Kingdom of Montenegro

Montenegro during World War 1

Montenegro with a largely ethnic Serbian population was still a part of the declining Ottoman Empire at the turn-of-the 20th century.

Knjaz Nikola proclaimed an independent kingdom in Cetinje (1910).

He became Nikola I.

The common ethnicity meant there were close ties with already independent Serbia. The Montenegrins joined Greece, Serbia, and Bulgaria in the First Balkan War (1912).

The Montenegrins suffered substantial casualties.

The Balkan War formally secured Montenegro’s independence from the Ottoman Empire.

When Austria-Hungary attacked Serbia (August 1914).

The small Montenegrin army fought with the Serbs.

They helped occupy northern Kosovo which with the Central Powers offensive (October 1915) provided an escape route for the Serbian Army.

Montenegro like Serbia was overrun and occupied by the Central Powers (January 1916).

Nikola I signed the Corfu Declaration (July 1917). It affirmed the unification of Montenegro with Serbia after the War.

King Nichola was a strong believer in unification with Serbia to form a great Serbian state.

After the Austrian evacuation (October 1918) and the King’s return to liberated Montenegro, he proclaimed unification with Serbia (November 1918).

King Nicola quarrelled with King Alexander of Serbia over who should be the monarch of a united Serbia. King Alexander with a much larger army was able to engineer the dethroning and exiled of Nicola.

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