17/1/1916 Anatolia: Koprukoy falls to the Russians

Russia’s General Yudenich has launched a winter offensive against Turkish forces in eastern Anatolia. After first luring enemy forces away with diversionary attacks he then launched his forces against the important frontline town of Köprüköy. Turkish forces offered a stout resistance but found themselves increasingly in danger of encirclement. Yesterday they withdrew from the town and now the victorious Russians enter Köprüköy.

The Turks fall back on Erzurum, the main target of Yudenich’s offensive. The Turks have been battered in the fighting for Köprüköy, losing some 20,000 of the 65,000 men they have to defend this sector. Erzurum is however heavily fortified and the Turks are confident that they can hold it no matter what Yudenich sends against them. They also hope that the terrible conditions of the Anatolian winter will slow the Russian advance.

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