…the Austrians went ahead and proclaimed their annexation of Bosnia. […] Meanwhile it seemed unlikely that London or Paris would accept a conference to facilitate Russia’s access to the Mediterranean…
Russia and Serbia were forced to accept the annexation of Bosnia as Kaiser Wilhelm II sent the Tsar Nicholas II: “If you get involved we will support Austria-Hungary”.
Serbia was embittered and from now on slav and serb terrorism would become an increasing problem for the Austrians.
In 1911 Italy attacks Tripoli in Libya and manages to push the Ottomans away. This inspires Serbia, Romania, Bulgaria and Greece to form the Balkan League.
1912 and the First and Second Balkan Wars
In 1912 Turkey’s European territories are attacked by the said Balkan League on both north and south flanks and are swiftly defeated.
The four states of the League acted independently of the instructions from the Great Powers (“do not start a war!”).
Even though Turkey was driven out of Europe, the situation in the Balkans was not stabilized, and the area remained the “powder keg of Europe”.
One result of the war seemed to be that Serbia would get a coastline on the Adriatic Sea. However, a conference with the Great Powers was called, where Austria-Hungary’s and Italy’s urge to stop Serb access was supported by Great Britain, France and Germany.
So, Serbia had to evacuate and instead the new state of Albania was created. The Serbs were bitter and decided to bring up an old disagreement with Bulgaria over the division of Macedonia. As a result of this quarrel Bulgaria attacked Serbia, but was easily defeated when Serbia was joined by Greece, Romania and Turkey (the Second Balkan War).
After this attack Serbia, with a boosted self-confidence, yet again tries to take Albania but is forced to evacuate because of a subsequent conference where Austria insists upon it.
Serbia has to bitterly give in and leave Albania.
During these two wars, tensions between the big powers rose. Especially between Russia, who was supporting Serbia, and Germany, supporter of Austria-Hungary.
Russia was unable to support Serbia’s party of the wars due to Kaiser Wilhelm threatening the Tsar Nicholas II and at the same time giving Austria-Hungary full diplomatic support.