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- November 3, 2012 at 2:33 pm #344660
The Greeks razed Kilkis and forced around 7,000 Bulgarians to leave after the Greeks in the Second Balkan War managed to defeat our forces there. Rather unfortunate.
During the First Balkan War of 1912, the Ottoman Empire was defeated by the Balkan League and forced to concede almost all of its European territories, leaving Kilkis within the new boundaries of Bulgaria. In the Second Balkan War of 1913, the Greek army captured the city from the Bulgarians after the three-day Battle of Kilkis-Lahanas between June 19 and June 21. The battle was costly, with over 8,652 casualties on the Greek side and 7,000 on the Bulgarian side. The significance of the Battle of Kilkis-Lahanas can be appreciated by the fact that Greece named a battleship after the city, the Kilkís. Kilkis was almost completely destroyed by the Greek Army during the battle and later and virtually all of its 7,000 pre-war Bulgarian inhabitants were expelled to Bulgaria. The new town was built closer to the railway tracks to Thessaloniki, around the Greek church of St. George, and was settled by Greeks transferred from Bulgaria, the Ottoman Empire and Yugoslavia, especially from Strumica; they built the Church of the Pentekaídeka Martýrōn ("15 Martyrs", named after the main Patriarchal church in Strumica). The resettled Greeks were so many that Kilkis was temporarily renamed Néa Stromnítsa (New Strumica).
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