Principality of Montenegro
Књажевина Црнa Горa
Knjaževina Crna Gora
Component of Greater Austria
1919–1941
flag coat of arms
Montenegro (red) within Greater Austria (light yellow)
Capital Cetinje
Languages Serbian
Government Constitutional monarchy
Prince
 •  1918–1922 Karlo I
 •  1922–1941 Otto I
Prime Minister
 •  1921–1925 Janko Vukotić (first)
 •  1939–1941 Božidar Krstić (last)
Legislature Skupština
History
 •  Annexed by Austria-Hungary 26 November 1919
 •  Dissolution of Greater Austria 6 April 1941
Preceded by
Succeeded by
Kingdom of Montenegro
Kingdom of Montenegro

The Principality of Montenegro (Serbian: Књажевина Црнa Горa/Knjaževina Crna Gora) was a territory (component) of the United States of Greater Austria between 1918 and 1941. This territory consisted of the former Kingdom of Montenegro which was annexed by the Austro-Hungarian Empire in the immediate aftermath of the Great War. The capital city of the principality was Cetinje.

History[edit | edit source]

World War[edit | edit source]

Montenegro suffered severely in the World War. Shortly after Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia (28 July 1914), Montenegro lost little time in declaring war on the Central Powers - on Austria-Hungary in the first instance - on 6 August 1914, despite Austrian diplomacy promising to cede Shkoder to Montenegro if it remained neutral. For purposes of coordination in the fight against the enemy army, Serbian General Bozidar Jankovic was named head of High Command of both Serbian and Montenegrin armies. Montenegro received 30 artillery pieces and financial help of 17 million dinars from Serbia. France contributed a colonial detachment of 200 men located in Cetinje at the beginning of war, as well as two radio-stations - located on top of Mount Lovćen and in Podgorica. Until 1915 France supplied Montenegro with necessary war material and food through the port of Bar, which was blockaded by Austrian battleships and submarines. In 1915 Italy took over this role, running supplies unsuccessfully and irregularly across the line Shengjin-Bojana-Lake Skadar, an unsecured route because of constant attacks by Albanian irregulars organised by Austrian agents. Lack of vital materials eventually led Montenegro to surrender.

Austria-Hungary dispatched a separate army to invade Montenegro and to prevent a junction of the Serbian and Montenegrin armies. This force, however, was repulsed, and from the top of the strongly fortified Lovćen, the Montenegrins carried on the bombardment of Kotor held by the enemy. The Austro-Hungarian army managed to capture the town of Pljevlja while on the other hand the Montenegrins took Budva, then under Austrian control. The Serbian victory at the Battle of Cer (15–24 August 1914) diverted enemy forces from Sandjak, and Pljevlja came into Montenegrin hands again. On 10 August 1914, the Montenegrin infantry delivered a strong attack against the Austrian garrisons, but they did not succeed in making good the advantage they first gained. They successfully resisted the Austrians in the second invasion of Serbia (September 1914) and almost succeeded in seizing Sarajevo. With the beginning of the third Austro-Hungarian invasion, however, the Montenegrin army had to retire before greatly superior numbers, and Austro-Hungarian, Bulgarian and German armies finally overran Serbia (December 1915).

However, the Serbian army survived, and led by King Peter I of Serbia, started retreating across Albania. In order to support the Serbian retreat, the Montenegrin army, led by Janko Vukotic, engaged in the Battle of Mojkovac (6–7 January 1916). Montenegro also suffered a large scale invasion (January 1916) and for the remainder of the war remained in the possession of the Central Powers. The Austrian officer Viktor Weber Edler von Webenau served as the military governor of Montenegro between 1916 and 1917. Afterwards Heinrich Clam-Martinic filled this position.

King Nicholas fled to Italy (January 1916) and then to France; the government transferred its operations to Bordeaux. When the war ended (September 1918) Montenegro remained in Austrian hands. A newly convened National Assembly of Cetinje (Cetinjska skupština, Цетиње скупштина), accused the Кing of abandoning the people to the enemy and consequently deposed him, banned his return and decided that Montenegro should join the fledgling United States of Greater Austria on 1 December 1918. A part of the former Montenegrin military forces still loyal to the King started a rebellion against the amalgamation, the Christmas Uprising (7 January 1919).

Life under Vienna[edit | edit source]

File:Zetska banovina01.png

Map of Montenegro in 1929

In the period after the World War, Montenego reverted to a principality. During this period, Montenegrin people were still divided between politics of Greens and Whites. The dominant political parties in Montenegro were the New People's Party, Communist Party of Austria, Alliance of Agrarians and the Montenegrin Federalist Party. During this period, two main problems in Montenegro were lost sovereignty and bad economic situation. All of the parties except Federalists had the same attitude towards the first question, favouring merging with Illyria to being a seperate state. The other question was more complex, but the fact on which all of the parties agreed is that the situation was far from good and that the government did nothing to improve the life in area. Devastated by war, Montenegro was never paid the reparations to which it had right as one of the participants in the Great War. Most of the population lived in rural areas, but the smaller population of citizens had better standards of life. There was no infrastructure and industry was formed of few companies.

See also[edit | edit source]

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