Andranik Ozanyan: biography of the general and interesting facts

There are many nations in the world. Some developed on their territory without interference from other states. Others were forced to fight for their rights. Armenians as an ethnic group were formed before our era, but over time they were subordinated to more powerful powers.

One of the most brutal periods in the history of this nation was the rule of the Ottoman Empire. The genocide of 1915 led to the fact that the Armenians were forced to settle around the world. But not everyone agreed with such a fate. Some tried to fight against the existing order.

Andranik Ozanyan is known as a fighter against the Turkish yoke. He possessed the skills of a commander. In addition, he was a prominent representative and theoretician of Byzantinism. What else can be said about this man?

Andranik Ozanyan


Andranik Ozanyan was born on February 2, 1865 in Shebinkarahisar (modern Turkey). In those years, the city belonged to the Sivass vilayet of the Ottoman Empire.Mother was called Mariam, and father - Toros. The head of the family worked as a carpenter. When the boy was a year and a half, his mother died. Andranik was educated by his father and older sister Nazeli.

From ten to seventeen years old he studied at the Musheghian school. At thirteen years old, Andranik Ozanyan (photos of his young years were not preserved) became a member of a revolutionary circle organized by Nazareth Kibaryan. Nazareth was a local priest and inspired the confidence of his parishioners.

The first arrest and the beginning of the revolutionary activities

Andranik Torosovich Ozanyan

From the very beginning of his revolutionary activities, Andranik Ozanyan was a supporter of decisive action. He advocated fighting the Turks, who oppressed the Armenians. At seventeen, the young man was arrested for the first time. The reason for this was the attack on a policeman who mistreated Armenians.

After some time, friends helped Andranik escape from prison. He spent two years in Constantinople, working as a carpenter.

During his life, Ozanyan was a member of several organizations:

  • Gnchakist circle;
  • Gnchak Party;
  • Dashnaktsutyun party.

In 1892, Ozanyan murdered the police chief of Constantinople. He decided to stop the persecution and harassment of Armenians.He had to flee, and later flee. The man returned to Western Armenia.

He was engaged in an important thing for the revolutionaries - secretly delivering weapons for the partisan fidains. The weapons went from Russia through the territory of Crimea and Transcaucasia and were sent to Western Armenia. During this time, he visited many places in the Caucasus. He managed to establish contact with prominent representatives of the Armenian movement for liberation from Turkish oppression.

Battle alias Sasunsky

In 1895, Andranik Ozanyan made a walk from Kars to Sasun. He traveled four hundred kilometers on foot to join the Seroba detachment. In the struggle with the Turkish troops and Kurdish troops, Ozanyan showed considerable courage. His authority among the feedains was constantly increasing. And when in 1899 the Kurds killed Serob, Andranik was recognized as the leader of the Armenian liberation movement. After some time, the revolutionary managed to track down and destroy the killer Serob with his bodyguards.

In 1901, Andranik, along with thirty Fidains, stood for the defense of the Surb-Arakelots monastery. The detachment managed to hold positions for about twenty days, despite unequal forces (the Turkish army numbered six thousand).After these events, Ozanyan became a national hero.

At the beginning of the twentieth century, Andranik led a squad of Fidains. He defended peaceful Armenians from Muslim Kurds and Turkish soldiers in Sassoun and other lands. He also led an uprising in his native Sasuna, inflicting a series of defeats on the enemy forces. For this, he earned the nickname Sasunsky and became a living legend.

Life in exile

In 1904, the Sasun uprising was defeated by Turkish forces. Andranik Torosovich Ozanyan had to leave Western Armenia. He visited many countries, establishing contacts with the leaders of the Armenian liberation movement:

  • Persia.
  • Russia.
  • France.
  • Switzerland.
  • Belgium.
  • England.

The European press followed the actions of Andranik. On the pages of newspapers appeared information about how many battles he spent and how successful they were. In Geneva, Ozanyan issued the “Battle Instructions”. The instructions came out in 1906. In them, he shared his experience on how to organize and conduct the rebel struggle.

Role in the liberation of Bulgaria

Andranik Ozanyan story

In 1907, Andranik Torosovich Ozanyan went to Bulgaria. He was able to establish contact with the Macedonian organizations that opposed the Ottoman Empire.In the same year, he left the Dashnaktsutyun party due to the fact that its leaders decided to come to an agreement with the Turkish authorities.

Andranik took an active part in the Balkan war of 1912-1913. He led the Armenian volunteer company in the ranks of the Bulgarian army. Under his command were two hundred and seventy people.

Thanks to the defeat of the troops of Yavera Pasha, Ozanyan was fired as lieutenant. He was also granted Bulgarian citizenship, retirement and several awards.

The Armenian company was disbanded in 1913. Before the start of the Bulgarian-Serbian war, Ozanyan retired and lived a year near Varna. He was engaged in farming. This continued until World War I began.

Caucasian front

The Bulgarian government in World War I was inclined to conclude an alliance with Germany. Therefore, Andranik Ozanyan, whose history and life was connected with Russia, left Bulgaria on the last Russian ship.

Andranik Ozanyan Awards

He reached Tiflis, where he met with General Myshlayevsky. An assistant to the commander-in-chief of the Caucasian army received Andranik, who declared his readiness to participate on the side of Russia in a possible war with Turkey. The war was declared in November 1914.

By this time, Andranik formed an Armenian volunteer squad. It mainly consisted of residents of Western Armenia, as well as Russians, Yezidi Kurds. The detachment consisted of one thousand two hundred people. Later several more squads were created. But they were not as numerous as Ozanyan.

The commander of the first volunteer squad showed on the Caucasian front not only his courage, but also the ability to successfully lead people.

In 1916, the Armenian volunteer squads decided to reorganize into rifle battalions. Ozanyan refused to take part in it and resigned. He left the front. Former squad leader engaged in more important matters, helping Armenian refugees. People were forced to leave their native lands, fleeing from the genocide that the Young Turks staged.

In 1917, the revolutionary engaged in publishing a newspaper, which was aimed at protecting the Christian population of Western Armenia. In the same year, he finally broke with the Dashnaks.

Following the February Revolution

Andranik Ozanyan brief biography

By the end of 1917, Andranik Ozanyan, whose brief biography is associated with a turning point in the history of Russia, formed the Western Armenian division.She became part of the Armenian Corps.

The division consisted of four thousand people. Among them were representatives of different nationalities:

  • Armenians;
  • Russians (Cossacks);
  • the Greeks;
  • Assyrians;
  • Yezidis.

Andranik became the major general of the Russian army.

At this time, the Caucasian front was falling apart. This took advantage of the Turks. They launched an offensive in three directions - Primorsk, Van, Erzurum. By the beginning of 1918, the division commanded by Andranik was the only military force in the Caucasus. She was involved in fights. In the Battle of Dori, Ozanyan did great damage to the enemy. He defeated the Turkish army under Dilijan. This saved Yerevan from capture.

In addition to battles, Ozanyan covered the withdrawal of the population from Turkey.


By the 1918 peace treaty, Armenia lost a lot of its historical territories. General Andranik Ozanyan could not accept such conditions, since under the Batumi Treaty the Armenian Republic was limited to only twelve thousand square kilometers.

Together with the two thousand squad, he decided to protect the lands of Armenian communities that were not part of Armenia. The struggle was for Nakhichevan, Karabakh, Zangezur.

The forces were unequal, so Andranik decided to declare Nakhchivan County a part of the Soviet Republic. This did not help, and soon the Turks occupied Western Armenia. Andranik and thirty-five thousand more refugees were forced to retreat to the mountainous areas of Zangezur.

In 1918, Turkey capitulated. Ozanyan decided to make a trip to Shusha in order to clean the territory from the Muslims. But he was stopped by British General Thomson. According to some reports, Andranik and his detachment destroyed about a hundred Muslim villages, killing thousands of civilians. However, the Turks destroyed much more of the Armenian population. For the sake of the interests of their people, many leaders committed crimes against other nations.

According to Armenian historians, Ozanyan and his detachment saved about sixty thousand civilians from being destroyed by Turkish troops.


Andranik Ozanyan photo

The allies (the Entente) did not allow Andranik to go to Shusha, threatening that his actions would have a negative impact on the solution of the Armenian question. The leader of the liberation movement did not contradict the allies.

In 1919, Andranik with the detachment arrived in Echmiadzin. Here the squad was disbanded.Belief in the allies did not come true, they gave Nagorno-Karabakh to Azerbaijan.

Andranik became disillusioned with the Entente, the Bolsheviks and politics in general. After the dissolution of the detachment, he went to Tiflis, and from there to Batumi.


Andranik Ozanyan went to France. After he moved to England and then to the USA. Soon he returned to Europe again. He was invited by Poghos Nubar to support the liberation struggle of the Armenians of Cilicia.

In 1922 he finally moved to the United States. Ozanyan engaged in farming, living in the California city of Frezno. He helped the Armenian diaspora by organizing donations for refugees and orphans from Armenia.

Last words of Andranik

Andranik Ozanyan died (years 1865-1927) in the sixty-third year of life near Chicago. He had heart problems.

He said his last words in his native language. In free translation, they meant that he did not have time to complete his business.

In 1928, the remains of Ozanyan were transported to Paris for burial at the Pere Lachaise cemetery. Seventy-two years later, his ashes were reburied in Yerevan, at a military cemetery.

Personal life

Andranik Ozanyan years of life

Immediately after graduation, Andranik Ozanyan, whose biography is connected with the liberation movement, got married. The young family was expecting a baby, but the woman died during childbirth.A few weeks later, the newborn infant also passed away.

The second time he married already in old age, in 1921. The spouse's name was Nvard Kyurkchyan. Pogos Nubar made a godfather at the wedding. He had no children.


In memory of who fought for the liberation of Armenians against the Turkish yoke, squares, schools, streets in many countries of the world are named. Memorial plaques and monuments are installed in the following cities:

  • Bucharest.
  • Yerevan.
  • Varna.
  • Navur.
  • Goris.
  • Le Plessis-Robinson.
  • Gyumri.
  • Volkonke (near the city of Sochi).
  • Belorechensk.

Monument in Volkonka stood only a couple of days. The Russian government forced the Armenian community to dismantle it. The authorities were afraid to harm Russian-Turkish relations, which at that time were associated with the construction of Olympic facilities.

There is a museum of Ozanyan in Yerevan. And in Argentina there is a scout team, which bears the name of the general.

Awards Andranik Ozanyan

  • Military cross - assigned in 1913 by the Bulgarian kingdom.
  • George Cross and Medal, two orders - assigned in the period 1914-1916 by the Russian Empire.
  • Order of the Legion of Honor - awarded in 1919 by the French Republic.
  • The military cross was awarded in 1920 by the Kingdom of Greece.

Since 2001, there has been a medal "Andranik Ozanyan" in Armenia. She is awarded warrant officers and officers. According to the statute, it is honored for displaying courage, courage, organizational skills during the defense of the motherland when performing military service.

To the cinema

About the great liberator of Armenians shot several pictures. The first work appeared immediately after the death of the hero, in 1928. The director was Asho Shahatuni. He also played the main role. The full-length silent picture was shown in several European countries.

In 1990, a film was released about the leader of the national liberation movement of the twentieth century. The script was written by Robert Matosyan. The director was Levon Mkrtchyan. The text to the picture was read by Khoren Abrahamyan.

In 2010, a documentary about the commander was released. The Public Television of Armenia contributed to this.

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