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Ottoman army ppoint-v2

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Doing a bit - The Ottoman Army 1908 - 1918

Doing a bit - The Ottoman Army 1908 - 1918

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  • 1.  The Ottoman Empire (circa 1912)  Regime Change 1908 and 1913  The Three Pashas  Strategic Objectives 1914  The Ottoman Army & its Soldiers  Fifth Army and III Corps at Gallipoli  The Ottoman Navy  The Ottoman Air Force  Ottoman Women in the Services  Ottoman Victories in WW1  Propaganda – power of the Press
  • 2. Which is Correct???
  • 3.  Strictly speaking, the term should be “Ottoman”.  The Sultan ruled an Empire which had existed for more than 600 years and encompassed parts of three continents.  The reigning Sultan & Caliph was Mehmed Rashad V who came to power in 19o9.  Unfortunately, the Empire known widely as “the sick man of Europe” as various parts of the empire fell apart, or sought independence.  The terms “Turk” and “Turkish” are now used interchangeably with “Ottoman”.
  • 4.  Essentially a Muslim state controlled by a hereditary emperor, both Sultan (head of state) and Caliph (head of religion).  Many ethnic & religious groupings (as at 1908):  Turks  Arabs  Armenians  Greeks  Albanians  Bulgarians  Serbians  Jews  Kurds
  • 5. Dates: Nov 1844 – July 1918 (age 73). Dynasty: House of Osman. Reign: April 1909 – July 1918 Came to throne in 1909, but was largely a figurehead in the political machinations of the day. Rarely left Topkapi or Yildiz Palaces in Constantinople throughout his life. Had five wives & two children. Declared a jihad against the Allies in November 1914, but did not agree with siding with Central Powers. Appointed Generalfeldmarschal by Kaiser Wilhelm in 1917. MEHMED V Sultanof the Ottoman Empire Caliphof Islam
  • 6.  Honorifics were used as a common courtesy for groupings of military (and civilian) ranks:  Efendi – Subaltern officer ranks – 2Lt, Lt, Captain  Bey – Field officer ranks – Major, Lt Colonel, Colonel  Pasha – General officer ranks from Brigadier to General and Field Marshal  Ataturk – Mustafa Kemal “Father of the Turks”  Honorific is placed after the name, e.g. Zeki Bey
  • 7.  April 1908: Young Turk Revolution. Reversed 1878 suspension of the General Assembly (Parliament).  An unlikely union of reformists – nationalists, pro- Westerners or anyone who blamed the then Sultan Hamid II for the collapse of the once great Empire.  Installing new Constitution was neither simple nor bloodless – a counter-coup of 1909 led by Islamists & monarchists was defeated: the ‘31 March Incident’ in Constantinople – Hamid dethroned and Mehmed V installed to reign under Constitutional law  New power behind the throne – Committee of Union and Progress (CUP) with huge military backing
  • 8.  January 1913 Coup d’état. The CUP had fallen out of favour with Parliament, which was also under pressure from European countries to hand over city of Edirne (Adrianople) to Bulgaria – a sore point.  On 23 Jan, a group of CUP officers entered a Cabinet meeting and shot the Minister of War, Nazim Pasha and forced the Grand Vizier, Kamil Pasha to resign.  Action reinforced the reform movements of 1908.  Installed the “Three Pashas” as de facto rulers of the Empire until late 1918. Enver Pasha was new Minister of War and Commander-in-Chief.
  • 9.  Three senior members of the Committee for Progress & Unity (CUP). This triumvirate essentially controlled the Empire’s strategic and internal affairs from January 1913 to October 1918.  They were known as “The Three Pashas” –  Ismail Enver Pasha  Ahmed Djemal Pasha  Mehmed Taalat Pasha
  • 10. Dates: Nov 1881 – August 1922 (Age 40) Commenced service about 1900; a member of the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP); a key leader in the Young Turk Revolution of 1908. Exchange posting to Germany; very pro- German and now seen as the main architect of Ottomans joining Central Powers in 1914. Not a successful field commander; married Sultan’s daughter; loved medals & uniforms; ambitious, vain and arrogant. Fled to Germany in Oct 1918 then Russia. KIA with counter-rev troops in Tajikistan by Red Army cavalry in 1922. Ismail Enver Pasha Ottoman Minister forWar 1913 - 1918
  • 11. Dates: may 1872 – July 1922 (Age 50). Commenced military service 1893. Member of the Committee for Union and Progress (CUP). Favoured an alliance with the French Military commander of Constantinople until 1915 when he went to Damascus to lead attacks on Suez Canal and put down Arab revolts. Not a successful field commander. Fled to Germany in October 1918. Assassinated in Tbilisi, Russia in 1922 by survivors of Armenian Massacres. Ahmed Djemal Pasha Ottoman Ministerof the Navy 1913 - 1918
  • 12. Dates: 1874 – March 1921 (age 47). Civilian politician and member of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). Minister of both Finance and Interior 1913 -1917 Became Grand Vizier (PM) in 1917. Named as prime motivator in p0grom against Armenians. Fled to Germany in Oct 1918 Assassinated in Berlin in 1921 by a survivor of the Armenian massacres. Mehmed Taalat Pasha Minister forthe Interior 1913 - 1918
  • 13.  After joining Central Powers, the Ottoman hierarchy appeared to have few & vague strategic objectives:  - Re-garrison & retain remaining pieces of the Empire?  - Possibly win back some lost possessions in Balkans?  - Construction of Berlin to Baghdad railway for supply of military materiel in exchange for oil products?  - Seize the Suez canal to control trade routes?  - Share in Central Powers economic expansionism?  - Always, for Ottomans an underlying motivator was …
  • 14.  After joining Central Powers, the Ottoman hierarchy appeared to have few & vague strategic objectives:  - Re-garrison & retain remaining pieces of the Empire  - Possibly win back some lost possessions in Balkans  - Construction of Berlin to Baghdad railway for supply of military materiel in exchange for oil products  - Seize the Suez Canal to control trade routes?  - Share in Central Powers economic expansionism?  - Always, for Ottomans an underlying motivator was … fear of RUSSIA
  • 15.  Ottoman Army Battle Flag for 600 years until 1918.
  • 16.  Officer Corps. General Staff surprised by sudden war option during re-organisation (Neutrality preferred).  Senior officers well-trained; war college; German training advisers and doctrine since 1887.  Need to boost numbers of junior officers & NCOs.  Army relied on serious augmentation by reserves to reach war strength.
  • 17.  Foot-soldier/Asker/ ‘Mehmet’. Conscription for Muslim citizens compulsory for 3 years from age 20 up to age 45 in one of three categories:  - Active force (Nizamiye)  - Reserve force (Redif)  - Territorial force (Mustahfiz)  Estimated 1 million men & 210,00 animals available, but in 1914 had 200,000 men and 8,000 officers under arms (5 armies = 13 corps and 33 understrength infantry divisions).  To meet war establishment, needed 500,000 men and 12,500 officers.  Vast amount of experience in Libya & Balkan Wars, but high casualties in junior officer and senior NCO ranks.
  • 18.  Foot-soldier/Asker/ ‘Mehmet’. A hardy, stolid and long-suffering soul, used to privation and operating with minimal logistic or medical support.  A variety of theatres of operation: Caucasus, Anatolia, Middle East, Egypt, Sinai, Mesopotamia, Balkans etc.
  • 19.  Infantry Weapons. At the outbreak of war, Ottoman Army had 1.5 million rifles, mostly of German origin. The ‘asker’ was lightly equipped, but his rifle was the superb Mauser, with sights graded to 2,000 metres.  Mauser Rifle. M1903 (or earlier variants) in 7.65mm.  Officer’s Pistol. Preferred weapon was the Mauser C96 “Broomhandle” in 9mm parabellum.
  • 20.  Marksmen. Ottomans placed great value on their battle-hardened veterans of the Balkan Wars; each unit had a selected group of marksmen who used the standard Mauser rifle for shots out to 500 – 600m.  There were NO SNIPERS on Gallipoli on either side!!! Fully trained snipers with telescopic-sighted rifles did not appear until 1916 on the Western Front…
  • 21.  Machine-Gunners. Used the 7.92mm Maxim MG-08 on Nordic tripod. Allocation: 4 guns per regiment.  NO MGs at the pre-dawn landing on 25 April!! Did not arrive until late morning on Walker’s Ridge. Under control of the 57th Regt commander.
  • 22.  Cavalry. A highly-trained and very effective corps, especially in Sinai and Palestine; worthy opponents of the Aust Light Horse and NZ Mounted Rifles .  Photo of an Ottoman cavalry regiment in M. East:
  • 23.  Field Artillery: Arty regiments used a variety of field guns, including pack howitzers in 75mm calibre. In 1914, they had a mix of French Schneider, German Krupp or Austro-Hungarian Skoda guns; 24 per Div.  Corps artillery: 12 x 105mm howitzers per corps.
  • 24.  Garrison Artillery. 120mm calibre guns used for coastal defence, usually in reinforced gun positions.  Dardanelles Forts. Defences included 115 guns in calibres: 355mm, 280mm, 240mm and 150mm mostly German Krupp, but dating from late 1800s – some ammo shortages during campaign to force Narrows.
  • 25.  Formed March 1915 to defend Gallipoli Peninsula and the Dardanelles Straits; HQ in Gelibolu  Commanded by Lt-Gen Liman von Sanders 1915-18  Strength in April 1915 – about 84,000 men; most were veterans of the Balkan Wars – key factor!  III Corps – Commander: Esat Pasha – (Gallipoli Peninsula)  VX Corps – Commander: Colonel Hans Kannengiesser (Canakkale area)  Dardanelles Fortified Command – heavy artillery, fixed coastal artillery, engineers, signals, logistic troops  1st Aircraft Squadron, Ottoman Air Force
  • 26.  III Corps – (Gallipoli Peninsula)  5th Division  7th Division  9th Division (25th, 26th, 27th Regiments - on the coast)  19th Division (Corps Reserve) (Mustafa Kemal Bey (Lt Col))  57th Regt, 72nd Regt, 77th Regt, 39th Artillery Regt  VX Corps –(Canakkale area)  3rd Division  11th Division  Dardanelles Fortified Command – commanded all forts and coastal artillery on both sides of the Dardanelles in the areas of Maidos (now Ecebat) and Chanakkale – 115 guns in 15 forts.
  • 27.  General von Sanders believed Allied landing would occur north at Bulair to cut off the Peninsula.  Disposition near the Dardanelles in April 1915:
  • 28. Dates: Oct 1862 – Nov 1952 (age 90). An outstanding soldier and commander. Served in the Ottoman Army 1884 – 1919. Graduate of Prussian War Academy 1894. Commanded Yanya Corps in Greece 1913. Commanded III Corps; the only Corps which met the mobilisation schedule in 1914, as most units were Balkan Wars veterans; the best trained corps. He was the most senior Ottoman commander in the field in the Gallipoli campaign under von Sanders. Planned the defence of the Peninsula. Mehmet Esad Pasha Commander III Corps at Gallipoli - 1915
  • 29.  Disposition on Gallipoli Peninsula in April 1915:  9th Div (Aker Bey) holding coast picquet positions; one Bn of 27th Regt opposite Anzac Cove  19th Div (Kemal Bey)around Boghali as Corps reserve
  • 30. Military service: 1893 – 1920 1905 – 1911: War College & staff positions. 1908 – key military member of the Committee of Union and Progress (CUP). 1911 -1912: Italo-Turkish War (Libya). 1912 – 1913: Balkan Wars. 1913-1914: Mil Attaché - Sofia, Bulgaria. 1914 – 1918: Gallipoli; Caucasus; Sinai & Palestine Campaigns. (Favoured neutrality) 1918 – 1920: Ministry of War; Inspector General. Resigned July 1920. War of Independence 1920- 1922. Founder of Turkish State 1923. “Ataturk” Mustafa Kemal 1881 - 1938
  • 31.  Lt Col Kemal was commander of 19th Div (HQ at Boghali) on 25 April 1915. His decisive actions blocked the ANZAC advance towards the guns at the Narrows.  To withdrawing men: “I don’t order you to fight, I order you to die. In the time it takes us to die, other troops can come and take our places.”
  • 32.  The Ottomans were meticulous in their record keeping right across the Empire; military losses were no exception – statements that casualties for various campaigns are “unknown” are quite simply false.  Recently opened Turkish archives for the Canakkale (Gallipoli) Campaign show: DEAD: 56,643 WOUNDED: 107,007 MIA & POW: 11,178 TOTAL: 174,828 SICK (estim): 64,000
  • 33.  Also known as Harp Madalyasi (Turkish) or the Eisener Halbmond (German) – ‘Gallipoli Star’ is incorrect!!  Approved by Sultan Mehmed Reshad on 1 March 1915 (1333 Mohammedan calendar)  Could be awarded for either gallantry in the field or military merit on operations  Could be awarded to all Ottoman troops regardless of rank, plus any deserving Central Powers troops  Awarded for several Ottoman campaigns in WW1
  • 34. Ottoman War Medal & Ribbon • Approved by the Sultan in 1915. Ribbon was worn separately in tunic buttonhole. • NOT a Gallipoli Star! • Awarded for bravery or merit in several Ottoman campaigns: • CHANAK • GAZA • KANAL • KUT-AL-AMARA • SANATORIUM
  • 35. ANZAC soldier in the trenches Ottoman “Mehmet” Private
  • 36.  Who was the better soldier???  Ottoman soldiers had several advantages:  Fighting on home soil – drive out the invader  Soldiers tough & battle-hardened from Balkan Wars  Leadership was combat-ready and staff experienced  Shorter lines of supply – fresh food & water  Exercised on ground where the battle occurred  Allied High Command underestimated the determination and skill of Ottoman forces, many of whom were ‘locals’  ANZACs of 1915 described as “enthusiastic amateurs” with little combat experience or leadership skills!
  • 37.  In 1908 the CUP decided to upgrade the existing Navy fleet which consisted of a number of ‘ancient’ vessels from the 1880s and 1890s bought from other countries.  Public subscriptions were taken up to purchase new vessels from the UK:  2 x Dreadnoughts; 2 x Cruisers; 4 x Destroyers  Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, cancelled these deliveries in 1914 and enraged the Ottomans!  Key factor in tipping them to the German side in October 1914.  Who is the villain of the piece here??
  • 38.  Ottoman Navy strength in 1914-15 (includes 2 x loaned German ships under Admiral Souchon).  Majority were sadly outdated.  Battle Cruiser x 1 (GOEBEN)  Battleships x 2  Coastal Defence Ship x 1  Heavy Cruisers x 2  Light Cruiser x 1 (BRESLAU)  Destroyers x 8  Minelayers (various, e.g. “Nusret”)  1 x Captured French sub “Turquoise”
  • 39. Battle Cruiser SMS GOEBEN – Yavus Sultan Selim Light Cruiser SMS BRESLAU – Midilli
  • 40.  Arguably the most famous ship in the Ottoman Navy.  Laid a string of mines on eastern side of the Narrows on night of 17/18 March 1915 which caused chaos to attempted penetration by the Allied fleet.  Ships sunk: “Bouvet”, “Irresistible”, “Ocean”. Damaged: “Inflexible”, “Ocean” and “Gauloise” (by artillery shell below waterline).  Commemorated now in three forms:  Original ship on display in port of Tarsus.  Museum replica at Canakkale  Turkish Navy replica / tourist vessel
  • 41.  “The deadliest warship in the Ottoman Navy.”  Built in Kiel, Germany in 1913; 360 tons as a purpose- built minelayer. Commander: Lt. Tophaneli Hakki.  Laid 26 mines near Erin Keul Bay (Asiatic shore) in a line that was not cleared by British minesweepers.  Faced Allied fleet of 18 French and British battleships.
  • 42.  Map showing belts of mines laid across the Narrows and the single belt laid by “Nusret” on 8 March 1915.
  • 43.  Original “Nusret” – Decommissioned 1955; then to merchant service. Sank at Mersin 1989. Salvaged & restored in 2008 and now on display in city of Tarsus.
  • 44.  Museum Display – A full-sized replica on display in the grounds of Canakkale Naval Museum and fortress, with an on-board museum theme.
  • 45.  Turkish Navy (Museum Ship) N-16 “Nusret” – a full-sized working vessel in its 1915 configuration, commissioned into the Turkish Navy in 2011 and now used as a tourist vessel in the Dardanelles.
  • 46.  First Ottoman pilot Capt. Fesa, then 8 others trained by France in 1912.  17 planes of various types used during Balkan Wars  By 1914, air force consisted of 6 planes & 7 pilots  Photo (right) pilot Vecihi Bey  Photo (centre) Ottoman pilot’s wings  Photo (left) decorated Ottoman pilot
  • 47.  Total of 300 planes, mostly provided by Germany in WW1, including Albatros, Gotha, Fokker, Halberstadt, Pfalz, Rumpler, SPAD, Nieuport.  Planes shown with Ottoman 1914-15 markings:
  • 48.  1st Ottoman Air Sqn at the Dardanelles, 1915  3 x recon aircraft and 1 x recon seaplane  Commanded by German Lt Ludwig Pruessner  Lt Cemal bombs HMS “Majestic” on 1 March, causing significant damage.
  • 49.  Canakkale Campaign. Naval victory in the Dardanelles in March 1915, followed by the withdrawal of the Allied land forces by January 1916.  Siege of Kut. Maj-Gen. Townsend’s 6th (Indian) Div besieged in Kut (100km south of Baghdad) Dec 1915 to April 1916. Several British relief efforts failed; 11,000 men taken into captivity.  Sinking of HMS “Ben my Chree”. A British seaplane carrier sunk off the island of Castellorizo on 11 Jan 1917 by Ottoman field artillery on the nearby mainland. Ship’s mission was to conduct aerial reconnaissance of suspicious Ottoman military movements!
  • 50.  Map showing Allied naval assault against forts and belts of mines laid across the Narrows - 18 Mar 1915.
  • 51.  Mesopotamia Campaign. Kut garrison surrendered in April 1916. Photo shows Gen. Townsend & staff with Khalil Pasha & staff. Townsend criticised for living in luxury villa while his men were in squalid POW camps.
  • 52.  First ever carrier sinking in naval history – Jan 1917.  Sunk in shallow waters of Castellorizo Harbour; no casualties; mascot dog and cat saved!  Extremely embarrassing for Royal Navy… later salvaged.
  • 53.  Propaganda was widely used by both the Allies and the Central Powers in the Press of the day - Newspapers, Magazines, Postcards and later silent movie films.  The aim was to enhance one’s own point of view and lambast the opposition to show how evil he was.  Common themes:  Greatness of national leaders.  Brothers-in-Arms against the foe.  Strategic objectives.  Small children in the nursery with their toys.
  • 54.  Kaiser Wilhelm II visited Constantinople in 1917 to help prop up the crumbling Ottoman war effort.  These two photos show him wearing the full uniform and regalia of a Field Marshal of the Ottoman Empire.
  • 55.  The Three Emperors of the Central Powers:  Kaiser Wilhelm II - Germany, Mehmed V – Ottoman Empire, Franz Joseph – Austria-Hungary.
  • 56.  The Four Kids at play:  Germany, Austria, Hungary and the Ottomans building the strategic Berlin to Baghdad Railway.
  • 57.  Three kids of the Central Powers stand together:
  • 58.  Soldiers of the Central Powers:  German, Ottoman, Austrian, Hungarian.
  • 59.  The UK view from PUNCH magazine, 1916:  Germans saddling themselves with an unwilling (Ottoman) camel in the Middle East.
  • 60.  Canakkale Martyrs’ Memorial at Morto Bay, celebrating 253,000 Turks who participated in the campaign at Gallipoli. Officially opened in 1958; stands 41.7m/137ft high; includes museum & cemetery.
  • 61.  57th Regiment Memorial and cemetery on Second Ridge / “The Chessboard” at Gallipoli.  Focus of Turkish national military commemorations every Anzac Day.
  • 62. Turkish asker or mehmet – 57th Regiment Rescue of wounded British soldier
  • 63. At the 57th Regiment Memorial Gallipoli 2009 Turkish Conscript in 1915 tropical uniform
  • 64. National War Museum Istanbul (Daily performances) National Monument – Gallipoli Peninsula -18th March YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kkHhLXmDox8 YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DZr1ibaFE_4