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Turkey joins the Axis in 1940-41

Discussions on alternate history, including events up to 20 years before today.

Postby Tosun Saral on 26 Aug 2006 10:03

Cavusch the Serge I wellcome you in this forum. We will have very good contribution by you.
Dear Nuyt, AS-FA which cavusch mentioned is not in Ankara. State Military Weapons fabric is situated in Kirikkale. The General Directorete is in Ankara. It is called MKEK Makina ve Kimya Endustrisi Kurumu
http://72.14.221.104/search?q=cache:CvF ... =clnk&cd=2
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Turkish Mausers

Postby nuyt on 26 Aug 2006 11:12

Mersi Tosun for that link. Hope they have a company historian or good archives, so someone will be able to write about their improtant past!

So the TA was more or less selfsufficient in small arms during WW2? They at least built Mausers unitll the 1950s:
http://www.google.nl/search?hl=nl&q=tur ... user&meta=

What about other small arms?

Kind regards,
Nuyt
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Postby Andy H on 26 Aug 2006 15:43

Tosun Saral wrote:Dear Moderator Andy. Turks had their defence plans so called "Cakmak Hatti" the Cakmak Line. Cakmak is the family name of Grand Field Marschall Mustafa Fevzi Cakmak. Fieldmarchall builded this defence line in European part of Turkey. The line beginned from Edirne and ended at the gates of Istanbul. Catalca was the centre of the line. Catalca is a natural defence line. Catalca was always a natured defence line for Byzans also. In Balkan Wars the Turkish army could hold on Catalca line and defeated the Bulgarians and gained Edirne back. There are many bunkers, MG heims, artillary positions still today. For 1940's this defence line was better then Maginot defence line. With incabable German Generals (We checked their capacity during WW1) Catalca Defence line could be a hell to Germans. God saved them.


Thank you for providing that information.

Couple of questions:

i) Why was this defence line better than the Maginot? Are you referring to its tactical or technological advantages etc

ii) Given that the Catalca line was as formidable as you say, it would be sensible to assume that the Axis forces would attempt to bypass it. I would imagine that would be via a seaborne assualt from the Aegean or Black sea areas. What were the Turkish coastal defences like in there size & number?

iii) Was there any defensive line in the south to stop a Allied invasion?

Regards

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Postby Chavusch on 29 Aug 2006 10:36

Tosun Saral wrote:Cavusch the Serge I wellcome you in this forum. We will have very good contribution by you.
Dear Nuyt, AS-FA which cavusch mentioned is not in Ankara. State Military Weapons fabric is situated in Kirikkale. The General Directorete is in Ankara. It is called MKEK Makina ve Kimya Endustrisi Kurumu
http://72.14.221.104/search?q=cache:CvF ... =clnk&cd=2


Thanx a lot Tosun:) AS-FA was in the Ankara ...Askeri Fabrikalar Umum Mudurlugu < Mil, Factories General Management >it was establishment in Ankara but main factories in Kirikkale its only about 50 or 70 km or something from the Capitol < Ankara > and those days this town belongs to City of Ankara right 8-) ...ofcourse u r right Kirikkale since 5-or years become City < Admin. center in Turkish system > so u and me we r both right ..but again as I mentioned As-Fa stamped guns mostly produced in As-Fa plants , and this plant was in Kirikkale < in Turkish Broken Castle>

Most guns stamped As-Fa < and all bayonets..but some later productions stamped with Kirikkale and much later ATF monograms < Ankara Tufek Fabrikalari ...but again not in ankara in Kirikkale :lol:
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Re: thanks

Postby Chavusch on 29 Aug 2006 10:44

nuyt wrote:Chavusch thank you very much for that concrete information. So As-Fa Ankara was producing/assembling rifles. Very interesting. Do you know if they produced more weaponry/munition?

Especially the Enfeuser story is great. Is there anywhere I could read more about this?

And do you perhaps know anything about this (Vickers 18pdr based) 10.5cm HIH howitzer, 32 delivered in 1930?

http://www.network54.com/Forum/330333/m ... HIH+gun%21

Kind regards,
Nuyt


No probs Nuyt here we go ...some concrete info for the Turk As-Fa story for you , dont worry still tryin to diggin some info about vickers and etc...but I do not thionk so u`ll get concrete repply from the MKEK guys ..they r not so good in this matters..I assume that u r not getting any kind repply :x but try it its free anyhow right

*************************************************************************************************************************
Czechoslavakia and Turkey, at the close of World War One, the Imperial Austro Hungarian Empire collapsed. A state began forming out of Bohemia, Slovakia, Moravia, Ruthenia and the Sudetenland. It was dominated by the Czechs of Bohemia. Even before the Empire had formally capitulated, a small arms workshop was set up in a former Imperial Army Artillery Arsenal in Brno to provide rifles to the new Czechoslavakia. Progress was made to the point that new Mannlicher rifles of the Imperial Model 1895 in 8x50mm were being made by April 1919. This model was chosen, as many former Imperial rifles of this type were on hand and the facility was rebuilding unserviceable specimens which had been collected. This was destined to be an interim measure as it was soon decided that the best rifle for the new Czech Army was the Mauser 1898 type. The great Mauser works at Oberendorf could no longer sell military rifles or pistols to Germany or any other country as a result of Allied occupation and the peace treaty imposed by the victorious powers of
WWI. The Czech government arranged to buy a complete production line for the Gew 98, parts on hand, and all work in progress. They also bought the rights to a new pistol design from Mauser which evolved into the series of service pistols used by Czechoslavakia up
to WWII. The tooling was moved from Mauser to the arsenal works at Brno ( pronounced Bear-No ) but there were problems getting set up and into production. The Czechs thought they were getting a complete technical package, but this was not so, and it took longer
than expected to get serial production underway. Production of the Mannlicher is believed to have continued until about the summer of 1921. The first batch of Mausers was assembled using mostly German parts and may have been out of shop as early as April 1920.
A modified design based on the Mauser was considered, but the Model 1922 based on the Gew 98 and using the tangent rear sight of 1916 was put into serial production in 7.92x57mm. The earlier rifles assembled from German parts had the Lange rear sight. In 1923 a
short rifle was produced as the VZ23 followed by the VZ24. Meanwhile, the Turks, after being badly defeated and stripped of their empire and most of their small arms were faced with another war with the Greeks. At this point in 1919 the Turks had various modern Mausers Models in 7.65mm such as the M1890, M1893, M1903, M1905 and M1910, most in worn to poor condition, captured Mosin Nagants in 7.62x54mm, some S.M.L.E. in .303, Greek M1903 and 03/14 rifles and carbines in 6.5x54mm, Mannlicher M1895 Bulgarian rifles in 8x50mm and various Serbian 7x57mm Mausers captured in the Balkan Wars. The best condition rifles available were the Gew 98, Kar98AZ, and various Model 88 Commission rifles supplied by Germany from 1914 to 1918. These were all in 7.92mm and this ammunition was the easiest to obtain on the world market at that time. After the Greeks were driven out, the Turks decided to rationalize their small arms inventory. They had little cash available and had to make do with what they had. During the 1920's they began converting existing rifles and machine guns to 7.92mm. Before the collapse which ended WWI, Germany supplied most small arms. About 1923 they turned to ZB, a private company formed by the
Czech government to operate the arsenal at Brno, for parts and technical support. Eventually they purchased most of the Model 1922, VZ23, and the Czech assembled Gew 98 types of circa 1920/21. The M1922 rifles can be found with sights marked in western or the old Farsi type numbers used on Persian Mausers. This relationship continued up to 1938 and the various Turkish arsenal upgrades of their Mausers was undertaken with Czech support. The
Czechs were hard up for cash and would reuse old parts to help fabricate new contract Mausers at times, as well as sell off older pattern Mausers to pay for new VZ24 Mausers for the Czech Army.
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Postby Chavusch on 29 Aug 2006 10:46

The Rifles of Turkey 1914 to 1915


by Dan Reynolds
On the eve of World War One, the Ottoman Empire was in the advanced stages of decay. The Sultan was the nominal head of this cosmopolitan empire which had experienced numerous revolts and wars for the preceding century as nationalist sentiment had flared between disaffected subject ethnic groups and major powers had seized lands from the so called "sick man of Europe.”
The "Young Turk" revolt of 1909 displaced the old Sultan Abdul Hamid Kahn and attempted to introduce liberal reforms to modernize and preserve the Empire in the face of constant losses. Especially in Albania the reforms proved counter productive. German advisers were brought in to help improve the Army. Despite this, a series of defeats to Italy and then to the allied Balkan states followed and large numbers of rifles were lost or rendered unserviceable as a result.

The rifles available to arm Ottoman troops, police and Muslim militia forces included the Snider type conversions of caplock Enfields to cartridge firing 14.5mm breech loaders, both rifle and half stock carbines, Peabody and improved Peabody -Martini .45 Turk single shot rifles, blacck powder M1887 Mauser tube magazine 9.5mm rifles and carbines, five shot Mauser box magazine M1890 7.65mm rifles and carbines, Mauser M1893 7.65mm rifles with magazine cut offs fitted, 98 type Mauser M1903 7.65mm rifles and M1905 7.65mm Mauser carbines. A small number of Steyr 6.5x55mm Norwegian Krag carbines were rumored to have been acquired around 1904 to arm the Sultan Abdul Hamid Kahn's mounted bodyguard. He was a gun buff and wanted the Turkish Cavalry to adopt this weapon, but the 1905 Mauser was selected. Perhaps 200-300 Krags were obtained. Small quantities of Mannlicher rifles and carbines, M88/90, M94 and M95 in 8x50mm, M93, 6.5x54mm, M1903 Mannlicher Schonauer, and various Serbian Mausers were taken in the course of the Balkan Wars. Some Egyptian 11mm Remingtons were on issue in Arabia.

In June of 1913, the Sultan's Grand Vizir requested that the Kaiser of German send a Military Mission of German officers headed by a leading German General Officer to Turkey to reorganize the Ottoman Army. In November, General of the Cavalry, Liman von Sanders, led a mission of forty-two officers to Constantinople to undertake the task. The Turkish Navy was being assisted by a British Naval Mission under Admiral Limpus, RN. The Imperial Military Police were 80,000 strong and armed with some of the best rifles, under a French General, as the Ottoman Turks attempted to balance the "Great Powers".

In 1913, the last batch of new Mauser rifles, Model 1910 in 7.65mm was delivered from Oberndorf. It was intended to re-equip the army with as many as 300,000 of this pattern had not the start of the World War cut off deliveries after a small number had been shipped. According to John Wall’’s research, perhaps only slightly more than 1,000 of these Mausers were shipped. It is not known for sure what the official Ottoman model designation for this series was. They may have been considered M1903, but the date 1910 is rolled on the ring. The rifles delivered had the western commercial export markings and numbers. The only identifier of Turkish ownership being the toughra of the deposed Abdul Hamid on the butt of the long bayonet supplied with these rifles and the old style Turkish script on the blade near the hilt indicating the date of 1907. These rifles/bayonets may have been assembled from parts on hand at the factory.

Liman von Sanders was made Marshal and Inspector General of the Turkish Army as of 14 January 1914. This did not mean he controlled the Army. The real power in Turkey was the "Committee" of Young Turks, the names of the actual members being obscure to outsiders. They installed Enver Pasha as Minister of War and Commander in Chief of the Army and Enver informed the Sultan after the fact. A purge of the officer corp ensued eliminating 1100 men, key members being imprisoned if deemed a threat to the new order. The Germans were kept out of the loop. The core of the Ottoman Empire was the Anatolian Turks, but other ethnic groups were represented among the officials and officer corp, including Bosnians, Albanians and Arabs among others. The Turkish Army was in poor condition with the troops poorly trained and clothed, many without shoes, lacking in proper medical care, basic equipment and especially modern serviceable rifles. In the short period leading up to the start of war, German officers took over and reorganized various schools to train officers, were placed on various unit staffs as advisers, and tried to improve sanitary measures.

When war broke out in August 1914, Turkey remained neutral. Six Army Groups were established, but most were mere shadow organizations with infantry companies sometimes numbering 20 rifles. Eventually by 1918, nine Army Groups had been formed, but these were more form than substances being inadequately manned, armed and supplied. At the end of October 1914, the German Admiral von Usedom took command of the defenses along the Dardanelles and the Bosporus as Turkey entered the war on the side of the Central Powers. Enver Pasha was pro German and the "Committee", despite some dissent, had approved Enver's plan to persuade the Grand Vizir to sign, on 2 August, a secret undertaking to enter any war arising from Germany aiding Austro Hungary against Russia.

Turkey's entry into the war on the side of the Central Powers was a great victory for German diplomacy. Russia declared war on Turkey on 1 November. The French and British attacked the forts protecting the Dardanelles on 3 November and declared war on 5 November. The Dardanelles was a narrow strait of water separating Europe from Asia and gave access to the Sea of Marmara and Constantinople and the Bosporus and Black Sea. A British force seized Basra at the head of the Persian Gulf on 21 November, and a plan evolved to advance up the Tigris River and capture Bagdad, capital of the Ottoman province of Mesopotamia.

The Turkish forces were ill equipped to begin a major war and von Sanders tried to get Enver to adopt prudent, limited action in line with available resources. Enver for geopolitical reasons wanted to take the offensive on a grand scale and was supported by certain German officers not attached to von Sander's Mission. The best armed, trained and supplied troops were the First Army around Constantinople. These forces were generally fairly up to strength in manpower. Other Armies were not nearly as well off.

The Third Army in the Caucasus, despite shortages, met the Russian invasion in November and brought it to a halt. In December, Enver took personal command of this Army and launched a winter offensive which ended in disaster, losing more than 80,000 rifles. By New Year 1915, the Turks had lost some 120,000+ rifles through capture by the enemy, desertions, theft and damage. Before the war, Germany had been the main supplier of small arms. Up to now, supplies had been cut off as Germany needed all the rifles it could muster for her own forces and shipment was interdicted by Allied control of seas. The neutrality of Romania, Greece and Bulgaria which made rail shipment not feasible until Serbia was smashed by Bulgarian entry into the war on the side of the Central Powers some nine months later.

On February 3, 1915, Turkish forces had attacked the Suez Canal, but it was only a raid and a withdrawal was ordered into the Sinai. Arab troops in the Turkish force showed signs of panic. Troops were armed with 7.65mm Mausers.

At the end of April, the Allies began the invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula on the Dardanelles. The battle was to last more than eight and half months. The ANZAC CORP, Australian and New Zealand troops, were the major Allied component and suffered very heavy casualties. Liman von Sanders took personal command of the campaign and the Turk Fifth Army was the major Ottoman army group. Ammunition was very short on the Turk side while the Allies were very well supplied with everything from the sea and enjoyed the Big Gun support of the Royal and French Navies. As Turkish casualties mounted, the Second Army was sent in at Sedd el Barr on the south front. In September, Bulgaria entered the war opening a land/rail link from Germany, though war material did not arrive until November. Late in September, Arab troops replaced units of the Second Army in the line and they proved to be inadequate in training and elan. They had to be stiffened by reliable units and confined to defensive operations.

Supplies of Moisin Nagant M1891 rifles and ammunition had reached Turkey by late fall 1915. These supplemented the small numbers the Turks had captured from the Russians. Austria, as well as Germany may have supplied some of these.

Late in November, Austrian and German troops arrived in Gallipoli and the Allied position began seeming more futile to the Allied leadership. On 20 December 1915, under cover of a dense fog, the Allies withdrew to their ships abandoning a huge amount of war material. Vickers MG's and S.M.L.E. Enfields and .303 ammunition came into inventory and were issued.
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Thanks

Postby nuyt on 30 Aug 2006 20:08

Thanks Chavusch!
Great story, especially the Czech connection!

Kind regards,
Nuyt
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Postby Paul Lakowski on 02 Sep 2006 21:10

Got this from another board....

http://boards.historychannel.com/thread ... 7227659359





Turkey facts
Population: 17 100 000 (in 1938) Borders with (during WWII) Bulgaria, Greece, Syria, Iraq, Iran, Soviet Union. It also has access to the Black and Mediterranean Seas.

Area: 767 100 squared kilometers.

Capital City: Ankara

Overview: Shortly before WWII, the internal and external policies of the Turkish government began to diverge from the progressive course undertaken by K. Ataturk; subsequently to Ataturk's death in 1938, under combined pressure from reactionary domestic elements and from imperialistic powers, Turkey halted the realization of social reforms while in foreign policy it adopted an anti-Soviet stance. After the eruption of World War II, it announced a declaration of neutrality, and on 19/10/1939 it signed a mutual assistance pact with Great Britain and France. Influenced by the early war triumphs of Nazi Germany, Turkey decided to initiate cooperation with the Axis; on 18/06/1941 it signed a pact of friendship with Third Reich. Subsequently, it provided considerable quantities of strategic raw materials to support the German war effort, including 30% of all chrome needed by Germany. Western powers fruitlessly attempted to persuade Turkey to abandon this Axis-friendly neutrality and to join the Allied cause. Not until 02/08/1944, did Turkey sever diplomatic relations with Nazi Germany; it did the same with Japan on 03/01/1945. On 01/03/1945 it formally declared war on both of these countries, althought, it never fought against them. Turkey is a co-founding member of U.N.

Armed Forces: In 1938 the Turkish standing army had 20 000 officers and 174 000 men. Military service lasted for three years. In 1939 the Turkish army was administrationally divided into three army inspectorates, nine corps, and one military governorship; the country's armed forces were composed of 20 infantry divisions, three brigades of mountain troops, one fortress brigade, and five cavalry divisions (including two reserve cavalry divisions) - altogether 132 regiments (60 infantry, six mountain troops, 21 cavalry, eight reserve cavalry, 20 field artillery, 10 heavy artillery, and seven fortress artillery). In early 1941 Turkey established 17 corps headquarters, 43 divisions and three independent infantry brigades, two divisions and one independent cavalry brigade, as well as two mechanized divisions. The armed forces were poorly equipped; weapons shipments from Germany, Great Britain, and U.S. did little to improve that condition. Just before the onset of hostilities the Turkish navy underwent a program of expansion and modernization; two submarines were ordered for construction in Germany, two submarines and four destroyers were ordered for construction in U.K. Lesser vessels were also constructed in home shipyards. After Germany delivered one submarine in 1939, the Turkish navy contained 19 naval vessels and they included one armoured ship, one line cruiser, two light cruisers, two torpedo-boats, four destroyers, five submarines, and four other lesser ships (most vessels were obsolete); with a total displacement of 55 775 tonnes (the number of naval personnel stood at 9 200). The real combat value of the navy was insignificant. By the end of WWII, the navy had one battle cruiser, two cruisers, two gunboats, three minesweepers, eight destroyers, 12 submarines, three motor torpedo boats, five minelayers, a surveying vessel, a depot ship, a fleet tug, a collier, and an oiler. By 1940 the Turkish air force was composed of four air regiments (each regiment contained six air companies), and had in possession a total of 370 aircraft (it had 8 500 personnel). Thanks to British and French shipments one more air regiment, along with five independent air wings, was formed in 1941. Shipments of military equipment from Germany replaced the shipments from Allied countries in the same year. Close to the end of the war, two air force divisions were organized; they together contained 15 air wings (or 30 flights).
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some more Turkish weapons

Postby nuyt on 03 Sep 2006 11:41

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Postby Tosun Saral on 05 Sep 2006 13:10

Dear Nuyt, yesterday I was in Istanbul. I had time to visit The Dolmabahce Place. In the garden ı saw a few examples of old Ottoman Turkish artillary guns used during the siege of Costantinapolis.
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Postby Andy H on 05 Sep 2006 14:18

Gentlemen can we please keep the thread on subject-Turkey joining the Axis in 1940-41

Regards

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Postby brodeur on 01 Nov 2006 10:57

Deterance wrote:
waffen_für _alle wrote:
In my opinion,the Turkish states under the control of the soviets would probably see Turkey as their liberators.This was how they saw the Germans.That is why many of them fought against soviets after their captivity by Germans.The Turkic states would probably revolt or sabotage the Red Army.Especially Azerbaijan would probably attack the armenians from the back.That is why Turkish involvement could be succesful.



Good point, undoubtably Turkish intervention would raise the possibility of mass defections from Azeris, Turkmen etc. These defections could push the situation to the point of collapse. I dont think the Azeris as a people wuld have attacked Armenia though, instead they would have conducted sabotage, reservists would have not mobilized and just waited for the liberation.

But I dont think Turkey was strong enough to launch attacks into USSR, Syria, and towards the Suez at the same time. This would allow the allies to use their "ace in a hole".

The U.S build up to Torch and D-Day was deliberate and slow in an effort to save U.S. lives and let Soviets Nazis destroy each other. But... the US was not going to allow an Axis victory. Knocking the Soviets out of the war would mean an Axis victory. U.S. would have intervened in Iraq with all available Divisions in February 1942 to stop a Soviet Collapse even if intervention delayed Pacific response and led to high U.S. casulties.

I think it’s rather naive to think that the US would pop up right out of the blue in Iraq with any meaning full troop strength to support the Russians.

This is logistical impossible, there was simply no infrastructure available to support operation far of in wasteland territory.
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Postby brodeur on 01 Nov 2006 11:17

Tosun Saral wrote:Dear Paul, Ismet Inonu was a democratic and civilized man. He would never do with a dictator who ruined his own land and killed millions of Germans and others. Turks collaborated with Germans in the WW1 knowing that they are on the side of a nation rich in culture. Turks wanted to gain the lost territories with this comradeship. But since 1933 every body knew that Hitlers Nazi party was barbaric and brutal. Turkey hosted since 1933 many German intellectuals Jews or Christians who escaped from Nazi terror. These facts were well known in Turkey. If the Germans invaded the UK at the top of their power, Turks would have never collaborated with the Nazi regime. They would fight againts them for democracy and humanity.
Those who rule with terror lost at the end.



I am not so sure about that, I hear a story o a boy named Hitler in turkey in the late 80-is. “He was named after a great man”. :| :wink: :)
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Postby Tosun Saral on 02 Nov 2006 12:42

brodeur wrote:
Tosun Saral wrote:Dear Paul, Ismet Inonu was a democratic and civilized man. He would never do with a dictator who ruined his own land and killed millions of Germans and others. Turks collaborated with Germans in the WW1 knowing that they are on the side of a nation rich in culture. Turks wanted to gain the lost territories with this comradeship. But since 1933 every body knew that Hitlers Nazi party was barbaric and brutal. Turkey hosted since 1933 many German intellectuals Jews or Christians who escaped from Nazi terror. These facts were well known in Turkey. If the Germans invaded the UK at the top of their power, Turks would have never collaborated with the Nazi regime. They would fight againts them for democracy and humanity.
Those who rule with terror lost at the end.



I am not so sure about that, I hear a story o a boy named Hitler in turkey in the late 80-is. “He was named after a great man”. :| :wink: :)

Firstly;There are tons of great men in Turkish history to be named after their name.
secondly; Hitler is not our great man.
3rdly; there is a law in Turkey that vorhibites forein names to be given new borned ones.
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Postby nuyt on 02 Feb 2007 00:05

I have been collecting info on the Turkish pre-WW2 army over the last few months and here's the Ottoman/Turkish Artillery inventory for starters:
http://www.network54.com/Forum/330333/t ... +1900-1945

It seems the Turkish Army in 1940 was not at all bad.
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