Armenia defeats the Ottoman Army in the Battle of Sardarabad (May 29, 1918) - History Key

Armenia defeats the Ottoman Army in the Battle of Sardarabad (May 29, 1918)

It is a taboo subject back in history when the Turks committed a terrible genocide attack against the Armenians. What happened in those bloody crimes against humanity? No one knows for sure. What is certain is that those who were responsible for the genocide are still hiding the truth.

Battle of Sardarabad - A group of Armenian Hunchak militia
Battle of Sardarabad – A group of Armenian Hunchak militia © Image Source: aypoupen.com

The entire Nation

The battle of Sardarabad was a battle during the World War I that took place near Armavir, Armenia. The exact location was 40 km west of Yerevan, the capital of Armenia. This battle is seen by the Armenians the battle that saved their nation. The Armenians believe that if they couldn’t stop the Ottomans then their nation would not have existed.

The Ottomans offensive was fearful. Despite the fact that the Ottoman Empire was on its decline, the Armenians were desperate to save their nation. With no other options, the Armenians decided to prepare for the final battle. The bells pealed during the entire battle (May 21 – May 29, 1918) creating a disturbing noise among the enemy. Also it created organized military units from all walks of life: peasants, poets, blacksmiths, etc. Some historians believe that the Battle of Sardarabad involved children, aided in the effort as “Carts drawn by oxen and volunteers from the vicinity” of Yerevan.

On May 21, the Ottoman force had already reached Sardarabad destroying an Armenian unit composed of 600 infantry and 250 cavalry. From that moment, the Ottomans were advancing toward Yeghe Nut. Therefore, Armenian general Movses Silikyan ordered a guerrilla unit for the 5th Armenian Regiment and a cavalry specimen to spy the Ottomans. The next day, the Armenians successfully stopped the Ottomans on their advance. However, repeated attempts were made by the Ottomans to cross the area, but they always met resistance by the Armenians.

Ottoman Armenians are marched to a prison in Kharpert, Armenia by armed Turkish soldiers in April 1915
Ottoman Armenians are marched to a prison in Kharpert, Armenia by armed Turkish soldiers in April 1915 © Image Source: thestar.com

One last chance

The next days were critical for both sides. For the Armenians were all or nothing in order to save their nation, while the Ottomans had to advance in order to “maintain on feet” the empire. On May 27, after several attempts to stop the Ottomans, the Armenians performed a flanking maneuver and hit the enemy’s positions from the back. Meanwhile, another group of Armenians struck the Ottomans other main positions.

The Ottomans tried all the time to change the outcome of the battle. Because they suffered heavy losses on that battle, the Ottomans retreated. A few hours later, the Ottoman leadership and the Armenian National Council in Tiflis negotiated a treatment that included ceasing military operations in the region. Although the members of the National Council were criticized for their action, the decision was based on the empty ammunition stores and the Ottomans reinforcements.

Therefore, on May 29, 1918, the Ottomans were officially defeated at the Battle of Sardarabad that saved the Armenian nation. All the victories there were so important that had an independence effect: on May 30, 1918 it was declared the First Republic of Armenia. By the end of the war, the little republic was able to keep out all the Ottomans and they managed to survive.

Too proud to admit

The issue of recognizing the Armenian Genocide, which was mentioned most of the times through the 20th century, was revived primarily through the emergence of Armenian terrorism in 1970s. Another important moment was on June 18, 1987, when the European Parliament recognized the Armenian genocide when Turkey showed interest for a possible accession in the European Union.

Soldiers standing over skulls of victims from the Armenian village of Sheyxalan during the First World War
Soldiers standing over skulls of victims from the Armenian village of Sheyxalan during the First World War © Armenian Genocide Museum/New York Times/ Image Source:thestar.com

However, the current Turkish government still denies to recognize the Armenian Genocide and firmly condemns any recognition of genocide by other governments or parliaments. The interesting aspect is that the Turkish government didn’t deny the genocide immediately after the WWI. They presented it as a dramatic consequence of the war, called the “1919 tragedy.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *