“A well-researched, compelling account”. Saul David. The successful Allied campaign in Salonika – Thessaloniki in modern Greece – began a chain of events that ended the First World War. Yet, until now, it has been dismissed by historians as a sideshow, with Britain’s contribution relegated to that of a mere bit-player. In No Sideshow, an exhaustively researched account of this little known theatre of war, Nigel Birch does history a service by reminding us not only of the vital role played by Britain in the Salonika campaign, but also of its wider significance. Having first landed at the Greek port of Salonika in October 1915, the British fought alongside French, Greek, Italian, Russian and Serbian forces for more than three years. The principal enemy was Bulgaria, supported by Germany, Turkey and Austria-Hungary. At its peak the British Salonika Force numbered 220,000 out of a total allied force of 600,000. The major allied effort came in mid-September 1918 and, after victory at the Battle of Dobro Pole, Bulgaria agreed to an armistice on the 30th. This, in turn, prompted Turkey, Austria-Hungary and finally Germany to conclude their own armistices, thus bringing the First Word War to a close. The Salonika Campaign is regarded by most historians as being irrelevant to the outcome of the War.
In this centenary year, Nigel Birch’s much overdue reassessment comes to a very different conclusion. “A well-researched, compelling account of Britain’s contribution to a much neglected but highly significant theatre of World War One”. Saul David. "A concise yet wide ranging examination of the British role in the Allied military victory against Bulgaria in September 1918.
This study shows how the British contribution to the oft maligned Salonika Campaign directly contributed to Allied victory in the Balkans and beyond." Alan Wakefield. Nigel Birch is a Chartered Accountant and he lives in London and Gloucestershire. He gained his MA in Military History from the University of Buckingham. He is a member of the Salonika Campaign Society and has travelled in the area. No Sideshow is his first book.