Hello All :
Mr. Sid Guttridge stated :
The premise of this thread is that the Turks "join" the Axis or Allies,
not that they are attacked by either.
This being so, we need incentives for them to "join" either side.
What are they?
Mr Guttridge, there is a story, probably apocryphal, that Winston Churchill rhetorically asked a lady
at a dinner party if she would consider having sex with him for one million pounds. The lady giggled,
and said, " Yes, she would consider it. " Churchill then asked her if she would have sex with him for
a shilling. The lady, offended, replied, " Of course not - What kind of girl do you think I am ?"
Churchill smiled and stated, " Madam, we have already determined EXACTLY what kind of girl you
are. What we are doing now is negotiating your price..... "
The question is, what would be the price necessary to get Turkey to join the Axis
( the only real
question that is important, as Turkey joining the Allies would contribute nothing to the Allied war effort )
The answer, is, of course, Land, Wealth, and Power
At the end of World Unpleasantness One, Turkey was stripped of it's possesions of Irag, Palestine, Syria,
Jordan, and Saudia Arabia. It was forced to pay large reparations, and despite the efforts of the 'Young
Turks', was left for over a decade as a damaged state.
In the closing days of WW1, Turkey had, in fact, put together an army over 100,000 strong that was
marching north through the Causcasus and threatening the southern portion of Russia ( Soviet Disunity ).
This army was called the ' Islamic Army of the Caucasus ' and it is well worth the time of the members
of this forum to study the history of this army and it's effect on the end of the WW1.
Now, WHAT IF
( the two most powerful words in the English Language ! ) Hitler had, starting in the
autumn of 1940, decided to go to war against Bolshevism. And, looking around for Allies, he noticed
that Turkey was admirably suited for the role of Usefull Ally. Making secret diplomatic approaches
to Ankara, Hitler makes the following offer: In return for Turkey joining in a combined offensive
against the USSR, at the end of the war, after Britain is defeated, Turkey will be rewarded with
Jordan, Syria, Lebanon, Palestine, Saudia Arabia, Iraq, and ALL of the territory that Turkey succeeds
in occupying in the Southern USSR ( in other words, the Caucasus, with all the little ' Islamo-stans '
that make it up.
Turkey would get all of the trading opportunities of the eastern end of the Med, plus ALL THE OIL
of Iraq, any of Persia they occupy, and the southern Baku oil region of Russia.
Basically, Turkey gets the Golden Ticket
Now, in 1940, the Turkish Army ( very roughly ) consisted of
60 Infantry Regiments (Turkish Regiments were roughly 1500 men each) , divided into 20 Divisions.
6 Mountain Regiments,
21 Cavalry Regiments,
8 Reserve Cavalry Regiments ( basically constabulary troops )
20 Field Artillery Regiments,
10 Heavy Artillery Regiments,
7 Fortress Artillery Regiments for guarding the Dardanelles.
This totalled nearly 200,000 men, with their equipment and weapons in hand and ready for war.
The Turkish Air Force consisted of just over 400 aircraft, ranging from Curtis Hawk IIIs and PZL 24s
to Hawker Hurricanes, Fairy Battles, Bristol Blenheims, and He 111s. Not the Luftwaffe or the
RAF, but nothing to be sneered at.
So, if the Turkish Government goes along, then in the early weeks of August, 1941, a Turkish Army
of the Caucasus storms over the border into Persia and Southern Russia. Consisting of 10 Infantry
Divisions ( 4500 men ) each with a Field Artillery Regiment attached, ( a total of 60,000 men armed
with WW1 Mausers and 75mm horse drawn artillery ) along with 5 Cavalry Divisions, ( another 30,000
men on horseback with Mausers and sabers ) 2 Mountain Divisions ( 9,000 men ) and a Heavy Artillery
Division , you would have a total of about 105,000 men ( just over half of the Turkish Army ) with
rifles, light artillery, and horses moving slowly but inexorably up the Caucasus between the Black
and Caspian Seas.
Given air cover by roughly 2/3 of the Turkish Air Force, ( the rest, like the rest of the Turkish Army,
and their Fortress Regiments, would be serving to prevent the Allies from attacking the Dardanelles
or invading Anatolia) , the Turkish Army would rely on the relatively large size of its force to
push back the Soviet formations in the area. In effect, it would be a repeat of the closing days of
WW!, when the Islamic Army of the Caucasus almost brought the nascent USSR to it's knees.
Within weeks, the fledgling Persian Lend Lease Corridor would be closed, and, as the Turks marched
north, they could raise up help from Anti-Soviet Moslems in the Southern regions. By preventing
Stalin from moving troops from the South to the Central Front around Moscow, it might make a
crucial difference in the overall course of the war.
Sipping strong, black, highly sweetened coffee from a tiny cup on a balconey overlooking the
turquoise waters of the Bosporus, Hitler couldn't help but congratulate himself on his fortunate
choice of an Ally to assist him in Operation Barbarossa. The record on the gramophone was
a man's voice saying, " And Now, Your three New Words in Turkish...... Towel..... Bath....
Border....... May I see your passport, Please ?"
Paul R. Ward