Battle of Skra-di-Legen

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Battle of Skra di Legen
Part of World War I
Zymbrakakis-2.jpg
Lieutenant General Emmanouil Zymvrakakis (right) with his Chief of Staff
DateMay 29–31, 1918
Location
Result Franco Greek victory
Belligerents
 Greece
 France
 Bulgaria
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Greece Emmanouil Zymvrakakis
French Third Republic Adolphe Guillaumat
French Third Republic Auguste Clement Gerome
Kingdom of Bulgaria Ivan Bonchev
Strength
Kingdom of Greece 5 regiments
(from 3 divisions)
French Third Republic 1 brigade with cannons and flamethrowers
Kingdom of Bulgaria 1 brigade
Casualties and losses
441 killed
2,227 wounded
164 missing[1]
600 killed
2,313 captured
(included wounded)
12 artillery pieces and 32 machine guns as well as other equipment captured

The Battle of Skra di Legen (Skora di Legen) was a two-day battle which took place at the Skra fortified position, located northeast of Mount Paiko, which is north-west of Thessaloniki, on May 29–30, 1918, on the Macedonian front of World War I. The battle was the first large-scale employment of Greek troops of the Army of National Defence (Greece had joined united the war in summer 1917) on the front, and resulted in the capture of the heavily fortified Bulgarian positions.

The Allied force comprised three Greek divisions of the National Defence Army Corps under Lieutenant General Emmanouil Zymvrakakis, plus one French brigade. The three Greek divisions included the Archipelago Division under Major General Dimitrios Ioannou, the Crete Division under Major General Panagiotis Spiliadis, and the Serres Division under Lieutenant Colonel Epameinondas Zymvrakakis. The 5th and 6th Regiments from the Archipelago Division were in the center, the 7th and 8th Regiments from the Crete Division were on the right flank and the 1st Regiment of the Serres Division was on the left flank.

Battle[edit]

A Bulgarian gun captured by the Allies at Skra
Bulgarian prisoners of war
Bulgarian soldiers during the battle

In the early morning of 29 May 1918, Greek artillery fired on Bulgarian positions in preparation for the next morning's assault.

On 06.30, 30 May 1918, Allied forces captured Skra from the heavily outnumbered Bulgarians. Starting from the evening of the same day until May 31, the Bulgarian army launched several counterattacks on positions held by the Crete Division. All attacks were repelled, cementing the Allied victory.

In the battle, 441 Allied soldiers were killed, 2,227 wounded and 164 missing in action. Bulgaria suffered 600 soldiers killed and 2045 taken prisoner. 12 artillery pieces and 32 machine guns as well as other equipment were also captured.

Aftermath[edit]

The battle was important for the progress in the Macedonian front, as the Allies after a year of unsuccessful attacks, finally broke the Bulgarian positions.

References[edit]

  1. ^ Η Μάχη του Σκρα Ντι Λέγκεν, Στρατιωτική Ιστορία journal, No.69, May 2002

Bibliography[edit]

  • Charles F. Horne, Source records of the Great war, volume VI, National Alumni 1923
  • Grigorios Dafnis, Sofoklis Eleftheriou Venizelos, Ikaros, Athens 1970, pages 44–47

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 41°05′20″N 22°23′40″E / 41.08889°N 22.39444°E / 41.08889; 22.39444