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  • Turkey. A Siege of Kars Medal (Kars Madalyasi), Silver Grade 1855
  • Turkey. A Siege of Kars Medal (Kars Madalyasi), Silver Grade 1855
  • Turkey. A Siege of Kars Medal (Kars Madalyasi), Silver Grade 1855

Item: EG1334

Turkey. A Siege of Kars Medal (Kars Madalyasi), Silver Grade 1855

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Turkey. A Siege of Kars Medal (Kars Madalyasi), Silver Grade 1855

" Silver, measuring 36.7 mm, replacement ribbon, light contact, very fine.

Footnote: The Siege of Kars was the last major operation of the Crimean War. In June 1855, attempting to alleviate pressure on the defence of Sevastopol, Emperor Alexander II ordered General Nikolay Muravyov to lead his troops against areas of Ottoman interest in Asia Minor. Uniting disparate contingents under his command into a strong corps of 25,725 soldiers, 96 light guns, Muravyov decided to attack Kars, the most important fortress of Eastern Anatolia. Late in 1854, British general William Fenwick Williams had been sent to Kars to assess the situation and report directly to Lord Raglan (FitzRoy Somerset, 1st Baron Raglan), supreme commander-in-chief of the British expeditionary forces in the Crimea. Williams found the city in a deplorable state. The Turkish forces included many newly conscripted recruits, the men had not been paid in months, and many possessed obsolete weapons. Support services such as hospitals were non-existent. Many of the senior Turkish officers were absent, residing in Istanbul. Morale was low and desertion high. Appalled by the situation, Williams took command along with several other foreign officers. He quickly set to work to institute discipline, train the troops, and reinforce the city's defences. By the spring of 1855, 17,000 troops in high spirits stood ready to defend Kars. The first attack was repulsed by the Ottoman garrison under Williams. Muravyov's second assault pushed the Turks back, and he was able to take the main road and the heights over the city, but the renewed vigour of the Turkish troops took the Russians by surprise. Due to the ferocious fighting that had ensued, they changed tactics and started a siege that would last until late November. Upon hearing news of the attack, the Ottoman Commander Omar Pasha asked for Ottoman troops to be moved from the line at the Siege of Sevastopol and redeployed to Asia Minor mainly with the idea of relieving Kars. After many delays, primarily put in place by Louis-Napoléon Bonaparte (Napoleon III), Omar Pasha left the Crimea for Sukhumi with 45,000 soldiers on September 6th. Omar Pasha's arrival on the Black Sea coast north of Kars induced Muravyov to begin a third assault on the Ottoman forces, now nearly starved. On September 29th, the Russians undertook a general attack on Kars that lasted seven hours with extreme desperation. They were repulsed. General Williams remained isolated, however, as Omar Pasha never reached the city; instead of relieving the garrison he plunged into prolonged warfare in Mingrelia and took Sukhumi in the aftermath. In the meantime, the Ottoman reserves in Kars were running out and the supply lines had been thinned. Heavy snowfall in late October made Ottoman reinforcement of Kars quite impractical. Selim Pasha, Omar's son, landed another army at the ancient city of Trebizond, to the west, and began marching south to Erzerum in order to prevent Russian advance further into Anatolia. The Russians sent a small force from the Kars lines to stop his advance and defeated the Ottomans at the River Ingur on November 6th. The garrison of Kars declined to face further hardships of the winter siege and surrendered to General Muravyov on November 28, 1855. (Muravyov was authorized by the Tsar to change his name to ""Muravyov-Karsky"", commemorating his part in taking the fortress). On entering the city the Russians ""were immediately horrified to discover masses of men too weak to be evacuated, many of them in the throes of death."" Despite the lack of aid from Istanbul, Williams remained steadfast to his Turkish troops and stated that ""[t]hey fell dead at their posts, in the tents, and throughout the camp, as brave men should who cling to their duty through the slightest glimmering of hope of saving a place entrusted to their custody""."

 

This offering is a part of the "Dr. Albert Goodwin Collection", a preeminent assemblage of world Orders, Medals, and Decorations composed solely by Dr.Goodwin between 1946-1967. Dr. Goodwin had a successful career as an educator and prominent physician in New York as well as actively serving in both World Wars with the United States Medical Corps. He acted as both President and Vice-President of the Orders and Medals Society of America (OMSA) and is responsible for organizing their first convention in 1960. He maintained further membership with the American Society of Military Collectors, the International Orders Research Society, and the American Numismatic Society. His knowledge and passion for history and awards is evident in this meticulously compiled collection that is now available in its entirety for the first time exclusively on eMedals.com.

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