21/7/1915 Turkey advances against Russia and continues extermination of the Armenians

In eastern Anatolia the Battle of Manzikert continues. The overextended Russians have been thrown back by the reinforced Turks’ counterattacks. The Russians are falling back and the Turks are advancing. Manzikert itself, the centre from which the Russians launched their ill-fated offensive, has fallen to the Turks and other towns will go the same way soon.

The difficulties of communication in the east mean that Nikolai Yudenich, Russia’s overall commander in the Caucasus, only gradually becomes aware of the success of the Turkish counter-attack. Once he learns of the situation, he acts decisively, ordering a retreat to more secure lines to prevent Russian forces from being overwhelmed.

Meanwhile Turkey is continuing to remove the Armenian population from Anatolia. Those who have not been immediately massacred are being despatched on forced marches to remote and inhospitable regions. No provision is being made for their sustenance while they are in transit, so Armenian deportees are dying in large numbers. In many areas, their corpses are lining roadsides. This is causing great annoyance to Mehmed Talaat, the Interior Minister, who writes to provincial authorities. He reminds them that the Armenian dead are to be buried, not left by the roadside or dumped in lakes and rivers.

image source (Wikipedia)

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