‘… hoping Johnny Bulgar would very shortly cry quits!’

B Squadron, 1/1st Derbyshire Yeomanry was pursuing the retreating Bulgarians beyond Strumitza when it took possession of three cars containing Bulgarian officials, accompanied by the USA Consul General (the USA was not at war with Bulgaria), sent to negotiate an armistice. The cars were stopped, the officials blindfolded and their driver sent back with two of the cars. Trooper Maurice Hawley continues the story (quoted in Under the Devil’s Eye):

At the conclusion of these historic formalities – witnessed by only a mere handful of Yeoman – Lt Low (a troop officer) was ‘produced’. He took over the driving wheel of the remaining car, the American sitting by his side, and drove away with his precious cargo, going in the direction of Strumitza and Salonika.

This excitement over, we pressed forward, each trooper earnestly hoping Johnny Bulgar would very shortly cry quits.

I’m currently reading J.H. Johnson’s 1918 – The Unexpected Victory (1997) and, coincidentally, came to this passage last night:

Ludendorff learned on the 28th that Bulgaria was seeking a separate armistice. This news, coming on top of the reverses experienced on the Western Front [the Hindenburg Line had just been breached] and coupled with the knowledge that Austria-Hungary was seeking peace, brought Ludendorff close to physical collapse; there is some evidence that he suffered a genuine fit. … There is a certain irony in the fact that what had always been regarded as a ‘side-show’ should, in the ultimate, have had such a powerful effect on German morale.

Author: Andy Hutt

Andy's interest in the campaign comes from his grandfather, Arthur, who served in Salonika as a sapper with the Royal Engineers from 1916-1918. Opinions expressed in these posts are personal and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.

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