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The Second Balkan War (cont'd)

The Greek army first contact with the Bulgarian army was in the city of Thessalonica where the Bulgarian army had been allowed to enter by the Greek army to rest.  In the city of Thessalonica the Bulgarians were forced to surrender.  

On the 19th of June a large battle began at Kilkis between the Bulgarian and Greek forces.  The Bulgarians had created a very strong defense around Kilkis.  Trench after trench with barbed wire guarded the Bulgarian positions from the Greek advance.  The Greek soldiers moved across the trenches in a battle that lasted three whole days.  The soldiers removed the wiring with their bayonets as they moved forward only to meet one Bulgarian position after another.  The Greek soldiers fought heroically man to man and suffered many casualties.  However, the casualties on the Bulgarian side were so much more that it was a literal disaster for the Bulgarians. 

The Bulgarian front completely collapsed in front of other similar victories and one by one the cities of Geugeli, Nigrita, Doirani etc fell to the advancing Greek army.  In less then one month the Greeks managed to liberate all of Macedonia and had advanced into Bulgaria.  The Greek army now approached the capital city of Bulgaria which was sure to fall to the Greek army.

The other allies had similar victories against the Bulgarian forces.  When all seemed without hope for the Bulgarians a further disaster struck them when Romania and the Ottoman Empire decided that it was time to benefit at Bulgaria's expense.  Romania and the Ottoman Empire both declared war on Bulgaria and invaded it.

The Bulgarians fearing that their country would cease to exist surrendered, and on the 28th of July 1913 "The Treaty of Bucharest" was signed formally ending the war.  Greece received even more territory, receiving the rest of Epirus (excluding northern Epirus) and eastern Macedonia up to the Rhodope and Nestos.

As a result of these wars Greece gained a new standing in the world community.  Greece had liberated much of the territory it so dearly wanted.  The population and area of Greece doubled nearly over night.  A jubilation swept throughout Greece as territories which could not be liberated from Ottoman occupation for nearly one hundred years now formed part of Greece.


Directly Related:

Elefterios Venizelos Possibly the greatest Greek politician of the 20th century.  He was Prime Minister of Greece during the most trying of times.
Paulos Melas A national Greek hero who fought for the preservation of Hellenism in Macedonia in the early 20th century.


Other Greek Historic Events:  

  • Oxi "No" - Greece's response to an ultimatum by Italy  in the second world war which would have resulted in the subjugation of Greece to the Axis. Greece enters the war against the Axis powers.
  • Katoxi A sad time in modern Greek history when Greece was occupied by the Axis forces between 1941-1944.
  • Article on the Asia Minor Disaster (by the New York Times) A great disaster for Hellenism, the forced expulsion and murder of millions of Greeks in Turkey in the early 20th century.


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