Hi everyone, Adolpheit provide data on Bulgarian army munition and ammuntion was remarkable. According to my calculation from his data, her possession of 383,000 rifles/9500 carbines/5000 handguns/245 Machine guns with 247 million bullet and 859 field gun/mountain gun with 583,000 shell was not enough for war when she joined Germany in 1915, I don'st know the level of Bulgarian war production or figures of German arms supply, but when you look at Great powers combat ready level, you will see different pictures : Russian army possessed 4,290,350 Mosin-Nagant model 1891 7.62mm rifles and 362,000 Berdan 10.67mm rifles, 4,157 machine guns with total 2,446,000,000 bullets and 7,650 light and 253 heavy gun with 7,004,336 shells in August 1914 and her ally French had 4,098 x 75mm 1897 quickfirer with 5,724,906 x shells. She also had 2,880,000 Lebel rifles, 2,158 machine guns, 192 mountain guns and 389 heavy guns. German army had 5,096 x 77mm field guns with 3,822,000 shells and 1,230 x 105mm howitzers with 875,760 shells. Their combat ready level was remarkable but I don't have data on BEF and Austro-Hungarian army.
Some sources tell that Balkan states something like the war between Krupp of Germany and Schneider-Creusot of France. Balkan states were either French armed or German armed. But France had one advantage to win this war : money. As Germany lacked fund for oversea investment while French high saving ratio and lack of investment opportunites in homeland , French bank always provided bank loan to Balkan states in order to obtain political influence.Serbia began to gain French arm and loan in 1906 after her relation with Austria-Hungary became worse. French loan enabled Serbia to resist Austrian ecomomic blockade such as embargo on pigs ( Pig 's war) and French arms helped her modernize her army to protect her from possible Austrain invasion. Serbia totally obtiained 495 million frances in three loan prior to 1914. Serbian also acquried 272 x 75mm quickfirer before 1914. Romania also gained three French loan and this made her to purchase French 75 mm quickfirer rather than Krupp gun. Greece also purchased 144 x 75mm quickfirer and 24 x 75mm mountain gun with 63,000 shells in 1907 and French provided 500 million frances loan to her in 1913 for additonal arms sales and infrastucture investment and Greece recieved 15 men French military mission too.Montengro also gained French miltary assistance in 1902 by providing the former 44,000 Chassepot sword bayonets for Russian Mosin-Nagant rilfes. As King of Montengro was the best friend of Tsar. She obtained Russian financical assistance annually and Russian arm free of charge like 1895 Montengro gained 30,000 10.67mm Berdan rifles and three year later, she gained 35,000 Mosin-Nagant 7.62mm rifles with 25 million bullets and in Nov 1904 she obtained 25,000 army revolver with 6 million bullets from Russia. In July 1909 Russian supplied another 10,000 Mosin-Nagant 7.62mm rifles with 10 million bullets to Montengro. But remember that Russia was financially supported by France since 1892. Russia was finacnced by French 800 million frances war loan in 1904 and recovery of Russia after Russo-Japanese war was helped by French led 2.25 billion frances loan. Russian miltary expansion after 1905 was helped by another French 1.4 billion loan due 1959 in 1909 and another 500 milion in 1913 for railway extension. So Russian 1913 army programme was supported by French money
Germany with limited financial resources only gained her influence in Bulgaria and Turkey. German provided 500 million leva loan to Bulgarian in 1913 for arm purchases and infrastructure investment. Germany Deutsche Bank also gained 99 years concession in Berlin-Baghdad railway from Turkey.According to their agreement, German owned company Baghdad-Eisenbaln-Gesellschaft gained first 4500 frances revenue per km of track per annum , then 4500-10000 frances went to Turkey and then above 10000 frances were to be spilt between 60 : 40 between Turkey and German company.Turkey also gained German military mission. When Turkey joined the war in 1914, German gave her two warships Goeban and Breslau and 5 million pound loan to Turkey too.
You can see by 1914, French money made her dominat power in Balkan. Apart from Bulgaria and Turkey, all Balkan states were Schneider-Creusot armed. French money made her arm, especially 75mm QF, very popular. Even Italy, German partner in Triple alliance improved its relation with France and agreed to keep neutral in possible Franco-German war in 1902 after France gave her free hand in Libya in 1900 and above all, French money. French loan was provided to Italy after 1900 and in 1906 French bank group even to convert 8 billion lira Italian national debt interest rate from 5 % to 3.75% and then down to 3.5% in 1911. So French financial power enabled her to win first round not only in Balkan states but Italy and Russia too. When you look at French financial reserve, in August 1914 Banque de France held 4141 million frances gold, 625 millin silver, 1373 million in Paris securities, 1071 million in its branches and 744 million in advance in shares. It was very remarkable financial power. 1914-1918 war in Balkan was French arm against German arms though Austria-Hungary 's Steyr also provided a large quantity of small arm to Balkan states like in 1913 Romania and Greece purchased 230,000 and 200,000 rifles from Steyr.But Austrian Chief of the General Staff Conrad won Hotzendorff always thought the war with Italy, Russia and other Balkan states including Romania, Serbia and Montengro and just make Austria no friends at all , just like her ally Germany in 1914. Bulgarian army was good but made a terrible decision to join the Central Powers in 1915.
Last edited by Kelvin on 18 Sep 2008 18:35, edited 3 times in total.