Second Battle of İnönü

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Second Battle of İnönü
Part of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–22)
Date March 26–31, 1921
Location near İnönü, Turkey
Result Decisive Turkish victory
Belligerents
Grand National Assembly Kingdom of Greece Greece
Commanders and leaders
İsmet Pasha Kingdom of Greece Anastasios Papoulas
Strength
15,000[1] 30,000[1]
Casualties and losses
681 killed
1822 wounded
1369 missing and prisoner
3 executed[2][3]
707 killed
3075 wounded
503 missing [3]

The Second Battle of İnönü (Turkish: İkinci İnönü Muharebesi) was fought between 26 and 31 March 1921 near İnönü in present-day Eskişehir Province, Turkey during the Greco-Turkish War (1919–22), also known as the western front of the larger Turkish War of Independence. It marked a turning point[citation needed] in the Greco-Turkish War and the Turkish War of Independence of which it was a part, as Greek forces had previously been victorious over mostly irregular Turkish forces.

Background[edit]

After the First Battle of İnönü, where Miralay (Colonel) İsmet Bey fought against a Greek detachment out of occupied Bursa, the London Conference was held between February 21 and March 11, 1921. The Turkish side was not able to extract the concessions it demanded and thus the hostilities resumed again in March.[2]

Battle[edit]

The Greeks were determined to make up for the setback they suffered in January and prepared a much larger force, outnumbering Mirliva İsmet's (a Pasha now) troops.

The Greeks had grouped their forces in Bursa, Uşak, İzmit and Gebze. Against them, the Turks had grouped their forces at northwest of Eskişehir, east of Dumlupınar and Kocaeli.

Participating in this battle were Turkish Western and Southern Fronts, Kocaeli Group and Kastamonu Command. Greek forces were from their Asia Minor Army, I and III Army Corps.

The battle began with a Greek assault on the positions of İsmet's troops on March 23, 1921. It took them four days to reach İnönü due to delaying action of the Turkish front. The better-equipped Greeks pushed back the Turks and took the dominant hill called Metristepe on the 27th. A night counter-attack by the Turks failed to recapture it. Meanwhile, on March 24, Greek I Army Corps took Kara Hisâr-ı Sâhib (present-day Afyonkarahisar) after running over Dumlupınar positions. On 31 March İsmet attacked again after receiving reinforcements, and recaptured Metristepe. In a continuation battle in April, Refet Pasha retook the town of Kara Hisâr.

Aftermath[edit]

While the battles marked a turning point in the war, following the battles of İnönü there was a stalemate, as the Turks had missed their chance to encircle and destroy the Greek army, which retreated in good order. There were casualties on both sides, and neither side was in a position or state of mind to make more advances.

Most significantly, this was the first time the newly formed Turkish standing army faced their enemy and proved themselves to be a serious and well led force, not just a collection of rebels. This was a very much needed victory for Mustafa Kemal Pasha, as his opponents in Ankara were questioning his delay and failure in countering the rapid Greek advances in Anatolia. This battle forced the Allied capitals to take note of the Ankara Government and eventually within the same month they ended up sending their representatives there for talks. France and Italy changed their positions and became supportive of Ankara government in short order[citation needed].

The Greeks were determined to defeat the Turkish nationalists and end their resistance though and prepared for even a bigger showdown at the Battle of Sakarya.

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b İnönü’nün Lozan’ın 50. Yılında Yaptığı Konuşma
  2. ^ a b Second Battle of İnönü, Turkish General Staff
  3. ^ a b Επίτομος Ιστορία Εκστρατείας Μικράς Ασίας 1919-1922 (One Volume History of the Campaign in Asia Minor 1919-1922), History Department of Army, Athens 1967, page 116