The Battle of Karakilisa, May 25-28, 1918 – History of Armenia

The Battle of Karakilisa, May 25-28, 1918 – History of ArmeniaThe forces of the different sides were not equal. Armenian troops in Vanadzor (Վանաձոր) consisted of 6 thousand soldiers, 70 guns, and 20 machine guns, while Turks had 10 thousand soldiers, 70 guns, and 40 machine guns. Fortunately, volunteers from neighboring villages came to the aid of Armenian troops.

Within 3 days (May 25-28), fierce battles on the outskirts of Bazum (Բազում) took place. Both the Armenians and the Turks suffered sensitive losses. On May 26, the Armenian troops occupied Vanadzor and launched a counterattack.

The Turks were forced to retreat but went on an offensive after receiving reinforcements. The Turks occupied Vardanla and then Vanadzor. In the battle for Vanadzor, both sides suffered heavy losses.

Although the Turks managed to capture Vanadzor and murder almost the whole population (about 4 thousand people), they faced strong resistance, as a result of which they decided to not move deeper into Armenia.

During the negotiations after the battle, the commander of the Turkish troops Wehib Pasha in Batum recognized that the Battle of Karakilisa was exceptional in the history of the conflict. Armenians have proved that they can be the best warriors of the world.

Sardarapat, Bash-Aparan, and Karakilisa battles demonstrated the strength of the unity of the Armenians who rose to defend their homeland.

Together with the militia, the Armenian troops prevented the campaigns of the Turkish interventionists to Erivan (Yerevan) and Ararat valley, which allowed for the creation of the First Republic of Armenia.

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