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Template:Infobox military conflict Template:Campaignbox Caucasus Campaign

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. However, the Ottomans were quickly defeated, suffering 34,000 casualties, around half of which were POWs.[1] By 24 August 1916, the entire region fell to the Russian Empire and Armenian volunteers.[2][3]


  1. Tucker, Spencer (2002). The Great War, 1914-1918. UCL Press. p. 180–181. ISBN 1-85728-390-2. 
  2. Tucker, Spencer; Wood, Laura Matysek; Murphy, Justin D. (1999). The European Powers in the First World War: An Encyclopedia. Garland Publishing. p. 175. ISBN 0-8153-3351-X. 
  3. Chalabian, Antranig (1988). General Andranik and the Armenian Revolutionary Movement. p. 273–275. ISBN 0962274119. 
  • The Berlin-Baghdad Express: the Ottoman Empire and Germany's bid for world power, Sean McMeekin, page 243

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