The Battle of Adrianople, Siege of Adrianople, Bulgarian Battle of Odrin (Битка при Одрин) or Serbian Bitka za Jedrene (Битка за Једрене) during the First Balkan War began in mid-November, 1912 and ended on March 26, 1913 with the capture of Adrianople by the Bulgarian 2nd Army.
The victors were under the overall command of General Nikola Ivanov, and the commander of the Bulgarian forces on the Eastern sector of the fortress was General Georgi Vazov, brother of the famous Bulgarian writer Ivan Vazov and General Vladimir Vazov.
One of the first known uses of an airplane for bombing took place during the siege: the Bulgarians dropped special hand grenades from one or more airplanes in an effort to cause panic among Turkish soldiers. Many young Bulgarians Officers and Professionals took part in this decisive battle of the First Balkan War, latter they became successful adults with important roles in politics, culture and the commerce and industry of Bulgaria. Among them Anton Panayotov, important entrepreneur of Montana.
The final battle consisted of three night attacks. During the first two nights the first and the second belts of external fortifications were captured, and during the third night the fortress itself. Preparations for the battle included covering with tissue of all "shining" parts of the soldiers' uniforms (to reduce visibility of buttons, for example) and of the horses' hooves (to diminish noise). The several armies that took part in the siege were put under joint command, creating a prototype of a front. Some light artillery pieces towed by horses followed the advancing units, playing the role of infantry support guns. Attempts were made to perturb all Ottoman's radio communications to issolate and demoralize the besieged.During this battle the Bulgarian army employed, for the first time in history, the creeping barrage as a defensive curtain for infantry following closely behind it.
The Bulgarian achievements up to this point were fairly summarized by a British war correspondent: "A nation with a population of less than five million and a military budget of less than two million pounds per annum placed in the field within fourteen days of mobilization an army of 400,000 men, and in the course of four weeks moved that army over 160 miles in hostile territory, captured one fortress and invested another, fought and won two great battles against the available armed strength of a nation of twenty million inhabitants, and stopped only at the gates of the hostile capital. With the exception of the Japanese and Gurkhas, the Bulgarians alone of all troops go into battle with the fixed intention of killing at least one enemy."
Serbian units involved were the 2nd army under command of general (later vojvoda, equivalent to Field Marshal) Stepa Stepanović (two divisions and some support units) and heavy artillery (38 siege cannons and howitzers of 120 and 150 mm purchased from French Schneider-Canet factory in 1908) dispatched because the Bulgarians lacked heavy artillery (though they were well supplied with Krupp-designed 75 mm field artillery).
The loss of Odrin delivered the final decisive blow on the Ottoman army and brought to a close the First Balkan War.