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GREEK MILITARY AND NAVAL OPERATIONS

The Greek army, which had been concentrated at Larissa, entered Macedonia by the Pass and the valley of the Xerias River. The Turks met the advancing force at Elassona but retired after a few hours' fighting. They took their stand at the pass of Sarandaporon, from which they were driven by a day's hard fighting on the part of the Greek army and the masterly tactics of the Crown Prince. On October 23 the Greeks were in possession of Serndje. Thence they pushed forward on both sides of the Aliakmon River toward Veria, which the Crown Prince entered with his staff on the morning of October 30. They had covered 150 miles from Larissa, with no facilities but wagons for feeding the army and supplying ammunition. But at Veria they struck the line of railway from Monastir to Saloniki. Not far away was Jenitsa, where the Turkish army numbering from 35,000 to 40,000 had concentrated to make a stand for the protection of Saloniki. The battle of Jenitsa was fiercely contested but the Greeks were victorious though they lost about 2000 men. This victory opened the way to Saloniki. The Turkish armies which defended it having been scattered by the Greek forces, that city surrendered to Crown Prince Constantine on the eighth of November. It was only three weeks since the Greek army had left Larissa and it had disposed of about 60,000 Turks on the way.

On the outbreak of war Greece had declared a blockade of all Turkish ports. To the usual list of contraband articles there were added not only coal, concerning which the practice of belligerent nations had varied, but also machine oil, which so far as I know was then for the first time declared contraband of war. As Turkey imported both coal and lubricants, the purpose of this policy was of course to paralyze transportation in the Ottoman Empire. Incidentally I may say the prohibition of lubricating oil caused much inconvenience to American commerce; not, however, primarily on its own account, but because of its confusion, in the minds of Greek officials, with such harmless substances as cotton seed oil and oleo. The Greek navy not only maintained a very effective blockade but also took possession of all the Aegean Islands under Turkish rule, excepting Rhodes and the Dodecanese, which Italy held as a temporary pledge for the fulfilment by Turkey of some of the conditions of the treaty by which they had closed their recent war. It will be seen, therefore, that the navy was a most important agent in the campaign, and Greece was the only one of the Allies that had a navy. The Greek navy was sufficient not only to terrorize the Turkish navy, which it reduced to complete impotence, but also to paralyze Turkish trade and commerce with the outside world, to embarrass railway transportation within the Empire, to prevent the sending of reinforcements to Macedonia or the Aegean coast of Thrace, and to detach from Turkey those Aegean Islands over which she still exercised effective jurisdiction.



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