University of Oxford

Bulgaria Digs In At Doiran – The Final Blow Against The Senussi I THE GREAT WAR Week 133



While the US breaks of diplomatic relations with Germany in response to unrestricted submarine warfare, the Western Front is rather quiet. On the Macedonian Front, the Bulgarian Army is digging in at Doiran. They built a formidable defence network without the Entente realising it and this week 100 years ago the British get a first taste of that. The British also deal the final blow against the Senussi tribesmen on the Libyan Front.

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» WHAT ARE YOUR SOURCES?
Videos: British Pathé
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Background Map: http://d-maps.com/carte.php?num_car=6030&lang=en
Literature (excerpt):
Gilbert, Martin. The First World War. A Complete History, Holt Paperbacks, 2004.
Hart, Peter. The Great War. A Combat History of the First World War, Oxford University Press, 2013.
Hart, Peter. The Great War. 1914-1918, Profile Books, 2013.
Stone, Norman. World War One. A Short History, Penguin, 2008.
Keegan, John. The First World War, Vintage, 2000.
Hastings, Max. Catastrophe 1914. Europe Goes To War, Knopf, 2013.
Hirschfeld, Gerhard. Enzyklopädie Erster Weltkrieg, Schöningh Paderborn, 2004
Michalka, Wolfgang. Der Erste Weltkrieg. Wirkung, Wahrnehmung, Analyse, Seehamer Verlag GmbH, 2000
Leonhard, Jörn. Die Büchse der Pandora: Geschichte des Ersten Weltkrieges, C.H. Beck, 2014

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34 Comments

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  • In fact I'm dissapointed of this material because you were too laconic. You neglect the Eastern front in general. Nothing about Dobrudjia campaign and the fall of Bucaresti. Nothing about Tutrakan and Dobrich. For Doiran – you said that the English soldiers had some kind of succes there. I respect their sacrifice, because they died for their country but you must not distort he historical fact. The English losses in Doiran are colosal. Loyd George, himself said that England had never before lost so many good men at once. The statics are eloquent – Tzardom of Bulgaria lost 2 000 good men, England lost 12 000 good men. The army of the Antante was not only defeated. It was totally massacred in Doiran.

  • Hi! is there a special

    show about armored cars? There were a lot in the war who's exploits have not been covered in the normal series, Austria even had vehicles from 1904 i think, there were also combined projects in Russia. I know that they were moved to the back after trenches developed on the western front and after 1915 mostly disbanded, but how many other theaters were they used in, which ones performed well, etc.
    "Rolls being more valuable than rubies" or something from Lawrence?

    Thanks!

  • How the hell is it "madness" for the US to join the war when you yourself state that the other options weren't acceptable?  You really need to accept that sometimes – as tragic as it may be – war is the best option.  Merely because people will die does NOT automatically mean a war is "madness" or "immoral" for all involved – it's all about the context.  Again, this channel seems more interested in moralizing than admitting that real life isn't black and white where there is always some ideal solution that only madmen or sadists fail to take.  So, what is the magical solution to all the "madness" of the war?  Unless you can provide such – great tactics to win battles without many casualties, ways for a nation to make another surrender without anyone dying, and so forth – then this self-righteous attitude is unfair and self-indulgent.

  • Were there any harsher penalties for retreating without taking ammo and supplies with you? I would think the central powers would start to crack down on actions like that since resources were starting become a problem.

  • Acording to a Wikipedia article the ottoman-backed Libyans kept the warfare going against the Italian troops in the colonies around Tripoli up until the end of the war causing thousands of casualties

  • Another great thing about this week-for-week format is the sense of the time scale you get, something you don't really get from reading books about the war, even if they were thousands of pages. It's been 2,5 years, such a long time already, and it's going to go on and on, and every week many men died, every week Europe went on destroying itself.
    And not to get too political here, but if you imagine that after all of WW1 you get the arguably worse WW2, those institutions and organisations for European cooperation that a growing number of people nowadays want to have removed start to make a lot more sense.

  • You know…when I first started watching this series over a year ago I thought I couldn't wait for the US to enter the war. Now, after Romania, the first 6 months in France, the abuse in Solanika, and the myriad of horrors this war produced, I'm kind of wishing we had just stay out of the whole thing. This show has made a huge impact on my view of World War I, and war in general. Great job Indy and crew, carry on the good work.

  • Hello Indy and team. I have a question for out of the trenches as someone who is of Lebanese descent I can remember my grandfather claiming to be older in reality than he was on paper because of the lack of paperwork documenting his birth due to the confusion caused when the Ottoman Empire was dissolved are there other examples of this that you can think of, and can you tell me what role Lebanon played during the Great War? love the show please keep up the great work!

  • I'm currently in a class that requires you to give numerous speeches. I've been watching a lot of these videos and I can honestly say that Indy's speaking voice is starting to carry over into my own. Love the videos, and I appreciate the subconcious speech lessons I get from watching them lol

  • It's really too bad that you didn't have that kind of map at the beginning. I really appreciate the clarity it gives in showing who controls which areas during the conflict. Maybe later you can re-edit the old episodes so they use it.

  • The US entered the war because …. ?
    It is not like other neutral nations who traded with Uk were not affected ? Why was the US more special ?
    The argument of Wilson sounds like this: We are entering the war to protect the lives of US citizens who want to visit war zones….

  • I've always wonder why the German high command stop us from attacking Salonica and push the allies back to the sea, but didn't think about the global strategy to tight some french and brit troops. However our generals were right and the Germans wrong, with most of the man population mobilized our economy couldn't last long and after the first defeat our soldiers mutinied. This caused a chain reaction bringing the war to the end.

  • As a Bulgarian, i would like to thank you, for paying attention to one of the most important battlefields of all Bulgarian history.
    Everything was well explained as we studied at school. All facts and numbers. If you need any information about that front in the future, please contact me, i will be more than happy to help you guys. Once again Thank you.

  • In Doiran Bulgarian troops were left not only without food and often without ammo, but also without shoes or winter equipment while facing an enemy many times bigger on numbers and better equipped than Bulgarian troops. From then in Bulgaria there is a saying "five men on a knife" because the allies were five times more. Later after the war general Vazov visites London and one of the British generals says: "Take down the flags, general Vazov is passing". I'm saying this as a fun fact. (sorry for bad English).

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