First Battle of Doiran : the plan

From Alan Palmer’s The Gardeners of Salonika, first published in 1965 by Andre Deutsch Limited, London (pp. 119-120):

The [XIIth] Corps Operation Order was a simple one, deceptively so. The 26th Division was to attack over a front a mile and a half wide, westward from the shore of the lake, and the 22nd Division was to support its left flank for another 2,000 yards; the the 60th Division was to relieve pressure on the main attackers by raiding Bulgarian positions in the Machukovo Salient, some two miles east of the Vadar. During the evening of April 24th the Hampshires, Devons and Wiltshires of 79th Brigade (26th Division) assembled in the gullies to the south of the lake. Before them was the hillock known as the Petit Couronné which, with its western offshoots, was the first line of the Bulgarian defences and therefore formed the immediate objective. Half a mile back lay another ridge, no less heavily fortified; and behind and above this second line, some two miles from the British positions, was the greatest obstacle of all – the bare-topped hump which the French, nearly eighteen months before, had named Grand Couronné, after a similar natural fortress in Lorraine. Even this was not the end of the defensive position, for the Grand Couronné was itself overlooked by ‘Pip Ridge’, long and steep and tapering to a razor’s edge crest.

From a watercolour by William T. Wood RWS. "The 'Pip' Ridge".
From a watercolour by William T. Wood RWS. “The ‘Pip’ Ridge”.





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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 to 1917, mainly in the Struma valley. Opinions expressed in these posts are his and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Society.