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Russians in Persia


jony663
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As General Townsend was advancing towards Baghdad, and the eventual siege at Kut, the Russians had a large cavalry component operating in northwest Persia. This force was southwest of Tabriz. Other than a mention in the official history I can find little else about it. Can anyone help in pointing me in the right direction for researching this force?

Thank you

Jonathan

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I was recently reading the memoirs of a British consul in Iraq during WW1 (and again in WW2) and I think he says something about this - but not very much. I'll check the book when home.

Trajan

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OK, in the 'World War in Iraq', by Sir Claremont Skrine, Constable, London, 1962, p. xix - but not much!

In 1914:

"A Turkish column under a swashbuckling general called Rauof Bey marched up the Kermanshah road from Baghdad, raping and pillaging. To counter this threat to their zone [i,e, the Russian zone within north Persia] the Tsar's government sent a military force across the Caucasian frontier, and the two enemies began a confused campaign which was to sway backwards and forwards across strategic Ajerbaijan, Gilan and Kurdistan for the next two years"

That's all, I'm afraid. But if you can find more on the "swashbuckling general called Rauof Bey" you might find more.

Trajan

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The best source for detailed information on Russian operations in Persia is Caucasian Battlefields: A History of the Wars on the Turco-Caucasian border 1828-1921 by Allen & Muratoff. This book has been reprinted, so is pretty easy to find. The 1999 Battery Press edition has all the maps. I don't know about the later reprints. You need to insure you find a copy with all the maps.

Jeff

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  • 11 months later...

There evidently was a group of 'Persian Cossacks' in northern Persia at the outbreak of war in 1914. The Germans tried to persuade Enver to make contact with them and influence them in favour of an uprising in Persia, but he responded that that would be almost impossible because of the fact that they were located in the Russian-controlled area in the north. The Germans also wanted the Turks to get in touch with the 'Persian gendarmerie' which was receiving training from before 1914 by a Swedish advisory mission. There evidently was more success there because the Germans managed to employ their influence with the Swedish military such that it was even arranged that Swedish officers would be rewarded with commissions in the Prussian Army!

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