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its worst suspicions : the French were notified that early in June the 60th Division and two cavalry brigades would be withdrawn from the British Salonika Army for service in Palestine.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: scswebeditor

Robin Braysher joined the SCS in 2003 and from 2008 has been the Society's web editor. His interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Fred, who served as a cyclist with the BSF from 1915 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Robin hands over the role in October 2021 to Andy Hutt. Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served as a Royal Engineer from 1916-1918. All posts prior to February 2021 are by Robin. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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