Category Archives: ARCHIVE


Military operations on the Caucasus Front from July 1914 to April 26, 1916 Copy-book 4: from July 10, 1915 to August 14, 1915


Ruben O. Sahakyan
In his 4th notebook of memoirs, General T. Nazarbekyan describes his military operations that took place from July 10 to August 14, 1915. The commander continues to describe the July retreat of 1915 from Kopa in the west and Van in the south. In his opinion, during the advancement of units of the 4th Army Corps the rear service could not ensure uninterrupted supply of the advancing units. In addition, there was no stable communication between the advancing units and therefore commanders of the unit were unable to coordinate their actions. At the same time mutually exclusive orders were given by the corps commander, General P. Oganovsky due to which operations to seize the cities of Mush and Bitlis (Bagesh) were failed.

In his memoirs T. Nazarbekyan calls the treacherous July departure from the city of Van of the Transbaikal (Trans-Baikal) Cossack Division under the command of General A. Nikolaev. According to T. Nazarbekyan, nothing threatened the city of Van. He also refutes the widespread belief that 11 unfriendly divisions attacked the part of the 4th Caucasian Army Corps. According to the general, about 4 Turkish divisions advanced in the direction of Manazkert. Due to a thoughtless and justified retreat, more than 10 thousand Armenian refugees – children, women and the elderly died. Victims could be more if they were not protected by the Armenian volunteers and Russian military personnel.


The military actions in the Caucasus front since July, 1914 up to 1916 April 26
Copy- book 3: since June 10, 1915 up to July 10


Ruben O. Sahakyan
In the 3rd copy- book of his memoirs general Nazarbekyan describes the military actions that took place since June 10, 1915 up to July 10. In May 1915 the Russian command decided to attack and occupy the main centres of supply of the Ottoman army – Erzurum and Trabzon. For that purpose, it started to transfer military units from Persia to Western Armenia: those units included the 2nd Caucasus Rifle Division of T. Nazarbekyan. On his way the General witnesses the crimes committed by Djevdet bey and his scoundrels – villages full of numerous corpses of killed Armenians. T. Nazarbekyan together with his brigade settles in the outskirts of Van. The commander makes short visit to Van. He states with regret that he had no success in meeting the governor of Van Aram Manukyan but mentions his meeting with a number of Armenia figures of Van’s Armenian Governance among whom were Paruyr Levonyan and Vicar of the Diocese Archimandrite Yeznik Nerkararyan.

In late June and early July, 1915 T. Nazarbekyan carries out the operation of Kop and entirely crushes the enemy. The commander was complaining of the supply service who being unable to organize the regular supply of the army was in some cases hampering the rapid transmission as the army had to wait for the suppliers to bring food.

The victory gave an opportunity to head for Mush, but on July 8 T. Nazarbekyan got the order to retreat. Alongside with the military units the population also left their homes. The general describes with pain the migration of women and children who were deprived of any means of transport. Many of the soldiers were carrying the children on their shoulders. T. Nazarbekyan once more states that the story of retreat of December, 1914 was repeated, and he again witnessed the torturous and suffering escape of the peaceful population. As it later turned out the cause for the retreat of T. Nazarbekyan’s the 2nd Caucasus Rifle Brigade’s military units was the false report of the commander of Labinsky Kazak regiment.

The retreat of the Russian troops had disastrous effect for the Armenians of VanVaspurakan who had to migrate to Eastern Armenia. And on the same days from the high mountains bordering the field of Mush the fires of burning villages were seen. The intentional retreat of Russian army in July 1915 resulted in the expulsion of Armenians of Van-Vaspurakan and the genocide of Armenians of Taron. Before the eyes of general T. Nazarbekyan the spine of Wes Armenia was broken.


Military activities in Caucasus front since July, 1914 up to April 26, 1916
Copy-book 2: since January 1, 1915 up to May 12, 1915


Ruben O. Sahakyan

Key words – Tovmas Nazarbekyan, Khoy, F. Chernozubov, Hakob Zavriyan, St. Bartholomew monastery, Derik, Dilman, Mukhanjik, Yerevan, Igdir, Smbat Boroyan, Andranik, Abdurrezak, Hakob Choloyan, Van, Shatakh, Armenian governorship of Van, Ishkhan, Aram, Vardan, Dro, Hamazasp, Berkri.

In the second copy-book of memoirs by general T. Nazarbekyan the military activities that took place since January 1 up to May 12,1915 are described. From this part of memoirs of the general three main events can be distinguished: 1. the battle of Dilman, 2. the formation of the Ararat regiment and 3. self- defense of Van and the foundation of governorate.

During Dilman battle that took place on April 16 up to April 18, 1915 general T. Nazarbekyan took brilliant victory over Turkish-Kurdish prevailing forces saving the territory of the viceroy of Caucasus from Turkish invasion. It can be stated without exaggeration that the battle of Dilman in its significance is equal to the battle of Sarighamish. It’s not a coincidence that general T. Nazarbekyan was granted St. Georgi’s 4th level award and the French medal “Médaille militaire”, which is less known to the public.

During the battle the Armenian 1 voluntary group headed by Andranik that was carrying out the defense of one of the important defending positions was distinguished.

In his memoirs the general underlines the formation of the Armenian 5th or Ararat regiment that included the 2nd, 3rd and 4th groups. Due to self-sacrifice of the Armenian volunteers it became possible to help the Armenians in Vaspurakan.

T. Nazarbekyan gives rather detailed information about the reasons and proceedings of the self-defense of the Armenians of Van during April-May of 1915, as well as about the formation of Armenian governorate. He proudly states that the Armenians not having enough forces managed to confront the TurkishKurdish forces. The general believed that the guarantee of the victory was the resistance of the Armenian blocks of Van, namely, Aygestan and Kaghakamej, as well as, of the Armenians of the province of Shatakh.


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.


Part two: New-found Ratifications about the Revolutionary Activity of  Abraham Dastakyan


Mkrtich D. Danielyan

Key words – “ Narodnaya Volya”, “Union of Patriots”, Abraham Dastakyan, Shushi, Tiflis, Christopher Mikaelyan,  the Center of ARF, f uneral of Grigor Artsruni, culprit, punitive measure, confidential police control.

The package of the given documents r eferring to the activity of the Armenian narodniks and national-narodnic organization of 70-80s of the 19th century passes rich information about the member of first governing body,i.e. Center or Central Board of ARF Abraham Dastakyan.

Still in early 1880s A. Dastakyan and his friends, including Chr. Mikaelyan conducted “parallel activities” in Tiflis both among the revolutionary Russian narodniks, as well as, Armenian national-narodnik organizations.  In 1883 A. Dastakyan left for Moscow  and took active participation in the works of  the organization of “Narodnaya Volya” and the center of “Youth Union”. On November 16, 1884 A. Dastakyan was arrested for being the member of this organization and was released on September 11, 1885. Afterwards  on January 22, 1886 due to the highest order he for three years underwent  an open police control in Chakatala, that is, in the place of his mother’s residence. On January 22, 1889 after the expiration of the term A. Dastakyan got m ilder punishment: he appeared under the confidential police control and was forbidden to live in capitals and in the province  of Petersburg. However, even under the control of the police A. Dastakyan continued his active political operations. He alongside with Hovh. Loru-Melikyan, Simon Zavaryan and other figures  affiliated to the left-wing of the organization of “Young Armenia” founded in 1889.  And in 1890,  in the period of Founding meetings of ARF, Dastakyan was elected as the member of its Central Board or Center.

The given published ratifications referring to the revolutionary activity of A. Dastakyan are preserved in the state archive of Russian Federation located in Moscow, in the fund 102 and are for the first time put in the scientific circulation.



Mkrtich D. Danielyan

Key words – Armenian narodniks; national narodnik organization; Police Department; «The Union of Patriots»; ARF Dashnaktsutyun; archive ratifications; Karapet Ter-Khachatryan; leaflet; letter-article; Davit Nersisyan; Tamara Adamyan.

The best representatives of East Armenian youth have actively participated in the heroic and sacrificing struggle of 1870-1880s of Russian narodnikism against the despotism of tsarist Russia by initially joining narodnik then Armenian national-narodnik organizations and groupings. At the crucial moment of transition from the political goals of narodnikism to the issues of Armenian national-liberation movement the best representatives of East Armenian youth in 1882 founded in Moscow the organization of “The Union of Patriots” which in its embryo soon revealed the ideology and main peculiarities of the activity of newly formed organizations and particularly of ARF Dashnaktsutyun. But since this organization, founded in Moscow and subsequently united with the Armenian national-narodnik grouping of Tiflis, has been distinguished by the secretive practices typical for underground structures, the vast majority of the ratifications referring to its history has remained secret for the scientific circles. They are mainly preserved in the Central History State Archive in Moscow, in the State Archive of Russian Federation (Moscow), in the Archive of Russian Foreign Ministry (now the archive of foreign ministry of Russian Empire, Moscow) and in the State Archive of Russia (Saint Petersburg).The first flying sheet of the “Union of the Patriots” entitled “An Invitation for the Armenian Youth” (April, 1882) which the organization has managed to copy with the use of hectograph machines and spread among the youth, the letter-article “The Response of the Former Student to his Fellow-Student”, as well as, the materials on investigations carried out by tsarist Police Department about the revolutionary underground activities of Karapet-Ter-Khachatryan, Davit Nersisyan, Tamara Adamyan and other figures are especially noticable.



Rouben-Prepared by Aram S. Saiyan

The rebellion of Ararat in 1926-1930 isn’t sufficiently studied both in world, Soviet and especially Armenian historical science. One of the main reasons for this is the lack of sources, as well as, the lack of Armenian translation of studies done in foreign languages, especially in Turkish and Kurdish languages.

All this is supplemented by a spacious letter from the prominent figure of the Armenian liberation war, Minister of Defense and Military Forces of the First Republic Rouben (Minas Ter-Minasian).The note entitled “Kurdish Case in Persia” is preserved in the 64th file’s first list of 1048 fund in Armenian National Archive: it’s a detailed report consisting of 34 pages written in the exercise-book and is addressed to ARF’s Bureau. In it Rouben speaks about his special mission carried out in Persia for supporting Ararat’s rebellion. In report the events that took place in spring of 1930, i.e. the process of organizing the Kurdish tribes against the Turks, the military proceedings, as well as, the rebellion’s defeat and the clashes taking place afterwards in some provinces of West Armenia are described in detail.



Mihran A. Minassian

Key words – Armenian Genocide, Syrian Desert, Pap, Meskene, 1915-1916, epidemics, murders.

Publication presents the previously unpublished memoirs of Hovhannes Khacherian, the survivor of the Armenian genocide from Bardizag. The author gives detailed description of the treatment of Armenians in the concentration camp at Pap settlement in Syrian deserted areas at the end 1915 and the beginning of 1916. He describes misery and death reigning there, then gives description of his journey from Pap to Meskene and of the numerous corpses he had seen on his way.

Pap is considered as one of the largest cemeteries of the Armenian nation, where during the years of the Armenian Genocide about 80-100,000 Armenian deportees died as a result of epidemics and unbearable living conditions imposed by the Ottoman empire.

Introductory survey about the Armenian concentration camp at Pap, as well as, numerous explanatory notes are provided.



Aghasi P. Azizian

Key words – «Nemesis», Djemal Pasha, ARF Dashnaktsutyun, Stepan Tsaghikyan, Petros Ter-Poghosyan, Artashes Georgyan, ARFD Central Committee in Georgia, avengers, arrests.

In the fall of 1919 in the capital of independent Armenia – Yerevan, the 9th General Assembly of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun adopted a historic and daring decision to punish the Young Turks responsible for the Armenian Genocide and Musavatists who continued their policy in the Eastern Transcaucasus. This operation went down in history under the name «Nemesis».

On July 21, 1922, the Central Committee of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun of Georgia organized the terror of Djemal Pasha. Member of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun Party – Stepan Tsagikyan from Khotorjur (Sırakonak) was the chief responsible for the implementation of the operation. On his initiative, his compatriot, as well as a member of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun party, excellent marksman Petros Ter-Poghosyan and Artashes Gevorgyan joined the operation. Two members of the committee of the Georgian ARF Dashnaktsutyun center – Koryun Ghazazyan and Tigran Avetisyan, were monitored the work, organized meetings with people who knew Djemal and followed his movements and meetings through a whole network of intelligence officers.

The understandable silence of real heroes in the future served as an occasion for opportunists who were aware of some episodes of this heroic operation, to declare themselves assassins of Djemal. The presented documents undoubtedly confirm that the terror against Jemal was initiated and implemented by the Georgian Central Committee of the ARF Dashnaktsutyun – Dashnaks Stepan Tsaghikyan, Petros Ter-Poghosyan and their compatriot, nonpartisan Artashes Gevorgyan.



Margarita M. Khachatryan

Key words – Hamastegh, Hakob Khashmanyan, Aram Haykaz, concerns of Diaspora Armenians, faith in the future, nostalgia for the homeland, special message to the Armenians around the world.

Hamastegh is one of the prominent figures of Armenian literature in the Diaspora. His rich literary heritage after a whole century makes the reader happy with new ideas. Fortunately, the archive and most part of the books in Armenian of the writer’s library are kept in the Yeghishe Charents Museum of Literature and Art,, Thanks to that it is possible to reach a better understanding of the writer’s inner world through his letters, and to see the origin of his nostalgia that is hard to translate into other languages. Aram Haykaz and Hakob Khashmanyan were friends of Hamastegh. Hamastegh and Hakob Khashmanyan were members of ARF Dashnaktsutyun, and Aram Haykaz was an active supporter, but they skilfully avoided party political barriers, and noted with satisfaction the positive changes that took place in the Soviet Union. However, Hamastegh could not fulfill his dream and he never saw his country in the shadow of Mount Ararat, which is part of the homeland of Armenians, but he was always writing and speakng with pride about the efforts of the Armenian people to preserve and enrich their identity and culture.

In the autumn of 1966, the 70th anniversary of Hamastegh and the 70th anniversary of his literary activities were celebrated. Hamastegh participated in three jubilee events. At this time, the writer was concerned about the guests who came from Soviet Armenia to visit him. The letters will help the reader to understand the problems and disappointments of Armenians living in the United States, as well as their faith in the future of the Armenians.