The lessons of the Balkan Wars



In the Balkan Wars for the first time the opposite armies were armed with modern quick-firing guns. The field artillery played a very important part in the fightings and the rapid and unexpected success of the Balkan States was often ascribed to the marked superiority of their artillery, which in almost all occasions was able to best easily the Turkish artillery, thus being able to turn at once to support its own infantry.

In addition to the attachés attached to the various armies already at the beginning of the war, every country in Europe sent several observers to the battlefield to learn what they could from the fighting. They were followed by a great numbers of newspaper correspondants, who tried to describe the war operations, often without any military experience. In 1913-1915 several of the younger officers that had been in the theaters of war published their experiences in various military journals, provoking a heated debate about the lesson learned from the war.

The fighting powers nevertheless did not like the presence of neutral observers, attachés and other officers, as well as newspaper correspondents. On 4 February 1913 the German Minister in Sofia, Gustav Michahellis, reported that reliable news about the siege of Odrin was hard to obtain “since military attachés and correspondent up to now have received no permission to follow the war operations and the Bulgarian General Staff on its part naturally would give out only news favorable to itself”.



All the dates in these pages are according the western – Gregorian – calendar.




Military attachés attached to the Bulgarian Army in 1912




French reports

German reports

Schneider versus Krupp

Essays and researches about the lessons of the Balkan Wars