Russian conquest of Central Asia

Battle of Geok Tepe
Oil painting depicting a Russian assault on the fortress of Geok Tepe during the siege of 1880-81 ©Nikolay Karazin
1880 Dec 1 - 1881 Jan

Battle of Geok Tepe

Geok Tepe, Turkmenistan

The Battle of Geok Tepe in 1881 was the main event in the 1880/81 Russian campaign to conquer the Teke Turkomans. Its effect was to give the Russian Empire control over most of what is now Turkmenistan, thereby nearly completing the Russian conquest of Central Asia.

The battle is also called Denghil-Tepe or Dangil Teppe. Sources are inconsistent, but Denghil-Tepe seems to have been the name of the fort and also the name of a small hill or tumulus in the northwest corner of the fort. Geok Tepe ('Blue Hill') seems to refer to the general area, the modern town, a nearby village and a mountain to the south. Skrine says that fort enclosed 2.6 square kilometres (1 sq mi) or more, with mud walls 5.5 m (18 ft) thick and 3 m (10 ft) high on the inside and a 1.2 m (4 ft) dry ditch on the outside, although other dimensions are given. The area was part of the Akhal Oasis where streams coming down from the Kopet Dagh support irrigation agriculture.