OTD in 1913: Greek Army defeats Bulgarian forces in the Battle of Doiran

Battle of Doirani 1913

The Battle of Doiran was a battle of the Second Balkan War, fought between the Bulgarian and the Greek armies on June 22-23 in 1913.

The Greek armed forces, after the victory at Kilkis-Lachanas, continued their advance north and successfully engaged the Bulgarians at Lake Doiran.

The Bulgarian army had retreated to the lake, after having destroyed the bridges of Strymon River and the town of Serres.

Doiran-1913.jpg 1913
A photograph of Doiran showing houses destroyed by the Bulgarians.

As a result of their subsequent defeat, the Bulgarian forces retreated further north.

The Doiran Lake was at the right wing of the Bulgarian line of defense.

The 2nd Bulgarian Army was responsible for the defense of this sector.

The Bulgarian artillery was for some time successful against the Greek attack, but ultimately it could not halt the advancing Greeks.

When the Evzones captured the train station of Doiran, fearing that they would be encircled, Bulgarian forces retreated further north.

Eleftherios Venizelos at Doiran Station
Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos at Doiran station in 1913.

Following orders by King Constantine, the Greek army captured Gevgelija, Meleniko, Petrich and advanced in Bulgarian territory with the aim of capturing Sofia.

Another part of the Greek army marched east to capture Drama and Western Thrace, while ships of the Greek navy with an amphibious operation were landed at Kavala.

It is noted that this area during the First Balkan War (1912-13) was occupied by the Serbs, specifically by the Serbian cavalry that covered the left flank of the 1st Serbian Army, during the operations towards Perlepen (late October 1912).

The Serbs unarmed and expelled the Turkish garrison there.

At the same time, the Greek army was moving much further south during the First Balkan War.

During the first days of the Second Balkan War, the failed Bulgarian attack soon turned into a retreat that culminated in victory for Greek forces at the Battle of Kilkis-Lahana on June 19-21, 1913.

The very next day after the Battle of Kilkis-Lahana, June 22, having previously assessed the strategic importance of the Doirani area, General Konstantinos ordered the rapid advancements of Greek troops to liberate the area, and with great success.

READ MORE: OTD in 1913: Greek Army defeats Bulgarian forces and liberate Kilkis.