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THE BALKAN PENINSULA

AGENTS

America The Macmillan Company 64 & 66 Fifth Avenue, New York

Australasia The Oxford University Press 205 Flinders Lane,

Melbourne

Canada The Macmillan Company of Canada, Ltd. St. Martin's House,

70 Bond Street, Toronto

India Macmillan & Company, Ltd. Macmillan Building, Bombay 309

Bow Bazaar Street, Calcutta

A BALKAN PEASANT

THE BALKAN PENINSULA

BY

FRANK FOX

AUTHOR OF"AUSTRALIA," "BULGARIA," "SWITZERLAND,"

ETC.

PUBLISHED BY A. & C. BLACK, LTD. 4, 5, & 6 SOHO SQUARE,

LONDON, W. 
 
 1915

[v]

PREFACE

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

[vi]

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

[vii]

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

[viii]

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 States.

FRANK FOX.

[ix]

CONTENTS

CHA

PA

P.

GE

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

The Troubles of a War Correspondent in the

VI.

94

Balkans

124

VII. Jottings from my Balkan Travel Book

VIII.

149

The Picturesque Balkans

162

IX. The Balkan Peoples in Art and Industry

175

X. The Future of the Balkans

207

Index

[x]

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

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

35

Weapons

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

[xi]

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.

[xii]

SKETCH MAP OF THE BALKAN PENINSULA

[1]

THE BALKAN PENINSULA