippopolis,
for instance, in a position of great natural beauty--but the average
Balkan town must be set down as squalid. Its centres of social interest
are the cafés, where men who have the leisure assemble to drink coffee
made in the Turkish fashion, tea made in the Russian fashion, and
occasionally _vodka_, which is the usual alcoholic stimulant. Tobacco is
smoked mostly in the form of cigarettes. Excellent (and cheap)
cigarettes are supplied by the government _Régies_ in Serbia and

[Illustration: _Exclusive News Agency_


The wise tourist will keep clear of the Balkan towns apart from the
actual capitals, and will carry his food and lodging with him. Under
these circumstances a good standard of ease can be maintained if a train
of ox wagons sufficient to the size of the party is enlisted. Ladies can
travel with fair comfort in an ox wagon. As regards the danger of Balkan
travel, in my experience--and that was during war-time--there is none.
Serbian peasant, Bulgarian peasant, Greek peasant, Turkish peasant,
alike are amiable and obliging fellows, if they do not feel in duty
bound to cut your throat on some theological or political point. Being
strangers, tourists would have no theology and no politics. So much for
the inhabitants. The officials, provided passports are clear and the
precaution is taken of getting letters at the capital from the
authorities of the country you are travelling through, will be helpful.
The one district that might be a little dangerous is that corner of
Macedonia where Greek and Bulgar are always playing against one another
the old game of massacre.



The five centuries of Turkish domination, during which all the arts and
most of the crafts were neglected in the Balkan Peninsula, killed nearly
completely the ancient civilisations of the Greeks, the Serbs, and the
Bulgars. But a few traces of the old culture survive to this day as
mournful and tattered relics of the greatness of those departed Empires.
The old Bulgarian Empire, combining a Slav with a Turconian element; the
old Serbian Empire, almost purely Slav but influenced a little by
Italian and Grecian influence, evolved in the days of its greatness the
beginnings of a national literature and national architecture. In Serbia
particularly was there a strong and promising growth of humane culture,
and the greatest of the Serbian rulers, Stephen Dushan (14th century),
whose death before the walls of Constantinople at the beginning of the
Turkish invasions gave up the Balkan Peninsula to the Crescent, left as
one monument to his name a well-reasoned code of laws. He was throughout
his reign a sincere friend of learning. In Bulgaria during the 10th
century, under the Czar Simeon, there was a brief efflorescence of
learning. Montenegro, which alone of the Balkan States kept its head
unbowed before the Turk, was a busy centre of literary effort in the
16th century. Under the stress of constant war, however, the arts of
peace died down almost completely in the Balkans until the Liberation of
the peoples in the 19th century. During the interval, however, the
peasants in their homes kept up some little knowledge of the traditions
of their forefathers' greatness. Legends were passed down from father to
son in chants set to a rough music. In these chants, too, were recorded
the deeds of heroism which marked the ever-recurring revolts against the

What survives to-day from this period of oppression is a very
characteristic national music, melancholy usually, as might be expected,
but of arresting sweetness; and an art of peasant-applied decoration,
which recalls the earlier and more primitive forms of Byzantine Art.
Balkan tapestries, Balkan carpets, Balkan embroideries, woven or
stitched by the peasant women, have a note of barbaric boldness in
design and colour which distinguishes them at once from the peasant work
of other countries.

This applied art in decoration is wisely fostered by the various
governments, and there is liberal encouragement also given to modern
art. Especially is this the case in Bulgaria. The impression I have got
from seeing picture collections in the Balkans is that the local artists
have learned foreign methods without adding any national bent of their
own, and contrive to give a native character to their pictures only when
they make the choice of some particularly horrible subject. Yet there
should come a vigorous art as well as a vigorous literature one day from
these Balkan States. There the mysticism, the melancholy, the
transcendentalism of the Slav is mixed with the fatalism of the Turk,
and the vivacity of the Greek and the Roumanian in the national types.
Byzantine traditions, Slav traditions, classic Greek traditions, Roman
traditions mingle to influence this composite character, the two former
predominating, but the two latter having a very definite power. It
should be rich soil for talent, even for genius.

Interesting opportunities were given in the Southern Slav Art
Exhibitions of 1904 and 1906 (the first at Belgrade, the second at
Sofia) to note the trend of art in the Balkans. At those Exhibitions
Bulgarian, Serbian, Croatian, and Slavonian arts were represented. The
Croatian pictures--I follow a trustworthy guide in stating this--showed
a high degree of technical skill, not distinguishable from Austrian art
in character: the Slavonian pictures were also technically good, but of
a more impressionist character: the Serbian pictures imitated in
technique the Old Masters, but took their subjects almost exclusively
from Serbian history: the Bulgarian pictures had no national
characteristic in style, but usually sought to be transcriptions of some
form of Bulgarian life of the day.

Summing up the art position in the Balkans, it can be fairly said that
before the outbreak of the last great war very good progress had been
made for the few years since the Liberation from the Turks. A wise
policy for the future would be to encourage as much as possible the
peasant arts and crafts which are distinctive, and not to seek to
impose too much of modern art education, which may stifle national
influences and inflict a sterile sameness.

Balkan industry varies greatly with the height of the country, as well
as with the racial type. The mountaineers are usually lacking in steady
industry: the peoples of the plain are usually exceptionally hard
workers. Very many emigrants from the Balkans go to the United States to
work there in the mines, and on works of railway construction, for a
term of years. The Bulgarian will come back from the United States with
£300 saved up, and settle down in his native village as farmer or
trader. The Serbian will come back with £200 saved up, but with a wider
knowledge of United States life, and he will settle down as pastoralist
or farmer, but not as trader. The Albanian or Montenegrin will come back
with little or no money, but with a wonderful armoury of silver-adorned
weapons and much other personal decoration. So graced, the mountaineer
will have no difficulty in marrying the girl of his choice, and she will
do most of the work that is needed thereafter, whilst he attends to the
hunting and the fighting. The Greek and the Roumanian go abroad,
preferably as traders, and afterwards elect to stay abroad, though it
is to be recorded in proof of modern Greek patriotism that in 1912 there
was a steady flow of Greeks from all parts of the world coming back to
their native land to fight in the army.

[Illustration: A BULGARIAN FARM]

Considered industrially the Bulgarian is the best type in the Balkans.
He is a steady, tireless worker on the soil; takes to factory life
amiably; and has in a very strongly marked degree "the road-making

A very valuable index to national character is provided by a people's
roads. The most successful Imperial governors, the Romans, were also
builders of the finest roads the world has known. The British people
have been good road-builders as well as good Empire-makers; the French
people, too, and every other people who at any time have done big
enduring work in the government of the world. If a nation is not a good
road-building nation it will not go far: and the converse is probably
true. On this road-building test the Bulgarians have a prosperous future
indicated, for they are very pertinacious and skilful road-builders.
During the 1912 war I noticed that despite all other pre-occupations
they were pushing roads forward at every possible opportunity. The
Turks going back to Adrianople and Kirk Kilisse found a great number of
roads built or building--the first serious efforts in that direction
since the downfall of the Roman Empire.

The Bulgarian's chief occupation is agriculture. The system of land
tenures is that of peasant ownership. There are no large estates and
very few non-occupying landlords. The chief crops are wheat, barley,
maize, rice (around Philippopolis), tobacco, and roses. The tobacco is
of as good quality, almost, as that of Turkey. The Bulgarian Government
encourages the culture of tobacco by distributing seed, free of cost,
among the planters, by setting a bounty on the export tariff, and by
authorising the Bulgarian National Bank to consent to loans on the
surety of certificates granted to the planters until they are able to
dispose of their crops advantageously.

Tobacco culture is carried on chiefly in the south and in the provinces
of Silistria and Kustendil. The area of the plantations is estimated at
3000 hectares. The province of Haskovo has the greatest yield; then
follows Philippopolis, with 300,000 kilograms; Kustendil and Silistria,
210,000 kilograms. According to approximate calculations based on
various statistics, three-fourths of the tobacco crop of Bulgaria is
consumed by the inhabitants and only a quarter is exported.

The rose crop is next in importance after tobacco. The roses are used
exclusively for the distilling of attar of roses. The rose gardens are
limited to 148 parishes of the provinces of Philippopolis and Stara
Zagora, and occupy a total area of 5094 hectares. The quantity and
quality of the attar depend very much on the weather at the time of
bloom and gathering. The roses most cultivated in Bulgaria are the red
rose (_Rosa damascena_) and the white rose (_Rosa alba_). The best
gardens are at Kazanlik, Karlovo, Klissoura, and Stara Zagora. The
distilling of the attar is now a Government monopoly. The cultivation of
beetroot has been introduced recently and is confined to the province of
Sofia. The sugar refinery near Sofia utilises the whole crop for local

It is interesting to note in connection with Balkan agriculture that as
far back as 1863 the much-abused Turk had actually adopted the very
modern idea of an agricultural _Credit Foncier_ system in the Balkans!
In that year Midhat Pasha, Governor of the Danubian Vilayet, prepared a
scheme for the creation of banks, to assist the rural population. The
scheme having been approved by the Turkish Government, several of these
banks were established. The peasants were allowed to repay in kind the
loans which were advanced to them, the banks themselves selling the
agricultural products. With the object of increasing the capital of the
banks, a special tax was introduced obliging the farmers to hand every
year to these institutions part of their produce in kind.

When it was realised that these banks were of great service to the rural
population, to which they advanced money at 12 per cent
interest--instead of 30-100 per cent, as the usurers generally did--the
Turkish Government extended the reform to the whole Turkish Empire, and
obliged the peasants to create similar banks in all the district
centres. According to their statutes one-third of the net profits of
these banks was destined for works of public utility, such as bridges,
roads, fountains, schools, etc., while the remaining two-thirds went to
increase the capital of the banks.

During the Russo-Turkish war several of these banks lost their funds,
the functionaries of the Turkish Government having carried away all the
cash, as well as the securities and other property belonging to the
banks' clients. After the war the debtors refused to pay, and only part
of the property of the banks was restored, by means of the issue of new
bonds. For that unfortunate end the war is rather to be blamed than the
Turk. This _Credit Foncier_ system is pretty clear proof that the
Turkish power was not always cruel and rapacious, since so sensible a
reform was set on foot in one of the Christian provinces under the
Sublime Porte.

Apart from the industries of the soil, Bulgaria has a small mining
population and an increasing factory population. The Protective tariff
is used freely to encourage young industries, and there is an effort
just now to set up cotton-spinning as a national enterprise.

Serbia had a mixed pastoral and agricultural population up to the
outbreak of the war of 1912, with pig-raising as the greatest of the
national industries. By the Treaty of Bucharest she has, however,
acquired much new territory, and is now probably predominantly an
agricultural country. She has, too, great mineral resources at present,
but they are little developed, and fine forests which only need an
improvement of the means of communication to be commercially a big
asset. The Serbian is not so steadily devoted to his work as the
Bulgarian: his is the pastoral as opposed to the agricultural character.
Nevertheless he has a reasonable faculty of industry. As is the case in
Bulgaria the bulk of the land is held by peasant proprietors. These are
organised into communes very much on the Russian system. It is an
interesting fact that though in Serbia there is almost the same degree
as in Bulgaria of seclusion of the women of the nation, a Serbian woman
may be the head of the village commune, and, as such, exercise a very
real authority.

Both in Bulgaria and Serbia the rights of the commune are very jealously
safeguarded. The central government must take no part in the
administration of the communes, or maintain any agents of its own to
interfere with their affairs. The commune forms the basis of the State
fabric and enjoys a complete autonomy. It is the smallest unit in the
administrative organisation of the country. Every district is subdivided
into communes, which are either urban or rural. The commune is a
corporation. Every subject must belong to a commune and figure in its
registers, the laws not tolerating the state of vagrancy. The members of
the Commune Council are elected by universal suffrage, in the same way
and subject to the same precautions as the members of the National
Assembly. In passing it may be observed that theoretically the
governments of the Balkan States are free democracies. Practically they
are oligarchies tempered by assassination, which is still a favoured
political weapon.

The Serbian has not much of the commercial faculty: and people of other
nations manage very many of the businesses in Serbia.

The Montenegrin is willing to be a worker if it does not interfere with
his manly amusements of warfare. His occupations are pastoral and
agricultural pursuits and the chase. The Albanian is not content to be a
worker at all under any conditions. His occupations are dancing and
swaggering whilst his womenfolk carry on the bulk of the primitive
pastoral and agricultural work.

It is not possible to hope for much industrial or commercial progress in
Albania. But in Serbia and Bulgaria there are rich opportunities for
enterprise and capital provided that an era of peace could be reckoned
upon. It is the uncertainty on that point that will stand in the way of
future Balkan development. When after the Treaty of London the Balkan
League fell to pieces there was incurred, in addition to other
sacrifices, a serious loss of confidence on the part of European



We have seen that a blood-mist has hung over the Balkans during all the
centuries that history knows. Nature set up there lists for the great
contests of races--on the path from the cold north of Europe to the warm
south; on the path from Asia to Europe; and each great campaign left
behind it shreds of devastated peoples. These shreds of peoples dwelling
in the Balkans to-day have a blood-thirst as an inescapable heritage.
Turk, Bulgar, Serb, Roumanian, Greek--they may hold the peace for a
time, and some may try to think that they are friends with others; but
all have something of hate or fear or contempt for the others, and all
prepare in peace for the next fight.

The Fates making the Balkan Peninsula the battle-ground of empires and
races, the field of last stands, the refuge of residual fragments of
peoples, imposed upon it its bloody tradition. Under other conditions,
Serb or Bulgar or Greek or Turk or Roumanian left to themselves might
have made happier history. For all these races can be human, reasonable,
companionable. I have seen something of all of them in following a
Balkan campaign as a war correspondent (not following always as the
sheltered guest of an army, but forcing a solitary path through the
peasant population), and in watching the wonderful acrobatic lying of a
Balkan Peace Conference have seen thus the best and the worst of them. I
have been an unofficial member of a Bulgarian court-martial; the guest
of a dozen and more Bulgarian and Serbian army outposts, dependent often
for food and shelter on the kindness of peasant soldiers; for days have
held at the mercy of Balkan peasants my life and my property; have been
mistaken for a wandering Turk twice, and have never suffered violence,
rudeness, or the loss of a pennyworth. For the peasants, the commonfolk
of all the Balkan peoples, I have come thus to a hearty liking; their
priests and politicians (with a few exceptions), a different feeling.
Knowing that the massacre is the national sport in many districts of
the Balkans; that at the outbreak of the 1912 war the death-rate by
violence actually decreased in some quarters because the killing was
systematised a little and put under a sort of regulation; that always
Turks and Exarchate Christians and Patriarchate Christians are plotting
against one another new raids and murders, still I maintain that, if
left to themselves, if freed from the prompting of priests and
politicians the Balkan peasants of any race are quite decent folk. So I
wish heartily that there was fair reason to hope for peace and happiness
for them. Is there fair reason? To that question a study of the races
and the personalities can give clues for an answer.

[Illustration: _Underwood & Underwood_


The Bulgarian is dour, dull, a little greedy, honest, very industrious.
He is almost as much a Turk as a Slav. (I was told that during the
Turkish occupation a Bulgarian mother finding herself with child after
violence by a Turk brought up the child with her family, whilst a
Serbian mother under the same circumstances killed the infant at birth.)
The Bulgarian is very moral, marrying at an early age.

The Bulgarian peasant soldiers were very honest and loyal. At Mustapha
Pasha one night, being short of food, I tried to get bread at the
military bakery (all bread and flour having been requisitioned for the
army). I offered a soldier up to five francs for a loaf without tempting
him to sell it. Finally I had to get bread as a charity by declaring
that I was actually in want of it for food. Later, travelling between
Silivri and Chatalja, I encountered four Bulgarian foot soldiers who had
become separated from their regiment and were starving. They asked for
food and I gave them all I could spare, enough for two meals. One of the
men produced a purse and took out some coppers wishing to pay.

Travelling across Thrace (then in Bulgarian occupation), I often put up
at some military post, being invited to become a member of the little
mess--usually an official or two and four or five non-commissioned
officers. Nearly always I had the same experience, that I was made free
of the stewed goat and rice, or the dish of eggs and flour, or the bread
and cheese of the Bulgarians, and when I wished to add from my stores
chocolate and biscuits and dates, just a scrap or two would be taken. I
could see the men's eyes hungering for the delicacies, but nothing would
induce them to take anything material from my stores.

The Bulgarian peasant soldier and officer I found, in short, to be a
gentleman. Yet nationally Bulgaria is not "a gentleman," and has come to
its present sorry state, I believe, largely on that account. The old
Bulgarian aristocracy was exterminated by the Turks. The surviving
Bulgarian peasantry has not yet been able to produce another
aristocracy. It is the more cunning rather than the more worthy son of
the peasant who wins to a sort of an education--often abroad--and
becomes the lawyer, politician, official. In very many cases he carries
with him into a higher stratum of society few of his peasant virtues and
all of his peasant faults. He gets an overweening pride in his own
acuteness. He becomes arrogant, "too-clever-by-half," and intrigue
teaches him cruelty. I can contrast vividly two Bulgarian types in a
noted diplomat, who fancied himself a Bismarck and had about the wits of
an office boy, and an old peasant captain with whom I travelled from
Kirk Kilisse to Chorlu. Generalising, the "leading men" in Bulgaria are
of a poor type (there are exceptions), the leading priests of a still
poorer type; the people themselves are a sound people, and when the
ambitious among them contrive to preserve their peasant virtues through
the ordeal of education they will become a great people.

The Bulgarian did not seem to me naturally cruel. All the time that I
was with the main army I saw no trace of outrage or cruelty. I did see
several instances of curt and merciful justice.

I arrived one night at the Tchundra River alone, having gone forward
from my ox cart because the miserable Macedonian driver and the still
more miserable Bulgarian servant I had (I suspect he was in training for
the diplomatic service) could not be induced to do a fair day's march. A
vedette outpost of five men held the bridge. They took me--as I judged
from their gestures rather than from their language, of which I
understood only one word, "Turc"--for a Turk. But they let me stay
unmolested at their camp fire for an hour until an officer who spoke
French appeared. I could give several similar instances. Never did I
feel nervous in the least when making my way alone through the country
in Bulgarian occupation (most of the time I was alone, for after a while
I dropped my Macedonian and my Bulgarian servant).

[Illustration: _See page_ 190


The Turk I found disappointing. I had pictured a romantic individual
with a Circassian harem, a stable of Arab steeds, and a fierce and
warlike manner. I found the Turk to be rather a shabby individual;
monogamous usually (but with the free and easy ideas as to his rights
over Christian women which are almost consequent upon his philosophy of
life, and cause most of the trouble when the Turk lives by the side of a
Christian population); much addicted to sweetmeats--his shops were full
of Scotch lollies and English biscuits. Certainly most of the Turks I
have encountered were prisoners or dwelling in conquered country. But,
making all allowance for that, the traditional fiery Turk of martial
fame no longer exists, I should say, in European Turkey. The Turkish
prisoners in the hands of the Bulgarians seemed to be glad to have
arrived at a fate which meant regular food. In old Bulgaria I found
Turks living quite contentedly under Christian rule, and in many cases
following menial occupations. The boot-blacks in the streets were Turks,
the porters were Turks.

I had a Turkish driver for five days once from Kirk Kilisse to Mustapha
Pasha. The first hour of our acquaintance he won my heart by telling me
(through an interpreter) that since his horses had been requisitioned by
the Bulgarians, he had not been able to get proper food for them, and he
embraced his ponies, which were really in rather good condition. I
applauded the noble Turk and his love for horses, and bought tobacco for
him which he welcomed with tears of joy, as he had been without it for
long. The horses carried the cart a gallant thirty miles that day, and
we camped at a burned-out village. Mr. Turk set himself to enjoy a smoke
over the fire. My own supper I prepared, and gave him some to eke out
his bread and cheese, and then told him to water and feed the horses.
Because the well was 400 yards away and the tobacco was sweet and the
fire comforting, the Turk had no wish to do this, but was ready to let
them go through the night without food or water. I had to threaten to
flog him (and to start to do it) before he would attend to the horses.
Yet after that incident I slept in the cart without a thought that the
Turk would consider himself offended and cut my throat. As a matter of
fact the touch of the whip did not rankle with him, and at Mustapha
Pasha when, the journey ended, I gave him a little money for himself,
Mr. Turk prostrated himself in gratitude.

I believe that the warlike virtues have died out of the Turk in Europe.
Of other nation-making and nation-maintaining qualities he has none. In
all Turkey from the borders of Bulgaria to the lines of Chatalja, I
found no roads, no street lamps, no drainage, no water supply (I was not
in Adrianople). Except for a few agricultural peasants I found nowhere
the Turk doing any useful work. In a characteristic Turkish town the
shops were kept by Greeks, the industries carried on by Greeks,
Macedonians, and Bulgarians. The Turk was the tax-collector, the
official, the soldier, and did none of these things well. That acute
observer of the Turkish character, Mr. L. March Phillips, in his book
_In the Desert_ upholds that the Turk is impossible as a civilising

     Or, for a third example, come to the craggy hills of Southern
     Albania, and mix, if but for half an hour, with the armed
     shepherds, as wild and intractable as their own crags, or as the
     gaunt dogs which guard their flocks from the wolves, and whose
     attentions to strangers you are apt to find such a nuisance. You
     will understand from the first glance at the men more of the
     interminable Balkan difficulty than newspapers and books can ever
     teach you. These are the fellows who swoop down from their peaks on
     the mixed races of the plains and carry fire and slaughter through
     village and valley. Their natural aptitude for fighting and
     foraging, for bearing things with a strong hand, for cowing the
     weak and feeble, for vindicating the old "might is right" theory,
     is written all over them. You see it in their gait, glance, walk,
     and manner, you hear it in every accent of their voice, you feel it
     in their individuality and presence.

     These are specimens of the Moslem type, the type that stops short
     at the virile virtues, that makes the best host and worst neighbour
     in the world, that has many splendid qualities to recommend it, but
     to which all that makes life profound and inexhaustible is a dead
     letter. It is the most strongly marked and salient type I have ever
     met with. There is the Moslem walk, the Moslem scowl, the Moslem
     courtesy, the Moslem dignity, the Moslem carriage and attitudes and
     features, the Moslem composure, and the Moslem fury. All these
     traits and characteristics, inspired by the same temper, expressing
     the same ideal, conspire to depict a figure so notable that you
     must be a dull observer indeed if you cannot pick him out from a
     mixed crowd as you would pick out a Chinaman in the London streets.

     Some people say it is the religion that creates the type. "There,"
     they say of Mohammedanism, "is a religion that breeds men." It
     would be truer, I think, to say that Mohammedanism recommends
     itself to men at a certain stage of their development, and has for
     that stage a natural affinity. Every race goes through a time when
     the virile estimate of life and the splendour of self-assertion
     seem the finest things possible. It is at this time it is open to
     the attack of El Islam. The Moslem religion answers all its needs
     at this stage, and lays good hold of it, and having once laid hold
     of it, it sanctifies the ideas belonging to this stage, and so
     tends to restrict the race to it. There is no instance on record of
     a people having embraced Mohammedanism and afterwards achieving a
     complete, or what gives promise of ever becoming a complete,

During my stay in the Balkans I found no certain evidence of Turkish
cruelty. There was plenty of evidence offered by the Bulgarians, but it
usually smelt of the lamp of some patriotic journalist of Sofia. Once
near Mustapha Pasha--when all the war correspondents were cooped up
under strict censorship, prevented from seeing any of the operations
around Adrianople--the Bulgarians found it necessary to burn a village
for strategic reasons. The chance was offered to the Press photographers
of seeing this, if it were represented in their pictures as the
atrocious burning of a village by the Turks. I believe that the offer
was accepted by some. The "atrocities" by Turks, regularly recorded by
the Bulgarian Press Bureau were, as far as the main theatre of
operations was concerned, founded on similar evidence. During its first
phase I believe that the war was very humanely conducted on all sides.
In Macedonia, of course, there were some deplorable atrocities, but I
believe the normal massacre conditions there were rather bettered than
otherwise by the outbreak of war.

To sum up the Turk, I do not think he will survive for long in Europe.
As a matter of hard fact there really are not many real Turks left in

The Serbian, with his highlander the Montenegrin, is a far more engaging
personality than the Bulgarian. He lacks the stubborn, dour courage of
his neighbour, but he has more _élan_. In military life the Bulgarian
would supply incomparable infantry, the Serbians be superior in
artillery and cavalry. In social life the Serbian is convivial and
hospitable. Whilst the Bulgarian wishes to go to bed early that he may
get up early and push the road he is making along a little farther, the
Serbian will keep you at his dinner-table drinking and singing until far
into the morning. He is not troubling about a road.

When the Serbian army came to help the Bulgarians in the siege of
Adrianople, the contrast between the two armies and the two camps was
great. The Serbian men were smarter, better equipped, their quarters
cleaner, and from their mess tents would come by night the sound of
revelry. One might imagine Roundheads and Cavaliers camping side by

The Allies did not fraternise. For that I blamed the Bulgarians. The
positions in regard to the Serbian aid at Adrianople, as I understood
it, was this: that originally the Bulgarians engaged to help the
Serbians in their campaign, but this was found not to be necessary: that
the Bulgarians, later, asked for aid against Adrianople, and it was
promptly given without any conditions being imposed, though there then
already existed in the Serbian mind a desire to modify the territorial
partition arrangement they had with Bulgaria and this request for aid
might have been taken as a good opportunity for raising that question. I
believe those to be the facts, but since in Balkan diplomacy it is
always a matter of finding out the truth of comparing and weighing and
deducing from a series of lies, I cannot state them with absolute
certainty. If they are true, the Serbians behaved like gentlemen in not
raising against an ally an awkward question at a time when help was
asked. Quite certainly the Bulgarian authorities behaved like boors to
their Serbian friends. Things were made as unpleasant as was reasonably
possible for them in all kinds of niggling ways around Adrianople. The
Serbians behaved well under great provocation.

During the first sessions of the Balkan Peace Conference I had
opportunities of observing the same good behaviour on the part of the
Serbians. Bulgarian diplomacy was, as usual, very exasperating. It was
not only that Bulgaria was insisting on having the hide, horn, and hoofs
of Turkey, but also on rubbing salt into her bare carcase. The Turkish
delegates approached the Serbians--whose territorial demands as far as
Turkey was concerned were satisfied, but who had a pending controversy
with the Bulgarians--hoping to get some moral support against Bulgaria
and being prepared to offer something in return. The Serbian attitude
was sharply loyal, to stand by Bulgaria absolutely in regard to the
Turkish frontier. Serbians have not been always popular in Great
Britain, I know; but I am not alone among those who have come into
recent contact with Balkan affairs who found them to be the best of the
Balkan peoples.

[Illustration: _See page_ 194


The Greek is even more engaging and hospitable than the Serbian; but his
fluent, flexible, subtle nature does not inspire full confidence. At
the outset of the last Balkan war there was one thing that all were sure
of: that the Greeks would not fight. All were wrong. The Greeks did
exceedingly well in the field, even allowing that they sometimes shaped
their campaign quite as much by considerations of jealousy of their
allies as of hostility to the common enemy. But it is a fact that the
Greek has usually more stomach for politics than for fighting, and that
his subtle nature allows him to live comfortably in a state of
subjection, which would irk a more robust mind. He is by instinct a
trader: and a trader is not an uncompromising patriot as a rule.

The Greeks live side by side with the Turks in Turkey with fair comfort.
At Kirk Kilisse, after the Bulgarian occupation, a deputation came to me
from the Greeks to assure me that they would much prefer to live under
the Turk than under the Bulgar: and asking that England should be urged
to support autonomy for Thrace. Well, the Turks are back at Kirk
Kilisse, and I suppose my Greek friends are happy. Eloquent, courteous,
kind folk they were. I stayed in the house of one for some days, and
will remember always the gracious kindness of the man and his wife. I
had to leave one morning at four to catch a troop train which would
carry me a few miles towards the front. The couple were up and had a
fire and tea ready for me. As I had a fever at the time, and a long
laborious journey ahead, the whole Greek race seemed good that morning.

Later at Chorlu after I had got permission from the military commandant
to go forward to Chatalja, and he had helped me to hire a cart and
horses and to stock up my provisions, the permission was withdrawn
because Bashi-Bazouks were raiding along the line of communication. I
might go later, he said, when a body of troops was moving. I objected
that time was precious; and I had my revolver, and there was the driver.

"Ah," he said sweetly, "he is a Greek. He will run away."

After that manner the Bulgarians always spoke of the Greeks. In this
case the Bulgarian was possibly right. I finally coaxed permission to go
forward, on condition that I took a patrol of one Bulgarian soldier, and
I was allowed to borrow a rifle and some ammunition. We met no
Bashi-Bazouks: but whilst the Bulgarian palpably was quite content to
enter into a plan to give the Bashi-Bazouks a chance of showing
themselves at nightfall, the Greek liked the adventure not at all.
(Perhaps on the whole he was justified. But I was desperately eager for
a "story," and with the Turkish regulars running away so consistently,
to encounter irregulars suggested no real danger.)

On that journey, at a little village which I cannot name between Silivri
and Chatalja, the population was largely Greek. Some of the Greeks,
after the Turks had fled before the Bulgarians, had discarded the fez
and were wearing Bulgarian caps. Others held to the fez, but had marked
on it with white chalk a cross. I formed the opinion that if by the
fortune of war the Turks came back, those crosses would be rubbed out.
The Greek can be very pliant undoubtedly, when he is in contact with a
dominant people. The other side to his character--that of a hot-headed,
argumentative, boisterous Donnybrook Fair patriotism--is developed in
his own country where it is fed with memories of the historic greatness
of his race.

The Roumanian--the fourth national type in the Balkans to which I shall
refer--very closely resembles the Greek in most respects. Like the
Greeks the Roumanians are subtle, flexible, engaging. They are a
singularly good-looking race, and Roumanian girls are sought after in
marriage a great deal. A Serbian politician explaining to me what he
called "a nice national balance," pointed out that the Serbians rather
despised trade and finance. The Roumanian, therefore, came into Serbia
to make money as shopkeeper and financier. Then the young Serbian man
married the rich Roumanian's daughter and thus the Serbian money was
still kept in the country.

The instinct for trade has a very marked effect on the politics of the
Balkans. The Serbian has no love for trade: the Montenegrin despises it
quite. The Greek and the Roumanian are very keen traders with an
inclination to escape from manual work as soon as they can. The
Bulgarian is a trader and also fond of productive industry. So "as two
of a trade never agree," neither Greek nor Roumanian can get on as well
with the Bulgarian as with the Serbian.

The Roumanian national polity differs greatly from the Greek, though the
two racial types are very similar. Whilst Greece has a stormy and
disorderly democracy, Roumania is ruled practically by an oligarchy--an
oligarchy which during the past twelve months has won to an achievement
which would have delighted the old Florentine Republic. Without losing a
soldier, almost without spending a crown, Roumania has won a great tract
of territory and established herself as the paramount power of the
Balkans. It was a victory of unscrupulous and patient resoluteness which
is a classic of its kind, and it was made possible by the oligarchic
system of Roumania. The Montenegrin does not need to be considered
separately: he is the "Highlander" of the Serbian and shares Serbian
language, customs, and character with such modifications as the
conditions of his mountain life impose. But the Albanian, the largely
Mohammedan mountain type to which the jealousies of Europe have agreed
to give a separate nationality and a separate kingdom, calls for some
attention. The Albanian is the wildest of the Balkan types, and his
country the most primitive. It has had no period of civilisation, and
can hardly be said to promise to have. Its existence as a nation in 1914
was due to the fact that the German Powers wished to have a footing in
the Balkans for intrigue. "The creation of Albania dealt a death-blow
to the Balkan League," said a cynical Austrian diplomatist recently. He
was right: and the creation of Albania undertaken at the instance of
Austria had no other purpose from the first, though it was disguised
under the plea of anxiety for the national rights of the Albanians, wild
catamarans of the hills, odd specimens of whom one may encounter in many
parts of the Balkans acting as dragomans. The Albanian has many savage
virtues. He is a picturesque fellow as he swaggers about with a
silver-decorated armoury stuck in his waist-belt: and he is truly
faithful to a master. But he has not the barest elements of a national
organisation; and the Austrian Prince of Albania did not find a single
house within all his dominion which would satisfy the housing needs of a
respectable London clerk.

Describing the march across Albania to the Adriatic coast during the
recent war a Serbian officer wrote:

     It is only by travelling as we did that real facts can be learned.
     We who had only known the Turks by hearsay had a certain respect
     for them. At present I feel but contempt and disgust. To think that
     they should have held these lands for five hundred years, and kept
     them absolutely wild and uncultivated! Prishtina, Jakovitsa, and
     Prizrend are in every respect behind Mirigevo [a village some
     miles outside Belgrade]. There are neither bridges nor roads, nor
     decent dwellings to be met with in the Sanjak. Of the dirt I cannot
     trust myself to speak. The "Ujumat" (Prefecture) of Prizrend,
     residence of the Mutessarif, is in such a filthy condition that I
     could not sit there for more than five minutes together. All around
     the sofras (tables) were rags, remnants of food, tufts of dogs'
     hair, etc., for these ate and slept with their masters....

     The people are humble, cowed, moving out-of-doors rarely, and then
     huddled together like a herd of cattle.... The peasants run to kiss
     our hands, and bow down to the ground, but they are too frightened
     to give a sensible answer to a plain question. They speak Serbian,
     it is true, and cross themselves as Christians, but otherwise bear
     little resemblance to our peasant folk. They have lived no better
     than their masters, for themselves and their pigs share the same
     apartment! If the pigs were let loose the Turks were sure to kill
     them, so they were hidden indoors. The first use they made of the
     liberty we gave them was to hunt the pigs into the open air, and
     how the poor beasts enjoyed it! One could not help laughing at
     their antics as they chased each other, while the children ran to
     keep them from escaping to the woods. But the cows and oxen defy
     description. They are like our calves, only the shape is queer. I
     saw no vegetables anywhere. The staple diet is maize. From our
     frontier to the sea it is the same tale of misery, helplessness,
     and dirt. In Prizrend, after every rainfall, the people drink muddy
     water in which none of our soldiers would care to wash. When we
     boiled it a thick scum came on the top, which we skimmed off! This
     is the water used by a town of 40,000 citizens; and really one felt
     that authorities like the Turks should not be allowed to live any
     longer. Now we feel that it is a disgrace to us to have delayed so
     long in coming to the deliverance of our brothers in bondage just
     outside our doors. Better late than never.

     As for the independence of Albania, it would be a comical, if it
     were not a sinister, idea. Whoever speaks of a national sense in
     these savage hordes is either untruthful or ignorant. The Serbians
     of this region make no distinction, as we do, between the Turks and
     the Mohammedan Albanians. I could not get them to understand that
     the latter were in reality brethren of the Christian Albanians with
     whom they live in amity. I pointed out that these Mohammedans could
     not speak a word of Turkish, but that did not help. The Serbians
     insist that they are Turks all the same. And for all practical
     purposes they are right. The Christian Albanians are called by
     their race brethren "Catholics," and are hated and persecuted by
     them just as the Serbians are hated and persecuted. The "Catholics"
     loathe the Mohammedans and deny that they are of the same
     nationality. But the fact remains that they speak the same
     language. The Catholics welcomed us with joy, rendered us every
     possible service, and often refused to accept payment. They are
     eager to assist in our operations, acted as scouts for us, and
     brought us precious information. Sometimes they acted on their own
     initiative, captured, and killed their Mohammedan co-nationalists
     without first consulting us.... The priests are the most
     embittered. These jealous "fratres" told us they longed for a
     Christian Government, and that the project of a united Albania was
     insensate.... Ismail Kemal's proclamation has irritated the priests
     about here. They will not for a moment consider a union with the
     Mohammedan tribes or submission to a Moslem leader like Ismail. On
     the other hand, if we evacuate this country, a terrible fate awaits
     the Catholics....

     Here I have made acquaintance with the Montenegrin troops, rather
     different from ours! They get leave to go home and see after their
     wives and children whenever they ask it, and lax discipline does
     not seem to affect their heroism. They fight like lions, but do
     nothing else except shoot birds and fish in the interval. Every
     ship that touches here is greeted with a volley, though ammunition
     is sometimes scarce, but the Montenegrin can better spare bread
     than shot. He will do nothing but fight, and ships often remain
     unladen here for days, because there are few Albanians in the place
     to do the work. My soldiers carry sacks and burdens of all kinds to
     and from the ships, and the Montenegrins laugh at them and say: "Is
     that how you fight, Brother Shumadinats?" [Shumadia is a forest in
     the centre of the Kingdom of Serbia.] They are amused to see our
     men one day unshaven; they are most particular themselves to shave
     each day whatever happens. The priests alone wear a beard, for they
     are not supposed to fight.... The Montenegrin soldiers' wives come
     once a week to look after their husbands, wash the linen, and help
     to clean up....

There is, of course, a certain amount of Serb intolerance in that
letter, but it represents on the whole the truth.

So much for the different nations of the Balkans. The personalities of
the Peninsula might provide a happy solution for the problems which the
conflict of these mutually antipathetic racial elements create: for
there is no fact more clear than that the general interest of the
countries could best be served by a wise policy of compromise and
co-operation, bringing its different elements together as the Swiss were
brought together by a geographical rather than a racial reason. But
unfortunately there are no personalities alike honest in outlook and
great in power.

Four able and far-seeing men I have met in the Balkans: M. Nikolitch,
President of the Serbian Parliament; General Demetrieff, Commander of
the Third Army (which won the most notable Bulgarian victories), now
commanding a Russian army; M. Venizuelos, Prime Minister of Greece; M.
Take Jonescu, of the Roumanian Cabinet. All men of power, none seemingly
has sufficient strength to impose his will not alone on his own country,
but on the other Balkan States, and weld them into a Confederation which
would be held together by a sense of common interests and common

King Ferdinand of Bulgaria has kept for years the centre of the Balkan
stage to the European onlooker; and is still a great enough figure to
give pause to those Bulgarian Nationalists who would exact from him
reprisal for the terrible misfortunes of their country. But he is a man
of audacity rather than of courage, and his ambition has been always
more personal than national--to be Czar of the Balkans rather than to be
the maker of a Balkan nation. Gifted with a great deal of diplomatic
ability and with a soaring imagination, King Ferdinand has a serious
obstacle in his personal timidity. To play a gambler's game one must be
prepared at times to take the great risk. But King Ferdinand has many
fears. He fears, for instance, infectious diseases morbidly, and the
thought of a germ in the track could turn him from the highest of
enterprises. Perhaps it was the fear of disease rather than of wounds
that kept him so much in the rear of his army during the 1912 campaign
against Turkey. But whatever the cause, his absence from the front
showed a serious weakness of character in a man who aspired to carve out
an empire for himself. The Bulgarian authorities, deceiving the Press
almost as assiduously for the purpose as for the false representation
that all the destruction of the Turkish forces was ascribable to the
Bulgarian arms, gave to Europe inspiriting pictures of His Majesty
following close on the heels of his soldiers in a military train which
served him as a palace. The fact was that the ambitious but timid king
kept very well to the rear, at Stara Zagora first and afterwards at Kirk
Kilisse, with a great entourage of secret police. And when armistice
negotiations were in progress he kept separate from his Cabinet as well
as from his army. Affable in manner, industrious, pertinacious, well
aware of the advantage of advertisement (my first meeting with His
Majesty was due to the fact that he mistook my map case for a camera,
and sent for me to photograph him while he stood on the bridge over the
Maritza at Mustapha Pasha), of high ability, King Ferdinand did great
things for his adopted country, but showed a fatal weakness of character
when he had drunk deep of the wine of success. It is the fashion to
blame him wholly now for the wild attack on Serbia and Greece. He may
have been in part the victim of his advisers' folly in that. But without
much doubt he could have vetoed the fatal move, if he had known his army
from personal observation, if he had been down to the lines at Chatalja,
and had looked closely into the besieging forces around Adrianople.
Common sense would have told him that the attack on his allies was
hopeless, if strength of character had not told him that it was wicked.
But he neither knew the facts nor understood the ethics of the position.

General Demetrieff, Commander of the Third Bulgarian Army, the victor of
Kirk Kilisse and of Lule Burgas, the reluctant attacker at Chatalja,
impressed me as a man of fine character. For some few days I was a
member of the officers' mess at Erminekioi, which was the headquarters
of the Staff before the lines of Chatalja, and had the chance of seeing
much of the general. He struck one as a frank, courageous man. He
answered questions truthfully or not at all, and was notably kind to the
very small group of correspondents who had got through to the front. His
personal staff worshipped him, and told with pride that most of the
staff work with him on the battle-field was under fire. When it was
clear that the attack at Chatalja had failed, General Demetrieff neither
attempted to tell falsehoods nor shut himself off from visitors. He
ascribed the cessation of the attack to the outbreak of cholera in the
Bulgarian lines (and the statement was probably in his mind not only the
truth but all the truth: in any case one could not expect him to
disclose the shortage of big gun ammunition): was avowedly disconsolate
but not in the least discouraged. I cannot imagine General Demetrieff
having any hand in the making of the second Balkan war against the
Serbians and Greeks, and think that the Bulgarians had in him a man of
honesty and courage as well as of great military skill. No other general
of the Bulgarian Army impressed me in the same way, certainly not
General Savoff.

Of the Bulgarian politicians, M. Gueshoff, Prime Minister at the
outbreak of the first war, and M. Daneff, chief Bulgarian delegate at
the Peace Conference and Prime Minister at the outbreak of the second
war, had the chief parts in the glories and tragedies of 1912-13. M.
Gueshoff seemed a well-meaning but weak man. He was fond of insisting
upon his English education and of advancing that as a proof of his
complete candour. I imagine that he played no directing part in the
drama of his country's sudden rise to power and more sudden fall, but
did just as his king directed, sometimes probably under protest. M.
Daneff was a more virile man, and his force of character, with little
guidance from experience, of liberal education, or from wise purpose,
had much to do with the downfall of Bulgaria. Of the Balkan Peace
Conference which met first in London in December 1912, M. Daneff
attempted from the outset to be dictator. He never lost a chance of
being rude to an opponent or fulsome to a supporter. He diplomatised by
pronunciamento and made a vigorous use of the minor newspaper Press with
the idea of overawing the chancelleries of Europe. I am sure that the
British Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, had nearly as much amusement
as chagrin from the incidents of the Conference. Just when the Turkish
delegates were being gently coaxed up to drink the hemlock, Bulgaria
would publicly dance a wild triumph of joy, and announce that the very
last drop had to be absorbed or Bulgaria would not be satisfied. When
the Turkish delegates were thus startled away and all the pressure of
European diplomacy was being brought to bear upon the Turkish Government
to bring them back to the point, Bulgaria threatened publicly to break
up the Conference and resume the war. Europe was given a short
time-limit in which to act.

M. Venizuelos, Prime Minister of Greece, has proved in his own country a
great capacity for good government and wise diplomacy. There was a
strong movement made at the outset of the Balkan Peace Conference to
have him appointed head of the Balkan delegation. Success in that would
have made the chances of peace better; and probably he had an
expectation of being chosen as being the senior in official rank of all
those present. But the jealousy and distrust of Greece was great: and M.
Venizuelos did not prove himself the man of genius who could overcome
the handicap which his nationality imposed. True, the task was almost
impossible. But still nearer to the impossible would it be now to unite
again the warring factions in the Balkans. M. Venizuelos, of the highest
talent though he be, will not be the maker of a Balkan Confederation.

M. Nikolitch, President of the Serbian Parliament, is an amiable and
clever man with far more culture than is usual in the Balkans. He has
translated English classics into the Serbian tongue, and is an
industrious student of social and political philosophy. But he has
nothing of the brute force that is needed to control the warring
passions of the Balkan States. As the Minister of a Balkan Union to a
great Power he would be admirable, for he has tact and wit, and a
knowledge of the value of truth. When it was made plain that Austria was
to have her way and Serbia no territory on the Adriatic, the
disappointment of Serbia was bitter: and there was some special blame of
Great Britain that she "had not considered her obvious interests," and
brought this friendly little state to the sea. M. Nikolitch had the
diplomat's faculty of taking a defeat smilingly. "The most unhappy thing
about it," he said to me, "is that now Serbia will not have England on
her frontier." It was a neat touch to speak of the sea as British

There remains to be considered M. Take Jonescu, who is credited with the
chief share in the unscrupulous diplomacy which has made Roumania for
the while paramount in the Balkans. It was certainly a masterpiece of
Machiavellianism, applying the tenets of "The Prince" with cold
precision, and marks its author as the master mind of the Balkans
to-day. Give such a man a good soldier people to follow him and an
honest purpose, and a Balkan Confederation might be achieved, with some
further blood-letting perhaps. But it is not possible to believe that
the Roumanians, frivolous, pleasure-loving, untenacious, could impose
their will for long upon the coarser-fibred but more virile Slavs of the

No, there is not a personality in the Balkans to-day at once forceful
enough, honest enough, and skilful enough to give the Peninsula a union
which would enable it by means of a bold decision now to ensure internal
peace and freedom from outside interference. A great man could build up
a greater Switzerland, perhaps, of the Slavs, the Greeks, and the
Roumanians in the Balkan Peninsula with Great Britain, Russia, and
France as joint sponsors for the freedom of the new Federation. But one
hardly dares to hope for such a happy ending to the long miserable story
of the Balkans.


Adrian, Emperor, 89

Adrianople, 14, 65, 68
  description of, 90
  Turkish occupation of, 26

Adriatic coast, 150
  Sea, 45

Aegean Islands, 62
  Sea, 45

Alani, the, 10

Albania, 14, 17, 62
  condition of, 194

Albanian character, 173, 193
  massacres, 89
  mountains, 152

Alexander of Battenberg. _See_ Alexander of Bulgaria

Alexander, King of Bulgaria, 47
  abdication of, 48

Alexander the Great, 6

American war correspondents, 99

Amurath I., Sultan of Turkey, 27

Amurath II., Sultan of Turkey, 27

Architecture, 158

Arjenli, 131

Armenia, 6

Art, applied, 163, 164
  modern, 164, 165

Arts and crafts, 162

Asia Minor, invasion of, 17

Asiatic invasions, 11, 12

Assyria, 6

Astrakhan, 9

Austria, 28
  and Serbia's trade, 125

Austrian ambitions in the Balkans, 45, 46, 49
  war correspondents, 99, 105

Autonomy of the Christian Provinces, 57

Bajayet, Sultan of Turkey, 27

Balkan Alliance, 18, 21, 45, 53, 55, 57, 59, 74, 174, 194
  possibilities of, 82

Balkan casualties in the war, 87, 88
  character, 124
  Committee, the, 91
  development, 174
  diplomacy, 56, 57
  disunion, 75-77, 79
  mountains, 3, 151

Balkan Peace Conference, 1912, 75, 78, 80, 81, 176, 188
  second phase, 84, 85
  spokesman, 83

Balkan peasants, 176
  peoples as linguists, 148
  politicians, 176
  priests, 176
  statesmen, 78, 92
  War of 1912, 46, 54, 107
  War resumed, 84
  women, 159

Baltic Sea, 4, 6

Banking, 168, 170

Bashi-Bazouks, 26, 39, 43, 190

Basil, the Bulgar-slayer, 14

Beetroot cultivation, 169

Belgrade, 16, 124, 146
  siege of, 27

Bessarabia, 32

Birrell, Major E. T. F., R.A.M.C., 143

Bishop Babylas of Montenegro, 36

Black Sea, 3, 5, 120
  littoral, 150

Blood-mist, the, 175

Bosnia, 39, 49

British Army Medical Detachment, 69
  opinion, 83
  Red Cross Hospital, 143
  surgeons, 142

Bucharest, 30, 109

Buda-Pest, 109

Bulgaria, 13, 22, 37
  an autonomous principality, 44
  beaten, 88
  boundaries of (1830), 44
  foreign influences in, 97
  government of, 40
  liberation of, 30
  under Serbian rule, 17
  a Turkish province, 22, 25
  and universal suffrage, 40
  at war, 127, 128

_Bulgaria of To-day_, extract from, 23

Bulgarian ambitions, 61
  aristocracy, 179
  army of 1912, 41
  atrocities, 43
  atrocities in Macedonia, 51
  autonomy, 40
  blunders, 86, 87
  censorship. _See_ Censorship
  character, 177-180
  church, 26
  commissariat, 69-73, 128
  crops, 168
  diplomacy, 85-87, 188
  diplomatic intrigues, 49
  Exarchates, 52
  finance, 64, 168
  generals, 59
  hegemony, 48
  hospitals, 143
  industry, 167
  medical service, 138, 139
  military tactics, 66-71
  mobilisation, 59, 63, 134
  peace negotiations, 79
  peasants, 141
  preparedness for war, 55, 127
  Press Bureau, 185
  revolt of 1875, 39, 47
  Secret Service, 60
  system of land tenures, 168
  War of Liberation, 42
  women, 135

Bulgars, 3, 4, 9, 11, 13

Buxton, Mr. Noel, M.P., 158

Byzantine art, 164
  traditions, 164

Cafés, 160

Carpets, 164

Caucasus, the, 9

Censorship, the, 94, 98, 100, 101, 115, 121
  humours of the, 100
  the second, 102

Cettinje, 35

Charles, King of Roumania, 39, 41

Chatalja, 61, 68, 117

Cherson, 5

Chersonesos, 5

Choleraic dysentery, 133, 138

Chorlu, 68

Churches. _See_ Architecture

Congress of Berlin, 44, 45

Constantinople, 8, 9, 11, 14, 15, 20, 26, 43, 61, 62, 137
  fall of, 27, 89, 90

Cotton-spinning, 171

_Credit Foncier_ system, 169, 171

Cretan excavations, 4

Crimean War, 32, 38, 107

Crusaders, the, 20

Cyrillic characters, 35

Dacians, 6, 7

Daneff, M., 202

Danilo I., King of Montenegro, 33

Danube, 2, 3, 7, 28, 146

Dardanelles, the, 62

Decius the elder, 8

Decius the younger, 8

Demetrieff, General, 67, 136, 198, 201

Disease, ravages of, 140

Dnieper River, 5

Dniester River, 5

Don Cossacks, 15

Don River, 3

Dual Monarchy, problems of, 28

Dulcigno, 46

Durazzo, 14

Eastern Church, 16

Eastern Rumelia, 48

Egyptian influences, 4

Embroideries, 164

Emigration, 166

English war correspondents, 99

Enos, 88

Ermenikioi, 136, 138, 201

Eski Sagrah, 96, 97

Eski Zagora, 20

European capital, 174
  diplomacy, 39, 40
  diplomacy and Roumania, 85
  finance, 64
  policy, 50, 55
  policy in 1912-13, 45
  Powers, interest of, 96
  Powers, intervention of, 58

Euxine, 6

Exarchate Christians, 177

Ferdinand, Czar of Bulgaria, 47, 49, 50, 108, 152, 154
  his character, 198-201

Ferdinand of Coburg. _See_ Ferdinand of Bulgaria

Filimer, King of the Goths, 9

Finno-ugric tribe, 3

Forty Holy Martyrs of Bulgaria, 14

Fratricidal war, 87

Frederick Barbarossa, 16

French war correspondents, 99

Gallipoli, Peninsula of, 75

Geographical position, 1

Gepidae, 11

German Powers, 193

German war correspondents, 99

Getae. _See_ Dacians

Goths, 4, 5, 7, 8, 9, 13, 20
  invasions of, 75

Greco-Bulgarian disunion, 79
  _entente_, 76

Greco-Turkish wars, 107

Greece, 37

Greek atrocities in Macedonia, 51
  character, 188-191
  church, 22
  civilisation, 4
  coast, 150
  diplomacy, 93
  Empire, 2, 9, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16, 17, 20
  Empire, fall of, 21
  governors in Roumania, 31
  official report, 76
  Patriarchates, 52
  patriotism, 167
  Prime Minister. _See_ Venizuelos
  traditions, 164
  war of independence, 82

Greeks, 3

Grey, Sir Edward, 85, 203

Grivica Redoubt, 41

Gueshoff, M., 202

Guttones. _See_ Goths

Haskovo, province of, 168

Health resorts, 153

Herodotus, 5

Herzegovina, 39, 49

History, Early, 3, 4

Hodgkin, Mr. T., 5

Hospital services, 141, 142

Hungarians, 11, 13, 28

Huns, 4, 7, 11, 13
  invasions of, 9, 75
  origin of, 9, 10

"International Socialist," 132

Ionian letter-forms, 5

Istros, 5

Italian Peninsula, 1
  war correspondents, 99

Ivan the Black, of Montenegro, 35

Ivankeui, battle of, 67

Janina, 75

Japanese censorship, 98

Jireček, 2

John Asên, Czar of Bulgaria, 14

John Hunyad, 27

John Paleologos, Emperor of Greece, 21

Jonescu, M. Take, 198, 205

Jostoff, Colonel, 138

Journalism, 108-110

"Kara George." _See_ Petrovic

Kirk Kilisse, 42, 65, 139

Korea, 58

Kossova, 21
  battle of, 27, 33

Kustendil, 168

Kustendjix, 5

Lazar, King of Serbia, 27

Levant, the, 4, 5

Liberation, progress since the, 165

Lithuania, 5

Lombards, 8, 11

London Morning Post, 54, 100

"Lord Salisbury's principle," 93

Lule Burgas, 68
  battle of, 72

Macedonia, 44, 74
  atrocities in, 51, 52, 53
  Empire of, 6
  massacres in, 51, 89

Marcianople. _See_ Schumla

Mariano Bolizza, 36

Maritza River, 90

Marmora, Sea of, 62, 120, 150

"Mass at St. Sofia," 146

Massacre, the national sport, 177

Medicinal springs, 153

Mediterranean littoral, 2
  Sea, 4

Michael, Czar of Bulgaria, 15

Michael the Brave, of Roumania, 30

Midhat Pasha, 169, 170

Midia, 88

Military attachés, 105, 107

Milosh Obrenovic of Serbia, 38

Mineral resources in Serbia, 172

Minoan civilisation, 2

Moesia, 3

Mohammedanism, 24

Moldavia, 13, 29, 38

Montenegrin character, 173, 193
  printing press, 35, 36
  resistance of Turks, 34, 35
  war with Austria, 35
  war with Turkey, 35

Montenegro, 17, 28, 32, 33, 37, 46

Montenegro, government of, 33

_Morning Post_, the. _See_ London

Mount Athos, monastery of, 16

Music, national, 163

Napoleon, 17, 34

Napoleonic strategy, 113
  wars, 32

Near East, the, 107

Near Eastern character, 78

Neytchef, Dr., 131

Nicolaieff, General, 42

Niemen River, 5

Nikolitch, M., 198, 204

Nish, 43, 125, 126

Nordic tribes, 4

Norman knights, 13

Normans, 4

Northern invasions, 13
  peoples, 2

North Sea, 4

Nova Sagora, 135

Novi-Bazar, 46

Odessa, 5

Odessos, 5

Olbia, 5

Old Serbia, 74

Oriental Express, 156

Ostrogoths, 7

Ottoman. _See_ Turks

Ox wagons, 130, 131

Patriarchate Christians, 177

Peace Conference. _See under_ Balkan

Peace of Bucharest, 88

Peace of London, 85, 88

Persians, 11

Peter the Great of Russia, 34

Petrovic, George, 29, 37

Philip of Macedon, 6

Philippopolis, 8, 44
  capture of, 20

Phillip, Roman Emperor, 8

Pig-raising, 171

Pirot, 43

Plevna, 41, 46

Pomaks, 22

Prehistoric state, 2

Press influence, 83, 84

Protective tariff, 171

_Punch_ cartoon, 54

Religious proselytising, 30

Rhodopes, the, 151, 152, 158

Roads, 167

Roman Church, 16
  civilisation, 8
  Empire, 1, 2, 89, 168

Roman Empire, decline of, 7
  fall of, 8
  traditions, 164

Romans, 4, 7

Rose cultivation, 169

Roumania, 7, 13, 22, 29, 37
  Greek governors in, 31
  an independent principality, 32
  King of, 48, 49
  liberation of, 30, 31
  Russian garrison in, 32
  subjugation of, 2
  a Turkish province, 29

Roumanian character, 191, 192
  diplomacy, 92
  independence, 38
  war correspondents, 105
  women, 160

Roumanians, 3

Runes, 5

Russian ambitions in the Balkans, 44, 45, 49
  garrison in Roumania, 32
  hospital at Kirk Kilisse, 143
  intrigue in Bulgaria, 48
  liberators of Bulgaria, 25
  Power, 31
  war correspondents, 99

Russo-Japanese War, effect of, 50

Russo-Roumanian alliance, 31

Russo-Turkish War of 1828, 32
  of 1877, 41, 43, 170

Salonica, 46, 62, 76, 79

Sanitary arrangements, absence of, 140, 141, 142

Saracens, 4, 12, 20

Savoff, General, 117, 202

Schumla, 8

Scutari, 74, 75

Scythia, 5, 8, 9

Seaside resorts, 150, 151

Sebastopol, 5

Seleniki, 129

Semitic invasions, 4

Serbia, 15, 17, 26, 37
  as a European Power, 16
  local government in, 172
  Turkish garrisons withdrawn, 38
  a Turkish province, 27

Serbian character, 186-188
  contest for liberty, 38
  diplomacy, 93
  emigration to Austria, 28
  Empire, 33
  Empire, fall of, 27
  forests, 172
  Highlanders, 33
  increase of territory, 46
  liberation, 37
  mineral resources, 172
  mountains, 151
  trade, Austria and, 125
  women, 172

Serbians, 3, 4, 9

Serbo-Hungarian Alliance, 27

Servians. _See_ Serbians

Shipka Pass, 42, 129

Silistria, 168

Simeon of Bulgaria, 163

Slav traditions, 164

Slavs, 3, 4

Slivnitza, battle of, 48

Sofia, 61, 145
  the Military College, 42

Southern Slav Art Exhibition, 165

Stambouloff, 48
  assassination of, 49

Stara Zagora, 42

Stephen Dushan, King of Serbia, 16, 17, 26, 162

Stephen the Great, of Moldavia, 30

Sweden, 6, 9

Switzerland, 58

Tapestries, 164

Tartars, 4, 11, 13

Tchobanoff, Lieutenant-Colonel, 131

Tchorlu, 42

Tchundra River, 90

Teutonic knights, 13

Theodore Komnenus, Czar of Greece, 14

Thessaly, 2

Thrace, 2, 8, 44, 51
  an autonomous, 80

Thracian campaign, 54
  plain, 154

Thraco-Dacians, 3

Thraco-Illyrians, 3

Thraco-Macedonians, 3

Tirnova, 44
  Church of the Forty Martyrs, 14

Tobacco cultivation, 168

Tourist possibilities, 151, 152

Trade, Early, 5

Trajan, 7

Transylvania, 30

Travel facilities, 155-158
  risks, 161

Treaty of Adrianople (1830), 44

Treaty of Berlin, 38, 45, 46

Treaty of Bucharest (1913), 17, 171

Treaty of London, 174

Treaty of Paris (1856), 32, 38, 39

Treaty of San Stefano, 43, 44, 46, 47, 50

Trenches, 145

Triple Alliance, the, 50

Turco-Russian wars, 107

Turkey-in-Europe, 61

Turkish Army, 106
  atrocities, 19, 26, 29, 31, 52
  character, 181-186
  corruption, 61
  cruelty, 185
  delegates at the Conference, 188
  domination in Bulgaria, 23, 24, 25
  entrenchments, 137
  invasion, first, 15
  occupation, 17, 20, 158
  offer of reform, 56
  Power in Europe, decline of, 45
  prisoners, 136
  procrastination at the Peace Conference, 81, 84
  rally, 88
  rule in Bulgaria, end of, 26
  rule in Serbia, 28
  spy incident, 133
  tyranny, 24
  villages, 138

Turks, 3, 4, 13
  before Vienna, 21

Turnu-Severin, 7

Tyras, 5

Unity of Balkans. _See_ Balkan Alliance

Valerius, Emperor, 89

Vandals, 7

Varna, 5

Venetians, 16

Venice 34

Venizuelos, M., 83, 198, 203, 204

Vienna, 109
  siege of, 21

Villages, the, 154

Visigoths, 7

Vistula River, 5

Vlad the Impaler, of Wallachia, 30

Volga River, 3

Volgars. _See_ Bulgars

Vranga, 43

Wallachia, 13, 29

Wallachians. _See_ Roumanians

War correspondent, the, 98, 99, 102, 103, 107, 126, 185
  advice to, 110
  new school, 107, 108, 113
  passing of the, 122
  a personal record, 116

War of Liberation, 85

Winter sports, 152

Yamboli, 42, 65, 69

Yanina, battle of, 67

Zablack, 35


_Printed by_ R. & R. Clark, Limited, _Edinburgh_.



_Large Square Demy 8vo._ Price =7/6= net each. _Bound in Cloth._

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Both "Serbia" and "Servia", "country-side" and "countryside" are found
in this text.

At p. 54, the phrase "I was through the war" may be an error for "I went
through the war", but has been left unchanged.

There is only one typo: "howevre" (on p. 21) has been changed to

Four words in the index have a different spelling from that used in the
text. Kossovo, Nova Zagora, Chorlu and Zablak are indexed as "Kossova",
"Nova Sagora", "Tchorlu" and "Zablack" respectively. These spellings
have been left unchanged.

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