Turkish Divisions 1914-18

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
stevebecker
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Post by stevebecker » 05 Nov 2006 00:22

Mate,

Great that gives me an over view of what the Turkish forces were doing.

Camel Corps reports no attacks from the East (around Mussullbe Hill) and they (8 Cav Regt) may have only demonstrated to draw attention away from the main attack.

As for the 145th Regt's attack they found over 170 bodies after the day long battle and the Camel Bde lost around one hundred killed and wounded, so the fighting was close and deadly.

The main attack came in the morning and minor attacks continued at lest twice during the day. A last major attack happened around 1500 or 3 PM in the afternoon and hit Abu Tulul which is to the rear of Musallabeh hill.

The second attack maybe the arrival of the 163rd Regt?

Heavy gun fire happened for about a few days before the attack but very heavy on the 10th April and the attack on the 11th April, and harasing fire continue in the days after.

If not guns of the 14th Artillert Regt I am at a loss to explan it?

I would very much like to put a face to this battle from the Turkish side and a name and photo would add the their effort.

stevebecker
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Post by stevebecker » 05 Nov 2006 00:49

Mates,

I would like your imput to help sort out the formations, can you correct my asuptions and give me any points.

This is the two parts of my charpter on this battle and explain the gathering and attack.;

"While Allanby’s Army had slipped back across the Jordan river, the German Commander Liman Von Sanders was busy moving troops of the 4th Turkish Army from Amman down to the Ghoraniye Bridgehead this was held by the 8th Turkish Corps just south of Es Salt which included weak units of the 48th Turkish Division and the East Jordan Group known to the Turks as the Seria Group now organized as a below strength mixed Division called Lutfu Murettep, also elements of Pasha II Group of the German Asia Corps and two Turkish Cavalry Regiments (6th and 7th) of the 3rd Turkish Cavalry Division, while to the north in the 7th Turkish Armies sector west of the Jordan River, the 20th Turkish Corps of the 53rd Division moved south of Nablus to threaten Musallabeh and the Ghoraniye bridgehead from that direction.

During the 2nd week of April Lieutenant Colonel (unknown) commander of the 53rd Division pushed elements of his division down towards Musallabeh into the Wadis north of the hill and carried out a reconnaissance with the attached 8th Turkish Cavalry Regiment 3rd Cavalry Division of the area to be attacked.

The 53rd Division were old sparing partners of the Camel Brigade having first met them during the 2nd Gaza Battle on the 19thApril 1917, there the Camel Brigade come off second best in a long day fight and suffered their highest casualties of the war.

The 145th Turkish Infantry Regiment detached from the 46th Division led the forces supported by the veteran 163rd Turkish Infantry Regiment and a number of batteries of the 14th Artillery Regiment. These units moved into the hills north of Musallabeh and prepared for the assault and the 8th Cavalry Regt moved down along the Jordan to threaten that flank.

The success of which all these preparations that the Turks being ready by the 10th April. With the limited artillery available the main weight of the attack would fall on the defence around Musallabeh as its capture would compel the British to abandon the Ghoraniye Bridgehead, attacks would also be made on that bridgehead to pin the British and hasten their departure with the success at Pt 603."

and

"On the 10th April once night had fallen the section post’s heard movement to their front and soon calls of “Allah” could be heard in the darkness, all posts were “stood to” and some nervous fingers fired a few rounds which was taken up by a number of posts however the Turks did not show them selves, much to the disappointment of the men. The troops knew an attack was coming as many of these men were old hands now most having been under arms for three years and there were still many Gallipoli veterans in their ranks and knew the signs that the Turks were coming to get them.


At 4 am on the 11th of April the Turks made no attempt of surprise when a heavy bombardment was opened on Musallabeh Hill and surrounding posts, this lasted for an hour with one shell falling every second on the hill during which the Turks crept up close to the 2nd company’s posts before launching their assault. At 5 am heavy formations of the 145th Turkish Infantry Regiment attacked from the east and north of Musallabeh under the cries of “Allah”, soon the first soldiers were held up on the thin barb wire screen and shot down in large numbers as more pushed forward but the men of the 2nd company meet them with rifle fire and bombs. The bravery of the Turks was impressive shouting “Allah” they threw themselves at the defences with abandon despite the intensity of fire directed on them they came on again and again looking for the weak spot in the defences."

And the last major attack

"At 3 pm the Turks were seen massing in the Wadis Bakr and Mereighat to attack the positions on Abu Tulul and at 4 pm a heavy bombardment fell around Musallabeh under cover of which the 163rd Turkish Infantry Regiment assaulted, this time they gained a hold at the base of the hill still were unable to maintain there position, Sergeant Charles Ledingham of the Brigade Machine gun Squadron beat off one attack after other as they rushed his position, his section using their Vickers guns and bombs held off the Turkish enabling a quick counterattack which drove the Turks out of their limited gains and down the slopes by the aggressive used of the bayonet and bomb. At 4.30 pm the remainder of the 10th company was moved up to support the 7th company while a troop of the 7th Light Horse supported by moving around Musallabeh from the south to help clear snipers from the sector, this pressure stopped the Turks in the threaten area and relieved the danger from that flank"

Thanks for insight

Cheers

S.B

Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 05 Nov 2006 14:46

Commanders of 53th Div. according to the book:Tank Staff Col. Asst. Prof. Dr. Ismet Gorgulu "On Yıllık Harbin Kadrosu (Personal of 10 Years long War.p.148-152)
Lt. Col. Şerif British POW in March 26th 1917 during 1st Gazze battle.
Col. Selahattin (Kiper) March 1917-August 5 1918
Lt. Col. Mehmet Hayri August 5 1918-Nov.18 1918
Nota: Col. Gorgulu mentions that Col. Mehmet Hayri commanded the division during August-Nov.1918 p.151 but he also mentiones another name Lt. Col. Reşat (Col. Cigiltepe) as commander during Nablus Battle (19-21 Sept.1918) and the withdrawel battles to Halep in Sept.22-Oct.25 1918. At the end poor 53th was all taken POW or crushed. (Col. Çigiltepe, killed during the Great attack of August 22 1922 againts Greeks on Cigiltepe Hill)in p.151

Lt. Col. Mehmet Hayri :Army serial nr:Heavy Artillary Turkish time:1316/1900-2 was commander of 52th Div. in Irag Front later 53th div.

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jwsleser
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Post by jwsleser » 05 Nov 2006 18:05

S.B.

I am reviewing your chapter on the Musallabe battle. The following post addresses points in your earlier posts.

While the 163rd regiment was still with the division in May 1918, the 161st and 165th Regiments appear to have dropped out of sight. I show the 165th Regiment as part of the 54th Division and the 79th Regiment as part of the 53rd Division (along with the 161st and 163rd Regiments) in May 1917. I can’t find any mention of the two regiments after May. I must assume, based on Tosun’s comments, that both of these regiments were disbanded.

I must highlight the limitations of my research. While I have all the Turkish WWI official volumes, I have few other Turkish sources. The Turkish officials normally provide a very detailed listing of the forces before each major battle or significant historical point. Unfortunately, the Sina-Filistin volume doesn’t provide this at any time after 3rd Gaza. This is particularly disappointing when reading the chapters on Meggido. While a division-level outline is provided, no details are provided on the composition of the divisions. Only by reading of individual regiments identified in the narration is one able to build a partial order of battle. As you likely know, this is a weak methodology. The chapters covering the Jordan raids are fairly detailed in some areas, weak in other (Musaballe for example), and don’t provide a complete overview of the army during this period. I hope that Tosun and Alti can provide additional details using other sources.

I am a little puzzled by your reference to the 74th Regiment. This regiment was assigned to the 25th Division and redeployed to Çanakkale in July 1915. I have no record of this regiment returning to Palestine or being present at 3rd Gaza or after. During that battle, the 53rd Division had the 161st, 163rd, and 165th Regiments. The 125th Regiment was attached to the 53rd Division from the 16th Division during the battle. From the maps in the Turkish official, it appears the Imperial Camel Brigade attack the positions held by the 163rd Regiment.

After 3rd Gaza, the 53rd Division generally consisted of the 32nd, 136th, and the 163rd Regiments. This was the organization in May and likely later. I am still researching this.

A point of clarification. I believe the commander of the Mürettep Division was Yarbay Omar Lütfü, hence the division is identified by the title Lütfü Mürettep Division.

Jeff

stevebecker
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Post by stevebecker » 05 Nov 2006 23:12

Thanks Tosun,

So Col Selahattin is my man in command of the 53rd Div during April 1918.

Mate, a nice Islamic name Hattin possible due to a Sal el din conection.

Jeff

Thanks for your coments, I am unsure why the 74th Regt also but it could be a transcription error. I am now changing my rolls to list this Div as having the 32nd, 163rd and 136th Regt at 3rd Gaza.

As to 2nd Gaza the 163rd Regt held the El Muntar defences while the 165th Regt held the Tank, Jack& Jill and the Atawine Redoubts, while the 161st Regt appear to be in Reserve.

The 125th Regt was comitted its troops towards the Muntar area, not the Tank redoubt area.

As to Turkish sourse I am replying on you blokes to set me straight, because if I stuff up we all do, and bad history gets passed to the young.

Here is a part of my chapter relating to the 2nd Gaza battle;

"Garrisoning this line was the Turkish 53rd Division, a good quality Anatolian Division under the veteran command of Colonel Refet Bey, with the 163rd Regiment on the right in the area of El Muntar and the 165th Regiment holding the area of the Khirbet Sihan redoubts including the Tank, Jack and Jill and Atawine Redoubts while the 161st Regiment was in reserve near Hirbet-Ruseym ready to move to any threaten area. The 125th Regiment (16th Division) was also held in reserve at Berti Cered until the morning of the 18th/19thApril when it was moved down to the area of Hirbetel-Kufiye. The 14th Artillery Regiment had all its batteries deployed along the front with two groups east of the Tank Redoubt and one west. Three companies of Engineers were also attached to the Division as well as the Austrian 10th “Obus” a 150mm Gun Battery under Captain Manouschek along with a team of AAA guns from the Bavarian Flakzug 136 under Lieutenant de Reserve Bader."


Cheers

S.B

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jwsleser
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Post by jwsleser » 06 Nov 2006 00:53

S.B.

Correction. Hasty writing and too many projects at the same time (I am finishing work on the Ottoman front games for the Der Weltkrieg series of board games. Have been deep into OBs for the Caucasus, Macedonian, Palestine and Mesopotamian fronts). I wrote 3rd Gaza when I meant 2nd Gaza. Not your fault for my brain cramp.

53rd Division at 2nd Gaza: 161st, 163rd, 165th Regiments.

53rd Division at 3rd Gaza: 79th, 161st, 163rd Regiments.

53rd Division March-April 1918: 32nd, 136th, 163rd Regiments.

v/r

Jeff

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Post by Tosun Saral » 06 Nov 2006 16:17

Dear Steve, The name Selahattin is an Arabic word and is compound of two different words "Salah" and "din"
Salah means salvatore and "din" religion. Together "salvatore of the religion". The Araps wrote the word as "Salahhaddin". or "Sal ad din" We Turks write "Selahattin"
This title was given to famous Turkish Sultan Eyyubi commenly known as "Salahhaddin" who fought the Crusades commanded by Richard the Lion Hearted. Many say he was a Kurd or Arap. But he was a Turkish son. We still have the name given to our new borned boys.

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jwsleser
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Post by jwsleser » 15 Nov 2006 05:13

Kafkas Tümmenlieri (Caucasus Divisions)

The majority of these divisions were formed from the disbanded corps and divisions of the 3rd Army. The general rule was that corps HQ became a division HQs and the divisions became the regiments forming the new division. One former division HQ became the core of the new division's HQ, with the other former HQs filling out the staffs of the new divisional and corps HQs. The new divisions and regiments took the Kafkas name. Existing regiments that were maintained and not reorganized did not take the Kafkas name. Two corps HQs were formed (I and II Kafkas Corps).

From the 9th Army Corps (17th, 28th, 29th Divisions) 9th Kafkas Division: 17th Kafkas, 28th Kafkas, 29th Kafkas Infantry Regiments.

From the 10th Army Corps (30th, 31st, 32nd Divisions) 10th Kafkas Division: 30th Kafkas, 31st Kafkas, 32nd Kafkas Infantry Regiments.

From the 11th Army Corps (18th, 33rd, 34th Divisions) 11th Kafkas Division: 18th Kafkas, 33rd Kafkas, 34th Kafkas Infantry Regiments.

From the 5th Army Corps (9th, 10th, 13th Divisions) 5th Kafkas Division: 9th Kafkas, 10th Kafkas, 13th Kafkas Infantry Regiments.

The 36th and 37th Divisions were only renamed Kafkas. The 36th had taken severe losses and was brought up to strength using the 1st and 2nd Infantry Regiments (Militia) from the Çoruh Müfrezesi. The infantry regiments in both remained the same and were not renamed Kafkas.

The 3rd Kafkas Division was raised in the Caucasus in 1918 (6th, 7th, 11th Kafkas Infantry Regiments).

The 49th was briefly renamed 49th Kafkas, but reverted back to 49th Infantry Division once the division left the Caucasus in May 1917.

The 1st, 2nd, and 4th Kafkas Divisions were raised in 1918 as part of the Army of Islam. They were locally raised and were not considered part of the regular Ottoman Army.

5th and 5th Kafkas. The Kafkas Divisions took the number of their disbanded corps. As the 5th Division wasn't disbanded during the war, these two divisons existed simultaneously on the Ottoman army list. The 3rd Division had been disbanded by the time the 3rd Kafkas was formed.

Jeff

domster
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Post by domster » 16 Nov 2006 15:51

Folks

Does anybody know what the 2 units operating to protect the Hejaz Railway in southern Jordan and the hejaz were known as in Turkish. British Intelligence documents describe them as either the 1st & 2nd Composite or Provisional Forces. Were they Mürettep units or something else?

Thanks
Dominic

Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 16 Nov 2006 17:23

Here are the units:
1- 1nci Kuvvei Mürettebe (1st Composite Force) commander:
Üçüncü Cemal Pasha, the 3rd Cemal Pasha (There were 3 Cemals: a- 4th Army Ahmet Cemal Pasha, b- Mersinli Cemal Pasha and 3rd Cemal Pasha)

2- 2nci Kuvvei Mürettebe (2nd Composite Force) commander: Lt. Col. Mehmet Atıf (Col.Ateşdağlı 1876-1947))

After Falkenhays appointment to Syria 4th Army Commander and Naval Minister Ahmet Cemal Pasha was made General Cammander of Syria and Arabia on Sep.30th 1917 to protect the shore and inland. This command was demolished and attached to Yıldırım Army Group at the end of 1917 with the return of Cemal Pasha to Istanbul

Hicaz Kuvvei Seferiye (Hicaz Expeditionary Force) under the command of Major Gen.Fahrettin Pasha (Lt. Gen.Türkkan)
chief of staff: Lt. Col. Kemalettin Sami (Lt.Gen. Gökçe)
58th Divi.: Col. Ali Necip
-chief of staff: Capt. Yusuf Ziya
-commander of Medina: Basri Pasha (Gen. Noyan)

source: Ass.Prof. Dr. Tank Staff Coll. Ismet Görgülü, "On Yıllık Harbin Kadrosu" (Personal of 10 Year Long War) p.149

domster
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Post by domster » 16 Nov 2006 18:33

Hi Tosun

Fantastic-thanks for the information and the quick reply. very useful.

Best wishes
Dominic :D

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Stellan Bojerud
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Re: Turkish Divisions 1914-18

Post by Stellan Bojerud » 25 Nov 2008 18:08

I am trying to establish the Turkish Army OOB on outbreak of war, but cannot find all answers.

I.Army Corps Konstantinopel (Istanbul)
1st-3rd Inf Div

II.Army Corps Adrianopel (Edirne)
4th-6th Inf Div

III.Army Corps Rodosto (Tekirdag)
7th-9th Inf Div

IV.Army Corps Smyrna (Izmir)
10th-12th Inf Div

V.Army Corps Ankara
13th-15th Inf Div

VI.Army Corps Aleppo?
16th-18th Inf Div

19th-20th Inf Div organized after outbreak of war

Where was VII.Army Corps? Was it 21st and 22nd Inf Div in Arabia? 23rd Inf Div in Nablus?

Where was 24th Inf Div?

VIII.Army Corps Damascus
25th-27th Inf Div

IX.Army Corps Erzurum
28th-29th Inf Div

X.Army Corps Erzincan
30th-31st Inf Div

XI.Army Corps Van
33rd-34th Inf Div

XII.Army Corps Mosul
35th-36th Inf Div

XIII.Army Corps Baghdad
37th-38th Inf Div

XIV.Army Corps Sanaa
39th-40th Inf Div

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Stellan Bojerud
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Re: Turkish Divisions 1914-18

Post by Stellan Bojerud » 25 Nov 2008 18:25

5th Army 25th April 1915

GOC FM von Liman Sanders Pasha
Army Logistics LtCol Burchardi Bey

III.Army Corps
GOC LtGen Essad Pasha
5th Div Col von Sodenstern Bey
7th Div LtCol Kemsi Bey
9th Div Col Sami Bey
19th Div LtCol Mustapha Kemal Bey
15th Div (arr 3/5) Col Mehmet Sukru Bey

XV.Army Corps
GOC Gen Weber Pasha
COS LtCol von Thauvenay Bey
3rd Div Col Nicolai Bey
11th Div Col Refet Bey

Tosun Saral
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Re: Turkish Divisions 1914-18

Post by Tosun Saral » 28 Nov 2008 09:36


Tosun Saral
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Re: Turkish Divisions 1914-18

Post by Tosun Saral » 28 Nov 2008 09:41


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