11/2/1916 Erzurum: Russia attacks Turkey’s impregnable fortress

Russian forces under General Yudenich have defeated the Turks at Köprüköy in eastern Anatolia. Now the Russians move against the Turkish town of Erzurum. Erzurum is heavily fortified and believed by many to be impregnable. Yudenich however plans to show the Turks otherwise.

Instead of advancing directly on Erzurum from Köprüköy and attacking the strongest enemy defences, Yudenich sends his men on a flanking march to attack Erzurum from the more mountainous north of the city, where the defences are weaker. Learning from the Turkish disaster of Sarikamish last year, Yudenich has made careful efforts to keep his troops adequately supplied. He has had the railway extended from Sarikamish and has widened the road from Köprüköy to increase the number of motor vehicles it can carry. He has also brought in aircraft to provide aerial reconnaissance, a novelty on the Caucasus front.

Now the Russians attack. The Turks are stunned by the direction of the attack. In bitter hand to hand fighting the Russians seize one of Erzurum’s key outer forts, leaving the way clear for further gains tomorrow.

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