Battle of Erzurum

(150 words)

Historical Context Note

  • The Literary Encyclopedia. Volume Ottoman Writing and Culture, 1453-1922.

In the winter of 1915-16, whilst British Imperial and French forces fought in Gallipoli to open maritime passage through the Dardanelles and Bosphorus to the Black Sea, Russian Imperial forces advanced into eastern Anatolia through Georgia. On 10th January 1916 they invested the important fortress-city of Erzurum. The timing was not ideal since on 9th January the British and French withdrew from Gallipoli. Nonetheless, the Russian forces of more than 300,000 outnumbered the Ottoman forces 3-to-1 and were able to take the undermanned city defences before reinforcements could arrive.

The battle features at the end of John Buchan’s famous novel Greenmantle which was published in the same year. Buchan had never visited …

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Clark, Robert. "Battle of Erzurum". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 11 March 2013
[, accessed 24 September 2016.]