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The Great Events of the Great War in Seven Volumes


by Charles F. Horne

Turkish War Minister Ismail Enver Pasha planned and took command of a winter invasion of Russia in the mountains of the Turkish/Russian border. Poor planning by Turkish commanders and dreadful weather destroyed much of the Turkish invasion force. From December 27, the Russians held off repeated Turkish attacks until counter-attacking on January 2. In the follow two weeks, the Russians destroyed much of what was left of the Turkish army. The caption explains the destruction of three invading armies, each of about 55,000 men in the Battle of Sarikamish. Illustration from The Great War magazine, Part 34.
Text:
The Turkish Rout in the Snow-bound Caucasus - Stragglers Making their Way Back to Erzerum
Inspired by her German advisors, Turkey determined to forestall her troubles; and, applying the axiom that a vigorous offense is the best defence, she prepared two armies of invasion. The one, based in Erzerum, was to cross the Caucasus and invade Russia; the other, based in Damascus, was to cross the Sinai Desert and invade Egypt. Both of these ambitious expeditions were foredoomed to failure. For the Caucasian venture three armies were formed, each of about 55,000 men. The campaign was planned to allow two columns to advance, while a third was kept two days' march in the rear to act as a general reserve. Snow was already thick in the uplands when a start was made, and owing to faulty staff work and the appalling climatic conditions, one of the columns outdistanced the other. In turn both were driven back in hopeless disorder, pursued by the victorious Russians, who struggled waist-deep through the mountain snowdrifts. The arrival of the Turkish reserves synchronized with a terrific snowstorm; and during this the remnants of the Turkish army of invasion, reduced to about a quarter of its original effectives, managed to find their way back to their base at Erzerum.

Turkish War Minister Ismail Enver Pasha planned and took command of a winter invasion of Russia in the mountains of the Turkish/Russian border. Poor planning by Turkish commanders and dreadful weather destroyed much of the Turkish invasion force. From December 27, the Russians held off repeated Turkish attacks until counter-attacking on January 2. In the follow two weeks, the Russians destroyed much of what was left of the Turkish army. The caption explains the destruction of three invading armies, each of about 55,000 men in the Battle of Sarikamish. Illustration from The Great War magazine, Part 34.

The Great Events of the Great War in Seven Volumes: Volume I: Causes of the War; Volume II: 1914; Volume III: 1915; Volume IV: 1916; Volume V: 1917; Volume VI: 1918; Volume VII: Documents, Indices, &c.

Publisher: The National Alumni, 1920

Copyright: 1920 by The National Alumnia