The Serbian Gendarmerie’s Involvement in the First World War: From Keeping Order at the Rear to Fighting on the Front Line
Created under legislation inspired by French, Italian, Austro-Hungarian and Swiss models, the Serbian Gendarmerie took part in fighting during the defence of Belgrade in 1914 and 1915. It later followed in the Serbian retreat towards the Adriatic coast of Albania in 1915–1916, under circumstances so disastrous that the whole corps was nearly disbanded. Yet only several weeks later, it was regrouped and reorganised in Corfu (mostly under French impulse) and began—like the Serbian army itself—its Renaissance. From 1916 to 1918, the Serbian Gendarmerie was actively engaged on the Salonika front where its men fought, maintained order in the rear and ultimately contributed to the liberation of Serbia in September–October 1918. Once again reorganised after the war, the corps was integrated into the Gendarmerie of the new Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes.