The Ottoman Armenian Tragedy is a Genuine Historic Controversy
Elizabeth-Anne Wheal
Feroz Ahmad
Arend Jan Boekestijn
Brendon J. Cannon
Mary Schaeffer Conroy
Youssef Courbage
Paul Dumont
Bertil Duner
Gwynne Dyer
Edward J. Erickson
Philippe Fargues
Michael M. Gunter
Paul Henze
Eberhard Jäckel
Firuz Kazemzadeh
Yitzchak Kerem
William L. Langer
Bernard Lewis
Guenter Lewy
Heath W. Lowry
Andrew Mango
Robert Mantran
Justin McCarthy
Michael E. Meeker
Hikmet Ozdemir
Stephen Pope
Michael Radu
Jeremy Salt
Stanford Shaw
Norman Stone
Hew Strachan
Elizabeth-Anne Wheal
Brian G. Williams
Gilles Veinstein
Malcolm Yapp
Thierry Zarcone
Robert F. Zeidner

Elizabeth-Anne Wheal was a history scholar at Cambridge University.

major publications

  • The Dictionary of the First World War, St. Martin's Press, 1996
  • The Dictionary of the Second World War, Pen and Sword, 2004
  • The Green Book, London, Hodder and Stoughton Ltd, 1991.

relevant publication

  • Dictionary of the First World War,Pope, S. and Wheal, E. A. (2003). Barnsley; S. Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books
Source: Dictionary of the First World War,Pope, S. and Wheal, E. A. (2003). Barnsley; S. Yorkshire: Pen & Sword Books.

"Armenian Massacres: Allied term describing the Turkish government’s wartime deportations of Armenians from their homelands in the northeast of the Ottoman Empire. Neutral estimates suggest that between 1 and 1.5 million Armenians were living in Turkey in 1914, with perhaps another million inside Russia. Unlike other large racial minorities within the Empire, including their traditional Kurd enemies, Ottoman Armenians had no officially recognized homeland, but most were scattered near the Russian Caucasian frontiers.

Despite these drawbacks a militant Armenian nationalist movement had blossomed since the turn of the century, armed and encouraged by the Russians, and several minor coups were repressed by the Young Turk government before 1914. Denied the right to a national congress in October 1914, moderate Armenian politicians fled to Bulgaria, but extreme nationalists crossed the border to form a rebel division with Russian equipment. It invaded in December and slaughtered an estimated 120,000 non-Armenians while the Turkish Army was preoccupied with mobilization and the Caucasian Front offensive towards Sarikamish.

The Turks began disarming Armenian civilians under Ottoman control after a force of 2,500 rebels took Van in April 1915 and proclaimed a provisional government. An Ottoman order in June required all civilian non-Muslims to take up support duties near the battlefronts, but exemptions spared Greeks and the Catholic Armenian business community in Constantinople, effectively restricting the order to Orthodox and Protestant Armenians, who were subject to a military enforcement operation until late 1916.

Deportees were often given only hours to prepare, and left without transport or protection on long journeys to infertile, ill-supplied resettlement regions. Many died from starvation or exposure; many more were killed en route by hostile tribesmen (usually Kurds), some of whom colluded with Ottoman officials in search of a ‘final solution’ to the Armenian question.

Released through Armenian contacts with the Western press, especially strong in the United States, news of the catastrophe prompted the Turkish regime – which never openly associated itself with excesses against Armenians – to blame general supply and transport shortages for an estimated 300,000 deaths. Allied propaganda claimed more than a million had died, but modern consensus puts the figure at around 600,000.

An uneasy peace was imposed on frontier Armenians by the occupying Russian Army from 1916, but rebel forces resumed control in late 1917, killing perhaps another 50,000 non-Armenians. Subsequent attempts to restore Turkish administration caused sporadic fighting in early 1918, until the Treaty of Batum (26 May 1918) between an exhausted Turkey and a new Armenian Republic brought a period of recovery. Thousands more civilians then died attempting long journeys back to their liberated homes." P. 34

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