On October 9, 1915, Austro-Hungarian forces capture the Serbian capital of Belgrade, assisted within their defeat of Serbian forces by German troops beneath the command of General August von Mackensen.
It had not been the original time throughout World War I that Austrian troops had occupied Belgrade. They had captured the town on December 1, 1914, successfully accomplishing what may have already been their foremost war-producing objective the prior summer months: bringing the upstart Serbia to its knees carrying out a Bosnian Serb nationalist shot and killed Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria throughout an official stop by at Sarajevo, the Bosnian capital. As the American war correspondent John Reed observed during his stop by at Serbia that winter, Austro-Hungarian forces lowered many regions of Belgrade to ruins, like its university: “The Austrians had made it their special target, for there had been the hotbed of pan-Serbian propaganda, and among the students that formed the secret society whose members murdered the Archduke Franz Ferdinand.” Two weeks following Austrians entered Belgrade, nevertheless, Serbian forces recaptured the town, taking 40,000 Austrian prisoners.
By the autumn of 1915, although, Serbia’s prospects have already been dwindling, and by the end of September, the Austrian army-composed of both Austrian and German troops-stood to the northwest and north of Belgrade, reinforced by the German 11th Army nearby. On October 6, German and Austro-Hungarian troops beneath the command of General von Mackensen crossed the wide Danube River in heavy rains, closing in on Belgrade. Three days later, they entered and took manage of the populous city, forcing the Serbs to evacuate.
Though the Serbs planned to counterattack, their defeat was sealed only days later by the entrance in to the war of Bulgaria, whose forces immediately invaded Serbia and Macedonia, the former Ottoman province in the Balkans it had lengthy coveted. Bulgaria’s expressed cause for joining the Central Powers-aside from its economic relationships with Germany and Austria-was to annex Serbian territory. Its army neatly closed Serbian forces faraway from its allies, including a British and French force newly found its way to Greece for the purpose of aiding the Serbs. By the finish of November, both Serbia and Macedonia have been in the hands of the Central Powers.
Of all of the belligerent nations during World War I, Serbia suffered the best level of casualties with regards to how big is its population. Its losses were staggering: Of some 420,000 soldiers in September 1915, 94,000 have been killed doing his thing and yet another 174,000 have already been captured or missing, while excellent amounts of civilian casualties remained uncalculated undoubtedly.