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The anniversary of the Aheloy Battle

The anniversary of the Aheloy Battle

8/20/2009 5:42:07 PM

Aheloy is a small river on the Black Sea coast of Bulgaria. It rises from the eastern part of the Mountain of Karnobat and Aitos and mouths into the Black Sea to the south of the village bearing the same name. The river is 40 km long.

Aheloy: the Battle of Empires

On 20th August 917, the river’s mouth was the battlefield of the battle of Aheloy, one of the most memorable events in Bulgarian history.

Tsar Simeon the Great was the king who made Bulgaria a leader in the Balkans. His ambition was not only to bring fame to Bulgaria and expand its territory but also to dominate the Byzantine Empire.

In 914, the Bulgarian army seized Adrianople /today’s Edirne/, a key approach to the heart of the empire, Constantinople /today’s Istanbul/.

The Byzantine emperor hoped that a conclusive battle would end both the victorious march of the Bulgarians and their dominance. The emperor prepared a coalition war on Bulgaria as his tactics included infantry, cavalry and navy operations.

The decisive battle between the Bulgarian troops and the army of the Byzantine Empire took place on 20th August 917 at the mouth of the river of Aheloy (near what is nowadays the village of Aheloy) when the latter invaded the kingdom of Simeon the Great. The heavy-armed cavalry of the Bulgarian king inflicted a sudden and destructive defeat to the enemy. The Byzantine army was dislodged to the sea, then encircled by the Bulgarians and almost completely destroyed. The utter defeat of the Byzantine army in 917 still remains as an exemplary prepared and effected military operation. This battle also marked the decline of the Byzantine Empire.

Source: Aheloy.com


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