Battle of Sorovich
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|Battle of Sorovich|
|Part of the First Balkan War|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Col. Dimitrios Matthaiopoulos|
|Casualties and losses|
The Battle of Sorovich (Greek: Μάχη του Σόροβιτς, Turkish: Soroviç Muharebesi) took place between 22–24 October 1912 (O.S.), during the First Balkan War. It was one of the few Ottoman successes of the war.
Following the Battle of Sarantaporo, the bulk of the Greek Army marched north along the Aegean coast towards Thessaloniki, while the 5th Infantry Division was detached to advance towards Monastir (modern Bitola). While advancing however, the division was caught at unawares near Banitsa (modern Vevi) by an attack of the Ottoman VI Corps (part of the Vardar Army with the 16th, 17th and 18th Nizamiye divisions), which was retreating following the battle of Prilep with the Serbs. The Greeks, surprised by the presence of the Ottoman Corps, isolated from the rest of Greek army and outnumbered by the now counterattacking Turks, fell back towards Sorovich (now Amyntaio), leaving Monastir to be eventually captured by the Serbs. The Greek Division suffering 168 dead, 196 wounded and 10 POWs. The Ottomans followed its retreat and launched another attack on 4 November which was initially fought off, but the next day the division was forced to withdraw further south, to Kozani. The battle is an example of the consequences of the lack of any coordination between the three Slav allies and Greece, during the First Balkan War.
In the correspondence between Eleftherios Venizelos and Constantine, the Greek PM proposed a Greek Division to be transferred from Thessaloniki to aid the 5th Infantry Division. Constantine replied that the battle was strategically unimportant and that after securing the Greek positions in Thessaloniki, he would move personally to the front; as he did later capturing the city of Florina.
- Türk Silahlı Kuvvetleri Tarihi, Balkan Harbi Osmanlı Devri (1912-1913), III ncü Cilt 2 nci Kısım: Garp Ordusu Yunan Cephesi Harekâtı, Genelkurmay Basımevi, Ankara, 1993, p. 342. (in Turkish)