© 2016

The Balkan Wars from Contemporary Perception to Historic Memory

  • Katrin Boeckh
  • Sabine Rutar


  • Integrates the historiographies of the states that fought in the Balkan Wars through international contributors

  • Furthers our understanding of twentieth-century warfare in Europe by focusing on two neglected wars

  • Broadens our knowledge of the history of conflicts in twentieth-century Southeastern Europe


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xvii
  2. Katrin Boeckh, Sabine Rutar
    Pages 1-9
  3. War in the Balkans: Towards the End of Empire

  4. European Eyes on the Balkans: Reassuring the Self

  5. Memories of Victory and Defeat: Constructing the Nation

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 341-350

About this book


This book explores the historial role of the Balkan Wars. In Eastern Europe, the two Balkan Wars of 1912/13 had greater importance than the First World War for the construction of nations and states. This volume shows how these “short” wars profoundly changed the sociopolitical situation in the Balkans, with consequences that are still felt today. More than one hundred years later, the successors of the belligerent states in Southeastern Europe memorialize the wars as heroic highlights of their respective pasts. Furthermore, the metaphor that the Balkans were Europe’s “powder keg”, perpetuated at the beginning of the twentieth century in the face of these wars, was reactivated in both the West and the East up through the Yugoslav wars of the 1990s. The authors entangle the hitherto exclusive national master narratives and analyse them cogently and trenchantly for an international readership. They make an indispensable contribution to the proper integration of the Balkan Wars into the European historical memory of twentieth-century warfare.


First World War Europe’s ‘powder keg’ Yugoslav Wars Nationalism Southeastern Europe

Editors and affiliations

  • Katrin Boeckh
    • 1
  • Sabine Rutar
    • 2
  1. 1.Institute for East and Southeast European StudiesRegensburgGermany
  2. 2.Institute for East and Southeast European StudiesRegensburgGermany

About the editors

Katrin Boeckh is Extraordinary Professor for the History of Eastern and Southeastern Europe at Ludwig-Maximilians University in Munich, Germany and Senior Research Associate at the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg. She is the author of various monographs on the history of the Balkan Wars, Serbia and Ukraine, and co-editor of several volumes on religions, political institutions and historical path dependencies in Eastern Europe.

Sabine Rutar is Senior Research Associate at the Institute for East and Southeast European Studies in Regensburg, Germany and Editor-in-Chief of the multidisciplinary social science quarterly Südosteuropa. Journal of Politics and Society. She specializes in labour history, the history of twentieth-century warfare, and the history of both early socialism and state socialism.

Bibliographic information