Bulgaria Marks 137th Anniversary of Heroic Shipka Pass Battle
Bulgaria launches Saturday celebrations for the 137th anniversary of the heroic Shipka Pass Battle during the 1877-1878 Liberation War.
The festivities are to be attended by Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev, caretaker Culture Minister Martin Ivanov and caretaker Labor Minister Yordan Hristoskov, as well as diplomats, mayors, and representative of the central and local administration.
The celebrations will begin with a memorial liturgy at the Sokolovo monastery. Groups of people will begin a march to the Shipka peak from three sites.
A newly built Eternal Flame monument will be officially inaugurated at the crypt of the Monument of Freedom. There will be a solemn roll call of the National Guard and a reenactment of the epic battle, organized by the national association "Tradition." The military roll call and fireworks have been scheduled for 8.45 pm. The historic battle of the Russian-Turkish War took place between August 21 and August 26, 1877.
The Shipka pass turned out to be of strategic importance for the outcome of the twelfth war between Russia and the Ottoman Empire 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 forces faced almost 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 1877-78 ended with the San Stefano Peace Treaty of March 3, 1878, which liberated Bulgaria from Ottoman Turkey.
Congratulations and Thank You for Memory.
Small remark: "This force of a total of about....." was:
- in August, 8 (20), 1877: 4, 000 (2,000 Bulgarian opolchentsi + 2,000 Russians under General Stoletov' command)
- in August, 9(21), 1877: 6,000 (i.e.+2,000 Russians of the Bryansky regiment).