Great Offensive

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The Great Offensive
Part of the Greco-Turkish War (1919–22) and the Turkish War of Independence
Field Marshal Mustafa Kemal at Kocatepe
Date 26 August – 18 September 1922
Location Western Anatolia (Afyon, Dumlupınar, Uşak, İzmir

Decisive Turkish victory

Grand National Assembly Kingdom of Greece Greece
Commanders and leaders
Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Fevzi Pasha
İsmet Pasha
Kingdom of Greece Aristeidis Stergiadis
98,670 infantry
5,286 cavalry
323 artillery
At least 200,000 infantry
1,300 cavalry
348 artillery
Casualties and losses
2,318 killed, 9,360 wounded, 1,697 missing and 101 prisoners
Total: 13,476[5]
By 7 September:
50,000 (35,000 killed and wounded, 15,000 prisoners)[6]
Total: 100,000[7][8]

The Great Offensive (Turkish: Büyük Taarruz) was the largest and final military operation of the Turkish War of Independence, fought between the Turkish Armed Forces loyal to the government of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey and the Kingdom of Greece, during the Greco-Turkish War. The offensive began on 26 August 1922 with the Battle of Dumlupınar, and Turkish troops reached the sea on 9 September with the recapture of İzmir. It ended on 18 September 1922 with the liberation of Erdek and Biga. The Turks amassed around 104,000 men, the largest number since the beginning of the war, to begin the offensive on 26 August and drive the Greek army of over 200,000 men[9][10] out of western Anatolia. A pursuit operation began on a 400-kilometre-wide (250-mile) front.[11]

The Turkish units marched for 10 days (from 31 August to 9 September), covering a distance of 300 km (190 mi) while fighting Greek troops.[12] The Turkish army lacked motorized vehicles; its forces consisted of infantry and cavalry units, and logistical support was provided by a supply system based on ox carts.[13] Within two weeks, the Turkish army drove the Greek forces out of Anatolia.[14] From 26 August to 9 September the Turks chased the fleeing Greeks 400 km (250 mi) to İzmir, which was later abandoned by Greek troops. The Greek occupation of Smyrna, which began in May 1919, ended on 9 September 1922 with the liberation of İzmir. The Great Offensive ended on 18 September 1922 with the liberation of Erdek and Biga. The staggering defeat caused great dissent within the Greek army and a general loss of morale which led to unwillingness to continue fighting. On top of this numerous Greek divisions were encircled and destroyed as effective fighting units meaning that the Greek army had lost its offensive capabilities and was unable to organize a controlled retreat, leading to a large number of Greek POWs.


After Mustafa Kemal Atatürk's order issued in the Forces of the Grand National Assembly of Turkey, the main part of the Turkish Army began moving toward İzmir and a secondary force began moving from Eskişehir toward Bursa.[11] On 7 September, Aydın, Germencik and Kuşadası were liberated. On 16 September the last Greek troops left Çeşme, and two days later the Greek III Corps left Erdek. The British Chief of Staff expressed his admiration of the Turkish military operation.[15]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Belgelerle Türk tarihi dergisi, Editions 28–31, Menteş Kitabevi, 1999, page 35 (in Turkish)
  2. ^ a b A. Dural: His Story: Mustafa Kemal and Turkish Revolution, ISBN 0595412513, iUniverse, 2007, page 93
  3. ^ a b Nizamettin Nazif Tepedelenlioğlu: Bilinmiyen taraflariyle Atutürk, Yeni Çığır Kitabevi, 1959, page 64 (in Turkish)
  4. ^ a b Assertion of unitary, independent national states in central and southeast europe (1821–1923), Bibliotheca historica romaniae Edition 62, Edited by Viorica Moisuc and Ion Calafeteanu, Section des sciences historiques de l'Académie de la République Populaire Roumaine., 1980, page 340 (footnote 94)
  5. ^ Ali Çimen, Göknur Göğebakan: Tarihi Değiştiren Savaşlar, 2. Edition, ISBN 9752634869, page 321. (in Turkish)
  6. ^ Armistice sought by Greeks as Turks press near Smyrna, New York Times, published 8 September 1922
  7. ^ Richard Ernest Dupuy, Trevor Nevitt Dupuy, HarperCollins (Firm): The Harper encyclopedia of military history: from 3500 BC to the present, HarperCollins, 1993, Issue 4, ISBN 0062700561, page 22.
  8. ^ Stephen Joseph Stillwell: Anglo-Turkish relations in the interwar era, Edwin Mellen Press, 2003, ISBN 0773467769, page 46.
  9. ^ Bruce Clark: Twice a Stranger: The Mass Expulsions That Forged Modern Greece And Turkey, Harvard University Press, 2006, ISBN 0674023684, page 22.
  10. ^ International Committee of Historical Sciences, 1980, page 227.
  11. ^ a b International Committee of Historical Sciences. Commission of comparative military history, Revue internationale d'histoire militaire (Editions 46–48), University of Michigan, 1980, page 227.
  12. ^ International Committee of Historical Sciences. 1980, page 227.
  13. ^ International Committee of Historical Sciences, 1980, page 227.
  14. ^ Christopher M. Andrew, Alexander Sydney Kanya-Forstner: The Climax of French Imperial Expansion, 1914–1924, Stanford University Press, 1981, ISBN 0804711011, page 232.
  15. ^ Elisabeth Özdalga: The Last Dragoman: The Swedish Orientalist Johannes Kolmodin as Scholar, Activist and Diplomat, Swedish Research Institute in Istanbul, 2006, ISBN 9789186884147, page 62.



  • Kemal Niş, Reşat Söker, Türk İstiklâl Harbi, Batı Cephesi, Büyük Taarruz’da Takip Harekâtı (31 Ağustos – 18 Eylül 1922), Cilt 2, Kısım. 6, 3. Kitap, Genkurmay Başkanlığı Basımevi, Ankara, 1969. (in Turkish)
  • İsmet Görgülü, Büyük Taarruz: 70 nci Yıl Armağanı, Genelkurmay Başkanlığı Basımevi, Ankara, 1992. (in Turkish)
  • Celal Erikan, Komutan Atatürk, Cilt I-II, Üçüncü Basım, Türkiye İş Bankası Kültür Yayınları, İstanbul, 2001, ISBN 975-458-288-2. (in Turkish)

External links[edit]