Battle of Luleburgaz-Pinarhisar 1912

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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Peter H
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Battle of Luleburgaz-Pinarhisar 1912

Post by Peter H » 20 May 2007 03:06

29th October-2nd November 1912:
In terms of the forces engaged,Luleburgaz-Pinarhisar would be the largest battle fought in Europe between the end of the Franco-Prussian War and the beginning of World War 1....Casualties were severe on both sides.The Bulgarians lost 20,162 men,of whom 2,534 were dead..the Ottoman Army lost perhaps 22,000 men...
Erickson

Bulgarian map of battle:Bulgarians Red,Turks Blue:

http://i49.photobucket.com/albums/f266/ ... 2-1913.jpg

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 20 May 2007 03:09


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Post by Peter H » 20 May 2007 03:17

http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/mod/1912lulebergas.html
The Turkish artillery was overmastered from the first. The Bulgarian guns were in greater numbers and better served, and they had an inexhaustible supply of ammunition. Not so the Turks. In consternation, in rage, in despair, the Turkish artillery officers saw their ammunition dwindling and giving out at a time when they needed it most: when the enemy's shells were bursting continuously upon their positions, when the enemy's infantry were exposing themselves on the ridges, and when the Bulgarian soldiers made wild rushes, advancing from point to point, in spite of their heavy losses in dead and wounded. There were Turkish officers and soldiers who stood with folded arms by the limber of guns that could no longer return the enemy's fire, until to a man they were wiped out by the scattered shells. The frantic messages carried to the commander-in-chief notifying him of this lack of ammunition passed unheeded, because the supply was exhausted.

Abdullah Pasha was a sad man that day, when from one of the heights he looked down upon his scattered army corps and saw how gradually their fire was silenced. Now on his right wing and his left his legions were pressed back until they wavered and broke. And now, with an overwhelming power and irresistible spirit of attack, the Bulgarians cut the railway line, scattered his squadrons of cavalry, broke through his various units, and bore down upon his rear-guard holding the town of Lule-Burgas. I do not believe the Turkish soldiers were guilty of cowardice during those hours of battle. It was only afterwards, when the fighting was finished and the retreat began, that panic made cowards of all of them and seemed to paralyze them.

But from all that I have heard the Turkish soldiers in the mass behaved as bravely during the battle as all the traditions of their fighting spirit have led us to believe. They fought resolutely and doggedly, although, as I know now, they had gone into the battle hungry and were starving at the end of it. They died in sufficient numbers, God knows, to prove their valor. They died in heaps. Many of the battalions were almost annihilated, and the greatest honor is due to the men of the Second Corps, who, after they had been beaten back again and again, after the battle had really been lost irretrievably by the failure of Mukhtar Pasha to repress the general attack of the Bulgarians with his Third Army Corps, which had come up from the direction of Viza, re-formed themselves and marched to an almost certain death. For a little while they held their own, but the Bulgarians were now in an impregnable position on the heights, and in such places of vantage for their artillery that they could concentrate their fire in a really terrific manner. The men of the Second Corps found themselves in a zone of bursting shells, and in the face of a withering rifle fire which swept upon them like a hailstorm.

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Post by Peter H » 20 May 2007 03:40

From the History of the 20th Century,1968.

French artist's work.Fresh Bulgarian troops passing their wounded.
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Post by Tosun Saral » 20 May 2007 12:58

The 1st Army got the name of "Şark Ordusu" the East Army on Oct. 17th 1912

War of Şark Ordusu at Kırklareli-Süloğlu and Pınarhisar-Lüleburgaz on Oct.18th-Nov.16th 1912 commanded by Abdullah Pasha (Kölemen)

Bulgarian Armed Forces consisting of 1st, 2nd and 3rd Armies began assult on Oct.18th 1912. The 2nd Army moved between Arda and Tunca Rivers into west of Edirne 16-20 kms and north of Edirne on Oct. 21st 1912.

the 1st and 3rd Bulgarian Armies reached 15 kms to the Edirne-Kırklareli line moving from the east of Tunca River.

The Composed 18th Turkish AC in Istanbul got the orders to move to Kırklareli Region and the 17th AC in Tekirdağ got the orders to move tosouth of Saray.

The Bulgarian army was spreated on a large area that gave a change to Turks to assoult to the north of the Bulgars.But The units of the Turkish army were also at far distances. Turks needed time to collect all forces together. The HQ of the Şark Ordusu came to Lüleburgaz from Istanbul.

Şark Ordusu decided to defend the Kırklareli-Edirne-Yenice line againts the advancing Bulgar Army.

Nazım Pasha who was the vice Commander in chief of the Ottoman Turkish Armies insisted to assoult to Bulgars. To assoult againts 2 Bulgar Armies with a Turkish Army was a suicide.

At that time there were 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Turkish ACs at the Kırklareli-Edirne region. There were also a composed AC established by the units in Edirne and a Cavalry Division. On Oct. 21st Turks began to move towards Kırklareli-Yanbolu direction.

On Oct. 22nd both armies came together surprisingly at 14:00 hours and began to fight at Süloğlu and Yoğuntaş. The fierce fights continued till noon ofOct 23 th.

As the Bulgarian army was preparing for retread the Turkish HQ gave an order to retread back to Kırklareli-Edirne-Yenice line. During the retead a panic in Turkish line occured. The officers couldnt hold the panic. For that reason they retreated to the Pınarhisar-Lüleburgaz line on the night of Oct. 24th. Thus Kırklareli fall into Bulgarian hands.

Turkish Army couldnt finished the mobilization yet. Only 25 per cent of the enlisted men were able to join their units. The untimed discharge of Turkish soldiers just before the War coused a great lact of skilled men among the units.

On Pınarhisar-Lüleburgaz line the commanding officers were uncertain on which main line that they will defend the position at east or at that position. As the Turkish units couldt took defence measured Bulgars assulted on Oct. 28th 1912.

The battle continued 4 days at Pınarhisar- Lüleburgaz line. The Turkish Army couldnt hold the line and began to run back in panic. The HQ decided to hold on Çatalça Line.

The Bulgars came to Çatalça Line on Nov. 13th 1912 . They asoulted Nov. 17th. This time Turks were able to stop the Bulgarians.

source: Tank Staff Col. Asst.Prof. Dr. Ismet Gorgulu"On Yıllık Harbin Kadrosu" (Personal of the 10 years long war) p.12,13


Abdullah Pasha (Kölemen)
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Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 20 May 2007 22:29

Marschal Müşir Abdullah Pasha (Kölemen) (Trabzon 1846- Izmir 1937)
War Minister
Son of Cavalry Col. Rüstem Bey who was a Egyptian Kölemen( Turkish Slave at the service of Egyptian dynasty)
He graduated the imperial High School Galatasaray in Istanbul Afyter graduating he enlisted to Military School the Harbiye. He took part in 1877–1878 Ottoman-Russian war.In 1881 he graduated the staff Collage as cav. Staff captain. As Distinguished Cat. he was appointed to c.o.s of Hicaz Div. During Sudan Expedition of the British he was sended to Egypt because of his fluent Arabic as a spy. First he worked in Port Said as coal worker and later enlisted to British Expeditory Force as soldner mat the order of Lord Kitchener. He returned to Hicaz and later to ıstanbul and became teacher at the Staff collage.As Von der Goltz came to Istanbul he was his translater and later his assistant.As Col. he was MilitaryAttache in Vienna. As Maj. Gen. he was ordered to stop the Armenian Uprise at East Anatolia. He was made governor of Mousul.He represented Ottoman Government as ambassador at various capitals. At the 2nd Lahey Conferance he was Turkish Military advisor.In 1904 he was made Marschal. In 1910 according to new army rules he was degraded to Lt. Col. At the end of WW1 he became War Minister at the Cabinet of Tevfik Pasha for 1,5 months.

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Post by Peter H » 21 May 2007 13:30

Erickson relates that the Bulgarian 4th Division "massed their entire divisional artillery wheel to wheel".I assume this battering ram approach was in general use by the Bulgarians?Another feature of the Bulgarian success was "massed infantry bayonet attacks".

On the Ottoman side " the three commanders(the commander in chief,the chief of the general staff,and the army commander) in three places at the same time,trying to control the battle" added to the Ottoman defeat.

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