|Musa Dagh defense|
|Part of the Armenian genocide|
Map of the Musa Dagh Armenian Self-Defense.
|Ottoman Empire||Armenian civilians|
|Commanders and leaders|
|Unknown||Reverend Dikran Antreassian,Yesayi Yakhubian, Yesayi Aprahamian (Head of logistics), Nerses Kazandjian (Field commander), Movses Ter-Kalutsian (General head of the resistance)|
|around 20,000 by the end||250 fighters 4,000 Armenian Civilians|
|Casualties and losses|
|heavy; at least a few thousands killed by French Navy bombardments||18 fighters killed, some injured.|
Musa Dagh (Turkish: Musa Dağı; Armenian: Մուսա լեռ, Musa leṛ; Arabic: جبل موسى Jebel Musa; meaning "Moses Mountain") is a mountain in the Hatay province of Turkey. In 1915 it was the location of a successful Armenian resistance to the Armenian genocide, an event that inspired Franz Werfel to write the novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh.
The deportation orders of the Armenian population of modern-day Turkey, issued by the Ottoman government, in July 1915 reached the six Armenian villages of the Musa Dagh region: Kabusia (Kaboussieh), Yoghunoluk, Bitias, Vakef, Kheter Bey (Khodr Bey) and Haji Habibli. As Ottoman Turkish forces converged upon the town, the populace, aware of the impending danger, refused deportation and fell back upon Musa mountain, thwarting assaults for fifty-three days, from July to September 1915. One of the leaders of the revolt was Movses Der Kalousdian, whose Armenian first name was the same as that of the mountain. Allied warships, most notably the French 3rd Squadron in the Mediterranean under command of Louis Dartige du Fournet, sighted the survivors just as ammunition and food provisions were running out. Five French ships, beginning with the Guichen, evacuated 3004 women and children and over 1000 men from Musa Dagh to safety in Port Said. The other French ships were the seaplane carrier Foudre, the cruiser D'Estrées, the cruiser Amiral Charner and the cruiser Dupleix.
Starting in 1918, when the Sanjak of Alexandretta came under French control, the population of the six Armenian villages returned to their homes. In 1932, a monument was erected at the top of the mountain to commemorate the event.
The mountain was in Aleppo Vilayet, Ottoman Empire until after World War I, when the French took possession and put it in Sanjak of Alexandretta, Mandate of Syria.
On 29 June 1939, following an agreement between France and Turkey, the province was given to Turkey. Afterwards Armenians from six of the villages emigrated from Hatay Province, while some of the residents of Vakıflı village chose to stay. Vakıflı is the only remaining ethnic Armenian village in Turkey, with a population only 140 Turkish-Armenians. Most who left Hatay in 1939 emigrated to Lebanon where they resettled in the town of Anjar. Today, the town of Anjar is divided into six districts, each commemorating one of the villages of Musa Dagh.
As the French squads came to the rescue of the survivors, the chief priest is quoted as having said, "The evil only happened … to enable God to show us His goodness." This event was depicted in the 2016 movie The Promise.
These historical events later inspired Franz Werfel to write his novel The Forty Days of Musa Dagh (1933), a fictionalized account based on his detailed research of historical sources. Werfel told reporters: "The struggle of 5,000 people on Musa Dagh had so fascinated me that I wished to aid the Armenian people by writing about it and bringing it to the world". A movie of the same name was released in 1982.