Who's Who - Alexander Malinov

Alexander Malinov Alexander Malinov (1867-1938) served twice as Bulgarian Prime Minister, firstly from 1908-11 and then again for a brief period in 1918, appointed in the latter case to negotiate peace with the Allies.

Regarded as something of a moderate liberal, Malinov was renowned for his support for a formal alliance with Russia (and therefore with the remaining Entente Powers, Britain and France).

Once his ministry fell in 1911 Bulgarian economic policy began to drift towards dependence upon Germany, particularly in the wake of the Balkan Wars of 1912-13.  Malinov recognised the political dangers inherent with such a policy and consistently (and vainly) warned against further extension of Bulgarian dependence upon the Central Powers.

When general war was declared in Europe in August 1914 Malinov urged an official policy of neutrality; then-Prime Minister Vasil Radoslavov was in cautious agreement and recommended such a policy to the Tsar, Ferdinand I.  However during the July Crisis Radoslavov had coerced the Bulgarian parliament into ratifying a further sizeable Austro-German loan: his own underlying sympathies appeared clear, and were broadly in line with those of the Tsar.

However Radoslavov - and Ferdinand - were chiefly concerned with the prospective benefits a potential alliance with either the Central Powers or Entente Powers might bring.  Eventually concluding that the Central Powers were in the ascendancy Bulgaria entered the war against the Allies in September 1915.

It was a fatal mistake.  Germany proved by far the dominant ally in the partnership, and exploited Bulgarian natural and military resources to the full.  Despite initial military successes against Serbia, success in the field quickly dried up and both the Prime Minister and Tsar found their popularity on the wane.

With the country close to collapse Radoslavov was dismissed in June 1918 by the Tsar and a new ministry under Malinov appointed in its place.  Malinov, with his reputation for compromise, immediately sent out peace feelers to the Allies - without success, although Malinov's chief aim in opening negotiations had largely been to persuade Germany to despatch fresh economic aid to Bulgaria (in the event without success).

Appeals for German military aid on the Balkan Front in August 1918 went similarly unheeded.  With military defeat imminent Malinov - in open defiance of the Tsar, who was determined to fight to the bitter end - asked the Allies for an armistice the following month.  (Click here to read the Allied armistice terms.)

The Tsar's abdication was forced in October; Malinov himself resigned from office on 28 November 1918 in protest at Romania's occupation of the disputed Dobruja region.

A "Bangalore Torpedo" was an explosive tube used to clear a path through a wire entanglement.

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