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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Sarıkamış remembered


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Yes one of those strange battles where both sides fought each other to a stand still?


The Ottoman 3rd Army was so destroyed that it could do nothing for months, while the Russian Army in victory never took advantage of its gains and remained in place for a year during the vital months of fighting at Gallipoli.


It was not till 1916 that they followed up that victory an took the main Cities in that area.



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8 hours ago, James A Pratt III said:

There is a fine book called "Caucasian Battlefields 1828-1923"

Thanks for the tip James

but a little too fine (expensive  :unsure:) for me at the present 

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Archaeological field surveys in some parts of the region have reported traces of entrenchments and war-related material but I have never checked myself. Should do at some point as my wife's family hail from Kemah (settled there substantially post 1915!) and I could with a re-visit to the area (also a nice complete and unexcavated Roman legionary fortress just over the hills at Satal!)


All in all, though, despite Enver 'Pasha's' crass stupidity in involving chaps in a winter campaign there, I AM impressed by the way the Ottoman command and logistics chappies shifted so many troops from west to east for the whole affair in such a short time!

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While the numbers of dead given by this artical appear incorrect of those lost to the Ottoman 3rd Army all accounts give that at lest two thirds of the whole force was lost either killed or wounded or prisoners.


Some thing I gave of the 11th Corps


11th Corps is shown as

Galip Pasa (Pasinler) 1914 to 1-15 - Gen Abdül Kerim Pasa (Öpelimi) 3-15
Deputy - Ali Ihsan (Sabis) 1915 

Garrison Van 1914 - 33rd Div at Van - 34th Div at Bitlis (and 18th Div at Harput + three border bns & four Jandarma bns + 11th Cav Bde) - shown Erickson Nov 1914 3rd Army 11th Corps (22273 men 16 Mgs 94 guns) - battles Hudut-Koprukoy-Azap on Nov 1st-Dec 19th 1914 fought 1st battle at Köprüköy 7-11-14 and 2nd battle at Köprüköy 12-11-14 defeated at Sarikamis Dec 1914

Corps Arty & support units

11th Horse Arty Bn 2xBttys (8x 75mm guns) possibly with 11 Cav Bde

25th Cav Regt (1914) 11th Eng Bn - 11th Train Bn - 11th Sig Co - 11th Model Bn

What there total losses were after these battles are not mentioned but Erickson does list the 11th Corps strength 24 March 1915 as

261 officers and 7,806 men

so if 22,273 in Oct 1914 its loses between these dates can be found to be possibly around 14,000 all ranks


Clearly the 3rd Army was not fully moblieized at the start of the war and many units were not at full strength, the four Reserve Cavalry Div's of Trible cavalry mustered about 2000 men per Division and the regular 2nd Cavalry Div was also not at full strength.


Not mentioned are the many Frontier units and Jandarma units that operated on the front during this time and there losses


The poor showing of these Triblal units forced the quick disbandment of many of these units, as many men didn't show up fight or deserted soon after the fighting.



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  • 3 years later...


Turkey likes to use that figure of 60,000 in the battle, clearly the records don't show that number lost during the few months of fighting.

While losses appear to be very heavy, and the number killed, possibly are close to half that number.

Then add the wounded, prisoners, then deserters and others of locals who didn't want to fight, then the numbers come possibly close to that number in three Corps of the 3rd Army.

Not frozen to death in the wastes

But all countries like to keep there own numbers.

The old John Wayne movie quote comes to mind, when the legend become fact, print the legend


Edited by stevebecker
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