Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

Russia’s victory in the Battle of Sarikamish was so overwhelming that it put the Russians on the offensive in World War I’s Caucasian Theater for good–or, uh, until Russia quit the war following its 1917 revolution. And so its military impact is a little mixed, despite the lopsided outcome. Had the Ottomans been able to sustain an offensive in the Caucasus this early in the war things might have turned out much differently. On the other hand, the Ottomans managed to reverse all the gains the Russians made after Sarikamish following Russia’s withdrawal. As it turns out the battle’s biggest impact was felt off the battlefield, by the Armenian people. The Armenian Genocide was a long time coming and had multiple causes, but Sarikamish was one of its most immediate. And that has to do with one powerful man’s ego, and his desperate need to dodge the blame for his failures on the battlefield.

Source: Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

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