Memorial for the Battle
The Battle of Dumlupinar was the last battle of the in the Greco-Turkish War (1919-1922), which is part of Turkish War of Independence. The battle was fought during 26 August - 30 August 1922, near Afyon in Turkey.
After their retreat in August-September 1921 in the attrition battle on the Sakarya River known as the Battle of Sakarya, the Greek forces under General Papoulas retreated back to Eskisehir and Afyonkarahisar and built defensive lines. Despite pressure to attack building up at Ankara, Kemal waited and utilized the breathing space to strengthen his forces and split the Allies through adroit diplomatic moves, ensuring that French and Italian sympathies lay with Turks rather than the Greeks.This diplomatically isolated the pro-Greek British.
The Greeks had additional troubles of their own. Papoulas was dismissed by King Constantine in favour of General Hatzianestis, widely regarded as mad. The morale of the troops, in occupation of a hostile territory, was not high. The war was seen to have no end.
In military terms the Greeks were better equipped with machine guns, field guns and transport. The Turks had more heavy artillery and superior cavalry commanded by the dashing Gen. Fahrettin.The Greeks enjoyed an edge in manpower.
Kemal, who had been appointed C-in-C of the Turkish Army, decided to strike the Greeks in August 1922. He surreptitiously strengthened the Turkish 1st Army under Nureddin Pasha, which was holding the Southern flank of the Greek salient jutting out to Afyonkarahisar.It was a risky gamble : the Turks were strong enough to mount only one big push. The Greek front line ran West-East along difficult hilly ground, easily defensible, with high hills called tepes rising out of broken terrain. The defences were manned by the Greek I Corps under Gen. Tricoupis, with HQ at Afyon. North of the Greek I Corps lay the Greek II Corps under Gen.Dighenis. A single track railway line ran from Afyon to Dumlupinar, a fortified valley town some 30 miles West of Afyon surrounded by the mountains Murat Dagi and Ahir Dagi , and thence to İzmir on the coast. This railway was the main supply route of the Greeks. Hatzianestis had his HQ at Smyrna and was effectively out of control.
The Turkish attack opened against the Southern flank of the Afyon salient on the morning of August 26, 1922. Watched from the commanding peak of Kocatepe by Kemal,CGS Fevzi Pasha,Ismet Inonu and Nureddin , Turkish guns silenced the Greek batteries by knocking out the Greek observation posts. Turkish infantry advanced against strong opposition and made significant gains. The breakthrough came next day when the Turkish 4 Corps under Col. Sami took the 5000 feet high peak of Erkmentepe, and Fahrettin led his cavalry into Greek rear areas. The Greeks fell into disarray. General Frangou retreated West from Dumlupinar with two Divisions, losing touch with I Corps. Tricoupis and Dighenis fell back on Dumlupinar, their disintegrating forces running for Izmir. The Turks closed the ring around Dumlupinar on August 30th, Fevzi and Kemal commanding the two encircling columns. Greek Corps commanders Tricoupis and Dighenis, who were trying to escape North from Dumlupinar across the slopes of Murat Dagi, went into the bag on September 2/3 as they descended to the Banaz valley.
The Turks chased the fleeing Greeks 250 miles to Izmir, which was burned as the Greek army and civilian population fled. The last Greek troops left Anatolia on 16th September. The Armistice of Mudanya was signed by Turkey, Italy, France and Great Britain on October 11th, 1922. Greece was forced to accede to it on October 14th.
To commemorate this victory, August 30 is celebrated as Victory Day, a national holiday in Turkey.
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