Artie H. Arslanian / MIDDLE EASTERN STUDIES / Vol. 16 /January 1980 /pp. 92-104

     Maps: Andrew Andersen, Georg Egge,  George Partskhaladze / 2003-2010       







Mutual suspicion, rivalry and intermittent wars bedeviled the relations of the short-lived Transcaucasian republics of Armenia, Georgia and Azerbaijan. Conflicting territorial claims supplied the dynamite for an explosive situa­tion which could not be defused by negotiation and compromise because of the rabid nationalism and fanaticism of the republics' leadership. The most serious dispute, one between Armenia and Azerbaijan, broke out over conflicting claims to Mountainous Karabagh—a region comprising the mountainous parts of Jebrail, Shushi, Jevanshir and Elisavetpol counties (uezdy) of the Elisavetpol province (gubemiia). Britain, which occupied Transcaucasia after World War I, played a leading role in the struggle for Karabagh and for a resolution favouring Azerbaijan. The settlement reached in the summer of 1919 remained basically unchanged after the Red Army took control of Azerbaijan and Armenia in 1920. The `Karabagh Question', however, continues to exacerbate the relations of Soviet Armenia and Soviet Azerbaijan and poses the problem of nationalist claims to the Soviet government.


The motives governing British policy regarding Transcaucasian territorial disputes in general, and the Karabagh conflict in particular, seem too complex to be explained by several recently advanced theories.' Richard H. Ullman argues that British officers favoured Christian Georgia and Armenia if they had previously served in Europe, whereas those British officers who had been in India supported Moslem Azerbaijan. Such an interpretation cannot account for every British decision on territorial conflicts in Trans­caucasia. However, the pro-Moslem sympathies of British officers formerly serving in India did influence their arbitration of the Karabagh dispute. This view is stressed but not documented by Richard G. Hovannisian. By contrast, Briton C. Busch argues that the background of British officers played no significant role in shaping British policy. The Karabagh case weakens his argument. Moreover, historians have failed to emphasize the fact that the British officers entrusted with the task of imposing law and order in Transcaucasia had insufficient troops to control a hostile Azerbaijan. Thus, expediency played a very important role in the shaping of policy towards Karabagh, for nothing could have proved more ruinous to British efforts to keep Azerbaijan quiet than a decision in favour of Armenia.





The course of the Armeno-Azerbaijani conflict over Karabagh has received previous scholarly treatment .2 In the first, half of 1918, Mountainous Karabagh was administered by a local bi-racial council and enjoyed virtual autonomy. The Moslem Azerbaijanis (Tatars) outnumbered the Christian Armenians in the Elisavetpol province two to one but the Armenians constituted seventy per cent of the population of Mountainous Karabagh. Following the declaration of Georgian, Azerbaijani and Armenian independence in May 1918, the Azerbaijani government strove to bring Karabagh, the city of Baku (which was controlled by local Russians and Armenians), and the Zangezur county of Elisavetpol under its jurisdiction with the help of the Ottoman armies. The Turks, who had already annexed parts of Transcaucasia, rushed to Azerbaijan's assistance. The first target of Turco-Tatar forces was the oil rich city of Baku. After entering it in September and killing thousands of Armenian civilians, the Ottoman formations moved on Mountainous Karabagh. The Armenians of Shushi, heavily outnumbered and anxious to escape the fate of their Baku com­patriots, submitted to the invading armies.


The other districts of Mountainous Karabagh continued to resist the Moslem forces and appealed to the Turkish Armenian partisan leader General Andranik Ozanian for assistance. Andranik and his irregulars had entered Zangezur in July, destroyed a number of Moslem settlements and brought the central region of the county under Armenian control. Andranik led his force towards Shushi in late November— almost a month after the Turkish Armistice —and crossed the Karabagh border on 2 December, after demolishing a number of Moslem strongholds which blocked his route. The Karabagh Armenians, elated with his successes and the departure of Ottoman troops in November, believed that they would come under the jurisdiction of the Republic of Armenia in a matter of days. However, their hopes were soon dashed by the action of Major-General William M. Thomson, the commander of the British expeditionary force which had entered Baku from North Persia on 17 November 1918.


Thomson instructed Andranik to stop all military operations and to return to Zangezur. Since the World War was over, all local disputes were to be settled by the Paris Peace Conference, not by force of arms.' Andranik complied; he was back in Zangezur on 4 December. A British military mission informed the Karabagh Armenians that Thomson himself would resolve, on a provisional basis, the Armeno-Azerbaijani conflict. His decision, made public in mid-January 1919, was a notable victory for the Azerbaijani government: both Zangezur and Mountainous Karabagh would be administered by Azerbaijan pending the final verdict of the Paris Peace Conference. Adding insult to the shattered hopes of Armenians, Thomson, to the surpise of many British authorities on the spot, approved the Azerbaijani government's choice of Doctor Khosrov Bek Sultanov, a notorious Armenophobe, as the governor general of the two regions.'


The pro-Azerbaijani actions of the British commander shocked the Armenians, who considered themselves the 'Little Ally'. As proof to this claim they pointed to their resistance against the Turks during the World War and to numerous Allied wartime pledges on their behalf. Thus, they expected the British forces to assist them in incorporating into the Armenian republic the territories disputed with Azerbaijan whose government had co-operated with the Turks during the war.'


The Karabagh Armenians and the government of Armenia objected to Thomson's decision. They petitioned Thomson, Major-General George Forestier-Walker (the senior commander of British forces in Transcaucasia) and the British government for the exclusion of Zangezur and Karabagh from Azerbaijani jurisdiction. All appeals received the same response: the Armenians should accept the temporary arrangement made by Thomson pending the final resolution of all Transcaucasian territorial conflicts by the Paris Peace Conference.'


The British military command in Transcaucasia consistently disregarded the Armenian demonstrations. Armenian arguments that their case was based on the principle of the self-determination of nationalities as well as on economic, geographic and historical considerations fell on deaf ears. The British military authorities attempted to reason, coax and threaten the Armenians into accepting the interim settlement decreed by Thomson in mid-January. The British military mission in Karabagh and the Baku com­mand did not take drastic measures necessary to stop Azerbaijani military operations against recalcitrant Karabagh. Regular Azerbaijani troops, in co-operation with Azerbaijani-Kurdish irregulars, entered Shushi in early June 1919. Hundreds of Armenian civilians were killed and many Armenian villages were looted and destroyed.


The fate of Shushi demonstrated the superiority of Azerbaijani forces to the remaining districts of Mountainous Karabagh. They were disillusioned by the inability of the Armenian government to render effective help to Karabagh or reverse the British policy. The Karabagh Armenians were faced with a choice between continued resistance—which would surely result in more defeats and deaths—or acquiescence in Azerbaijani authority. Mountainous Karabagh chose the second course in the absence of assistance from outside. Following lengthy and tortuous negotiations, the Armenians of Karabagh accepted Azerbaijani jurisdiction by an agreement signed on 22 August 1919.


The same month British forces began their withdrawal from Trans­caucasia and, as the Paris Peace Conference did not seriously address itself to the territorial conflicts of the Transcaucasian republics, the Armenians of Karabagh rebelled in the spring of 1920. The Armenian government dispatched regular units to Karabagh's assistance but the battle was inter­rupted when the Eleventh Red Army marched into Baku and Azerbaijan was declared a Soviet Republic. The Republic of Armenia, heeding the ultimatum delivered by the command of the Eleventh Red Army in the name -of Soviet Russia and Soviet Azerbaijan, withdrew its units from Karabagh, which eventually became an autonomous component of Soviet Azerbaijan.


The British policy toward Karabagh aroused general indignation in the Republic of Armenia. At the end of August 1919, Lieutenant-Colonel John C. Plowden, the British military representative in Erevan, reported:

The handing over of KARABAGH to Azerbaijan was, I think, the bitterest blow of all. KARABAGH means more to the Armenians than their religion even, being the cradle of their race, and their traditional last sanctuary when their country has been invaded. It is Armenian in every particular and the strongest part of Armenia, both financially, militarily and socially.'


The Armenians felt that their just cause had been betrayed by their British ally'.'





The British postwar intervention in Transcaucasia was triggered by the decision of David Lloyd George's War Cabinet, at the end of October 1918, to establish undisputed British control over the Caspian Sea and to ensure Turkish compliance with the terms of the Mudros Armistice. The occupa­tion of Baku, and the disembarkation at Batum of the 27th Division of General George Milne's Salonika Force at the end of December, was also part of a larger British plan to establish contact with the anti-Bolshevik elements in the Balkans, southern Russia and on the Volga front.' By the end of 1918 the British government had detailed about 23,000 men to Transcaucasia, but it had failed to formulate a comprehensive or long-term policy towards the Transcaucasian republics. While British troops pro­ceeded to occupy the Batum-Baku line, the British Peace Delegation left for Paris without clear guidelines regarding the recognition of the Trans­caucasian republics and the solution of their conflicting territorial claims.'


The only directive Thomson received from London regarding policy towards the local republics reached him a week after his arrival in Trans­caucasia. The War Office instructed the British military command to pro­claim that the British goal was to maintain order and enforce the armistice terms until the future of the local republics was decided by the Paris Peace Conference." While the British government neglected the territorial conflicts of Transcaucasian republics, Thomson was immediately faced with these disputes upon his arrival in Baku. As he realized that these conflicts had to be resolved if peace and order were to be secured in Transcaucasia, he proclaimed his own convictions as government policy in the absence of guidelines from London.


Fathali Khan Khoiskii, the Azerbaijani Premier, aware of British concern to restore peaceful conditions in eastern Transcaucasia, accused the Armenians of perpetrating the troubles in Zangezur and Mountainous Karabagh. Thomson, in turn, authorized the Azerbaijani government on 29 November 'to use its troops defensively as a protection against ARMENIANS. 112 Khan Khoiskii's powers of persuasion might have influenced Thomson, but other considerations were responsible for his decisions to demand Andranik's withdrawal to Zangezur and to place Karabagh under Azerbaijani jurisdiction. Thomson's support of Azerbaijani claims was partly due to his assessment that the small British force under his command could not maintain peace in this region. Ranald McDonell, the British vice-consul at Baku who was personally involved in British efforts to resolve the Armeno-Azerbaijani territorial disputes, admitted that 'the Armenians- certainly received some very severe snubs [from Thomson], but feeling against them [in Azerbaijan] ran so high that it is doubtful whether General Thomson could have established any sort of order in Azerbaijan had he not taken up the attitude he did'." Thus, Thomson ordered Andranik back to Zangezur mainly because he wanted to stop all military operations in Transcaucasia and reestablish normality. Moreover, in order not to arouse Azerbaijani hostility toward the British command, Thomson advised against the military aid which the War Office proposed to give to Andranik. The British government, he said, 'would be misconstrued as arming Armenians against Tartars'. 11


The approval given by Thomson to the appointment of Sultanov as governor general is more difficult to explain. Thomson was aware of Sultanov's extreme pro-Turkish sympathies and undying hatred of Armenians. These were not the right qualifications for quelling or moderating the hostility of Zangezur and Karabagh Armenians towards the Azerbaijani government. Thomson was warned by McDonell that Sultanov was much too vindictive a type to keep peace for long'. 11 Perhaps he agreed to the appointment of Sultanov because the latter, 'being related by birth or marriage to most of the local Begs', had a very strong power base in Shushi. "


The final, and an important, consideration accounting for the favourable attitude of Thomson to Azerbaijani territorial clams was his desire to see the establishment of a large, strong and pro-British Azerbaijan. Having served in India, he was keenly alive to the traditional Anglo-Russian rivalry in Asia and was hostile to Russia. Now that Russia was in the throes of civil war, he wanted to extend British protection to the Moslems living within the southern borders of of Asiatic Russia. This view was shared by many British officers in Transcaucasia who had served in India. The most extreme case for this policy was made by Colonel Claude Stokes who was a political officer in Baku and was appointed British High Commissioner in Transcaucasia in September 1920. According to a Foreign Office memorandum:


. . . Colonel Stokes . . . strongly advocated the creation of a single Mahommedan State extending from the northern frontier of Daghestan to the Persian Gulf, and eastward from the Black Sea to beyond the Caspian, so as to include the Turkoman Mahommedans of Russian Central Asia. Such a State would be peopled chiefly by Moslems of the Shiah rite, and ... would be in enmity with any Turkish Sunni Moslem State in Asia Minor. It was expected that the Shiah State would lean upon Great Britain and provide a buffer between Russia and the British Asiatic possessions ... 11


Thomson, too, was hopeful that a sympathetic British attitude toward the claims of the Azerbaijani government would deter it from pursuing a pro-Turkish orientation. Moreover, he considered such a policy to be a propaganda asset for Britain, whose empire had a large Moslem population. Thomson exhorted London:

Trans Caucasia stands on the edge of two problems. That of Russia, and the far more important one for us, the future of Mahommedan Power. Two of the great Mussalman powers have ceased to exist, Russia and Turkey—we alone remain. Are we going to accept that position? Are we going to support the temporal power of the Caliph in the Turkey that remains? Are we going to see Persia and the Arab Kingdom through? Are we going to do anything for the Mussalmans of the late Russian Empire? It must be remembered that half of the population of Trans Caucasia are Mussalmans. They have appealed to us. Also representa­tives of the Turkomans, Bakhara, Khiva and even Bashkiria have come to Tiflis and Baku and asked for British protection and help. Trans Caucasia therefore may be of importance to us. . .


He admitted that continuous British military presence in Transcaucasia would be a heavy financial and military burden for Britain and might earn her the hatred of Russia and the jealousy of France. However, he preferred to keep this region under British military control and warned London that the withdrawal of British troops 'will be looked upon, in Trans Caucasia, as an act of perfidy'. 11


Thomson was not blind to the animosity between Armenians and various Moslem peoples in Transcaucasia. He believed that as long as a large Moslem community lived in Armenia and a strong Armenian minority remained in Azerbaijan the governments of both republics would be in­volved in continuous interracial conflicts and would not be able to stabilize their administration and finances. He was confident that the Peace Con­ference would decree the unification of the Transcaucasian Republic of Armenia with Turkish Armenia. Thus, he saw no reason for giving satisfac­tion to Armenian territorial claims in Transcaucasia because of the large size the future integral Armenia would have. He wanted to transplant. the Armenians of the Elisavetpol province into Kars and Erevan provinces of the Republic of Armenia and repopulate their villages with Moslems living in Armenia." This policy would benefit both republics:


Transplanting will be necessary but not on a large scale. For example the Armenian enclave in Karabagh can not remain, nor can the hostile Mussulman sit around the S.W. of Erivan as at present. When the worst cases have been dealt with the races will settle down quietly together as in the past or will migrate voluntary [sic] to the country ruled by their compatriots."


Thomson was not alone in advocating these ideas. When he replaced Forestier-Walker as divisional commander in Tiflis on 10 March 1919— thus becoming the tactical commander of all British troops in Transcaucasia—his policy towards Karabagh was followed to the letter by his successor in Baku, Lieutenant-Colonel (later General) Digby Inglis Shuttleworth. Brigadier-General William Beach (the head of the British military intelligence in the Caucasus), in spite (or maybe because) of his concern for the well-being of Armenians went one step further than Thomson and advocated the in­clusion of the Nakhichevan county of the Erevan province into the boundaries of Azerbaijan. His arguments for this policy, and the methods suggested for implementing it, were similar to those advanced by Thomson:


The South-Eastern corner of the Erivan province contains a high percentage of Tartars and it is proposed therefore that the district of Nakichevan should go to Azerbaijan: Armenians from the district thus ceded (and also those from the Shusha and Gerusi districts) being transplanted- into Kars province and being replaced by Moslems from Kars, Erivan (and possibly Batoum) provinces.


No support need be given to Armenia's claims in the province of Elisavethpol nor to her claim for Akhalkalaki [in the Tiflis province]: she should be amply satisfied by receiving BORCHALA and by the territory which her nation will presumably receive in Asia Minor."


Thomson, Shuttleworth and Beach received the unstinted support of their military superiors. The successive commanders of British forces in Trans­caucasia— General Forestier-Walker, Thomson himself and George Cory—remained unmoved by the numerous pleas of the Armenian government and the Armenians of Karabagh to free the latter region from Azerbaijani jurisdiction pending the final decision of the Paris Peace Con­ference." The Armenian government was also unable to wrest concessions from General George Milne, the commander of the British Army of the Black Sea, whose command included the British forces in Turkey, Trans­caucasia and Transcaspia. Milne stated that questions pertaining to local affairs should be resolved with British military authorities in Transcaucasia.' Armenian petitions to the Foreign Office in London and to the British Peace Delegation in Paris proved equally unproductive.




The Foreign Office and the political section of the British Peace Delegation—to which the Karabagh Armenians and the Republic of Armenia Peace Delegation brought the question of Karabagh—were isolated from Trans­caucasian developments during the first half of 1919. In a minute of 2 February 1919, Lord Curzon, the Acting Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, complained that he had only 'a very small idea [about] what is going on' in Transcaucasia. His information came mainly from copies of telegrams exchanged between the War Office and the military commanders in the Caucasus, but these communications reached him mixed up with other telegrams, so he could not get a clear picture of the situation. His other sources of information consisted of 'a brief daily typed summary sent me from the Military Department of the India Office ... [and] an occasional casual reference in the Foreign Office weekly Eastern Reports, which hardly seem to be aware of the existence of the Caucasus'."


The high ranking officials of the Foreign Office knew even less than Curzon. George Kidston, the Chief Clerk of the Eastern Department (which dealt with affairs pertaining to the Balkans, the Middle East, Persia and the Caucasus) stated on 6 February: 'For all practical purposes the Caucasus has, until quite recently, been almost entirely outside the purview of the Foreign Office'. As Transcaucasia was occupied by British troops, it was under the responsibility of the War Office. There were no Foreign Office representatives in the area and all information the Foreign Office received came from the War Office. Kidston complained of the 'erratic' delivery of War Office telegrams regarding Transcaucasia. He also believed that many crucial items were withheld. As to the reports that Curzon received from the India Office, Kidston claimed that he had never seen them or 'even heard' of them. He hastened to add that the weekly Eastern Reports were not written by the Foreign Office but by the Secretariat of the War Cabinet."


The Foreign Office and the political section of the British Peace Delega­tion were in the dark about the motives underlying the decision of Thomson regarding the provisional administration of Karabagh. They turned to the War Office for information when Armenian protests reached Paris and London." The War Office did not divulge the rationale for the Karabagh decision but questioned the credibility of Avetis Aharonian, the head of the Republic of Armenia Peace Delegation, and his arguments.


The War Office attitude is well illustrated by its response to the request of Foreign Secretary Arthur James Balfour (who as a member of the British Peace Delegation was being inundated by Armenian protests) to Curzon in London to obtain the full facts of the Karabagh situation from the War Office." In reply, Major-General William Thwaites,   the Director of Military Intelligence Department (D.M.I.) of the War Office, forwarded the copy of a telegram from Thomson which declared that 'the Armenian enclave in Karabagh cannot be allowed to remain'. Thomson gave no reasons for this policy. Instead, he unleashed a tirade against the Karabagh Armenians and the Armenian Revolutionary Federation (Dashnaktsutiun), the dominant political party in the Republic of Armenia:


The fact is that in Azerbaijan some Armenians are much disappointed that the British occupation is not an opportunity for revenge. They are reluctant to accept it that [the] peace conference are going to decide [the future of Karabagh] and not military force.

To carrying out of the policy of the British Government the most bitter opposition comes from Armenian society of Dachnachtsoon [sic] and it has been necessary to deal with it.

Moderate Armenians are working well with us as is proved by Dashtakov [sic], the President of Local Armenian Council having at my request joined the local Cabinet."


Thomson failed to mention that Dastakov (Abraham Dastakian) did not represent the majority view of his compatriots. He belonged to the Baku bourgeoisie and had a life-long association, on the managerial level, with the local oil industry. According to a British intelligence report, Dastakov was not very trustworthy' and was 'liable to graft' .30

General Thwaites attempted to discredit further Armenian criticisms of British policy in Karabagh. In his reply to the Foreign Office he expressed doubt in Aharonian's good faith. The D.M.I. also stated that Aharonian shared 'a propensity frequently observed in Armenian communications to looseness regarding details and dates' .31

The Foreign Office was not satisfied with the War Office response. Louis Mallet, Assistant Under Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and a member of the political section of the British Peace Delegation, was already impressed' by Aharonian's arguments for the inclusion of Karabagh in Armenia .32 In reference to Thwaites' reply, Eric Forbes Adam, a junior Foreign Office member of the British Peace Delegation, minuted:


The only point which is not quite clear from this is why the Karabagh district, which is admittedly preponderantly Armenian and, according to M. Aharonian, belongs geographically to Armenia as being the N.E. corner of the Armenian 'plateau', should not be attached to the Armenian republic or Erivan instead of Azerbaijan."


James Young Simpson, a colleague of Forbes Adam at the Foreign Office, vouched for the accuracy of Armenian statistics. He minuted that Aharonian had placed the Armenian population of Karabagh at 72 per cent, a figure which differed 'only by 1 or 2 per cent from the Russian statistics of some years ago'."


Foreign Office efforts to elicit more information from the War Office regarding the policy pursued in Karabagh were unsuccessful. 'I At the end of June, Forbes Adam claimed that the subordination of Karabagh to Azerbaijani administration 'remains a mystery' .31 On 7 July, a Foreign Office minute stated: 'The D.M.I. has consistently pooh-poohed the Armenian complaints as to the Karabagh situation' .37 The War Office succeeded in preventing Foreign Office involvement in the Karabagh question during the British occupation of Transcaucasia.


With the withdrawal of the bulk of British troops from Transcaucasia in the summer of 1919, the British government lost its most effective leverage in resolving the territorial disputes of the local republics. The repeated assurances of the Foreign Office and the British military commanders in Transcaucasia notwithstanding, the Peace Conference did not address itself seriously to these disputes. Even had the Peace Conference dictated resolu­tions to these conflicts, it was evident in Paris and London that Allied troops would be needed to implement its decisions. However,  no Allied govern- ment was willing to commit troops to Transcaucasia. Forbes Adam wrote privately to Oliver Wardrop, the British High Commissioner in Trans­caucasia, on 9 December 1919:


I don't know how or when we [the Paris Peace Conference] shall come to the question of frontiers in Transcaucasia ... I have gone over the Armenian frontiers with Aharonian and while he makes out a good case ethnologically, economically and militarily, I can hardly believe ... that it is possible to include the Shusha area and the whole of Zangezur in Armenia (however desirable) merely because the two latter seem untenable militarily in the face of Tatar hostility. If only the three [local] governments can definitely come to an agreement on the spot, how­ever, our task here of frontier drawing may be much lightened—may, indeed, become unnecessary ...38


This letter was an open admission that, in spite of the strength of the Armenian case, Britain and the Peace Conference were incapable—or unwilling—to change the status of Mountainous Karabagh in favour of the Republic of Armenia. The fate of Karabagh, and of the other disputed Transcaucasian territories, was decided by force of arms, not on the basis of the high-sounding moral principles proclaimed by the Allies during and immediately after the World War I.


The struggle for Karabagh, however, did not end with the sovietization of Armenia and Azerbaijan in 1920. Mountainous Karabagh remained an autonomous region in Soviet Azerbaijan contrary to declarations by Stalin and the Soviet government of Azerbaijan in December 1920 that it would be ceded to Armenia. These promises were presumably made to facilitate the sovietization of Armenia. Both the Azerbaijani and Armenian leaders remained dissatisfied with the status quo; both desired Mountainous Karabagh as an integral component of their respective republics. The Armeno-Azerbaijani conflict resurfaced after Stalin's death. In recent years the Karabagh Armenians, Armenian members of the Communist Party and the Armenian community in Moscow have been vociferous in their demands. In letters to the Central Committee of the Communist Party, as well as to Khrushchev and Brezhnev, they have demanded the incorporation of Karabagh into Armenia. These letters, accusing Azerbaijani authorities of pursuing the old Turkish policy of cultural and economic repression towards Karabagh Armenians, claim that Azerbaijani control over this region contradicts the spirit of Lenin's policy on nationalities." Armenian demands persist in the face of the Soviet government's rebukes that they contradict `the principle of Leninist friendship of the peoples and proletarian inter­nationalism."' Thus, historic Armeno-Azerbaijani distrust and rivalry still smoulder after sixty years of 'fraternal' relations under the Soviet regime and indicate the staunch nationalism of the peoples of Transcaucasia.




1. See Richard H. Ullman, Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1917-1921, Vol. II, Britain and the Russian Civil War, November 1918-February 1920 (Princeton, 1968), pp. 223-4; Richard G. Hovannisian, The Republic of Armenia, Vol. I, The First Year, 1918-1919 (Berkeley, 1971), p. 157; Briton Cooper Busch, Mudros to Lausanne: Britain's Frontier in West Asia, 1918-1923 (Albany, N.Y., 1976), n. 13, pp. 113-14.

2. Hovannisian, I, pp. 79-90, 156-96, and 'The Armeno-Azerbaijani Conflict Over Mountainous Karabagh, 1918-1919,' Armenian Review, XXIV, no. 3 (1971), 3-39. Detailed Azerbaijani and Armenian arguments (demographic, historical, economic, geographic and Political) in support of their respective claims for possession of Mountainous Karabagh are found in D616gation Azerbaidjanienne a la Confdrence da la Paix, Revendications de la Delegation de Paix de la Republique de l'Azerbaidjan du Caucase presentees 6 la Conference de la Paix a Paris, 1919 (Paris, 1919) and in the following three publications by the Republic of Armenia Delegation to the Conference of Peace: LArm9nie transcaucasienne: Territories, J . rontieres, ethnographic, statistique (Paris, 1919), La Republique Arm9nienne et ses voisins: Questions territoriales (Paris, 1919), and Donnges statistique des populations de la Trans­caucasia (Paris, 1920). See also Al. Khatisian, Hayastani Hanrapetutian dsagumm u zargatsume[The Creation and Development of the Republic of Armenia], 2nd ed. (Beirut, 1968), pp. 161-169,177-184; Simon Vratzian, Hayastani Hanrapetutiun [Republic of Armenia], 2nd ed. (Beirut, 1958), pp. 158, 243-7, 309-35, 370-7, 445-7.

3.  General Staff, Advanced Headquarters, North Persia Force, War Diary, entry of 29 November 1918 and appendix 39 for the same month, W. O. [War Office Archives] 95/5045; G.O.C. in C. [General Officer Commanding in Chief, Mesopotamia [General William Marshall] 'secret' telegram to W. O. [War Office] (repeated to Delhi and Salonika, transmitting Thomson's telegram of 9 December), 10 December 1918, F. O. [Foreign Office Archives] 371/3405, 208033/55708/18.

4.    Eric Forbes Adam (a Foreign Office Junior Clerk attached to the political section of the British Empire Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference), minute of 30 June 1919, F. 0. 608/82, 342/5/4/13508. The following description of Sultanov, in India, General Staff, Personalities in Trans-Caucasia (Simla, 1920), pp. 160-1 (hereafter cited as Personalities in Transcaucasia), makes the vehement opposition of Karabagh Armenians to Thomson's decision more understandable: '. . . Azerbaijani subject. When the independence of Azerbaijan was proclaimed, he occupied the post of Minister of War. Hates Armenians and all Christians, President of Muhammadan charitable institution . . . Went round the country in 1918, persuading the people to ask the Turks to come to Shusha, promising looting of Armenians as a bait . . . Was in Baku during the Armenian atrocities of September 1918. Absolutely unscrupulous and fiery temper. Fond of wine and women. Cunning and brutal. . .'Dr Sultano~ was referred to as 'a notorious monster' in the 18 June 1919 issue of Ashkhatavor ['Labourer']. Tiflis. This daily was the organ of the Georgian Central Committee of the Armenian Revo­lutionary Federation (Dashknaktsutiun), the ruling political party in the Republic of Armenia. At different times Ashkhatavor appeared under the titles of Haradj ['Forward'] and Nor Ashkhatavor ['New Labourer'].

5.    F. O. memorandum by W. J. Childs and A. E. Ranald McDonnell, 'Outline of Events in Transcaucasia from the beginning of the Russian Revolution in the Summer of 1917 to April 1921,'31 May 1922, F. 0.371/7729, E8378/8378/58 (hereafter cited as F. 0., 'Outline of Events in Transcaucasia'). This memorandum states: 'On the strength of British support of the Armenian cause, and recent British statements of policy, they [the Armenians] were supremely confident of being the chosen Transcaucasian allies of Great Britain'.

6.    For the texts of numerous protests made by Karabagh Armenians, by the Republic of Armenia and by the Republic of Armenia Peace Delegation to various British military and political authorities in Transcaucasia, London and Paris see the Archives of the Republic of Armenia Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference—now integrated into the Archives of Dashnaktsutiun, Boston, Massachusetts—Files 3/3, 8/8, 9/9, 62/2, 69a/a and 333/3 (hereafter cited as Rep. of Arm. Archives).

7.    G.H.Q., General Staff, Army of the Black Sea, Constantinople, 'Intelligence' no. 2737

`I', 'Weekly Report no. 36; for the week ending 2nd October 1919', Appendix D, 'An appreciation of the situation in ARMENIA at the time of the departure of the British Mission from ERIVAN, 28th August, 1919, by Lieut.-Colonel J. C. PLOWDEN', F.O. 371/4159, 145863/521/19.

8.    For bitter Armenian attacks against the 'despotic', 'ill-reputed', 'hypocritical' and `perfidious' British policy in Karabagh see: Haradj, 11 March 1919; Ashkhatavor, 15 and 18 June, 21 September and 17 October 1919; Nor Ashkhatavor, 24 August 1919 and 8 July 1920,

9.    General Henry Wilson (Chief of the Imperial General Staff, W.O.) memorandum of 14 October 1918, Adm. [Admiralty Archives] 1/8541, file 276, G.T. 5984; Captain C.P.R. Coode (Director of Operations Division of the Admiralty), minute of 3 October 1918, Adm. 116/1823. See also Richard H. Ullman, Anglo-Soviet Relations, 1917-1921, Vol. II, Britain and the Russian Civil War, November 1918-February 1920 (Princeton, 1968), p. 7; Brigadier-General F. J. Moberly (comp.), History of the Great War Based on Official Documents: The Campaign in Mesopotamia, Vol. IV (London, 1927), p. 329; John M. Thompson, 'Allied and American Intervention in Russia, 1918-1921,' in Cyril E. Black (ed.), Rewriting Russian History, 2nd ed. (New York, 1962), p. 321.

10.  The task of formulating a British policy in Transcaucasia was entrusted to the Eastern Committee of the War Cabinet. For the minutes and verbatim notes of the deliberations of this committee see CAB. [Cabinet Office Archives] 27/24.

11.     D.M.I. (Director of Military Intelligence, W.O., Major-General William Thwaites) telegram to G.O.C. in C., Mesopotania (repeated to C. in C. India and Salonika), 16 November 1918, CAB. 27/36, E.C. 2357. Marshall received this telegram three days later and transmitted it to Thomson on 24 November 1918. See G.H.Q., Q.S., Mesopotamia Expeditionary Army, War Diary, appendix 4 for the month of December 1918, W.O. 95/4967: Wilber E. Post. 'Occupation of Baku by British Forces', in Post et al., 'A Resume of Events in the Caucausus since the Russian Revolution', (Typewritten MSS., Hoover Library, n.d.).

12.     General Digby Inglis Shuttleworth, 'Second British Occupation of Baku', 21 January 1920, W.O. 106/1562.

McDoriell, minute of 11 June 1920, F.O. 371/4957, E6253/134/58. McDonell was appointed British Vice-Consul at Baku in 1907, and was promoted to Acting Consul in September 1919. He was employed as a Junior Clerk in the Foreign Office from October 1919 to August 1922. See also F. J. F. French, From Whitehall to the Caspian (London, 1920) pp. 130-1.

13.     G.O.C. in C., Mesopotamia, 'secret' telegram to W.O., 10 December 1918 (see note 3 above). The War Office wanted to assist Andranik and use his partisan force as auxiliary to British troops in Transcaucasia. A War Office memorandum of 1 December 1918 stated: 'the appearance of a British brigade at Baku has had a stabilizing effect on the railway and oil situation, and the Armenian leader, Andranik, seems to have been enabled to resume guerilla activity. This, combined with the naval situation on the Caspian which may be called satis­factory and the imminent occupation of Batum by a British division ... should provide the required military support to carry out such policy as seems best to H.M.G. astride the Batum-Baku and Tiffis-Julfa railway'. See General Staff, W.O., `The Military Situation in the Caucasus', CAB. 27/37, E.C. 2557. For further correspondence between the War Office and Thomson regarding the question of British military assistance to Andranik see CAB. 27/37, EC. 2421, E.C. 2455, E.C. 2514; CAB. 27/39, E.C. 2818, E.C. 2949.

14.     McDonell, minute of 24 November 1919, F.O. 371/3660, 144757/512/19. See also F. J. French, 165-6.

15.  Personalities in Transcaucasia, p. 161.

16.     F.O., 'Outline of Events in Transcaucasia'. See also James Simpson (a junior Foreign Office member of the British Peace Delegation), 'Minute of a Conversation with Colonel Stokes—just returned from the Caucasus', Paris, 7 June 1919, F.O. 371/3662, 90450/1015/19.

17.     W.M.T. [Major-General William M. Thomson], 'Appreciation of the situation [in Transcaucasia] as I left it. May 13th 1919', CAB. 45/107.

18.  Ibid. See also his 'Notes on General Situation in Caucasus', 6 December 1918, F.O. 371/3667, 5890/19.

19.     W.M.T., 'Notes on Trans-Caucasia', 9 April 1919, CAB. 45/107.

20.   Ibid.

21.   Brigadier-General W. H. Beach, 'Report on Transcaucasia', Tiflis, 3 March 1919, F.0... 371/3662, 72735/1015/19. Cf. Khatisian, op. cit., pp. 161-2, 168-9.

22.   A. Chahnazaroff (President of the Armenian Council of Karabagh) to Forestier-Walker, 24 February 1919; S. Tigranian (Armenian Minister for Foreign Affairs) to the Commander of British Forces in Transcaucasia, 15 April 1919; General Cory to the Goverment of the Republic of Armenia, 19 June 1919, in Rep. of Arm, Archives, File 9/9; Tigranian to the Commander of British Forces in Transcaucasia, 16 April 1919, Rep. of Arm. Archives, File 3/3; Tigranian to General Thomson, 11 March 1919; Armenian Diplomatic Representative in Tiflis (L. Evanghulian) to the President of the Republic of Armenia Delegation to the Paris Peace Conference (A. Aharonian), 23 June 1919, Rep. of Arm. Archives, File 66/2. See also Khatisian, ibid., p. 168.

23.   Hovannisian, The Republic of Armenia, p. 174.

24.   Curzon, minute of 2 February 1919, F.O. 371/3667, 19030/5890/19.

25.   Kidston, minute of 6 February 1919, ibid.

26.   For Armenian protests and the reaction of the various members of the Foreign Office and the British Peace Delegation see: Sir Percy Cox (British Minister in Tehran) telegrams to F.O., 6 February and 3 March 1919, F.O. 371/3657, 21632/22214/34899/512/19; Aharonian to A. J. Toynbee (a junior member of the political section of the British Peace Delegation), Paris, 4 April 1919, and Aharonian, memorandum to the President of the British Peace Delegation, 17 May 1919, F.O. 608/80, 342/5/4/7743/10328; Simpson, minutes of an interview with Aharonian, 17 June 1919, and Belfour to F.O. (transmitting a memorandum from the Delegation of Integral Armenia to David Lloyd George, 30 June 1919), 4 July 1919, F.O. 371/3659, 97452/115165/512/19; Kidston, minutes of a conversation with Mikayel Varandian (a prominent Dashakist intellectual), 19 June 1919,17.0. 371/3671, 90110/89370/19; Louis Mallet, minutes of a conversation with Aharonian, 16 May 1919, F.O. 608/80, 342/1/13/10420; Mallet, minutes of a conversation with Boghos Nubar Pasha (President of the Armenian National Delegation), 19 May 1919, F.O. 608/82, 342/5/4/10419. See also Avetis Aharonian, Sardarapatits minchev Sery ev Lozan (Kaghakakan oragir) [From Sardarabad to Sevres and Lausanne (Political Diary)] (Boston, 1943), pp. 20-1, 25, 28.

27.   Mallet (for Balfour) to Curzon, 17 April 1919, F.O. 371/3658, 60616/512/19. See also Mallet, minute of 19 May 1919, F.O. 608/22, 342/5/4/10419.