The Geography of the Balkans through History

Previously: EthiopiaPolandArmeniaPersiaRussia IRussia IIRussia IIIIndiaBritanniaSwedenSaudi Arabia (Part 1Part 2Part 3) – Vietnam

In the latest in this series, I present to you the geography of the modern Balkans, beginning with Yugoslavia after Ottoman Rule and substantially focusing on the progressive fracture of the country over the last two decades.

You can see frame by frame below.

About Curzon

Lord George Nathaniel Curzon (1859 - 1925) entered the British House of Commons as a Conservative MP in 1886, where he served as undersecretary of India and Foreign Affairs. He was appointed Viceroy of India at the turn of the 20th century where he delineated the North West Frontier Province, ordered a military expedition to Tibet, and unsuccessfully tried to partition the province of Bengal during his six-year tenure. Curzon served as Leader of the House of Lords in Prime Minister Lloyd George's War Cabinet and became Foreign Secretary in January 1919, where his most famous act was the drawing of the Curzon Line between a new Polish state and Russia. His publications include Russia in Central Asia (1889) and Persia and the Persian Question (1892). In real life, "Curzon" is a US citizen from the East Coast who has been a financial analyst, freelance translator, and university professor; he is currently on assignment in Tokyo.
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4 Responses to The Geography of the Balkans through History

  1. tdaxp says:

    Love the maps! Thanks! :)

  2. Scott says:

    You can see, with the world war two occupation map the possiblities of future conflict. That Bosina’s as well as Sebia’s story is not finshed at all.

  3. Michael says:

    @Scott: Are you referring to Vojvodina, the Hungarian occupied part?

    Personally, what struck me about those maps were all the questions they brought to mind. What happened to keep that little divot NW of modern-day Montenegro independent of the Ottomans; what effects has that had on the local populace? Why was that one Italian-occupied part referred to as Macedonia? Did the Albanian presence in Kosovo precede the WW2 occupation or is this where the whole sick story starts? Were any of the occupiers’ local collaborators allowed to leave with them or were they all slaughtered or coopted by the Communists?

  4. Taco Rocco says:

    @Mike

    Vojvodina is not ‘occupied’ by the Hungarians but 14% of its population does identify itself as Hungarian. Vojvodina enjoyed the status of an autonomous province (as did Kosovo) during the SFRJ and does so now. Unlike Kosovo, 60% of Vojvodina is Serbian and the relations with Belgrade, although sometimes strained, are quite solid.

    That little divot you speak of in the Ottoman map it is Montenegro.

    As for the Albanians in Kosovo – During the Italian/German occupation the Albanians enjoyed the status of collaborator and engaged in a pogrom against the Kosovo Serbs who sided of the Allies and were loyal to the Serbian/Yugoslav Crown (in exile in London). These Serbian forces were known as the “Yugoslav Army in the Homeland” or “Chetniks” for short.

    As for these Albanian collaborators they even formed their own Skenderbeg SS Division and enjoyed free reign over Kosovo and Southern Serbia during the Second World War. During this period the Serbian population in Kosovo was either killed or expelled while the Albanian population increased due to cross border emigration from Albania.

    Post-WW2 with the Communist victory in Yugoslavia the Albanians again, even though they were collaborators during the war, were allowed to freely settle Kosovo while the Kosovo Serb refugees were denied return by the Yugoslav Communist authorities. This ‘policy’ was Tito’s way of luring the Albanian’s in Kosovo and Albania into a possible Balkan Union proposed by Tito in case of a Soviet invasion. This Balkan Union, with Tito’s Yugoslavia at the helm, was envisioned to consist of a Communist Greece, Bulgaria, Albanian and possibly Romania

    @Curzon
    Thanks for the maps. Very interesting. It would of been nice to see the Balkans map between Ottoman rule and WW1. Its a big jump missing the Austro-Hungarian annexation of Bosnia and the independence of Serbia from the Turks.