The Battle of Baku

The oil fields of Baku made control of the city a serious prize to belligerents in the Great War as well as to local nationalist and Soviet groups.  In August to September of 1918, the city and its environs were the site of a battle involving Azerbaijani, Ottoman, Armenian, Russian, and Allied troops.

The Allied contingent was the “Dunsterforce”, a group named after its commander, Lionel Dunsterville.  The map of the peninsula on which Baku is situated shown here comes from Dunsterville’s book on the exploits of his forces.  Eventually, the Dunsterforce abandoned Baku to the Ottoman-led troops.  Later in 1918, the Armistice of Mudros which was concluded between Ottoman Turkey and the Allies would see forces of the latter take back control of the city.

The adventures of Dunsterforce / by Major-General L.C. Dunsterville (1920)  9537.c.142

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