20 November 2010
3174) Dro (Drastamat Kanayan): Armenia's First Defense Minister of Modern Era (Limited Book Preview) / Innocence or Heroism of DRO by Sukru Aya
Dro (Drastamat Kanayan): Armenia's First Defense Minister of the Modern Era
By Antranig Chalabian, Indo-European Publishing, 2010, 328 pages
Subjects: History / Europe / Russia & the Former Soviet Union
"DRO" General Drastamat Kanayan
His reputation made by massacring women and children of Muslim villages during World War I, the general put his "skills" to work for Adolf Hitler a few decades later. Commander of the infamous 812th Armenian battalion during World War II; possibly nicknamed as the 'Jew hunter' by the Nazis. Condemned to be shot by a firing squad of Stalin's goons, the Diaspora Armenians smuggled him into the USA by reportedly bribing INS (Immigration) functionaries. He lived in the United States until his death in Massachusetts, in 1956.
Armenian-Americans raised almost a quarter of a million dollars in just two days in order to dig up the Armenian Nazi General, flying his body back to Armenia to be reburied there with full state and military honors. His Holiness Karekin II, Supreme Patriarch and Catholicos of All Armenians conducted the ceremony in May 29, 2000, with Armenia's President, Robert Kocharian, in attendance.
The holy man said, "Only words are vain, deeds are needed with the words. Let his return to the Motherland reawaken the evaluation of this truth in the souls of the Armenian people. Let Drastamat Kanayan's and his companions' eternal memory give birth among our people to new faith towards victories in the spirit of the devoted service to the Motherland."
NICE role model to serve as an inspiration for Armenia's youth..! . .
Dro (Drastamat Kanayan), the valiant, selfless fedayee for the survival of the Armenian nation. Among his exploits: the assassination of Nakashidze, the viceroy of the tsar in the Caucasus. Victories in battles against the Turks, specially in Bash Aparan, during the battle of Sartarapat, which prevented the total destruction of Armenia in the aftermath of WWI. His Machiavellian 'collaboration with nazism' to save the Soviet Armenian POWs and the civilian Armenian population of Nazi-occupied Eastern Europe and Russia from certain annihilation, even as he cautioned his compatriots in Soviet Armenia against any untimely uprising against Soviet rule
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About the Innocence or Heroism of DRO - Drastamat Kanajan by Antranig Chalabian - Book Excerpts by Sukru Server Aya :
ISBN 978-1-60444-078-2 Indo European Publishing. Co. Los Angeles, Ca. USA
p.50: “From you, people of Van, I demand 2,000 soldiers to be our rear guard, when we advance toward Mush. Until we occupy Bitlis and Mush, Van will never be secure. In this province there are approximately 10.000 armed regular and irregular riflemen. “
p.51: May 3, 1915, was the first day of victor in Van’s heroic battle. I was at the house of my uncle’s daughter…”
p.64: “By the decree of the Viceroy, the Armenian volunteer regiments were demobilized. In their stead were formed Armenian musketeer companies. Dro was given to join the musketeer regiment with the rank of officer. He refused. Instead of getting autonomy, Armenian provinces would be joined to Russia.”
p.76: The Situation in Turkey and the Caucasus in Early 1918
The 200.000 Eastern Armenian conscripts serving in the tsarist armies had also returned to the Caucasus or Russia – careless and indifferent as to the fate of Western Armenia. Their cohesion of integrity of the 30.000 strong army under the command of General Antranik, consisting of Turkish (Western) Armenian soldiers was also undermined by the political upheaval in Russia.
p.77: The 320.000 strong tsarist army of the Caucasus front had left the entire stores of munitions, food, uniforms and so on, to the Western-Armenian National Guard army, under the command of Antranik. Thus the Russians had left to the Armenians 300 cannons, 3.000 machine guns, one billion bullets, 100.000 rifles, large supplies of food, clothing e4tc.
There was horrific famine in Turkey in 1917-1918, 600.000 out of 800.000 strong Turkish imperial army had deserted, invading villages in hopes of securing a piece of bread. Richard Hovannisian estimates the number of Turkish army deserters at half a million as a consequence of the famine, which approximates the figure given above.
Vehip Pasha was able to assembled only 400 – 500 soldiers in front of Erzurum, a division “torn to shreds” with half starving and half naked soldiers, whereas the Armenians, as we saw, had much more manpower, and many more munitions and stores behind the ramparts and barbed wire of Erzurum. The Armenians had not seen so much munitions in their history, whereas the Turks had not been as weak in their history, from a military as well as economic perspective, as they were in early 1918
p.89: The Heroic Battle of Sartarapat
The Turks had assigned altogether nine well-armed divisions to the Caucasus, 55 – 60.000 infantrymen, for military operations. Five of these nine divisions were assigned to fight the Armenians, around 30.000 soldiers. The Armenians were able to pull together 20.000 rifles against this force.
p..94: A dispute between Dro and Silikian arose about this military strategic perspective. Silikian said “I appoint you commander of Bash-Aparan” Dro replied, “I will go wherever you want, just do not divide the army. Let us with full force attack the Turkish forces advancing toward Sartarapat and massacre them. What is our information? We are informed that they have altogether two battalions. Even if hey reach Ashtarak, we can massacre them”
p. 126 As of the spring of 1919, with the destruction of the Turks in the TransCaucasus, Armenia became a de facto independent and sovereign state. The people, of whom 150.000 had succumbed to the horrific famine of the winter 1918-1919 as well as cholera and typhoid epidemics (as for the whole year around 200.000 victims) had by the fall of 1919, with famine and epidemics lightening up and the delivery of flour and grain sent by the United States of America, reached a degree of relief from crisis.
In December 1919, Dro reached Goris from Gharalagez. His expeditionary forces consisted of 400 infantry and 300 swordsmen. They also had two cannons.