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The Salonika front, 1915-1918

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Map of the Salonika front, 1915–1918.

After withdrawing from Serbia in November 1915, Allied forces took up defensive positions around Salonika, assuming that Bulgarian forces would try and advance into Greece. The expected invasion never took place. Instead, the Bulgarians dug in along the Greek-Serb border from the coast of Albania to Lake Doiran and the Bulgarian border.

In 1916, Allied troops in Salonika advanced against the Bulgarian defensive line. The British Salonika Force (BSF) took up positions at Doiran and advanced into the Struma Valley to the east, driving out Bulgarian forces during September. The French, supported by Russian, Italian and later Serbian troops, captured the strategic town of Monastir in November 1916.

In April 1917, the Allies launched a major offensive. The main thrust was made by French and Serbian forces to the west, with the British launching a diversionary attack at Doiran. Both these attacks failed, and the campaign settled down to stalemate until September 1918, when Serbian forces broke through the Bulgarian lines. Bulgarian resistance quickly crumbled and on 30 September an armistice came into effect.

Credit

Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody, Under the devil's eye: Britain's forgotten army at Salonika 1915-1918, 2004

How to cite this page

The Salonika front, 1915-1918, URL: https://nzhistory.govt.nz/media/photo/salonika-front-19151918, (Manatū Taonga — Ministry for Culture and Heritage), updated