Great Battles of Bulgaria
Dr. Lyubomir Ivanov
Bulgarian Academy of Sciences
Sofia, March 2007
c. 440 AD – Silesia
The Bulgars defeat and kill King Agelmund of Langobards in Silesia
(present southwestern Poland).
499 AD – Illyricum
The Bulgars defeat four armies of Emperor Anastasius of the Eastern
Roman Empire (Byzantium) in Illyricum (western Balkans).
680 AD – Ongal
Khan Asparuh of Bulgaria defeats Emperor Constantine IV of Byzantium
at the Danube delta.
718 AD – Constantinople
Khan Tervel of Bulgaria defeats the Arab army of Caliph Umar II led
by Gen. Maslama, relieving the Arab siege of Constantinople.
792 AD – Markeli
Khan Kardam defeats Emperor Constantine VI of Byzantium at Markeli
(near present Karnobat in southeastern Bulgaria).
811 AD – Varbitsa
Khan Krum the Horrible defeats and kills Emperor Nikephoros I Genikos
of Byzantium at Varbitsa Pass (in eastern Bulgaria).
813 AD – Versinikia
Khan Krum defeats Emperor Michael I Rangabe of Byzantium at Versinikia
(near Adrianople, present Edirne in Turkey).
896 AD – Bulgarophygon
Tsar Simeon I the Great defeats the Byzantine army at Bulgarophygon
(present Babaeski in Turkey).
917 AD – Anchialus
Tsar Simeon I defeats the Byzantine army led by Gen. Leo Phocas at Aheloy
River near Anchialus (present Pomorie in southeastern Bulgaria).
986 AD – Trayan Gates
Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria defeats Emperor Basil II of Byzantium at Trayan
Gates (in central Bulgaria).
1014 – Klyuch (Kleidon)
Tsar Samuil of Bulgaria defeated by Byzantine Emperor Basil II at Klyuch
(in southwestern Bulgaria).
1205 – Adrianople
Tsar Kaloyan of Bulgaria defeats and captures Emperor Baldwin of
the Latin Empire (formerly of Flanders) at Adrianople (present Edirne
1223 – Samara Bend
King Gabdulla Chelbir of Volga Bulgaria defeats the Mongol army
of Ghengis Khan at Samara Bend (in present Russia).
1230 – Klokotnitsa
Tsar Ivan Asen II of Bulgaria defeats and captures Byzantine Emperor
Contender Theodore Komnenos of Epirus at Klokotnitsa (near Haskovo
in southeastern Bulgaria).
1279 – Devnya
Tsar Ivaylo of Bulgaria defeats the Byzantine army of Emperor Michael
VIII Palaiologos at Devnya (in northeastern Bulgaria).
1304 – Sozopol
Tsar Svetoslav Terter of Bulgaria defeats the Byzantine army of Emperor
Andronikos II Palaiologos at Sozopol (in southeastern Bulgaria).
1332 – Rusokastro
Tsar Ivan Alexander of Bulgaria defeats Emperor Andronikos III
Palaiologos of Byzantium at Rusokastro (in southeastern Bulgaria).
1396 – Nicopolis
Joint European forces under Duke Jean de Nevers defeated by
the Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I at Nicopolis (present Nikopol in northern
1444 – Varna
Joint European forces under King Władysław III of Poland and King Janos
Hunyadi of Hungary defeated by the Ottoman Sultan Murad II at Varna
(in northeastern Bulgaria).
1878 – Shipka
Bulgarian volunteer units and Russian troops under Gen. Stoletov defeat
the Turkish army under Suleiman Pasha at Shipka Pass (central Bulgaria)
in one of the crucial battles of the Russo-Turkish War.
1885 – Slivnitsa
Prince Alexander I Battenberg of Bulgaria defeats King Milan I of Serbia
at Slivnitsa (in western Bulgaria) during the Serbo-Bulgarian War.
1912 – Lozengrad (Kirklareli)
Gen. Ivan Fichev and Gen. Radko Dimitriev defeat the Turkish army
at Lozengrad, Lyuleburgas and Bunarhisar (present Kirklareli, Lüleburgaz
and Pinarhisar in Turkey) during the First Balkan War.
1913 – Odrin (Edirne)
Gen. Georgi Vazov defeats Shukri Pasha to capture the reputedly
impenetrable German-built Turkish fortress of Odrin (present Edirne
in Turkey) during the First Balkan War.
1913 – Kalimantsi
Gen. Vicho Dikov defeats the Serbian and Montenegrin army at Kalimantsi
(in present Republic of Macedonia) during the Second Balkan War.
1913 – Kresna
The Bulgarian army under Gen. Radko Dimitriev surrounds Greece’s
120,000-strong main army group north of Kresna Gorge (in western
Bulgaria) during the Second Balkan War.
1916 – Tutrakan
Gen. Panteley Kiselov defeats the Romanian garrison under
Gen. Constantin Teodorescu to capture the fortress of Tutrakan (in northeastern
Bulgaria) during WWI; Bulgaria occupies Bucharest.
1916 – Dobrudzha
Gen. Ivan Kolev defeats the Russian 7 Cavalry (Cossack) Division under
Gen. Evgeniy Leontovich, and captures the 25th Orenburg Battalion flag
in Dobrudzha during WWI.
1917 – Red Wall
6 Bdin Division under Gen. Hristo Popov defeats 11 and 16 French
Divisions to keep the strategic Red Wall Peak near Bitolya (in present
Republic of Macedonia) during WWI.
1918 – Doiran
Gen. Vladimir Vazov defeats the British army under Gen. George Milne
at Doiran (on the border between Greece and present Republic of Macedonia)
1945 – Nish (Niš)
Gen. Kiril Stanchev defeats and captures the flag of the German ‘Prinz
Eugen’ SS Division at Nish (in Serbia) during WWII.