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Pour Greek army w/o French and Italain and domestic betrayers but still some British help fought bravely till the qwick bitter end ,which called Great Anatolian Adventure......
In 30 August 1922 was Great Turkish Kemalist Victory started at in Turkish Aegean hinterland Afyon Valley endet in Izmir < Smyria> at 9th September ..todays worlds military academies still wowing how the battle tried and heavly suffered Turkish army w/o efficient motorized transportation ,even without proper shoos, fighting some resisting Greek troops , helping totaly fired and massaccared villages ,... following the undiciplined in panic running enemy , in just about 9 days over 400 km very harsh valleys , and unpaved country roads, in Anatolias over 35 C summer hot!
News Analysis by Ugur Akinci, Ph.D.
August 30, 1922 ~ Dumlupinar & The Beginning Of The End
The night of August 25, 1922, Friday.
Roughly 209,000 Turks and 225,000 Greeks faced one another in the dark, along a curving front near Afyon that extended 60 kilometers from South to North in the center of Western Anatolia, and thousands of miles away from the Greek homeland.
What kind of a long night was that, on the heights of Kocatepe, a mighty hill overlooking the Afyon Plain?
Let`s go to Kocatepe...
It is 3 a.m. on August 26, 1922, Saturday morning. Let`s take a peek through the magnificent lines of the Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet (from his “Kuvay-i Milliye Destani”) which I took the liberty of translating:
flickered in the mountains.
And the stars were so luminous and so serene
that the man with the serge kalpak
believed in the beautiful, comfortable days ahead
how and when they`d arrive, without knowing
and just when he was smiling into his mustache,
next to his mouser
suddenly, he saw Him, five steps to his right.
The generals were behind, standing.
He, asked for the time.
“It`s three o`clock,” replied the generals.
He looked like a blond wolf.
And his blue eyes with fire flashing
he walked to the edge of the cliff,
leaned over and stopped.
If only they`d let him
taking off on his slim long limbs
and gliding in the dark, like a star streaming
he would`ve jumped from the Kocatepe Heights into the Afyon Plain.”
Determined not to waste the element of surprise, the Turkish artillery opened up with a hellish thunder at precisely 5:30 a.m. on Saturday morning, August 26, 1922.
After 90 minutes of relentless pounding, wave after wave of Turkish infantry crashed into the Greek trenches in an all-out bayonet attack.
The whole Afyon Plain was reverberating with the deafening explosions of the artillery rounds and the “Allah! Allah!” battle cry of the Mehmetçik.
Within a few hours, the Turks began to tear through the first positions of the Greek 1st Army, commanded by General Trikopis.
Although Gen. Trikopis placed a phone call to Izmir to inform the Greek Commander-in-Chief Gen. Hacianesti of the surprise Turkish attack, it was clear from early on that it would be hard for Gen. Hacianesti to command his troops from 400 kilometers away. Command-by-remote-control was no match for the personal commitment of the 41-year-old Mustafa Kemal Pasha who was right there on the battle field, leading the Great Offensive in person.
Although the Turkish troops had slept only a few hours the night before, their morale was at an all-time high. They attacked the Greek positions with great tenacity, cutting the barbed wires in front of the Greek trenches and pushing on with their fearsome bayonet attack while Ismet Pasha`s artillery covered their advance.
Within a few hours Turks captured Kaleciksivrisi, Erkmentepe and Tinaztepe. (See the map of the Grand Offensive.)
When, at 9 a.m., the Turkish troops also captured Belentepe, Commander-in-Chief Mustafa Kemal Pasha sent the following short telegram to the Turkish Grand National Assembly from the Kocatepe Heights:
“Today, as of August 26, 1922, 10 a.m., we have launched an offensive along the whole front. Success is from Allah.”
The 5th Cavalry Corps proved its worth quickly by cutting over the Ahir Mountain into the Sincanli Plain from the West wing of the Turkish 1st Army, and threatening to encircle the Greek forces.
The 2nd Army forces excelled in their preplanned mission of preventing the Greek forces in the North from running to the rescue of the Greek 1st Army ambushed in Afyon.
Perhaps the saddest episode of the whole offensive expired on the first day of the skirmishes. Turkish units were so fighting with such a heightened sense of national honor and duty that Colonel Resad Bey, the commander of the 57th Infantry Division, committed suicide with his revolver when his troops could not capture their assigned target, Cigiltepe, on time. The tragedy is that his troops indeed did capture Cigiltepe as Col. Resad Bey was exhaling his last breath.
At the end of August 26, the Greek forces pulled back from Afyon all the way back towards Balmahmut on the Afyon-Izmir railroad in North.
To prevent the collapse of the Greek front, Gen. Trikopis, who started the battle as the commander of the 1st Corps, had to take over the effective command of all the Greek forces since the real Commander-in-Chief Gen. Hacianesti was either issuing commands from his safe headquarters 400 kilometers away that had nothing to do with the realities on the ground, or due to the Turkish sabotage on communications lines, he could not be reached from the front at all.
By the end of August 27, Sunday, the chaos and confusion within the ranks of the Greek high command was complete. Greek commanders were trying to prevent the impending disaster by issuing ad hoc commands that further complicated the coordination between the withdrawing units.
On August 28, Monday, the Turkish forces broke through the second ring of Greek defenses as well. The Greek 1st Army was chased towards Dumlupinar in the West while the Turkish 2nd Army crossed to the West of the Afyon-Kütahya railroad and delivered heavy blows against the defenses of Greek 3rd Corps.
Greek 1st and 7th Divisions under the command of Gen. Frangos lost their contact completely with Gen. Trikopis` 1st Corps Hqs. and proceeded to withdraw towards Dumlupinar on their own.
On the evening of August 28, the phone and railroad contact of the Greek troops with Izmir was severed almost completely. Some of the Greek units, in a state of panic and disintegration, started to burn the Turkish villages and massacre the civilians on their path of retreat.
August 29, Tuesday. The five Greek infantry divisions under Gen. Trikopis` command have been encircled inside the horseshoe formed by Calkoy-Hamurkoy-Aslihanlar, to the NorthWest of Dumlupinar. They were trying their best to break the encirclement and escape from the West corridor. (See the Dumlupinar map.)
The night of August 29-30. Very early Wednesday morning, before dawn, Turkish Western Front Operations Director Tevfik Bey (Biyiklioglu) shows up in Western Front Commander Ismet Pasha`s room with situation maps in his hands that confirm the encirclement of the Greek troops.
Ismet Pasha`s response is instantaneous: “Show this to Mustafa Kemal Pasha, immediately!” Tevfik Bey rushes to Afyon City Hall where the Commander-in-Chief was resting after a long day at the battle field.
The minute Mustafa Kemal takes a look at the maps, he immediately sends for Fevzi and Ismet Pashas.
All tree top Turkish commanders realize that the moment they have dreamed of for the last three years, since May 15, 1919 when the Greek troops landed in and occupied Izmir under the patronage of British PM Lloyd George, was finally at hand.
Mustafa Kemal immediately ordered for the Turkish 2nd Army and 5th Cavalry Corps to block the Greek escape routes to the West of Dumlupinar and he himself departed for the 1st Army Hqs. to command the last battle of the Turkish National War of Liberation.
The “Dumlupinar Pitched Battle of the Commander-in-Chief,” as it is officially known in the annals of Turkish military history, lasted all day.
By the evening of August 30, 1922, the Greek army was defeated decisively and smashed into groups of individual troops running away towards Izmir as fast as they could in a disorganized fashion.
This was the beginning of the end for the “Asia Minor Adventure” of Greece. It was also the beginning of the end of Turkey`s occupation by enemy forces and the true last day of World War One for Turkey. (Since then August 30 is celebrated in Turkey as the Turkish Victory Day.)
But still, Western Anatolia and Izmir were not yet liberated.
On the evening of August 31, Thursday, Mustafa Kemal Pasha issued a directive to the army which ended with his famous direction: “Armies, your first target is the Mediterranean. Onward!” From that point forward, it was a non-stop chase all the way to Izmir.
The officers and troops of the 5th Cavalry Corps, including my grandfather Lt. Ali Riza Akinci, rode their horses for nine days straight, practically with no or just a few hours of sleep a night, to liberate Izmir on September 9, 1922. More about that in the next and third installment of this series, “September 9, 1922 - >From Crescent to Full Moon.”
General Trikopis, Greek 2nd Corps Commander General Diyenis and the Greek Army`s Chief of Staff were captured on September 2 at a village near Murat Mountain.
The Greek commanders who were brought to Mustafa Kemal were treated with the respect and dignity appropriate for officers of their rank, even though they were the adversaries.
Mustafa Kemal Pasha was sitting in between Fevzi and Ismet Pashas when the prisoners were ushered into the large living room of a Turkish house. The contrast between the simple and unadorned uniforms of the Turkish generals and the rich uniforms adorned with silver embroidery worn by their Greek counterparts was glaring.
Mustafa Kemal stood up and extended his hand to Trikopis.
“Please take a seat, my general, you must be tired,” was how the gracious winner welcomed his defeated adversary.
Gen. Trikopis and Diyenis accepted the cigarettes and a cup of Turkish coffee offered to put them at ease. Then, Mustafa Kemal and Trikopis proceeded to discuss the battle on the maps in front of them.
Both Greek generals were watching Mustafa Kemal nervously, with mixed emotions. Turkish writer Halide Edip, who was present in that room, later wrote the following exchange:
“I did not know that you were this young,” Gen. Trikopis admits to Mustafa Kemal, at the end of their meeting.
“Can I do anything for you?” Mustafa Kemal asks the Greek commander.
“It would be nice if I could learn about the health of my wife in Istanbul,” Trikopis suggests. The Turks oblige with this personal request of the man who was commissioned to wipe off all Turkish presence from Anatolia.
Twelve years later in 1934, the two Aegean neighbors buried the hatchet for decades to come when Greek Prime Minister Eleftherios Venizelos nominated Mustafa Kemal Atatürk for the Nobel Peace Prize