Skobelew im Türkenkriege und vor Achal-Teke ['Geok-Tepe' on the cover]. Erinnerungen eines Augenzeugen. Autorisierte deutsche Ausgabe von A. von Drygalski.

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Verlag Von Johannes Rade, Berlin, 1900.

Original decorative cloth bdg. Cr. 8vo. (19 x 13 cm). In German. 1 portrait of Wereschtscagin, [4], 184, [10] p., ills. Owner's name on imprint page, marbled edges. A very good copy. The Battle of Geok Tepe in 1881 was the main event in the 1880/81 Russian campaign to conquer the Teke Turkomans. Its effect was to give the Russian Empire control over most of what is now Turkmenistan, thereby nearly completing the Russian conquest of Central Asia. The battle is also called Denghil-Tepe or Dangil Teppe. Sources are inconsistent, but Denghil-Tepe seems to have been the name of the fort and also the name of a small hill or tumulus in the northwest corner of the fort. Geok Tepe ('Blue Hill') seems to refer to the general area, the modern town, a nearby village, and a mountain to the south. Skrine says that the fort enclosed 2.6 square kilometers (1 sq mi) or more, with mud walls 5.5 m (18 ft) thick and 3 m (10 ft) high on the inside and a 1.2 m (4 ft) dry ditch on the outside, although other dimensions are given. The area was part of the Akhal Oasis where streams coming down from the Kopet Dagh support irrigation agriculture. After Russian forces were defeated in 1879 Russia began to plan for a new campaign. The basic problem was moving up supplies since Akhal was an oasis surrounded by several hundred kilometers of semi-desert. In March 1880 Mikhail Skobelev was put in charge of the Trans-Caspian region. He adopted Lazarev's original plan of a slow and massive advance. Instead of Khoja Kale, he chose a base at Bami on the north side of the Kopet Dagh. At some point, he decided to take Geok Tepe by siege rather than a storm. He arrived at Chikislyar in May, advanced up the Atrek and Sumbar rivers, and by June 11 he occupied Bami. The build-up was slow, partly due to the shortage of camels. In July he made a reconnaissance in force to examine Geok Tepe. By the first half of December, he had enough men and supplies and moved out to occupy a fort he renamed "Samur" a few kilometers west of Geok Tepe. On 27 December Aleksey Kuropatkin arrived with five companies, having made a remarkable march across the desert from Khiva. By the end of the month, Skobelev had 4020 infantry, 750 cavalry as well as artillery, rockets, several machine guns, and heliographs for communications. About 40000 Tekkes were thought to be in the area. On January 1, 1881, he occupied Yanghi-Kala south of the fort to control the water supply and the following day chose the southeast corner as the point of attack and on the following day moved the main camp to Yanghi-Kala. On 4-8 January, the first parallel was built about 600 m (700 yds) from the fort and a second began. To protect this a detachment was sent to capture a small redoubt to the north and General Petrushevich was killed after rushing through the gate. The Tekkes made sorties on the 9th, 11th, and 16th. These were largely successful but cost many Turkoman lives. The camp was twice moved north to make it easier to deal with sorties. The Russians only had enough men to hold a siege line in the southeast corner and the Tekkes were usually allowed to move in and out on the north side of the fort. On January 18 a mine was started on the southeast side and two days later artillery made a breach in the south wall which was quickly repaired. On 23 January the mine was completed and loaded with 1,200 kg (2,600 lb) of powder.