May 8, 1917 – Allied Offensive at Salonika Frustrated by Dogged Bulgarian Defense
Pictured – A Bulgarian mans the trenches.
A renewed Entente attack on the Bulgarian lines at Salonika met with failure on May 8. British soldiers crept into no-man’s land for a night attack, but the Bulgarians used search-lights to illuminate them as targets. Artillery smashed in the assault. On a two-mile front, the British only gained 500 yards. Attacking on the following day, Russian, Serbian, Italian, and French troops, including soldiers from French Indochina, attacked north and west of Monastir, but failed to make any large gains. Central Powers artillerymen rained down death from high-peaks with “high-sounding names.” Alan Palmer, a historian of the campaign, writes that “Not a single Allied soldier had come within two miles of the Grand Couronné, the central keep of the Devil’s citadel; from its ramparts the Eye would stand sentinel for another sixteen months, watching and counting and waiting.”