Battle of Kilkis-Lahanas

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The Battle of Kilkis-Lahanas took place during the Second Balkan War between Greece and Bulgaria for the town of Kilkis in Macedonia. The battle lasted three days from June 19, 1913 to June 21st. The Greek army defeated the Bulgarian army.

During the night of 16-17 June, 1913, the Bulgarians, without official declaration of war, attacked their former Greek and the Serbian allies, and managed to evict the Serbs from Gevgeli, cutting off communication between them and the Greeks. However, they failed to drive the Serbs away from the Axios river line. After repulsing the initial Bulgarian attack of June 17, the Greek army, under King Constantine, advanced with 8 Divisions and a Cavalry Brigade, while the Bulgarians (1 Infantry Division, 3 Brigades, and elements of other units, under General Ivanov) retreated to the naturally strong defensive position of the Kilkis-Lahana line.

The Greek forces established contact with the Bulgarian positions on the night of June 19, and the attack commenced on the whole front the next day. The Greeks made slow progress, paying with many casualties against the well-entrenched Bulgarians, primarily because of their close deployment on open field and the frontal attack tactics of their High Command. Despite this, the town of Kilkis fell on June 21, forcing the Bulgarian commander to retreat, but managing to prevent a rout.

Due to its significance, the Battle of Kilkis gave its name to a Greek battleship, the Kilkis (the former USS Mississippi) in 1914.


  • Greece: 8,652 killed and wounded
  • Bulgaria: 7,000 killed and wounded, 2,500 captured