Turkish Flamethrowers

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
bob lembke
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Location: Philadelphia, PA

Turkish Flamethrowers

Post by bob lembke » 02 Nov 2004 00:16

Hi; I only discovered this forum a few days ago; I am very impressed. I am especially interested in the number of participants that are knowledgable about Gallipoli and the WW I Turkish Army, which few people know beans about.

My father fought at Gallipoli, on the ANZAC front, as a volunteer German Pionier in the volunteer German Pionier company that fought there. I plan some day to write a book about his life, but at the present I am rushing to complete a book on German flamethrowers in WW I. According to Col. Erickson, the Germans gave the Turks 30 sets of flamethrower equipment during the war. My writing partner has a photo of Turkish troops training with a flamethrower at a training facility in Galicia, on the Russian front.

Does anyone know anything about the Turkish use of flamethrowers? Possibly they were used by the Turkish Army Corps that fought on the Russian Front?

Did I once hear that the Turkish Army published a three volume history of the Turkish Army in WW I in English?

I was just in Istanbul (for the third time, a wonderful place) but I had little success in finding any material.

Any help would be deeply appreciated.

Bob Lembke
Philadelphia, PA
[email protected]

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Peter H
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Location: Australia

Post by Peter H » 02 Nov 2004 09:17


I checked the Australian Official History of the Desert campaign and can find no reference to Australian troops suffering from flame attacks at Gaza/Palestine/the Jordan Valley in 1917/18 so it would appear that such flamethrowers were probably deployed against the Russians rather than British and Commonwealth forces.

The Turkish Army also had a Demonstration Battalion,much like the German Lehr equivalent.My understanding is that this unit trained with,and trialled new weaponary,but whether such ever reached the battle front is another matter.Reference is made to this unit existing from the time of the Balkan Wars in Erickson's book on that conflict,Defeat in Detail:The Ottoman Army in the Balkans 1912-13.

Recent discussions on Turkish stormtroopers as well highlight the mystery of whether German inspired innovations in tactics and weaponary advanced past the experimental phase:


Cron's Imperial German Army 1914-18 mentions that a typical German FW company was equipped with between 30-40 portable flamethrowers,so the provision of 30 such sets to the Turks would be enough to equip the equivalent of an Ottoman company of the same OOB.

Best regards,

Tosun Saral
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Joined: 02 Nov 2005 19:32
Location: Ankara/Turkey

Post by Tosun Saral » 02 Aug 2006 10:38

According to Turkish official History book written by Ret. Col. Cihat Akcakayalioglu " 1nci Dunya Harbi VII cilt, Avrupa Cepheleri 1.Kisim, Galicya Cephesi" p.57 (WW1 vol.VII, Earupian Fronts: Galizia)
"In an order which came from the Army HQs it is said that the Rusians have ordered many flamethrowers, those throwers might probably will be used by them. any information will be valued" (p.57)

page: 84 "In August 1916 2 flamethrowers were given to the 15th Turkish Army Corps by Southern German Army."

this is the only sentences that I found in the book.

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