Daniel Bek-Pirumyan – Heroes of Sardarapat

Daniel Bek-Pirumyan – Heroes of SardarapatThe victories of May 1918 over the troops of the Ottoman army are among the greatest achievements of the Armenian nation. One of the Armenian commanders in the Battle of Sardarapat was colonel Daniel Bek-Pirumyan. With his name is connected a remarkable event, as told by one of the battle’s participants Alexander Schneur.

Since 9 AM of May 27, the Armenian artillery has been striking the positions of the opponent on the main front of Sardarapat, and especially the positions 440 and 449. Thanks to this, Armenians suppressed the artillery and machine gun units of the Ottomans. The Armenian troops then proceeded to approach the Turkish positions, awaiting the redeployment of other Armenian forces for the final attack.

In this decisive moment, Bek-Pirumyan put on his military uniform inside out and rushed to the front to personally lead the attack. It was at this moment when the Armenian Khznauzi unit bypassed the left Turkish flank, turned towards the south, and got into the rear of the positions 440 and 449.

After this brilliant redeployment, the main Armenian units commenced their attack along the central direction. By 14 PM, Armenians have managed to seize those and neighboring heights thanks to the regiment from Yerznka.

Alexander Schneur wrote: “The rows (Armenian troops) stood up and charged forward, shouting ‘hooray!’ The Turks panicked because the unit that had flanked them opened fire at them and their supplies. The Turkish military would eventually flee, leaving their armament and also their wounded and killed comrades. The battle was won. Armenia is safe.”

Colonel Bek-Pirumyan would greatly contribute to the establishment of the Armenian army and hold many offices in the armed forces. In 1918, 58 years old Bek-Pirumyan received the rank of major general: in fact, he was one of the first Armenian officers to receive this rank. In March 1919, he received the rank of lieutenant general and was appointed the military commandant of Kars.

After the fall of Kars in October 1920, Bek-Pirumyan was captured by the Turks. In January 1921, he was sent to Alexandropol to be subsequently turned in to the 11th Army. Several days later, the noble commander along with other high-ranked Armenian leaders was executed by the Bolsheviks on the route between Karakilisa and Dilijan. The body of Bek-Pirumyan was then secretly moved to Etchmiadzin, where it would be buried at the cemetery of the Church of St. Gayane.

by Ruben Shukhyan

Daniel Bek-Pirumyan.
Daniel Bek-Pirumyan.
The gravestone atop Bek-Pirumyan’s grave at the cemetery of the St. Gayane Church.

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