Macedonia and Macedonians in WWI

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  • Selanec
    Junior Member
    • Jun 2019
    • 30

    Macedonia and Macedonians in WWI

    Hello everyone, does anyone here have any good articles or sources that discusses Macedonias involvement in WWI? I know of the "Macedonian Front" but I am unable to find much information about the people living there during this time, but rather the invading countries using the region as a theater of War (Austrians against British and French for example), and that there are graveyards of British and French soldiers in Skopje and elsewhere.

    I recently started watching a YouTube series that talks about WWI in incredible details (week by week), but they have skipped over the First and Second Balkan Wars and on the map they just have Vardar Macedonia as a part of Serbia. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCUc...PEDf69RRVhRh4A

    I have only started watching these videos so it would be interesting if they mention "Macedonians" later on, thus far no mention.

    I would have imagined for example that Macedonians living in that region would have fought for the Serbs against the Austro-Hungarians? I have no stories from my family from WWI (in contrast, a lot of great uncles and even a grandfather that has served in WWII). Considering the area was part of a number of big battles, I doubt the people living there would not have contributed in some shape or form?
  • Liberator of Makedonija
    Senior Member
    • Apr 2014
    • 1597

    #2
    Yeah this is a topic I too am interested in. Many Macedonians were conscripted into opposing armies, I think Risto Stefov explored how Macedonians would flee to the mountains to avoid conscription. I remember reading an old newspaper about the mass defection of Macedonians in the Serbian army as well.

    Some Macedonians were organised into a Macedonian batallion within the Bulgarian army, both Todor Aleksandrov and Aleksandar Protogerov have been accused by some of committing terrible atrocities during the Bulgarian occupation of Vardar Macedonia and Serbia during the war.
    I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

    Comment

    • Selanec
      Junior Member
      • Jun 2019
      • 30

      #3
      Originally posted by Liberator of Makedonija View Post
      Yeah this is a topic I too am interested in. Many Macedonians were conscripted into opposing armies, I think Risto Stefov explored how Macedonians would flee to the mountains to avoid conscription. I remember reading an old newspaper about the mass defection of Macedonians in the Serbian army as well.

      Some Macedonians were organised into a Macedonian batallion within the Bulgarian army, both Todor Aleksandrov and Aleksandar Protogerov have been accused by some of committing terrible atrocities during the Bulgarian occupation of Vardar Macedonia and Serbia during the war.
      Oh interesting, I remember Risto Stefov used to write articles - I am not having much luck finding them online though, if you or anyone else knows where they are it would be great to look though them.

      And atrocities along the lines of the Surdulica massacre?

      Comment

      • Liberator of Makedonija
        Senior Member
        • Apr 2014
        • 1597

        #4
        Originally posted by Selanec View Post
        Oh interesting, I remember Risto Stefov used to write articles - I am not having much luck finding them online though, if you or anyone else knows where they are it would be great to look though them.

        And atrocities along the lines of the Surdulica massacre?

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surdulica_massacre

        Risto's articles have their own threads on this forum.

        I don't know specifically, these were just accusations.
        I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

        Comment

        • Stojacanec
          Member
          • Dec 2009
          • 809

          #5
          Selanec, you may want to look at "The Balkan Wars from Contemporary Perception to Historic Memory" from Sabine Rutar for Macedonian contribution in WW1 with references. Especially pages 291 to 313.

          Comment

          • Selanec
            Junior Member
            • Jun 2019
            • 30

            #6
            Originally posted by Stojacanec View Post
            Selanec, you may want to look at "The Balkan Wars from Contemporary Perception to Historic Memory" from Sabine Rutar for Macedonian contribution in WW1 with references. Especially pages 291 to 313.
            Thank you for this Stojcanec. I will check it out!

            Comment

            • Selanec
              Junior Member
              • Jun 2019
              • 30

              #7
              I have continued watching the videos about WW1 and here they mention Macedonians at around the 1-2 minute mark:

              The Ottoman Navy is finally able to fend off the Russian and Royal Navies in the Dardanelles, Bulgaria is considering joining the Central Powers, Austria-Hun...


              The previous 61 videos in the series made no mention of Macedonia and have simply had that region as part of Serbia.

              I will post any more videos if they mention Macedonia in relation to WW1.

              Also this was a post from one of the comments:

              "1:58 my Great Grandfather was one of the Macedonian Soldiers in these wars. He told me his story.. they were forced into the Bulgarian Army and positioned at the front, so that the Macedonians will die first in a rush, and this happened from all sides both Serbia and Bulgaria were forcing Macedonians into their ranks by going around village to village picking up young men to die for them.
              My great grandpa and the people from his village all planned an escape, they all got up one night before a battle, about 20 men and ran away taking their guns and ammo with them back to the village ...

              Edit: not muslims"

              Comment

              • Liberator of Makedonija
                Senior Member
                • Apr 2014
                • 1597

                #8
                Originally posted by Selanec View Post
                I have continued watching the videos about WW1 and here they mention Macedonians at around the 1-2 minute mark:

                The Ottoman Navy is finally able to fend off the Russian and Royal Navies in the Dardanelles, Bulgaria is considering joining the Central Powers, Austria-Hun...


                The previous 61 videos in the series made no mention of Macedonia and have simply had that region as part of Serbia.

                I will post any more videos if they mention Macedonia in relation to WW1.

                Also this was a post from one of the comments:

                "1:58 my Great Grandfather was one of the Macedonian Soldiers in these wars. He told me his story.. they were forced into the Bulgarian Army and positioned at the front, so that the Macedonians will die first in a rush, and this happened from all sides both Serbia and Bulgaria were forcing Macedonians into their ranks by going around village to village picking up young men to die for them.
                My great grandpa and the people from his village all planned an escape, they all got up one night before a battle, about 20 men and ran away taking their guns and ammo with them back to the village ...

                Edit: not muslims"
                Would love to know more about that
                I know of two tragic histories in the world- that of Ireland, and that of Macedonia. Both of them have been deprived and tormented.

                Comment

                • Rogi
                  Senior Member
                  • Sep 2008
                  • 2343

                  #9
                  Selanec, it's worth reading "Military Operations Macedonia - The official Brittish History". There are two volumes and it goes into considerable detail

                  Comment

                  • Selanec
                    Junior Member
                    • Jun 2019
                    • 30

                    #10
                    Originally posted by Rogi View Post
                    Selanec, it's worth reading "Military Operations Macedonia - The official Brittish History". There are two volumes and it goes into considerable detail
                    Thank you for the suggestion Rogi, it seems to be a hard to find set of books as I can't see them in my local library or online! Will need to keep looking!

                    This seems to provide a good review of the two books:



                    "Finally, there are a few moments when the intractable “Macedonian question” is mentioned, if unwittingly, by the author. By and large it is clear that he considers the Serbian armies to be liberating “their” lands when advancing over the mountains to Bitola and up the Vardar. The occasional mention of the term “Macedonians” is also slightly ambivalent. There is the “picturesque little body of Macedonians” recruited by the British in the Dojran area, “whose early training as banditti proved useful and who carried out their duties fairly satisfactorily under two British officers” (p. 27). And then there is the description of the “Macedonian troops” under Bulgarian command, who “had for some time had an indifferent reputation, as the numerous soldiers of Serbian nationality among them had no desire to fight for Bulgaria” (p. 161)."
                    Last edited by Selanec; 05-18-2020, 08:37 AM. Reason: found review of book + mention of Macedonia

                    Comment

                    • Selanec
                      Junior Member
                      • Jun 2019
                      • 30

                      #11
                      A follow up to the previous video I posted as there was another mention of macedonia in this series - briefly in relation to Bulgaria wanting to take over it (starting at 4:44):

                      While the Socialist movement gathers in Switzerland and calls for peace on the Western Front, on the Eastern Front and the Balkans the signs are set for the ...


                      I will post more videos from the series as it gets mentioned

                      Comment

                      • Selanec
                        Junior Member
                        • Jun 2019
                        • 30

                        #12
                        Originally posted by Stojacanec View Post
                        Selanec, you may want to look at "The Balkan Wars from Contemporary Perception to Historic Memory" from Sabine Rutar for Macedonian contribution in WW1 with references. Especially pages 291 to 313.
                        I have slowly been reading this book from the start and haven't gotten up to page 291 to 313 but I did find this section interesting regarding the Irish view of the Balkan wars and this section here about Macedonia - quite gruesome:

                        Discover the magic of the internet at Imgur, a community powered entertainment destination. Lift your spirits with funny jokes, trending memes, entertaining gifs, inspiring stories, viral videos, and so much more from users.
                        Last edited by Selanec; 07-21-2020, 03:20 AM.

                        Comment

                        • Risto the Great
                          Senior Member
                          • Sep 2008
                          • 15659

                          #13
                          Terrible times indeed, Selanec. And to think, now they are taking away everything from them for nothing more than a promise to think about promising them something. Same taxes will apply in due course and same lifestyle to follow.
                          Risto the Great
                          MACEDONIA:ANHEDONIA
                          "Holding my breath for the revolution."

                          Hey, I wrote a bestseller. Check it out: www.ren-shen.com

                          Comment

                          • Karposh
                            Member
                            • Aug 2015
                            • 863

                            #14
                            Originally posted by Selanec View Post
                            I have slowly been reading this book from the start and haven't gotten up to page 291 to 313 but I did find this section interesting regarding the Irish view of the Balkan wars and this section here about Macedonia - quite gruesome:

                            https://imgur.com/a/Lw5yohE
                            Wow, an Irishman sets up an "orphanage specifically for those [Macedonian] children whose parents had been killed in their fight to free Macedonia from Ottoman domination." I don't know what it is about the Irish but I've always had a soft spot for them. Growing up, a really good friend of mine had an Irish background and, his dad, who was a devout Catholic and an amateur boxer, loved having me around as he thought I was a really good influence on his son. I remember often discussing Macedonia with his dad which struck a chord with him as he was a hard-core Irish patriot who resented the fact that his homeland was divided too.

                            "Even though many of these children had gone on to settle in Ireland, they were now reported to be joining the struggle for their homeland's liberation." Why am I only hearing about this now? Young Macedonian children shipped over to Ireland to give them a second chance at survival. I can't even begin to imagine the horrors and hardships those poor kids must have experienced during those tragic times for Macedonia. I feel as though this has been completely omitted from Macedonian history.

                            Comment

                            • Soldier of Macedon
                              Senior Member
                              • Sep 2008
                              • 13675

                              #15
                              Originally posted by Karposh View Post
                              I feel as though this has been completely omitted from Macedonian history.
                              Much has been omitted from Macedonian history. In my opinion, there are a number of Macedonian historians who have done an excellent job in providing detailed assessments on specific periods or events in history, particularly those that hold a prominent place in our collective memory. However, Macedonian historiography has been failed when it comes to our all-inclusive history, which forms the basis of the overall truth and therefore our narrative. There is too much of our history (perhaps obscure in some cases, but important nonetheless) that has been excluded due to ignorance or lack of awareness.
                              In the name of the blood and the sun, the dagger and the gun, Christ protect this soldier, a lion and a Macedonian.

                              Comment

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