Turkish Brigade in Korean War

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Andy H
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Turkish Brigade in Korean War

Post by Andy H » 11 Sep 2005 00:33

Turkey provided a single infantry Brigade (ca 5,000men) to the UN involvement in the Korean war. So after Britain & Canada, Turkey provided the next largest contingent of soldiers.

I have read that the Turkish Brigade earned a reputation second tonone throughout the war, proving both fearless in attack and stalwart in defence.

Can anyone shed any light on there actions within the Korean War?

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Andy H

mars
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Post by mars » 11 Sep 2005 04:54

Andy, Turkish Brigade's performance in their first battle in Korea, in the later Nov and early Dec 1950, was not good at all, they simply broke and ran, but after re-trained and re-organization, those Turks were proved tough fighters, and their performance after 1951 were excellent, Americans consider Turks were excellent in offensive operation but they usually did not performe well in defensive, on the other hand, British soldiers were very good in defensive, but not got in offensive operations.
you can find some very interesting information about Turkish Birgade in those books
"Disaster in Korea" by Roy Appleman
"The Forgotten War" by Clay Blair

Tolga Alkan
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Post by Tolga Alkan » 11 Sep 2005 10:17

I was thinking of open a thread about Battle of Kunu-ri that the Turkish Brigade proved itself as outstanding force in the Korean War.I noticed that from the culture-magazine called Atlas,they had an issue covering mostly the Korean War and the Turkish Brigade.They interviewed some living Turkish veterans included officers and travelled North Korea with special permission and talked with also North Korean veterans.One of the interesting thing is that one of the veterans who was an officer in mortar unit has written a book 700 pages of total unit history and recollections.It is not published yet as far as I know.I was thinking to get in touch on this subject and contact with this veterans if he is still alive.I would like to scan some pages from Atlas if I can find a good scanner.Here some useful webpages:

http://www.historynet.com/mh/blbaptismoffire/
http://www.korean-war.com/turkey.html
http://www.rt66.com/~korteng/SmallArms/ ... rigade.htm
http://www.2id.org/kunuri-history.htm

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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 11 Sep 2005 15:00

Thank you both for your input and information.

Were all the Turkish POW's returned?

What happened to the Turkish dead. Are they in a war cemetary in Korea or were they sent home?

Regards

Andy H

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col. klink
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Post by col. klink » 11 Sep 2005 15:39

I thought I remeber reading of the Turkish Brigade making a bayonet charge that left such an impression on the US that Eight Army ordered all rifiles to have bayonets fixed after that. I had a teacher in high school who was then a priest but who had been in the Marines though I'm not actually sure if he served in Korea mention that the Turkish troops were suppose to have been the hardest POWs for the communists to deal with. They withstood "brainwashing" better than the other UN troops and supposedly attempted escapes most often though I don't know if any were succesful. I have not read anything to back these staements up but since hearing these things I have had the impression that the Turkish troops in Korea were among the very toughest.

mars
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Post by mars » 11 Sep 2005 19:26

Tolga, the supposly bravery of Turkish Brigade in the Battle of Kunu-ri was a well-spread myth, actuall many US officers complained at that time "What should I do with those Turks ? They do not understand English, and they would not fight". you shall read Col Appleman's books.
And Col klink, the first bayonet charge committed by an United Nation force was actually French batallion, to be fair, Turks did charged chinese bravely with bayonets many times in 1951, you could read all about this in Col Appleman's another book "Ridgway duels for Korea"

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Post by Tolga Alkan » 12 Sep 2005 09:33

Hello,

In accordance to the offical record of the Turkish Army,all the Turkish POWS returned home.There is a Turkish war grave in Pusan,Korea.Total amount of troop was approx.15000(Three Brigade fought in Korea in rotation during 1950-1953).721 killed in action,175 missed in action,234 POW.I've no clue about wounded at the moment.The total casualties were reported 3277 included wounded troops in some sources.I should check some more accurate resources.

Language was the common problem during the war.The US Army had informed it's own troops for upcoming risk of crazy Turkish truck drivers. :) In fact there were some bad accidents during the war caused casualties.

The Turkish Brigade was nicknamed the North Star.I have no clue about it was offical or not but there was offical newspaper published in Turkish for Turkish soldiers during the War called the North Star;Kutup Yıldızı; in Turkish.AFAIK,The first Brigade was commanded by legandary general Tahsin Yazıcı; who was also Gallipoli veteran.

very Best Regards
Tolga Alkan
Tolga
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Andy H
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Post by Andy H » 12 Sep 2005 10:15

Thank you for the information Tolga

Regards

Andy H

Tolga Alkan
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Post by Tolga Alkan » 12 Sep 2005 15:05

I would like to post more information as soon as I can use a good scanner and make some scans from mentioned Turkish magazine.There is a lot of interesting photographs,maps and information.

Best Regards
Tolga

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Deterance
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Post by Deterance » 12 Sep 2005 15:38

One source that I read said the fighting retreats by the Turkish Brigade in the mountains off of the main road gained time for the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and allowed it to withdraw with out being completely overun by attacking Chinese.

Another book (cant remember the name) detailing the expereinces of a U.S. Infantry Company Commander named Torres cited an example of where Turkish forces with "mustaches, fixed bayonets and WWI style greatcoats" cleared ridges overlooking a vital road of Chinese blocking forces along with Torres' company. Other nearby U.S. Companies were to demoralized to clear the ridges.

mars
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Post by mars » 12 Sep 2005 17:49

Deterance wrote:One source that I read said the fighting retreats by the Turkish Brigade in the mountains off of the main road gained time for the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and allowed it to withdraw with out being completely overun by attacking Chinese.
Deterance, this simply was not what happened, Turkish Brigade did not fight well in their first battle against chinese, their line collapsed in the first Chinese attack, and after that, they simply "ran like hell", some of Turkish soldiers even climb on those US truch reserved for wounded, and US soldiers had to force them leave literally at gun point,as I said, the stubbon resistance of Turkish brigade in the battle of Kunu-ri was a wide-spread myth. But those Turks did fight well after 1951.

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Kim Sung
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Spreading of Islam to Korea by Turkish War Veterans

Post by Kim Sung » 12 Sep 2005 18:07

Islam as a religion was first disseminated by Turkish officer Zubeir Kochi and Abdullahman in 1955. In 1976, the first Islam mosque was built in Seoul, Korea.

Turkey was inflicted the third highest casualties after the US and Britain in the Korean War. Thus Koreans and Turks became 'kan karsesh'(brother bound by blood)


The homepage of the only Islam mosque in Korea

http://www.koreaislam.org
Last edited by Kim Sung on 13 Sep 2005 00:54, edited 1 time in total.

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Deterance
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Post by Deterance » 12 Sep 2005 22:31

mars wrote:
Deterance wrote:One source that I read said the fighting retreats by the Turkish Brigade in the mountains off of the main road gained time for the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division and allowed it to withdraw with out being completely overun by attacking Chinese.
Deterance, this simply was not what happened, Turkish Brigade did not fight well in their first battle against chinese, their line collapsed in the first Chinese attack, and after that, they simply "ran like hell", some of Turkish soldiers even climb on those US truch reserved for wounded, and US soldiers had to force them leave literally at gun point,as I said, the stubbon resistance of Turkish brigade in the battle of Kunu-ri was a wide-spread myth. But those Turks did fight well after 1951.
How can two sources have such different desrpitions of Turkish performance? :? The book I read was by an American author and it emphatically stated that it was the U.S. troops who were in panicked flight, abandoning usable equipment, commandeering transport, etc. and that it was the Turkish troops (assisted by a few well led American units like Torres) who not only cleared roadways, but also fought well in the mountains.

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Post by Tolga Alkan » 13 Sep 2005 09:12

My source says too the Turkish Brigade had remained in position until the U.S. 2nd Infantry Division was able to withdraw.

killchola,have you heard anything about "Ataturk School"?This school was made by the Turkish Brigade and there is photograph exist the Korean children posing in front of the school.Unfortunately fate is unknown.

Best Regards
Tolga

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seljuk
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Post by seljuk » 13 Sep 2005 10:24

photo taken from atlas magazine.
http://www.kesfetmekicinbak.com/atlaslar/dergi/00420/

It was brilliant work but unfortunately only Turkish language..
Its nearly 25 pages. if you want I will put all pages..
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