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Government cash for Indo-European telegraph upkeep

The Trans-Caucasus government has ruled to provide 30 thousand Roubles from its 10 million fund for the upkeep of the control stations of the Indo-European telegraph, writes “Ertoba” (Unity) daily on 11 May 1918.

Construction of the telegraph line connecting London to India has commenced in 1850, with first messages exchanged on 12 April 1879. Total length of the line equaled 11 thousand kilometers. This marvel of engineering was completed by Siemens which had long history with the Russian Empire and Georgia in particular.

The first Siemens telegraph line in South Caucasus connected the capital, Tiflis with the imperial resort of Kodjori in 1858. In 1863 Tiflis was linked with Moscow and in 1865 the line Tiflis-Yerevan-Jolfa was operational, thus linking Russia with Persia.  This very line became an integral part of the London-India connection.

As the chaos engulfed the Eastern Front in the final months and years of the World War I, keeping the communication lines open was one of the crucial concerns of the major powers. Apparently, the Trans-Caucasus government was well aware of this.

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