Shipka Pass

Shipka Pass
a mountain pass in central Bulgaria, in the Balkan Mountains. 4375 ft. (1335 m) high.

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Pass in the Balkan Mountains, central Bulgaria.

The pass is 4,376 ft (1,334 m) high. A main route between Bulgaria and Turkey, it was the site of fierce fighting during the Russo-Turkish Wars; in one battle (1878), the Turks lost so many soldiers that their leader, Süleyman, earned the name "Shipka butcher."

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▪ mountain pass, Bulgaria
Bulgarian  Shipchenski Prokhod 

      pass in the Balkan Mountains, Bulgaria. Situated on the main road from Ruse on the Danube River through Stara Zagora to Edirne (Adrianople) in Turkey, it was a strategically important pass and was the scene of fierce fighting during the Russo-Turkish War (1877–78). The pass was originally held by a Turkish force of 4,000 men, but the Russian general I.V. Gurko seized it by surprise in July 1877. In response, the Turkish general Süleyman Paşa attacked Shipka in August. The Russian force there, which included 7,500 Bulgarian volunteers, held the position against Süleyman's 30,000 Turks, and the fighting continued until late September, when both sides entrenched themselves in the pass. After the capitulation of the Turkish forces at Pleven, Bulg., in December, the Russians began a general advance, and, in January 1878, General F.F. Radetsky attacked the Turks at Shipka Pass. The fall of Pleven made Turkish resistance strategically useless, and so, on January 9, General Vessil Paşa (who had succeeded Süleyman) surrendered.

      The Russians had lost 5,500 men in the battle for Shipka Pass, while the Turks had lost approximately 13,000. The way Süleyman had sacrificed his men earned him the name of the “Shipka butcher.”

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Universalium. 2010.

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