Three fateful battles in the history of the Armenian people took place almost simultaneously from May 21 to May 28, 1918. Then, everything was at stake. It was being decided whether the Armenian people would survive or perish forever and disappear from the archives of history, as it had happened with many peoples and nations. In those May days of 1918, the issue of the life or death of Armenians was being resolved.
After the revolution in Russia, Russian troops abandoned the liberated regions of Western Armenia and left the Caucasian front exposed. At the same time, the Turks proceed to the implementation of the Turan Yolu project whose purpose was to seize not only Eastern Armenia but also establish control over the Caucasus. In February 1918, violating all the signed peace agreements, the Turks went on an offensive, burning and killing everything and everyone in their path.
On May 15, 1918, Gyumri fell. Genocide, massacres, mass killings of the civilian Armenian population would soon occur in the territory of Eastern Armenia. The goal of the Turks was simple – to capture Yerevan and a number of cities before the intervention of the world community that at the time was mainly occupied by WWI. Besides, the Turks aimed at killing the entire male population, while children and women were to be driven o Turkey for assimilation.
The offensive of the Turkish troops was carried out in three directions – Karakilisa, Aparan, and Sardarapat. The well-established Turkish military machine trained by German instructors and reinforced by Kurdish cutthroats was opposed by small divisions of the Armenian corps and the Yezidi militia that was covering the retreat of Armenian refugees.
Had the Turkish plan been successful, then the Armenian people would have been exterminated. Of course, the Armenians would have remained in the diasporas of the US, Russia, Lebanon, and Syria, but they would have been representatives of a nation without a homeland.
A short list of those to whom we owe our lives is below.
- Daniel Bek-Pirumyan.
- Poghos Bek-Pirumyan.
- Movses Silikyan.
- Kristapor Araratian.
- Jangir Agha (from the Yezidis).
- Tovmas Nazarbekyan.
- Drastamat Kanayan.
- Sedrak Jalalyan.
- Arsen Ter-Poghosyan.
- Andranik Ozanyan.
- Garegin Nzhdeh.
It was from Sardarapat that Hovhannes Baghramyan, then an unknown lieutenant and a commander of a saber squadron, a native of the Armenian village of Chardakhlu, began his journey. He would become a Marshal of the USSR and Hero of the USSR twice and one of the key contributors to the victory over Nazism.
To stop the hordes of the Turkish bastards, women stood in the front along with the men, tying their babies to their backs. The three battles mentioned above became for the Armenians a truly nationwide war.
At the cost of their lives and colossal human losses, the Armenians saved not only themselves but the entire Caucasus. Had the Turks gone through Armenia, then blood would have poured all over the Caucasus because the Turks would have slaughtered everyone who did not share the Pan-Turan doctrine. Fortunately, this doctrine suffered a crushing collapse in the fields of Sardarapat, Karakilisa, and Bash-Aparan.
I congratulate the fraternal Armenian people on the upcoming 99th anniversary of the victories at Sardarapat, Karakilisa, and Bash-Aparan. Long live free Armenia!
Remember – back then, you were all together. Yerevan, Leninakan, Artsakh – you died and won together. Stay together now – although almost a hundred years have passed, the Armenian people still have to survive and win in the conflict against brutal evil spirits.
Author of the Russian original is not known