Turks, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, et al.....

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Captain Reid
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Re: Turks, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, et al.....

Post by Captain Reid »

Mesut Uyar is the leading scholar on the Ottoman Army. He has written largely about Gallipoli, but his Ottoman Army in the First World War https://www.amazon.co.uk/Ottoman-First- ... 333&sr=8-1 is the best current overview of the conflict from the Ottoman perspective.

The German model had been enthusiastically adopted by the officer corps after the Balkan Wars fiasco and the army was well led. There was occasional friction between German and Ottoman officers, generally due to the former disregarding the advice of the latter.

Logistics was a problem for the Ottomans in some theatres, but not usually when they were operating close to bases of supply or in areas with decent infrastructure. At Gallipoli, for example, rations were generally much superior to those that the Allies had to eat, and medical care was also at least as good (partly of course dur to the logistical difficulties the Allies had in that theatre.

Detail on organisation for cavalry seems obscure at troop level. I asked Mesut Uyar himself what the troops organisation might have been and he could only give squadron level detail - though it can be inferred that the cavalry might have been based around the same 9 man squad as the infantry as the basic building block.
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cstoesen
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Re: Turks, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, et al.....

Post by cstoesen »

Interesting. I will pick that up at some point. Thanks for the link.
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Captain Reid
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Re: Turks, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, et al.....

Post by Captain Reid »

His other WWI books are well worth it too, even if you don't have a specific interest in the particular theatre. At Gallipoli, for instance, he shows how the Ottoman commanders were able to use German methods to respond effectively to the landings (interestingly, despite von Sanders giving initial orders that seriously compromised their initial dispositions).

He's good on Ottoman weaknesses too, eg the lack of experienced NCOs (the best mostly having been promoted as officers following the Balkans Wars) and lack of professional NCO training and development.
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Levi the Ox
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Re: Turks, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, et al.....

Post by Levi the Ox »

Very interesting, thanks for the links! I hadn't realized how extensive the German support was.

That makes things easier.
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Re: Turks, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, et al.....

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There was a fair amount of German support, mainly technical at the start, although with senior officers taking up important command roles. Some artillery, mortar and MG units arrived in 1916 (eight MG companies, an artillery bn and three mortar bns), with actual infantry arriving only in 1917 (one bn) and 1918 (4 bns), although they brought with them some more mortar and artillery support.

But these units fought in Sinai and Palestine only. Elsewhere it was really only command and staff roles, where only German officers were present. And it's fair to record that their decision making and staffwork doesn't actually seem to have been any better than that of the Ottoman officers themselves (who had advantages in knowing the capabilities of their units, and sometimes much better knowledge of the terrain).

There was also a small German force sent to the Caucasus in 1918, but they actually fought mainly against the Ottomans as they'd been sent to capture oilfields from the Russians that the Ottomans regarded as their own prize.

Some Austro-Hungarian forces also fought alongside the Ottomans - some heavy artillery at Gallipoli, mountain guns at Suez and some motorised troops (about which I have no real detail).

It's probably fair to say that the Ottomans had a high opinion of the German senior leaders, often giving them important commands. What seems now questionable is whether those German officers were in fact any more capable than the Ottoman officers who they commanded, and while there was often goodwill and active cooperation, at other times there were serious fallings out between Ottoman officers and Germans - usually because the latter were not listening to the former.
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Tomm
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Re: Turks, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, et al.....

Post by Tomm »

cstoesen wrote: Tue Jan 03, 2023 9:39 pm It is focused on the Russians and Austro-Hungarian forces. An earlier draft was going to have Bulgaria, Serbia and the Turks but the scope was too big. It has 16 historical scenarios and includes the Women's Battalion of Death. I did do an Algernon Supplement with aircraft for all of the nationalities you are interested in.
Do you have the cut bits available for people?
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cstoesen
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Re: Turks, Italians, Austro-Hungarians, Russians, et al.....

Post by cstoesen »

Unfortunately no. The notes never progressed far enough to be useful. I chased where I could find data and AH and Russia were the lowest hanging fruit.
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