|Battle of Dobro Pole|
|Part of the Balkans Theatre (World War I)|
Two Pronged Allied Offensive
Kingdom of Bulgaria|
Kingdom of Serbia
|Commanders and leaders|
Friedrich von Scholtz
Kuno von Steuben
Louis Franchet d'Esperey|
11,600 rifleman with 245 machine guns, 146 artillery pieces and 24 airplanes
36,500 rifleman with 756 machine guns, 580 artillery pieces and 81 airplanes
|Casualties and losses|
|3,000 men and 50 guns captured||
2,020 killed or wounded|
The Battle of Dobro Pole was a World War I battle, fought on 15 September 1918. The battle resulted in a decisive Entente victory, with a defeated Bulgaria left to sign an armistice, which removed it from World War I.
The battle was fought at Dobro Pole ("good field"), in present day Republic of Macedonia, which was claimed by Bulgaria and had been under Bulgarian occupation since 1915.
The Bulgarian forces met a more powerful and larger army at Dobro Pole. The large majority of the Allied Powers consisted of 122nd French Infantry Division, 17th French Infantry Colonial Division and the Serb Shumadia Division in the first echelon and two Serbian divisions in the second echelon (Timok and Yugoslav). The battle started on 14 September with heavy artillery bombardment. Until then, the Bulgarians prided themselves at not having lost during the war, and Ferdinand I decided to keep the troops there and fight. The machine gun companies, the 2nd and 3rd Bulgarian Infantry Divisions dug in. From 15 to 19 September, the Bulgarians were surrounded. Outmanned and strategically inert, the Bulgarians were unable to stop the Allied advance. Even when asked to surrender, as victory was hopeless, the Bulgarians refused to give up, ignoring the Allied requests.
After the defeat at Dobro Pole, other Bulgarian soldiers began to revolt, and the Bulgarian front lines were abandoned. The rebels headed towards Sofia in order to negotiate with the government. When the rebels reached Sofia, they were crushed by Bulgarian loyalists and German troops.
The battle was lost because the morale of the troops was low and they were significantly outnumbered. After this victory, the Entente army continued to Bulgaria. On 19 September, the French, British and Greek armies were defeated at Doiran and Bulgarians avoided occupation. In November 1919 the Treaty of Neuilly-sur-Seine awarded Thrace to Greece, depriving Bulgaria of access to the Aegean Sea. The newly formed Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes reclaimed Vardarska Macedonia. Southern Dobruja was again occupied by Romania. Severe limitations were placed on the size of the Bulgarian Army and enormous war reparations in goods and money were to be paid to the Allies.
- Hayles, John (13 December 2001), "Republic of Bulgaria National History"
- Offensive du Drobopolje en Serbie
- Richard Hall, Balkan Breakthrough: The Battle of Dobro Pole 1918, Indiana University Press, 2010, ISBN 978-0-253-35452-5
- Hayles, John (13 December 2001). "Republic of Bulgaria National History". http://www.aeroflight.co.uk/waf/bulgaria/bulg-national-history.htm. Retrieved 20 January 2007.
- Savo Skoko, "Vojvoda Stepa Stepanović", Belgrade 1985.
|Bulgaria in World War I|
|Prelude||South-western front: Serbian Campaign, Macedonian front||Romanian front • Outcome • Others||Important persons|
Kingdom of Bulgaria
Kingdom of Serbia:
Radomir Putnik • Živojin Mišić • Stepa Stepanović • Petar Bojović;
Kingdom of Bulgaria
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