When the Ottoman Empire declared war on Russia on 2 November 1914, the overall Russian strategy for the Caucasus was defensive; they were outnumbered in the theatre, and valuable targets were remote through this treacherous terrain. However, the local Russian commander of the 1st Caucasian Army Corps decided to make a speculative foray towards Küprüköy. The local commander of the Turkish 3rd Army, Izzet Pasha, was inclined to sit back but was overruled by the Ottoman War Minister, Enver Pasha. The forces clashed on 6 November with the Russians initially on top but, on 11 November, a fierce counterattack forced the Russians to retreat until reinforcements, under General Przevalski attacked the Turkish left flank on 16 November, allowing the Russians to retain a narrow salient in the Aras river valley. Tsar Nicholas visited the campaign, meeting the head of the Armenian Church. Armenian volunteers worked alongside the Russian forces.
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