26/12/1914 Turkey’s advance on Sarikamish runs into problems

Ismail Enver, Turkey’s Minister of War, is leading an attack on the Russian military base of Sarikamish in eastern Anatolia. The plan of attack is bold, calling for units to move at great speed to outflank the Russians. Things are unfortunately not going entirely to plan. Turkish forces are struggling to keep to the schedule set by Enver. By now they have outrun their supply lines and many Turkish soldiers are out of food. The cold of winter is exacting a terrible toll, not helped by Enver’s decision to speed the advance of the troops who have to go furthest by denying them winter coats and equipment. The Turks are dying of exposure in very large numbers.

And yet, the Russians are rattled by the Turkish advance. The overall commander has panicked and fled to the fortress city of Kars, ordering the rest of the Russian army to follow. But his subordinate, General Nikolai Yudenich, is more confident. He believes that Sarikamish can be held and a defeat inflicted on the Turks. He resolves to stand and fight.

image source (Wikipedia)

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