Bulgaria Remembers Heroes of Historic Shipka Battle

Society | August 21, 2011, Sunday // 12:11|  views

Photo from the 2010 re-creation of the 1877 Battle of Shipka Pass. BGNES

Thousands of Bulgarians climbed Sunday mount Shipka in the central Stara Planina mountain range to mark the 134th anniversary of the historic battle in the 1877-8 Russo-Turkish war that led to the liberation of Bulgaria.

The official festivities, starting late in the morning and including a reenactment of the August events in 1877, were also honored by Speaker of Parliament Tsetska Tsacheva and a number of cabinet ministers.

The Battle of the Shipka Pass took place on August 21-23, 1877, within the twelfth war between the Russia and the Ottoman Empire.

The pass turned out to be of strategic importance for the outcome of the war, but it was initially guarded mostly by the regiments of the Bulgarian "opalchentsi", or volunteers, as well as smaller numbers of Russian, Ukrainian, Belarusian, and Finnish soldiers from the Russian Empire's army.

This force of a total of about 7,000 armed men faced some 40,000 Ottoman Turkish troops, but managed to hold its critically important positions until the arrival of the Russian army of General Radetski.

The Russo-Turkish War of 1877-8 ended with the San Stefano Peace Treaty of March 3, 1878, which liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman Turkey.

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Tags: Shipka, war, liberation, Ottoman Empire, Russia


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