Area 11: The creation of the Albania mission

  1. Ismail Qemal (Guide of Albanian History and Cultural Heritage, Tirana 2000)
  2. Borders of the new Albania, various proposals, Petermanns Mittheilungen 59, 1913 (S/T Collection, Leiden)
  3. Vlorë/Valona (S/T Collection, Leiden)
  4. Report of the Albanian Expedition (National Archives, The Hague)
  5. Arrival of the Dutch expedition in Albania (IMG, The Hague)

As the hope of remaining neutral evaporated, Albanian independence was declared in Valona/Vlorë on 28 November 1912. The diplomat Ismail Qemal (A) formed a provisional government with claims for a Greater Albania (B). The Triple Entente of Russia, the United Kingdom and France, by contrast, proposed a rump state that would allow Serbia and Greece to retain a great deal of the territory they had conquered. At the Conference of London (May 1913), the independence was recognised, but even Italy and the Austro-Hungarian Empire did not propose including Kosovo. Albania was forced to become a neutral principality. By means of an International Control Commission (ICC), the European Great Powers attempted to restore order. The ICC established itself in Vlorë (C).

Thomson and De Veer were assigned to investigate how a gendarmerie could be set up. Their 150-page classified report, describing geography, composition of the population, history and the development of state institutions, was issued at the beginning of 1914 (D). The organisation and remuneration of approximately 5,000 gendarmes was also discussed. Inquiries had already been made to the Dutch government to provide officers to lead the gendarmerie force. On 24 February, the following people arrived in Vlorë (E): Captain Fabius, Major Kroon, Major De Waal (briefly visible), Major Sluys, Captain Doorman, Major Roelfsema, Dr. De Groot (in civilian clothes), Captain Sar, Major Verhulst, Major Snellen van Vollenhoven and, far right, First Lieutenant Mallinckrodt. The others are Albanian officers. Captains Reimers and Sonne arrived with the next boat. The Dutch officers were organised into pairs and deployed across the country.