Turkey in WWII

Discussions on the Allies and the Neutral States in general and the countries that does not have sections of their own.
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Turkey in WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 21 Dec 2012 04:59

Turkey played a key role in WWII. Stalin desired control of the Turkish Straits to block the British from entering the Black Sea and deploying against the U.S.S.R. as had happened after WWI. In 1940, the British did not like Stalin due to the Red Army's invasion of Finland and the occupation of part of Rumania and all of the Baltic States. ... Meanwhile, the Soviet dictator needed to control a land corridor through Rumania and Bulgaria to get to the Dardanelles. ... Hitler had proposed a sphere-of-influence agreement to the Soviets in 1940, but Stalin, looking for the best possible deal, played hard to get. However, Hitler's real aim all along was colonizing the Ukrainian breadbasket. He needed a neutral Turkey to block the British from entering the Black Sea and conducting operations against the Germans invading the Soviet Union. ... Still eying the Dardanelles, Stalin encouraged Yugoslavia to resist Hitler's advances, hoping this would bog down the Germans. The British (also with an eye on the Turkish Straits for easy access to the Black Sea) promised to support Yugoslavia and Greece if invaded by Germany. Wanting to secure his southern flank, Hitler detached a few divisions from the massive concentrations building up for the Soviet invasion and blitzed Yugoslavia and Greece in April 1941. With that, Stalin's only hope for delaying Russia's entrance into the war was diverting Hitler toward Turkey by practicing total appeasement and possibly signing up with the Axis, whereupon Stalin signed a neutrality pact with Japan hoping they would put in a good word with Hitler. But Turkey was not on the Hitler hit list. ... Prior to the invasion of Russia, the Germans disseminated rumors that Hitler was concentrating his forces near Russia as a show of strength and would eventually call for (sphere of influence) negotiations with Stalin. Therefore, the British (assuming Stalin would join the Axis) sent out disinformation designed to trick the Russians into not signing up with Hitler. Soviet agents in England detected the origination of the disinformation. Thus, Stalin assumed the British were sabotaging his chances of joining the Axis. Consequently, Stalin (fully aware of German troop concentrations) was totally surprised by Hitler's sneak attack. ... Globalization41

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Who's Next on the Hitler Hit List?

Post by Globalization41 » 28 Dec 2012 15:38

By C.L. Sulzberger
Wireless to The New York Times.
Ankara, Turkey, April 30 [May 2, 1941
--Considerable Russian troop
movements involving withdrawals
from Far Eastern Regions and con-
centrations on the Soviet-Iran bor-
der are reported by diplomatic
sources here as the imminence of
the war's extension to the Middle
Eastern area is generally consid-
ered to be increasing. Although the
news of Russian concentrations
is denied in Teheran, the Iranian
capital, it is sufficiently confirmed
by three interested embassies and
one legation here to indicate the
truth of the reports. ...
Uneasiness and tension reign all
the way from the Finnish-Russian
frontier since the arrival of Nazi
troops in the North Baltic region,
through Rumania down to the Ara-
bian peninsula and the Persian
Gulf, and there is widespread specu-
lation on the possibility that the
long-awaited German attack on the
Soviet is finally threatening. ...
However, it is well recognized
that this frequently discussed po-
tentiality may only be a blind for
further Moscow-Berlin dickering on
a blackmail basis, which might re-
sult in a mutual agreement for
carving up the Middle East into at
least spheres of definitely recog-
nized influence. The latest Russian
edict, forbidding the transport of
certain types of material across the
national rail system, not only hurts
German and Japanese trade, but
cuts off British hopes to develop
certain forms of exchanges with
Turkey. ...
As the situation now stands, Ger-
many has been withdrawing a large
part of her Balkan armies from
Greece and Yugoslavia and recon-
centrating them in Bulgaria and
Rumania, where they are in a posi-
tion to threaten not only Turkey
but the Soviet. At the same time,
Germany is beginning to outflank
Turkey by the occupation of Greek
islands in the Aegean and to pre-
sent a menace to the Suez. ...

[Churchill had also reported to Stalin the German troop redeployments from the Balkan campaign back to their original positions facing the Ukraine. However, Stalin suspected Churchill's note to be a provocation designed to get the Soviet Union entangled with Germany so as to lessen the pressure on Great Britain. Although Stalin clung to the hope that with German troop concentrations increasing daily, Hitler would eventually demand Stalin's entrance into the Axis, giving German expansionism a green light in the Middle East. ... Meanwhile, Stalin's agents and spotters in Eastern Europe reported all unit movements and concentrations of the German Army. Soviet intelligence tracked train traffic, rebuilt railroads, new airfields, headquarter locations, supply dumps, recently paved roads, troop convoys, and any other logistics related to the German buildup.]

Germans are already in posses-
sion of Thasos, Samothrace, and
Lemnos, covering the entrance to
the Dardanelles. Six German mer-
chant ships carrying military mate-
riel recently entered the Aegean
from the Black Sea, and the occu-
pation of Lesbos and Chios is ex-
pected shortly, although reports
that this already has been effected
are not confirmed. ...
Such developments will effectual-
ly blockade most of the Turkish
seacoast against the British by
establishing an Axis-owned island
chain from the Eastern Dodecanese
to the mouth of the Dardanelles.
It would prevent British access to
the chief Turkish Ports, Smyrna
and Istanbul, and leave only the
smaller harbors of Adalia, Mersina,
and Alexandretta, which are rela-
tively inaccessible from land com-
munications. The British inci-
dentally, are opening a new con-
sulate at Mersina. ...
Thus, even if an attack on Suez
from the west fails to succeed, the
Germans may soon have Turkish-
British communications consider-
ably reduced, forcing on Turkey a
greater dependency on trade with
the Reich and weakening her diplo-
matic position. ...
It is impossible to predict the out-
come of the Suez campaign, but it
is believed here that the Germans
will try to finish it without placing
military pressure on Turkey. One
responsible diplomat today predicts
that if the Nazis are able to take
Cairo and Suez they will be in Iraq
within a week, thus virtually com-
pleting the encirclement of Turkey. ...
The Germans have been prepar-
ing plenty of trouble for the Brit-
ish in the Arab world, and since
the visit to this region a few weeks
ago of Georg Werner-Otto von
Hentig, former Middle Eastern
chief of the German Foreign Of-
fice, the restiveness of the Arabs
has been increasing. Although Brit-
ian succeeded in inducing Iraq to
break off relations with the Reich
at the beginning of the war, Herr
von Hentig sneaked into Northern
Iraq and visited important sheiks.
The British never have been able
to persuade Baghdad to sever re-
lations with Italy and it is believed
a large German payroll for Arab
agents is constantly entering Iraq
through the Italian diplomatic
pouch from Teheran.
There are many indications that
the period of relative calm in Iraq
following the entry of British troops
is now ending, and an outbreak of
new troubles there soon is possible,
observers re believe. The Ger-
mans also are successfully propa-
gandizing among the Arabs in both
Syria and Palestine, their chief
talking point being the Jewish ques
-tion and their principal argument
Germany's military strength. ...
Squarely in the center of these
peripheral preparations, the Turk-
ish question may soon loom large.
The Germans are taking care to
point out that they have o inten-
tion of traversing Turkey when
their Middle Eastern plans mate-
rialize, but more will be known
when Franz von Papen, the Ger-
man Ambassador, returns from
Berlin. ...
In addition to the uncertain Brit-
ish position in the Middle East,
there is another major factor of
importance--the Russians' plans.
While it has never been certain
whether the Russo-Japanese accord
is aimed at the United States or
Germany, one of its concrete re-
sults has been the withdrawal of
Soviet troops from the Far East
and their realignment in new posi-
tions closer to the Persian oil fields
and the Persian Gulf. ...
Diplomats here are undecided as
to whether this is to implement the
new Moscow-Berlin scheme for
carving up the Middle East or to
take up defensive positions should
a German-Russian war break out
and the Germans at the same time
punch through Egypt, Palestine, and
Iraq to Basra.

[The Germans suggested to Russia in late 1940 that Iran should be considered in the Soviet sphere of interest, but Stalin was at that time obsessed with the Turkish Straits. The capitulation of Yugoslavia and Greece to Hitler's blitzkrieg caused the pragmatic Stalin to change his foreign policy priority to total appeasement of Germany while still offering a show of military force for deterrence. Hopefully for Stalin, rumors of Red Army troop movements near Iran would appear to Germany as the Soviet Union now agreeing with Hitler's opinion that Russian expansionism toward Iran was more natural than the Dardanelles. Stalin needed to avoid conflict, at least for a few months. Any future war with Germany would then most likely have to go on a winter-weather delay, giving the Red Army another year to improve operational capabilities.]

Special to The New York Times.
Washington, May 1 [1941]--Finland
agreed today to resume its war
debt payments to the United States,
interrupted by Soviet aggression. ...
Hjalmar J. Procope, Finnish Min-
ister here, executed an agreement
with Secretary of the Treasury
Morgenthau under which his coun-
try will pay $235,398 to the United
States in ten annual installments
with interest at 3 per cent. This
amount was due on Dec. 15, 1940,
but was postponed by a joint reso-
lution of Congress approved on
June 15, 1940. ...
Today's agreement calls for Fin-
land to pay annually $27,390 in two
equal installments. The first pay-
ment will be due on June 15, 1941.


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Students Called to Arms in Italy

Post by Globalization41 » 28 Dec 2012 18:44

By Telephone to The New York Times.
Rome, May 1 [1941]--All university
students who have received a post-
ponement of their military service
in accordance with the general
practice of permitting them to
complete their studies will be called
to arms early in June after their
studies are over, it was announced
today. The call includes students
in Catholic universities. ...
The statement issued to the press
puts it this way: "The desire of
the university youths who are
anxious to serve their fatherland in
arms will be satisfied, for the Min-
istry of War has fixed the call to
arms of all students for the first
days of June."


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Reserves in Turkey Ordered to Report

Post by Globalization41 » 28 Dec 2012 20:47

United Press, The New York Times.
Istanbul, Turkey, May 1 [1941]
Newspapers announced today that
Turkish military reserves of the
class of 1908 and 1916 had been or-
dered to report and the class of
1921 called up for training. The re-
servists have been summoned in
conformance with usual regula-
tions, military authorities said, and
will not be placed on active duty.
They must report between May 2
and June 23.

Associated Press, The New York Times.
London, [Thursday] May 1 [1941]--British
naval units have carried out "a suc-
cessful bombardment" of Axis
troops and supplies in the El Gazala
area of Libya, the Admiralty an-
nounced today. ...
That sector is about thirty-five
miles west of Tobruk, where a Brit-
ish garrison has held on for about
three weeks despite a German-Ital-
ian drive beyond the Egyptian
border. One side of Tobruk's outer
defenses reaches almost to El Ga-
zala. ...


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Waves of Stukas Strafe and Bomb Allies Evacuating Greece

Post by Globalization41 » 29 Dec 2012 20:56

By Richard D. McMillan,
United Press Correspondent,
The New York Times,
[Thursday] With the British Evacu-
ated from Greece, via Cairo,
May 1 [1941]--The rear guard of
Britain's Army rescued from
Greece battle and defeated thou-
sands of German parachute troops
landed on the Gulf of Corinth in
a last desperate effort to entrap the
battered Anzacs whose valor had
piled Greece's mountain passes
with German dead. ...

[Balkan campaign casualties quoted from the below link:

"The German casualties amounted to approximately 1,100 killed and 4,000 missing and wounded. The British losses totaled 11,840 men, including prisoners of war, out of the 53,051 who formed the expeditionary force at the time of the German attack. The British suffered most of their casualties in the course of the hasty evacuation during which twenty-six ships were sunk by air attacks. In addition, the Germans took some 270,000 Greek and 90,000 Yugoslav prisoners during the Greek campaign."

The German Campaigns in the Balkans.]

Throughout these final hours of agony, the British Imperials were under a merciless deluge of German bombs which made the evacuation from Greece"worse than Dunkerque." ...
Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring's parachutists blew up he Corinth Canal bridge in an attempt to cut off British escape and battled the Australians and New Zealanders in fierce hand-to-hand combat. It was the last battle of Greece. ...
"The air was filled with parachutes, some of which failed to open," a grimy Australian, almost unable to stand because of fatigue, told me as we zigzagged across the Mediterranean aboard a transport crammed with troops and dogged by German bombers. ...
"The Germans dropped to earth hundreds at a time. Some of them were killed instantly as they hit the ground like a rock and bounded into the air." ...
'"The Germans used red parachutes for landing mortars and white ones for soldiers and machine-gunners." ...
"The fields and roadways were littered with corpses swathed in the folds of parachutes like shrouds, killed either by the failure of their chutes to open or by our fire." ...
Aboard one of the ships of a convoy bring 11,500 Imperials out of Greece, zigzagging across the Mediterranean, we reconstructed the battle of Greece and why it failed. ...
The biggest factor, all agreed, was Marschall Göring's Luftwaffe hundreds of planes used as artillery against the Allied front lines and communications while swarms of other Nazi planes frustrated, by a systematic bombing of airdromes,
every attempt of the R.A.F. to parry the aerial blows. ...
When it came time for the evacuation, the Germans had the air to themselves. ...
But despite the terrible bombings and the Germans driving down swiftly upon them from the rear, these Australian, New Zealand, and British troops came through the inferno with thumbs up, singing "Tipperary" and the battle songs of their fathers. ... ...
The evacuation from Greece was as fantastic a scene as probably ever has been witnessed in modern warfare. Hour after hour, day and night, thousands of men poured toward the seacoast where we had been told to gather. It was a secret, secluded spot. ...
The British Imperials marched three abreast, slowly in perfect order, in a seemingly endless line passing through bombtorn sycamores. ...
"If any one falls out of line because of the bombing or machine gunning, he will be left behind," a major barked at us. ...
The German planes were overhead constantly, but there was no halting. The Imperials sometimes sang as they marched, songs like "Roll Out the Barrel" and "Even Hitler Had a Mother." ...
Reaching the coast, we hid ourselves like moles in a hillside or among wheatfields and watched the German pilots weeping back and forth overhead looking for us. Once we ventured into a village near by and were caught under a terrific
bombing and machine-gun barrage. ...
Around the harbor where we waited for our rendezvous with the rescue ships the German air force attacked hour after hour, dropping magnetic mines, bombing the docks and setting fore to a Greek munition ship. Every inch of highway
and every acre of round around the port was strafed and then the German fliers flew out to sea to attack the armada sent to rescue the British forces. ..
Toward evening word came that our ships were approaching port and we were marched to a crossroads near the harbor. Army trucks drew up behind us with weary men of the British rear guard. They told us that the Germans were near Athens. With them it was the same old story: "The bombers never left us. ...
If only we had some way of fighting them off we could have held the Jerries." ...
We were ordered aboard ship, under the flickering light of a blazing Greek munitions ship, and poured into the depths of the vessels of our convoy. ...
There were ships of all sizes, every one loaded to the rigging. Warships of all types were around us to protect our passage across the Mediterranean, and overhead were British bombers and fighters. ...
The British planes battled the German Stuka dive-bombers in dogfights, holding them at bay as our armada pulled away. It was a couple of hours before dawn by then. ...
The nurses aboard the warships and transports, overburdened with the task of giving emergency aid to the wounded, shared the terrors of the aerial attacks with the same heroism that is typical of the women in the Blitzed areas of Britain. Most of the nurses were Australians, but some were English. ...
Many of those wounded soldiers I had watched hobble out onto the beach to join their comrades. Some had just been released from Greek hospitals. ...
Fighting off fainting, they hopped along in the twilight. Some of them sang "Pack Up Your Troubles" with the others. Among them were many Scots who raised their burring voices in "Yon Bonnie Braes" when someone struck up the tune. ...
More than fifty wounded men were loaded from barges onto our own transport. an old cargo freighter loaded with 5,000 officers and men packed in like sardines. ...
Twice our convoy's guns roared out as the German planes came over in an effort to sink us before we could cross the Mediterranean. Many of the Imperials, sprawled on the deck and snoring loudly, were too exhausted even to be
aroused from their sleep by the attack. ...
One of the barges carrying our contingent to ship capsized in the darkness, and two of the ship's officers dived into the water to save the heavily garbed Tommies from drowning. ...
Sleepy and hungry officers and men sprawled over each other like limp sacks. It was almost impossible to pick one's way along the deck in the darkness. ...
It took seven and a half hours to get the 11,500 troops aboard two transports of our convoy. Other ships near by, including cruisers and destroyers, were working in close to the beaches to take off more men. Our convoy consisted of large merchantmen as well as warships, loaded to the absolute limit with troops, R.A.F. men, nurses, and doctors. ...
As we crossed the Mediterranean, a famous Australian colonel, a surgen of the medical corp, operated throughout the night without a pause on wounded men and went on working all the next day. The ship's doctor, a Canadian, did the
same, preforming delicate life-saving jobs on a heaving deck. ...
I was told of an R.A.F. surgeon who had operated on casualties for thirty-six hours in a church where his operating table was a stretcher placed on two chairs. All the time he worked, Nazi planes were attacking the town at clocklike intervals. ...
As I write this, ship after ship is unloading men of the evacuated but valorous British Expeditionary Force. An "Aussie" is playing a harmonica, and the bay rings with lusty voices and singing.


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Axis Units Storm Tobruk

Post by Globalization41 » 30 Dec 2012 05:56

[Friday, May 2, 1941 edition.]
Special Cable to The New York Times.
Cairo, Egypt, May 1--Axis in-
fantry forces supported by tanks
broke through the outer ring of the
British defenses at Tobruk, Libya,
this morning after several hours of
fighting that began last night. The
fighting was continuing, but the
details so far received were scanty.
In previous attacks Axis tanks
twice penetrated the outer defenses,
but both times they were captured
by the British or forced to with-
draw. ...
Most of the Axis troops making
the new attack were said to be Ital-
ian. ...
Along the Egyptian-Libyan border
extensive patrol activity was going
on, with the Germans apparently
moving up considerable reinforce-
ments both in men and supplies. ...
Near Gambut, between Tobruk
and Bardia, Royal Air Force fight-
ers detected hundreds of Axis vehi-
cles, thirty of which contained
troops. Diving low, the Hurricanes
loosed their eight-gun armament on
the trucks and twenty of them
burst into flames. It was estimated
that the strafers had damaged at
least 100 vehicles in all. ...
A British fighter intercepted four
Messerschmitts machine-gunning
British troops near Sofafi, Egypt,
thirty-five miles southeast of Solum.
In the ensuing dogfight the British
plane severely damaged two Ger-
man machines. Other R.A.F.
fighters shot down a German bomb-
er near Gambut. ...
A further accounting of the re-
sults of the Dessye operations in
Ethiopia reveals that 5,500 Italians,
including a number of senior of-
ficers, and 2,400 colonial troops
were captured. ...
British, Indian, and "Free French"
troops now are spread around Ital-
ian defenses at Alagi, 140 miles
north of Dessye, and have launched
a converging action. Fairly heavy
Italian forces in this area used road
demolitions to hold up the British
for weeks. Now, however, a strong-
er attack apparently is under way. ...
The R.A.F. and the South Af-
rican Air Force machine-gunned
Italian trucks near Assab, Eritrea,
and attacked in the Sciasciamanna
area of Ethiopia, in the lake re-
gion south of Addis Ababa. An
Italian camp near Magi, north of
Lake Rudolf, was bombed and
strafed. ...
Desertions by Italian colonials in
this southern area are increasing
daily and in the east South African
forces have taken many more pris-

[Globalization 41.]

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Re: Turkey in WWII

Post by ltcolonel » 14 Sep 2013 23:46

One look from Serbia to Turkey in the WW II.

WAR OR PEACE TURKISH NEUTRALITY AT WORLD WAR II, Vesnik vojnog muzeja 38, Beograd 2011, 167 - 184
http://www.academia.edu/4348255/_-_Oliv ... _167_-_184

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Re: Turkey in WWII

Post by Globalization41 » 15 Sep 2013 01:04

To Ltcolonel: I couldn't get my computer to respond to the link, though I would be interested in the book. I tried googling the title but that didn't work either. ... I did deploy to Turkey a couple of times and once to Northern Italy near Yugoslavia while in the service, but that was during the Cold War and long before the U.S. jumped into the Middle East. ... In Turkey, the Soviets (so I was told) maintained a cement factory bristling with antennas on a hill overlooking our position. ... I also remember listening to a pirate radio station broadcasting from a ship in the Med. run by a retired Israeli Colonel that played antiwar tunes from the Vietnam era. ... From Italy, I could pick up numerous radio stations, some from Yugoslavia, but we weren't allowed to leave Italy in those days.


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Re: Turkey in WWII

Post by ltcolonel » 15 Sep 2013 09:10

Go to the www.academia.edu and finde my profile Nebojša Đokić (Nebojsa Djokic). On my profile got about 40 articles and books. You're free to be you take.

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