National tensions in the Balkans finally boiled overinto two quick wars that redrew boundaries in the region. As Italy distractedthe declining Ottoman Empire with a war in Libya in 1911, Balkan countriesformed a league to push the Turks out of Europe in the Balkans. The BalkanLeague—Greece, Serbia, Bulgaria, and Montenegro—declared war on the OttomanEmpire in 1912. This First Balkan War, a Turkish defeat, doubled the size ofSerbia. In the Second Balkan War in 1913, Serbia defeated Bulgaria and grewlarger again, withdrawing from the Dalmatian coast only when Austria-Hungarythreatened to invade. The mastermind behind these national wars of expansionwas the Serbian chief of military intelligence who was also the leader of theBlack Hand, the secret national organization that later assassinated FranzFerdinand. Not all Serbian government officials favored the expansionistpolicy; the Prime Minister of Serbia was opposed to the Black Hand’s extrememeasures.


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