The Serbian Army in the Great War
by Dusan Babac
The Kingdom of Serbia waged war against Austria-Hungary and the other Central Powers from 28 July 1914 when the Austro-Hungarian government declared war, until the capitulation of Austria-Hungary. In the first two years of the war, Serbia defeated the Austro-Hungarian Balkan Army. The following year, her army was faced with the Axis invasion. Unwilling to surrender, the Serbian Army retreated through Albania and evacuated to Corfu where it rested, rearmed and reorganized. From there the army transferred to the Salonika Front, where it recorded successes by 1916. After a long lull, the struggle to penetrate the Front began in September 1918. Serbian and other Allied forces broke through the Front and Bulgaria was soon forced to surrender. The Serbian Army advanced rapidly and on 1 November 1918 Belgrade was liberated. Thanks to the Serbian military victories and diplomatic efforts, the Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (later Yugoslavia) was created.
Serbia paid for her victory in the Great War in a disproportionately exorbitant manner: it is estimated that she lost close to one million inhabitants, of whom about 400,000 were conscripts and the rest civilians, which accounted for nearly a third of the total population, or close to 60% of the male population. No other country that participated in the Great War paid so dearly for its freedom.
The Serbian Army in the Great War, 1914–1918 offers readers a very thorough analysis of the Serbian Army of the period, including its organization, participation in military operations, weapons, equipment, uniforms, and system of orders and medals. This book is a synthesis of all available literature and periodicals, appearing for the first time in the English language. The book is well supported by around 500 illustrations, out of which more than 300 are contemporary photographs and other documents, while this is complemented by dozens of color plates of uniform reconstructions and color photographs of the preserved pieces of uniform, equipment and weapons. A special emphasis has been placed on the colors of Serbian uniforms from the period. The book is the result of two decades of research and will enable readers to gain a clearer picture of this subject.
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