Primary Documents - Allied-Bulgarian Armistice Terms, 29 September 1918

Louis Franchet d'Esperey, Allied Commander-in-Chief As the Allies increased pressure upon German forces on the Western Front, so German troops were hastily transferred from assisting Bulgaria, leaving Bulgarian forces severely weakened and increasingly demoralised.

The moment was consequently considered ripe for a major Allied offensive against Bulgarian forces, newly aided by a Greek force donated by pro-Allied Prime Minister Eleutherios Venizelos.  The Allied forces in the region were led by French General Franchet d'Esperey; he determined to launch the Vardar Offensive on 15 September 1918.

Allied success was immediate and impressive; within little over a week Bulgaria solicited for a ceasefire and on 29 September 1918 Bulgaria signed an armistice, thereby exiting from the war.  In consequence of Bulgaria's military defeat King Ferdinand shortly afterwards abdicated.

Reproduced below is the text of the armistice terms agreed between Bulgaria and the Allies.

Click here to read d'Esperey's official report summarising the offensive.  Click here to read British regional commander Sir George Milne's account.  Click here to read a statement issued by Colonel Frantzis, Greek Military Attaché in London, on 29 September 1918.  Click here to read d'Esperey's official telegram to Venizelos in praise of Greek troops.  Click here to read Venizelos' own statement issued to local Greek commanders.  Click here and here to read Milne's statements similarly lauding Greek efforts.  Click here to read a statement issued by the Bulgarian government requesting a ceasefire.  Click here to read the text of Tsar Ferdinand's abdication statement.

Armistice Terms Agreed by Bulgaria and Allies, 29 September 1918

Signed on the evening of September 29th by General d'Esperey and by a Bulgarian Commission appointed by the Bulgarian Government and consisting of General Lonkhoff, M. Liapcheff, Minister of Finance, and M. Radeff, a former Cabinet leader.

Bulgaria agrees to evacuate all the territory she now occupies in Greece and Serbia, to demobilize her army immediately, and surrender all means of transport to the Allies.

Bulgaria also will surrender her boats and control of navigation on the Danube and concede to the Allies free passage through Bulgaria for the development of military operations.

All Bulgarian arms and ammunition are to be stored under the control of the Allies, to whom is conceded the right to occupy all important strategic points.

The military occupation of Bulgaria will be entrusted to British, French, and Italian forces, and the evacuated portions of Greece and Serbia, respectively, to Greek and Serbian troops.

The armistice means a complete military surrender, and Bulgaria ceases to be a belligerent.

The armistice will remain in operation until a final general peace is concluded.

Source: Source Records of the Great War, Vol. IV, ed. Charles F. Horne, National Alumni 1923

'minnie' was a term used to describe the German trench mortar minnenwerfer (another such term was Moaning Minnie).

- Did you know?

Primary Docs