May 26 in Armenia is the memorial date — Victory Day in the Battle of Sardarapat.
The Sardarapat battle — is a battle during the First World War ( 1914-1918 ), which took place on May 21-28, 1918 between regular Armenian military units and militias, on the one hand, and Turkish invaders — who invaded East Armenia from another. The battle took place in the area of the Sardarapat railway station, near the city of Oktemberyan.
After the October Revolution of 1917 in Russia, Russian troops left the regions of Western Armenia occupied during the First World War. Taking advantage of this, the ruling circles of Turkey set out not only to seize Western Armenia back, but also to occupy East Armenia and the entire Transcaucasia.
Having violated the truce concluded in December 1917, Turkish troops went on the offensive and occupied the cities of Erznka, Erzrum, Sarikamysh, Kars, and on May 15 — Alexandropol ( Gyumri ). The corps operating on the Caucasus front consisted of three divisions of incomplete composition. The Armenians, under the onslaught of the repeatedly superior enemy forces, retreated.
The hundred thousandth Turkish army of Vejib Pasha was opposed by the twenty-thousandth Armenian army, consisting of soldiers and officers armed with rifles and machine guns of the old Russian army. There were as many militias and auxiliary fighters. Colonel Danielbek Pirumyan commanded the troops.
« Armenians, go ahead! The fate of the Fatherland is being decided! » — this call of Pirumyan found a wide response among all segments of the population. Tens of thousands of workers, artisans, peasants armed with pitchforks, peaks, daggers joined the militia. A women's battalion was also created to help the wounded, and the supply of water and food was established for the troops.
The Turks moved along the Araks Valley from west to east towards Yerevan. Pirumyan met their avant-garde parts behind Etchmiadzin, a series of successful hits he broke them and drove them back.
The victory in the Sardarapat battle was of great importance for Armenia — the Armenian population of the northern part of the Ararat valley escaped Turkish genocide, a significant part of Eastern Armenia was saved from capture by the Turks, conditions were created for the restoration of Armenian statehood. And on May 28, 1918, the Republic of Armenia was proclaimed.
In honor of the victory in the Sardarapat battle and the defeat of the Turkish army on May 26, 1918, a memorial date was set in Armenia, and on the 50th anniversary of the battle in May 1968, the Sardarapat architectural ensemble ( was opened near Yerevan ), created by the plan of the architect Israelyan.