Bulgaria Declares War on Romania

In 1915 Lieutenant-Colonel Christopher Thompson, a fluent French speaker, was sent to Bucharest as British military attaché on Kitchener's initiative to bring Romania into the war.

But when there he quickly formed the view that an unprepared and ill-armed Romania facing a war on two fronts against Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria would be a liability not an asset to the Allies. This view was brushed aside by Whitehall, and he signed a Military Convention with Romania on 13 August 1916 . By the end of 1916 he had to alleviate the consequences of Romania’s setbacks, and he supervised the destruction of the Romanian oil wells to deny them to Germany (later Thompson was a Labour peer and Secretary of State for Air).

Although Bulgaria, in alliance with Germany, Austria-Hungary and the Ottomans, won military victories against Serbia and Romania, occupying much of Macedonia (taking Skopje in October), advancing into Greek Macedonia, and taking Dobruja from the Romanians in September 1916, the war soon became unpopular with the majority of Bulgarian people, who suffered great economic hardship and also disliked fighting their fellow Orthodox Christians in alliance with the Muslim Ottomans. The Agrarian Party leader, Aleksandur Stamboliyski, was imprisoned for his opposition to the war. The Russian Revolution of February 1917 had a great effect in Bulgaria, spreading antiwar and anti-monarchist sentiment among the troops and in the cities. In June Radoslavov's government resigned. Mutinies broke out in the army, Stamboliyski was released and a republic was proclaimed.