World War I

On the day of an important Serbian holiday Vidovdan, June 28 1914, Gavrilo Princip assassinated the Austro-Hungarian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The Great Powers saw this event as a cause for the outbreak of World War I since they had already waited and prepared for the “Great War”.

 Arandjelovac had an important military role in the first period of wartime. The Second Serbian Army, led by Stepa Stepanović the commander, was deployed in the areas of Arandjelovac , Lazarevac and Kolubara region. Another military troop, which was also formed here, headed from Arandjelovac, through Lazarevac and Ub, reaching mountain Cer on August 15.

Although there were no battles on the town territory, the citizens took part in the great battles of Cer (August 15-24, 1914), Kolubara (November 16 – December 12, 1914), Orlovica and Vagan. The First Šumadija’s, Timok’s, Morava’s and Cavalry divisions were grouped in the immediate area of Arandjelovac.

At the beginning of December 1914, a battalion of 1300 corporals from NCO Skopje School joined Serbian army on the way towards Kolubara. On December 24, 1914, the Serbs won the battle of Kolubara and stopped further Austro-Hungarian military penetration towards the south.

Prior to the battle of Kolubara, a lot of spa, state and private facilities in Arandjelovac were used as military hospitals. After the battle of Kolubara, around 450 patient beds which had been prepared for the admission of the casualties remained unoccupied.  Due to the outbreak of typhus fever in 1915, more than 2,500 infected people were accommodated in Arandjelovac in only two weeks’ time.

Austrian and German troops, concentrated around the territory of Srem, northeast Bosnia, southern Banat and western Bulgaria and led by August von Mackensen, used a quiet period of 1915 and launched a new enemy offensive on October 6. Šumadija’s division was grouped on the frontier towards Bulgaria. In spite of powerful resistance, the Serbs were forced to retreat towards the south of the country since the enemy troops were stronger and better equipped.

After Serbian army had retreated towards the border and Albanian mountains, they reached Albanian coast in the company of the civilians. Exhausted as they were, Serbian soldiers were evacuated on the Corfu island, Brindisi (Italy) and Bizerte (Tunisia).

4 A) Kaymakchalan, 1916, И-670

After they had recovered and organized on the Corfu Island, Serbian troops landed on the Salonica front (later Thessaloniki) under the commander Maurice Sarrail. In September 1916, Serbian army defeated Bulgarian troops in the battles of Kaymakchalan (August 30 – September 23, 1916) and Gorničevo (September 12-16, 1916). In 1918, Bulgaria was forced to sign the truce.

V French hospital in Thessaloniki, 25. 02. 1917, И-814

World War I was officially brought to an end by the Paris Peace Conference that took place on January 18-28, 1918. Historically, the Conference has been known as the Versailles Treaty.


The unveiling of the monument dedicated to the killed and deceased inhabitants of Arandjelovac