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Russia - Caucasus

The Caucasus Campaign, which is mentioned in several letters written by the Sladdens, comprised armed conflicts between the Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire, later including Azerbaijan, Armenia, the Central Caspian Dictatorship and the British Empire as part of the Middle Eastern theatre during World War I.  The Caucasus Campaign extended from the South Caucasus to the Armenian Highlands region. The land warfare was accompanied by the Russian navy in the Black Sea Region of the Ottoman Empire.

The main objective of the Ottoman Empire was the recovery of its territories in the Caucasus. These regions were captured by Russians after the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78. The strategic goals of the Caucasus Campaign for Ottoman Forces was to retake Artvin, Ardahan, Kars, and the port of Batum. A success in this region would mean a diversion of Russian forces to this front from the Polish and Galician fronts.

In a letter of 23rd January 1916 to her mother, Kathleen Sladden speaks of cheering news from Russia regarding the Caucasus and Galicia.  She would have been referring to the Battle of Koprukoy which resulted in a Russian victory at Erzurum.

On 23rd February 1917, the Russian advance was halted following the Russian Revolution, and later the disintegrated Russian Caucasus Army was replaced by the forces of the newly established Armenian state, comprised from the previous Armenian volunteer units and irregular units.

On 3rd March 1918, the campaign terminated between the Ottoman Empire and Russia with the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk and on 4th June 1918, the Ottoman Empire signed the Treaty of Batum with Armenia.  However, the armed conflicts continued as the Ottoman Empire was still engaged with the Central Caspian Dictatorship, Republic of Mountainous Armenia and Dunsterforce of the British Empire until the Armistice of Mudros was signed on 30th October 1918.

Letters mentioning this place: