Dobro Pole (Добро Поле, Dobro Polje) – WW1 location in Macedonia

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The local population in Macedonia and “Bronze Hand Monument”

The consequences from the Macedonian front were extremely devastating for the local population in Macedonia. This was particularly evident, near the front line and especially in the regions of Mariovo and Bitola.

With the formation of the frontline, the local population was forced out of their homes and were sent to other parts of Macedonia. The refugees were allowed to take only the most essential luggage with them and thus leaving their livestock, barns, houses, and food behind. Later their houses were robbed by the armies who took the food and the livestock and used the materials from the houses, as building materials for the trenches. Thus were destroyed entire villages as Gradeshnica, Staravina, Budimirci, Zovich, etc.

Part of the population had nowhere to go and later have returned to their homes, but only a few of them survived to tell the stories about the events on the front.

In village Gradesnica also well known is the story of the monument “Bronze Hand” which in 1938 was placed on Dobro Pole.

Namely, in 1938, a French delegation led by Louis Cordier hired the sculptor Marcel Ganguilhem, who was also a soldier who lost his arm during the breakthrough in 1918.  Marcel made a bronze monument which with the Serbian authorities on September 19, 1938, was placed on Dobro Pole.
In addition, there were a number of other ceremonial activities, which according to the stories of the locals were discontinued by a telegram to Louis Cordier, informing him about a hostile German activity before the Second World War.

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Over time the monument was lost so that today there is no mark on this place, which would have marked its historical value.

An interesting fact which speaks of the importance of the Battle of Dobro Pole is the fact that in the center of Paris, today there is a street named Dobro Pole (Rue du Dobropol).

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