Great Powers Rivalry and the Emergence of Albania in 1912-1913

The Great Powers installed a German army officer, a German Prince William, Wilhelm of Wied, Germany, as the first recognized ruler of an “independent” Albania, a puppet or proxy regime or government set up by the Great Powers.

In many ways, the conflict between the Great Powers and Serbia over Albania in 1912-1913 prefigured and foreshadowed and was the precursor of the open conflict over Kosovo beginning in 1998. Albania achieved independence only because Serbia and the other Balkan League powers were able to defeat Ottoman Turkey militarily. The Great Powers immediately established a protectorate in Albania and planned to use Albania as a Great Power proxy and surrogate in the region against Serbia, Montenegro, and Russia.

Albania had never existed as a country. Albania was part of the Turkish Ottoman Empire until the First Balkan War in 1912. The Great Powers created the first Albanian state in reaction to the First Balkan War.

The London Conference, which was convened in late 1912, sought to resolve the First Balkan War by establishing the borders between the warring countries.

Before the First Balkan War ended on December 2, 1912, however, Albanian leader Ismail Bey Kemal, or Ismail Bej Qemali in Shqip, an Albanian Muslim, declared independence for Albania on November 28, 1912 in Vlore and set up a provisional government which he headed. Serbia, Montenegro, and Greece had occupied Albanian territory.

This occupation presented a major crisis for the Great Powers because Albania was being sponsored by Austria-Hungary and Italy as a proxy and surrogate, who both feared Serbian encroachment and expansion on the Adriatic Sea. Serbia and Montenegro were allied with Russia. Both Austria-Hungary and Italy saw the specter of the old bogeyman of “a warm water port” for the Russian navy in the Adriatic Sea. This was something the Western European Great Powers had dreaded for centuries. Great Britain, in particular, sought to prevent a potential Russian warm water port in the Adriatic, which would threaten British hegemony and domination of the major sea lanes. Italy and Austria-Hungary now were at the forefront in opposing and precluding a warm water port for Russia. Now this prospect appeared imminent with the success of Serbia and Montenegro in the First Balkan War against Turkey. The alarm bells started ringing in Western Europe where panic, dismay and shock resulted.

During the First Balkan War, Serbia occupied the Albanian port city of Durres on the Adriatic on November 1, 1912. Montenegro put Shkoder under siege on April 23, 1913, a siege which lasted until May 6, 1913. The Great Powers forced Montenegro to lift the siege of Shkoder. Germany, Austria-Hungary, and Italy gave Serbia an ultimatum to withdraw from Durres and northern Albania. Subsequently, an international administration was set up for Shkoder by the Great Powers.

The issue of Albania was a microcosm of the territorial rivalries that would lead to the Great War, World War I. The conflict was essentially between Austria-Hungary and Serbia, who had interlocking alliances with the other Great Powers. Austria-Hungary was a major sponsor of Albania, which was a bulwark and a proxy against Serbia. Austria-Hungary, moreover, had a naval fleet based along the Adriatic coast.

The November 28, 1912 declaration of independence by Albania was recognized on July 29, 1913 by the Great Powers who installed a German army officer to rule the country as a proxy and surrogate of the Great Powers, Prince William of Wied, Wilhelm Friedrich Heinrich of Wied (1876-1945), Germany, known as Wilhelm I zu Wied, Prince of Albania, Mbret i Shqiperia. His Private Secretary was Captain Duncan Heaton-Armstrong of the British Army, who had been commissioned in the Lancashire Fusiliers, a British infantry regiment. Financed by Italy and France, Wilhelm was the first officially and internationally recognized political leader of Albania from March 7 to September 3, 1914. Wilhelm had been a Prussian cavalry officer and was a captain in the German general staff. When World War I started, Austria-Hungary requested that Wilhelm send Albanian troops to fight in the Austro-Hungarian armed forces. The New York Times for May 12, 1913 even suggested that former U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt was being considered as a candidate to rule Albania, as the King of Albania, in the news dispatch “No Throne for Roosevelt”.

The recognition of Albania by the Great Powers was meant to prevent any Serbian territorial moves and to preclude any territorial claims against Albania and to preserve Great Power strategic control over Albania, which was to ensure a Great Powers strategic and military presence or foothold on the Balkan Peninsula.

The first meeting of the London Peace Conference, following the end of the First Balkan war, was on December 16, 1912. The Treaty of London followed in 1913.

The armistice that ended the First Balkan War was signed on December 3, 1912. The London Peace Conference was made up of delegates from the Balkan allies, the Balkan League, which included Greece, which had not signed the armistice, and Ottoman Turkey. The first meeting was held on December 16, 1912. Concurrently, a Conference of Ambassadors, made up of Sir Edward Grey of Great Britain, and the London representatives of all the Great Powers, was in session. The victorious Balkan League allied countries demanded that Ottoman Turkey must provide a war indemnity, Ottoman Turkey must cede all territory in Europe, known as Turkey in Europe, to the Balkan states, and, that Albania was to be excluded in the territorial settlement between Turkey and the Balkan states.

On March 22, 1913, one of the proposals made by the Great Powers as a basis for the resumption of peace negotiations was that the status and frontiers or borders of Albania were to be determined by the Great Powers themselves.

The Great Powers exacerbated the tension among the Balkan allies by taking Albania as a protectorate or proxy. The decision of the Conference of Ambassadors with regard to Albania deprived Serbia of any territorial claims to Albania. This resulted in Serbia seeking a modification of the Serbian-Bulgarian Treaty of March 13, 1912. The exclusion of Serbian territorial demands in Albania by the Great Powers forced Serbia to seek territorial gains at the expense of Bulgaria in Macedonia and resulted in the Second Balkan War.

On May 30, 1913, it was established by the Treaty of London that the borders and status of Albania were to be fixed by the Great Powers.

The subsequent August, 1913 Treaty of Bucharest reaffirmed Albania as an independent state and recognized the borders previously established at the London Conferences by the Great Powers.

On November 9, 1921, Yugoslavian troops crossed the Albanian border and occupied Albanian territory in support of the Mirdite Republic, a breakaway Roman Catholic Albanian region established by Gjon Markagjoni. The secessionist Mirdite Republic was proclaimed on July 17, 1921. The League of Nations commission, made up of Britain, France, Italy, and Japan, forced the Yugoslav withdrawal and reaffirmed Albania’s 1913 borders. A subsequent Conference of Ambassadors settled the Albanian international borders based on the 1913 demarcation line. There were small territorial increases or concessions for Yugoslavia, then known as the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats, and Slovenes, was referred to as “Jugoslavia” or “Jugo-slavia”. This decision established Albania’s international borders. Albanian guerrillas, what would be termed terrorists or ultranationalists, kachaks, continued a terrorist war against Yugoslavia, however, in order to annex Kosovo-Metohija to Albania.


2007-12-30

By Carl K. Savich

Source: Serbianna

Save 

RELATED POSTS
Inside Kosovo’s Islamist Cauldron
Kacanik, KOSOVO – A plume of smoke hangs over our table in the corner of a dark, shabby café in this rugged town in southern Kosovo. The lanky 19-year-old sitting next to me is chain-smoking through half a pack of L&Ms, his hands trembling as he recalls how he joined one of the world's most brutal militant Islamist groups. Through his neatly trimmed beard, Adem, who asks me not to use his real name for fear of arrest, says he had never even left Kosovo. But two years ago, he found himself on the perilous and far-off Turkey-Syria border -- a ...
READ MORE
The Birkenstock Bomber: When Bernie Did Serbia
The most useful parable about progressives is that offered by Bernard Sanders, self-styled “socialist-progressive-independent” rep from Vermont. Sanders owes his political career to rage against the Vietnam War among radicals, many of whom moved into the state in the early 1970s. They forthwith planned a long-term, carefully organized, assault on Vermont’s two-party structure. Sanders linked his political ambitions to this effort to organize a third force, the Progressive Alliance. He became mayor of Burlington and, later, congressman. At a rapid clip the emphasis moved from party-building to Sanders-building. By 1994, it was apparent that the only movement B. Sanders was interested in ...
READ MORE
The Bosnian Muslim government reformed the WWII Nazi SS Division Handzar in 1992-1995
Marko Attila Hoare rejects and suppresses this factual image of Bosnian history in favor of a fantasy or delusional image from a television comedy. The real Heinrich Himmler (Heimlich Bimmler) reviewing the real or “historical” Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar, 1943. Did the Bosnian Muslim Army and Government reform or recreate the infamous Nazi SS Division Handzar or not? Based on Martko Attila Hoare’s response to my article, Hoare now concedes that, indeed, there was a formation in the Bosnian Muslim Army termed the “Handzar Division”. Let me reiterate that. Hoare admitted that the Bosnian Muslim Government did indeed reform the ...
READ MORE
Why Kosovo is ineligible for membership in UNESCO?
Because the request for its membership is a serious breach of the international law, the Constitution of UNESCO, the legally binding UN Security Council resolution 1244 (1999) and the Charter of the UN whose Article 25 says that „The Members of the UN agree to accept and carry out the decisions of the Security Council in accordance with the present Charter”. Because according to the UN Security Council resolution 1244, which reaffirms the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (now Serbia), Kosovo and Metohija is an integral part of the Republic of Serbia, under the administration of ...
READ MORE
Western Intelligence Operation “Kosovo Liberation Army” Harvested Serbs’ Organs – The EU’s inquiry
An inquiry by the EU has found “compelling indications” that ten Serb captives had their body organs harvested for illegal trafficking during the 1998-99 Kosovo war. However, it wasn’t widespread and there will be no trial, the lead investigator said. The chief prosecutor Clint Williamson, who led the investigation, said there was no evidence of widespread organ harvesting, but that the crime had occurred a number of times. “There are compelling indications that this practice did occur on a very limited scale and that a small number of individuals were killed for the purpose of extracting and trafficking their organs,” he told ...
READ MORE
Hey Obama, What About Serbia’s “Territorial Integrity”?
Or Yugoslavia’s for that matter. The level of western cynicism on “territorial integrity” is far greater than you probably know. The Kosovo-Crimea discrepancy is just the tip of the iceberg Earlier this month Obama gave an earful to Putin (from a G7 meeting held 2,000 kilometres away from Moscow) complaining that this day and age you just can’t go around violating the “territorial integrity” and “sovereignty” of other countries: “Does he continue to wreck his country’s economy and continue Russia’s isolation in pursuit of a wrong-headed desire to recreate the glories of the Soviet empire? Or does he recognize that Russia’s greatness does not ...
READ MORE
The Hague Tribunal: Only The Serbs Are Prosecuted – KLA And Croatian War Crimes Ignored
Long live the European court, the most humane court in the world!  That is why seven times as many Croat and more than ten times as many (Kosovar) Albanian war crimes suspects, in percentage terms relative to Serbs, were acquitted by the Hague Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, with Radovan Karadzic being just its latest victim. (Source via this recent infographic from Russian newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda). No matter that well before Srebrenica you had Sisak, where 595 Serb civilians of which 120 were women were disappeared by Croatian paramilitaries in 1991-1992. Everyone has heard of Srebrenica; almost nobody has heard heard of Sisak. The largest ethnic cleansing ...
READ MORE
Kosovo Under Nazi Germany: Nazi-Created Albanian Security Forces in Kosovo During the World War II
Greater Albania under Nazi Germany During World War II, 35,000 to 40,000 Kosovo Albanians were recruited by Nazi Germany as part of the German occupation forces and security formations in Greater Albania, a state created by Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini that included Kosovo-Metohija, western Macedonia, and territory from Serbia and Montenegro. In Albania, there were 30,000 Albanians who were in the German occupation forces. In 1941, the German occupation forces created a Kosovo Albanian Gendarmerie with headquarters in Kosovska Mitrovica. In 1944, these forces were incorporated into the Skanderbeg Nazi SS Division. In 1942, Balli Kombetar organization battalions were established ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: Europe’s “Mafia State”: Hub of the EU-NATO drug trail
Kosovo’s Prime Minister Accused of Running Human Organ, Drug Trafficking Cartel In another grim milestone for the United States and NATO, the Council of Europe (COE) released an explosive report last week, “Inhuman treatment of people and illicit trafficking in human organs in Kosovo.” The report charged that former Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA) boss and current Prime Minister, Hashim Thaçi, “is the head of a ‘mafia-like’ Albanian group responsible for smuggling weapons, drugs and human organs through eastern Europe,” The Guardian disclosed. According to a draft resolution unanimously approved December 16 in Paris, the Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights found compelling ...
READ MORE
Kosovo and Ukraine: US-NATO operations. Compare and contrast
There have been at least two countries in Europe in recent history that undertook ‘anti-terrorist’ military operations against ‘separatists’, but got two very different reactions from the Western elite. The government of European country A launches what it calls an‘anti-terrorist’ military operation against ‘separatists’ in one part of the country. We see pictures on Western television of people’s homes being shelled and lots of people fleeing. The US and UK and other NATO powers fiercely condemn the actions of the government of country A and accuse it of carrying out ‘genocide’ and ’ethnic cleansing’ and say that there is an urgent ...
READ MORE
The Albanian Origin: The Main Challenges of Research
We must be clear on the meaning of Albanian autochthony, anthroponymy and ethnogenesis. Actually, the question is: have the Albanians lived without interruption in the  present-day “ethnic” territories of the Albanians (Albania, the Eastern Montenegro, Kosovo and Metohija, the Southern Central Serbia, the Western Macedonia and the Northern Epirus in Greece) since the ancient Greek and Roman times? In the other words, are the Albanians really the indigenous people of the Balkans as they claim or just newcomers to their present-day ethnic territories?  It is true, however, that the question of the Illyrian ethnic and cultural background of present-day Albanians ...
READ MORE
Why Putin Discriminates Kosovo Serbs?
On January 19th, 2016 on the bilateral meeting between Russia’s President Vladimir Putin and the official representatives of the European Jewish Congress the latter applied to Putin to take a necessary steps for the sake to improve the generally bad position of the Jewish community on the Old Continent. Surprisingly, the President, not so much as a joke, invited both all the present-day European Jews and those Jews who left the USSR simply to immigrate to Russia. At the first glance one can say – very gentle and even democratic move by the President. However, lets a little bit to analyze ...
READ MORE
Videos On Ex-Yugoslavia: Reverse Side Of The Truth
Four Serbian monasteries from the Middle Ages in Kosovo and Metohija still not destroyed by local Albanians Четири српска средњевековна манастира на Косову и Метохији која још увек нису срушена од стране месних Шиптара U.S.A. documentary movie about the fabricated lies by Bosnian Muslims and Croats about the civil war in Titoist Bosnia & Herzegovina and Croatia during the time of the destruction of Yugoslavia, 1991-1995. This documentary movie (26 min.) was never publically shown. Документарни филм у трајању од 26 минута производње Сједињених америчких држава о исфабрикованим лажима од стране босанских муслимана и Хрвата о грађанском рату на просторима титоистичке Босне и ...
READ MORE
The “Extrajudicial” Assassination Of Slobodan Milosevic In 2006
On March 11, 2006, President Slobodan Milosevic died in a NATO prison. No one has been held accountable for his death. In the 10 years since the end of his lonely struggle to defend himself and his country against the false charges invented by the NATO powers, the only country to demand a public inquiry into the circumstances of his death came from Russia when Foreign Minister, Serge Lavrov, stated that Russia did not accept the Hague tribunal’s denial of responsibility and demanded that an impartial and international investigation be conducted. Instead, The NATO tribunal made its own investigation, known ...
READ MORE
Kosovo Albanian Muslims in the Nazi SS
Waffen SS troops in the Albanian Battalion of the Handzar Division, wearing SS-issued Albanian skullcaps, Bosnia, 1944 SS Reichsfuehrer Heinrich Himmler formed a Kosovo Albanian Muslim Nazi SS Division during World War II, the Skanderbeg SS Division, 21st Waffen Mountain Division of the SS Skanderbeg (1st Albanian), in 1944. He planned to form a second Kosovo Albanian Muslim SS Division but was not able to because the war ended before he could do so. The history of the Skanderbeg division has been documented and analyzed. What has rarely been analyzed, however, is the role of the Kosovo Albanian Muslim members in ...
READ MORE
A Collection Of Thoughts About American Foreign Policy
Louis XVI needed a revolution, Napoleon needed two historic military defeats, the Spanish Empire in the New World needed multiple revolutions, the Russian Czar needed a communist revolution, the Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Empires needed World War I, Nazi Germany needed World War II, Imperial Japan needed two atomic bombs, the Portuguese Empire in Africa needed a military coup at home, the Soviet Empire needed Mikhail Gorbachev … What will the American Empire need? I don’t believe anyone will consciously launch World War III. The situation now is more like the eve of World War I, when great powers were armed and ...
READ MORE
Book By Vladislav B. Sotirovic: “Global Research. Selected articles” (Second Edition), Vilnius, 2016
Book by Vladislav B. Sotirovic: Global Research. Selected articles (second edition), Vilnius: UAB “Mylida”, 2016 ISBN 978-609-408-840-7, UDK 911.3:32 So-121 The book reviews by: Dr. João Carlos Graça, Lisbon School of Economics & Management, Lisbon University, Lisbon, Portugal Prof. Dr. Krisztina Arató, Vice-director of the Institute of Political Sciences at the Faculty of Law and Political Sciences, Eötvös Lorand University, Budapest, Hungary Dr. Christian Rossi, Department of Social Sciences and Institutions, Cagliari University, Cagliari, Sardinia, Italy Join the debate on our Twitter Timeline!
READ MORE
Who Are The Albanians?
Vladislav B. Sotirovic, “Who are the Albanians? The Illyrian Anthroponomy and the Ethnogenesis of the Albanians – A Challenge to Regional Security”, Serbian Studies: Journal of the North American Society for Serbian Studies, Vol. 26, 2012, № 1−2, ISSN 0742-3330, 2015, Slavica Publishers, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA, pp. 45−76
READ MORE
09.03.2001, Berlin, Berlin, Germany - Zoran Djindjic, serbischer Ministerpraesident der Bundesrepublik Jugoslawien. 00M112016CARO.JPG GT, Image: 141207614, License: Rights-managed, Restrictions: , Model Release: no, Credit line: Profimedia, Alamy
Odd as it may seem, October 5, 2000 was not the first time the Western powers engaged in “regime change” in Serbia. There are many similarities between the October 5 regime change and the Western involvement in putting the government of Josip Broz Tito and the Communist Party in charge of Yugoslavia in 1945. Just as Slobodan Milošević received faint praise from the West as “factor of peace and stability” in the Balkans, General Draža Mihailović was praised by the Western Allies during the war – yet support for both was limited mostly to words and empty propaganda gestures, and only so ...
READ MORE
Inside Kosovo’s Islamist Cauldron
The Birkenstock Bomber: When Bernie Did Serbia
The Bosnian Muslim government reformed the WWII Nazi SS Division Handzar in 1992-1995
Why Kosovo is ineligible for membership in UNESCO?
Western Intelligence Operation “Kosovo Liberation Army” Harvested Serbs’ Organs – The EU’s inquiry
Hey Obama, What About Serbia’s “Territorial Integrity”?
The Hague Tribunal: Only The Serbs Are Prosecuted – KLA And Croatian War Crimes Ignored
Kosovo Under Nazi Germany: Nazi-Created Albanian Security Forces in Kosovo During the World War II
Destruction of Christianity: Syria and Kosovo
Kosovo: Europe’s “Mafia State”: Hub of the EU-NATO drug trail
Kosovo and Ukraine: US-NATO operations. Compare and contrast
The Albanian Origin: The Main Challenges of Research
Why Putin Discriminates Kosovo Serbs?
Videos On Ex-Yugoslavia: Reverse Side Of The Truth
The “Extrajudicial” Assassination Of Slobodan Milosevic In 2006
Kosovo Albanian Muslims in the Nazi SS
A Collection Of Thoughts About American Foreign Policy
Book By Vladislav B. Sotirovic: “Global Research. Selected articles” (Second Edition), Vilnius, 2016
Who Are The Albanians?
“Regime Change” in Serbia, 1945 and 2000