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Battle of Machukovo


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#1 BArrie Sambrook

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:44 PM

Hi all

I'm hoping that someone can help with the research that I'm doing about my grandfather, Ernest Grace and The Battle of Machukovo.
He was a Pvt. in the Lancashire Fusileers and was killed in the Salonika area on Sept 14th. 1916
He was part of "C" Coy "12" Bn

My research has shown that, on the day he was killed, his unit was involved in the three day "Battle of Machukovo".
Unfortunately, I just haven't been able to find any information about the battle except that it took place in Macedonia and that his name appears on a memorial in the Dorian Cemetery.
There's no grave and except for that name on the memorial, no indication of what happened or where it took place.

I remember as a small child, my mother telling me that her dad had been "Blown up by the Turks' The more I read, the more I find this highly unlikely.

Anyway, if someone could point me in the right direction to get more information it would be most appreciated.
Thanks in advance

Barrie Sambrook
Mayne, Canada

#2 Kate Wills

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 02:58 PM

Welcome to the Forum Barrie.

As a first stop, have you tried entering Machukovo into the search box towards the top right of the page?

#3 BArrie Sambrook

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:01 PM

That was the first thing I tried. Nothing came up.

#4 Kate Wills

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:05 PM

There are quite a few:

*No New Replies Battle of Machukovo
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Feb 04 2008 02:23 PM
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Nov 18 2006 08:34 AM
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*New Replies Machukovo - Vardar and Doiran Front, Salonika

#5 Rockdoc

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:28 PM

Barrie, welcome to the GWF. I can't find much about this battle. It isn't mentioned in either edition of Under The Devil's Eye and is only given a couple of sentences in The Gardeners of Salonika, which says "The British, for example, had fought two sharp engagements, one on the Vardar and the other across the Struma. In the first, five infantry battalions had come up against a German regiment dug in to well planned positions on the crest of a hill overlooking the village of Machukovo; and had lost almost half their effective strength, without dislodging the Germans."

The village, like many others, was already in ruins from the Balkan wars that immediately preceded WW1 and lay just to the east of the river Vardar between the two front lines. It's on this map. The country up there is a series of rolling, limestone hills that were a nightmare to attack.

There were Turks among the Central Powers troops in this theatre but they were few and far between - and only on the Struma front I think - so it's very unlikely that they had anything to do with his death. He was almost certainly killed by a German or, possibly, a Bulgarian soldier.

Keith

#6 centurion

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:28 PM

Here are the links to what Kate is referring to which may help

http://1914-1918.inv...dpost&p=1524362
http://1914-1918.inv...dpost&p=1633097
http://1914-1918.inv...dpost&p=1474271
http://1914-1918.inv...dpost&p=1381398
http://1914-1918.inv...dpost&p=1350809
http://1914-1918.inv...dpost&p=1337335
http://1914-1918.inv...dpost&p=1125676
http://1914-1918.inv...dpost&p=1051422
http://1914-1918.inv...ndpost&p=531355
http://1914-1918.inv...indpost&p=16743
http://1914-1918.inv...ndpost&p=556266
http://1914-1918.inv...ndpost&p=545652

I'm afraid none seem to contain much detail on Machukovo

#7 centurion

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:41 PM

Does this help?
Attached File  k2.JPG   36.48KB   0 downloads

Although often referred to as a battle it was officially an Action and appears to have been a tactical operation to straighten the line. Still you can get just as dead in an Action as in a major Battle

#8 Kate Wills

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 03:45 PM

Hi Barrie,

As a start, take a look at this link The map gives a good idea of the huge Macedonian Front, and the position of Machukovo, a ruined village in the mountains near the then Serbian border (modern day Yugoslavia / FYROM). Machukovo was the scene of hand to hand fighting, a month after other British divisions attacked Horseshoe Hill in an attempt to dislodge the Bulgarians.

"September 13-14 the King's Liverpool Regiment and Lancashire Fusiliers stormed and occupied the enemy's position at Macukovo, killed over 200 Germans and captured 71. The work was, however, exposed to the enemy's artillery fire, and in face of his attacks in superior force it was found necessary to retire after a successful demonstration. The rest of the fighting on this sector consisted chiefly of raids on the enemy's trenches, but throughout the next two months these operations had great value in detaining considerable forces of the enemy which might otherwise have been available for the defence of Monastir. an enemy superior in nunbers along the whole line of front during the operations which culminated in the capture of Monastir. After that the lack of metalled roads and the heavy rain and snow storms precluded extensive or continuous activities."

#9 Kate Wills

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:02 PM

from The Times History of the War:

Operations on the Doiran-Vardar River sector were also begun with a view to holding up the enemy. His forces here amounted to some 30,000 men practically the whole of the Bulgarian 9th Division and at least two-thirds of the German 101st Division. Between September 11 and 13 General Milne began a heavy bombardment of the German salient north of Machukovo, known as " The Machine Guns' Knob." On the night of September 13-14 the King's Liverpool Regiment and Lancashire Fusiliers stormed and occupied the enemy's position here, killed over 200 and captured 71. The work was, however, exposed to the enemy's artillery fire, and in face of his attacks in superior force it was found necessary to retire after a successful demonstration. The rest of the fighting on this sector consisted chiefly of raids on the enemy's trenches, but throughout the next two months these operations had great value in detaining considerable forces of the enemy which might otherwise have been available for the defence of Monastir.

#10 Rockdoc

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 04:24 PM

I presume "The Machine Guns' Knob" is what's shown as Piton des Mitrailleuses on the trench maps, Kate?

Keith

#11 Kate Wills

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 08:11 PM

Sounds very much like it Keith.

#12 rjaydee

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Posted 03 November 2011 - 10:41 PM

Barrie. There is a fair report on this "action" in my History of the Lancashire Fusiliers, I do not have a scanner but have succeeded in photographing the relevant section and will post them on if I can have your address, cannot PM you as you do not have enough posts yet. Ralph.

#13 BArrie Sambrook

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Posted 04 November 2011 - 06:42 PM

Thanks Ralph


Barrie


Barrie. There is a fair report on this "action" in my History of the Lancashire Fusiliers, I do not have a scanner but have succeeded in photographing the relevant section and will post them on if I can have your address, cannot PM you as you do not have enough posts yet. Ralph.



#14 rjaydee

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Posted 05 November 2011 - 12:06 AM

Barrie. You should have the pages via email now. Remove your email address from your posts not advisable to leave such things on view. Ralph.



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