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
Photo story: Muslim Albanian Islamic State of Kosovo from 1999 onwards
Photo evidence of Jihadization of Kosovo & Metochia by Muslim Albanians from June 1999 onward. Kosovo after June 1999 when became occupied by NATO troops became the first world's ISIS/ISIL.The EuroChristian culture of the ethnic Serbs is systematically destroyed like today in the Middle East for the reason to create pure Islamic state. At the same time Kosovo & Metochia is becoming overwhelmingly Islamized with ethnic cleansing of all non-Albanians especially of the Christian Serbs.Join the debate on our Twitter Timeline!
READ MORE
Inside Kacanik, Kosovo’s Jihadist Capital
Nestling in a wooded valley that its citizens laid their lives down to defend, the town of Kacanik in southern Kosovo is fiercely proud of its war dead.Well-kept cemeteries include nearly 100 victims of Serb-led ethnic cleansing in 1999, while in the town centre, a statue clutching an RPG honours fallen members of Brigade 162 of the Kosovan Liberation Army.But a decade and a half on from the war that brought about Kosovo’s independence, there is rather less pride in Kacanik’s new crop of warriors.Infamous son: Lavdrim Muhaxheri, from Kacanik, in Syria In the last three years, some 24 local menfolk ...
READ MORE
Kosovo Serbs ‘Terrified’ by Proposed Creation of “Greater Albania”
Fresh calls for a Greater Albania, incorporating the southern Serbian province of Kosovo, have led to an angry backlash from politicians in Belgrade. Sputnik Radio’s Mark Hirst talked to Marko Djuric, Director of the Government Office for Kosovo and Metohija.Such a move by Albania, if acted upon, could plunge the entire region back into a bloody and costly war on a scale not seen since the 1990s.Marko Djuric said that Serbia will not allow the creation of a Greater Albania in its southern province and that it is not alone in opposing the idea, which stems from the times of Nazi occupation of Yugoslavia.When asked whether this inflammatory statement ...
READ MORE
The Forgotten Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo
I come from a member state of the European Union which is meant to uphold the rights of all religions, political ideologies, acknowledge national and cultural rights, and is meant to spread “European brotherhood.”  However, it appears that this does not apply to the Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo respectively because not only have they been abandoned but outside Islamic powers are stepping up their Islamization agenda in both Bosnia and Kosovo.In Kosovo the de-Christianization of the Orthodox Christian community continues and hundreds of Orthodox Christian churches have been destroyed but little was done to protect this community.  It ...
READ MORE
New Strategic Calculus For The Balkans
The Balkans have returned to the forefront of European geopolitics as a result of the New Cold War, with the US and Russia facing off in a proxy war over the planned Balkan Stream pipeline through the region. The geopolitical circumstances have evolved since the 1990s, when all of the former Yugoslavia was lumped together as the Western Balkans. In order to accommodate for the changing strategic reality in the region, it’s necessary to carve the Central Balkans out of the idea of the former, and the new division of the Balkans into Western, Central, and Eastern regions simplifies the ...
READ MORE
Kosovo: An evil little war
Six Years Later, Kosovo Still WrongIn the early hours of March 24, 1999, NATO began the bombing of what was then the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. For some reason, many in the targeted nation thought the name of the operation was “Merciful Angel.” In fact, the attack was code-named “Allied Force” – a cold, uninspired and perfectly descriptive moniker. For, however much NATO spokesmen and the cheerleading press spun, lied, and fabricated to show otherwise (unfortunately, with altogether too much success), there was nothing noble in NATO’s aims. It attacked Yugoslavia for the same reason then-Emperor Bill Clinton enjoyed a ...
READ MORE
Being the only candidate, DPS is losing elections in Niksic
As the Niksic (Montenegro) local elections approach, the situation is becoming more and more fascinating.On one hand, the Montenegrin opposition, aiming at the transparency and integrity of the government, boycotted the plebiscite in the country's second largest city and turned it into a show – elections with no choice.On the other is the ruling Democratic Party of Socialists which has been forming the conditions for its unlimited rule while violating the interests of the Montenegrin people. Exploiting its ultimate power, DPS withdrew the immunity of the opposition leaders and is set to win the elections with simply no rally.The ruling ...
READ MORE
Crucified Kosovo With Photo Albums
After Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo is a second ISIS in Europe today. From June 1999, when NATO troops occupied Kosovo and brought to power militant Muslim Albanian Jihad fighters, systematic destruction of (Serbian Orthodox) Christianity is visible on every corner.The most disappointed fact in post-war Kosovo reality is an ethnic and cultural cleansing of all non-Albanians and not-Albanian cultural heritage. The proofs are evident and visible on every corner of Kosovo territory. For instance, on the arrival of KFOR (international but in fact NATO „Kosovo Forces“) and UNMIK („United Nations Mission in Kosovo“) to Kosovo in 1999, all the names of the ...
READ MORE
Syria and the Project to Balkanize the Middle East
A decade ago I published a book, Israel and the Clash of Civilisations, that examined Israel’s desire to Balkanize the Middle East, using methods it had refined over many decades in the occupied Palestinian territories. The goal was to unleash anarchy across much of the region, destabilising key enemy states: Iran, Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.The book further noted how Israel’s strategy had influenced the neoconservative agenda in Washington that found favour under George Bush’s administration. The neocons’ destabilisation campaign started in Iraq, with consequences that are only too apparent today.My book was published when efforts by Israel and the neocons to move ...
READ MORE
A “Magnum Crimen” – The Book
Magnum Crimen the book about clericalism in Croatia from the end of 19th century until the end of the Second World War.The book, whose full title is Magnum crimen – pola vijeka klerikalizma u Hrvatskoj (The Great Crime – a half-century of clericalism in Croatia), was written by a former Catholic priest and professor and historian at Belgrade University, Viktor Novak (1889–1977). The book was first published in Zagreb in 1948.Immediately after the book was published, the Vatican Curia placed this book on the Index Librorum Prohibitorum (English: List of Prohibited Books) and pronounced anathema against the author.BackgroundNovak wrote a ...
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 icebergEarlier 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 Illyrians – Autochthonous Balkan People
It is true that every story about the Balkan Peninsula begins with the ancient Illyrians.[1] Historians believe that these Indo-European people were one of the largest European populations to inhabit the western portion of the Balkans from the coasts of the Ionian Sea and the Adriatic Sea to the Alps about 1000 B.C. Their eastern neighbours were also Indo-European peoples – the Thracians. The demarcation line between their settlements and their cultural and political influence was the Morava river in present-day Serbia (in Latin Margus, located in the Roman province of Moesia Superior) and the Vardar river in present-day FYR ...
READ MORE
Historical & Other Maps
Administrative division of the Roman Empire about 395 A.D.Europe in the early Middle Ages: The Carolingian Empire, the Byzantine Empire, the Arab Caliphate and the SlavsEurope in 526: The Germanic kingdoms and the Byzantine EmpireEthnographic map of Europe about 900Europe, North Africa and the Near East at the time of the First CrusadeThe Kingdom of Poland and the Grand Duchy of Lithuania after the Kreve Union (1385)A time after the First CrusadeGerman Central Europe about 1500Grand Duchy of Lithuania in the 13-15th centuriesThe Balkans from 1815 to 1859: Political division between the Ottoman Empire and the Habsburg MonarchyThe Balkans in ...
READ MORE
Book: Prof. Petar V. Grujic, “Kosovo Knot”, Pittsburg, PA: Rosedog Books, 2014, pp. 450
Kosovo has been a troublesome region of West Balkan for the last half millennium. The latest events, which have resulted in NATO occupation of the southern province of Serbia, marked the culmination of the violence that includes both domestic and international agencies.Many authors have dealt with the Kosovo affair, but none of them endeavored to present a complete picture of the case. This book attempts to provide a broad and objective analysis of the problem from the historical, anthropological, political and sociological points of view. The emphasis is on the sociological side of the conflicts.Only by understanding the differences of ...
READ MORE
President of the Alliance for the Future of Kosovo (AAK) Ramush Haradinaj, a Kosovo Albanian former guerilla commander who served briefly as prime minister, speaks during an interview with Reuters at the AAK headquarters in Pristina December 4, 2012. REUTERS/Hazir Reka
The Balkans has always been cursed by a recurring theme: that each entity within it can, at some point, become greater and more consuming in territory than the next neighbour. Each nation has, and in some instances continues, to nurse dreams of enlargement, pecking away at borders and assuming that few will notice. Strategies of expansion tend to have one problem: they are hard to evaluate in the way of conventional agreement, contract or conspiracy. For decades, historians of various shades would attribute to Imperial Germany a conscious, global goal of conquest, mistaking the plans of contingent invasion with actual policy.In ...
READ MORE
Documentary Film: “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” (2009, Canada)
“Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” is a documentary film by Canadian film maker Boris Malagurski, about the Serbs that live in Kosovo and the lack of human rights that they have today, in the 21st century.Most of the Kosovo Serbs have been ethnically cleansed by the Albanians who make up the majority of Kosovo.Kosovo has been under UN administration since 1999 when NATO bombed Serbia for 78 days to halt a crackdown on ethnic Albanian separatism in its province of Kosovo.In the years following the war, thousands of Serbs were expelled from their homes, kidnapped and killed. Their houses, cultural and ...
READ MORE
Remembering the NATO Led War on Yugoslavia: Kosovo “Freedom Fighters” Financed by Organized Crime
Twelve years ago, March 24th 1999, marks the commencement of NATO’s aerial bombardment of Yugoslavia. The bombings which lasted for almost three months, were followed by the military invasion (under a bogus UN mandate) and illegal occupation of the province of Kosovo.In the course of the last week, the so-called international community, backed by the UN Security Council has called for the bombing of Libya, a sovereign country, allegedly to protect the lives of civilians under the logo of “Responibility to Protect”.The covert operations, the military strategies applied in Libya not to mention the process of media disformation bear a canny ...
READ MORE
Noel Malcolm: “Kosovo – A Short History”, 1999. A History Written with an Attempt to Support Albanian Territorial Claims in the Balkans (First part)
Noel Malcolm – Kosovo – A Short HistoryA history written with an attempt to support Albanian territorial claims in the Balkans A Short History of Kosovo by Noel Malcolm is usually considered as one of the prime historical sources on the history of the province. In fact, this book is an example of the History with a political attitude because it is not by chance that Malcolm who attacks the “myths” of Serbian history is at the same time a president of the Anglo-Albanian Association and one of the strongest supporters of independence of Kosovo. Being far from an objective scientific ...
READ MORE
Serbia and the Balkans Wars: The Future Belongs to Those Who Do Not Surrender
Kosovo Muslim Albanian jihad fighters in the Middle East as ISIS members (2016)How accurate is the theory that there are tragic events of exceptional strength that really shape the identity of a nation? How is this happening and what if we do not learn a lesson out of those experiences?– The prominent French writer Renan wrote in his lecture “What is a Nation?” that people are often connected by memories of shared suffering, and Serbs are no exception. Today, when Yugoslavia is no more, there is no reason why Jasenovac should not be brought back to the center of the ...
READ MORE
Photo story: Muslim Albanian Islamic State of Kosovo from 1999 onwards
Inside Kacanik, Kosovo’s Jihadist Capital
This Is Croatia: A Book Of Basic Info About The Country (PDF)
Kosovo Serbs ‘Terrified’ by Proposed Creation of “Greater Albania”
The Forgotten Orthodox Christians of Bosnia and Kosovo
New Strategic Calculus For The Balkans
Kosovo: An evil little war
Being the only candidate, DPS is losing elections in Niksic
Crucified Kosovo With Photo Albums
Syria and the Project to Balkanize the Middle East
A “Magnum Crimen” – The Book
Hey Obama, What About Serbia’s “Territorial Integrity”?
The Illyrians – Autochthonous Balkan People
Historical & Other Maps
Book: Prof. Petar V. Grujic, “Kosovo Knot”, Pittsburg, PA: Rosedog Books, 2014, pp. 450
Greater Albania and the Balkans
Documentary Film: “Kosovo: Can You Imagine?” (2009, Canada)
Remembering the NATO Led War on Yugoslavia: Kosovo “Freedom Fighters” Financed by Organized Crime
Noel Malcolm: “Kosovo – A Short History”, 1999. A History Written with an Attempt to Support Albanian Territorial Claims in the Balkans (First part)
Serbia and the Balkans Wars: The Future Belongs to Those Who Do Not Surrender

Donate & Support The Global Politics