The military actions in Caucasus front since July, 1914 up to April 26, 1916


Ruben O. Sahakyan

Key words – Tovmas Nazarbekyan, Hovhannes Hakhverdyan, Andranik, Dro, Hamazasp, Keri, Hakob Chavriyan, VorontsovDashkov, N. Yudenich.

Up to now only the last part of Tovmas Nazarbekyan’s (Foma Nazarbekov,1855-1931 ) memoirs including the period of November, 1917 up to July of 1918 has been published: it was published in original Russian language and edited by AC of RA Hrant Avetisyan. But the first part of his valuable memoirs including the description of military-political events taking place in Russian-Turkish (Caucasus) front during World War I, namely, since  July , 1914 up to April 26, 1916, had remained unpublished .

Major-General of the Russian army and the Lieutenant- General of the Armenian army Tovmas Nazarbekyan was repressed during the Soviet years and then settled down in Tiflis living in hard material conditions. He has composed his memoirs  in 1928-1929 based on the materials kept in his private archive, as well as, on correspondence  with his  combat friends, i.e. Generals I. Hakhverdov (Hovhannes Hakhverdyan) and Movses Silikyan. Because of not having sufficient financial means he composed his memoirs  with chronological  sequence but in copy-books.

In his memoirs the General gives interesting information about the preparations of World War I, his meetings with Armenian national figures and about  the Armenian voluntary movement. He particularly recalls his relationships with Armenian 1 Voluntary group headed by Andranik and especially with the doctor Yakov Chavriev (Hakob Chavriyan).

By the given publication of the first copy-book of Tovmas Nazarbekyan’s memoirs the reader learns about the attacking actions  of the 2nd Caucasian shooting brigade that was included in the Azerbaijani detachment headed by General F. Chernozubov: it includes the period of June-December of 1914.   Before the counterattack of the Turkish army at Sarighamish   the advancement of the Azeri detachment was so successful that General F. Chernozubov ordered T. Nazarbekyan, in case of Andranik’s consent, to provide him with two mountain cannons for the raid on Van. But in connection with the battle of Sarighamish h e gets an order of retreat w hich turns into a real disaster for Armenians t hat had joined the Russian army. But even when the fact of the defeat of the Turkish army at Sarighamish became known  General Milashevski ,who had sloped from Sarighamish to Tiflis continued to give the orders of retreat.  And  only after the telegram  of H.Chavriev, who was in Azeri detachment, addressed to the viceroy of Caucasus  it came possible to get the permission for ceasing the retreat. Thus, while concluding the first part of his memoirs T. Nazarbekyan admitted that because of such unprepared attacks and aimless retreats they were losing their respect as they doomed the Christian population to  destruction.

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