In Saint-Chamond on May 5, 2010, a memorial ceremony was held for Admiral Louis Dartige du Fournet. In 1915, he organized the evacuation of the 4080 defenders of Musa Dagh. Instead of waiting for a permission from the Minister of War of France, he took the initiative and transported them to Port Said (Egypt). Admiral’s grave was discovered by the descendants of the Armenians saved by him.
Mayor of Saint-Chamond Claude Foret was present at the ceremony as well. A monument was erected on the admiral’s grave. The ensemble “Narekatsi” gave a concert in memory of the admiral in the church of Saint-Chamond.
In 1915, when the Armenian Genocide was being carried out in the Ottoman Empire, the residents of the 6 villages at the foot of Musa Dagh ascended the mountain to defend themselves. The inhabitants of the villages were first pushed into the city of Antakya.
Then, when the Ottoman troops approached, they under the leadership of Movses Ter-Galustyan, a former officer of the Ottoman army, ascended the mountain Musa Dagh where they would take defensive positions.
There were only a few hundred rifles at the disposal of the defenders. In spite of the numerical superiority of the Turkish troops, the defenders of the mountain have fought off for 53 days before being rescued by French warships.
The defense of Musa-Dagh is described in the novel “The Forty Days of Musa-Dagh” by Austrian writer Franz Werfel. The novel was translated into many languages of the world.