The Greco-Serbian Alliance, 1913.


Even before the signing of the Treaty of London on May 30, 1913, during the interval between the First and Second Balkan Wars, Bulgaria showed signs of renewing the struggle.

As early as May of that year the Bulgarians had attacked Greek outposts, and it was in anticipation of more serious attacks that the Serbo-Greek alliance was formed, June 1, 1913.


By the terms of the treaty of alliance the two states agreed upon a mutual guarantee of territory, promised not to come to any separate understanding with Bulgaria in regard to the division of the former Turkish territory in Europe, drew a common boundary line for the two states, defined a Serbo-Bulgarian boundary line which was to be claimed, and bound themselves "to afford assistance with all their armed forces," if Bulgaria "should attempt to impose her claims by force." The alliance was to last for at least ten years. The treaty included a stipulation that it "be kept strictly secret."

By this treaty Serbia secured, as she hoped, the possession of Monastir and the surrounding districts, and Greece secured Saloniki and Kavalla. The treaty was, of course, one of reciprocal obligation. If Bulgaria threatened Greece, Greece was entitled to call upon Serbia for aid. Should Serbia be attacked by Bulgaria, Greece was bound to go to the aid of Serbia.

The latter contingency actually arose in the autumn of 1915. Serbia was attacked in the rear by Bulgaria during the Austrian invasion at that time. Premier Venizelos who, almost since the beginning of the Great War, had favored the participation of Greece on the side of the allies, strongly advocated the fulfillment of the obligations which Greece had contracted toward Serbia, and this both on grounds of law and policy.

King Constantine and his adherents took a different view. They maintained that the obligations which Greece had incurred toward Serbia only applied to the case where Bulgaria, acting independently, attacked Serbia and did not apply to the situation created by a general European war. The view of the matter taken by the King and his friends prevailed, Venizelos was dismissed from power and office in the most unconstitutional fashion (i.e., after his triumphant vindication at the polls), and Serbia was left to her fate.

Source: Anderson, Frank Maloy and Amos Shartle Hershey, Handbook for the Diplomatic History of Europe, Asia, and Africa 1870-1914. Prepared for the National Board for Historical Service. Government Printing Office, Washington, 1918.

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