§736 The Great War in Turkey (1896-1916): V-54.

V-54 (§736):

Of the Black Sea and the grand Tartary,
There shall be a king who shall visit France:
Transpierce Alany and Armenia,
And into Byzantium shall dart bloody pikes.

(Du pont Euxine, & la grand Tartarie,
Un roy sera qui viendra voir la Gaule:
Transpercera Alane & l'Armenie,
Et dans Bisance lairra sanglante Gaule.

NOTES: M. Dufresne (1995, p.174-175) gives us a nearly perfect explication of the quatrain. We only support it in citing pertinent sources.

Le pont Euxine
: In Greek ὁ πóντος Εὒξεινος (ho pontos Euxeinos, the Charitable Sea). « PONT-EUXIN, anc. geog.; a name the ancients gave by antiphrasis to the Black Sea [ὁ Ἄξεινος, ho Axeinos, the Uncharitable (Sea)].» (Bescherelle).

Grand Tartary
: = East Russia, for the name of Tartars « was originally given to all the peoples included between the Caspian Sea and the Sea of China» (Bescherelle) and the East of Russian Empire at the end of the 19th century and in the beginning of the 20th century covers the whole territory in question.

A king of the Black Sea and the grand Tartary: = The Emperor of Russia, the Black Sea and the grand Tartary representing respectively European Russia and East Russia.

: = in Greek « Àλανία (Alania), pays des Alains (country of the Alans).» (Pillon); « ALAINS, anc. geog.; nomadic peoples of Asian Sarmatia, settled near Palus-Meotide [the Sea of Azov], in the regions adjacent to Caucasus.» (Bescherelle).

Of the Black Sea and the grand Tartary, There shall be a king who shall visit France: = There shall be a king of the Black Sea and the grand Tartary who shall visit France: « 1891 Aug: 27th, Franco-Russian entente.» (Williams, 1968, p.356); « ... the Franco-Russian alliance unveiled publicly by the resounding manifestations: Czar and Czarina’s visit to France in 1896, accompanied by feasts, receptions, a solemn review of the troops, the President of the Republic’s visit to Russia in 1897.» (Seignobos, 1921c, p.307); « 1901 September Nicolas II’s visit to France. A grand review in Betheny (Marne).» (Jouette, p.182); « 1901 Sep: Visit of Russian Emperor to France provokes anti-militarist demosnstrations.» (Williams, 1968, p.396); « The Franco-Russian Entente was augmented, in April 1904, by a new agreement between France and Britain, which ended centuries of mutual hostility and distrust. King Edward VII (‘Edward the Peacemaker’) had broken the ice in Paris, paving the way for an Entente Cordiale. Russia was no longer seen as a serious threat to the Indian Empire, indeed, having just been defeated by Japan, she was temporarily a broken reed, while Germany was now viewed as Britain’s major rival and threat. France, needing to look elsewhere for support, turned to Britain. The Entente Cordiale developed into the Triple Entente, incorporating the Franco-Russian and a new Anglo-Russian Entente.» (Chasseaud, 2013, p.22); « 1907 Aug: 31st, Anglo-Russian Convention on Persia, Afghanistan and Tibet is signed, aligning Russia with Britain and France against the Central Powers.» (Williams, 1968, p.418).

[Who shall] transpierce Alany and Armenia: « The Caucasus: Turkey and Russia, having been brought into conflict by Russia’s inexorable expansion to the south, had fought three wars since 1828. The Caucasus, that great and mountainous land bridge between the Black Sea on the west and the Caspian on the east, was home to different ethnic and religious populations that included Armenians, Geogians and Tartars. Russia had supported, as a defensive measure, nationalist movements in the Balkans and also in the Caucasus. This antagonized the Turks who, in 1914, had just recovered from the Second Balkan War. Within the Ottoman Empire, the new doctrine of pan-Turkism, which strengthened after Turkey’s loss of outlying territories during the Balkan Wars – notably Libya and the Dodecanese Islands to Italy and parts of Macedonia and Thrace to Greece – increased the attraction to Turkey of the Caucasus. A Turkish attack on Russia here would pin down a Russian army and could be accompanied by its claim to be freeing Turkic people from Russian oppression, and also by its cry of jihad - holy war. Enver Pasha, Commander of the Ottoman forces, committed his third Army to a wide, enveloping movement through the mountains at Sarikamish, rather than the more methodical operations favoured by his German staff officer. Enver’s sweep to the left (north), on the axis of Ardahan, took his troops sixty miles further on through hideously difficult terrain and winter conditions, at temperatures sometimes below – 30°C. This disastrous manoevre saw Turkish supplies exhausted on 25 December 1914, and their army virtually destroyed. The Russians successfully counter-attacked, having held Sarikamish in the battle of 1–4 January. Turkish casualties were between 75,000 and 90,000; most of their force. By 23 January 1915 this only numbered some 12,000 bayonets, with another 8,000 in supporting services. Even now Enver attempted to advance eastwards towards Persian Azerbaijan and Tabriz to encourage the Kurds to stage un uprising against the Russians. This failed. The Russian 1915 spring offensive aimed south from Kars to the west of Lake Van, in an area of eastern Anatolia partly-populated by Christian Armenians. Antagonism between Muslim Turks and the Armenians had grown in the late nineteenth century, culminating in violent clashes in 1894-6. As the Armenians were supported by the Russians, who in 1914 had encouraged revolt, the Turks suspected treason. Murders of Armenians, with looting and destruction of their villages, by Turkish soldiers, began during the winter. In April 1915, during the Russian advance, an Armenian revolt began in Van. Atrocities by Turks and Kurds followed, and at the end of May the deportation of Armenians south to Syria and Mosul was began. About a million dies, either from direct acts of violence or from exhaustion, exposure and disease. By August 1916, the Russians had pushed as far west as Trebizond and south to Lake Van, thus creating a large bridgehead in eastern Anatolia. The Caucasus came to prominence again following the 1917 Russian Revolutions, when the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk committed Russia to supplying German with oil from Baku, on the Caspian side of the Caucasus, and cotton from Turkestan. The weakening of Russia in the region, consequent upon the revolutions and military incapacity, encouraged the Turks to advance towards Baku. In early 1918 operation Thunderbolt saw the German forces that had moved into easten Ukraine and the Donetz Basin advancing southeast to Baku. The British were also increasing their presence in the region, following their advance to Mosul and the creation of ‘Dunsterforce’ in Persia. Named after its commander General Dunsterville, this was a British military mission of, initially, less than a thousand men, with armoured cars. It was formed after the Russian Revolution had led to the collapse of the Caucasus front to gather intelligence, train and lead tribal militias, and counter German propaganda in Persia.» (Chasseaud, 2013, p.91-93).

Future of laissier = laisser (to let), lâcher (to release) (cf. Daele).

Sanglante Gaule:
= Sanglante gaule (bloody pike), a proper name « Gaule » being, according to some of the figures of Nostradamus, for a common name « gaule » like ‘[the] Rousseau’ for ‘a person with red hair’ (§326, I-7), or inversely a common name ‘senez’ for a proper name ‘Senez’ (§326, I-7); « gaule f. Long thin pole (or) stick, fishing rod, small flag-staff.» (Dubois).

And into Byzantium shall dart bloody pikes:
= And [his allies Britain and France] shall dart bloody pikes into Byzantium: « The Gallipoli campaign was fought to support Russia and knock Turkey out of the war.» (Chasseaud, 2013, p.58); « “... across the ridges of the Gallipoli Peninsula lie some of the shortest paths to a triumphant peace.” (Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, urging the case for a renewed offensive at Gallipoli, 5 June 1915.) Seeking an alternative to the costly stalemate on the Western Front, Britain and France devised a plan to crush Germany’s ally Turkey. British and French warships were to sail through the Dardanelles Straits into the Sea of Marmara, bringing the Turkish capital, Constantinople, under their guns [into Byzantium shall dart bloody pikes]. When the naval attack was made on 18 March, however, three battleships were sunk and consequently it was decided that the Dardanelles Straits should be seized before the navy could pass through. Allied Forces landed at Gallipoli on 25 April, including a large contingent of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps [ANZAC]. Faced with tough Turkish resistance on difficult terrain, they failed to break out of their landing zones. Renewed landings at Suvla Bay in August achieved no greater success. Trench warfare, similar to that in France but with conditions exacerbated by heat and disease, quickly developed. By the time the operation was abandoned in January 1916, the Allied forces had suffered almost a quarter of a million casualties. Success at Gallipoli was a boost to Turkish morale, which was much needed after the Turkish Third Army had been virtually destroyed fighting the Russians in the Caucasus earlier in the year.» (
DKHistory, p.343).
© Koji Nihei Daijyo, 2017. All rights reserved.


Koji Nihei Daijyo

Author:Koji Nihei Daijyo
We have covered 143 quatrains (§588-§730) concerning the World Events in the 19th century after Napoleonic ages [1821-1900] in the Prophecies of Nostradamus, and 218 in the 20th [1901-2000] (§731-§948).

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