Caucasian Front in the First World War. Part 1.

Caucasian Front in the First World War.  Part 1.Martial acts began in November 1914, following an attack on the Ottoman Empire, the Russian Empire and continued until March 1918, when they signed the Brest peace treaty.
It was the last big military conflict between Russia and Turkey. And it ended for both empires (Ottoman, and Russian) catastrophically, the two powers could not stand the severity of the First World War and fell.
Began war with the fact that on 29 and 30 October 1914 the German-Turkish fleet under the command of German Admiral Wilhelm Souchon bombarded Sevastopol, Odessa, Theodosia and Novorossiysk (in Russia this event has received an unofficial title of "Sevastopol wake up"). October 30 Emperor Nicholas II ordered to withdraw from Istanbul diplomatically goal Nov. 2, 1914 Our homeland declared war on Turkey. November 5 and 6 and was followed by the UK and France. Turkey's entry into the war cut short sea link between Russia and its allies across the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. So makarom appeared in Asia Caucasian front between Russia and Turkey.

Prerequisites and assumptions prompted the Ottoman Empire into the war

— Poor socio-economic situation of the empire, it was in a phase of expansion, was practically a semi-colony of majestic powers (Britain, France and Germany). Only the desperate measures, such as a successful large-scale war or reform could temporarily stabilize the situation.
— Revanchism. Turkey in the early 20 th century has lost two wars: Tripoli (Libyan) to Italy from 29 September 1911 to 18 October 1912, having lost Tripolitania and Cyrenaica (modern Libya), and the peninsula of Rhodes and the Dodecanese archipelago near the Greek-speaking Asia Minor. First Balkan War from September 25 (October 8) [3] in 1912 to 17 (30) May 1913 against the Balkan Union (Bulgaria, Greece, Serbia, Montenegro), having lost virtually all areas in Europe, apart from Istanbul's neighborhood (could recapture Adrianople-Edirne during the second Balkan War — 29 June — 29 July 1913), the peninsula of Crete.
— The alliance with the German Empire. Only the majestic powers could help maintain the integrity of the Ottoman Empire, and give her a chance to recover some of the lost territories. But the Entente Powers believed the case of the Turks tiny, everything is preordained for them. Germany is Turkey needed, so using its million-strong army to delay the reserves and resources of the Russian Federation to the Caucasus, to the problem of England in the Sinai and in Persia.
— In the ideology of Ottomanism place doctrine calling for unity and brotherhood of all peoples of the empire evenly took a very brutal concept of pan-Turkism and pan-Islamism. Pan-Turkism as a so-called doctrine of the unity of all Turkic peoples under the supreme headship of the Turks — the Ottomans, the Young Turks was used for planting in the middle of the Turkish nationalist emotions and moods. The doctrine of pan-Islamism, called for the unification of all Muslims under the rule of the sultan as caliph, was to a large extent as the Pan-Turkism, is aimed against Russia, but was used by the Young Turks, and in the internal political affairs, namely, as an ideological weapon in the struggle with the Arab national — liberation movement .

The outbreak of war

Caucasian Front in the First World War.  Part 1.The outbreak of war in Turkey, there was no consensus on the issue — whether to enter into a war, and on which side? In the unofficial triumvirate of Young Turks Minister of War Enver Pasha and Minister of the Interior Talaat Pasha were supporters of the Triple Alliance, but Jemal Pasha was a supporter of the Entente. Despite the open support of Germany Ottoman Empire in the first three months of the war officially maintained neutrality, hoping that the Entente interested in the neutrality of the Sultan of Turkey, and they will be able to obtain significant concessions from them.

August 2, 1914 was signed by the German-Turkish union contract in which the Turkish Army has surrendered under the control of the German military mission and the country was declared a mobilization. Hundreds of thousands of people were uprooted from the usual work. Within 3 days of mobilization items had come all men aged 20 to 45 years. Cvyshe 1 million people have moved into their registry items. But the Turkish government immediately issued a declaration of neutrality. August 10 in the Dardanelles Strait entered the German cruiser "Goeben" and "Breslau" evade prosecution English fleet in the Mediterranean. With the emergence of these ships not only the Turkish Army, and Navy were under the command of the Germans. September 9 Turkish government has announced to all the Powers that it had decided to cancel the capitulations (special legal status of foreign persons).

Yet most of the members of the Turkish government, including the majestic vizier, still opposed the war. Then the Minister of War Enver Pasha, along with the German command (Liman von Sanders) went to war without the consent of other members of the government, placing the country with a fait accompli. 29 and 30 October 1914 the German-Turkish fleet under the command of German Admiral Wilhelm Souchon shelled Sevastopol, Odessa, Theodosia and Novorossiysk (in Russia it is the unofficial title of the event was "Sevastopol wake up"). October 30 Emperor Nicholas II ordered to withdraw from Istanbul diplomatically goal Nov. 2, 1914 Our homeland declared war on Turkey. November 5 and 6 and was followed by the UK and France. Turkey's entry into the war cut short sea link between Russia and its allies across the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. So makarom in Asia appeared Caucasian front between Russia and Turkey.

Caucasian Front in the First World War.  Part 1.Russian Caucasus Army: composition, commanders, training

In 1914, in the Caucasian army were: Field Office (headquarters), Part army subordination, 1st Caucasian Army Corps (consisting of 2 infantry divisions, 2 artillery brigades, 2-Kuban plastun teams first Caucasian Cossack Division), 2nd Turkestan Army Corps (consisting of 2 infantry brigades, 2 infantry artillery battalions, the first trans-Caspian Cossack Brigade). Before the fighting Caucasian army was dispersed into two groups in accordance with the 2 main operating areas:
Kara direction (Kars — Erzurum) — approx. 6 divisions in Olta — Sarykamysh,
Erivan direction (Erivan — Alashkert) — approx. 2 divisions, reinforced by a significant number of cavalry in Igdir.
The flanks were covered by small units formed from the Border Guard, the Cossacks and the militia: the right flank — the direction along the Black Sea coast to Batum, and the left — against the Kurdish areas, where the declaration of mobilization with the Turks began forms the Kurdish irregular cavalry, Persian and Azerbaijani. Total Caucasian army totaled approx. 153 battalions, 175 Cossack squadrons a
nd 350 guns.
With the outbreak of World War II in the South Caucasus unfolded Armenian voluntary movement. Armenians have been associated with this war is some hope, hoping to release by the Russian guns in Western Armenia. Because Armenian political forces and national parties have declared the war fair and declared the undisputed support of the Entente. Management of Turkey, with his own hand, was trying to attract the Western Armenians on their side, and invites them to make voluntary groups in the Turkish army and the eastern tip of the Armenians to joint action against Russia. These plans, but fate was not true.
Caucasian Front in the First World War.  Part 1.The creation of the Armenian teams (voluntary groups) engaged Armenian National Bureau in Tiflis. The total number of Armenian volunteers made up to 25 thousand people. The first four volunteer squad joined the ranks of the army in different parts of the Caucasus Front in November 1914 Armenian volunteers distinguished themselves in the battle for Van Dielman, Bitlis, Mus, Erzurum and other town in Western Armenia. In late 1915 — early 1916. Armenian volunteer units were disbanded, and on their base in the Russian parts were made infantry battalions that participated in combat operations by the end of the war.
At the initial step was the commander of the Caucasian Army Caucasian governor and commander in chief of the military forces of the Caucasian neighborhood Adjutant General Ivan Vorontsov-Dashkov, its rate was in Tiflis. It is, but, as in the development and management of operations troops actually perceived by passing the command of the army's own assistant to General AZ Myshlaevsky and Chief of Staff to General Yudenich. After the shift, AZ Myshlaevsky in January 1915 — General NN Yudenich who made command of the army and after its transformation into the Caucasian front in April 1917. ¬ tion direct command and control was in the hands of the commander of the 1st Caucasian Corps General G. E.Berhmana appointed chief Sarykamysh group — the so-called Russian forces, acting on the direction of Erzurum.
In April 1917, the Caucasian army was reorganized in the Caucasian front.
Caucasian army had mining equipment. Only the mountain batteries were adapted for operations in mountainous criteria.
Troops for operations in mountainous theater were poorly trained; peacetime maneuvers are usually performed in a wide ¬ FIR mountain plains. When training troops was taken into account the experience of the Russian-Japanese war. But the senior, and in particular the supreme command of, as in the Turkish army was poorly trained in respect of driving large military formations separate columns on isolated areas of mountainous terrain. In fact, there were no modern means of communication (radio) was not established engineering (troops before the battle actually dug, but only designated position), there was no ski units, the troops were poorly managed.
Disadvantages offset the fact that the enemy suffered the same shortcomings, and the Russian fighter in quality superior to Turkish. Russian fine a difficult time, defended stubbornly, were more savvy, not afraid of direct combat, even with a superior foe. And the younger, the average composition of the whole team knew what to do.

Plans of the parties, the Turkish army

The main object of action by the Russian army, not counting the enemy troops, was a fortress of Erzurum, located 100 km from the Russian-Turkish border. Erzurum covered with sushi Anatolia — this core area of Turkey, which housed the main objects of the economy and the empire which had a homogeneous population, which accounted for a large part of the Ottoman Turks. From the drop-Erzurum direct route to Istanbul-Konstantinoplyu, which together with the Bosporus and the Dardanelles, with the consent of the allies in the Entente, was to become part of the Russian Empire. Also part of the empire were to enter the land of historic Armenia, which were part of Turkey.
For the Turks the main object of action after the defeat of the Caucasian Army, was the capture of Tbilisi — the political center of the Caucasus and host the main track; Baku — an industrial center (oil), the fortress of Kars and Batum, who was the best port on the southern coast of the Black Sea. The Ottomans wanted to capture all of the Caucasus, in the upcoming plan to bring on the Russian Federation Islamic peoples of the North Caucasus could be an uprising in Central Asia.
Two wars waged by Turkey — Tripoli and Balkan — caused a huge upset the Turkish armed forces. Army to the latest war was unprepared. After 1912 ¬ s command structure survived the treatment, as a result of which a number of officers were dismissed, and in their place were hastily appointed person at the discretion of the Minister of War Enver Pasha. The German mission, invited by the Turkish government in 1913, a few streamlined case. Yet, the more feeble the Turkish army was its commanders. So, for example, NCOs was 75% illiterate, average — 40% consisted of non-commissioned officers made without special military education. Senior and supreme commanders, with the overall military training, was very poorly prepared for the driving forces in modern warfare, and though the mountains.
Mobilization of the third Turkish army operating against the Caucasian Army, was held with great difficulty due to acute deficiencies in the artillery, food and fodder supply. 3rd Turkish army consisted of the 9 th, 10 th, 11 th Army Corps, 2nd Cavalry Division, 4 ½ Kurdish cavalry divisions and 2-infantry divisions arrived at strengthening of the army of Mesopotamia, running-Hassan Izzet Pasha , then minister of war himself arrived Enver Pasha. There are about 100 infantry battalions, 35 squadrons of cavalry, 250 guns.
Kurdish formation in fighting against were not trained and poorly disciplined. On arms artillery guns were modern systems Schneider and Krupp. The infantry was armed with a rifle Mauser.
Because of the small number of trained personnel and shortages in the supply of telephone and telegraph apparatus, communication is almost always supported by mounted messengers and delegates for the link.
According to the views of German officers, who studied fine Turkish army, the Turks could attack, but were not able to frisky energetic head. In the forced marches they were not trained, so that there is a danger of decomposition troops. The army was poorly equipped, and therefore could not be carried out in an open field at the bivouac for several nights in a row, especially in winter. The organization sought to bringing up a lot of time and slowed the rate of Advent.
All of these things were taken into account when the Turkish army command probable variants of operations that are not calculated in the deepest promotion, and coming with the limited purposes of the line to line.

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