Press "Enter" to skip to content

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

Hits: 1157

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.

READ MORE!
Embracing the US-NATO War Criminals Who Destroyed Our Country
Seventeen years have passed and many people have already forgotten that the U. S. and a number of other NATO countries collectively waged one of the most destructive wars on the European continent since the end of World War II–the modern aerial bombing campaign against the Serbian people. In the tradition of the New World Order, this “intervention” wasn’t called “war.” It was argued by various Western politicians and the corporate media that the bombing campaign was directed against the late Serbian President Milošević and his “propaganda machine.”[i] In fact, the NATO bombs loaded with depleted uranium[ii] were falling on ...
READ MORE
The International Rogue Nation: America
In 2003, America (and its lap-dog UK) invaded and destroyed Iraq on the basis of lies to the effect that the U.S. (and UK) regime were certain that Saddam Hussein had and was developing weapons of mass destruction. These U.S. allegations were based on provable falsehoods when they were stated and published, but the regime's 'news'-media refused to publish and demonstrate (or "expose") any of these lies. That's how bad the regime was (and its media's 'news' were) — this was virtually a total lock-down against truth, and for international conquest (in that case, of Iraq): it was mass-murder and ...
READ MORE
The Kurds Under Erdogan’s Tyrannical Governance
Tens of thousands have been killed over 40 years of bloodletting between Turkish forces and the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), and tragically there seems to be no end in sight. In May 2016, President Erdogan stated that military operations against the PKK will continue until “the very last rebel is killed.” What is alarming about Erdogan’s statement is that he still believes he can solve the conflict through brutal force. Erdogan does not understand that he cannot wish the Kurdish problem away—a problem that will continue to haunt him and the country for countless more decades unless a solution is ...
READ MORE
The U.S. Friendly Dictators
Many of the world’s most repressive dictators have been friends of America. Tyrants, torturers, killers, and sundry dictators and corrupt puppet-presidents have been aided, supported, and rewarded handsomely for their loyalty to US interests. Traditional dictators seize control through force, while constitutional dictators hold office through voting fraud or severely restricted elections, and are frequently puppets and apologists for the military juntas which control the ballot boxes. In any case, none have been democratically elected by the majority of their people in fair and open elections. They are democratic America’s undemocratic allies. They may rise to power through bloody ClA-backed coups ...
READ MORE
The Declining of Yugoslavia (1967‒1981)
In the last years of the Cold War (1949−1989), the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (the SFRY) was the largest, most developed and ethnoculturally diverse country in the Balkan peninsula (South-East Europe).It was a non-aligned federation comprised of six republics: Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, and Slovenia. In addition to these six republics, two separate territories of Kosovo-Metochia and Vojvodina held the status of autonomous provinces within the Republic of Serbia. Undoubtedly, ex-Yugoslavia was a mix of ethnic groups and religions, with Orthodox Christianity, Roman Catholicism, and Islam being three main religions in the country.[i]Coinciding with the collapse of Communism ...
READ MORE
Western Imperialism ‘Must Go’
For years now, the Western elite have been incessantly pushing the slogan that ‘Assad must go.’ Under the pretext of removing an ‘evil’ dictator and helping the people of Syria, the West has been funding, arming and training an array of Al-Qaeda affiliated legions to force regime change in the country. Contrary to helping the people of Syria however, this has only worked to bring pain, misery and tragedy to Syria.Even the former US Defense Secretary, Chuck Hagel, admitted that the insistence on ‘Assad must go’ has “paralyzed” any rationale Syrian strategy.  Whenever the West appears to have moved on ...
READ MORE
NATO’s “Drang Nach Suden”
During the final years of the Cold War, the Soviet Union and the US reached a verbal agreement whereby Moscow would allow for the reunification of Germany in exchange for the US agreeing to never expand NATO further East. As history attests, the US shamelessly reneged on its guarantee the moment the Soviet Union collapsed and was powerless to effectively stop it, swallowing up almost the entirety of Eastern Europe (save for Belarus, Moldova, and Ukraine) and all the Baltic States by 2004. What’s less studied by observers is NATO’s “Drang Nach Suden” (Drive to the South), which represents one ...
READ MORE
Kosovo – Mafia – Fascism – Jihad
Hiding Genocide in Kosovo: A Crime against God and Humanity is not a typical book of the current events or international affairs genre. Nor is it a journalistic exposé. It is simply a book of stories, true stories of what has taken place in Kosovo since the end of the 1999 war: shooting, beheading, burning, bomb attack, maiming, rape, abduction, torture, desecration, theft, mutilation, and harassment. While Western policymakers (the U.S., EU, UN, NATO, OSCE, etc.) delude themselves that they are buying the goodwill of the Muslim world by the sacrifice of a small Christian community in Kosovo, the perpetrators ...
READ MORE
French Documentary Exposes Ukraine’s Far-Right: “Ukraine – The Masks of the Revolution”
The activities of aggressive nationalist and neo-Nazi armed movements in present-day Ukraine are the focal point of Moreira’s documentary.  Their existence is not denied by any of his leading critics in France — even as they try to find excuses to justify their actions. On Wednesday, 3 February, as I was about to start assembling this article on the very important documentary about the Maidan broadcast by the French independent television channel Canal + on Monday evening, 1 February, I was headed off by breaking news on Russia Insider, carrying links to the first half of the documentary in English voice-over ...
READ MORE
Next Intifada?
The Deal of the Century proposed by acting US President Donald Trump once again opened a Pandora Box of the Israeli-Palestinian relations in the Middle East.[1] It is very rational to predict that the Palestinian answer to the Deal of the Century is going to be in the form of intifada’s uprisings which can return back the region for several decades back in the past. Therefore, it is worth to remind ourselves about the main causes and timeline of the Isreali-Palestinian conflict.   What is conflict about? The Zionist Israeli-Arab Palestinian conflict today is one of if not the most significant global ...
READ MORE
Will Macedonia be Removed from the Map in 2018?
Backdrop To The BalkansThe tiny South-Central Balkan country of the Republic of Macedonia is in dire straits right now, but most of Europe – let alone the rest of the world – has no idea that this is the case because the Mainstream Media narrative is that the state’s two-year-long political crisis was “resolved” when the patriotic VMRO-DPMNE government of Nikola Gruevski was replaced in a “constitutional/electoral coup” that followed Color Revolution and even Hybrid War provocations. The author wrote about this in a Sputnik piece at the time from May 2017 titled “The Macedonian Crisis Isn’t Over, and a ...
READ MORE
The UN Does Kosovo and the Azov Sea
The December 17 UN Security Council meeting, on the announced creation of a Kosovo armed forces, featured some noticeable contrasts.In accordance with Kosovo not being a UN member state and the Serb position on UN Security Council Resolution 1244 (recognizing Kosovo as a continued part of Serbia), the disputed former Yugoslav territory wasn't formally represented at the discussion as a nation. Kosovo's leader, Hashim Thaci, sat with a nameplate having his name, as opposed to Kosovo. Countries recognizing Kosovo's independence made it a point to state Thaci as the president of Kosovo and Aleksandar Vučić as president of Serbia. Nations not ...
READ MORE
Bosnian Muslims Suppressed Their Dirty Nazi Legacy
The Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar, above in 1943, was made up of 18,000 Bosnian Muslims and 300 Albanian Muslims. Bosnian Muslims were not Nazi and fascist “collaborators”, but Nazis themselves. The Bosnian Muslim Government and Army of Alija Izetbegovic reformed and reconstituted the Bosnian Muslim Nazi SS Division Handzar from World War II. Contrary to the nonsensical screed of Croat Marko Attila Hoare, whose mother is Croatian Marxist and Ustasha apologist Branka Magas, and other Bosnian Muslim apologists and propagandists, there is overwhelming and abundant proof of the existence of a “Handzar Divizija” in the Bosnian Muslim Army. The existence of ...
READ MORE
Will Russia Surrender?
The Russian government’s sincere and diligent effort to prevent chaos in Syria and additional massive refugee flow into Europe, all the while avoiding conflict with Washington and its vassals, has been brought to an end by Washington’s intentional attack on a known Syrian army position, thus wrecking the cease fire agreement that Russia sacrificed so much to achieve. The response to this fact by the Obama regime’s ambassador to the UN, Samantha Power, reveals that Washington will lie to the hilt in order to achieve its agenda of reducing Syria to the same chaos as Washington has reduced Iraq and Libya. ...
READ MORE
One Dead McCain, 2.5 Million Dead Iraqis
The grossest thing in American society is the reactionary sentimentality that fill our gossip infected hearts with a chemical reaction every time one of our supposed war heroes moves on to a more peaceful place. The carefully rehearsed statements from useless political figures numb our minds as all those who are sane must collectively wonder what on earth has a fusty bag of bones like John McCain ever done for us? Donald Trump was once new to the political scene and was still capable of burning bridges that were worth burning. It was Mr. Trump’s finest moment when he said ...
READ MORE
Macedonia and the US-NATO Cold War
General James Mattis, the US Secretary of Defence, visited Macedonia on September 17 and declared that “We do not want to see Russia doing [in Macedonia] what they have tried to do in so many other countries. No doubt that they have transferred money and they are also conducting broader influence campaigns.” His observations were made in the run-up to the referendum to be held on September 30 in which Macedonians will vote on a deal reached in June with Greece that would change the country’s name to the Republic of Northern Macedonia. The referendum question is “Do you support EU and NATO ...
READ MORE
Edward S. Herman: The Politics of the Srebrenica Massacre
“Srebrenica” has become the symbol of evil, and specifically Serb evil. It is commonly described as “a horror without parallel in the history of Europe since the Second World War” in which there was a cold-blooded execution “of at least 8,000 Muslim men and boys.” [1] The events in question took place in or near the Bosnian town of Srebrenica between July 10 and 19, 1995, as the Bosnian Serb army (BSA) occupied that town and fought with and killed many Bosnian Muslims, unknown numbers dying in the fighting and by executions. There is no question but that there were ...
READ MORE
NATO & the Humanitarian Dismemberment of Yugoslavia
On March 24th, 1999, NATO launched its 78-day round the clock aerial assault on the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia without the approval of the United Nations Security Council. Over a thousand NATO warplanes delivered over 2,000 airstrikes in nearly 40,000 sorties, dropping over 20,000 bombs over the former Yugoslavia, killing thousands of civilian men, women, and children, as well as upwards of a thousand Yugoslav soldiers and police.[1] [2] [3] NATO employed weapons considered criminal by international law such as depleted uranium and cluster bombs.[4] [5] [6] [7] The popular narrative is that is that the Western powers dropped these bombs ...
READ MORE
Trump is Advised by Liars, Like Bush Was
As will be shown here, the U.S. federal government, under President Donald Trump, is repeating the very same deception of the public, in regard to Syria’s Bashar al-Assad, that it had perpetrated back in 2002, against Iraq’s Saddam Hussein, under U.S. President George W. Bush. (By contrast, and for secret reasons, the U.S. federal government does everything possible to downplay the barbarisms, such as are occurring in Yemen, that are perpetrated by the fundamentalist Sunni Kings of Saudi Arabia, and Emirs of Qatar, even while exaggerating the barbarisms by the fundamentalist Shiite clerics who control Iran — a key ally ...
READ MORE
Investment Оpportunities in Kosovo, America’s “Mafia State” in the Balkans
True, the majority of investors are Americans who bore a relation to the “democratization” of Yugoslavia that was carried out at the end of the 90s of the last century. Among them is the former commander of NATO forces in Kosovo retired general Wesley Clark, who is determined to invest more than 5.5 billion dollars in the former Yugoslav republic. Experts say that Washington’s strategy could be characterized by the following slogan: “Conquer and plunder”.His closest supporters say that Wesley Clark is a great strategist. He wrote the book “Winning Modern Wars” that was published in 2001. In his fundamental ...
READ MORE
Embracing the US-NATO War Criminals Who Destroyed Our Country
The International Rogue Nation: America
The Kurds Under Erdogan’s Tyrannical Governance
The U.S. Friendly Dictators
The Declining of Yugoslavia (1967‒1981)
Western Imperialism ‘Must Go’
NATO’s “Drang Nach Suden”
Kosovo – Mafia – Fascism – Jihad
French Documentary Exposes Ukraine’s Far-Right: “Ukraine – The Masks of the Revolution”
Next Intifada?
Will Macedonia be Removed from the Map in 2018?
The UN Does Kosovo and the Azov Sea
Bosnian Muslims Suppressed Their Dirty Nazi Legacy
Will Russia Surrender?
One Dead McCain, 2.5 Million Dead Iraqis
Macedonia and the US-NATO Cold War
Edward S. Herman: The Politics of the Srebrenica Massacre
NATO & the Humanitarian Dismemberment of Yugoslavia
Trump is Advised by Liars, Like Bush Was
Investment Оpportunities in Kosovo, America’s “Mafia State” in the Balkans
Mission News Theme by Compete Themes.