Military Wiki
Prince Abbas Mirza
شاهزاده عباس ميرزا
Prince Abbas Mirza, 1821
Succeeded by Mohammad Mirza
Personal details
Born (1789-08-26)August 26, 1789
Nava, Mazandaran
Died October 25, 1833(1833-10-25) (aged 44)
Mashhad, Iran

Abbas Mirza (عباس میرزا in Persian) born in Nava village of Mazandaran (September of 1789 – October 25, 1833),[1] was a Qajar crown prince of Persia. He developed a reputation as a military commander during wars with Russia and the Ottoman Empire,[2] as an early modernizer of Persia's armed forces and institutions, and for his death before his father, Fath Ali Shah. Abbas was an intelligent prince, possessed some literary taste, and is noteworthy on account of the comparative simplicity of his life.


He was a younger son of Fath Ali Shah, but on account of his mother's royal birth was destined by his father to succeed him. Entrusted with the government of the Azerbaijan region of Persia,[1] he sought to rule it in European fashion, and employed officers to reorganize his army. He was soon at war with Russia (Russo-Persian War (1804–13)), and his aid was eagerly solicited by both England and Napoleon, anxious to checkmate one another in the East. Preferring the friendship of France, Abbas Mirza continued the war against Russia's General Kotlyarevsky, but his new ally could give him very little assistance. Kotlyarevsky defeated the numerically superior (30,000)[3] Persian army in the Battle of Aslanduz and in October, 1813, Persia was compelled to make a disadvantageous peace, ceding some territory in the Caucasus (present-day Georgia, Dagestan, and most of the what most recently became the Republic of Azerbaijan).

These losses forced Abbas to rethink his strategy, and he started sending his students to Europe for military training. In 1811 and 1815, two groups were sent to Britain, and in 1812 a printing press was established in Tabriz to reprint European military handbooks. Tabriz also saw a gunpowder factory and a munitions depot.[1] The training continued with constant drilling by British advisers.

He gained some victories during the Ottoman–Persian War (1821–1823), resulting in a peace treaty signed in 1823 after the Battle of Erzurum. The war was a victory for Persia, especially considering they were outnumbered, and this gave much needed confidence to his forces. His second war with Russia, which began in 1826, started off on a good note as he won back most of the territory lost in the Russo-Persian War (1804–13); however it ended in a string of costly defeats after which Persia was forced to cede nearly all of its Armenian territories and Nakhchivan. The losses affected Abbas Mirza severely and his health began to suffer. He also lost enthusiasm for any more military reform.[1] In 1833, he sought to restore order in the province of Khorasan, which was nominally under Persian supremacy, and while engaged in the task died at Mashhad in 1833. In 1834 his eldest son, Mohammed Mirza, succeeded Fath Ali Shah as the next king. R. G. Watson (History of Persia, 128-9) describes him as “the noblest of the Qajar race”.[4]

He is most remembered for his valor in battle and his failed attempts to modernize the Persian army. He was not successful in part due to the lack of government centralization in Iran during the era. Furthermore, it was Abbas Mirza who first dispatched Iranian students to Europe for a western education.[5]

Abbas Mirza


  • Prince Mohammed Mirza, to become Mohammad Shah Qajar
  • Prince Bahram Mirza Mo'ez ed-Dowleh
  • Prince Djahangir Mirza
  • Prince Bahman Mirza
  • Prince Fereydoun Mirza Nayeb-ol-Eyaleh
  • Prince Eskandar Mirza
  • Prince Khosrow Mirza
  • Prince Ghahreman Mirza
  • Prince Ardeshir Mirza Rokn ed-Dowleh
  • Prince Ahmad Mirza Mo'in ed-Dowleh

    Abbas Mirza's sons

  • Prince Ja'far Gholi Mirza
  • Prince Mostafa Gholi Mirza
  • Prince Soltan Morad Mirza Hessam-al-Saltaneh
  • Prince Manouchehr Mirza
  • Prince Farhad Mirza Mo'tamed ed-Dowleh
  • Prince Firouz Mirza Nosrat ed-Dowleh
  • Prince Khanlar Mirza Ehtesham ed-Dowleh
  • Prince Bahador Mirza
  • Prince Mohammad Rahim Mirza
  • Prince Mehdi Gholi Mirza
  • Prince Hamzeh Mirza Heshmat ed-Dowleh
  • Prince Ildirim Bayazid Mirza
  • Prince Lotfollah Mirza Shoa'a ed-Dowleh
  • Prince Mohammad Karim Mirza
  • Prince Ja'ffar Mirza
  • Prince Abdollah Mirza

See also

Notes and references

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Abbas Mirza". Encyclopedia Britannica. I: A-Ak - Bayes (15th ed.). Chicago, IL: Encyclopedia Britannica, Inc.. 2010. pp. 10. ISBN 978-1-59339-837-8. 
  2. Chambers Biographical Dictionary, ISBN 0-550-18022-2, page 1
  3. Farrokh, Kaveh. Iran at War. Osprey Publishing. Retrieved 31 August 2013. 
  4. Lockhart, L. "Abbas Mirza." Encyclopaedia of Islam. Edited by: P. Bearman , Th. Bianquis , C.E. Bosworth , E. van Donzel and W.P. Heinrichs. Brill, 2007
  5. Patrick Clawson and Michael Rubin. Eternal Iran. Palgrave Macmillan. 2005. ISBN 1-4039-6276-6 p.34
  • The Persian Encyclopedia, articles on Abbas Mirza, Persia-Russia Wars, Persia-Ottoman wars, Golestan Treaty, and Torkaman-Chay Treaty.
  • Modern Iran. Keddie, Nikki.

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