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Battle of Dumlupınar Area Today

A map of the area around the battle positions

Battle of Dumlupınar summary

he Battle of Dumlupınar was the last battle in the Greco-Turkish War (1919–1922) (part of the Turkish War of Independence). The battle was fought from 26 to 30 August 1922 near Dumlupınar, Kütahya in Turkey.

  1. The Turkish attack opened in the night of 25–26 August 1922, when the Turkish V Cavalry Corps passed through the Kirka gorge behind the Greek lines. The gorge was guarded by a patrolling Greek rifle company, which was easily overrun by the advancing Turkish cavalry. The Turkish cavalry proceeded to cut the Greek telegraph lines and the railway line (by 18:00 hours on 26 August both had been cut), thus seriously hampering communications between Smyrna and Kara Hisâr.
  2. On the morning of 26 August the Turkish First and Second Armies attacked simultaneously. The Second Army attacked the positions of the III Corps keeping its forces pinned, thus preventing it from the reinforcing the II Corps.
  3. A general Turkish attack by 7 infantry divisions of the I and IV Corps, took place against 2 Greek divisions (1st and 4th). The situation for the Greek Ι Corps became almost immediately critical, as they faced overwhelming forces and soon all Corps' reserves were committed to battle. The Turkish attack was focused mainly on the seam of the Greek 1st and 4th divisions. By noon the Turkish I Corps had succeeded in carrying the Greek 1st division's trenches.
  4. The arrival as a reinforcement of the II Corps' 7th division in the afternoon prompted a Greek counterattack which was able to only partially restore the line.
  5. The Turkish forces focused again on the seam of the Greek 1st and 4th divisions, and advancing steadily they managed by 09:00 hours to achieve a clear breakthrough in the Greek line when the Turkish IV Corps under Colonel Sami took the 5,000 feet (1,500 m) high peak of Erkmentepe. At 10:30 hours the Greek Ι Corps issued an order of general withdrawal some 20 km to the north of its original line, and the subsequent evacuation of Kara Hisâr. The order was not received by the Greek 1st division, whose telephone contact with the Ι Corps had been cut and couldn't establish wireless communication, and remained in position. By 13:30 hours its front was collapsing exposing the flank of the 4th division. The 1st division, together with the 7th division retreated without being seriously harassed by the Turks, and by 17:00 hours they had reached their new positions.
  6. The commander of the 1st Greek division, Major General Frangou, received contact with the I Corps at 18:30 hours, via messengers. However he was only informally informed, and received no written orders. Frangou ordered his forces (1st and 7th divisions and other smaller units to withdraw towards Dumlupınar in the night from 27 to 28 August, assuming this was the plan of I Corps commander Major General Trikoupis. However Trikoupis had kept his forces (the biggest part of I and II Corps in position, allowing his men to rest in the night, and preparing for the withdrawal towards Dumlupınar in the next morning of 28 August (Day 3 of the Turkish offensive).
  7. A gap opened in the Greek line between Frangou and Trikoupis. The forces of Frangou Group marching in the night withdrew towards Dumlupınar, but in poor order, while desertions began.
  8. At 05:00 hours on 28 August Trikoupis Group began its movement to the west. Unaware of the absence of Frangou Group's units, the Greek 4th division's exposed column was attacked at 07:00 and taken by surprise, and subsequently broken.
  9. Trikoupis Group (5th, 12th and 13th divisions) retreated to the west without problems. Trikoupis spent the night of 28–29 August around Olucak. At the same time the Frangou was under pressure by the incoming Turkish IV Corps. Frangou's units were deployed in line around Başkimse. After repeated failed efforts to establish wireless communication with the Greek I Corps Frangou ordered his units to begin their withdrawal to Dumlupınar position at 16:00 hours. At 05:00 hours on 29 August all units of Frangou had reached the positions around Dumlupınar, in good order despite the pressure of the Turkish IV corps.
  10. Trikoupis began its movement westwards on the morning of 29 August. Progressively and unexpectedly Greek units started running into the units of the Turkish V and IV Corps. Trikoupis ordered his 9th division to attack and break the Turkish line, in order to open the way to Dumlupınar. Quickly the Greek 9th division found itself attacking against superior Turkish forces (the 4th Corps) and fell into defense.
  11. The Turkish forces had been unable to destroy Trikoupis forces, but had encircled it with their II, IV, V and VI Corps.
  12. In the morning of 30 August, after breaking the weak Turkish force blocking the way, the Trikoupis Group retreated. Turkish columns (the IV, V and VI Corps) were visible marching both south and north of Trikoupis Group. Trikoupis made a council with the commanders of his divisions, who proposed that the Group continue its westward march through Alıören to Banaz. Trikoupis rejected this opinion, and ordered his forces to continue south to Dumlupınar.
  13. After receiving the reports from his subortinate units Trikoupis, realising that his forces were insufficient to withstand a Turkish attack, changed his mind and ordered continuation of the march to Alıören and then Banaz. Even though the road to Alıören was open, Trikoupis had lost invaluable time before ordering the continuation of the march to the west. The Turkish forces had covered much of the northern and southern flank of Trikoupis Group.
  14. Trikoupis forces were divided in three columns which tried to march to the west. A column of 2,000 men (mainly from the Greek 12th division) surrendered at 2000 hours on 1 September to Turkish cavalry units. Trikoupis' column, together with 5,000-6,000 of his men eventually surrendered to the Turkish forces at 1700 hours on 2 September. A column of 5,000 men managed to escape the Turkish ring, but had lost any combat value.
  15. On 30 August, Frangou Group was attacked, by the Turkish I Corps. Frangou Group held its positions all day, but at 23:30 its left flank was breached. Frangou ordered his forces to retreat towards Banaz. Thus the battle for Dumlupınar came to an end, and the Greeks began a fighting retreat west, which did not end until they left Asia Minor.