Bergama Raid

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Coordinates: 39°07′N 27°12′E / 39.117°N 27.200°E / 39.117; 27.200

Bergama Raid
Part of Greco-Turkish War
Date 15–19 June 1919
Location Bergama (in present İzmir)
Result Bergama liberated for a short time by Turkish forces.
Ultimately invaded by the Greek army.
Belligerents
Kingdom of Greece Greece Kuva-yi Milliye
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Greece Colonel Zafiryos Yusuf Izzet
Sabri Bey
Strength
12 June:
800 infantry, 80 cavalry, 3 machine guns, 2 cannons[1]
19 June: 3,000 ifantry[2]
500 militias and regulars[3]
Casualties and losses
400+ casualties[4] Fewer military casualties than enemy[4]
Exodus of 80.000[5]-100.000[6] Turkish civilians from the area.

Berganma Raid refers to the raid of Bergama (ancient Pergamon, now a district center of İzmir Province, Turkey) by the Greek army during Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922). The Greek army landed in May 1919 İzmir and was continuing to occupy the area around Smyrna. When the Turks heard that the Greek troops had reached Reşadiye (Zeytindağ) on 10 June 1919, they realized that Bergama was next. Therefore they blow up the ammunition depot in Bergama to prevent the capture of the depot by Greek forces.

Prelude[edit]

When the Greek troops finally reached and started to occupy Bergama, the Turkish forces around Bergama planned to raid the town and recapture it. A platoon of irregular and a few regular Turkish forces from Soma, Kınık, Balıkesir, Kaşıkçı, Turanlı, Ayvalık and Kozak assembled in the vicinity of Bergama.

Raid[edit]

The raid on the town started on 15 June. The fighting lasted the whole day and they inflicted over 400 casualties on the Greek forces. The Greek troops retreated from Bergama. Angered by their defeat in Bergama, they perpetrated a massacre in Menemen, leaving hundreds of dead and wounded Turkish civilians. To justify their defeat in Bergama, the Greeks reported exaggerated numbers about the enemy forces to the Allies. They claimed they were attacked by 3,500 men, when in fact only 500 took part in the fighting on the Turkish side.[3] On the morning of 19 June, the Greeks returned to Bergama with a larger force of 3,000 men. They immediately started a new attack on the town. The Turks realizing that they do not possess enough men, weapons and ammunition to engage a bigger force, decided to abandon Bergama and retreat from the town. A small Turkish force of 56 men equipped with a machine gun and commanded by lieutenant Sabri Bey, was given the task to cover the withdrawal.[7] They successfully managed to stall the Greek forces, for a whole day, until all the remaining Turkish troops could evacuate Bergama.[8]

Aftermath[edit]

Fearing that the Greek troops would try to avenge their casualties, like in Menemen, 80.000-100.000 Turkish civilians fled the area around Bergama in the following days.[5][6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ İlhan Tekeli, Selim İlkin: Ege'deki sivil direnişten kurtuluş Uşak heyet-i merkeziyesi ve Ibrahim [Tahtakılıç] Bey, Türk Tarih Kurumu Basımevi, 1989, ISBN 9751601657, page 116.(Turkish)
  2. ^ Hasan İzzettin Dinamo, 1986, page 275.
  3. ^ a b Hasan İzzettin Dinamo, 1986, page 274.
  4. ^ a b Tekeli, İlkin, 1989, page 120.
  5. ^ a b Turgut Özakman: Vahidettin, M. Kemal ve milli mücadele: yalanlar, yanlışlar, yutturmacalar, Bilgi Yayınevi, 1997, ISBN 9754946698, page 219. (Turkish)
  6. ^ a b Hasan İzzettin Dinamo: Kutsal isyan: Milli Kurtuluş savaşı'nın gerçek hikâyesi, Cilt 2, Tekin yayınevi, 1986, page 275. (Turkish)
  7. ^ Dinamo, 1986, page 275.
  8. ^ Dinamo, 1986, page 275.