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Cihangir Akşit's Novels

Sarı Sessizlik

Sarı Sessizlik
The disappearance novel
Sarikamish 1914



Colonel Resat Cigiltepe

Colonel Resat Cigiltepe
A 27 year service in
defense of a nation




Savruluş

Scatter







Day Four (25 December 1914)

Sketch

11th Corps:

As of today, Russians began to shift their forces towards Sarikamish. This Corps was tasked to tie down the Russians, but could not do its job perfectly.

Sketch: 25 December 1914
Sketch: 25 December 1914

9th Corps:

Enver Pasha wanted to reach Sarikamish as soon as possible to blockade the withdrawal road for Russians. Therefore, he ordered the units to continue to march without any rest. As you can understand, Enver Pasha was acting as a Corps Commander, namely the Commander of the 9th Corps rather than the Commander in Chief. Thus, several problems began to emerge in the chain of command.

The 29th Division was advancing in the direction of Sarikamish in a tired and dispersed condition. Towards evening, the passage which is 5 km north of the town had been occupied by the Russians. The Russians were drawn back as a result of a night attack with bayonet. But, because it was late in the night and the units were very tired, the attack was abandoned and the soldiers spent the night in the open out in the cold.

Photo: Encirciling manouver through snowy terrain by the 9th and 10th Corps
Photo: Encirciling manouver through snowy terrain by the 9th and 10th Corps

Only two companies advanced up to upper Sarikamish, which is 800 meters from the town. The heroic and pro-active firings of two Russian Artillery officers from the town made the Turkish Pioneers hesitant about the strength of the Russian Forces in the town. The 17th Division continued its forward movement during the night and a major portion of it followed the 29th Division. Finally it reached the forest to the east of the 29th Division in the middle of the night. On the other hand, the 28th Division had already arrived at Bardiz.

Sketch: 25 December 1914
Sketch: 25 December 1914

10th Corps:

The 10th Corps continued to advance in the direction of Kosor – Beyköy to the northeast 12 km more, considering this as a better way. But, since this information or the change made by Hafiz Hakki Pasha at a later time could not be conveyed to Enver Pasha in time, the Commander in Chief could not adjust the timing. There was not enough communication between the corps with the exception of a few cavalry messengers.

Sketch: 25 December 1914
Sketch: 25 December 1914

General Summary:

Both the Russian and the Turkish war historians agree that, it was a missed opportunity for Enver Pasha not to enter Sarikamish that night, his decision not to do so having been influenced by the 9th Corps Headquarters. In addition to this big mistake, it was suicidal for Hafiz Hakki Pasha to change his mind suddenly because of hot pursuit and choose Kosor - Örtülü – Allahuekber – Beyköy direction with an altitude of 3,120 meters. Support units, including sanitary units were all in utter disorder. The number of soldiers in the battalions decreased to about 200 due to the cold weather and the extraordinary terrible blizzard. Temperature was, except the blizzard effect, as low as minus 26 degrees centigrade and worst of all the soldiers had not started to climb Allahuekber Mountains yet.