Ministry of Foreign Affairs Press service Activities
Saturday, 04 August 2018. PDF Print E-mail
Lisbon: Ambassador Antic on Serbia in First World War
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altSerbian Ambassador in Lisbon Oliver Antic wrote an article for Diário de Notícias, a Portuguese daily newspaper, entitled The Great War: The Great Anniversary of the Alliance between Serbia and Portugal, describing the circumstances in Serbia right before the World War I began, the victory of the Serbian army over Austria-Hungary, as well as their suffering during the retreat through Albania.

At the time, Ambassador Antic writes, Serbia was exhausted by the Balkan Wars and it was by no means ready to fight another war; nevertheless, it ensured the first Allied victory over Austria-Hungary in the Battle of Cer, forcing the Austro-Hungarian army to retreat, only to defeat it twice more during the war.

The text quotes Austro-Hungarian war-time generals who bore witness to the courage and resilience of the Serbian army, and offers the account given by the Swiss academic Archibald Reiss who retreated through Albania along with the Serbs.

"Von Mackensen wrote: 'We fought against an army that we have heard about only in fairy tales, who defended themselves with virtually unprecedented courage. The moment we conquered Serbia hurt us more than her allies.'"

Crimes committed against Serbs, Ambassador Antic writes, appalled the civilized world to such an extent that many expressed doubts concerning the veracity of the findings and data published by Archibald Reiss in French.

Ambassador Antic also referred to the hardships of the Portuguese people in the Great War who endured their greatest suffering in the Battle of the Lys, opposing the breakthrough of the German Army on the Western Front.