Military Review

Sarykamysh battle. Part of 2

Sarykamysh battle. Part of 2

At the most critical moment of the battle, Lieutenant-General Yudenich arrived in Sarykamysh. He took command of the troops. Assessing the situation, the general realized that the enemy could only be stopped and smashed by active, decisive actions, a counterattack. Russian troops conducted a series of attacks. Throughout the night, stubborn battles continued in the narrow streets of the station and in the immediate vicinity, which turned into hand-to-hand combat. By the morning of December 17, the Turkish offensive was stopped. Both sides suffered heavy losses.

At noon 17 December, the duty officer of the Caucasian Army headquarters received an urgent telegram from Headquarters in Mogilyov. Yudenich received a separate Caucasian army for his start. Vorontsov-Dashkov was sent to the honorary resignation.

However, the situation was still difficult. The troops suffered heavy losses. Bukretov denounced what was left in the companies of the 70-80 people. Ammunition was running out. They needed reinforcements, and it was impossible to withdraw troops from the front line. Sarykamysh detachment itself held back the onslaught of the 11 of the Turkish corps and could not send significant forces to the rear. General A. Z. Myshlaevsky, having incorrectly assessed the situation, gave an order to retreat, left the army and went to Tiflis (under the pretext of forming a new army), transferring command to Berhman. In Tiflis, Myshlaevsky reported on the threat of a Turkish invasion into the depths of the Russian Caucasus, which caused disorganization of the rear of the army (he was removed from command and dismissed in March).

Yudenich was able to turn the tide in his favor. Within a few days, he set up field control using three dozen radio stations, and decided to go on the offensive. Russian troops struck in several directions at once - Sarykamysh, Oltinsky and Ardahan. Strong detachments were sent to the rear of the enemy, threatening him with his entourage. On the Ardagan Plateau, the Siberian Cossack Brigade committed a regular rout to the Turkish troops with a night attack. Success was supposed to be achieved by rearranging the forces of the 39 Infantry Division, the 1 and 2 of the Kuban Plastun brigades and two artillery brigades located in the Kara Fortress.

The preparation of the operation was kept secret. To improve command and control, the commander ordered the installation of several radio links. On mountain passes and heights, in places of bends of gorges and valleys intermediate relay stations were set. According to him were orders and reports. December 22 Russian troops launched a general offensive and everywhere achieved success. Near Sarykamysh almost the entire 9 of the Turkish corps was destroyed. In the course of this battle, the 16 Company of the 154 Infantry Regiment of the Derbent Infantry Regiment smashed the enemy defenses with a bold bayonet and seized the enemy's corps headquarters, along with the corps commander and the commanders of all three divisions and their headquarters. The complete rout of the corps headquarters and its divisions caused a complete loss of control, the collapse of the Turkish defense. Turkish troops were defeated, their remnants captured.

The Turks tried to gain a foothold in Bardus. Enver-pasha himself arrived in this village, happily leaving the headquarters of the 9 corps shortly before its defeat. However, here the Turkish troops could not resist. 10 th Turkish corps could not stand the offensive of Russian troops and was defeated. His divisions began to retreat. The natural conditions saved the 10 Corps from the complete defeat - Russian troops could not reach Bardus in time on poor and noticeable snow roads. The Turkish 32 Infantry Division attempted to launch a counterattack, but was defeated by Baratov's detachment. The remnants of the Turkish division - 2 thousand people were captured.

The defeat of the 9 and 10 corps caused the success of the right wing of the Sarykamysh detachment, which was opposed by the 11 corps. The Sarykamysh detachment, which defended itself at the turn of the Yeni-Kay and Bash-Kay settlements, launched a counterattack, overcoming the fierce resistance of the enemy. The Turks, relying on strong mountain positions, stubbornly resisted and in order to break their resistance, it was decided to bypass the enemy’s left flank. The 18 Turkestan Regiment with 4 mountain guns made a difficult throw over the mountains. The guns had to be carried disassembled, and the shells to them. The appearance of Russian troops in the rear of the enemy, along with artillery, caused panic among Turkish soldiers. The regiments of the 11 Corps began to abandon their positions and hastily retreat, fearing to render surrounded and repeat the fate of the troops of the 9 Corps. As a result, all the corps of the 3 of the Turkish army were defeated.

Results At the beginning of 1915, the Caucasian army entered the line of the villages It, Ardi and Dayar. The Russian army opened its way deep into Anatolia. The Sarykamysh operation lasted almost a month at the front in 100 km and in depth on 100-150 km. The Turkish 3 Army lost almost half of its composition - 90 thousand only killed and frozen (wounded and frostbitten in the conditions of a mountainous winter, died en masse), several thousand were wounded and captured. Russian troops captured near 70 mountain and field guns. The Caucasian army also suffered heavy losses - about 26 thousand people killed, wounded and frostbite (according to others, more than 30 thousand people).

Sarykamysh battle had a great resonance. Yudenich and the Russian army put an end to the ambitious plans of the Ottoman command to defeat the Russian troops and move the fighting into the territory of the Caucasus. 3-I Turkish army suffered a terrible defeat. The Russian victory somewhat eased the position of the Allies in Iraq and the Suez region. The new army commander showed genuine commander-in-chief art in this battle. At the same time, one should not forget the contribution to the victory of the commander of the Sarykamysh group of troops, George Berhman, and Nikolai Bukretov, who headed the defense of Sarykamysh at the first stage of the battle. Yudenich, Berhman and Bukretov were awarded the Order of St.. George 4 degree. Yudenich was also promoted to infantry generals.

The victory of the Russian army made a great impression on the allies. The French ambassador in Petrograd, 6, on January 1915, wrote: “The Russians defeated the Turks near Sarykamysh, on the road from Kars to Erzerum. This success is all the more commendable because the offensive of our allies began in a mountainous country, as sublime as the Alps, rugged by precipices and passes. There is a terrible cold, constant snowstorms. Besides - no roads, and the whole region is devastated. The Caucasian Russian army performs amazing feats there every day. ”

Ottoman machine gunners.

Further fighting

The rest of the winter and the beginning of spring 1915 were spent on the reorganization of the troops of the Caucasian army, as well as their replenishment. The Supreme Command, considering the Caucasian Front to be secondary, sent practically untrained recruits to the Transcaucasus, which as a result made up more than half of all personnel. However, this almost did not affect the combat capability of the Caucasian army. Its core was composed of experienced troops, already inspired by previous successes. The Caucasian Army received the 4-th Caucasian Army Corps, which arrived from the North Caucasus, consisting of about 30 infantry battalions and 70 horseback hundreds. But, parts of the hull were manned only by a third. With such reinforcements, it was difficult to count on operational superiority over the Turks, who transferred reinforcements and restored the fighting capacity of the 3 Army. However, Yudenich, understanding the general strategic situation, did not ask for reinforcements.

The army successfully acted, and the victories achieved by it at the Caucasian theater of military operations looked especially bright against the background of the Great Retreat on the European front. The headquarters of the Supreme Commander did not set offensive tasks for the Caucasian army. Before the start of the 1915 campaign of the year, Yudenich, planning operations, found himself in a difficult situation, and decided to set only real tasks for the troops. Thus, the 4 Corps received the task of private operations, to improve the occupied position, acting advanced detachments formed from the most combat-ready parts. This tactic was a success. By the end of March, the Russian Caucasian army had cleared the southern Ajaria and the whole Batumi region from the Turks. The center and the right wing of the army occupied the main mountain passes and securely covered the Sarykamysh, Oltinskoe and Batumsk directions.

Anti-Armenian hysteria unfolded in Turkey, Western Armenians were accused of mass desertion, of organizing sabotage and uprisings in the rear of the Ottoman army. About 60, thousands of Armenians mobilized into the Ottoman army at the beginning of the war, were sent to work in the rear, and then destroyed. Mass ethnic cleansing began in the Ottoman Empire. In a number of places, Armenians raised an uprising and put up armed resistance. In particular, in April 1915, a rebellion began in Van. The defenders of Van, knowing that they and their families are awaiting a terrible death, fiercely defended themselves, repulsed several storms of the city. The Ottomans raged in the Van district, cutting out the Armenian population and setting fire to the Armenian villages; around 24 thousand Armenians died at the hands of the punishers, more than 100 villages were looted and burned.

To save the city from total annihilation, the 4-th Caucasian Army Corps went on the offensive. In early May, the advanced units of the Russian army and detachments of Armenian volunteers approached the city. Turkish troops lifted the siege and retreated. The Russian army cleared a vast territory of the Turks, having advanced 100 km, and created a solid position adjacent to Lake Van. The Van self-defense and offensive of the Russian troops saved tens of thousands of Armenians from inevitable death. Later, after the temporary withdrawal of the Russian troops, the local Armenians, fleeing death, moved to Eastern Armenia.

The defense of Van.

Alashkert operation. In June, Russian troops defeated the Turks in Azerbaijan. Under pressure from Berlin and Vienna, which demanded a new offensive in the Caucasus, the Turkish command decided to launch an offensive operation and wrest the strategic initiative from the hands of the Russian army. Enver Pasha was returned to Istanbul, he could not solve the problem of defeating the Russian troops in the Caucasus. 3 of the Turkish army was led by Abdul Kerim Pasha. He energetically took up the preparation of a new "victorious" offensive against the "infidels." The new chief of staff was the German major G. Guze. In July, Turkish troops launched an offensive in an area north of Lake Van. The Turks planned to break the 4 Corps, go on the offensive on the Kara direction, in order to cut off the communications of the Russian troops and force them to further retreat. The Ottoman command was able to concentrate large forces (around the 90 infantry battalions and 48 squadrons and hundreds) went into the attack, which were able to press the 4 Caucasian Corps. In the Russian rear, with the support of the local Muslim population, there were subversive groups of the Ottoman army. Under these conditions, the commander of the 4 Caucasian Corps, V. de Witt, proposed to withdraw troops to the line north of the Alashkert valley. There was a serious threat.

Despite the alarming reports, Yudenich retained complete calm. The Caucasian commander-in-chief formed in the Dayar area a consolidated detachment under the command of General N.N. Baratova. It consisted of 24 battalion and 31 hundred. Baratov's 9 (22) squad in July delivered an accurate and strong flank attack on the advancing Turkish forces. The next day, the 4-th Caucasian Army Corps also launched a counter-offensive. Turkish troops fluttered and, fearing a detour and encirclement, retreated, but failed to achieve their total defeat (mainly due to the weak work of our rear units). In addition, the troops were very tired. Turkish troops 21 July (3 August), taking advantage of the lack of vigorous action of the corps, entrenched at the turn of Byulyuk-Bashi, Erdish.

As a result, the Alashkert operation’s plan of the Ottoman command to destroy the 4 of the Caucasian Army Corps and break through to Kars failed. Russian troops defeated the enemy forces, captured about 3 thousands of people and retained most of their territory. In addition, conditions were provided for the future strategic offensive operation (Erzurum operation). For his successes during the Alashkert operation, Nikolay Yudenich was awarded the Order of St. George of the 3 degree.

At the same time, there were major changes in the leadership of all the Armed Forces of the Russian Empire. In early September, the sovereign Nicholas II became the Supreme Commander of 1915, and the former Supreme Commander, uncle of the emperor, Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich, together with the chief of staff N.N. Yanushkevich, was sent to the Caucasian Front. Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich headed the Caucasian Front (they began to jokingly call him the "front of three Nikolayevich"). However, despite the fact that Nikolai Yudenich had another supervisor, de facto, he retained a certain independence in the leadership of the Caucasian army and continued to exercise direct leadership of combat operations.

Action in Persia

World War I covered more and more new territories. In the second half of 1915, with the consent of Stavka, the headquarters of a separate Caucasian army completed a plan for conducting an operation in Northern Persia with the task of excluding that country’s entry into the war against Russia. The Ottoman command, fulfilling the plan of Berlin to expand the territory covered by the fighting, tried to launch a "holy war" of Muslims against the "infidels", and involve Persia and Afghanistan in an open statement against Russia and Great Britain.

The Russian command formed an expeditionary corps under the command of well-proven in battles Nikolai Nikolayevich Baratov. The corps included 1-I Caucasian Cossack and Caucasian cavalry divisions. Initially, the corps numbered about 8 thousand people with 20 guns (then its number was increased to 14 thousand people with 38 guns). Baratov's corps was to confront the German-Turkish forces in Persia, led by Georg von Kaunitz, numbering about 8 thousand people. Russian troops were transported from Tiflis to Baku, where they embarked on transport ships. October 17 1915, the Russian troops successfully landed in the Persian port of Anzali. Divided into two columns of marching, the troops moved to Kum and Hamadan, the strong points of the pro-German forces. December 3 The expeditionary corps 1915 occupied the ancient Persian capital, Hamadan, creating the basis for further advancement into the interior of the country.

Russian troops in a series of clashes defeated enemy troops. During one of them, the German emissary, Count Kaunitz, was killed. Russian corps went to the borders of Iraq. With the occupation of Kuma and Kermanshah, the Russian troops cut off Persia from Turkish Mesopotamia. At the same time, the Russian Kharasan detachment blocked the enemy’s path to Afghanistan. Together with the allied British troops, the Russians thwarted the plans of Istanbul and Berlin to consolidate their positions in Persia.

To be continued ...
Articles from this series:
Sarykamysh battle
Sarykamysh battle. Part of 2
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  1. 416sd
    416sd 8 October 2013 08: 02
    Yes, the Ottomans froze there in autumn sweatshirts, Enver Pasha is still putting this cross in biographies and studies. according to Turkish estimates, about 80 thousand of them died there. Well, the Russians got the victory recorded.

    True, Nuri Pasha in 1918 recouped in Azerbaijan, but this was no longer the tsarist army but a mixture of pseudo-Bolshevik-Dashnaks, Socialist-Revolutionaries, and other rabble.

    Pseudo - because the real Bolsheviks in 1920 arrived on an armored train with Ordzhonikidze and Efremov.
    1. Vladimirets
      Vladimirets 8 October 2013 13: 35
      Quote: 416sd
      Well, the Russians got the victory recorded.

      And what does "written down" mean?
    2. smile
      smile 8 October 2013 14: 40
      Yeah, one more general Moroz won ... and of course not the Russians - their Turks won the whole story, they won ... only the Russians raised Porte all his teeth and plans for the creation of the Great Turan, they remained a chimera, over which little ones still cry Turkish nationalists ... :)))
      For centuries, the Russian army has given the Turks raked legs ... always acting in the minority ... It is time to invent other reasons. except for General Moroz, for example. declare Russian in witchcraft ... :)))
      Your miserable joy that Nuri Pasha was successful in the confrontation with the newly created red partisan detachments, excuse me, causes laughter; the Mussavatist rabble was trampled down like dirt. And your insolent lies that the Dashnaks — the worst enemies of the Reds, were at the same time with the Bolsheviks — arouses contempt, like any other insolent lies of a petty nationalist ... by the way, the Social Revolutionaries were not allies of the Bolsheviks by that time either ... Question, why lying?
      1. Corsair
        Corsair 8 October 2013 14: 50
        Quote: smile
        Yeah, one more general Moroz won ... and of course not the Russians - their Turks won the whole story, they won ... only the Russians raised Porte all his teeth and plans for the creation of the Great Turan, they remained a chimera, over which little ones still cry Turkish nationalists ... :)))

        Greetings! As always "toothy" comment good , I modestly confine myself to the picture of that time ...

        Clickable Image:
        1. smile
          smile 8 October 2013 16: 38
          Hello bula! :)))
          Do not be shy, you have demonstrated more than once that your boarding saber is in no way inferior to my natural weapons, and sometimes it surpasses :)))
          In general, I read somewhere that in the days of paganism, Santa Claus was not the good grandfather who hangs around with a bag of gifts for corporate parties, but a contented, stern deity is direct, as you see in the picture ... Napoleon defeated. then Hitler strangled ... now, it turns out that the peace-loving, but proud Turks are on his conscience ... :))) A dangerous tipus, so that Russians do without him, I won’t know ... I would probably cringe to the size of Azerbaijan some of whose representatives are already trying to abandon their nationality and cling to the Turks ... some mountain ones and praise the victories of the Turkish army over the unfortunate Russians who, with the help of the New Year’s character, buried or reduced all the great powers who dared to a secondary country invade us . :)))
          1. Corsair
            Corsair 9 October 2013 14: 02
            Quote: smile
            Dangerous tipus, so that without it the Russians do, I can’t imagine ...

            Indeed, in pagan Russia, Santa Claus was not. Slavic gods, outwardly similar to Santa Claus, were not at all kind.

            Pozvizd was responsible for hurricanes and storms, heavy rains and any bad weather. It was described like this:
            his beard is torrential rain, his breath is thick fog, icy gradients poured from his hair on his head, and snow from under his caftan. The sobbing commanded the winter winds, he was fierce and indomitable.

            Another, outwardly similar to modern Santa Claus, the character of Slavic mythology - grandfather Karachun(picture).
            This gloomy god lived in the underworld, in his submission were severe winter frosts, snowstorms and snowstorms. Karachun received his name for the shortest winter days of the year, in which he was, according to legend, guilty. In general, the image of Karachun was not pleasant, and he himself did not differ in kindness ...

            Similar to Santa Claus and even very similar to the ancient Slavic god named Zimnik. Here is his description:
            a short old man, long hair on his head the color of snow, the same beard, wore a white sheepskin coat, his legs were always bare. In Zimnik’s hand was an iron mace - with one movement, a harmful old man let in a fierce cold and snowstorms on villagers and townspeople.

            Another Slavic god named Frost. His image is very similar to Santa Claus:
            short, old, with a fierce cold in the breath, hair and a beard of snowy clouds, carries a long staff with one touch of which freezes everything around. Only, Frost’s kindness didn’t differ in any way - he would freeze anyone who got in his way immediately, liked to steal children, grabbing them and putting them in a big bag ...

            One thing is encouraging - in general, the merciless Old Slavic gods, FOR SOMETHING SUDDENLY fellow having stopped testing the Russians for "survival", they turned their anger on the conquerors ...
            And the people, in their turn, did not stand aside, but "hung" the invaders with "lyuly" ...
            Clickable Image:
    3. Arminian power
      Arminian power 8 October 2013 15: 36
      Trollish again
      Quote: 416sd
      about Turkish estimates there about 80 thousand died. Well, the Russians got the victory recorded.
  2. pinecone
    pinecone 8 October 2013 08: 52
    Excellent article.
    Sarykamysh victory. Newsreels frames.
  3. The comment was deleted.
  4. Prometey
    Prometey 8 October 2013 08: 59
    Good, informative review. Specially delving around, looking for material is not always time, but here everything is clear and understandable. A big minus to our history textbook compilers is that the First World War is still undeservedly hushed up. Our people also fought for their country, and a handful of Jews who came put a label on the imperialist war and put an end to this.
  5. Dmitry 2246
    Dmitry 2246 8 October 2013 11: 13
    Properly used communications in the mountains (30 radio stations), a raid on the rear, a flank strike, focus on the main direction and, in the end, the famous bayonet strike
    "The 16th company of the 154th Derbent infantry regiment with a bold bayonet blow broke through the enemy's defenses and captured the enemy corps headquarters, together with the corps commander and commanders of all three divisions, their headquarters. The complete defeat of the corps headquarters and its divisions caused a complete loss of control, the collapse of the Turkish defense. "
    A war worthy of a textbook.
    The Turks have to complain about the frost (as indeed the Germans, Romanians, Italians, Hungarians).
    Or maybe remember the strength of the Russian spirit?
  6. George
    George 8 October 2013 11: 28
    Thank you for the article.
  7. parij777
    parij777 8 October 2013 13: 10
    Photos of beautiful girls 18 Moscow
  8. arminidi
    arminidi 8 October 2013 15: 06
    Samsonov Alexander thank you for the article.
    Quote: 416sd
    Well, the Russians got the victory recorded.

    Victory is victory, and winners are not judged.
  9. Wii
    Wii 8 October 2013 15: 57
    Reading such articles is a pleasure !!!
  10. Gomunkul
    Gomunkul 8 October 2013 17: 53
    Thanks to the author for the article, we look forward to continuing. The war with Turkey in the First World War is poorly covered in our history. Yudenich deserves respect for the continuation of the Suvorov school “To fight not by numbers, but by skill!” It would not be bad to add about the actions of the Black Sea Fleet, which also successfully fought at sea and achieved complete domination on it. The Turkish fleet spent the entire war in the Sea of ​​Marmara, by the way, British submariners visited and made a "rustle" among the Turks. Thanks again. hi
  11. Andranik
    Andranik 8 October 2013 18: 38
    The article is cool. Thanks to the author.
  12. Motors1991
    Motors1991 8 October 2013 18: 49
    The Russian army was lucky that Yudenich was found near Myshloevsky, but there was no such person near Samsonov. The same situation with the 2nd Russian army under the command of Samsonov, the Germans launched an offensive in East Prussia, Samsonov abandoned the army and left in an unknown direction, before fleeing he still managed to order the headquarters to retreat and curtail the army communications center. If Samsonov was a German agent and he could not have done more to defeat his army, he blamed everything on the innocent Rennenkampf, who had not abandoned his army silt and brought out from under the German strike. Honestly, I read about Yudenich before and was very surprised. Soviet history was silent or represented Russian generals as stupid and mediocre. One Brusilov through his teeth recognized that it was hard to hide, and the whole world was honored by his military genius. Even the losses were specifically inflated so that no one doubted that Russia was losing the war, and yet we fought better than anyone and the losses among the Great Powers in Russia were the least.
    1. Prometey
      Prometey 9 October 2013 18: 34
      Quote: Motors1991
      One Brusilova through gritted teeth recognized

      No, just admitted. Brusilov went to cooperate with the Bolsheviks, so he got his place in textbooks.
  13. Vlaleks48
    Vlaleks48 8 October 2013 21: 10
    Many thanks to the author for the information about the harsh everyday life of our ancestors on the battlefields of the First World War! This war, fouled by the "Bolsheviks", was hushed up and was always shown only as a loss of the allegedly "mediocre" tsarist generals and officers. Thanks again!
  14. Voskepar
    Voskepar 8 October 2013 21: 42
    Thanks to the author for a great article.
    I hope that he will write about the capture of Erzrum by Yudenich. Also a brilliant victory
    And the legendary person commanded the 4th Armenian volunteer detachment in this battle: Arshak Gefavyan (Keri), who took the Turks attack with his own actions, thereby letting the Russian regular troops repel the Turks’ pressure and go on the offensive.
  15. Dovmont
    Dovmont 12 October 2013 09: 04
    We look forward to continuing!
  16. Jekich
    Jekich 15 October 2013 22: 19
    More such articles good
  17. Torkvat torkvat
    Torkvat torkvat 20 June 2017 09: 52
    Turks they are Turks))) Themselves 2 divisions fired)))) Yudenich handsome