The Info List - Armenian–Azerbaijani War

The Armenian–Azerbaijani War, which started after the Russian Revolution, was a series of brutal and hard-to-classify conflicts in 1918, then from 1920–22 that occurred during the brief independence of Armenia
and Azerbaijan
and afterwards. Most of the conflicts did not have a principal pattern with a standard armed structure. The Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
and British Empire
British Empire
were involved in different capacities: the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
left the region after the Armistice of Mudros but British influence continued until Dunsterforce
was pulled back in the 1920s. The conflicts involved civilians in the disputed districts of Kazakh-Shamshadin, Zanghezur, Nakhchivan and Karabakh. The use of guerrilla and semi-guerrilla operations was the main reason for the high civilian casualties, which occurred during the nation-building activities of the newly established states. The reasons behind the conflict are still far from being resolved after nearly a century. The story of this campaign has very different perceptions from Armenian and Azerbaijani viewpoints. According to Armenian historians, the First Republic of Armenia
aimed to include Nakhchivan among the basic (Eastern Armenian) territories of the Erivan Governorate, as well as the eastern and southern parts of the Elisabethpol Governorate.[citation needed]


1 Background

1.1 Fight for Baku
and Karabakh, 1918–19 1.2 Fight for Nakhchivan, 1919–20 1.3 Fight for Karabakh, early 1920 1.4 Sovietization of Azerbaijan, April 1920 1.5 Soviet takeover, May 1920 1.6 End of hostilities, September–November 1920

2 Aftermath

2.1 Sovietization of Armenia, December 1920 2.2 Treaty of Kars, 23 October 1921

3 Notes 4 External links


American Commission to Negotiate Peace speaking on massacres around Nakhichevan

Main articles: History of Nagorno- Karabakh
and Shusha See also: March Days The first clashes between the Armenians
and Azeris took place in Baku in February 1905. Soon the conflict spilled over to other parts of the Caucasus, and on August 5, 1905, the first conflict between the Armenian and Azeri population of Shusha
took place. In March 1918 ethnic and religious tensions grew and the Armenian-Azeri conflict in Baku
began. Musavat
and Committee of Union and Progress parties were accused of Pan-Turkism
by Bolsheviks and their allies. Armenian and Muslim militias engaged in armed confrontations, which resulted in heavy casualties. Many Muslims were expelled from Baku
or went underground. Meanwhile, the arrest of Gen. Talyshinski, the commander of the Azerbaijani division, and some of its officers—all of whom arrived in Baku
on March 9—increased anti-Soviet feelings among the city's Azeri population. On 30 March the Soviets, based on the unfounded report that the Muslim crew of the ship Evelina was armed and ready to revolt against the Soviets, disarmed the crew which tried to resist.[1] This led to three days fighting,resulting in the death of up to 12,000 Azeris.[2][3][4] Fight for Baku
and Karabakh, 1918–19[edit]

Place of British forces after Armistice

See also: Battle of Baku, September Days, and Republic of Mountainous Armenia

British forces in Baku

Soldiers and officers of the army of Azerbaijan
Democratic Republic in 1918

At the same time the Baku
Commune was involved in heavy fighting with the advancing Caucasian Ottoman Army in and around Ganja. The Ottoman Empire's Enver Pasha
Enver Pasha
began to move forward with the newly established Army of Islam. Major battles occurred in Yevlakh
and Agdash. Dunsterville ordered the evacuation of the city on September 14, after six weeks of occupation, and withdrew to Iran;[5] most of the Armenian population escaped with British forces. The Ottoman Army of Islam and its Azeri allies, led by Nuri Pasha, entered Baku
on September 15 and slaughtered between 10,000–20,000 Armenians
in retaliation for the March massacre of Muslims.[6] The capital of the Azerbaijan
was finally moved from Ganja to Baku. However, after the Armistice of Mudros between the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
and the Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire
on October 30, Turkish troops were substituted by the Triple Entente. Headed by British Gen. W. Thomson, who had declared himself the military governor of Baku, 1,000 Commonwealth soldiers arrived in Baku
on November 17, 1918. By Gen. Thomson's order, martial law was implemented in Baku.

Reconciliation Commission

The Armenian government tried several times to seize Shusha militarily. In 1918 a Republic of Mountainous Armenia
was declared in the region. However, throughout the summer of 1918 Armenians
in the mountainous Karabag region, under the leadership of Andranik
Ozanian, resisted the Ottoman 3rd Army.[7] After the Armistice the Ottoman Empire began to withdraw its forces and Armenian forces under Andranik seized Nagorno-Karabakh.[8] Armistice of Mudros
Armistice of Mudros
brought Gen. Adriank the chance to create a base for further expansion eastward and form a strategic corridor extending into Nakhchivan.[8] In January 1919 Armenian troops advanced towards Shusha. They captured nine Azeri villages on their way. Just before the Armistice of Mudros was signed, Andranik
Ozanian was on the way from Zangezur to Shusha
to control the main city of the Karabakh. In January 1919, with Armenian troops advancing, the British military command asked Andranik
back to Zangezur with the assurances that this conflict could be solved with the Paris Peace Conference. Andranik
pulled back his units and the British command at Baku
gave control to Khosrov bey Sultanov, a native of Karabakh
and "ardent pan-Turkist", who was appointed the general-governor of Karabakh
and ordered by the British to "squash any unrest in the region".[9] Sultanov ordered attacks on Armenian villages the next day, increased the sizes of Azeri garrisons in Shusha
and Khankendi and drew up plans to destroy several Armenian villages to sever the link between Armenians
in Karabakh
and the region of Zangezur.[10][11] Fight for Nakhchivan, 1919–20[edit] In response to a border proposal by Sir John Oliver Wardrop—British Chief Commissioner in the South Caucasus—that would have assigned Nakhchivan to Armenia, Azeris of Nakhchivan revolted under the leadership of local landowner Jafargulu Khan Nakhchivanski in December 1918 and declared the independent Republic of Aras, with its capital in Nakhchivan.[12] The republic, which was essentially subordinate to Azerbaijan, continued to exist until May 1919, when Armenian troops led by Drastamat Kanayan
Drastamat Kanayan
advanced into it to gain control over the region. They managed to capture the city of Nakhchivan in June 1919 and destroy the Republic of Aras, but afterwards fought combined regular Azeri and Ottoman troops, which reinstated Azeri control over the city in July. On 10 August 1919 a cease-fire was signed.[13] American Commission to Negotiate Peace telegram dating 1919 speaking on the conflict,

“ F. Tredwell Smith of the American Persian Relief Commission passed through here yesterday after varied experiences in Erivan and Nakhichevan and Tabriz and Urumia. When about August 25th he crossed the Tartar lines via Nakhichevan to Tabriz for the second time the atmosphere was completely changed, and a Britisher's life was no longer safe because the British had no troops, and Americans were also in danger. The tartars opened battle on the Armenians
in Nakhichevan July 20th and after a three-day battle drove out the British along with the American relief workers and began a massacre of Armenian men, women and children, estimates of victims varying between 6,000 to 12,000.[14] ”

Fighting resumed in March 1920 and continued until the Sovietization of Nakhchivan in 1920 by the 11th Red Army, now including former Azerbaijan
Democratic Republic troops.[13] Fight for Karabakh, early 1920[edit]

Aftermath of the Shusha
massacre of the city's Armenian population: Armenian half of Shusha
destroyed by Azeri armed forces in 1920, with the defiled Armenian Cathedral of the Holy Savior on the background.

The largest Armenian-Azeri ethnic clashes in Shusha
took place from March–April 1920. From March 22–26 the Shusha massacre[15][16][17][18] took place, which resulted many Armenian deaths and the destruction of the Armenian quarter of the city. Sovietization of Azerbaijan, April 1920[edit] In early April 1920 the Republic of Azerbaijan
was in a very troubled condition. In the west the Armenians
still controlled large parts of territory claimed by Azerbaijan; in the east, the local Azeri communists were rebelling against the government; and to the north the Russian Red Army was steadily moving southward, having defeated Denikin's White Russian forces. On April 27, 1920, the government of the Azerbaijan
Democratic Republic received notice that the Soviet army was about to cross the northern border and invade the Azerbaijan. Faced with such a difficult situation, the government officially surrendered to the Soviets, but many generals and local Azeri militias kept resisting the advance of Soviet forces and it took a while for the Soviets to stabilize the newly proclaimed Azerbaijan
Soviet Socialist Republic, headed by leading Azeri Bolshevik Nariman Narimanov. While the Azerbaijani government and army were in chaos, the Armenian army and local Armenian militias used the opportunity to assert their control over parts of Azerbaijani territory, taking Shusha, Khankendi and other important cities. By the end of April Armenian forces were in control of most of western Azerbaijan, including all of Karabakh with the surrounding areas. Other areas captured included all of Nakhchivan and much of Kazakh-Shamshadin district. In the meantime Armenian communists attempted a coup in Armenia, but ultimately failed. Soviet takeover, May 1920[edit] Main article: Red Army invasion of Azerbaijan In 1920–21 the only "solution" to this dispute could come either by military victory—as basically happened in Anatolia, Zangezur and Nakhchivan—or by the imposition from above of a new structure by an imperial power. After the British failed to impose a settlement, the imperial arbiters turned out to be the Bolsheviks, whose 11th Army conquered Karabakh
in May 1920. On 5 July 1921 the Bolsheviks' Caucasian committee, the Kavbiuro, under the chairmanship of Joseph Stalin ruled that the mountainous part of Karabakh
would be part of Azerbaijan. In July 1923 the Nagorny (or Mountainous) Karabakh Autonomous Region (NKAO) was created within Azerbaijan, with borders that gave it an overwhelming Armenian majority of 94% of the total inhabitants. End of hostilities, September–November 1920[edit] In late November there was yet another Soviet-backed communist uprising in Armenia. On November 28, blaming Armenia
for the invasions of Şərur
on November 20, 1920 and Karabakh
the following day, the 11th Red Army under the command of Gen. Anatoliy Gekker, crossed the demarcation line between First Republic of Armenia
and Soviet Azerbaijan. The second Soviet-Armenian war lasted only a week. Aftermath[edit] The Armenian national liberation movement
Armenian national liberation movement
was exhausted by the six years of permanent wars and conflicts; the Armenian army and population were incapable of any further active resistance. Sovietization of Armenia, December 1920[edit] See also: First Republic of Armenia
and Turkish–Armenian War On December 4, 1920, when the Red Army entered Yerevan, the government of the First Republic of Armenia
effectively surrendered. On December 5 the Armenian Revolutionary Committee (Revkom), made up of mostly Armenians
from Azerbaijan, also entered the city. Finally, on the following day, December 6, Felix Dzerzhinsky's dreaded secret police, the Cheka, entered Yerevan, thus effectively ending all existence of the First Republic of Armenia.[19] The Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic
was then proclaimed, under the leadership of Gevork Atarbekyan. On February 18, 1921, a national revolt against Bolsheviks started. Gen. Garegin Nzhdeh, commander Garo Sasouni and the last Prime Minister of independent Armenia
Simon Vratsyan took the lead of the anti-Bolshevik rebellion and forced out the Bolsheviks from Yerevan and other places. By April the Red Army reconquered most part of Armenia. However, Atarbekyan was dismissed and Aleksandr Miasnikyan, an Armenian high-ranking Red Army commander, replaced him.[citation needed] Garegin Nzhdeh
Garegin Nzhdeh
left the Zangezur mountains after the Sovietization of Armenia
was finalized in July 1921, leaving Azeri-populated villages cleansed of their population.[20] Persuaded by Soviet leadership, Zangezur had already been ceded by Azerbaijan
to Armenia
in November 1920 as a "symbol of friendship".[21] Treaty of Kars, 23 October 1921[edit] Main article: Treaty of Kars The violence in Transcaucasia
was finally settled in a friendship treaty between Turkey
and the Soviet Union. The peace Treaty of Kars was signed in Kars
by representatives of the Russian SFSR, Azerbaijan SSR, Armenian SSR, Georgian SSR and Turkey. Turkey
had another agreement, the "Treaty on Friendship and Brotherhood", also called the Treaty of Moscow, signed on March 16, 1921 with Soviet Russia. By this treaty Nakhchivan was granted the status of an autonomous region within Azerbaijan. Turkey
and Russia became guarantors of Nakhichevan's status. Turkey
agreed to return Alexandropol to Armenia and Batumi
to Georgia. Notes[edit]

^ Документы об истории гражданской войны в С.С.С.Р., Vol. 1, pp. 282–283 ^ "New Republics in the Caucasus". The New York Times Current History. 11 (2): 492. March 1920.  ^ Smith, Michael (2001). "Anatomy of Rumor: Murder Scandal, the Musavat
Party and Narrative of the Russian Revolution
Russian Revolution
in Baku, 1917–1920". Journal of Contemporary History. 36 (2): 211–240 [p. 228]. doi:10.1177/002200940103600202.  ^ (in Russian) Michael Smith. " Azerbaijan
and Russia: Society and State: Traumatic Loss and Azerbaijani National Memory" Archived March 10, 2011, at the Wayback Machine. ^ Homa Katouzian, State and Society in Iran: The Eclipse of the Qajars and the Emergence of the Pahlavis, (I.B. Tauris, 2006), 141. ^ Croissant, Michael P. (1998). Armenia- Azerbaijan
Conflict: Causes and Implications. Westport, CT: Praeger. p. 15. ISBN 0-275-96241-5.  ^ Malkasian, Mark (1996). Gha-ra-bagh! The Emergence of the National Democratic Movement in Armenia. Detroit: Wayne State University Press. p. 22. ISBN 0-8143-2604-8.  ^ a b Hafeez Malik "Central Asia: Its Strategic Importance and Future Prospects" page 145 ^ Walker, Christopher J. (1990). Armenia: The Survival of a Nation (revised second ed.). New York: St. Martin's Press. p. 270. ISBN 978-0-312-04230-1.  ^ Hovannisian. Republic of Armenia, Vol. I, pp. 176–177, 181. ^ Hovannisian, Richard G. (1996) The Republic of Armenia: From London to Sevres, February – August 1920, Vol. 3. Berkeley: University of California Press, p. 132-133, 145–147. ISBN 0-520-08803-4. ^ Dr. Andrew Andersen, Ph.D. Atlas of Conflicts: Armenia: Nation Building and Territorial Disputes: 1918–1920 ^ a b Armenian-Azerbaijani Military Conflicts in 1919–20. ^ File:M820_Roll542-0107azeriarmenwa.jpg ^ "The British administrator of Karabakh
Col. Chatelword did not prevent discrimination against Armenians
by the Tatar administration of Gov. Saltanov. The ethnic clashes ended with the terrible massacres in which most Armenians
in Shusha
town perished. The Parliament in Baku
refused to even condemn those responsible for the massacres in Shusha
and the war started in Karabakh. A. Zubov (in Russian) А.Зубов Политическое будущее Кавказа: опыт ретроспективно-сравнительного анализа, журнал "Знамья", 2000, #4, http://magazines.russ.ru/znamia/2000/4/zubov.html ^ "massacre of the Armenians
of Nagorno-Karabakh's capital, Shushi (called Shusha
by the Azerbaijanis)", Kalli Raptis, "Nagorno-Karabakh and the Eurasian Transport Corridor", https://web.archive.org/web/20110716225801/http://www.eliamep.gr/eliamep/files/op9803.PDF ^ "A month ago after the massacres of Shushi, on April 19, 1920, prime-ministers of England, France and Italy with participation of the representatives of Japan and USA collected in San-Remo..." Giovanni Guaita (in Russian) Джованни ГУАЙТА, Армения между кемалистским молотом и большевистской наковальней // «ГРАЖДАНИН», M., # 4, 2004 http://www.grazhdanin.com/grazhdanin.phtml?var=Vipuski/2004/4/statya17&number=%B94 ^ Verluise, Pierre (April 1995), Armenia
in Crisis: The 1988 Earthquake, Wayne State University Press, p. 6, ISBN 0814325270  ^ Robert H. Hewsen. Armenia: A Historical Atlas, p. 237. ISBN 0-226-33228-4 ^ " Garegin Nzhdeh
Garegin Nzhdeh
and the KGB: Report of Interrogation of Ohannes Hakopovich Devedjian" (in Russian). August 28, 1947. Archived from the original on 2007-10-30. Retrieved 2012-06-24.  ^ Duncan, Walter Raymond; Holman (Jr.), G. Paul (1994). Ethnic nationalism and regional conflict: the former Soviet Union
Soviet Union
and Yugoslavia. Westview Press. p. 109. ISBN 0-8133-8813-9. Retrieved 2012-01-23. 

External links[edit]

Wikimedia Commons has media related to Armenian-Azerbaijani War.

Armenian- Azerbaijani War of 1919 – 1920[dead link] (In Russian) Soviet-Armenian War and the Collapse of the First Republic: November–December, 1920 https://web.archive.org/web/20160303172503/https://www.hrw.org/reports/1995/communal/

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