Battle of Skra-di-Legen
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|Battle of Skra di Legen|
|Part of World War I|
Lieutenant General Emmanouil Zymvrakakis (right) with his Chief of Staff
|Commanders and leaders|
Auguste Clement Gerome
(from 3 divisions)
1 brigade with cannons and flamethrowers
|Casualties and losses|
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.
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.
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.
- Η Μάχη του Σκρα Ντι Λέγκεν, Στρατιωτική Ιστορία journal, No.69, May 2002
- 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
- The British Campaign in Salonika - list of British units involved, as well as an overview of the campaign
- The Great War: Battle of Skra-di-Legen - with links to photos of people of interest, as well as a description of the battle
- Μάχη του Σκρα (17/30 Μαΐου 1918) [Battle of Skra (17/30 May 1918)] , Hellenic Army, First World War, 100th Anniversary portal (in Greek)