WWI BATTLES – TRANCHES AND BUNKERS
Secrets of Elevation Point 1050
Starting from a previously arranged gathering place in Bitola, our licensed mountain guide with a 4×4 jeep will take on an 8-9 hour adventure to one of the most significant sites from the First World War on the Macedonian front. You will have opportunity to walk, hike, enter and explore through the nearly opened, cleaned and restored trenches and bunkers deep underground, and high on the mountain ridges.
Elevation 1050 (Кота 1050, Höhe 1050, Hill 1050, Quota 1050) was an important strategic position on the Macedonian front during the First World War.
After the conquest of the peak Kajmakcalan by the Entente forces in late September 1916, the fighting has moved near the town of Bitola and Crna Reka (Black River). Allied armies entered Bitola on November 19, 1916 after which the Central Powers retreated to the mountains around Bitola, from where the city was bombarded for a period of almost two years. The German army realized that the loss of Elevation 1050, would put into question the defense of all their positions in the bow of the Crna Reka and would open the road for conquest of Central Macedonia, so it put a great effort in its defense. Both warring sides paid great attention to this location and a number of soldiers gave their lives on this area.
The German command took very seriously the defense of this position and the task was confided to the Hunting Guard battalion, which managed to maintain their positions and repel the attacks of the Serbian army in the month of November 1916. At that time, quite heavy battles were also fought for conquering Grunishki Vis.
Serbian army failed to win the Elevation 1050 and the advent of winter 1916/17 year led to stagnation of the Macedonian front and its transformation into a trench warfare. The failure of the Serbian army was due to the fatigue of the soldiers which previously had noticed a number of successful operations and also due to the wide front that was occupied by the Serbian army, without the possibility of strengthening on certain parts. After the transition to trench warfare, there was a reorganization of the Entante armies, and this part of the front was assigned to the Italian army. Italian army acted within the French Eastern Army with the 35th Italian Infantry Division led by General Pepito Di Roreto with approximately 30000 soldiers. In the month of May 1917 Allied forces again made an unsuccessful attempt to win the elevation 1050 after which the Italian division lost 68 officers and 2149 soldiers and the Second Russian Brigade about 1000 soldiers. It is assumed that the losses on the opposite side were roughly the same.
Today, very few people know the value of Elevation 1050 and the secrets that this neglected place hides.