The Battle of Bizani took place in Epirus on 4–6 March 1913. At the outbreak of the war, the Greek Army on the Epirus front did not have the numbers to initiate an offensive against the German-designed defensive positions in Bizani. However, after the campaign in Macedonia was over, a number of Greek troops were redeployed to Epirus. In the battle followed the Ottoman positions were breached and Ioannina taken. Despite having a numerical advantage, this was not the decisive factor in the Greek victory. Rather, solid operational planning by the Greeks was key as it helped them implement a well-coordinated and executed assault that did not allow the Ottoman forces time to react. As the main war effort of Greece was initially turned towards Macedonia, the terrain south of Ioannina provided excellent defensive ground. Moreover, the Ottoman forces further reinforced their positions with permanent fortifications and these were equipped with concrete artillery emplacements, bunkers, trenches, barbed wire, searchlights and machine gun positions. The forts were supplied with artillery, totaling some 102 pieces. The Greeks launched a first attack on the area on December 14. With operations in Macedonia completed, the Greek High Command now turned its attention to Epirus, three divisions were transferred to the theater, raising the total of Greek troops to ca. 40,000, along with 80 artillery pieces and six aircraft, on the other hand, an additional number of Ottoman soldiers, who were retreating from the Macedonian front, reinforced the defenders. At the same time, the hardships of the affected the morale of both sides. The Greek Epirus front commander, General Konstantinos Sapountzakis, launched a new attack on January 20. Although it gained ground, pushing the back into the fort of Bizani, the high casualty rate. During the preparations, a unit that included local women protected the left flank of the Greek Army. Moreover, groups consisting of local females supported the Greek side in several ways, particularly in the transportation of guns, food, clothes, after the renewed failure, Sapountzakis was relieved of his command and replaced by Crown Prince Constantine. Constantine now proceeded to carefully marshal his forces, bringing up more men, the Crown Prince formulated a new plan, whereby his army would feign an attack on Bizani from the southeast, while the main effort would be actually directed on the fortress areas southwestern flank
Image: Ioannina liberation 1913
Greek infantry ready to charge
Ottoman prisoners of war. After the battle the Greek Army captured ca. 8,600 prisoners.
Crown Prince Constantine watching the heavy guns shelling Bizani, by Georges Scott