Battle of Bitlis

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Battle of Bitlis
Битлисское сражение
Antranik in Bitlis 1917.jpg
Date July 1915–August 1916
Location Bitlis Vilayet, Ottoman Empire
Result Russian victory
 Russian Empire  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Nikolai Yudenich
Andranik Ozanian
Tovmas Nazarbekian
Ahmed Izzet Pasha
Mustafa Kemal Pasha
Faik Pasha  
Russian Caucasus Army
Armenian fedayi
Second Army
Kurdish tribesmen

The Battle of Bitlis refers to a series of engagements in the summer of 1916 for the town of Bitlis and to a lesser extent nearby Moush, between Russian Imperial forces and their Ottoman counterparts.

The first military confrontation at Bitlis occurred in July 1915, when Russian troops launched an unsuccessful assault on the town's fortifications. The second confrontation began in February 1916 and ended with the capture of Bitlis by new Russian corps, which largely consisted of the 1st Battalion of the Armenian volunteer units under the command of Andranik Ozanian. The town was the last stronghold of the Ottoman Empire to prevent the Russians from entering in Anatolia and Mesopotamia. After their defeat, the Ottoman Army gave Mustafa Kemal the organization of the defense of the region. The Ottomans, however, were quickly overwhelmed, and after resistance from 1–9 August 1916, the entire region fell to the Russian Empire and Armenian volunteers.[citation needed][clarification needed]


  • The Berlin-Baghdad Express: the Ottoman Empire and Germany's bid for world power, Sean McMeekin, page 243