First Battle of Çatalca

The First Battle of Çatalca was one of the heaviest battles of the First Balkan War fought between 17 and 18 November [O.S. 4–5 November] 1912. It was initiated as an attempt of the combined Bulgarian First and Third armies, under the overall command of lieutenant general Radko Dimitriev, to defeat the Ottoman Çatalca Army and break through the last defensive line before the capital Constantinople. The high casualties however forced the Bulgarians to call off the attack and allow their adversary to claim victory. This was the greatest military success of the Ottoman Army for the entire duration of the war and the first major defeat of the Bulgarian Army since its establishment in 1878.[2]

Battle of Çatalca
Part of First Balkan War
Borbe kod Čataldža.svg
Map of the battle
Date17 and 18 November [O.S. 4–5 November] 1912
Location41°08′30″N 28°27′47″E / 41.14167°N 28.46306°E / 41.14167; 28.46306Coordinates: 41°08′30″N 28°27′47″E / 41.14167°N 28.46306°E / 41.14167; 28.46306
Result Ottoman victory
Bulgaria  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Radko Dimitriev Nazım Pasha
176,430 men
(118,092 rifles, 146 MGs, 462 guns, 56,410 animals, 20 aircraft)
140,571 men
(103,514 rifles, 62 MGs, 316 guns, 22,058 animals, 5-8 aircraft)
Casualties and losses

1,506 killed
9,127 wounded
1,391 missing

Total: 12,024[1]
5,000–10,000 killed and wounded[1]


  1. ^ a b Erickson, 2003, pp. 134-35.
  2. ^ Vŭchkov, pp. 99-103


  • Erickson, Edward J. (2003). Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912–1913. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0-275-97888-5.
  • Hall, Richard C. (2000). The Balkan Wars, 1912–1913: Prelude to the First World War. Routledge. ISBN 0-415-22946-4.
  • Vŭchkov, Aleksandŭr. (2005). The Balkan War 1912-1913. Angela. ISBN 954-90587-4-3.

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