Battle of Bazargic

The Battle of Bazargic, also known as the Battle of Dobrich or the Dobrich epopee (Bulgarian: Добричка епопея), took place between 5 and 7 September 1916 between a joint Bulgarian–German–Ottoman force, consisting mainly of the Bulgarian Third Army, and a RomanianRussian force, including a Division of Serbian Volunteers serving under the Russian 47th Corps. The battle was part of the Romanian campaign towards the end of 1916.[2] It ended with a Central Powers victory.

Battle of Bazargic
Part of Romanian Campaign (World War I)
Romanian Campaign (1916).jpg
Map of the Romanian campaign
Date5 September 1916 - 7 September 1916
Location43°34′0″N 27°50′0″E / 43.56667°N 27.83333°E / 43.56667; 27.83333
Result Central Powers victory
Belligerents
Central Powers:
Bulgaria Bulgaria
 Germany
Allied Powers:
Romania Romania
Russia Russian Empire
 Serbia
Commanders and leaders
Bulgaria Stefan Toshev
Bulgaria Ivan Kolev
Bulgaria Todor Kantardzhiev
Russian Empire Andrei Zayonchkovski
Strength
23 battalions,10 artillery batteries, 17 cavalry squadrons 46 battalions,17 artillery batteries,19 cavalry squadrons
Casualties and losses
1,053 killed
2,324 wounded[1]
Unknown

BackgroundEdit

Although bound by the pre-war Triple Alliance to the Central Powers, Romania instead joined the Triple Entente in August 1916, following the signing of the Treaty of Bucharest (1916). German Commander Field Marshal August von Mackensen was put in charge of the Romanian campaign in the Dobruja front. In September the 3rd Bulgarian Army was reinforced with two Ottoman divisions and part of a German division. The Central Powers' plan was to attack the Romanian forces in Transylvania, while at the same time attacking along the Black Sea, into the Dobruja, a region inhabited mainly by Bulgarians and assigned to Romania in 1913,[2] as a result of the Second Balkan War and the ensuing Treaty of Bucharest (1913).

BattleEdit

Mackensen started with a surprise move on Turtucaia, a Romanian fortress. Although the besieging force was smaller than the garrison, most surrendered quickly to the Bulgarian 3rd Army after their commander fled.[3]

Along with German reinforcements, Bulgarian units on the Southern front who crossed the border and invaded the Dobruja found themselves facing the Romanian Third Army and two Russian infantry divisions. Some of the Romanian units had surrendered to the Russians, believing them to be Bulgarians.[4]

Simultaneously with the assault of the fortress of Turtucaia, the Bulgarian Third Army defeated the Romanian-Russian force, including the First Serbian Volunteer Division, at the Battle of Bazargic, despite their numerical superiority.[5] The outnumbered forces of the Central Powers managed to push the Romanians and the Russians north, while the Serbian Volunteer division suffered heavy casualties with 8,539 dead and wounded.[6]

On 7 September after intense fighting the defeated Russian general ordered a withdrawal.[7]

 
Romanian cavalry charge during the battle of Bazargic

AftermathEdit

As the Romanian army withdrew into Moldavia by the beginning of November, the Central Powers had captured the whole of Dobruja.[8]

NotesEdit

  1. ^ Симеонов, Радослав, Величка Михайлова и Донка Василева. Добричката епопея. Историко-библиографски справочник, Добрич 2006, с. 181.
  2. ^ a b Norman Stone 2008, p. 712–713.
  3. ^ Norman Stone 2008, p. 712-713.
  4. ^ Holger H. Herwig 2014, p. 213.
  5. ^ Симеонов, Радослав, Величка Михайлова и Донка Василева. Добричката епопея. Историко-библиографски справочник, Добрич 2006
  6. ^ Ivo Banac 2015, p. 121–123.
  7. ^ Richard C. Hall 2010, p. 70-71.
  8. ^ Norman Stone 2008, p. 720.

ReferencesEdit

  • Norman Stone (2008). The Eastern Front 1914-1917. Penguin Books Limited. ISBN 978-0-14-193885-1.
  • Richard C. Hall (2010). Balkan Breakthrough: The Battle of Dobro Pole 1918. Indiana University Press. ISBN 978-0-253-00411-6.
  • Ivo Banac (2015). The National Question in Yugoslavia: Origins, History, Politics. Cornell University Press. ISBN 978-1-5017-0193-1.
  • Holger H. Herwig (24 April 2014). The First World War: Germany and Austria-Hungary 1914-1918. A&C Black. ISBN 978-1-4725-1081-5.
  • Българската армия в Първата световна война 1915-1918: Кратък енцикл. справ (in Bulgarian). Св. Георги Победоносец. 1939.

External linksEdit