Battle of Kara Killisse (1915)

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The Battle of Kara Killisse (Lit. Black church, Turkish: Karakilise Muharebesi), also known as the Battle of Malazgirt, was a battle on the Caucasus front in July 1915 after the Battle of Manzikert.[2] In Russian historical literature, this engagement is considered as a part of "Alashkert defensive operation" (9 July-3 August). Previously in the summer of 1915 the Russians attacked Turkish positions northeast of lake Van but they underestimated the size of their enemy. They were defeated at the Battle of Manzikert. This success encouraged the Turks under Abdul Kerim Pasha to advance towards the Russians in the Eleşkirt valley while the Turks were pursuing the remnants of Oganovki's army across the Ağrı mountains they spread out and Russian general Yudenich took the opportunity to counterattack from the west with some 20.000 reinforcements mostly Cossack units to encircle them. in the following battles between 5–8 August the Turks retreated south but the Russians succeeded only partially. The Turks lost some guns, large provisions and 10.000 killed and wounded and 6.000 became prisoners.[3] Due to difficulties the Russians could not gain total advantage and retreated from the town of Van and Turks occupied it on 3 August.

Battle of Kara Killisse
Date27–31 July 1915
Result Strategically Indecisive, Tactical Russian victory[1]
 Russian Empire  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Russian Empire Nikolai Yudenich Ottoman Empire Abdul Kerim Pasha
40,000 Caucasus Army 40,000 Third Army
Casualties and losses
Unknown Heavy

Effect on Russian moraleEdit

While the battle was indecisive, and the ground situation changed little, the Russian perceived the battle as a victory, and it boosted national Russian morale. This minor victory provided some respite to the continuing losses on the Eastern Front


  1. ^ World War I: encyclopedia, Ed. Spencer Tucker and Priscilla Mary Roberts, (ABC-CLIO, 2005), 740; "...Yudenich's accomplishment at Malazgirt proved to be the sole victory of the year for Russian troops."
  2. ^ Clodfelter, Micheal (2002). Warfare and Armed Conflicts: A Statistical Reference to Casualty and Other Figures, 1500-2000. McFarland. p. 460. ISBN 0-7864-1204-6.
  3. ^ Spencer Tucker, The Great War, 1914-1918, (University College London Press, 1998), 179.

Spencer Tucker,The Great War, 1914–1918, page 179