Liberation of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro (1918)

The Liberation of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro was a military action in the Balkans in the final weeks of World War I. Between 29 September and 11 November 1918, the Allied Army of the Orient liberated these three countries from occupation by the Central Powers.

Liberation of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro
Part of the Macedonian front of World War I

Allied advance October–November 1918
Date 29 September – 11 November 1918
Location
Result Decisive Entente victory
Belligerents
 Serbia
 France
 United Kingdom
 Greece
 Italy
 Austria-Hungary
 Bulgaria
 Germany

. . . Liberation of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro (1918) . . .

After remarkable defensive success against Austria-Hungary in 1914, Serbia was quickly defeated by combined Central Powers forces after Bulgaria declared war in October 1915. Remnants of the Serbian army retreated to the Italian-occupied Albanian ports of Durazzo and Valona where Entente naval forces performed a sea evacuation, initially mainly to the Greek Ionian island of Corfu. Also in October 1915, advance elements of a French and British expeditionary force arrived by sea at Salonika in Greek Macedonia. Thus neutral Greece found itself increasingly drawn into the war. Pursuing the retreating Serbs, the Central Powers also occupied Albania, while defeat of Montenegro followed in January 1916. The Central Powers thus occupied Serbia, Montenegro, and most of Albania including Durazzo, while the Entente retained Valona and occupied a portion of northern Greece, establishing the Macedonian front at Salonika to stimulate active Greek participation, to provide a place to redeploy and supply a re-organized and re-equipped Serbian army, and to fight the Central Powers in the Balkans.[1]

Entente offensives on the Macedonian Front were ineffective until September 1918, when the Vardar Offensive abruptly overcame Bulgarian and Central Powers defenses beginning with the Battle of Dobro Pole on 15 September. In late September, mutiny struck the Bulgarian army, whose will to fight was exhausted. Entente forces advanced quickly into Vardar Macedonia. On 29 September, Serbian and French forces liberated Skopje, then known as Uskub, as Bulgaria capitulated.[2]

The Bulgarian armistice allowed the Entente unopposed access to Bulgarian railways and required Bulgaria to expel other Central Powers forces. This drove a decisive Central Powers collapse on all fronts and an unexpectedly quick end to the wider war. Greatly outnumbered and exposed, German and Austro-Hungarian forces in the Balkans, including the 11th Army in Serbia, the XIX Corps in Albania, and small units supporting Bulgaria, fled northward toward Hungary in defeat or forced withdrawal. With no Central Powers forces remaining between Greek and British forces and Constantinople, the Ottoman Empire concluded an armistice on 30 October. Liberation of Belgrade on 1 November, threatening almost unopposed Serbian and French invasion of Hungary, combined with domestic ethnic revolts and growing military mutiny, helped force Austria-Hungary to an armistice on 3 November. On 10 November, Romania repudiated the Treaty of Bucharest and re-entered the war. Alone and facing imminent, certain defeat, Germany agreed to armistice on 11 November.

. . . Liberation of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro (1918) . . .

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. . . Liberation of Serbia, Albania and Montenegro (1918) . . .