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Turkish 39th and 40th Divisions in Yemen (1914-18)

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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Turkish 39th and 40th Divisions in Yemen (1914-18)

Postby Tosun Saral on 04 Feb 2007 16:37

7th AC was responsible for Yemen under the command of Brigadier Ahmet Tevfik Pasha (Gen.Alpsoy)
Chief of Staff: Lt. Col. Ali Fitri
Officer at HQ: Lt. Col.Ismail Hakkı

Taiz operational Region (got the number 39th Div. on April 10 1915): Col.(Brigadier) Ali Sait (Gen. of the Army Akbaytugan/Akbaytogan) (look at axis)
Army serial Nr:P/Inf-1311(1895)-C-1
retired: July 15th 1937
Maj. Gen.:1915, Lt. Gen.:1923, General:1927
-Chief of Staff. : Maj. Huseyin Husnu (Maj. Gen.Ünsal)
-Mixed/composed 5th Regiment:Maj. Rauf (this regiment got the number 115th according to new reorganization on April 10th 1915
-Mixed/composed 6th Regiment:Maj. Hüsnü later Maj. Salih (got the number 116th)
-Mixed/composed 7th R.: Lt. Col. Şevket (got the Nr.117th)
-Artillary R. in Taiz: Lt. Col. Ali Haydar
-commander of Taiz: Lt. Col.Mahmut
-commander of Mendep: Maj. Ahsen
Commander of platoon called Galip Bey:Maj. M.Galip (Lt. Gen. Deniz)
Army serial nr:P-1317/1901)-25
Retired:July 14 1947
Maj. Gen:1930, Lt. Gen. 1937
Class mate of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Tehame Operational Region (got the number 40th Div.): Col.Hüseyin Ragıp. He was dismissed because of his mishandle to locals on March 9th 1917. Lt. Col. Galip (Deniz) was made commander.
- Mixed 1st R.: (got the number 129th): Lt. Col. Şevket
-Mixed 2nd R.( 118th):Maj. Rahmi
-Mixed 3rd R.: Maj. Hidayet
-Mixed 4th R: Lt. Col. Rıfat
Commander in Region Hudeyde:Maj. Abdürrezzak
" " Luhye:Maj. Ismail
Commader and asst. governor in Luhye: Capt.Adil
Commander in Region Abis:Capt. Selim of Sana, later Lt. Col. Galip (Deniz)
Chief Medical Officer in Tehame: Lt. Col. Dr.MD Nedim
Artillary R. in Lahic:Lt. Col. İsmail Sehavi
Artillary R in Tehame: Lt. Col. Sıtkı

TS's note: There was also a Regiment Nr. 119 that I couldnt find out. 119th may have attached to 39th Div.
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Postby stevebecker on 05 Feb 2007 01:36

Tosun,

Do you know what Artillery was with this force?

The 129th Regt is also shown with the 22nd Div (129th Regt under Lt.Col Halil) when did it move under its new commander to the 40th Div (129th Regt under Lt.Col Sevket) .

Cheers

S.B
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Postby Bill Woerlee on 05 Feb 2007 03:04

Steve

Here is the intel report on these two units - 1917.
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Postby Bill Woerlee on 05 Feb 2007 03:31

This is the second page with the detail on the 40th Div continued.
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Last edited by Bill Woerlee on 05 Feb 2007 03:33, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Bill Woerlee on 05 Feb 2007 03:32

Steve

I hope the above answers some of your questions.

Cheers

Bill
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Postby stevebecker on 05 Feb 2007 22:24

Bill,

Thanks mate.

I guess that clears up the 119th Regt.

Cheers

S.B
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Postby Peter H on 17 Apr 2007 13:43

"Actions in the Yemen":

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forum ... opic=22526

David Nicolle's Osprey book 'Lawrence and the Arab Revolts' (republished as Lawrence of Arabia) has brief details on this war on pages 23-35.

He acknowledges it as 'one of the most obscure episodes of the Great War'.

Ottoman forces consisted of the 7th Yemen Army Corps under 'Ali Sa'id Pasha (a Circassian officer) commanding 14,000 men. After the Arab Revolt in the Hejaz this contingent was effectively cut off. Despite this 'Ali Said went on the offensive and kept the British forces cooped up in Aden, as well as extending Ottoman influence east into the Hadraumat .

Initially Aden was defended by a British garrison supported by an Aden Troop of Indian soldiers and local guides. Once the danger to Aden was realised a classic British Imperial solution was cobbled together, the Aden Field Force was created from available Imperial forces and by 1916 consisted of:

6 Battalions Infantry
2 Squadrons Cavalry
1 company of sappers
some obsolete artillery

Gathering tribal force 'Ali Said attacked in July 1916 and reached Sheikh Othman from where his guns could shell Aden Harbour. The Turks were driven from here and a new front was established around Aden which remained unchanged for most of the war.

'Ali Said finally surredered in January 1919 and received a hero's welcome from the locals in Aden.
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Postby Peter H on 17 Apr 2007 14:03

"The British Campaign in Aden 1914-1918":

http://www.js-ww1.bham.ac.uk/fetch.asp? ... nnelly.pdf

Fighting after November 1918:

Somewhat ironically given this stalemate and reluctance to take action matters escalated when the Armistice was declared. The Turkish commanders in the Yemen were reluctant to surrender and disarm, and the British suspected that the Imam of Yemen was colluding in these manoeuvres fearful that the Turks would evacuate before settling their debts.70 Lacking troops due to Spanish Influenza, the British were incapable of forcing Turkish compliance and so maintained negotiations until early December. A final demand was issued and a detachment of Turkish troops surrendered formally on 6 December. British patience was running down and so troops of the 2 101/Grenadiers were despatched from Egypt. Arriving off the coast of Hodeida on 13 December they demanded the surrender of the garrison, which was ignored. The Grenadiers landed on the following morning and advanced from the north. A combined force of Turks and Arabs opened fire as the Grenadiers fought from house to house during the course of which the Indians suffered one killed and one wounded. Stalemate reigned and continued even after the arrival of the 7/Rajputs as the British proved reluctant to force the still recalcitrant Turks any further. A march on Lahej was combined with the landings at Hodeida, which resulted in the disarming of 2,500 Turks. But, even this did not result in a neat resolution for elsewhere, including Hodeida, the Turks surrendered only in batches. The task of evacuating the Turkish garrisons was not completed until March 1919 by which time a further 4,100 men had surrendered. Only at this point could the demobilisation of the Aden Field Force commence.
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Postby AJK on 05 May 2007 21:09

Hi Tosun

Do you have any biographical details on General Alpsoy (year of birth, death, promotions to General, final rank, commands held while General)?

Thanks very much,

AJK
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Postby Tosun Saral on 07 May 2007 18:55

Dear AKJ rerally sorry the famous book "Generals" that I have dosnt mention any details.
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Re: Turkish 39th and 40th Divisions in Yemen (1914-18)

Postby Tanzania on 02 Apr 2012 05:45

As one of the most successful units of the Ottoman Army during the Great War, the 39. Inf.-Division
captured 1915 the British Western Aden Protectorate and occupied the whole territory up to 1919.
Mirliva (General-Major) Ali Sáid Akbaytugan Pasha, Commander of the united Ottoman-Yemenite
Expedition-Forces around Aden laid down his arms not before March 1919.


On the following photo, troops of the 39. Inf.-Division passing by railway through Sheikh Othman, a
settlement near Aden as POW´s after the armistice. Lieutenant-Colonel H. F. Jacob, 1st Assistant Resident,
confirmed the very good condition and high morale of these Turkish troops when they arrived Aden after the armistice.

Sir Mark Sykes interviewed two Turkish POW´s from Nablus / Syria and noted their comments:
“We done six years in the Yemen, and our discharges were made out, but thank Allah the war came before we left.”


Interesting that all soldiers use no other headgear than the fez. Maybe the reason was, because
the VII. Corps in Yemen receive not any supply or other reinforcement during the whole war.
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Re: Turkish 39th and 40th Divisions in Yemen (1914-18)

Postby Tanzania on 04 Apr 2012 17:47

Secret financial support by Teskilât-ı Mahsusa (?) to Yemen in 1917




To pay the own isolated troops of the VII. Corps and their Yemenite allies, the Turkish
headquarter in Constantinople send Special Agents with cash and gold during the
war through the desserts of the Arabian Peninsula, Najd and Rub al-Chali to Yemen.
“In all six officers, divided into three parties left for Yaman by three separate roads. Two of
these officers arrived at Lahej on May 20, 1917 with money. Four other officers arrived in Saná
about April 8, 1917 with £T 30,000 in bank notes and £T 30,000 in gold. The party travelled
disguised as pilgrims and came via Najd. It may be observed that there was no evidence of
further assistance to Yaman from Constantinople after the event of Arab uprising in Hijāz."

Source:
Anglo-Ottoman rivalries in South west Arabia prior to and during the First World War 1906–1919,
Chapter 4: The Aden Protectorate during WW 1, p. 259, Abdol Rauh Yaccob, Thesis University of London 1995,
http://www.scribd.com/doc/56817383/ANGL ... -1906-1919




Eşref Sencer Kuşçubası, the Teskilât-ı Mahsusa (Turkish Special Forces / Organization) and his capture in Yemen.
“During World War I Eşref Sencer Kuşçubası was allegedly the director of operations in Arabia, the Sinai, and
North Africa. He was captured at Yemen in early 1917 by the British military and was a POW in Malta until 1920.“

Sources:
http://www.yenidenergenekon.com/15-tari ... kuscubasi/
http://h4bib.blogspot.com/2009/12/esref ... cubas.html
http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/Special_O ... _Empire%29
http://www.digplanet.com/wiki/List_of_m ... man_Empire




Question:
Was the Teskilât-ı Mahsusa involved in these secret missions to Yemen, and was that the
reason, that Eşref Sencer Kuşçubası was captured at the same time, in spring 1917 in Yemen?

(It is a little difficult to order a copy of the original, English version of the thesis from 1963 of Phillip Hendrick
Stoddard at the university of Princeton, but I know there is a translated version on the Turkish market aviable.
The Ottoman government and the Arabs, 1911 to 1918: a preliminary study of the Teskilât-ı Mahsusa,
Maybe a Turkish member of this forum and owner of this thesis or other documents has this information?)
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Re: Turkish 39th and 40th Divisions in Yemen (1914-18)

Postby Tanzania on 19 Jun 2012 22:49

I found another name of an Ottoman officer, who eventually served by the 39th or 40th Infantry Division in Yemen.

“. . . . Taha al-Hashimi had ended the war as a colonel in Yemen. Between 1919 and 1920,
he travelled from Yemen to Istanbul, then Syria, then back to Istanbul, and spent parts of 1920,
1922, and 1923 as an officer in the Ottoman army, mostly on active duty in the regions of Mosul
and Aleppo. Taha was the likely liaison between Mustafa Kemal, Yasin al-Hashimi, and Ramadan
Shallash
. Taha then travelled to Baghdad and took a job in Faysal’s Iraqi government.”


Source:
Ottoman modernity, Colonialism and Insurgency in the interwar Arab east, M. Provence, Middle East Studies 2011.
http://history.ucsd.edu/_files/M%20Prov ... final..pdf


I found some information about him and his younger brother, from the time after the First World War,
but less about his time 1914-1918. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Taha_al-Hashimi

Is there any additional information about this period aviable?

Regards
Holger
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Re: Turkish 39th and 40th Divisions in Yemen (1914-18)

Postby Tanzania on 30 Sep 2012 10:21

Question:
Was the Teskilât-ı Mahsusa involved in these secret missions to Yemen, and was that the
reason, that Eşref Sencer Kuşçubası was captured at the same time, in spring 1917 in Yemen?



Eşref Sencer Kuşçubası Bey didn´t reach the Yemen. He was captured seriously wounded in the Hejaz, not
far from Medina on Friday the 12th January 1917, during the Turkish battle of Khaybar. He commanded one
caravan with cash and gold, whose final destination was the Yemen. One of his closest followers, Arab Musa
reached the Yemen safely with another caravan and the financial support for the troops of the 39.- & 40. Inf.-
Division in March 1917. It has been reported General-Major Ali Sáid Akbaytugan Pasha said upon the arrival:

“That is our fighting Musa, the man who brought us the money in the Yemen.”

Image . Image


The following members of Teskilât-ı Mahsusa were involved in these secret missions to Yemen:
Eşref Sencer Kuşçubası Bey
• (Sakalli) Ahmet Mücahit Efendi
Sergeant Musa A´ga (Arab Musa or Arabi Musa)
Captain Mehmet Bey
Captain Giritli Ismail A´ga


Eşref Sencer Kuşçubası Bey closed his book on the back with the lines:
“I was an Ottoman, a Turkish speaking Muslim, and not a Circassian dreaming of Daghestan. . .
None of us has anything to lose. . . We tended to ignore the fact that we could not win at the end.
At best, we could have obtained a few more minor victories before our world collapsed about us. . . “
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