First Battle of Doiran : taking stock

From Alan Palmer’s The Gardeners of Salonika, published in 1965 by Andre Deutsch Limited, London (p. 122):

By the morning of April 26th, it had become clear down in Yanesh that, apart from the tenuous foothold gained by the 22nd Division, the attack had failed. And, with mixed feelings, Milne heard at the same time that bad weather to the west of the Vardar had led Sarrail to postpone the general offensive, which should have begun that day. Hence, while the postponement gave the British another opportunity of seizing the Bulgarian lines, it also meant that the disastrous meleé two nights before had been unnecessary. Supposing it had succeeded, would the British have been left to take on all the enemy forces because snow was falling in the Moglena Mountains? It was a disturbing thought that the British might have moved forward in isolation. Some of the old distrust between the allied commanders began to show itself again. And, back in Whitehall, the General Staff seemed confirmed in its worst suspicions : the French were notified that early in June the 60th Division and two cavalry brigades would be withdrawn from the British Salonika Army for service in Palestine.

Bombardment of Bulgar Trenches : Doiran, Balkans. Pip Ridge, and Grande and Petite Couronnes. By T C Dugdale, 1917.
Bombardment of Bulgar Trenches : Doiran, Balkans. Pip Ridge, and Grande and Petite Couronnes. By T C Dugdale, 1917. © IWM (Art.IWM ART 1864)


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Author: SCS Web Editor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and soon after became editor of the Society's journal, 'The New Mosquito', a role he held until 2008. He then became the Society's web editor, a role he seems unable to shake off. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915-1917, mainly in the Struma valley.