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Christophor Araratov
(Armenian: Քրիստոփոր Արարատով
1876 – 1937
Araratov.jpeg

Place of birth Tbilisi, Georgia
Place of death Yerevan, Armenia
Allegiance Armenian People
Service/branch Army
Rank Major General
Commands held Russia: Russian Caucasus Army

Armenian nationals: Artillery brigade of Armed forces of Democratic Republic of Armenia, Military minister of Democratic Republic of Armenia (March 1919 - April 1920)

Battles/wars Russian-Japanese War; First World War: South-West, North-West and Caucasian Fronts, Battle of Sardarapat, Battle of Bash Abaran
Awards St. Georgy award (4th level), St. Stanislav (3rd level), St. Stanislav (2nd level), St. Anna (4th level) entitled - "For bravery", Romanian award of a Crown with swords of commander level, etc.

Christophor Araratov (Armenian: Քրիստոփոր Արարատով (Kristop'or Araratov), Russian: Христофор Араратов) (other names: Khachatur Araratyan, Christophor Araratyan) (1876-1937) - a famous Major General of Armenian and Russian armies, participated in the battles of Sardarapat and Karakilisa against Turkish invaders. In 1937 arrested and killed on charges of nationalism. Rehabilitated posthumously.

Contents

Early years

Christophor Araratov was born in a noble family in 1876 in Tbilisi. His father, Karapet Avetikovich Araratov was a lieutenant colonel of Russian army. At the age of 10 he entered Tbilisi cadet corps and studies there for 7 years, after which entered Mikhaylov artillery school in Petersburg, where he was recognized as one of three best students, and this gave him the rank of a second lieutenant and right to choose the location of service. At the ceremony of finishing the study he was the head of a Cavalry troops.

First military experience

He chose Caucasus grenadier artillery brigade to continue service, where he had the position of senior adjutant of the brigade head. Right after Russian-Japanese War burst, he asked to move him to the front, and the knowledge gained at the artillery school made serious impact on his reputation here, very soon for some of his innovations he was awarded his first medal.

First World War

He was continuing his study at Officer School at Tsarskoe Selo, when World War I burst. He passed his exams ahead of schedule and left for front. Here he served as a lieutenant colonel at the same brigade. He was awarded numerous medals during the war. He was in Romania when Bolshevik revolution took place and Russia announced its leaving the war. Realizing that the 2nd Constitutional Era of the Ottoman Empire would use the situation and enter Russian Armenia and through it to Caucasus.

On December 5, 1917, the armistice of Erzincan was signed between the Russians and Ottomans which ended the armed conflicts between Russia and the Ottoman Empire in the Caucasus Campaign. After the Bolshevik seizure of power, a multinational congress of Transcaucasian representatives met to create a provisional regional executive body known as Transcaucasian Seim. While Armenians sending representatives to Transcaucasian Seim, at the same time, the Eastern Armenian leaders at the Erivan tried to established an Armenian Army Corps. With the efforts of Armenian National Council of Tiflis it was set up to fight against the Ottoman Empire in late 1917 and early 1918. Units of this corps were the basis of the army Democratic Republic of Armenia. Armenians had planned to keep their existence based on a political strategy in the way of being supporting the Allies and Russia and to establish their national army with Russian support.[1] General Nazarbekov was selected as the Commanding Officer (Sparapet of Armenia). The Sparapet of Armenia Tovmas Nazarbekian appreciated the talent and skills of the colonel. Erivan assigned 1th Division with 1st Erzurum/Erzinjan regiment, 2nd Khnus Regiment, 3rd Yerevan Regiment, and 4th Erzinjan/Yerevan Regiments under General Christophor Araratov. In 1918 he was the head of artillery brigade of Armenian army.

Christophor Araratov moved to Kars, where the staff of the brigade was located. On March 3 1918, the Grand vizier Talat Pasha signed the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk with the Russian SFSR. It stipulated that Bolshevik Russia cede Batum, Kars, and Ardahan. Between March 14 – April 1918 the Trabzon peace conference held among the Ottoman Empire and the delegation of the Transcaucasian Sejm. The mood prevailing in Tiflis was very different. Tiflis acknowledge the existence of a state of war between themselves and the Ottoman Empire[2]. Then the fall of Kars made him realize that the government of Transcaucasian Seym was not interested in struggle against the invader: Caucasian Turks supported Turkey, aiming at getting the support of the latter in founding their own independent state.

On May 11, a new peace conference opened at Batum.[3] At this conference Ottomans extending their demands to include Tiflis as well as Alexandropol and Echmiadzin which they wanted a railroad to be built to connect Kars and Julfa with Baku. The Armenian and Georgian members of the Republic’s delegation began to stall. Beginning on May 21, the Ottoman army moved ahead once again. The conflict led to the Battle of Sardarapat (May 21–29), the Battle of Kara Killisse (1918) (May 24-28), and the Battle of Bash Abaran (May 21–24). During the Battle of Sardarapat the artillery brigade under the direction of colonel Araratov fought bravely and took prisoners a battery of Turkish soldiers. The victory at Sardarapat made Republic of Armenia independence possible.

After Sardarapat Araratov was moved to the front against Georgian Army, which occupied Lori in 1918. On October 30, The Armistice of Mudros was signed and the Caucasus Campaign ended. The fights stopped before the New Year of 1919.

Democratic Republic of Armenia

In the start of 1919 all around Armenia Caucasian Turks excited rebellions. In that unstable situation in March 1919 prime minister Hovhannes Katchaznouni was substituted by Alexander Khatisyan and military minister Ivan Hakhverdov by Christophor Araratov, who was given the rank of Major General. In April 1920 he was moved to Kars as a military governor of the region. But in October 1920, when the city was yielded to Turks, he was taken prisoner by Turkey. Turkish General Kyazym Bekir Pasha used to visit him in imprisonment offering to teach a course of Russian artillery at Turkish military university, but refuses several times.

Soviet Armenia period

In the end of 1921 he was returned to Soviet Armenia and took up rifle division head assistant position and later the head of military chairs at Yerevan State University and then at National Economy Institute. In 1937 along with numerous other "nationalists" and "anti-soviet activists" Christophor Araratov was arrested. It happened on September 2, 1937. After about three months, on December 10 together with other heroes of Sardarapat Movses Silikyan, Dmitry Mirimanov, Aghasi Varosyan, Stepan Ohanesyan, Hakob Mkrtchyan, Harutyun Hakobyan, he was taken to Nork gorge and executed.

References

  1. ^ W. E. D. Allen- P. Muratoff, Caucasian Battlefields: A History of The Wars on The Turco-Caucasian Border 1828-1921 (Cambridge, 1953), p. 458.
  2. ^ Richard Hovannisian "The Armenian people from ancient to modern times" Pages 292-293
  3. ^ Ezel Kural Shaw History of the Ottoman Empire and Modern Turkey. Page 326
  • Source: «Христофор Араратов - "Бог Сардарапата"» Новое время, 21.05.2008
  • Source: « Араратов Христофор Герасимович» at http://ru.hayazg.info
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