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Aras War
Part of Armenian–Azerbaijani war
Armenian troops in Nakhchivan
DateMay 1919 - Mid June 1919
LocationNakhchivan
Result Armenian Victory
Territorial
changes
Annexation of the Republic of Aras by Armenia
Belligerents
Flag of the Democratic Republic of Armenia First Republic of Armenia

Flag of the Republic of Aras Republic of Aras

Supported by:
Commanders and leaders
Armenia Drastamat Kanayan
Armenia Andranik Ozanian
Flag of the Republic of Aras Jafargulu Khan Nakhchivanski
Flag of the Republic of Aras Kalb Ali Khan Nakhichevanskiy
Strength
18,000[1] 6,000[2]
Casualties and losses
Light[2] Heavy[2]

The Aras War was a military conflict which was fought by the First Republic of Armenia, whom had lost the region of Nakhchivan following Muslim uprisings which led to the formation of the Republic of Aras under Jafargulu Khan Nakhchivanski whom worked closely with the Azerbaijani Democratic Republic, due to the British Chief Commissioner Sir John Oliver Wardrop's decision to assign the region to Armenia.[3][4] The war lasted from May 1919 until mid-June 1919, with the Republic of Aras forced into a capitulation following the capture of Nakhchivan.[5][6][7]

Background[]

Erivan Governorate[]

The Erivan Governorate was a province of the Caucasus Viceroyalty of the Russian Empire which existed from 1849 until 1917, it held control over most of Modern-day Armenia, including the region of Nakhchivan.[8] Within this Governorate, many ethnicities existed with the two largest ones being the Armenians and Tatars (Azerbaijanis), these two ethnic groups were immensely hostile to each other, which regularly resulted to internal clashes.[9] The biggest clash occurred in 1905-1907 during the Armenian-Tatar Massacres of 1905-1907, this event had up to ten thousand casualties and further fueled the distrust and unrest between these two ethnic groups.[10][11]

Nakhichevan Uyezd of Erivan Governorate

Map showcasing the Erivan Governorate with Nakhchivan highlighted in red

Caucasus Campaign[]

The Caucasus Campaign was a conflict which was fought within the Caucasian region and the Armenian Highlands following the outbreak of World War One, it was primarily fought between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, the Russian army had captured significant territories within the Ottoman Empire such as Trebizond, Erzurum, Bitlis and Van.[12] However, Russian dominance on the frontier halted following internal turmoil caused by the February Revolution, and by 1918 the Russians would be defeated in the region and forced into signing the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk.[13] The signing of the treaty would mark the beginning of major clashes in the Caucasus, with newly formed Caucasian states including Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan quickly entering wars with hopes of gaining territories within the region whom were claimed by their governments.[3][14][1]

Russian-Caucas-Front-1916

Map showcasing the Caucasus Front

Armenian-Azerbaijani War[]

File:Armenian Troops in 1918.jpg

Armenian Troops during the 1918 Armenian-Azerbaijani War

Army of Azerbaijan in 1918

Azerbaijani Troops during the 1918 Armenian-Azerbaijani War

The on-going Armenian-Azerbaijani war of 1918-1920 a significant impact on the foundation of the Republic of Aras, which was ruled by Azerbaijani officials within Nakhchivan who were supported by Azerbaijan during the war.[3][15] The region of Nakhchivan itself had a population which composed of 81,191 Azerbaijanis and 54,209 Armenians, the two ethnic groups have had a long history of internal unrest within the region, which eventually led to Azerbaijani uprisings in Nakhchivan, and the creation of the Republic of Aras.[16][17][1][18]

War[]

Andranik Zangezur 1918

Andranik Ozanian in 1918

Kelbali Khan Nakhchivanskiy

Kelbali Khan Nakhchivanskiy, War Minister of Aras during the war

Դրաստամատ Կանայան (Դրո) - Drastamat Kanayan (Dro), 01

Drastamat Kanayan, main commander of Armenian forces in Nakhchivan

Fighting began in May 1919, with 18.000 Armenian troops under the command of Drastamat Kanayan and Andranik Ozanian preparing for an offensive into Nakhchivan. However, this would quickly be stopped following the establishment of a British governorshop in the district in order to prevent further clashes between the Armenians and Azerbaijanis.[19] However, the British attempt at preventing a war in Nakhchivan would quickly be halted due to Sir William Montgomerie Thomson's suspicions, who believed that the Republic of Aras was under the influence of Pan-Turkism, and attempted to create a land connection between the Ottoman Empire and Azerbaijan.[20] The Armenian invasion plans were thus approved by the British, the Armenians began their offensives on late May 1919, quickly making significant gains within the region, as the Armenian troops had taken Sadarak, Kangarli and Sharur back within a week.[21] The outnumbered Azerbaijanis had little to no chance against the much better armed and trained Armenians, and by June 1919 the Armenians had seized most of northern and western Nakhchivan, with Kanayan's and Ozanian's forces continuing a direct offensive through the southern districts of Nakhchivan following the local railway directly to the capital of the Republic of Aras, Nakhchivan.[22] Kanayan's and Ozanian's forces would succeed, as Nakhchivan would be directly attacked by Armenian troops in early-June, the city of Nakhchivan would fall in mid-June following the Battle of Nakhchivan and thus the Republic of Aras capitulated, with remaining parts of the Nakhchivan region being captured by Armenian forces shortly following the capitulation of Aras.[23][24]

File:Nakhchivan (in orange).jpg

Nakhchivan highlighted in Orange

Aftermath[]

Staff of armenian volunteers 1914

General Drastamat Kanayan with a group of Armenian troops

Following the war, the Armenians would annex the territories of the Republic of Aras, effectively integrating the former state into the First Republic of Armenia.[3] The Aras War would also mark the ending of the Muslim uprisings in Armenia, with the Armenians having quelled the Muslim attempt at seizing both Nakhchivan and Kars.[25] Due to Drastamat Kanayan's presence in this conflict and many more he is considered by many Armenians a national hero of Armenia, who assisted in the creation of the First Republic of Armenia and the protection of its border. However, only a year after the Aras War the Soviet Union would invade Armenia, taking Nakhchivan in the process and ending Armenian political presence within the region.[26][27]

References[]

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (1920). "New Republics in the Caucasus: Armenia, Azerbaidjan, and Georgia: Their Mutual Relations and Their Present Status". pp. 491–498. ISSN 2641-080X. JSTOR 45325199. https://www.jstor.org/stable/45325199. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 The Republic of Armenia Volume 2. p. 64.  Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ReferenceA" defined multiple times with different content Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; name "ReferenceA" defined multiple times with different content
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 3.3 Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Andrew Andersen". http://www.conflicts.rem33.com/images/Armenia/disp.htm. 
  4. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Армяно-азербайджанские конфликты 1919-1920 гг.". http://www.hrono.ru/sobyt/1919arm.html. 
  5. Babayev, Rafael (2010). "AZƏRBAYCAN XALQ CÜMHURİYYƏTİ VƏ NAXÇIVAN". https://nakhchivan.preslib.az/ebooks/1.pdf. 
  6. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918-1919.. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press.. ISBN 978-0520019843. 
  7. Mediamax. "Պայքար Նախիջեւանի համար" (in hy). https://republic.mediamax.am/story/117. 
  8. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Эриванская губерния / Энциклопедия Брокгауза и Эфрона". http://gatchina3000.ru/brockhaus-and-efron-encyclopedic-dictionary/119/119474.htm. 
  9. Zürcher, Erik-Jan. Identity politics in Central Asia and the Muslim world. I.B.Tauris, 2001. "Until the 1905—6 Armeno-Tatar (the Azeris were called Tatars by Russia) war, localism was the main tenet of cultural identity among Azeri intellectuals.". ISBN 9781860642616. 
  10. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (2023-06-13). "Azerbaijan | History, People, & Facts | Britannica" (in en). https://www.britannica.com/place/Azerbaijan. 
  11. Times, London Times-- New York (1905-06-23). "BUTCHERY IN THE CAUCASUS.; A State of Civil War -- 30,000 Combatants of Various Races." (in en-US). The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. https://www.nytimes.com/1905/06/23/archives/butchery-in-the-caucasus-a-state-of-civil-war-30000-combatants-of.html. 
  12. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Caucasus" (in en). http://turkeyswar.com/campaigns/caucasus/. 
  13. Serge, Victor (1972). Year One of The Russian Revolution.. Chicago: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. p. 193.. ISBN 0-7139-0135-7. 
  14. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). he Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918–1919. Vol. 1.. Berkeley: University of California Press.. ISBN 978-0520019843. 
  15. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£. "Армяно-азербайджанские конфликты 1919-1920 гг.". http://www.hrono.ru/sobyt/1919arm.html. 
  16. Babayev, Rafael (2010). "AZƏRBAYCAN XALQ CÜMHURİYYƏTİ VƏ NAXÇIVAN". https://nakhchivan.preslib.az/ebooks/1.pdf. 
  17. Republic of Égyptien Q42 user:mgbtrust0 ®™✓©§∆∆∆€¢£ (2015-06-17). "Transcaucasia" (in en-US). https://soviethistory.msu.edu/1921-2/transcaucasia/. 
  18. (in ru) Кавказский календарь .... на 1917 год. https://www.prlib.ru/item/417322. 
  19. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918-1919.. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press.. ISBN 978-0520041868. 
  20. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918-1919.. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press.. ISBN 978-0520019843. 
  21. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918-1919.. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press.. ISBN 978-0520041868. 
  22. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918-1919.. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press.. ISBN 978-0520019843. 
  23. Babayev, Rafael (2010). "AZƏRBAYCAN XALQ CÜMHURİYYƏTİ VƏ NAXÇIVAN". https://nakhchivan.preslib.az/ebooks/1.pdf. 
  24. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918-1919.. Vol. 1. Berkeley: University of California Press.. ISBN 978-0520019843. 
  25. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1971). The Republic of Armenia: The First Year, 1918-1919. Vol 1.. Berkeley: University of California Press.. ISBN 978-0520019843. 
  26. says, Tigran. "The Life and Time of General Dro – Asbarez.com" (in en-US). https://asbarez.com/the-life-and-time-of-general-dro/. 
  27. Hovannisian, Richard G. (1974). "Dimensions of Democracy and Authority in Caucasian Armenia, 1917-1920". pp. 37–49. Digital object identifier:10.2307/127620. ISSN 0036-0341. JSTOR 127620. https://www.jstor.org/stable/127620. 
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