Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914 is the first history of the Great War to address in-depth the crucial events of 1914 as they played out on the Balkan Front. James Lyon demonstrates how blame for the war's outbreak can be placed squarely on Austria-Hungary's expansionist plans and internal political tensions, Serbian nationalism, South Slav aspirations, the unresolved EasSerbia and the Balkan Front, 1914 is the first history of the Great War to address in-depth the crucial events of 1914 as they played out on the Balkan Front. James Lyon demonstrates how blame for the war's outbreak can be placed squarely on Austria-Hungary's expansionist plans and internal political tensions, Serbian nationalism, South Slav aspirations, the unresolved Eastern Question, and a political assassination sponsored by renegade elements within Serbia's security services. In doing so, he portrays the background and events of the Sarajevo Assassination and the subsequent military campaigns and diplomacy on the Balkan Front during 1914.The book details the first battle of the First World War, the first Allied victory and the massive military humiliations Austria-Hungary suffered at the hands of tiny Serbia, while discussing the oversized strategic role Serbia played for the Allies during 1914. Lyon challenges existing historiography that contends the Habsburg Army was ill-prepared for war and shows that the Dual Monarchy was in fact superior in manpower and technology to the Serbian Army, thus laying blame on Austria-Hungary's military leadership rather than on its state of readiness.Based on archival sources from Belgrade, Sarajevo and Vienna and using never-before-seen material to discuss secret negotiations between Turkey and Belgrade to carve up Albania, Serbia's desertion epidemic, its near-surrender to Austria-Hungary in November 1914, and how Serbia became the first belligerent to openly proclaim its war aims, Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914 enriches our understanding of the outbreak of the war and Serbia's role in modern Europe. It is of great importance to students and scholars of the history of the First World War as well as military, diplomatic and modern European history....
|Title||:||Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914: The Outbreak of the Great War|
|Number of Pages||:||328 Pages|
|Status||:||Available For Download|
|Last checked||:||21 Minutes ago!|
Serbia and the Balkan Front, 1914: The Outbreak of the Great War Reviews
The Austrians tried to invade Serbia 3 times. They got their ass handed to them 3 times. They came back next year. That's how DiNardio wraps things up for the Drina in Invasion: The Conquest of Serbia, 1915. While useful as an arch inscription for a memory palace, this synopsis simply wouldn't do, so I turned to this eminent Balkanologist who strives for quality to honour the memory of his father. Inevitably, the focus is with the Serbian Army. Steeled and blooded in two Balkan Wars to the point of brittleness, the third round saw a greater proportion of the male population mobilised than any other belligerent of WWI to maintain the numerical strength of the army. The majority of its formations and their personal weapons would be ranked as second or third line troops by the standards of Great Power armies. Teenagers whose faces had barely seen a razor followed in the wake of grizzled grandfathers who had volunteered for the Herzegovina Uprising of 1875. Modern (heavy) artillery was in short supply and the country's single ammunication factory could not hope to keep pace with the gluttonous demands of the conflict to come. The logistical situation is best illustrated by the empty peasant cart while its driver scores the nearest village for provisions. This type of foraging complicated the problem of outright desertion, already prevalent in a defensive campaign fought on home soil. The army of Serbia was even weaker than Allied propaganda at the time potrayed it, but not as weak as the strategy planners of theKaiserliche und Königlichebelieved it to be. They had manpower issues of their own. First, some of the units that formed part of the Fifth and Sixth armies featured a high proportion of South Slav conscripts whose loyalty was, if not outright questionable, then liable to become a problem once their Serbian counterparts opened fire. Not for nothing was the elimination of Serbia as beacon of Pan-Yugoslavic aspirations a political goal of the Dual Monarchy's war, lest it be weakened into some kind of Triple Monarchy or even dissolved along ethnic lines.Second, Chief of Staff Conrad von Hötzendorf changed his mind about the implementation of the pre-war mobilisation plans. Either way, the army was split in three groups. Two were earmarked respectively for Russia (Galicia) and Serbia respectively. The third was held in reserve until the likelihood of a large scale Russian attack into Austrian Poland was determined, upon which it could be attached to either group. Since von Hötzendorf was hawkishly set on the destruction of Serbia , the reserve was sent south over a single-track railway, only to be turned around to face the Russians while the first invasion of Serbia was already well under way. Sheer battlefield experience was not be discounted irregardless of quantotative superiority, however. Artillery was not a concern to the Austrian commanders, but their troops would serve as the first test case for the dominance of the gun on the 14-18 battlefields. Whereas the Habsburg gunners were reluctant to close the range, Serbian batteries would tear through enemy columns point-blank, consuming the ammo supply of disabled neighbours as needed. The compact nature of many battlefields, with mountain plateaus commanding the passes to the interior, concentrated the carnage all the more.With this tribute to the gallant Serbian troops, Lyon has plugged an imported gap in the centennial assessment of World War I. He provides us with a liberal amount of maps. They are easy to read, but still don't show every site mentioned in the text. Personal knowledge of the country wouldn't hurt, either. At least they illustrate the geostrategic context of Serbia, with a mountaneous frontier sheltering the main railway line to the Allied world. Lyon has mustered an impressive array of "Yugoslav" sources, so prepare for the consequent use ofMorava division II banrather than "2nd Division" and such. Lyon is not afraid to humble his confraters when justified, even when it's Christopher Clark (from the magistral The Sleepwalkers: How Europe Went to War in 1914) :Alltough one historian claimed that the Serbian response[ to the Austrian ultimatum of july 23]was a masterpiece of "diplomatic equivocation ...the claim often made in general narratives that this reply represented an almost complete capitulation to the Austrian demands is profoundly misleading... it was a highly perfumed rejection on most points." Such analysis demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of the events behind the Sarajevo assassination, Vienna's expansionist policy after 1903 as well as the legal and constitutional limitations the Serbian government faced in 1914. He's conversely a bit light on Habsburg archives. Memoirs from the interwar period by senior officers dominate the German-language section, with Rothenberg's omnipresent The Army of Francis Joseph from 1976 on call. A good companion is The Serbian Army in the Great War, 1914-1918. This costs the book its fifth star, but let's end on a positive note: Lyon breaks a lance on the armour of occidental eurocentrism in historiography. For us, 1914-1918 mark the Great War, with two little weird Balkan Wars as a prelude. To Serbia, 1912-1918 is the National War of Liberation all in one, as their own historians proudly attest*.Works cited:by Gunther E. Rothenberg (no photo) byDusan Babac (no photo) byRichard L. DiNardo (no photo)* by Andrej Mitrović (no photo)
I can't say anything objective about the book because I wrote it. Hopefully, however, someone will find the overall endeavor worthwhile and providing a picture of events that have yet to be adequately discussed.
From having taught World War One, I know that many textbooks tend to portray the Balkans as sort of a deus ex machina that has to be gotten past in order to get to the good stuff about the Great War.Lyon's book compels us to reconsider that proposition. He integrates early 20th century Balkan history into narrative that allows the region to be a part of the currents of European events. By taking a new look at local records, rather than relying upon Great Power records, Lyon helps us see the crucial role that Serbia played in upsetting Austro-Hungarian political and military plans in 1914. We're able to see how a committed, though horribly overstretched Serbian army was able to outmatch Austro-Hungarian forces and play a key role in shaping Austria-Hungary's ability to fight early in World War One.