Balkan Mobilisation Cross

Balkan Mobilisation Cross

Austro-Hungarian Balkan Mobilisation Cross 1912-1913. This medal was awarded to soldiers of the Austro-Hungarian Army who were called up to serve with their units during the regional crisis sparked by the two Balkan wars of 1912-13.

As a precaution against any Russian intervention in the conflict on behalf of the Balkan League the Austro-Hungarian I, X and XI corps in Galicia were mobilised and the IV, VII and XIII corps partially mobilised on 21 November 1912. Alarm over Serbian advances into northern Albania prompted Emperor Franz Joseph I to authorise the additional mobilisation of the XV Corps (Dubrovnik), XVI Corps(Sarajevo)and the call up of the Landwehr in Dalmatia on 7 December.

In all a total of 550,000 men had been mobilised for service, most of them reservists called away from their families and civilian lives. They had to stay with their units until the crisis was over, one way or another. At a minimum this meant several months in uniform wondering if they were on the cusp of a major war with Russia, Serbia and the other Balkan states.

With the help of German mediation the Russia threat to Galicia was diffused and the troops there were ordered to stand-down on 11 March 1913. The stand off with Serbia over Albania took longer to resolve lasting all through the summer but it too was finally ended when the Serbs finally bowed to international pressure and withdrew from the northern Albanian town of Shkodër in October. At that point the Austro-Hungarian XV and XVI corps stood down and de-mobilised as well. The crisis was over and the threat of a major war had, for now, receded.

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