By 1917, the Allies badly needed a success on the Southern European front. Italy had expended large amounts of manpower and munitions in the Isonzo valley to negligible effect. Both Serbia and Romania had been overrun and virtually eliminated (albeit temporarily) as combatants. Accordingly, the British were nominated to launch an attack on Bulgarian positions on Lake Dojran, to coincide with the French-led Nivelle Offensive on the western front. This was a challenging objective; a joint Franco-British assault on the same positions in August 1916 had been firmly repulsed. Exploratory skirmishes in February 1917 revealed that the Bulgarian defences had been reinforced since the previous engagement, so the attack began with a ferocious four-day artillery bombardment. The main assault occurred on the night of 24 April. After fierce fighting with around three Bulgarian forward positions on their western flank, the British were forced to retreat.
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