The March across Albania

The First World War Serbian army retreat across Albania and Montenegro is called the Albanian Golgotha (after the place near Jerusalem where Jesus was crucified). The Serbian command had to take that step under the pressure of the great Austro-Hungarian, German and Bulgarian offensive, when roads were blocked and the allies failed to break through to Salonika.

The condition of the Serbian army war rather poor. They were all extremely fatigued, food and the military equipment were scarce, and winter was coming. However, the Serbian military-political leadership did not wish to give up fighting at the side of the allies. Taking Niš and Skоplје, the enemy forces carried out their strategic goal, establishing a land communication route with Turkey. As support the Serbian army expected from the allies failed, the  commander of the Serbian army, Marshal Rаdоmir Putnik, issued his last and the most painful order: to move across Albania towards the Adriatic Sea and the allied forces.

Destroying or burying their artillery, on 3 December 1915, the Serbian army started a march towards Albania and Montenegro. The advanced slowly along the icy roads, but an additional problem was the attacking Albanians who did not recognise the authority of Essad Pasha Toptani, a Serbian ally.

According to the information of the Serbian Supreme Command, about 110,000 soldiers and 2,350 officers arrived at the Albanian coast. The outcome of the Albanian Golgotha, along with the resulting suffering was almost 250,000 missing, died or killed or captured Serbs.


The French Marshal Joseph Joffre said about the Serbian army retreat across Аlbаnia: The retreat of our Serbian allies in the conditions it was done, surpasses all the horrors and tragedies ever recorded in history.


King Pеter I The Liberator, King Аlеxаnder I The Unifier, Field Marshal Rаdоmir Putnik, Field Marshal Živојin Мišić, Field Marshal Stеpа Stеpаnоvić, Field Marshal Pеtаr Bојоvić, Field Marshal Pаvlе Јurišić Šturm, Nikоlа Pаšić.