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

Today in World War I: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

and that's the way it was

The Battle of Sarikamish was an overwhelming Russian victory whose outcome put the Ottomans on the defensive in World War I’s Caucasus theater of operations right up until the 1917 October Revolution took Russia out of the war altogether. Its military impact was fairly substantial–World War I might have been much different if the Ottomans had been able to make a sustained offensive into Russia via the Caucasus–but the Ottomans ultimately gained back the territory they’d lost as a result of this battle. Sarikamish’s greatest 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 the most immediate ones, owing to one man’s desperate need to dodge the blame for his failures on the battlefield.

The state of Europe and the Caucasus in January 1915; note Sarikamish there on the right (via mental_floss

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Today in Caucasian history: the Battles of Karakilisa, Sardarabad, and Abaran (1918)

As much as the 1917 Russian Revolution affected the course of World War I on the Eastern Front, I think there's a pretty strong argument to be made that its biggest effects were felt in another of the war's innumerable theaters: the Caucasus. While Russian forces in Eastern Europe had largely struggled almost from the … Continue reading Today in Caucasian history: the Battles of Karakilisa, Sardarabad, and Abaran (1918)

Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Bagrevand (775)

When Arab armies moved out of Arabia in the 630s they brought an end to the Roman-Persian balance of power that had defined western Asia for centuries. It’s likely that nobody, apart from the Romans and the Persians, felt this change more acutely than the Armenians. The Kingdom of Armenia had long been a buffer between … Continue reading Today in Caucasian history: the Battle of Bagrevand (775)

Today in World War I: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

The Battle of Sarikamish was an overwhelming Russian victory whose outcome put the Ottomans on the defensive in World War I's Caucasus theater of operations right up until the 1917 October Revolution took Russia out of the war altogether. Its military impact was fairly substantial--World War I might have been much different if the Ottomans … Continue reading Today in World War I: the Battle of Sarikamish ends (1915)

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