Landungsabteilung Gallipoli

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Peter H
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Landungsabteilung Gallipoli

Postby Peter H » 17 Jun 2007 14:04

Great information supplied by El Shanin here on the German MG Company at Gallipoli:

http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forum ... opic=40505


The German contribution with machine guns started after General Liman von Sanders asked Admiral Souchon for support and to send a Landungsabteilung. From both battleships "Goeben" and "Breslau" they formed a machinegun Coy with 44 men and 8 machineguns under command of 1st Lt Boltz. They arrived on 3rd May 1915 and after reporting at the Krithia-front "Südgruppe" HQ they were used mainly to support the left wing in the AOR of 7 Div. Because there was not enough time to change from the navy uniform they were stopped and threatend by own Turkish troops and only Major Mühlmann, Generalstaffofficer of the Südgruppe could solve the problem, when he passed by and saw the scene. This first battle was firce and the Coy lost 3 men, 7 wounded and 1 machine gun. During the attacks of 7th May the Landungsabteilung was in the trenches forward Kerevisdere and had to fight against the French troops. Boltz wrote about this attack: "In thick colomns, between 50 and 60 each, they came forward, and gave the Turkish artillery and our machine guns a full target. We mowed them down - row by row but always new colomns were send to attack. When our machine guns run out of ammunition, our soldiers took the rifles from the fallen Turkish soldiers and continued fighting. No more than five o'clock the attack was defeated. The enemy must have had terrible losses that day. The red trousers and red hats of the French soldiers were wonderful targets."

The Landungsabteilung continued on the 8 May the battle and 1st Ltn Boltz was wounded. After this week from the 44 soldiers only 7 were able to continue fighting - the rest was dead, wounded or ill.12 May 1st Lt von Thomsen arrived with new personal and on 19 may also Boltz returned with new personel and weapons to Gallipoli. They now were used on the right flank on both banks of the Sigindere in the AOR of the 9 Div, which was under command of Col Kannengiesser. There the Landunsgabteilung again had heavy losses during the battles between 4 and 6 June. On 27 July the Landunsgabteilung was reinforced from Istanbul and had now a strength of 3 officers, 150 men an 12 machineguns. They were immedeately used in the defence of the 7 August landings, were they proved again their effectiveness but had heavy losses in particular on Hill 971.

After the withdrawel of the allied troops in January 1916 the Landungsabteilung stayed until the end of the war and secured from 5 observing posts the coastline. A special task was to show German submarines the way through the mine fields in the Dardanelles. For that reason the commander of the Landungsabteilung entered the submarine north of Kiretsch Tepe, north of Gallipoli. Then he guided the submarines around the coastline and left the boat in the bay of Maidos.
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Peter H
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Postby Peter H » 17 Jun 2007 14:09

"Goeben landing party"

Courtesy of Rick Research: http://gmic.co.uk/index.php?showtopic=18483&st=0
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Postby Peter H » 17 Jun 2007 14:21

According to our good member Bob Lembke:

The leading lights seem to have been Oberleutnant zur See Boltz, and Leutnants zur See Thomsen and von Rabenau. The last named was captured, severely wounded, along with Obermatrose Peters (who successfully escaped), during the intense fighting of 4 Jun 15 on either side of Gully Ravine, which the Germans referred to as the Sigindere (presumably the Turkish name).

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Postby Tosun Saral » 17 Jun 2007 15:38

from Dr. İsmet Görgülü
ATATÜRK ARAŞTIRMA MERKEZİ DERGİSİ, Sayı 28, Cilt: X, Mart 1994
"Ataturk Arastirma Merkezi Baskanligi" Directory of Ataturk Research Centre.

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:Uh ... cd=2&gl=tr

"Germans at the foremost front were the sailors of Midilli. They brought 12 MGs from the ship on May 3rd. They run away in the first battle leaving their guns behind.
The 14th Engeneres Company was the only German unit at Gallipoli. They were stationed at Sedulbahir.The company had 200 men. but unfortunately they also run away and the number decreased to 40 in a few days time. They were no more a company."

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Postby Wolfgang Klaus » 24 Nov 2007 20:36

Concerning the last post and the quote of Dr. Görgülü I have records, which say exactely the opposite. It is absolute nonsense, that the Germans sailors run away. My information is from the war diray of the Landungsabteilung, which is open to the public in the German Military Achive in Freiburg under the signature RM 40 /440. See below the original text, which I try to translate. It is mentioning the attacks of the 4 May, while the Landungsabteilung arrived on the 3rd and was captured by Turkish troops, because they didn't know about the German uniforms. 1st lt Boltz described the attack: "The news of arrival of the German machine guns spread like a wildfire in the Turkish lines and very soon the next attack started. The machine guns were brought to the frontlines and they could throwback the enemy from Kerewis-Dere back to the beach and the british trenches were occupied. Finally I was with three still working machineguns in those british positions and fired against the enemy, who was still withdrwing. two of my guns became unservicable because of enemy fire and three others were left in the rear because of injuries of the crews. At daylight the Turks must withdraw because of terrible naval gun fire from a distance of 15km."

Oberleutnant z.S. Boltz beschrieb diesen Angriff wie folgt: „Wie ein Lauffeuer verbreitete sich die Kunde vom Eingreifen der deutschen Maschinengewehre in der türkischen Linie, und alsbald setzte erneut der allgemeine Angriff ein. Sprungweise wurden die Gewehre nach vorne gebracht, und es gelang, vom Kerewis-Dere aus den Feind aus seinen Stellungen bis an den Strand zurückzuwerfen; die englischen Schützgräben wurden besetzt. Schließlich befand ich mich mit noch drei Maschinengewehren in den englischen Stellungen und nahm den abziehenden Feind unter heftiges Feuer. Zwei meiner Gewehre waren durch Treffer unbrauchbar geworden, die drei übrigen waren wegen Ausfall an Personal nicht mitgekommen. Bei Tagesanbruch mußten sich die Türken, infolge des verheerenden Feuers der feindlichen Flotte, die auf eine Entfernung von etwa 15km schoß, zurückziehen."

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Postby Wolfgang Klaus » 24 Nov 2007 20:49

In addition the information, that the engineers from the Freiwillige Pionierkompanie also run away and for that reason lost so many soldiers is not true. The truth is (find this as well in the German Military Archive and the Political Archive in Berlin under Turkey 142), that when Liman von Sanders 22. June 1915 asked for a engineer formation of about 200 men the German Higher Command selected 200 men and designated the Pionier-Ersatz-Bataillon 2 to be the parent formation. The soldiers had to be sent in small groups in civilian clothes to Turkey. They had no special equipment, were not addopted to the climate, food and had no vacinations. As soon the single troops arrived in Istanbul thex were sent to Gallipoli and ditributed to the different divisions. There the soldiers had to live under "Turkish" conditions, while the Marine Landungsabteilung" had their own line of supply. For that reason, most of the soldiers, although brave fighting lost against another enemy: diarrhea, typhus and other deseases. In September 1915 Liman von sanders sent 97 engineers back to germany because of a lack of tropical health condition. The rest and the incoming reserves from the Ersatz-Bataillon were mainly busy in building trenches, mining and also had some flamethrowers. In 1915 they were definitely not staioned in Seddulbahr, because there was the supply harbour of the Allied forces.

Best regards
Wolf

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Postby Tosun Saral » 24 Nov 2007 22:02

Dr. Görgülü is a retired Tank Staff Colonel of Turkish Army. He is a friend of mine and now a prof.of Military History at Başkent University in Ankara. He is an academic. What an academicer writes are not absolute nonsence.

from the source:
ATATÜRK ARAŞTIRMA MERKEZİ DERGİSİ, Sayı 28, Cilt: X, Mart 1994
(Magazine of Directory of Ataturk Research Centre, No:28, Vol.X, March 1994)


"En ileri hatlardaki Alman birliklerine gelince; Midilli gemisinden sökülerek Alman mürettebatı ile 12 makinalı tüfek getiriliyor ve bunlar girdikleri ilk muharebede kaçıyorlar ve tüfekler mürettebatsız kalıyor14. İstihkâm Bölüğü ise Çanakkale’deki tek Alman birliğidir ama Haziran’da katılışındaki 200 olan mevcudu bir kaç gün içinde 40’a düşüyor, bölük hüviyetini kaybediyor, kalanlar da çeşitli birliklere dağıtılıyor15. Yüzbinlerce insanın gırtlak gırtlağa boğuştuğu muharebe sahasında, 40 Alman askerinin varlığının herhalde çok fazla önemi olmaması gerekir."

On the other hand I only laugh to your following sentences. Now I better understand why you lost 2 great wars. Poor Germans sended to a place where all kinds of diarrhea, typhus and other deseases ruling without taking necassary measures such as vacinations. It is true that such epidemics occured at east front and Syria Palastina Front but not at Gallipoli.
Are lifes of your soldiers cheep?
Poor Germans come to a place without special equipment, were not addopted to the climate. Gallipoli is not trophic but windy, rainy, colder then Hamburg.
They were sended back to save the reputaion of German Military honour man!


"the German Higher Command selected 200 men and designated the Pionier-Ersatz-Bataillon 2 to be the parent formation. The soldiers had to be sent in small groups in civilian clothes to Turkey. They had no special equipment, were not addopted to the climate, food and had no vacinations. As soon the single troops arrived in Istanbul thex were sent to Gallipoli and ditributed to the different divisions. There the soldiers had to live under "Turkish" conditions, while the Marine Landungsabteilung" had their own line of supply. For that reason, most of the soldiers, although brave fighting lost against another enemy: diarrhea, typhus and other deseases. In September 1915 Liman von sanders sent 97 engineers back to germany because of a lack of tropical health condition.

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Postby Wolfgang Klaus » 25 Nov 2007 00:05

Dear Mr Torun Saral,

I am sure that you know, that in 1915 on Gallipoli was a terrible hot summer, which was painful for both sides. In addition that kind of deseases were unfortunately common also on both sides and many soldiers - also Turkish ones - died from Typhus during the Gallipoli campaign. For that reason I disagree to compare the climate of Gallipoli 1915 with Hamburg. But I didn't write to convince you or a retired Turkish Tank officer but to give some useful information to the whole forum.

Best regards
Wolf

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Peter H
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Postby Peter H » 25 Nov 2007 00:40

We'll let the readers determine the veracity of Görgülü's claims.

Let's not deal on issues of who was better than who--all armies have there good and bad days.I think German military discipline was strict enough to take care of any stragglers etc,just as Turkish and Allied military discipline was.These were seamen as well,not infantry specialists.The latter are more well versed in ground fighting and are not forgoing the comforts of a ship environment.

As Wolfgang states the attrition through disease,poor diet etc played its part as well.Its said that around a quarter of the young Australians at Gallipoli had heart murmurs brought about by poor diet and sickness.The abundance of corpses,especially in summer,meant flies covered everyone.It was not a healthy environment to exist in,let alone fight in.

Welcome to the forum Wolfgang and thanks for the diary extract.

Regards
Peter

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yeniceri
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Postby yeniceri » 25 Nov 2007 05:32

"The red trousers and red hats of the French soldiers were wonderful targets."

The French were STILL wearing red at this time? I had assumed by this time horizon blue was worn...tradition dies hard I guess, no pun intended.

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Postby Wolfgang Klaus » 25 Nov 2007 09:16

Thanx for the welcome and I hope to be able to contribute to some discussions and provide - if available - some documents. I agree, that it is very difficult to judge the value of armies and personel - in particular, if the events happened more than 90 years ago. For that reason everybody should be keen to see as many documents as possible and come to his own judgement. In this sence I like to be a new member of the forum.

Best regards
Wolf

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Postby Tosun Saral » 25 Nov 2007 21:50

Haertzlich willkommen Wolfi ins Hexenkessel. Wir brauchen Erfahrene Maenner wie Dir.

Dear Wolfgang I salute you with all my heart. Wellcome to the forum. We need experienced people like you.

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Postby Wolfgang Klaus » 25 Nov 2007 22:26

Iyi akşamlar Tosun,

Çok teşekür ederim! Benim Türkçem iyi değil ama Türkiyeyi çok seviyorum çünkü ben dört yil Istanbul'da çalışdım.
But it's still easier to write in English. I guess it will be become very interesting because in particular you have so deep knowledge about the Ottoman Army and it's soldiers.

Best regards from Germany and a real friend of Turkey
Wolf

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Postby James A Pratt III » 07 Dec 2007 16:44

According to "Paths of Glory The French Army 1914-1918" and "Men of Galipoli" the French troops went ashore still wearing blue coats and red trousers and tended to stand out somewhat. Later on they recieved eather horizon blue or khaki uniforms. The French had two divisions at Galipoli just like the ANZACs and suffered about the same number of dead and MIA French about 10,000 ANZACs about 11,000 but, nobody talks much about the French being there. Also this French force contained a number of North and Central African colonial troops.

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Postby stevebecker » 08 Dec 2007 01:22

Mate,

You think French soldier were a target in the their red and blue uniforms.

By looking above at the photo of the German sailors dress in their white sumer uniforms thats a target for you.

I wonder how long it took them to change into blues or some other form of dress then white?

Any wonder their losses were high.

As to the french at Gallipoli we are left with two areas for them, the first landings on the Eastern shores which was soon evacuated then in postion along side the British at Helles but on a limited front.

But your right the French story at gallipoli needs to be brought out but untill the french histories are translated into english that will not happen.

As the Turkish story is slowly coming out with books now in english other nations (German and Turkey) may have to think about it also and translate their offical Histories?

S.B


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