aspirations-of-bulgaria-book-cover-130x208The Aspirations of Bulgaria is a contemporaneous volume shining light on Bulgarian military and political actions during the early 2oth century. Written by Stojan Protic, a Serbian national, the book serves the dual purpose of exposing Bulgarian bad behavior surrounding the Balkan Wars and refuting attendant Bulgarian claims to the territory of Macedonia. It also provides useful and timely background to explain Bulgaria’s attitude towards the Great War (WWI).

It should be noted at the outset that any volume produced by Serbian hands is immediately suspect where discussion of Bulgaria is concerned. Competing claims and rivalries seem to introduce distortions as a rule, and it would be foolish to think this book is some kind of exception. That said, however, the author makes interesting and extensive use of original source documents to hang Bulgarian leaders with their own words.

The main question addressed is the folly surrounding the Bulgarian aggression now known as the Second Balkan War. Drawing on comments and internal communications collected from former Bulgarian military leaders and the Bulgarian state archives, Protic provides a detailed account concerning the whys and hows of the Bulgarian action, covering the run up to the war, the conduct of the Bulgarian side, and the aftermath in Bulgarian politics.

Bulgarian leaders are exposed in often unfavorable ways. King Ferdinand shows up as an unrealistically ambitious man, blindly determined to achieve territorial gains. Stoyan Danev, a signatory of the Treaty of London ending the First Balkan War and Prime Minister at the time of the Second Balkan War, is regularly duplicitous in his dealings with Russia and other nations, despite his reputation as a Russophile. General Mihail Savov, charged with military preparation for the Second Balkan War, seems to expend more energy covering his rear than in real analysis of Bulgarian military prospects in the war effort. He is ultimately shown to be a reckless soldier, as the quick defeat of Bulgarian forces attests.

aspirations-of-bulgaria-balkan-map-480x360An important conclusion of the book is laying blame for much Bulgarian hubris at the feet of Austria, which used all of its political guile to manipulate Bulgaria towards its own ends, chief among them frustrating Russian influence in Balkan affairs. The Austrians encouraged the Bulgarians towards the original Balkan War, as well as the “criminal madness” of the Second Balkan War. The disintegration of Russo- Bulgarian relations after the Second Balkan War is seen in retrospect as a great political victory for the Austrians.

The last chapter addresses the well worn question of Bulgarian claims on Macedonia, this time from the Serbian perspective. The author refutes the claims one by one, placing them in the context of 19th century development. At the same time, he raises historical support for Serbian connections to the Macedonian land and people going back as far as the earliest Slavic migrations into the area.

Many of the key diplomatic agreements are included in their entirety. They can be viewed and printed from the links on this page.  Welcome to Bulgaria maintains a reference copy of this book in our office for use by our Miracle Max subscribers.  Our copy of this book is a reprint issued by bibliobazaar, available for purchase through

Reviewed by Bob Faber

The Aspirations of Bulgaria
By Stojan Protic

Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., Ltd.




  • The History of June 16th, 1913
  • Treaties and Conventions Between Serbia and Bulgaria, and Between Bulgaria and Greece
    • The Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Serbia
    • The Secret Annex to the Treaty of Friendship and Alliance between the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Serbia
    • The Military Convention between the Kingdom of Bulgaria and the Kingdom of Serbia
    • The Agreement between the Serbian and Bulgarian General Staffs
    • The Agreement between the Serbian and Bulgarian General Staffs
    • The Treaty of Alliance for Defence between Bulgaria and Greece
    • Protocol
  • A Retrospect on June 16th
  • After the Disaster
  • The Bulgarians and Macedonia


Bibliographic Entry:

Protic, Stojan. The Aspirations of Bulgaria. London: Simpkin, Marshall, Hamilton, Kent & Co., 1915.

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