Andranik of Armenia
Aram Bakshian tells the story of the peasant carpenter who became a brilliant guerrilla leader and national hero, and who struggled to wrest a free Armenia from Turkey and Russia in the aftermath of the First World War.
In 1920, The Literary Digest described him as Armenia's 'Robin Hood, Garibaldi, and Washington, all in one...' Against overwhelming odds, he fought, and nearly succeeded in winning, a struggle for independence that ended in disillusioned exile. His name was Andranik Ozanian, better known to friend and foe alike as Andranik Pasha or General Andranik. All who met him, including this writer's father and grandfather, were struck by the force of Andranik's personality and his sheer physical presence, captured by Leon Trotsky in a vignette written on a Balkan battlefield:
At the head of the Armenian volunteer troop formed in Sofia stood Andranik, a hero of song and legend. He is of middle height, wears a peaked cap and high boots, is lean, with greying hair and wrinkles, fierce moustaches and a shaved chin, and has the air of a man who, after an over-long historical interval ... has found himself once more.