Richard Wyndham Graves: An Armenian is a Skillful and Resistant Fighter

Richard Wyndham Graves: An Armenian“I mention this case [an example of Armenian courage] in order to correct a completely erroneous view that still exists in some British circles regarding Armenians. Namely, that an Armenian – as Kenning’s “poor grinder” – is only “miserable scum”, “a poor fellow whom no oppression can induce to revenge.”

In the meantime, over the years, I could be convinced that this is a fighter, skillful and resistant, who, if given an honest opportunity, will not disgrace himself in comparison with any of the neighboring nations.

An absurd and stupid opinion of him is held mainly in the circles of sailors and military as a consequence of the Crimean War, when the “kind guy” Turk was our ally, while Eastern Christians who sympathized our opponents – not without reason – were called sons of bitches and dogs.

At the same time, centuries of oppression were not taken into account, when Armenians were forbidden to raise arms even for self-defense, and when they were forced to survive to the best of their abilities and capabilities under the yoke of the ruthless and dishonest.”

At the time when these words were written, Armenians had already proven that they could be skilled soldiers and administrators in the service of the sultan, under the Khedive of Egypt, and in the 19th century under Russian Tsars. Suffice it to recall the role of Nubar Pasha in Egypt and the heroism of General A. Tergukasov (1819–1881). In the Russian-Turkish War of 1877–1878, there is a more well-known name — Count M.T. Loris-Melikov (1825–1888), a renowned warrior and minister of internal affairs of Russia under Tsar Alexander II.

At the end of WWI, the partisan General Andranik performed miracles of bravery in a fight against the superior forces of the Turkish army. During World War II, at least 106 Armenians – soldiers, sailors, and pilots – were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. 60 Armenian officers became admirals, generals, and marshals of the Soviet Union. The most famous of them are Marshal Ivan Baghramyan, Admiral of the Fleet I.S. Isakov, and Air Marshal S.А. Khudyakov.

Excerpt from “Armenians – Creator people” by David Marshall Lang

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