Who's Who - Alexander Stamboliski
Alexander Stamboliski (1879-1923) was Bulgaria's most prominent anti-monarchist in the years immediately prior to the outbreak of the First World War in 1914.
An anti-royalist by conviction, Stamboliski held an especial disdain for Tsar Ferdinand I. As the Bulgarian government (led by Vasil Radoslavov) moved closer away from Bulgaria's official policy of neutrality into an alliance with the Central Powers, so Stamboliski warned that revolution would be its inevitable outcome.
For his pains - moreover for voicing his concerns publicly - Stamboliski was imprisoned by the government, ostensibly for life. Continuing with his vocal campaign against both Ferdinand and his country's participation in the war throughout his term in prison, Stamboliski was eventually released by Ferdinand on 25 September 1918.
In favour of a national republic and a reduction in arms (among other policies), Stamboliski agreed to attempt to restore order to troops on the Balkan Front so long as Ferdinand sought an immediate armistice.
A democrat by inclination, Stamboliski nevertheless agreed to place himself at the head of a revolutionary movement following his arrival at the garrison town of Radomir. The movement's prospects were short-lived however, as its march upon Sofia was handily dispersed by a combination of German and Bulgarian forces.
Following the armistice Stamboliski joined the Bulgarian cabinet in 1919 before being appointed Prime Minister by Tsar Boris III in October the same year. As Prime Minister he signed the Treaty of Neuilly with the victorious Allies in November 1919.
Stamboliski's government was thereafter distinguished by its policies of tax reforms intended to boost the plight of Bulgaria's large peasant population.
In 1923 he was assassinated as part of a ring-wing government coup.
A 'Base Rat' was a soldier perpetually at the base, typically in conditions of comfort and safety.
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