Battle of Kajmakčalan
Part of the Serbian Campaign of the Balkans Theatre of World War I
Serbian chapel on Kajmakčalan (2521m).jpg

A commemorative Serbian chapel at Kajmakčalan
Date12–30 September 1916
Result Serbian victory[1]
 Serbia  Bulgaria
Commanders and leaders
Kingdom of Serbia Živojin Mišić Kingdom of Bulgaria Kliment Boyadzhiev
1st Army with main effort by Drina Division 1st brigade of 3rd "Balkan" Infantry Division with main effort by 11th "Sliven" Regiment
Casualties and losses
4,643 killed[2][3][4] of which 3/4 belonging to the Drina Division

Dead Soldiers/Officers: 1876/51

Wounded Soldiers/Officers 5941/126

The Battle of Kaymakchalan was a battle that was fought between Serbian and Bulgarian troops on the Macedonian front during World War I.

The battle was fought between 12 and 30 September 1916, when the Serbian army managed to capture the peak of Prophet Elijah while pushing the Bulgarians towards the town of Mariovo, where the latter formed new defensive lines. Between 26 and 30 September, the peak changed hands several times until it was decisively captured by the Serbian army on the latter date.

The battle proved to be very costly for both sides. Serbian losses had reached around 10,000 killed and wounded by 23 September.[5] The Bulgarian companies had been reduced to 90 men each and one regiment, the 11th Sliven Regiment, had 73 officers and 3,000 men hors de combat.[6]

By strategic aspect, the battle was not a huge success for the Allies due to the upcoming winter that rendered further military engagements almost impossible.

Today, there is a small church on the peak of Prophet Elijah where the skulls of dead Serbian soldiers are stored, and it is regarded as a cultural site and is a tourist attraction. There is confusion about the name of the church, but it is called Saint Peter's (Sveti Petar in Serbian) which stands on the peak called Prophet Elijah.[7]



  1. ^ Allcock, John B., and Antonia Young, Black Lambs and Grey Falcons, (Berghahn Books, 2000), 82.
  2. ^ Dusan-T Batakovic, Ljubomir Mihailović, Histoire du peuple serbe, 2005 - p. 259
  3. ^ Andrej Mitrović, Serbia's great war, 1914-1918, 2007 - p. 165
  4. ^ Richard C. Hall, Balkan Breakthrough: The Battle of Dobro Pole 1918, 2010 - p. 75
  5. ^ Gordon-Smith pp.280
  6. ^ Gordon-Smith pp.279
  7. ^[bare URL]


Coordinates: 40°56′32″N 21°48′17″E / 40.94222°N 21.80472°E / 40.94222; 21.80472