The Special Armenian Shock Division of Andranik Ozanyan

The Special Armenian Shock Division

The Special Shock Division, otherwise known as the Special Armenian Infantry Division, the Armenian Special Division, or the Western Armenian Division, was an irregular military unit under the command of Andranik Ozanyan consisting mainly of Armenians.

The Special Shock Division was formed on December 22, 1917, by order of the Russian commander-in-chief in the Caucasus Przhevalsky.

On December 22, 1917, the Special Shock Division was included in the Armenian corps as the Western Armenian Division by order Przhevalsky’s. The Armenian General Andranik Ozanyan was appointed the commander of the division.

Aside from Armenians, the division also included Russian soldiers and officers (mostly Cossacks), Greeks, Assyrians, and Yezidis.

The Special Shock Division consisted of six regiments consolidated in three brigades:

  • First Brigade with the Erzurum and Yerznka regiments.
  • Second Brigade with the Khnus and Karakilisa regiments.
  • Third Brigade with the Van and Zeytun regiments.

The Special Shock Division participated in military operations against the Turks during their invasion of the Transcaucasia, in particular, during the Armenian-Turkish War of 1918.

After the conclusion of the Batumi Treaty, which Andranik did not recognize, the division headed for Zangezur to fight against the local Muslim militia.

In November 1918, Andranik with his division intended to invade Karabakh but was stopped by the British troops that declared the end of WWI.

Disillusioned with the British, Andranik left Zangezur in March 1919. In April 1919, arriving in Etchmiadzin, he disbanded the division under his command and went abroad.




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