Trebizond Campaign

The Trebizond Campaign, also known as the Battle of Trebizond, was a series of successful Russian naval and land operations that resulted in the capture of Trabzon. It was the logistical step after the Erzerum Campaign. Operations began on February 5 and concluded when the Ottoman troops abandoned Trabzon on the night of April 15, 1916.[1]

Trebizond Campaign
Part of World War I
DateFebruary 5- April 15, 1916
Result Russian victory
 Russian Empire  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Russian Empire Nikolai Yudenich Ottoman Empire Vehip Pasha
Russian Caucasus Army Third Army
Casualties and losses
Unknown Unknown

Lazistan OffensiveEdit


  • 1916 –
    • 2nd half of January; Russians occupied the territory between the coruh and the Russian frontier. Makriali was taken.
    • January 17–20; Russian destroyers crushed a large number of Turkish sailing crafts along Lazistan coast that were supplying Turkish army.[2]
    • February; Turkistanski Regiments occupied Hopa.
    • February 5; Russian squadron heavily damaged Turkish trenches beyond the Arhavi river.
    • February 6: Turks abandoned their lines, leaving 500 dead behind.
    • February 15–16: The same sequence of events was repeated at Vitze. Turks retrenched behind the Buyuk-dere river. Several Turkish battalions reinforced Rize from Trebizond. General Lyakhov in conference with naval officers accepted proposal to land infantry (2 battalions with 2 mountain guns) in the rear of the Turkish position.
    • March 4–5; Rostislav and the gunboats Kubanetz and Donetz supported the amphibious landing at Atina.[3] Turks on the Buyuk-dere position fled into the mountains.
    • March 6–7; The landing operation was repeated at Mapavri and met with only slight resistance.
    • March 8; Russians occupied Rize and pushed their patrols forward to the River Kalopotamos to the east of the small town of Of. Here the advance of the Black Sea coast detachment was temporarily halted.
Trabzon City Administration Vice President Ioannis Triftanidis & Greek Orthodox Metropolitan Chrysanthos welcoming Grand Duke Nikolai Nikolayevich Yudenich who entered the city with the Russian Caucasus Army. (April 1916)

Effect on ArmeniansEdit

Prior to World War I, the vibrant Armenian community of Trabzon numbered 30,000.[4] In 1915, during the Armenian genocide, they were massacred and deported.[4] After the Russian capture of Trabzon, some 500 surviving Armenians were able to return,[4] as well as Armenian monks of the Kaymakli Monastery.[5]

Illustration of the capture of Trabzon by the Russian army. Published by The Sphere on April 29, 1916



Cemal Kazancı, a 13 years-old Turkish resistance fighter from Orta Mahalle of Akçaabat during the defence of Trabzon.
  1. ^ Walton, Robert (1984). The Capture of Trabzon. Marshall Cavendish Illustrated Encyclopedia of World War I, vol iv. New York: Marshall Cavendish Corporation. pp. 1306–1313. ISBN 0-86307-181-3.
  2. ^ Weir, Gary E.; Halpern, Paul G. (February 1996). "A Naval History of World War I.". The American Historical Review. 101 (1): 157. doi:10.2307/2169242. ISSN 0002-8762. JSTOR 2169242.
  3. ^ Willmott, p. 305.
  4. ^ a b c (in Armenian) Soviet Armenian Encyclopedia, Trapizon, Vol. 12, Yerevan 1986. p. 87
  5. ^ The Byzantine Churches of Trebizond, Selina Ballance, Anatolian Studies, volume 10, page 169.