Macedonia and Macedonians in WWI

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  • Liberator of Makedonija
    replied
    Summary of an autobiography of a Macedonian priest, much of it covering his experiences during the Balkan Wars and subsequent First World War:

    In the words of Benjamin Franklin "If you would not be forgotten as soon as you are dead, either write something worth reading or do something worth writing". To say that my great-grandfather, orthodox priest Atanas Arginov, did both those things can not be denied. In recent decades his legacy has resurfaced in the form of an hand-written autobiography that details his fascinating life, and the appalling atrocities experienced by his family during the Balkan Wars. More importantly though, the va

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  • Selanec
    replied
    First 2 minutes summing up casualties in the Macedonian Front up to Dec 16 1916:

    After the humiliating defeat at Kut, the British forces in Mesopotamia have been busy building a proper supply chain up the Tigris river. Their goal is Basra...

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  • Liberator of Makedonija
    replied
    Originally posted by Selanec View Post
    Shelling of Bitola by Bulgarians (early in the video):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLj2s0mbkVk&
    Our great liberators! I wonder how Macedonians serving in commanding roles in the Bulgarian Army felt when the bugari used our towns and villages as cannon fodder?

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  • Selanec
    replied
    Shelling of Bitola by Bulgarians (early in the video):

    Field Marshal August von Mackensen gets a very special present for his birthday this week: Bucharest, the Romanian capital falls to the Central Powers. The R...

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  • Selanec
    replied
    The next video to feature mention of Macedonia (notably Bitola):

    The battlefield at the Somme flared into action this week with the same disastrous consequences. The soldiers fighting for the British Army even analysed the...


    Starting in the 5 minute mark till 6ish

    An interesting comment below the video:

    Hey Indy and The Great War crew ! I love the channel and have been following it a since the beginning of this epic journey. I would like to add something of trivia to this, in the hopes of it reaching a mention in any context in future episodes perhaps. During the Balkan Wars and into the First World War specifically the Macedonian Front, the armies that fought against each other : Serbs, Greeks and Bulgarians had for the most part, Macedonian conscripts or rather, forced the people to fight against each other, resulting in a lot of tales of brothers fighting brothers for different countries because their villages or towns had been occupied and exchanged in between.

    The Great War
    4 years ago
    +Michael Davchev are there some written sources about this or a particular story worth telling?

    Michael Davchev
    4 years ago
    Apologies for replying so late, but I could try to find some written sources about this claim. The best I can find is the gravestones of people around the villages and cities that the front raged on like this one :https://i.imgur.com/uCwymar.jpg . It reads :''Liskovski Petro b.1882-d.1970'' ''Ottoman soldier from 1910-1912'' ''Serbian soldier from 1914-1915'' ''Bulgarian soldier from 1916-1918'' .Summarizes the history of my people to its full extent thought the ages

    Michael Davchev
    4 years ago
    I was told by my father that one of my great-grandfathers served in the Ottoman army, or rather was forced into by the blood tax, whose brother served in the Serbian army, who was then captured and forced to fight in the Bulgarian army. Both of whom died mere minutes from one another, fighting against each other on the raid and defense of the village they were born in.

    Michael Davchev
    4 years ago
    As I said I can try to find written sources on the claims or perhaps find more gravestones stating the multiple servitude in various armies that warred against each other on the Macedonian territory, but as far as I know they are scarce because well, the people living here were either illiterate or simply didn't record stuff like this, which ended up in a lot of ''Unknown soldier'' graves. Or like the case of my family, changed a lot of surnames based on the patronymic naming system(ex:Ragnarrson like the Scandinavians use) to avoid the blood tax during Ottoman reign, or to avoid conscription by sounding like the occupant forces' typical surnames.

    Michael Davchev
    4 years ago
    Not sure about the neutrality that this site in reference to the Macedonian question, but it does tell the sources below about each claim, most of these are during the fall of the Ottoman Empire, the Balkan Wars and during World War One http://www.themacedonianquestion.com/?d=10



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    Edit: In the next video they mention how they kicked out the Germans and Bulgarians out of Bitola: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W3yQjHeT-34&
    Last edited by Selanec; 01-23-2021, 04:29 PM.

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  • Selanec
    replied
    Originally posted by Stojacanec View Post
    When you get a person by the name of Valantes Athenasiou providing the research, you are going to get a Greek slant on everything.
    Couldn't agree more Stojanec!

    In the next video of the series the mention Prespa, Struma river, Crna, Monastir (Bitola) and the Irish fighting the Bulgarians (at the 3 minute mark):

    Even though his troops are drowning in mud, Douglas Haig is still sketching grandiose plans for the breakthrough at the Somme. At the same time, the German A...


    Following on from that, here is one dedicated to Albania - Only a mention of "Western Macedonia" in passing. I did a search of their channel and there appears to be no video of a "Macedonia" only video:

    One of Indy's favourite historical characters is actually King Zog of Albania. History's heaviest smoker and probably the only monarch to pull out his gun an...


    Next video mentions Monastir and Lake Ohrid:

    While the 7th Battle of the Isonzo River was still raging, Italian chief of staff Luigi Cadorna was already planning the 8th. The war of attrition was going ...


    Mention of Crna River and I am guessing Veles (Velesevo?):

    The front at Verdun has been quieter in recent weeks because the French are planing to retake all the lost ground and most importantly Fort Douaumont. Impro...


    Another video briefly mentioning a few Macedonian regions - notably Monastir:

    The dust of the 8th and even 7th battle hasn't really settled on the Isonzo Front, but Luigi Cadorna is already unleashing the 9th Battle of the Isonzo River...
    Last edited by Selanec; 12-26-2020, 07:15 PM.

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  • Stojacanec
    replied
    When you get a person by the name of Valantes Athenasiou providing the research, you are going to get a Greek slant on everything.

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  • Selanec
    replied
    Here is the next installment where there is a connection of the Balkans mentioned - starting at the 7:30 minute mark:

    The Italian offensive taking Gorizia last week surprised everyone. Including Italian Chief of Staff Luigi Cadorna who overlooks the huge strategical advantag...


    Mentions Florina and how that is currently held by the Serbs and the Bulgarians are going to attack

    Following on from that video they do an episode on Greece with Macedonia mentioned as constituting as being part of Greece (annoying considering it is more complex than that):

    Greece was officially neutral in World War 1. Surrounded by warring nations and under the influence of the great powers, Greek unity was tested during the wa...


    Then the next video shows Bulgaria attacking the allies in the balkan region (around 5:50 point):

    NOTE: We are still on the road and won't be able to answer many comments. Greetings from Lviv, Ukraine!The Salonica Front was supposed to be a backdoor to th...


    Next video that mentions Macedonia - specifically Florina and Bitola (Monastir):

    For years the British had developed the idea of the "landship" or tank and now it was finally ready for the first deployment during the Battle of Flers-Courc...
    Last edited by Selanec; 11-04-2020, 03:27 AM.

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  • Liberator of Makedonija
    replied
    In November 1915, Todor Aleksandrov asked the Bulgarian government to create a special military governorate for Macedonia, with its capital in Skopje, with the task, among other things, of persecuting all enemies of the Macedonian cause.

    - Todor Aleksandrov by Zoran Todorovski (2014)
    Last edited by Liberator of Makedonija; 10-15-2020, 05:26 AM.

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  • Liberator of Makedonija
    replied
    Now that is a very interesting statement, I wonder what sources they utilised?

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  • Selanec
    replied
    Here is the next video that mentions Macedonia at around the 3:45 minute mark

    The alliance between the Central Powers of World War 1 doesn't seem to be as strong anymore. The Bulgarians, the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Germany are foll...


    - I like this one note made by a commentor on the video:

    "A note about the Bulgarian army:
    At this point, much of the Bulgarian army was made up of Macedonian conscripts from Vardar and Aegean Macedonia, conscripts who were not only largely convinced that they were fighting on land that was rightfully theirs, but also believed they were fighting for a foreign occupier. By WW1 the Macedonian Nationalist movement was in full swing and many if not most Macedonians viewed Bulgaria as an occupying oppressor(the conscriptions, forceful seizures of property and supplies etc. to fuel the war didn't help either) , that's on top of the fact that many Macedonian soldiers had previously been fighting against the Bulgarians and Ottomans for the better part of 30 years between the Uprisings, the Balkan wars and early WW1 . As such, most Macedonians were more sympathetic to the Entente.

    To this day, the French and British soldiers who fought and died in Vardar and Aegean Macedonia are celebrated as heroes whereas there's little love for the Bulgarian soldiers and much resentment over the mass conscriptions."

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  • Selanec
    replied
    In this video at around the 3 minute mark they talk about the Bulgarians and Serbians fighting and eventually they even do battle near "crna river":

    Serbia's Army cannot hold out much longer against the invasion of the Central Powers. Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria are relentlessly pushing forward ...


    The French were apparently coming to the rescue for the Serbs!

    edit: Next video shows more fighting between French and Bulgarians in order to rescue the Serbs - but eventually Bulgaria ends up taking up Veles - Also he mentions the fighting was near "arcangel mountain" - wonder what it would be called in macedonian
    Louis Barthas' book "Poilu" in our Amazon store [AFFILIATE LINK]: http://bit.ly/Poilu12 war zones were not enough for this global war and this week an often ...

    edit2: Next video shows Babuna pass in Bitola or Ohrid region - perhaps baba region
    Far away from the Western Front, the British Indian Army gets intro trouble in Mesopotamia against the Ottoman Empire. In the Alps, the Fourth Battle of the ...

    edit3: Next video shows Serbs retreating into Albania - mentions Macedonia only as a region:
    Serbia's last stand is over and the remaining forces and civilians have to leave their home country across the inhabitable trails of the Albanian Alps. So, a...

    edit4: Damir Kapija Shtip and Vardar river are mentioned (British and French fighting the Bulgarians) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vFbdbHev-Ak&

    Also with the video from edit4 I wish to include some of the comments from the users (great war are the people behind the videos):

    geoulas
    4 years ago
    Indy I like your show a lot. But the name o macedonia for a slavic region, is something wrong and you repeat it very often. It also confused us (greece) because a big region of greece (with all the ancient macedonian cities) are in our country. I think that you must call it southern serbia, because that was, for sure at ww1. Best regards, keep it high

    The Great War
    4 years ago
    +geoulas If we do it like you suggest, the other half of our viewers from the Balkans will complain. Either way we loose. So, we will call them like our historical sources do.
    and as was mentioned previously regarding the Irish connection of Macedonia:

    6–12 December 1915
    8.000 Irish volunteers against 99.497 Bulgarian soldiers, in battle of Kosturino in South Serbia (today Macedonia). For 6 days of battle, 5.000 of Irish soldiers has fallen, to save the Serbian army during retreating through Albania.
    The 10th (Irish) Division of the British Army made contact with the Bulgarians at the battle of Kosturino in December 1915. Some units, such as the 5th Connaught Rangers, came close to being wiped out. Despite a year of trench warfare in north-west Europe, the Irish troops in the Balkans had no mortars, no howitzers and not enough machine-guns, and ammunition for their field artillery was rationed. Just like the BEF in 1914, they were forced to rely on rapid-fire musketry against superior forces. The Bulgarians were held off, but a hazardous retreat to Salonika with few rations or pack animals ensued. Kosturino was a uniquely Irish historical event, however: an Irish army engaged with the Bulgarians, essentially alone, with their French allies out of sight over the mountains to their left.In December Irishman, still wearing summer uniforms, the severe snow and frost caused many casualties. The 10th Division, which included the 6th and 7th Dublins as well as a number of other Irish battalions, together with the Anglo-French forces, were ordered to retreat to Salonika, where during 1916 they were build up to strength again..
    edit5: Here is the next week of the war which mentions Macedonia (around 5 minute mark):

    The morale of the Italian Army at the Isonzo Front is on an all time low. Catastrophic defeats against the Austrians, bad and broken equipment, unsanitary co...
    Last edited by Selanec; 08-12-2020, 10:53 PM.

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  • Selanec
    replied
    Continuing with the YouTube Channel Series "the great war", here is their quick background on Bulgaria:

    Thank you Plamen Ganev for helping with the research for this episode!Bulgaria joined the ranks of the Central Powers in World War 1 in October 1915 and shor...


    They mention Macedonia but it seems only as an object (Bulgarians and Serbians were fighting over "Macedonia" and the people living there had no say about it (I suppose that's not the first time the people living there have no say about this).

    Also I found it interesting that Sofia the capital of Bulgaria only had a population of 10,000 and it was only later that due to the influx of Macedonian refugees did the capital city grow in number (info from the above video).

    In the coming episodes I am sure there will be more mentions of the fighting between Bulgaria and Serbia and it will be interesting to see how they portray Macedonia/Macedonians in this.

    edit: Here is their follow up video from the last one, only mentions Macedonia as an object to be invaded: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LZ3atGlma1o&
    edit2: Here is the following week with Bulgaria invading "serbia" including I imagine the region of Macedonia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HEQfFVHgY-g&
    edit3: A week later: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fe6yq2UAYBY&
    Last edited by Selanec; 07-30-2020, 01:24 AM. Reason: add follow up video

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  • Soldier of Macedon
    replied
    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.

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  • Karposh
    replied
    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.

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