Hello ladies and gentlemen. This is the first post of my blog. I’ll start with a serieas featuring Irredentist forces around europe. I decided to start with the most polemic region: the Balkans (From a neutral point of view).
Let’s start with Serbian Irredentism (Velika Srbija)
The desire of an expanded Serbian nation that would incorporate all the regions populated by serbs and/or historically ruled by Serbs had originated itself right after its independence from the Turkish-ruled Ottoman empire and start gaining more inportance after the signing of a document called The Natchertanije.
Iredentist maps aren’t usually exact, so the likely of having a certain territory under the yoke of an enlarged serbia is described in the shades of red. Lighter = Less likely
From its foundation until the First world war, Serbia kept expanding south into ottoman-dominated lands, and after the victory in the First World War and the and the unification between Serbia and the kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes, Belgrade (Serbian capital) earned a large chunk of the balkans under the Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Until the Second world war, everything was doing just great.
In WW2, however, things started to change. After a failed attempt to get into the Axis and the Invasion of Yugoslavia, Serbia lost control of a large amount of said territory. A fascist-ruled Croatia swallowed up Western Vojvodina, Bosnia, Dalmatia and Slavonia; Italian-ruled Albania annexed Kosovo, West Macedonia (Vardar) and Montenegro (Crna Gora) and Bulgaria annexed East Macedonia. Slovenia was split between the three Axis countries. The country [Serbia], occupied by Germans, held Banat (The remaining part of Vojvodina) as an Autonomous province, under loose control. Had the Germans won the war, this small Autonomous region could be easily annexed by Hungary or Romania, and we would have a Serbian State not larger than how it was after it gained its principality in 1817.
WW2 was won by the Allies, and soon Yugoslavia would find herself with all the territory recovered, plus the addition of Istria, a region previously part of Italy. Josip Boz Tito, the first communist dictator, had a wish to expand the Territory into bulgaria, Thrace, Macedonia (Greece) and Even the austrian province of Carinthia, this dream was never fulfilled, but the history kept going on.
Although Yugoslavia recovered its previous territory, the wounds caused by nationalism never healed, and the possibility of a break up always loomed, especially after Tito’s death, in 1980. Where Belgrade started looking at yugoslavia not as an Union of States, but instead an enlarged Serbia (The Serbian state within yugoslavija annexed the autonomous provinces of Kosovo-Metohija and Vojvodina). The republics started to declare independence in the 90’s, but Serbia still wished to keep its enlarged territory, resorting to war.
Skipping the conflict part, where NATO intervened and Serbia pretty much lost, Belgrade ended up with only Vojvodina, Montenegro, and an UN-occupied Kosovo. In 2002, its name was changed to Serbia and Montenegro. Yugoslavia died, and along with it, a dream of uniting all these south slavic peoples into a single state. In 2008, Kosovo declared it’s independence (although not recognized by many countries, including Russia and Serbia itself), shrinking Serbian territory even further.
Today, the hope of an enlarged Serbia still lives on the hearts of almost all Serbs, a proud and patriotic people. But it’s seen by many (Both Serbs and foreigners) as a long-term goal, or an Impossible dream.