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In the words of Christopher J. Walker, had the Armenians lost this battle, "it is perfectly possible that the word Armenia would have henceforth denoted only an antique geographical term." In January 1918, two months after the Bolshevik seizure of power in Russia, the Sovnarkom, the highest government authority under the Bolshevik system, issued a decree which called for the withdrawal of Russian troops from the Caucasus Front. This move threw the Armenian leadership in the Transcaucasia into a panic, since it removed from the region the only force capable of protecting the Armenian people from the Ottoman Empire, which had effectively exterminated its Armenian population through systematic massacres and deportations. The Armenians refused to recognize the authority of the Bolsheviks and attempted to form military units to defend the front as the Ottoman armies prepared to expand eastward.
The Armenians attempted to stall the Ottoman advance as they created a small Armenian army to take up the positions the Russians had abandoned. General Tovmas Nazarbekian was selected as its commanding officer and Drastamat Kanayan was appointed as civilian commissar. But in May 1918, just two months after the Brest-Litovsk Peace Treaty was concluded with the Russian SFSR, elements of the Ottoman Third Army crossed into Eastern Armenia and attacked Alexandropol (modern-day Gyumri). The Ottoman Army intended to crush Armenia and seize Russian Transcaucasia and the oil wells of Baku. The German government, the Ottoman Empire's ally, objected to this attack and refused to help the Ottoman Army in the operation.
At this time, only a small area of historical Armenian territory which used to be a part of the Russian Empire remained unconquered by the Ottoman Empire, and into that area hundreds of thousands of Armenian refugees had fled after the Armenian Genocide. The Ottoman Forces began a three-pronged attack in an attempt to finally overwhelm and conquer the rest of Armenia. When Alexandropol fell, the Ottoman Army moved into the former territory of the Yerevan guberniia – the heart of Armenia. The Ottoman offensive was viewed by Armenians with foreboding. With nowhere else left to retreat, they decided to make their stand and prepare for the upcoming battle: Catholicos Gevorg V ordered that church bells peal for six days as Armenians from all walks of life – peasants, poets, blacksmiths, and even the clergymen – rallied to form organized military units.

投稿日時 - 2018-04-17 15:37:17

QNo.9489538

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