Were prisoners taken at Gallipoli ill-treated?

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
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kordts
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Were prisoners taken at Gallipoli ill-treated?

Post by kordts » 11 Sep 2004 02:24

I read a book by alan Morehead about Gallipoli and it mentions that allied soldiers taken prisoner were kindly treated by the front line Turks, and makes a veiled reference to later abuse. Is there any info out there?

Cheers, Jeff.

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 11 Sep 2004 09:29

For a more recent Australian viewpoint Greg Kerr's Lost Anzacs: the Story of Two Brothers may be of interest.Kerr details his grandfather's capture at Gallipoli and subsequent imprisonment(George Kitchin Kerr,14th Battalion AIF).

Kerr was badly wounded when captured and narrowly escaped being put out of his misery.Kerr was moved to a POW camp in Eastern Turkey and worked on the construction of military railways.He somehow obtained a camera and took many photos of his POW experiences(reprinted in the book).

70 Anzacs were captured at Gallipoli,with a deathrate of 25% in captivity.Compared to the 9% deathrate of Australians held by the Germans in WW1 this may seem high,but diseases and such did not distinguish by race;Turkish troops in transit on active service could also experience high mortality rates.

Larso
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Post by Larso » 15 Sep 2004 06:47

I posted a 'Lawrence of Arabia' type experience from a New Zealander some months back. I'm not sure what topic it was under though. If I can find it I'll let you know.

Gwynn Compton
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Post by Gwynn Compton » 15 Sep 2004 12:06

Conversely, how well were Turkish soldiers captured during the Gallipoli campaign treated?

Gwynn

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kordts
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Thanks Larso

Post by kordts » 16 Sep 2004 03:04

Larso,
I woul appreciate that link if you can find it. I posted a while back, in defense of the Diggers when a fellow Yank was deriding their contributions in WWII, not that you Aussies need my help. I have always had a fondness for you Aussies, and though I have never met any Kiwis personally, they seem cut from the same cloth. I was seriously considering moving Down Under about 15 years ago, but didn't. I went so far as to call the consulate in chicago and get an info packet. I guess it's my loss and your gain that I stayed put :D Anyway, "Gallipoi" has given me renewed appreciation for the mates and kiwis in the Anzac Corps. My favorite part was when a parley was going on between British and Turkish generals over arranging a temporary truce to recover wounded and bury dead. An Aussie private burst into the parley tent, not being a bit cowed by all the British and Turkish brass, demanded "any of you bastards seen my kettle?" A typically brash, unimpressed Digger. No wonder you guys are the best!
Cheers, Jeff.

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Gordon Bennett
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Post by Gordon Bennett » 17 Sep 2004 08:16

Two good books on the subject of Australian POWs are.

Prisoners of War from Gallipoli to Korea. Patsy Adam Smith. Viking 1992.

and

Guests of the Unspeakable. T W White. Angus and Robinson 1928 reprinted Mont series of Little Hills Press 1990.

Both describe the treatment of POWs by the Turks as ranging from at times harsh to downright brutal. There was a number of deaths of prisioners reported from their treatment in the camps.

Officers were generally better off under the Turks however ORs were treated very badly.

Cheers,

AB.

I will try and find out the number of POW deaths for you. Please give me a couple of days

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kordts
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Thanks, AB

Post by kordts » 17 Sep 2004 20:04

AB,
I appreciate your effort. Thanks for the book references. I married a Filipina and have become quite informed of the unspeakable treatment that the Filipinos and P.O.W.s received from the Nipponese. My mother-in-law was 14 years old, and still can't talk about what she saw without breaking down after a few sentences. Every book I have read that mentions Diggers, always tells of the Diggers' unbreakable spirit and unbelievable cheerfulness and genial hatred of the Japanese. How they would sing "Waltzing Matilda" while being forced to attention for 3 days, etc. Then recently, I read the book, "A Town Like Alice", which piqued my curiousity again. You bastards are the best.
Cheers, Jeff.

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Gordon Bennett
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Post by Gordon Bennett » 18 Sep 2004 07:18

Thanks Jeff, my pleasure.

I have found the POW figures for Australians captured by the Turks in WWI.

Of the 217 captured 62 died.

The info comes from the Australian War Memorial (AWM) website.

http://www.awm.gov.au/stolenyears/intro.asp

It aslo contains information about Australian POWs captured by the Japanese in WW2 which you might be interested in.

It is not that indepth but will give you a starting point for your research.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

AB

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kordts
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Post by kordts » 18 Sep 2004 14:44

Thanks AB.
Cheers, Jeff.

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Galahad
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Post by Galahad » 20 Sep 2004 21:31

You'll probably find this site informative and interesting.

http://www.diggerhistory.info/pages-bat ... -facts.htm

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