This article includes a list of references, related reading or external links, but its sources remain unclear because it lacks inline citations . (September 2018) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
This article relies largely or entirely on a single source . (September 2018)
|Siege of Geok Tepe|
|Part of Russian conquest of Turkestan|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Mikhail Skobelev||Ovezmurat Dykma-Serdar et al.|
| 7,100 |
72 artillery pieces
| 20–25,000 people in the fortress (around 8,000 with firearms) |
|Casualties and losses|
|15,000 defenders and civilians killed or up to 20,000 killed or 150,000 killed|
The Battle of Geok Tepe in 1881 was the main event in the 1880/81 Russian campaign to conquer the Teke Turkomans. Its effect was to give the Russian Empire control over most of what is now Turkmenistan, thereby nearly completing the Russian conquest of Central Asia.
The battle is also called Denghil-Tepe or Dangil Teppe. Sources are inconsistent, but Denghil-Tepe seems to have been the name of the fort and also the name of a small hill or tumulus in the northwest corner of the fort. Geok Tepe ('Blue Hill') seems to refer to the general area, the modern town, a nearby village and a mountain to the south. Skrine says that fort enclosed 2.6 square kilometres (1 sq mi) or more, with mud walls 5.5 m (18 ft) thick and 3 m (10 ft) high on the inside and a 1.2 m (4 ft) dry ditch on the outside, although other dimensions are given. The area was part of the Akhal Oasis where streams coming down from the Kopet Dagh support irrigation agriculture.
After Russian forces were defeated in 1879 Russia began to plan for a new campaign. The basic problem was moving up supplies since Akhal was an oasis surrounded by several hundred kilometres of semi-desert. In March 1880 Mikhail Skobelev was put in charge of the Trans-Caspian region. He adopted Lazarev's original plan of a slow and massive advance. Instead of Khoja Kale he chose a base at Bami on the north side of the Kopet Dagh. At some point he decided to take Geok Tepe by siege rather than storm. He arrived at Chikislyar in May, advanced up the Atrek and Sumbar rivers and by June 11 he occupied Bami. The build-up was slow, partly due to the shortage of camels. In July he made a reconnaissance in force to examine Geok Tepe. By the first half of December he had enough men and supplies and moved out to occupy a fort he renamed ‘Samur’ a few kilometres west of Geok Tepe. On 27 December Aleksey Kuropatkin arrived with five companies, having made a remarkable march across the desert from Khiva. By the end of the month Skobelev had 4020 infantry, 750 cavalry as well as artillery, rockets, several machine guns and heliographs for communications. About 40000 Tekkes were thought to be in the area. On January 1, 1881 he occupied Yanghi-Kala south of the fort to control the water supply and the following day chose the southeast corner as the point of attack and on the following day moved the main camp to Yanghi-Kala. On 4–8 January the first parallel was built about 600 m (700 yd) from the fort and a second begun. To protect this a detachment was sent to capture a small redoubt to the north and General Petrushevich was killed after rushing through the gate. The Tekkes made sorties on the 9th, 11th and 16th. These were largely successful, but cost many Turkoman lives. The camp was twice moved north to make it easier to deal with sorties. The Russians only had enough men to hold a siege line in the southeast corner and the Tekkes were usually allowed to move in and out on the north side of the fort. On January 18 a mine was started on the southeast side and two days later artillery made a breach in the south wall which was quickly repaired. On 23 January the mine was completed and loaded with 1,200 kg (2,600 lb) of powder.
The attack began at 07:00 on January 24. All the artillery opened up and the southern artillery started to reopen the south breach. On the west side a diversionary attack was made to capture a redoubt. The mine was exploded at 11:20 and made a 43-metre (140 ft) breach in the wall. Kuropatkin led eleven and a half companies into the breach, which was taken. At the same time Kozelkov led eight companies into the southern breach, which proved too small. They were stopped and the breach was only taken when reserves were brought up, the flanks being taken with scaling ladders. The two groups linked up and, following instructions, began to entrench themselves. Meanwhile, the western group scaled the wall. Given this success, Skobelev reversed orders and ordered a general advance. By afternoon the hill at the northwest corner was taken and the Tekkes were fleeing over the north wall, pursued by cavalry. The pursuit continued for 16 kilometers and was only stopped by nightfall.
For the final day's battle Skobelev reported 59 killed, 304 wounded and 85 slightly wounded. For the month of January "Indian Officer" gave 1108 Russians killed and wounded out of about 5000 engaged. Ammunition expended was 287,314 bullets, 5,864 artillery shells and 224 rockets (time period uncertain). Thousands of transport camels died during the campaign. Tekke losses were estimated at 20,000. On 30 January the Russians moved 45 km (28 mi) southeast and took Ashgabat which was then a fairly small place. They could not go much further because of heavy losses and lack of supplies. Skobelev was removed from command, probably because of the excessive slaughter of civilians. On 6 May 1881, Transcaspia was declared an oblast of the Russian Empire under the Viceroy of the Caucasus. In September Persia signed the Treaty of Akhal formalizing the Atrek River as the border. The next Russian moves were the capture of Merv in 1884 and the push toward Panjdeh in 1885. In the 1990s a mosque was built to commemorate the siege and the defenders. In Turkmenistan the battle is remembered as a national day of mourning, and the resistance is often cited as a source of national pride.
The last paragraph of Skobelev's official report reads: "After the capture of the fortress, 6,500 bodies were buried inside it. During the pursuit 8,000 were killed." On the previous page he wrote: "In this pursuit by the dragoons and Cossacks ... the killed of both sexes amounted to 8,000 persons."
Geok tepe.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
Geok tepe.CS1 maint: discouraged parameter (link)
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Siege of Geok Tepe .|
The Akhal-Teke is a Turkmen horse breed. They have a reputation for speed and endurance, intelligence, and a distinctive metallic sheen. The shiny coat of the breed led to their nickname, "Golden Horses". These horses are adapted to severe climatic conditions and are thought to be one of the oldest existing horse breeds. There are currently about 6,600 Akhal-Tekes in the world, mostly in Turkmenistan, although they are also found throughout Europe and North America. Akhal is the name of the line of oases along the north slope of the Kopet Dag mountains in Turkmenistan. It has been inhabited by the Tekke tribe of Turkmens.
Merv, also known as the Merve Oasis, formerly known as Alexandria and Antiochia in Margiana was a major city in Central Asia, on the historical Silk Road, located near today's Mary in Turkmenistan. Several cities have existed on this site, which is significant for the interchange of culture and politics at a site of major strategic value.
Mary Region is one of five provinces in Turkmenistan. It is located in the south-east of the country, bordering Afghanistan. Its capital is the city of Mary. Its area is 87,150 km2 (33,650 sq mi) and population 1,480,400. The average population density is about 15 persons per square kilometer, but it reaches 150–200 per square kilometer in the most developed oases.
Mikhail Dmitriyevich Skobelev was a Russian general famous for his conquest of Central Asia and heroism during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878. Dressed in white uniform and mounted on a white horse, and always in the thickest of the fray, he was known and adored by his soldiers as the "White General". During a campaign in Khiva, his Turkmen opponents called him goz ganly or "Bloody Eyes". British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery wrote that Skobelev was the world's "ablest single commander" between 1870 and 1914 and called him a "skilful and inspiring" leader.
The Panjdeh incident was an armed engagement between Afghanistan and the Russian Empire in 1885 that led to a diplomatic crisis between the British Empire and the Russian Empire caused by the Russian expansion south-eastwards towards the Emirate of Afghanistan and the British Raj (India). After nearly completing the Russian conquest of Central Asia the Russians captured an Afghan border fort, threatening British interests in the area. Seeing a threat to India, Britain prepared for war but both sides backed down and the matter was settled by diplomacy. The effect of this incident was to stop further Russian expansion in Asia, except for the Pamir Mountains and to define the north-western border of Afghanistan.
Edmund O'Donovan, Irish war correspondent, was born in Dublin. In 1866 he began to contribute to The Irish Times and other Dublin papers. He was the first journalist killed in the Kurdufan area during the Sudan campaigns while reporting for The Daily News.
The Treaty of Akhal was signed by Persia and Imperial Russia on 21 September 1881. The treaty marked Persia's official recognition of Khwarazm's annexation by the Russian Empire. Although Persia had won a clear victory in the last Ottoman–Persian War (1821–23) over their Ottoman arch rivals, it had been considerably weakened by years of ineffective rulers, the defeat against Russia in 1813 and 1828 in which they lost all of the Caucasus, and with the increasing occupation by Great Britain of Egypt, during the years of 1873 to 1881, and on top of that the decaying Ottoman Empire, Imperial Russia stepped up its campaign to wrest full control over Central Asia. See The Great Game. Hence forces led by Generals Mikhail Skobelev, Ivan Lazarev, and Konstantin Kaufman spearheaded the campaign, with Persia unable to react. The immobilized Naser al-Din Shah Qajar sent foreign secretary Mirza Sa'eed Khan Mo'tamen ol-Mulk to meet Ivan Zinoviev and sign a treaty in Tehran.
Serdar is a city with district status in Turkmenistan, located north-west of the capital, Ashkhabad on the M37 highway to the Caspian Sea. The population of Serdar is 50,000 people, mainly Turkmen. The main language spoken in the region is Turkmen. It is near the northwest end of the line of oases on the north slope of the Kopet Dag that extends southeast to Ashkhabad.
The Sumbar is a fast flowing river in southern Turkmenistan and northern Iran. It a tributary of the Atrek. The name Sari-su means yellow water in Turkic languages, but is applied to a number of other rivers as well. It used to be an area for Caspian tigers in Turkmenistan, until the last individual was killed in January 1954.
General Mikhail Nikolayevich Annenkov was a Russian nobleman, author, military officer, and renowned engineer. An important figure in the history of the Russian conquest of Turkestan in the 19th Century, he was Governor-General of the Transcaspian Region.
Geok Tepe is a city in and the administrative center of Gökdepe District, Ahal province, Turkmenistan, 45 kilometres (28 mi) north-west of Ashgabat. The city is built around a former fortress of the Turkmens which bore the same name. "Geok Tepe" is a Russian transliteration of the Turkic name Gökdepe, meaning "Blue Hill", from the Turkmen gök "blue" and depe "hill" or "summit". The city lies along the M37 highway.
The list of Turkmenistan-related articles is below
The major modern Turkmen tribes are Teke, Yomut, Ersari, Chowdur, Gokleng and Saryk. The most numerous are the Teke.
The First Battle of Geok Tepe was the main event in the 1879 Russian expedition against the Akhal Tekke Turcomans during the Russian conquest of Turkestan. Lomakin marched 275 miles to the Goek Teppe fortress, mismanaged the attack and was forced to retreat. Next year, this was reversed by Skobelev by the second Battle of Geok Tepe.
Events from the year 1881 in Russia
In the Russo–Khivan War of 1873, Russia conquered the Khanate of Khiva, and it became a Russian protectorate.
The Russian conquest of Central Asia took place in the second half of the nineteenth century. The land that became Russian Turkestan and later Soviet Central Asia is now divided between Kazakhstan in the north, Uzbekistan across the center, Kyrgyzstan in the east, Tajikistan in the southeast and Turkmenistan in the southwest. The area was called Turkestan because most of its inhabitants spoke Turkic languages with the exception of Tajikistan, which speaks an Iranian language.
Teke is a major and politically influential tribe of Turkmens in Turkmenistan.
Ovezmurat Dykma-Serdar was a Tekke Turkmen tribal leader in the second half of the 19th century. Originating from the Akhal region, the young Ovezmurat led armed raids (alaman) into the Persian provinces of Khorasan and Mazendaran. According to some reports, he was captured by the Shah's forces and held captive in Bojnurd prison in northeastern Iran. According to others, he was the commander of an armed detachment of Tekke tribesemen on behalf of the Khan of Kokand.
General Nikolai Pavlovich Lomakin (1830–1902) was a 19th-century Russian military commander. He was born in Baku in 1830. He joined the Polotsk Cadet Corps and commenced service with the 19th Artillery Brigade. From 1850 onwards, he fought in the Caucasian War, serving with distinction and taking part in special assignments in Daghestan. This was followed by further success in the Khiva campaign of 1873, which saw Lomakin rise to the rank of major general and win various military awards.