The Second Yugoslav War was the second major war to hit the former Yugoslavia in the last three decades, following fighting in the First Yugoslav War shortly after Doomsday. It began on November 10th, 2011, with the Serbian invasions of Bosnia and Macedonia, following months of heightened tensions and incidents after the Serbian Coup of June 15th, 2011. The fighting was in favor of Serbia early on, but after several months of stalemate, their actions led to a widening of the conflict, ensuring a fairly rapid Serbian defeat and their surrender on May 22nd, 2012.
On November 10th, in the early hours of the morning, Serbian forces crossed the border with Bosnia in two separate locations - northeast of the Croatian city of Mostar, and north of the city of Zenica - easily brushing aside Bosnian forces, in pursuit of what they claimed were rebels that the Bosnians were harboring.
Within an hour, over in Macedonia, Serbian forces crossed the border as well, in three places, also claiming to be in pursuit of rebels. Heading southward from the towns of Lipjan and Vladičin Han, columns of Serbian armor broke through the outnumbered Macedonian forces at the border by mid-afternoon, and with infantry on their flanks, advanced southward. Farther west, Serbian infantry, supported by heavy artillery, attacked from near the Serbian city of Podgorica, heading southeast around Lake Skadar in the direction of the city of Shkodër.
In all five locations, while the better trained Macedonians and Bosnians gave more than they took, numbers held the field, and the Serbs pressed them all backward. Albanian forces, arriving northwest of Shkodër on the 12th, did help to slow that advance somewhat.
Sources referred to the offensives as being referred to as "Operation Lazar" by the Serbs.
Serbian diplomats presented, almost at the same time as the offensives, documents which claim that Bosnia and Macedonia had both sponsored rebellions inside Serb territory, harbored terrorists, and attacked over the borders in support of them as well. It remains to be seen how truthful these claims are, though both Bosnia and Macedonia deny them vigorously. These allegations have caused many to be neutral on the matter.
Reeling from the initial assault, along with moves by Serbian nationalists behind their lines, it took Macedonian troops a week on the Macedonian Front to mount a major defense. On the 18th, near the village of Bibaj, where the valley started to get smaller, the first major counterattack was launched on the Western prong, as it was less than fifty km from the capital, through mountain passes.
While initially successful, retaking the both the village, and parts of the nearby town of Ferizai, it soon proved to have overreached itself. The lead elements found themselves low on fire support, and were pushed back to the village. By the next morning, they found themselves forced back even farther than they had been when they had started the attack, to the village of Topojan. It had failed because it had been rushed. Yet, it did manage one thing: it bought enough time for defenses to be set up farther south, in the mountains, primarily around the city of Kacanik.
The eastern prong of the attack, while much farther away from the Macedonian centers of power, also faced an easier route geographically, along with less opposition - Macedonian reinforcements were first directed to the more urgent western attack. By the time the counter-attack in the west had failed, Serbian forces in this prong had taken the city of Vranje.
The fall of Vranje saw the eastern prong of the offensive moving into flatter territory. With that, its advance began to speed up, as the Macedonians continued to concentrate their forces northwest of the capital. By the end of November, they had captured the village of Bukarevac, just north of the pre-1983 borders of the Yugoslav region of Macedonia.
Serbian advance units ran into the Kacanik defenses on the 23rd, amidst heavy fighting. Bristling with bunkers, the area stopped the Serbian armor dead in its tracks, forcing them to bring up artillery and troops to clear the area. Once again using their numbers to their advantage, the Serbs preceded to collapse or shoot their way through the city, taking heavy casualties. By the 30th, they had managed to clear their way through the city. However, that had allowed the Macedonians the time to fortify, to some degree, the passes southward.
Seeing somewhat the overall situation, the Macedonian High Command pulled back some of their forces from the area between the prongs of the Serbian offensive. While this did abandon some of their citizens to the Serbians, they had little choice: Had they not done so, the troops would have been at great risk of being surrounded and useless to them. From their previous positions south of the Serbian city of Kamenice - which they had been raiding - they pulled back to the town of Remnik, near the old border, and in a more defensible area. Here, they could be used for attacking the spearheads, or retreat farther if needed.
December saw the Macedonians hurriedly attempting to fortify both the city of Kumanovo, south of the eastern line of advance, and the passes northwest of the capital. On the 27th, the Serbian advance arrived at Kumanovo, which by year's end, they had surrounded and began to assault the city. About half of the armor attached to the attack remained committed to the advance, securing Ljubrdrag on the 31st.
Near the capital, despite the growing dominance of the skies by the Macedonian Air Force and winter snows, Serb units kept up their advance, blowing their way through the defenses with heavy casualties. The end of December saw them just north of the town of Orman, on the verge of breaking out into the ground north of Skopje.
Northeast of Mostar, Serbian forces headed advanced northward, initially. After taking the town of Konjic on the afternoon of the 12th, the advancing troops swung northeastward toward Sarajevo. As they got closer, more and more Bosnian forces were thrown at them, until Serbian forces launched an attack on the city itself from the east on the 22nd, taking great care to avoid the Turkish base at Semizovac, just north of the city, and to thus avoid inflaming the barely-neutral Sultanate. Forces from southwest of the city entered its suburbs in that area on the 25th, becoming bogged down in the urban environment, alongside Serbian forces in the eastern suburbs, quite rapidly.
North of Zenica, Serbian troops advanced southward, taking the city on the 15th. From there, they turned southeast, with the goal of cutting off northeastern Bosnia from the capital and the western parts of the nation - and to allow them to secure the city of Tuzla, the second largest one in Bosnia. By the end of November, they had reached Serbian territory near the village of Homar and cut the area off, starting to squeeze it out of existence.
December saw the Serbians pressing their attack into Sarajevo, and squeezing the Tuzla pocket. Taking great care, of course, not to endanger, remotely, supply lines to the Turkish base. In eastern Sarajevo, Serbian infantry had advanced within sight of the Presidential Palace, securing much of the Old parts of the city. In the southwest, they secured the suburbs of Blazuj, Ilidza, and Stup, and infested the main airport, where Bosnian soldiers doggedly held on to the main terminals. To the north, at the pocket, Serbian forces moved inward, to Bosnian defense lines both north and east of Tuzla, and had breached their defenses in the more mountainous areas south of the city. Through efforts by the Macedonian Air Force, and relief efforts from Croatia, the pocket managed to keep supplied, though barely and with heavy rationing.
Yet, in the west, around the city of Travnik, Bosnian forces were gathering their forces for a counterattack. While not much, they hoped it would relieve some pressure on both the capital and the northern pocket.
Quickly seizing the border post on Lake Skadar, Serbian forces began to fan out around the northern side of the lake. On the southern edges, marines launched raids from the area around the Serbian naval base at Ulcinj, and Serbian vessels sparred with Macedonian ones off the coast, along with bombarding coastal settlements.
Within a week, Serbian forces had seized most of the coastline of the lake, up to the town of Grilë in the north, and the village of Zogaj in the south. Macedonian forces, having been reinforced by troops from Albania on the 12th, were slowing the Serbs down, but remained outnumbered and were falling back to Shkodër, and establishing defensive positions there - and preparing for a siege.
On the 23rd, Serbian forces south of the lake reached the Bojana River, within sight of Shkodër's suburbs. In the north, they had gotten to the village of Shtoj, two km from the city. They also moved into the mountains east of the lake somewhat, though largely only to secure their flank.
Despite the access points over the Bojana being destroyed or secured by Macedonian troops, Serbian forces used a pontoon bridge near the village of Zues, and crossed the river on the 25th. Rapidly advancing to the Drin River, they found themselves unable to cross it, in the face of the guns stationed in the city. And, in the north, the Serbs also secured control over the last major road out of the city, by taking the town of Skanderbeg.
By December 5th, Serbian forces had reached the village of Kuc on the Drin, rendering the efforts of the troops in the city to keep forces south of the river from crossing it moot. Shkodër became surrounded - however, this was unexpected, as Serbian generals had expected it to fall easily. They would be forced to take the city in order to secure their supply lines.
With the start of the siege, most Serbian forces had to remain stationary around the city. Those forces not needed for this concentrated their efforts on securing the remainder of the region around the city, and bridging the Drin to make their lines more fluid. Both tasks were accomplished by the 12th. South of the area where the rivers joined together, the Serbs then advanced farther, in order to give themselves a more defensible position, along a rough line from the town of Mjede, east of Shkodër on the Drin, and the coastal town of Baks-Rrjolle, just east of a large marshy area.
And on the 20th, from near the town of Luke, Serbian troops launched another small offensive southward, in order to reclaim the small region of Montenegro around the town of Brezojevica taken by the Macedonians years before. By the end of the year, they had secured the area and begun to fortify it.
On January 3rd, after a lull because of a storm, Serbian units broke through the last Macedonian defenses before their Skopje lines, at the town of Orman.
Primarily directing their efforts southwest, they managed to cut off the main western access road to the city by the 6th, amidst the heaviest resistance seen yet. As a result of this direction their forces failed completely to advance at all into the city itself, and found themselves caught at the suburb of Butel.
In the east, after taking slightly longer to get back on the offensive after taking Kumanovo on the 3rd, Serbian armor began advancing southwest once again from Ljubrdrag. January 7th saw them secure the town of Stajkovci, in an obvious effort to cut off the main roads to the east of the city. Yet, they also slightly overstretched themselves in the process, and over-extended their lines, with only one flank, against mountains, at all secure.
Knowing that all would likely be lost if the two forces met up, the Macedonians launched their main armored counterattack on the eastern prong on the 8th. Attacking toward the town of Orlanci, right against the mountains, their goal was to cut off the pincer from Serbia itself.
The attack, since the Serbs had moved almost all of their forces to concentrate their attack, met great success. Within six hours, they secured the town, and cut off the enemy armor.
West of the city, the offensive continued to stall, grinding its way slowly through the edges of the suburbs, amid fanatical resistance.
Alarmed at the success of the counterattack, the Serbs immediately counter-attacked the Macedonian thrust. However, their earlier enthusiasm now bit them on the rear, hard: the Serbian armor ran out of fuel. As a result, Macedonian armor cut them to pieces - however, at the same time, most of the soldiers in the Serbian group managed to cut through Macedonian lines and escape.
A third of the Macedonian armor, now with the advantage, began to pursue the retreating Serbian forces. The rest moved west, rushing headlong into the Serbian attacks there, which by then were at the river in places.
By the 10th, they had forced them back, almost to the mountains. However, the terrain now became unfavorable to armor, and as a result meant that it took until the 15th for Macedonian forces to take back the entrance to the pass near Orman.
As the counterattack in the west ground down, more and more forces were moved from the eastern attack to support it. The Serbs continued to pull back, however, abandoning Kumanovo on the 13th. Overall, the attack began to lose steam. They did, however, manage to force the Serbians back to the town of Car, just over the old border, before they were stopped there on the 17th. And from there, the area became a mere sideshow compared to operations farther west.
By the 18th, the Macedonians had furthered their counterattack, reaching a point two miles north of Orman, where the Serbians halted it. Both sides settled down, having exhausted themselves for the time being.
Yet, that same day, due to an agreement with the Greeks, the Macedonians began to move forces northward from the Greek border - fresh troops, wanting blood.
On the 21st, these forces arrived at the front. Using these fresh troops, the Macedonian commanders launched another assault on the Serbian positions, again primarily directed at the mountain passes, though with some effort made in the east as well.
The attack proved to be successful, though higher in casualties than would have been liked, something which made sense in light of the number of Serbians that had originally died to take the passes from the Macedonian Army mere weeks before. As a result, progress was slow, with the attack recapturing Hani Elezit on the 24th, Kacanik on the 28th, and Sopot on the 30th, before being halted, exhausted, at the town of Grebno on the 2nd.
Slightly farther east, Macedonian forces that had earlier been forced to pull back to Remnik in order to avoid being surrounded, sprung on the Serbians as well. Unexpectedly, they met far less resistance than expected, and were able to advance more than planned, before their supply lines and Serb troops forced their halt. In fact, they even managed to cross the pre-war border slightly, managing to secure the city of Kamenice. Normally, they would have been forced back once more to avoid getting surrounded, but the easternmost forces also made progress.
At the easternmost areas of the front, using the largest amount of armor moved northward, for the terrain met it better here, they smashed a hole in the Serbian lines, as well. However, low fuel supplies meant that the advance was rather slow, and when more rough terrain was encountered the Serbs were able to stop the attack, near the town of Korbevac, on the 31st.
Taking advantage of the Macedonians overextending themselves slightly, the Serbians launched an attack of their own in the east on the 3rd of February. From its starting point south of Korbevac, the Serbs managed to take back Vranje before halting the next day.
On the 8th, in an effort to secure more of the local road network, the Macedonians launched a small attack to the north of Grebno. Directed toward Ferizaj, and coming from the south and the east, it managed in its goals. By the 10th, they had secured the road in question, on the southern edge of the town, and managed decent positions in the town center as well.
Serb forces launched another counterattack on the 11th, against Kamenice. Fighting through the city, and having to destroy the city center to push out the Macedonians, they secured its southern environs by the 16th. The attack continued another day, until it halted at the town of Koretin.
At the same time, on the 15th, the Macedonians launched another assault in Ferizaj, attempting to secure the rest of the city. While they made steady progress on the eastern, flatter, edges of the city, in the west a combination of slightly worse terrain, and very heavy resistance from the area around the city's main stadium, meant that little progress was made. The attack was halted on the 20th, having secured only about 300m in the west, and about 650 m in the east - most of that side of the city.
Serbian armor attempted a push south from Vranje on the 25th, aiming to break the Macedonian defenses. However, after the loss of a half-dozen armored vehicles in the first hour, they halted the attack.
These moves were rather typical of the next few weeks - both sides launched such attacks a number of times, attempting to gain some sort of position. About the only real gains occurred in Ferizaj on March 7th, when the Macedonians secured the stadium that had been frustrating them, and on March 10th, when the Serbs took Ribnice, south of Vranje. In effect, the front stalemated.
On January 4th, the Bosnians launched their counteroffensive from Travnik, toward Zenica.
As their preparations had been fairly obvious, the Serbs were fairly ready for them. However, they were still not able to prevent the Bosnians from gaining ground.
By the 7th, the Bosnians had managed to retake Zenica, though Serbian resistance beyond that meant that they got no farther than that. However, it had the intended effect: in order to counter it, the Serbs had to move troops from near Sarajevo, and in the areas around Tuzla, giving both sites some breathing room.
On the 10th, Serb forces attacked the new Bosnian positions at Zenica. While the Bosnians held a good position, and a very defensible on at that, they were still outnumbered. Within days, they were forced to begin to withdraw back to Travnik, stopping and entrenching about halfway between the two cities.
The week of reduced enemy forces allowed the Bosnians time to reinforce, and to build more defenses, at the capital and Tuzla. When the Serbs had moved their forces back into place and renewed the attack at both sites on the 16th, they found renewed opposition, and barely made any progress, even being forced back a small distance in some spots.
Yet, by the 20th, they had begun to advance faster once again. And were it not for events elsewhere, this would have been horrible for the Bosnians.
A deal between the Greeks and Macedonians meant that the Macedonians, with an influx of fresh troops, launched another series of counterattacks on the Serbians. In order to deal with this, the Serbs were forced to pull out troops in Bosnia to shore up the other fronts.
In doing so, their attacks had to largely stop - allowing the Bosnians another chance to move against them.
Their last effort having been largely futile, and despite it being where they would have preferred to attack, Bosnian forces instead attacked much farther southeast, north of the Turkish base. Here, the Serbian lines were a bit weaker, and the attack, launched on the 28th, made some progress. At the same time, forces in the Tuzla pocket launched a small attack, as well.
Both attacks were directed along a road that ran between the area of the Turkish base in the south, and the town of Kladanj in the north - with the goal of securing the road, and breaking the encirclement, at least temporarily. And, on February 8th, they succeeded, with the two forces linking up at the village of Krivajevići.
However, this success was almost overshadowed by a small defeat in Sarajevo, where Serbian forces took advantage of the distraction to overwhelm the remainder of the defenders at the main airport terminal on the 9th.
Serbian forces counterattacked the small land line into the pocket on the 13th. Yet, they failed, and the Bosnians narrowly managed to hold them off. And the Bosnians themselves launched a small counterattack in Sarajevo a day later, yet not toward the airport - a good move, considering that the cratered airport had been useless for months. Rather, they moved against Serb forces east of the Presidential Palace, which President Silajdžić had refused to leave, despite the danger, since the initial attacks. And, in this, they had success as well, forcing the Serbs away from the Palace and back to the edges of the old city by the time it petered out on the 18th.
On the 23rd, the Serbs launched another attack against the small passage to the Tuzla pocket. This time, however, they met with success, and managed to sever the connection three days later, following a series of back and forth engagements, in which sections of the road changed hands as much as eight times.
The passage had achieved most of its goals, however - large amounts of supplies were brought into the pocket, wounded were brought out, and men were rotated in and out of the area, giving the commanders inside it fresh troops for the first time in weeks.
Yet, at the same time, both the attack in eastern Sarajevo and the funneling of resources into the pocket did not occur without cost. The concentration allowed the Serb units occupying the airport the chance to move farther northward on the 20th, where they seized several residential districts - long evacuated, of course - and advanced to the Miljacka River, where they were forced to halt on March 1st.
On March 13th, Serb forces once again began to press the pocket hard, from all sides. On the 15th, they secured the town of Srebrenik, in the northwest area of the pocket - followed by Stupari in the southeast on the 18th.
Knowing that they had to do something, the Bosnians launched a series of attacks at the Serb lines between the pocket and the rest of their territory, moving from Semizovac and Travnik, from the 20th to the 28th. From Semizovac, they managed to get through the mountains as far as Olovo before having to halt - but from Travnik, while they still failed to get through the mountains, being halted at Nemila, they managed something that worked nearly as well as outright relief. They managed to cut the Serb troops in Zenica off from the rest of their forces. As a result, the Serbs had to halt their attacks farther north, in order to relieve their own pocketed force.
Yet, unlike the Tuzla pocket, these forces had no outside or internal support. Or even much food, for that matter. Within days, the Serb force began to break down, despite the Serbian offensive to relieve it. On April 2nd, despite the offensive having reached a point less than five miles away, the surrounded soldiers were forced to surrender. They would be transported via Croatia to POW camps in Albania.
On the 2nd of January, naval operations on the coast finally bore fruit, when the combined Albanian and Macedonian fleets met the Serbian fleet - if these small vessels could even be called that - off Cape Rodonit, Albania.
In this, referred to as the "Battle of Cape Rodonit," the Allied forces used their slight advantage in numbers to combat the Serbs greater firepower, swarming and keeping them on their toes. Meanwhile the few operational subs belonging to Albania took advantage of the chaos, and crept through the battle undetected. Moving in range of the largest Serbian vessels, they fired their torpedoes at them.
Only about half of the torpedoes managed to find their mark, despite the favorable range. And of these, only a third managed to explode - their age showing itself. Still, the effect was noticeable. One of the Serbian vessels was sunk, and two more suffered bad hits. Only one other was hit, barely. Yet, this worked. Much of the Serbian firepower was removed from the battle.
As a result, the Serbian fleet had to flee. While the majority of their vessels remained intact, they still lost for the rest of the war their largest ships, and about a sixth of their fleet overall. The allied fleet suffered slightly less, with all of their losses, comparable in number, being various gunboats.
While a significant loss to both navies, this meant that the Serbs had to flee back to their base at Bar. And an end to Serbian raids.
On the land, things remained about the same throughout early January - the Serbs were busy investing Shkodër, and the Macedonians were busy fighting them off near Skopje. Yet, that did not mean that they were idle - especially the Albanians.
Serb forces in the region continued to consolidate their lines, and expanded them slightly in the north to take the town of Vau i Dejes, securing a vital road junction, and hurting smuggling efforts to the city.
In the south, however, following their victory, the Allied fleet had another thought in mind. Knowing the Serb positions on land, while possible to push back, would be futile in the end because of the rivers, they chose another option.
On January 21st, backed by the Allied Navies, Macedonian and Albanian Marines - previously kept back - landed at the minor Serbian naval base of Ulcinj, in a surprise landing. Within a few short hours, they took both the base and the city. With this move, they circumvented the whole problem of the rivers. Shortly after it was ruled secured, units of the Albanian Army were brought in to reinforce the position.
Soon, they moved out from the city, both to avoid getting bottled up, and to accomplish their goal. Moving both eastward, and to the north, they managed to secure the Serbian side of the former border by the 23rd, providing a safe flank because of the river there. Northward, they advanced up the road, taking the town of Krute on the same day.
Serbian counterattacks, of course, started about six hours after the landings. However, due to the sheer surprise of the landings, these were small and futile. By the end of the month, just how futile these were really shined through, as Albanian troops reached the river mouth on Lake Skadar, securing its entire western bank. And, in doing so, made the Serbian positions on the east side untenable, especially since Macedonian troops, freed from areas to the south, launched a counterattack on land on the 30th. As a result, Serbian troops beat a hasty retreat to the north bank of the Drin, achieving that position by February 9th, where they continued to besiege the city.
Shkodër continued to hold out throughout this period, largely through the divided attention of the Serbians, though they had beat back assaults on three separate occasions by the time of the Serbian withdrawal to the river.
With the Serbians forced to the other bank of the Drin, the Macedonians were able to smuggle small amounts of supplies into the city again, giving the defenders a new lease on life, though their survival remained tenuous.
Dismayed with the setbacks in the region, and farther east, the Serbian Army began another offensive on the 14th, north of the Macedonian city of Prizren, where the Macedonians had been holding positions since they were forced back from the border in November. And, as this region had not previously seen much action, it was under-manned by the Macedonians.
Achieving surprise, the Serbs broke through the defenses, and took Prizren by the 16th. However, as had been the case farther east, past there they ran into another mountain pass. Being more open, and without as many defenses, they did manage to force it. However, the Macedonians, after pulling their troops across it, blew the only large bridge over the river, halting the advance cold on the 19th near the city of Kukës. Further Serbian efforts to cross were destroyed.
At Shkodër, the rush of reinforcements from the south did manage some good, when on the 20th they forced a small river crossing at Bahçallëk, just south of Shkodër, though they were halted fairly easily at the top of the small peninsula they captured. It did, however, allow for easier ground contact with the west bank of the rivers.
On March 3rd, the Allied forces launched another surprise attack in the region, airlifting troops vis helicopter behind Serb lines to the town of Renc in the early hours of the morning. At the same time, they brought troops across the Drin east of Bahçallëk via boat, using the islands there as cover, launching an attack there at the same time as the air assault.
Achieving surprise, the assaults forced the Serbs backward. By the end of the day, in fact, they secured a corridor from Renc to the Drin - putting a number of Serbian troops in danger to the southeast. With dawn, they had taken a tributary of the Drin as their left flank, directly opposite the city - and had secured the other pass out of the area, east of Renc, trapping several hundred Serbian troops.
With this, the Serbian siege of Shkodër ended, though they continued to block all land access - but now the Macedonians could send supplies over the river safely, and cycle out the exhausted defenders.
The trapped Serbian forces were surrounded in the town of Vukatanë on the 6th, where they surrendered on the 8th, having run out of ammunition.
After having rested and rearmed, Albanian forces began to push northward from Renc on the 11th, through the pass there. They also moved north from the town of Gur i Zi, into another pass, at the same time.
While they stalled near Gur i Zi, because of the pass being more difficult to traverse, progress was made near Renc. By the 14th, the troops had almost cut through the pass - and when they made it through, they would cut off the garrison at Rragam, fighting off the forces in the other pass, from supply.
Not wanting to lose another force like at Vukatanë, Serb commanders pulled back their troops from the area, completing a retreat to the town of Bardhaj just before access was closed off to Rragam.
Executing a slow retreat, the Serbs managed to re-establish themselves at the town of Myselim, and the surrounding lakes and rivers, by the 20th, halting the advance.
Using this movement to their advantage, Macedonian troops moved forward in the west as well, on the 18th. Moving up the small peninsula that they had secured in late February, and with a large bombardment of the castle at the center of the Serbian lines, they succeeded in busting a hole in them. At the same time, the troops inside the city sallied outward into the rear of these lines.
This hit them like a thunderbolt. By the 21st, the Allied troops proved victorious, and the last of the Serbian troops along the line surrendered. A land connection to the city was finally re-established.
On January 16th, noting that the Macedonians had halted the Serbian attack, though exhausted themselves in the process, the Greek government sent a representative to Skopje with a proposal.
In this, they offered to move troops away from their mutual border, for a year, if the Macedonian government allowed the Greeks free reign in the small Albanian dictatorships between Greek territory and the Macedonian client state of Albania. The weaker Greek forces on the border would allow Macedonia to pull much of their own forces from there, and use them against the Serbians. The only attached condition being that the moved forces must also stay away for the same period of time as the Greeks.
Though solving little in their disputes, this was a good deal, and the Macedonian government took it, sending a diplomat with such to the Greek government on the 18th, just as their counterattack near Skopje was stopped by the Serbians.
And, to the north of Serbia, also aiding the counterattacks after a fashion, Partian and Transylvanian troops, securing more of former Hungary for Partium, reached the northernmost frontiers of Serbia in force on the 23rd, after having been in the region for a month in low numbers, forcing the Serbian generals to move even more of their forces there, to watch the border.
The surrender of the Serbian garrison of Zenica on April 2nd created an opening in the area for the Bosnians. Bosnian troops that had been investing the city were rapidly moved northward, to where other troops were positioned north of it. The reinforcements were a surprise, as the Serbians had not quite learned of the surrender yet.
While the effects were only for a few hours, the Serbs were forced backward out of the pass. They did, however, manage to hold the Bosnians off there.
The attacks on April 6th, and the entrance of three more nations into the fray, meant pressure was drastically reduced on the Bosnians, and that they could finally catch their breath.
As new supplies came in, and Serbian troops were moved out of the area to fight in the east, the Bosnians could finally make some real progress.
On April 12th, as Serbian troops were being rapidly pulled northward in an attempt to hold back the Transylvanians, the Bosnians launched their attack from their lines at Olovo and Zepce, in another effort to relieve the pocket.
With the reduced numbers opposing them, the Bosnians met with far more success than previously had been the case - while the Serbs managed to stop their advance from Olovo just south of Kladanj, no such result occurred near Zepce. There, they broke through Serbian lines, retaking Zavidovici, and meeting up with forces from within the pocket on the 15th at the town of Krivaja. With this linkup, and the solidity of the move compared to the last punching of Serbian lines, they then moved southward, forcing the Serbs to withdraw to Stupari on the 18th, from what had turned into a big salient in their lines at Ribnica, or order to ensure they could not be surrounded by the troops south of Kladanj still threatening to cut them off.
The resounding success of this move dramatically increased morale in Bosnia - and after the troops from the pocket rested and recuperated for a few days, the strength of the Bosnian army increased because of a greater ability to shift their troops. With this in mind, a series of attacks where launched near the capital on the 25th. Directed primarily toward the airport, they met with some success, retaking the homes to its north, and securing the end of the runway.
On the 28th, in an effort to make their supply lines to Croatia more secure, Bosnian forces made their first small moves into Serbian territory, attacking west from the roads near the city of Bugojno. By early May, they had taken the town of Babici, accomplishing their objectives.
May 2nd saw Bosnian troops move back toward the town of Srebrenik, retaking it on the 4th. On the 5th, ethnic Bosnians in Brcko rose up against the Serbian government - Bosnian forces quickly moved in support, securing the area on the 7th. And, in the process, they cut off Serbian forces in Srpska Bosna from outside support.
Hearing word of the uprisings in Brcko, more Bosnians rose up in Serb territory east of Sarajevo on the 9th. Here it was far more violent than in Brcko, however - the larger number of Serbs living in the area meant that reprisals were far more common, and the Serbian army could do little to stop them. Even worse, Macedonian troops, having broken through Serbian lines, were approaching, so little could be done at all.
Because of this, and a new Bosnian offensive starting in Sarajevo, Serbian troops were forced to move, or die - they took many of the surviving civilians with them. Bosnian troops, with elements of the Macedonian military, would secure the region by the 17th.
To the northwest, pressure was also being applied. Not only was the Bosnian military attacking from points near Jaice and Lukavac, but more rebellions occurred at Prijedor and Doboi, gaining control over both towns, and resistance began elsewhere too. Faced with such a situation, the commander of Serbian forces in the area, Milan Mojsilovic, still refused to surrender to those he deemed "inferior." His troops, tired, hungry, being shot at every turn, and hearing nothing but bad news from the east, could not take this very long, and began rioting on the 20th. News of the remnants of the government surrendering on the 22nd, and the subsequent call to lay down their arms, did nothing to help. That military police, unwilling or unable to deal with the riots after the broadcasts, stood back as the mutineers took over the headquarters, and sent out messages of surrender late that night. The general was turned over to Bosnians arriving to accept their surrender the next day.
With the entry of the other powers into the war, Serbian forces weakened on their front with the Macedonians, needing to shuffle reserves northward to fight on the new battlefields in the north. Macedonian troops, however, were exhausted, having spent so long in battle. As a result, it took several days before they could take advantage of the new situation.
Rhodopian troops crossed their border with Serbian-occupied areas of Macedonia shortly after their declaration of war. Within two days, they had met up with Macedonian troops, surrounding two companies of Serbian forces - who surrendered shortly thereafter. This move weakened even farther the Serbian lines in the eastern areas of the front, and let the Macedonians launch their first attack since the declarations, toward Vranje, on the 11th.
Falling on the weakened lines with their armor, Macedonian troops quickly broke through them. By nightfall, they had retaken Vranje. Not far to the northeast of the city, however, the terrain made armored attacks very difficult, and as a result, they were forced to switch to an infantry push, slowing the offensive down. It would take six days to secure the next major town, Vladičin Han, along the road. This capture secured the end of a route leading into Rhodope, whose forces had secured most of the passage already. The net result was to improve the local supply situation, and to allow the shuffling of more Rhodopian troops farther north.
In an effort to at least delay any offensive, Serb forces launched a counter-attack on the 15th, toward the town of Gnjilane, in an effort to partially cut off Macedonian troops farther up that valley. While they did manage to secure the town, Serb forces failed to secure the entire distance to the opposite side of the valley before the Macedonians launched their first strikes since the attacks in Smolyan.
On April 20th, following nearly two weeks of preparation, Macedonia launched its major offensive from the area in and around Ferizaj. Having moved most of their tanks to the area, it being more open than the eastern regions of the front, they focused the strength of the offensive just east of the city.
Following several hours of tussling with Serbian armor, the tanks cleared Serbian lines in late afternoon, moving out into the farmland beyond. At this point they, and their infantry support, split into three primary groups. One, suddenly changing to a southwestern orientation, trapped any defenders left from the original front line. Following the surrender of this pocket on the 24th, these troops would move northward. The second prong went northwest, with the aim of rolling up the Serbian right flank, and securing the passes at Sedlar and Orlate. The third, and strongest, element of the attacking force went north, toward the border, and the city of Pristina.
On the 29th, Macedonian troops crossed their former border with Serbia, and arrived within sight of Pristina, where they stopped to rest and regroup. And, the next day, forward elements of the northwestern force reached their goal, of the twin passes. Within hours, they secured the eastern entrances, where they halted.
In concert with Rhodopian forces on their right flank, Macedonian troops in the eastern sectors of the front launched a series of minor attacks on the 22nd. By the end of the month, when they were forced to halt yet again, as they had slightly outran their supplies, they had managed to get out of the higher mountains and made it just south of the city of Leskovac.
Their supply lines caught up with them again the next day, allowing them to return to their offensive on the first of May. Ten hours later, they had secured Leskovac, and were still moving northward. By the end of the week, they had advanced past the western edge of the city of Nis, cutting of its main channel of communication with the Serbian capital. Detachments were also sent, during the advance, over smaller mountain roads to the east - these forces would meet up with Rhodopian troops near the town of Bela Palanka on May 3rd.
With Macedonian infantry preparing to assault Nis, it was obvious that the city would suffer if attacked - as was the result. Because of this, the mayor, Zoran Perišić, declared the city to be an "open city" on the fifth of May. Serbian forces then began to retreat from the area, with most managing to pull back through the pass northwest of the city before they were cut off - most of the remainder would be able to retreat to the northeast of the city. Small elements would, however, violate the declaration and continue to resist inside the city - the locals, no matter how supportive they may have been of these elements, did not want to have reprisals enacted, and aided Macedonian militia in removing the threat.
With this success, the commanders of this prong of the Macedonian attack split their forces into two - one main group, heading toward Kragujevac, while another would head northeast to mop up any Serbian stragglers and meet up with Rhodopian forces, doing so at Zajecar on the 10th.
Launching themselves down the mountain passes, Macedonian troops renewed their attack from Sedlar and Orlate on the 2nd. With the mountainous terrain, they made slow progress. Worse, they had to split their numbers, as they had two goals - to meet up with west of the passes with troops moving north from Shkodër, and to retake the city of Prizren to their south. Taking more casualties than they would have liked, due to the terrain aiding the Serbian defenders, it took longer to achieve their goals than planned - indeed, they were only able to stop many of the defenders of the area because of troops from the southwest having moved into their paths.
On May 10th, northwest of the city of Peć, Macedonian troops pushed the defenders into a mountain pass - one which forces from the southwest had already established themselves in. Exhausted, and now trapped, they would surrender the next day. These forces would continue to advance to the northwest, aiding in the Montenegro campaign.
Two days later, fighting through even harder resistance, other troops would liberate the city of Prizren. The next day saw them push the defenders back to positions across blown bridges from the city of Kukës. However, they could not dislodge them - and being needed elsewhere, they really could not sit around forever, either. But, they also had troops across the rover to help them - and they did. Firing artillery into the Serbian troops at what amounted to point-blank range for those cannons, they caused massive casualties. After only an hour of this bombardment, the beleaguered Serbs surrendered in the early afternoon on the 14th.
Having seen what happened to Serbian forces when they attacked Skopje, and not wanting to repeat that experience for themselves, the Macedonian Joint Military Staff instead elected to establish a curtain of infantry around the city of Pristina, and bypass it with most of their forces.
Launching another attack toward the city on May 1st, it was obvious that the Serbs expected them to throw themselves at the city - something that would have been futile. But they did not bite - Macedonian armor and infantry would bypass it to the west, while mountain troops moved to its east, cutting the small roads there leading to Pristina.
While this weakened their "spearhead," it was a necessity. The Macedonian military had already suffered extensively, and could not afford the numbers it would take to secure Pristina. With the advance slowed as well, the Serbs tried to stop it entirely - their troops in the city attempted to break through the ring around it several times, almost managing the task on the 9th from the suburb of Besiana, and they threw their air force at the lead elements of the spear in a series of largely futile attacks. Macedonian near-control of the skies meant that they had little effect, however.
These attacks from the air, no matter how good their air cover, would never quite cease until the 16th, when they occupied the main Serbian air base at Morava. Elements of the Macedonian and Transylvanian Air Forces would move to the base not long thereafter, and it would be used to aid their attacks on Kragujevac.
Continuing northwest, they would reach the town of Mionica by the Serbian surrender on the 22nd, after having met up with Bosnian forces at Visegrad the day before.
Following joining the Rhodopians at Zajecar on the 10th, further elements moving north from Nis encountered Transylvanians at Bor on the 13th, and joining the main body of their troops at Jagodina on the 16h.
With their armor leading the way, Macedonian troops and their allies reached the outskirts of the Serbian capital on the 17th, and began to skirt the roads surrounding it the next day - while establishing their artillery on ridges south of the city. Transylvanian forces moving from the north completed the encirclement the next day - and then the bombardment began.
Aiming for the center of the city - indeed, concentrating on the government buildings - Macedonian artillery and bombers, later to be joined by Transylvanian light artillery along with their planes and even some elements of the Albanian Air Force, devastated it.
Using a spotter plane circling the presidential palace to mark their targets, many of the artillery rounds and bombs ended up landing in and around that building. So, it was not surprising when the structure collapsed just before midnight on May 21st - killing President Delić when his bunker literally had its roof cave in.
As the news spread, and Transylvanian troops started to work their way into the city from the north, the Prime Minister took his own life inside of his bunker under the National Assembly. Within hours, amid the defenders starting to surrender en masse, the senior remaining government figure, Defense Minister Dragan Marković, surrendered the remains of the government to allied commanders in the area, and called over their radio channels for and troops still resisting to do the same - making sure that steps could be taken in the process to ensure ant radicals holed up went along with it.
Pristina would be the first of the remaining areas of Serbian control to cease fighting.
Following the re-opening of a land connection to Shkodër, Allied troops had to halt their offensive for some time, needing to rest and regroup.
With the expansion of the war to include more of Serbia's neighbors, the Serbs were forced to move troops away from the other fronts, in an effort to hold back their new enemies. As a result, Allied troops were within days of the attacks in Smolyan in a new position - outnumbering the Serbs opposing them.
On April 12th, they launched a new offensive, directed at clearing the Serbs away from Shkodër, and toward the main Serbian naval base at Bar.
Within four hours, they secured the coastal town of Dubrava - halfway between where the attack started, and the objective of Bar. Concurrent to this, their vessels moved to blockade the port, though making sure to stay out of range of the naval guns set up to defend the base.
North of Shkodër, it met more resistance - many of the soldiers that had retreated to avoid capture in March had remained in the area, and the Allies were concentrating in the attack on Bar. Still, the Serbs had lost their advantage, and following two days of hard fighting to retake the northern suburbs of the city, had to start to pull back. Three days later, they managed to gain a defensive position on the opposite side of a small creek at the town of Kcar i Poshtëm, and were able to stop the Allied troops.
While this was going on, Allied troops - aided by another landing of Marines at Zgrade, northwest of Bar - marched on the city, and cutting it off from Serbian territory on the 15th. Gaining control over the air above the city, the Macedonian Air Force used low-level bombardment to destroy the shore guns, allowing the Allied fleet to get closer, though taking care to ensure the Serbian fleet itself received as little damage as possible, so it could be secured for later use.
Two days later, they launched their first assault on the city. Having been unprepared to be besieged, the city did not hold up very well - soldiers moving into it from the south took over the rail yards there, and forces moving around it secured the hills to the east, giving them the high ground. The assault itself failed, but they were now able to move artillery to the captured high ground - and fire it into the defenders of the city.
By the 20th, the artillery had been moved into place, and began firing upon the city - though by request of the Macedonian government, they tried, with some success, to avoid shelling the Serbian fleet and most of the harbor region, only going after the naval guns defending the port.
The shelling proved hard for them to handle. And it got even worse after the guns defending the port were disabled on the 22nd, and the Allied fleet could move closer, adding their guns to the bombardment. So, it was not shocking when the commander of the garrison, following the start of another assault on the 23rd, surrendered the city that evening. Elements of the Serbian Navy tried to escape shortly afterward, though most gave up as well. Of the three small vessels that attempted to escape, one was destroyed and the other two forced to surrender.
Wanting to press their advantage, and with little rest, Allied troops began to press northwest from Bar the next day, with the fleet following in close support. Concurrently, Macedonian troops launched another attack from north of Shkodër, crossing the creeks at the front lines near Kcar i Poshtëm.
On the 28th, troops seized the critical road junctions at Virpazar, after taking the small junction at the seaside town of Petrovac the day before. Wheeling toward the Montenegrin capital of Podgorica, these troops were forced to halt their move in that direction early in the morning of the 29th, when Serbian troops retreating over the western edges of Lake Scutari blew the main crossing, a bridge northeast of Virpazar, behind them. As a result, Allied troops needed to go around the lake instead, slowing their advance. Due to this, most of the troops in this area were redirected northwest, in order to clear out the rest of the coastline of Serbian forces. The remainder of these forces continued around the lake.
Forces moving from Gercani i Poshtëm used construction equipment to fill in the creek in front of them, causing small amounts of flooding upriver. They would repeat this task with other creeks at Palvar and Lashaj, on the 25th and 27th, respectively. Other crews behind them would remove the blockages and build small bridges, in order to both fix some of the flooding and keep the troops supplied. Being rather sudden, the Serbian troops were rather surprised by the scope of the attack, and pulled back. By the 29th, they had retreated back to their original positions from last fall, just over the border - positions which lasted only a couple of hours before they were forced out of them.
On May 1st, Allied troops met a Serbian defense works in the village of Rijeka Crnojevića, located at the northwestern tip of the lake. Needing to secure the area to ensure their rear was safe, they could not merely bypass the position, and had to remove it. After a day and a half of fighting, elements of the Macedonian Air Force, by now largely in control of the skies to the east and moving to eradicate Serbian planes left over this front, blasted gigantic craters in the Serbian defense positions. Allied troops immediately stormed the gaps, and within a few hours had overwhelmed the remaining defenders.
Detaching a battalion to move farther northwest, and secure the former royal capital of Cetinje, the main body continued their advance toward the city of Podgorica. The land held no settlements, or geographical features, past the village, and Serbian troops proved unable to offer any significant resistance until arriving at the edge of Podgorica midday on the 3rd.
Near the border on the east side of the lake, Macedonian troops took the closest Serbian town to the border, Bozaj, by nightfall on the April 29th. A pair of companies were detached and sent to reclaim territory northeast of the border crossing - moving slowly along the mountain roads, with only a single platoon of Serbian troops guarding the fairly insignificant region, they suffered low numbers of casualties, and arrived at the other end of the road, at the town of Krivac, ten days later. These troops, reinforced by air, would prevent the retreat of Serbian forces through a pass between there and the city of Peć on May 10th. The Serbian troops would surrender the next day.
The rest of these troops continued toward the city, arriving there after securing the towns and farmland to its south on the 2nd. In a surprise move, the mayor of the city announced on the 4th that he was declaring it an open city, fearing that it would be destroyed in any fighting. Allied units would spend the next week rooting out hardliners who refused to follow the order to either leave or surrender. Most of the troops, however, would continue to move on.
On May 4th, troops secured the coastal town of Budva. From there, they met up with the battalion that had been sent to - and taken on the 5th - the city of Cetinje, on the 6th. From there, they moved on the last Serbian naval base, at Kotor.
Naval vessels took up positions at the entrance to the Bay of Kotor, aiming to prevent any escape by either Serbian troops, or the half-dozen patrol boats inside of the bay, on the 6th. Land forces arrived on the 9th, and within hours began to move into the city. Finding an easier time than expected, Allied commanders began to smell a trap. However, none materialized - indeed, resistance actually decreased, and on the 11th, they reached the docks, finding some sailors, and all of the patrol vessels there - a very unexpected discovery. The remainder of the town was secured by the end of the next day.
As it turned out, the garrison, believing a battle inside of the city to be largely futile, retreated from it, along with most of the sailors from the naval vessels, just before Allied troops arrived. Their destination was an old fortress just west of the city, Fort Vrmac, where they planned on putting themselves up. By the time Allied commanders discovered their intentions, they had established their positions there.
Since they could not leave it unguarded, but still had orders to continue their advance, a pair of under-strength battalions of Albanian soldiers were detailed to siege it, while the other soldiers continued on.
From Podgorica, troops, spearheaded by ever-widening armored thrusts against the Serbs, made rapid gains - one move directed toward the city of Nikšić, and another toward the town of Mojkovac. Forces arrived at Mojkovac on the 8th, meeting up with troops marching from Krivac just to the south of the town. Here, they received new instructions to move roughly northwest along the roads, to in order to aid the Bosnians as well as a series of rebellions against the Serbs in the area. Forward elements of this force would meet up with the Bosnians on the 16th to the east of the town of Goražde, after having moved though nearby areas of Serbia proper, aided by forces from farther east.
The advance toward Nikšić would not be quite as smooth - troops had to spend two days fighting through the city itself. From there, moving in the same general direction, they secured the main border crossing to Croatia at Nevesinje from the now-collapsing Serbian troops on the 17th, and met up with Bosnian soldiers just south of the village of Miljevina on the 21st. Serbian troops remaining in the area, in a rough pocket around the villages of Lakat and Obalj, would give up the next day after the capitulation of the last of the Serbian government was broadcast over radio.
Troops from the area around Kotor primarily moved toward the border with Croatia. Elements did take the time to secure the southern edges of the bay, however. These troops, both taking and giving assistance from the units advancing out of Nikšić, slowly ground forward - because of the troops they had been forced to detach, their numbers were more equal to the Serbian defenders. Still, morale and firepower managed to be more than enough, with these troops taking the city of Trebinje on the 16th, and reaching the Croatian border at Ljubinje on the 20th. A company of Serbian infantry would hold out in the town of Dabrica until the call to lower their weapons on the 22nd.
Throughout this period, the soldiers holed up inside of Vrmac refused calls for surrender. Even the radio broadcast of surrender on the 22nd did little to change their minds - however, it did get the Allied troops permission to force them out. As a result, after one more demand for surrender, and a warning of what would happen should they refuse - with the result still being "no" - planes dropped a small numbers of firebombs into the ruins. Those inside couldn't get out fast enough - out of an estimated 1,300 men inside, a good 300 or so were believed to have perished there.
Serbia, at the declaration of war, was obviously more prepared for it - Rhodope had just finished demobilizing, while the Serbs were actively fighting a war. Rhodope, however, had virtually every able adult male, and many females, who had been trained and even in the military, to draw upon.
Because of this, and the Vidinites present, the Serbs made the first move, crossing the border in the north on April 7th, in former Vidinite territory. A small group started an "uprising" in that area, as well.
Rhodopian troops, however, were fairly ready for an attack. The Serb forces made it about two miles over the border before they were ground to a halt, only securing the abandoned settlement at Bregovo, where the Vidinites set up their headquarters.
Rhodopian troops farther south, being more entrenched, faced no such problems, and had long been prepared for counterattacks against troops moving on them, though not from Serbia. The base at Tran easily beat off an assault on the 7th, and its forces counterattacked, moving northward into Serbia.
Troops from the base at Treklyano crossed the border as well, into Serb-occupied Macedonia, and by the 8th, had secured the area, linking up with Macedonian forces and capturing two companies of Serbian troops at the town of Božica. This put more pressure on the Serb lines near Vranje, to the west. After being relieved by Macedonians, the Rhodopian soldiers wheeled northward, reinforcing the left flank of their forces coming from Tran, near the border between Serbia and Macedonia.
Reinforcements from the capital arrived near Tran on the 10th, and were put to use two days later. Soldiers from the garrison, fighting in the town of Dimitrovgrad, or "Caribrod," as the Rhodopians referred to it, got the bulk of these troops, and secured the town by the 14th.
More reinforcements went northward, to the region around Vidin, where they arrived on the 14th, and were immediately thrown against the Serbian lines. They succeeded in forcing the Serbs back across the border, retaking Bregovo and establishing a command post there. By the 16th, they had moved across the border, taking the town of Kobišnica, where they halted as events in their rear distracted them.
Though small in number, a cadre of Vidinite exiles had moved into the area, and along with some sympathizers, started firing at Rhodopian troops in Belogradchik. Reinforcements heading north then had to be primarily directed there, to hunt them down, though small numbers still trickled through to the front farther north.
From their new forward positions at Caribrod these forces, along with troops arriving at Ferdinand army base, just west of the ruins of the Communist city of Mihaylovgrad, launched a two-prong offensive directed against the city of Pirot on the 21st.
Despite their experience, and reinforcements, the Rhodopian troops still held one drawback: out of all the armies now involved in the fighting, theirs was still the smallest. As a result, the Serbians could do more damage tot them - and they did. While the Serbs still had less soldiers in the area, the Rhodopian soldiers did not enjoy the same quantitative advantage as those elsewhere, and suffered for it.
With this, it took the southern prong a week to get to the city, and the northern prong three days longer than that, something which allowed the Serbs to build some defenses. Still, they could not hold their opponents back entirely - Rhodopian troops had seized the heights east of the city, and the southern of its two railway stations, by May 3rd. They also managed to surround the city, occupying territory to its west and meeting up with Macedonian forces just west of the town of Bela Palanka, and just east of the towns of Svode and Peris.
During this period, Rhodopian troops were searching Belogradchik for the Vidinites, stone by stone, after having shut the town down. In this environment, that they eventually found them should not be surprising - they had nowhere to run - and after having killed or wounded three dozen soldiers, they were caught on May 2nd and hung. This allowed these soldiers to be re-positioned northward, and against Serbia. By the 7th they were in place, and an attack began in this area of the front.
With Macedonian troops moving that direction after the fall of Nis, and the Transylvanians breaking through near the Danube, the attack itself went pretty well. Concentrating on advancing to a river five miles from the border in the south of the area, and the region west of Bregovo, their attack more or less met its objectives, meeting up with Macedonians at Zajecar and the Transylvanians north of Negotin, on the 10th. From here, they joined their allies in moving westward toward the Serbian capital of Kragujevac, where some of their elements would be present at their surrender on the 22nd.
Back at Pirot, things were not going quite as well. Serbian troops, now isolated, fought back even harder than before, at times causes casualty ratios of two to one. On the 6th, artillery arrived on the ridges to the east. By the next day, they had begun to rain shells down on the city in aid of those fighting their way through it.
Over the next two weeks, much of the city would be destroyed, though behind the front lines engineers had already begun to rebuild. It would not be until the 19th that the last holdouts in the main hospital would be killed off.
As the declarations of war were read in Cluj-Napoca and Debrecen, Transylvanian and Partian soldiers moved on Serbian border outposts.
The outposts fell rapidly - the Serbs were keeping their weaker and recovering units there, in order to concentrate more of their strength in the south. By comparison, the forces opposite them were veterans, and had a bit of a bone to pick with them.
By the end of April 7th, the outposts had all been secured, and Partian soldiers had begun to invest the city of Subotica, their first primary objective. Farther east, the Transylvanians held similar levels of success, encircling the city of Vrsac, though encountering difficulties farther south, where the civilian population was higher.
Serbian forces, obviously, took a while to react - they had to move forces from the front in the south in order to fight in the north. By the time these forces had arrived on the 10th, both Subotica and Vrsac had fallen, and the Transylvanians were fighting militias in Kikinda.
Directing most of their efforts against the far more numerous Transylvanians, they managed to slow their advance, even forcing them out of Kikinda temporarily. The small number of troops sent against the Partians managed to slow them down, and even halt them in some spots.
For the next week, the Serbian reinforcements held their lines, more or less - but the Transylvanians opposing them kept increasing in number, as their reserves and militia were moved into place. Partian soldiers did continue to move forward, increasingly backed by Transylvanian forces, occupying Sombor on the 16th.
On the 18th, numbers finally began to tell. Transylvanian troops broke through Serbian defenses in Kikinda, and northeast of the town of Sečanj. By the 23rd, pincers moving south and northwest from Kikinda had met up with the attack from Sečanj, and Partian troops, respectively.
In both places, detachments of Serbian troops were pocketed, at the towns of Senta and Torak. These would surrender three days later.
Farther south, from bases near the Transylvanian city of Orșova, Transylvanian troops, with backing from Rhodopian and Transylvanian watercraft, made a crossing of the Danube on the 25th. While they managed to land successfully, and secure their positions, Serbian forces managed to hold them there, using the forested and hilly terrain to their advantage.
Partian forces managed to continue going southward, taking the town of Sivac on the 19th, Kula on the 22nd, and Vrbas on the 24th. By then, Transylvanian troops had reached their positions from the east, and joined their movement southward.
On the 25th, Transylvanian forces moved into the city of Zrenjanin, with their armored units leading the way. By the 30th, they had secured it, and continued westward, toward the fighting the was erupting around Novi Sad. The armored units, however, moved southward, to expel the last Serbian troops north of the Danube. At the city of Pančevo, several companies of Serbian infantry held out for several days, delaying the Transylvanians significantly. They would surrender on the 4th.
On April 27th, Partian troops captured the city of Temerin, twelve miles from Novi Sad. Yet the next day they encountered their toughest resistance yet, when they ran into blockades two miles south of Temerin. The Serbs, apparently being somewhat desperate, had moved civilians from Novi Sad to build defense works, and called all of the adult men in the city to its defense, doubling their troop numbers in the area.
Still, these were only armed civilians - not even militia. The advance continued, taking the town of Bački Jarak on the 29th, though with a lot more casualties than had been the case previously. Transylvanian forces, with the aid of allied riverboats, crossed the Tiza on May 2nd following their capture of Zrenjanin, hurling themselves into the right flank of the Serbs at Budisava a day later.
With this shock, even the increased numbers the Serbs had were not enough, and they were forced back to Novi Sad by the 5th.
At the same time, wishing to break the stalemate in the area, Transylvanian troops made another crossing of the Danube, this time east of the city of Orșova. Directed against the town of Kladovo, and behind Serbian lines, it met with success: Serbian commanders had not seen any river transports move away from Orșova, so the move came as a surprise. Combined with an attack by their forces held up in the forests nearby, Serbian forces were sent packing.
Moving slowly at first, the advance soon sped up as Serbian units began to surrender. By the 10th, they had advanced to just north of the city of Negotin, where they met up with Rhodopian forces, and wheeled westward. These troops would join with more troops north of Bor on the 13th, and join up with the main body of Macedonian troops in the town of Jagodina on the 16th. A small detachment would go north along the Danube, securing its southern bank up to the town of Golubac.
From there, they continued to the Serbian capital of Kragujevac, enveloping the city on the 18th, and surrounding it a day later when more Transylvanians arrived from the north. Almost immediately, they began to fire artillery rounds into the city core from their high ground south of the city.
Partian troops reached the Danube west of Novi Sad on May 7th, while Transylvanian forces began to move into the city itself from the east. The next day, they seized a bridge southeast of the city, and started to move toward the opposite bank of the Danube from Novi Sad. Transylvanian armor continued southward, through almost non-existent Serbian forces, in the direction of the ruins of Belgrade.
Arriving there at Novi Sad on the 8th, as Partian troops began their own assault on the city from the west, they crossed two bridges that the Serbs had not blown yet, and blew in from the south. Unable to stop all of the pressure put upon them, Serb defenses in the city crumbled. By the morning of the 11th, organized resistance was over, though elements of the militias would continue to resist until after the Serbian surrender.
Partian troops would resume their march southward, with some Transylvanian backing - most of the Transylvanians would either remain in the city on mop-up duty, or follow the armor southeast. On the 20th, they would join up with elements of the Bosnian military near the town of Ravnje, and by the surrender on the 22nd, forward elements of the Partian military would be just north of the town of Volujac.
After securing Pančevo, Transylvanian forces continued their southeastern advance on the 6th. Fighting a running battle with retreating Serbian troops, they managed to reach a bridge over the Danube south of the city of Kovin just as the Serbs detonated a bomb in its middle, damaging it, but not destroying it. Working under Macedonian air support, Transylvanian engineers repaired the span enough to allow their passage over it in just over fourteen hours.
Fanning out from there, against the now-disintegrating Serbian military, they occupied the city of Smederevo on the 10th, within hours of crossing the bridge. Elements moving west met up with other Transylvanian forces advancing from the north near the town of Jakovo on the 17th, after which the moved southwest in pursuit of retreating Serbians. They would make it to the city of Ub by the time the Serbian government surrendered on the 22nd. A company of infantry would be sent eastward along the river from Smederevo, taking the surrender of the Serbian garrison at Kostolac and securing the last stretch of riverbank.
Forces moving south from Smererevo rapidly moved southward, toward the Serbian capital. Taking a couple of days for their supply lines to catch up with them on the 13th, they arrived at Kragujevac on the 19th, completing its encirclement.
With Macedonian artillery firing into Kragujevac - and aiming for the city center - the government did not hold out for long. With the presidential palace becoming the focal point of the shells, and bombs dropped by the Macedonian Air Force, its destruction just before midnight on the 21st was not a surprise - though the death of President-General Božidar Delić in the collapse of that building was. And, at the same time, Transylvanian troops began making their way into the northern parts of the city, aiming to secure its northern industrial districts.
The next morning, as news of his death spread, the Prime Minister took his own life, and army units began surrendering inside of the city. On the 22nd, Minister of Defense Dragan Marković, the senior-most surviving government official, surrendered the Serbian government to Allied forces, and ordered troops still resisting to do the same.
On April 6th, Vidinite exiles, backed by the Serbian government, launched a series of bombings and attacks, centered around the main square, in the Rhodopian capital of Smolyan. Serbian intentions in this support was to set off uprisings, in order to direct the attention of Rhodope and its allies away from their mutual borders, allowing them to put more pressure on the Macedonians and their allies. This, however, failed, when the main objective of the attacks - freeing captured Vidinite leadership - could not be accomplished, as the Rhodopians had moved the prisoners to the Greek Federation more than a week prior. As a result, the hoped-for uprisings were minor, at best, and only in small areas of former Vidinite control - ones easily put down by the 8th by the garrisons in the area.
These attacks, and the obvious evidence implicating both the Vidinites - and the Serbians - led to a quick declaration of war by the Rhodopian government on Serbia. It was closely followed by similar declarations from Transylvania and Partium.
Considering that the Macedonians and their allies had been holding the Serbians almost to a draw, the declarations of war by Partium, Rhodope, and Transylvania without question flipped the balance against the Serbs. And this quickly became apparent to these states - but not to the Serbs, whose leadership believed Serbs to be far superior to the other nationalities in the region, and remained unworried until their defeat.
As a result, representatives of the six parties opposed to the Serbs met on April 10th, in the Rhodopian city of Haskovo - a safe environment, away from the fronts and the repairs in Smolyan, but in a rough position so that they all could get representatives there pretty easily. While not an official alliance or anything, these representatives - with, of course, those from Partium and Albania deferring to Transylvania and Macedonia, respectively - would stay here throughout the war doing discussions and keeping each other informed of battle plans - in addition to deciding what to do with Serbia following its defeat.
Within a few days, the parties involved agreed on a rough strategy for the war - to launch multiple attacks on the Serbians, forcing them to divide their forces on a major scale. The net benefit of this would be to ensure the Serbs were at a disadvantage in numbers on almost every area of the front lines, and that their army could be systematically destroyed. An effort would also be made to destroy the remnants of the Serbian Air Force, though the Macedonians had by that point managed to eliminate most of it. Each party involved, however, would maintain their own strategies past that point, though they would try to keep each other informed of plans. This would enable them to join their forces easily at several points.
On April 26th, the representatives would come to an agreement on what to do with the Serbian state. With all of their ethnic and historical claims, this was not easy to accomplish.
Both Transylvania and Rhodope would gain almost all of their claims, both ethnic and historical, from the defeated Serbian state. Partium would take most of the area north of Novi Sad which would not be annexed into Transylvania, stopping just short of the city itself. Bosnia would take the majority of the area held by the former Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, though primarily only in the western areas, with some adjustments for a more fluid border in the east. Macedonia would be able to do as they wished with the remainder - and they chose to annex it. The precise borders would be left open to later discussions, though a rough copy was agreed upon.
Following the end of the war on May 22nd, they would hold their last meeting in Haskovo. They would confirm their earlier agreement, and decided to establish a commission among themselves to draw up the exact boundaries, at a later date. The representatives left the next morning to return to their governments.
Elements of the Serbian government would be reported as escaping through the Serbian countryside after their government surrendered. Rumors would also arise that a few members of the extremist government had been seen in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik on June 8th, though no one was actually confirmed to have been there. However, the surfacing of a group of them inside of the Sicilian Republic in mid-July would give some validity to these reports. A small "government in exile" was set up by Maja Gojković, the former minister of justice under the regime of President Delićm, in the Sicilian city of Palermo. Apparently, as a woman, she had been able to slip past Allied patrols.
With the agreed divisions, a movement of Serbs has started away from areas thought to have been given to powers other than the Macedonians. Reports of reprisals for activities in these areas done by the former Serbian government have also been noted.
A series of trials for elements of the Serbian government and military is slated to begin at some point in the future. It is expected to be held somewhere in Macedonia, before a panel of judges from all of the nations involved.
Unsurprisingly, the reaction to the conflict from the Greek Federation, aside from their deal with the Macedonian government, was to ignore it - they would benefit from any outcome.
Croatia loudly condemned the Serbs, though did not make any movements toward war other than to reinforce Serb-majority areas of the republic, to guard against unrest. Yet, almost right after the invasion of Bosnia, they began to shuttle supplies into that nation, by ground and by air.
Rhodope, given the actions of the Serbs with the Vidinites, not only condemned the invasion and expressed its support for the Macedonians, but went as far as to send them some aid, where possible. In late February, they also increased their troop numbers along their border with the Serbs. The action was mimicked farther north by the Partians and Transylvanians. Terrorist actions by Vidinites, with support from Serbia, led to Rhodope, Transylvania, and Partium declaring war and intervening in early April. This proved to be key in ending the war.
Sicily expressed support for the Serbians, saying that they were only taking back what was rightfully theirs from "glorified rebels."
Outside of the region, the LoN, supported by most nations, condemned Serbian actions, and placed an embargo upon the rogue state.
The League did not approve of the agreement made between the warring powers as to what to do with the Serbian state however.