16/2/1916 Disaster for Turkey as Erzurum falls to Russia

Russian forces under General Yudenich are attacking the fortified Turkish town of Erzurum. A flanking attack allowed the Russians to attack unexpectedly from the north, throwing the Turks into disarray. Yesterday they began to flee Erzurum lest they be surrounded. Now Cossacks ride into Erzurum itself, followed by the rest of the Russians. The Russians capture some 5,000 enemy prisoners, with more likely to follow as they pursue the retreating enemy.

Erzurum was the lynchpin of Turkish defences in eastern Anatolia. Its fall is a disaster for the Turks, undermining their whole position in this theatre. The hasty retreat from Erzurum allows the Russians to capture large numbers of guns and other items of military equipment and other supplies. The Russians also capture several Turkish standards. Turkish losses of men are considerable; to the 5,000 men taken prisoner must be added another 10,000 casualties and as many as 10,000 who have deserted from the army.

Not content to rest on his laurels, Yudenich now prepares to press on and exploit the advantage his men have gained.

image sources:

Cossacks in Erzurum (Shot in the Dark)

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