Shipka Pass


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Shipka Pass

a pass over the Balkan Mountains in central Bulgaria: scene of a bloody Turkish defeat in the Russo-Turkish War (1877--78). Height: 1334 m (4376 ft.)

Shipka Pass

 

a pass in Bulgaria, in the Stara Planina (Balkan) Mountains, situated at an elevation of 1,185 m. The highway between the cities of Kazanluk and Gabrovo crosses Shipka Pass. Located near the pass is the Liberty Monument (1928–30; architect A. Donkov, sculptor A. Andreev), commemorating the military cooperation between Russian and Bulgarian soldiers and Bulgaria’s liberation from the Turkish yoke in 1877–78. The pass is now a national park.

Shipka Pass was the scene of bitter fighting for its possession during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–78. On July 7 (19), 1877, after the battles of July 5–6 (17–18), Russian troops took the pass, which afforded the shortest route to Istanbul. The Turkish command, having transferred the army of Suleiman Pasha from Montenegro to the Transbalkan region, decided to launch a counteroffensive with the goal of pushing the Russian troops beyond the Danube. Suleiman’s army, comprising 37,500 men, was instructed to take Shipka Pass and link up with the main forces, located in the vicinities of Ruschuk (Ruse), Shumla, and Silistra. Suleiman sent 27,000 men, along with 48 guns, into Shipka Pass against the Russian-Bulgarian detachment of General N. G. Sto-letov, which held the pass with 4,800 men (including 2,000 Bulgarians) and 27 guns. On the morning of August 9 (21), the Turkish forces launched heavy frontal attacks from the south and southeast up Mount Saint Nicholas in the southern part of the pass. The Russian-Bulgarian forces commanded by Generals V. F. Derozhinskii and Stoletov, reinforced on August 9 (21) by the arrival of 7,500 reserves and 28 guns, beat back numerous enemy attacks, inflicting heavy losses. On August 10 (22), the Turks regrouped and enveloped the pass in a semicircle from the west, south, and east, then launched an assault from three directions on August 11 (23). Despite extremely difficult conditions—the enemy’s great superiority in forces (25,000 men and 34 guns against 7,200 men and 28 guns), a shortage of ammunition, and the intense heat and lack of water—the Russian-Bulgarian forces heroically defended the pass, holding their position despite significant losses (about 1,400 men). On the evening of August 11 (23) and the morning of August 12 (24), reinforcements, comprising about 9,000 men under the command of General M. I. Dragomirov, arrived and swiftly led a counterattack, driving back the enemy, who had approached the pass on the west and east. In the course of bitter fighting that lasted until August 14 (26), the Russian troops tried in vain to capture the height to the west of the pass; they then dug in strongly in Shipka Pass. The Russian losses numbered about 4,000, including more than 500 Bulgarians, while the Turkish losses, according to clearly understated figures, were more than 6,600.

The heroic defense of Shipka Pass disrupted the plans of the Turkish command and prevented the loss of an important strategic position. The Russian troops held Shipka Pass until their offensive in January 1878, driving back new Turkish attacks on September 5 (17) and enduring an exceptionally difficult winter “Shipka camp.”

References in periodicals archive ?
It has been snowing at Shipka Pass since last night.
Last night, about 10 centimeters of snow fell on the Shipka pass. The lanes are clean, but the drivers have to be careful.
Sofia, ul." Shipka Pass " 69 and in the cities of Plovdiv and Veliko Tarnovo.
More than 150 cars participated in a protest procession in Gabrovo and blocked the Shipka Pass. The protest began at 12:00 o'clock in Gabrovo in front of the Orlovets sports hall, for a short time a key junction in the city was blocked.
The Shipka Pass is closed and no cars will be allowed through its entrances from Gabrovo and Stara Zagora.
The defense of the Shipka Pass is one of the most heroic and decisive battles during the Russo-Turkish War of Liberation in 1877-1878.
A total of EUR 800 M will be allocated to the construction of sections of Bulgariaas Struma and Hemus motorways and a tunnel under the Shipka Pass in central Bulgaria,A a further EUR 800 M will be used to improve railway infrastructure and EUR 400 M will go to building sections of the underground railway system in Sofia, Borisov said.
Bulgaria will also rely on the expertise of Austrian construction companies in the implementation of planned complex road and railway infrastructure projects such as a tunnel under the Shipka Pass, the Bulgarian President said.
Bulgaria launches Saturday celebrations for the 137th anniversary of the heroic Shipka Pass Battle during the 1877-1878 Liberation War.
About 200 people have blockaded Sunday the Shipka Pass in the Stara Planina Range in central Bulgaria in protest against opening a new refugee shelter in the town of Kazanlak.
Tomislav Donchev, former Minister for Management of EU Funds in the cabinet of the Citizens for European Development of Bulgaria party, GERB, announced the European Commission has halted two projects a for the tunnel under the Shipka pass in the Stara Planina range in central Bulgaria and the western loop of the beltway of the capital Sofia.