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which are contrary to the neutrality of the country and tend to compromise the security of the military and naval forces of the Allies.
“The entrance of Bulgarian forces into Greece and the occupation of Fort Rupel and other strategic points, with the connivance of the Hellenic Government, constitute for the allied troops a new threat which imposes on the three powers the obligation of demanding guarantees and immediate measures.
“Furthermore, the Greek Constitution has been disregarded, the free exercise of universal suffrage has been impeded, the Chamber of Deputies has been dissolved a second time within a period of less than a year against the clearly expressed will of the people, and the electorate has been summoned to the polls during a period of mobilization, with the result that the present chamber only represents an insignificant portion of the electoral college, and that the whole country has been subjected to a system of oppression and of political tyranny, and has been kept in leading strings without regard for the legitimate representations of the powers.
“These powers have not only the right, but also the imperative duty, of protesting against such violations of the liberties, of which they are the guardians in the eyes of the Greek people.
"The hostile attitude of the Hellenic Government toward the powers, who have emancipated Greece from an alien yoke, and have secured her independence, and the evident collusion of the present cabinet with the enemies of these powers, constitute for them still stronger reasons for acting with firmness, in reliance upon the rights which they derive from treaties, and which have been vindicated for the preservation of the Greek people upon every occasion upon which it has been menaced in the exercise of its rights or in the enjoyment of its liberties.
“The Protecting Powers accordingly see themselves compelled to exact immediate application of the following measures:
“1. Real and complete demobilization of the Greek Army, which shall revert as speedily as possible to a peace footing.
“2. Immediate substitution for the existing ministry of a
ousiness cabinet devoid of any political prejudice and presents ing all the necessary guarantees for the application of that benevolent neutrality which Greece is pledged to observe toward the Allied Powers and for the honesty of a fresh appeal to the electors.
“3. Immediate dissolution of the Chamber of Deputies, followed by fresh elections within the time limits provided by the constitution, and as soon as general demobilization will have restored the electoral body to its normal condition.
“4. Dismissal, in agreement with the Allied Powers, of certain police officials whose attitude, influenced by foreign guidance, has facilitated the perpetration of notorious assaults upon peaceable citizens and the insults which have been leveled at the Allied Legations and their members.
"The Protecting Powers, who continue to be inspired with the utmost friendliness and benevolence toward Greece, but who are, at the same time, determined to secure, without discussion or delay, the application of these indispensable measures, can but leave to the Hellenic Government entire responsibility for the events which might supervene if their just demands were not immediately accepted."
The treaties referred to in the note, on which the "three Protecting Powers" base their right to intervene in the affairs of Greece to enforce the carrying out of her constitution, date back to the early period of last century, when the three nations in question assisted the newly liberated Greeks in establishing a government and assumed a semiprotectorate.
This note was presented to Premier Skouloudis, but he refused to accept it on the ground that no Greek Cabinet existed, as it had been deposited at the Foreign Office while he was on nis way back from the residence of the king, where he had presented the resignation of the ministry.
The people were unaware of what had happened until evening, when newspapers and handbills, distributed broadcast, made known the text of the demands. King Constantine returned hastily to Athens. All the troops in the city were ordered under arms. The Deputies were summoned to the Chamber, where
Skouloudis announced that he had resigned, after which the Chamber immediately adjourned again.
On the following day the king summoned Alexander Zaimis, a Greek politician, reputed to be in favor of the Allies, to form a new Cabinet. He immediately organized a new ministry, comprising himself as Premier and Minister of Foreign Affairs; General Callaris, Minister of War and Marine; George Rallis, Minister of Finance; Phocian Negria, of Communications; Colonel Harlambis, of the Interior; Anthony Momperatos, of Justice; Constantine Libourkis, of Instruction, and Colligas, of National Economy. The first act of the new Cabinet was to announce a new election of Deputies to the National Chamber, to take place on August 7, 1916. The new Premier also announced that the demands of the Allies would be carried out to the letter. As a token of good faith, the chief of police of Athens was immediately dismissed and Colonel Zimbrakakis, who had been police chief during the Venizelos régime, was installed in his place. The Allies, on their part, at once raised the blockade and agreed to advance Greece a loan to tide over her present financial difficulties.
For some days afterward large and enthusiastic proVenizelos demonstrations took place in Athens and other Greek cities, in which the labor unions and the soldiers were reported to take a very prominent part. Meanwhile the demobilization of the Greek army was begun in good faith.
During this period there had been no further aggression, or advance, on the part of the Bulgarians. And while there had been a number of German officers present at the demand for the evacuation of Fort Rupel by the Greeks, as well as a small force of German engineers, all the reports emanating from Bulgaria indicated, directly or indirectly, that the German forces had been almost entirely drawn away from the Balkans, to meet the gradually increasing pressure that both the Russians on the eastern front and the English and French on the western front were bringing to exert on the Teutonic forces. Being practically left to themselves, for the Turks, too, had their hands full in their Asiatic provinces, and considering the need of forces for garrison duty in conquered territory, especially in Albania and upper Serbia, as well as the army needed to watch the movements of the Rumanians, it was doubtful if the Bulgarians had more than 300,000 men to spare for their lines opposing those of the Allies at Saloniki.
The Allies, on the other hand, had been daily waxing stronger. At least 100,000 Serbians had been added to their forces about Saloniki before the beginning of August. There were, at this time, about 350,000 French and British soldiers in Saloniki, so that the total force was not very far short of half a million. General Mahon, the British commander, had gone to Egypt, to superintend the removal to Saloniki of the British troops there, who had been provided as a defending force when the danger of a German attack in that section seemed imminent. These forces were estimated at another 200,000. Added to this the favorable position of the Allies from a strategic point of view, it was obvious, by the middle of August, that if active hostilities were to break out on the Saloniki front very shortly, the initiative would most likely come from the Allies.
PART V-AUSTRO-ITALIAN CAMPAIGN
RESUMPTION OF OPERATIONS
THROUGHOUT the early part of March, 1916, military oper
ations on the Italian front were very restricted. At the end of February the atmospheric conditions, which up till then had remained exceptionally favorable, changed suddenly, giving place to a period of bad weather, with meteorological phenomena particularly remarkable in that theater of the operations, which among all those of the European war is the most Alpine and the most difficult. In the mountain zone snow fell very heavily, causing frequent great avalanches and sometimes the movement of extensive snow fields. Communications of every kind were seriously interrupted. Not only shelters and huts, but in many cases columns of men and supplies on the march were swept away. The unceasing tempest made it difficult and in some cases quite impossible to render any aid, but owing to an organized service for such eventualities, ample and effective assistance was given in the great majority of cases. This led to the speedy restoration of communications and supplies. Nevertheless the distressing but inevitable loss of human lives was comparatively large.
In the lowland zone heavy and constant rains caused landslides in the lines of defense and shelters. The rise of the rivers and the consequent floods soon made the ground impassable. Even the main roads were interrupted at several points. In the whole theater of operations it was a regular battle against adverse circumstances.