Under the Devil's Eye, Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody

Under the Devil's Eye, Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody

The British Military Experience in Macedonia, 1915-1918

The Macedonia campaign is one of the less familiar aspects of the First World War. It began in 1915 when a British and French expedition landed in neutral Greece in an attempt to help the Serbs. This came just as the Germans and Bulgarians finally crushed Serb resistance, and the allies retreated to Salonika (the enduring image of the campaign is of the 'birdcage of Salonika', implying that the Allies were pinned down in a small area for the entire campaign. In fact they soon moved back out of Salonika, and for most of the next three years the British, French and Serbs (joined later by the Greeks) faced a strong Bulgarian army with a German contingent on a front that included much of the north-east of modern Greece (the current Greek province of Central Macedonia).

The authors do a good job of explaining the difficulties that faced the British, French and their Allies on the Macedonian front, from the rough terrain to the limited amount of men and supplies available. This was always a secondary front (especially for the British), and the British experience was one of limited success against a determined opponent.

The book contains a good account of the major battles, in particular at Doiran, the less conflicts that dominated most of the campaign, and interesting sections on life both in and behind the front lines. This is an excellent account of a little-known but still important aspect of the First World War.

Chapters
1 - Arrival at 'Salonique'
2 - Into a Serbian Winter
3 - The 'Birdcage'
4 - Moving Up Country
5 - The First Battle of Doiran - April 1917
6 - The First Battle of Doiran - May 1917
7 - Warfare along the Struma
8 - Life in the Front Line
9 - Life Behind the Lines
10 - Medical Provision and Hospital Life
11 - War in the Clouds
12 - The Second Battle of Doiran
13 - Victory and Beyond
Epilogue: Salonika and After

Author: Alan Wakefield and Simon Moody
Edition: Hardcover
Pages: 264
Publisher: Pen & Sword Military
Year: 2011 edition of 2004 original


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