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Kilkis

A town of 16,000 inhabitants, one hour by bus from Thessaloniki

Kilkis (Κιλκίς in Greek) (also known as Kukuš or Kukush in Slavic languages) is a small provincial city in Central Macedonia, Greece. It had a population of 16,000 citizens in 2001. It is also the capital city of the local prefecture (or nomos) and the capital of one of the two local provinces (or eparhia) of its prefecture.

The city was ruled by the Ottoman Empire before being taken by Bulgaria in the First Balkan War of 1912. In the Second Balkan War of 1913, the Greek army captured the city after a three-day battle between June 19-June 21. Although costly, with over 5,000 casualties on the Greek side and 7,000 on the Bulgarian, the Greek victory proved a decisive step towards victory in the war. Kilkis itself was badly damaged by the battle, and its ethnic composition changed markedly as its Slav inhabitants fled or were expelled. They were largely replaced after 1922 by Greeks expelled from Asia Minor.

The significance of the Battle of Kilkis-Lahanas can be appreciated by the fact that Greece named its only battleship after the city. However, the Kilkis - formerly the USS Mississippi - was sunk by a German Junkers Ju 87 (Stuka) dive-bomber on April 23, 1941, in the third week of the invasion of Greece by Nazi Germany. The city of Kilkis came under Bulgarian rule in 1943 when the Bulgarian zone of occupation was expanded to include the prefectures of Kilkis and Chalcidice. The Bulgarians pursued a policy of "Bulgarianisation" with considerable brutality and intended to annex the region to Bulgaria, but were forbidden from doing so by their German allies, who feared destabilizing Greece if the Bulgarians proceeded. The region became a major center for partisan resistance activity before being liberated in 1944.
 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kilkis

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