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

Hits: 1434

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.

Albania and a Greater Albania

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.


Originally published on 2007-12-30

Author: Carl K. Savich

Source: Serbianna

Origins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection & Pinterest.

Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!

Donate to Support Us

We would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics and international relations.

[wpedon id=”4696″ align=”left”]

READ MORE!
NATO Announces War Policy Against Russia
On May 18th, Britain’s Guardian headlined “West and Russia on course for war, says ex-Nato deputy commander” and reported that the former deputy commander of NATO, the former British general Sir Alexander Richard Shirreff (who was Supreme Allied Commander in Europe from 2011-2014), expressed outrage that Britain isn’t urgently preparing for war against Russia, and also reported that “He describes Russia as now the west’s most dangerous adversary and says Putin’s course can only be stopped if the west wakes up to the real possibility of war and takes urgent action. … In a chilling scenario, he predicts that Russia, in order to escape what it believes to be ...
READ MORE
U.S. Geopolitical Games in Montenegro and Proven Winning Approach by Đukanović
In December last year [2015], NATO officially invited Montenegro to become the 29th member state of the most powerful military organisation of our times, if not, in fact, of all time. The country’s Prime Minister, Milo Đukanović, assured the NATO secretary-general that “you can count on us at any time.” It is always nice to hear that someone has your back. But in Montenegro’s case, it means that they have our back with an entire active-duty military force of only two thousand personnel. It is not quite clear how the tiny nation of less than 700,000 people enhances U.S. security ...
READ MORE
From Kosovo to Crimea — Tales of Referendums
Following the death of President Tito in 1980 the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia slid towards chaos. In the 1990s the plunge accelerated into civil war and one of the regions most affected was Kosovo from which Serbia withdrew after a NATO bomb and rocket offensive from 24 March to 11 June 1999. That blitz involved over 1,000 mainly American aircraft conducting some 38,000 airstrikes on Yugoslavia that killed approximately 500 civilians and destroyed much of the economic and social infrastructure of the region.NATO said its air bombardment was essential to halt repression of ethnic Albanians in Kosovo and justified the ...
READ MORE
How Belgium is being Forced to Confront the Bloody Legacy of King Leopold II
As 10,000 people took to the streets of Brussels on Sunday (7 June 2020) to protest as part of the Black Lives Matter movement, there was one landmark which drew their ire more than any other: the equestrian statue of King Leopold II outside Belgium’s royal palace.“Murderer!” the protesters cried as they climbed the statue and waved the flag of the Democratic Republic of Congo. Had the statue been flimsy enough to pull down they would have done it, just as fellow BLM protesters toppled Edward Colston’s statue across the channel in Bristol. Estimates vary, but the consensus figure is ...
READ MORE
Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia
The United States approaches the November 2020 election with growing apprehension, even dread.Among the possibilities:Protracted uncertainty about the presidential contest. Think Florida 2000 but with several states’ results unresolved for weeks or even months (“Experts held ‘war games’ on the Trump vs. Biden election. Their finding? Brace for a mess”);A disputed outcome, perhaps with Donald Trump and Joe Biden both claiming victory, compounded by a “blue shift,” where states are claimed by Trump on election night but flip over to Biden as additional absentee and mail-in ballots conveniently turn up days or weeks later;Violent civil conflict, spurred on in the ...
READ MORE
Donald Trump: It was a Great Mistake to Bomb the Serbs Who were Our Allies in Both World Wars
Donald Trump with Larry King on the occasion of the anniversary of the bombing of Serbia criticized Bill Clinton and criminal attack on Serbs, the ally of America in both wars. “The Clintons have made a mess in the Balkans and Kosovo. Look what we did to Serbia in an aerial bombardment from a safe height. Those same Serbs rescued American pilots in World War II. It is a mistake that we bombed a nation that has been our ally in two world wars. Clintons believe that was a success, and I find it shameful. I extend an apology to all the Serbs ...
READ MORE
Kosovostan – Islamization of EuroChristian Kosovo: Photo Evidence
Photo evidence of a rapid Islamization of EuroChristian southern province of the Republic of Serbia - Kosovo-Metochia. The province is occupied by NATO gangsters in June 1999 and since that time the province is experiencing massive destruction of Serbian Christian Orthodox churches and monasteries followed by building of new mosques by Muslim Albanians. Financial support for Islamization of Kosovo-Metochia is of three sources: 1) Muslim Albanian diaspora living & working in Western countries; 2) The Wahhabites of Saudi Arabia; and 3) Other Sunni Islamic countries especially Turkey. During the last 15 years there were more built mosques than during 400 years of Ottoman ...
READ MORE
The Simulation of Democracy
One of the most complicated and frustrating aspects of operating a global capitalist empire is maintaining the fiction that it doesn’t exist. Virtually every action you take has to be carefully recontextualized or otherwise spun for public consumption. Every time you want to bomb or invade some country to further your interests, you have to mount a whole PR campaign. You can’t even appoint a sadistic torture freak to run your own coup-fomenting agency, or shoot a few thousand unarmed people you’ve imprisoned in a de facto ghetto, without having to do a big song and dance about “defending democracy” ...
READ MORE
Serious Drawbacks in Ukraine’s Adopted ‘Church’ Bill
On January 17, Ukraine’s Verkhovna Rada (parliament) passed the bill No. 4128 on new amendments regarding the subordination (denomination) of religious organizations and the procedure of state registration of religious organizations with the status of legal entities. The relevant law No. 2673-VIII was signed by President Poroshenko on January 28 and came into force on January 31, 2019.Though the bill was designed to simplify the process of changing the religious subordination of a religious community, it actually introduces a new, more complicated scheme of registration and reregistration for religious organizations of all confessions including Protestants.So, reregistration becomes not just a ...
READ MORE
The US has Invaded 71 Nations since 1776
Make 4 July Independence from America Day (2014).Originally published in 2014Author: Dr. Gideon PolyaOrigins of images: Facebook, Twitter, Wikimedia, Wikipedia, Flickr, Google, Imageinjection, Public Domain & Pinterest.Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you to consider a small donation to help our team keep working. We accept no advertising and rely only on you, our readers, to keep us digging the truth on history, global politics, and international relations.[wpedon id="4696" align="left"]
READ MORE
Kosovo’s “Mafia State” and Camp Bondsteel: Towards a Permanent US Military Presence in Southeast Europe
In one of the more bizarre foreign policy announcements of a bizarre Obama Administration, US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has announced that Washington will “help” Kosovo to join NATO as well as the European Union. She made the pledge after a recent Washington meeting with Kosovan Prime Minister Hashim Thaci in Washington where she praised the progress of the Thaci government in its progress in “European integration and economic development.”1Her announcement no doubt caused serious gas pains among government and military officials in the various capitals of European NATO. Few people  appreciate just how mad Clinton’s plan to push ...
READ MORE
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”
Author’s note: The following article focussing on the jihadist terrorist insurgency in Macedonia was first published by antiwar.com in July 2001, barely two months before the September 11, 2001 attacks on the WTC and the Pentagon.Known and documented, since the Soviet-Afghan war, recruiting Mujahedin (“holy warriors”) to fight covert wars on Washington’s behest had become an integral part of US foreign policy. A report of the US Congress had revealed how the US administration – under advice from the National Security Council headed by Anthony Lake – had “helped turn Bosnia into a militant Islamic base” leading to the recruitment ...
READ MORE
U.S Military Bases Worldwide: 682 Military Bases in 63 Countries
The first panacea for a mismanaged nation is inflation of the currency; the second is war. Both bring a temporary prosperity; both bring a permanent ruin. But both are the refuge of political and economic opportunists — Ernest HemingwayMilitary spending is the second largest item in the US federal budget after Social Security. It has a habit of increasing significantly each year, and the proposed 2019 defense budget is $886 billion (roughly double what it was in 2003).US military spending exceeds the total of the next ten largest countries combined. Although the US government acknowledges 682 military bases in 63 countries, ...
READ MORE
The Worst Mistake in U.S. History
The worst mistake in U.S. history was the conversion after World War II of the U.S. government from a constitutional, limited-government republic to a national-security state. Nothing has done more to warp and distort the conscience, principles, and values of the American people, including those who serve in the U.S. military.A good example of how the national-security state has adversely affected the thinking of U.S. soldiers was reflected in an op-ed entitled “What We’re Fighting For” that appeared in the February 10, 2017, issue of the New York Times. Authored by an Iraq War veteran named Phil Klay, the article ...
READ MORE
Taboo Subject in NATO Media: Refugees, America’s Gift to Europe
In the latest episode in the never-ending series of indignities, calamities, and disasters to be visited upon the heads of the world’s millions of suffering and desperate refugees, they are now being stabbed in the back by the one leader of an affluent NATO country who had risked any political capital to help a substantial number of them, German Chancellor Angela Merkel.At the height of the refugee wave from NATO war zones into Turkey and Europe a couple of years ago, Merkel opened the borders and allowed nearly a million refugees into Germany. Although she is a conservative woman and ...
READ MORE
World War I Homage – A Triumph of Lies and Platitudes
World leaders gathered in Paris on Sunday under the Arc de Triomphe to mark the centennial anniversary ending World War I. In an absurd way, the Napoleon-era arc was a fitting venue – because the ceremony and the rhetoric from President Emmanuel Macron was a “triumph” of lies and platitudes. Among the estimated 70 international leaders were US President Trump and Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, each sitting on either side of Macron and his wife. German Chancellor Angela Merkel was also given pride of place beside the French president. Macron’s address to the dignitaries was supposed to be a call for international ...
READ MORE
“Independent” State of the Republic of Kosovo(stan)
Kosovo(stan) Parliament announced "independent" state of the "Republic of Kosovo" on February 17th, 2008 as a democratic and multicultural political community.Here we present two photos from November 2015 on which you can see heavily damaged Serbian Orthodox church and totally destroyed Serbian Orthodox tombstones in the southern part of the town of Kosovska Mitrovica inhabited by the Muslim Albanians. Kosovo(stan) ISIS is doing its job profoundly.Enjoy Kosovo(stan) "independence"!P.S. Today (February 17th, 2018) on the 10-years anniversary of Kosovo(stan) "independence", Burundi canceled its previous recognition of it. Just guess why?Read our Disclaimer/Legal Statement!Donate to Support UsWe would like to ask you ...
READ MORE
Benny Morris’s Untenable Denial of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
The Israeli historian Benny Morris has been very vocal of late in denying that Palestine was ethnically cleansed of Arabs in order for the “Jewish state” of Israel to be established. In a series of articles in the Israeli daily Haaretz, Morris has debated the question with several of his critics who contend that ethnic cleansing is precisely what occurred. Not so, argues Morris. So who’s right?It’s worth noting at the outset that, while such a debate exists in the Israeli media, the US media remains, as ever, absolutely silent on the matter. Americans who get their information about the ...
READ MORE
NATO — Private Club оf War Criminals
What has happened is that NATO provides cover for these transgressions of the United States government’s policy. In other words, it absolutely legitimizes what effectively is NATO aggression. Moreover, what one needs to bear in mind and what one needs to be mindful about is the fact that in Western Europe you no longer have rulers with the independence of Charles de Gaulle.It seems that Washington, and we can use Washington, America and NATO interchangeably because NATO is dominated by the United States. It is a command structure, which ultimately is based on American military power and American military precedence.  ...
READ MORE
Albanian Jihadist’s Easy Passage to Syria’s Brutal War
A former Islamist fighter in Syria recalls why he went to Syria, how easy it was to get there – and why he would go again, if he could.On his first trip abroad, he left with 400 euros in his pocket, a printed map from the internet and the belief that he was fulfilling his destiny in eyes of Allah. The destination was the frontline of the war in Syria, but his jihad ended faster than it started.Two years later, in a bar full of people in his hometown in northern Albania, Ebu Merjem stands out with his long beard ...
READ MORE
NATO Announces War Policy Against Russia
U.S. Geopolitical Games in Montenegro and Proven Winning Approach by Đukanović
From Kosovo to Crimea — Tales of Referendums
How Belgium is being Forced to Confront the Bloody Legacy of King Leopold II
Before the Bidens ‘Did’ Ukraine, There Was Iraq – and Serbia
Donald Trump: It was a Great Mistake to Bomb the Serbs Who were Our Allies in Both World Wars
Kosovostan – Islamization of EuroChristian Kosovo: Photo Evidence
The Simulation of Democracy
Serious Drawbacks in Ukraine’s Adopted ‘Church’ Bill
The US has Invaded 71 Nations since 1776
Kosovo’s “Mafia State” and Camp Bondsteel: Towards a Permanent US Military Presence in Southeast Europe
“Islamic State Déjà Vu”
U.S Military Bases Worldwide: 682 Military Bases in 63 Countries
The Worst Mistake in U.S. History
Taboo Subject in NATO Media: Refugees, America’s Gift to Europe
World War I Homage – A Triumph of Lies and Platitudes
“Independent” State of the Republic of Kosovo(stan)
Benny Morris’s Untenable Denial of the Ethnic Cleansing of Palestine
NATO — Private Club оf War Criminals
Albanian Jihadist’s Easy Passage to Syria’s Brutal War

Written by Policraticus

SHORT LEGAL DISCLAIMER: The website’s owner & editor-in-chief has no official position on any issue published at this website. The views of the authors presented at this website do not necessarily coincide with the opinion of the owner & editor-in-chief of the website. The contents of all material (articles, books, photos, videos…) are of sole responsibility of the authors. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the contents of all material found on this website. The owner & editor-in-chief of this website is not responsible for the content of external internet sites. No advertising, government or corporate funding for the functioning of this website. The owner & editor-in-chief and authors are not morally, scientifically or legally responsible for any inaccurate or incorrect statement in the text and material found on the website www.global-politics.eu

Website: http://www.global-politics.eu

One comment to “Great Powers Rivalry and the Emergence of Albania in 1912-1913”

Comments are closed.