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trajan

Ottoman 15th Corps in Eastern Galicia 1916-1917

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trajan

An article on the above has just been published (in English) in Belleten, the journal of the Turkish Historical Society, P.Nykiel, "The 15th Corps of the Imperial Ottoman Army on the Eastern Galician Front (1916-1917)", Belleten LXXIX, no. 284, 335-350. If anyone desperately needs a copy of this, please let me know after 20 June when I should be able to make and post one as a PDF - I am off travelling again until that date so cannot do so beforehand.

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stevebecker

T

Hope the holliday was good.

If possibly I would like to see what he wrote?

Cheers

S.B

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bierast

I too would be most interested to see this. There was always a significant Saxon element in the Südarmee, with which the Ottoman XV Corps served while on this front. The rear echelon command Etappen-Inspektion Süd and all its units were Saxon from the outset, and the Sturmbataillon der Südarmee (later Sturmbataillon Nr.8) contained many Saxon officers.

In summer 1917 the staff of XXVII.Reserve-Korps and the entire 24. and 53. Reserve-Division were all with the Südarmee, and the 241. Infanterie-Division was also placed at its disposal immediately prior to the expected Russian offensive. My GGF's regiment (FAR 48) reached the railhead at Podwysokie in the rear of the Ottoman sector on 23rd June 1917. They were unloaded with the assistance of Bosnian (Austro-Hungarian) troops, and marched northward from there through the encampments of the Turks.

The Saxon 24. Reserve-Division at Brzesany had a lot of contact with the Turks, as described in the memoirs of s.K.H. Prinz Ernst Heinrich von Sachsen (the King's youngest son). This picture is from the published photo album of 24.RD - on the Turkish general's left is Generalmajor Max Morgenstern-Döring, the divisional commander.

post-24563-0-50134400-1434757986_thumb.j

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trajan

Hope the holliday was good.

If possibly I would like to see what he wrote?

I too would be most interested to see this. There was always a significant Saxon element in the Südarmee, with which the Ottoman XV Corps served while on this front.

attachicon.gif24RD_Turken.jpg

Steve, Andi, thanks for interest and will try to get this copied early next week.

Trajan

PS: a working 'holiday', with my archaeological hat on, sadly, but fun nonetheless!

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stevebecker

T,

Mate how is it going, have you copied it yet?

Cheers

S.B

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The Prussian

Here is the badge of the XV.corps in Galicia

post-35295-0-36573600-1441689800_thumb.j

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trajan

T,

Mate how is it going, have you copied it yet?

Cheers

S.B

Sorry for my tardiness, and now the uni semseter has started - I will try to do that on Thursday, and send to all who have requested.

Trajan

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The Prussian

Great Trajan!

Thanx a lot in advance!!!!!!!

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bob lembke

Trajan and others;

I have seen a remarkable photo of Turkish soldiers behind the Russian Front being trained with flame-throwers. Some Turkish soldiers were being trained to German storm unit standards. My father, who fought at Gallipoli, considered the Turkish soldiers about the best he ever encountered, but of course in spirit, not in technical training. And he fought in two of the three best German storm units.

I assume that these Turkish troops were from this army corps.

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bob lembke

Additionally, I have some letters from my grand-father (a Prussian Explosives Officer) on the Eastern Front, mentioning a German gas attack that killed 7000 Russians.

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trajan

Thanks Bob - and a useful reminder to me to scan and post that paper... I'll try and do tomorrow, the gods willing!

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The Ibis

I thought it was a very interesting article. A few snips before Trajan posts it (the file size of my copy is too large to upload here):

The report drafted for the general staff at the end of the month [september 1916] spoke of 45 officers and five thousand men. Even though only a mere twelve thousand men were under arms in the entire corps, the Turks had much greater respect for the "English" and in particular Australians than for the Russians, this being a result of the resistance they had shown on the Gallipoli peninsula year earlier.30

and

On the 17th of November there was a change in the command situation within the 15th Corps. The place vacated by the dismissed Colonel Yakub Sevki (Subasi) was taken by General Cevat (Cobanh).

The circumstances surrounding this staff reshuffle arouse controversy to this day. Official Turkish historiography and biographers of Yakub Sevki claim that this officer from the very beginning had a problem with forging partnership cooperation with the Germans, with which the entire blame is laid for the state of affairs on the German side, which is reproached for cowardliness, arrogance, a failure to understand cultural differences as well as interfering in the way the corps was commanded.

At the same time the Germans were accused of duplicity, proof of which was to be that, at the same time, Colonel Yakub Sevki was honoured with medals by both them and the Austrians for the particular contribution made by the 15th Corps on the field of battle.35 It does appear, however, that such an evaluation of the situation by Turkish historiography reflected the still widespread dislike on the part of Turks to criticism originating from foreign quarters. The official tokens of recoguition that the 15th Corps command met with were really directed towards its subordinates, the frontline officers and men who carried out orders with the greatest of dedication and degree of effectiveness. They paid for this, however, with enormous losses which could have been avoided if Colonel Yakub Sevki had, from the very beginning, cooperated harmoniously with the allies and put into effect their tactical principles that were applicable to the specifics of conflict within the Galician theatre. The Turkish commander unfortunately preferred to fight like at Gallipoli and at the cost of his own soldiers in a quest to teach his allies heroism.

And

The withdrawal of the Ottoman units from Galicia was linked to the catastrophic situation of the Sultan's forces on the Mesopotamian Front, where in March 1917 the Turks lost Baghdad. From the point of view of the interests of the Ottoman Empire the involvement of even a single corps in the conflict in Galicia was a huge mistake. Not only did it fail to bring any strategic or political advantages - not mentioning territorial - it was paid for at the price of heavy losses, which in total reached eighteen thousand dead, wounded and missing, which constituted over a half of the almost 33,000 men from the initial elite units of the Ottoman army that had made up the corps.

Devotion of the Turkish soldiers was however very much appreciated by the Germans and Austrians who objectively noticed that would not have been able to hold their positions during Brusilov and Kerensky offensives without help of their allies from the shores of Bosphorus. 46

The presence of the Turks in Galicia for the period 1916-17 was to have, however, a particular symbolic meaning for the Polish people, who had lived since the last quarter of the 18"' century under partition. For over a hundred years Poles had found solace in the prediction of the Ukrainian bard Wernyhora, the content of which (severely distorted by folk transfer) announced that Poland would be reborn when Turkish horse drink in the Vistula River. 47

The presence of the 15th Corps in Galicia may be linked with the fulfilment of this prophecy for somewhat over a year after the withdrawal of the last Turkish soldier Poland was indeed to gain its independence. A sceptic would surely point out that the 15th Corps fought in the basin of the River Dniester and not on the Vistula. We should not forget however that a part of its soldiers travelled via Cracow, which lies on the Vistula. In private collections there have even been preserved photographs of Turks waiting for food at the railway station in Cracow. Given that the soldiers ate here then the horse must have drunk from the Vistula as well ...

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stevebecker

Mate,

Thanks for that.

I sorry but should there be more details in this?

While Turkish records on most fronts are short on (in English) some details are known about the 15th Corps?

The 15th Corps HQ

Still has little details

Other known officers

Chief of Operations - Capt Nihat and staff officer Lt Mehmet Sevki Bey shown LtCol Hamdi Naci Bey Info officer - Cav Maj Ali Nuri Bey (okday) brother Hakki Bey - shown in Galicia Ops officer Maj Vecihi - info officer Maj Ali Nuri (Okday) ADC to Yakup Sevki Bey Lt Ali Riza (Guney) deputy - LtCol Yakup Sevki (Subasi) dates? & Col Fahrettin Bey (Altay) dates?

Corps Troops - so far I have no Artillery for this Corps, not one Heavy How unit is so far found, why when serving with German and Austrian units would this Corps be without Heavy guns.id the Germans attach some of theirs?

The only Corps Troops I found were

3Bn/4th Eng Regt shown in Aug 1917 but no idea on any details?

19th Div

From what I can find one or both Arab Regts (72nd and 77th) were replaced with Turkish soldiers, or at lest the 77th Regt was before they went.

From records the two Artillery Bns were these;

Oct 1916 in Galica 2Bn/25th FAR & 1Bn/9th FAR - 16 guns

Div Troops

5th Sqn 4th Cav Regt, (unknown if still with Div)

4Co/3rd Eng Bn,

19th Field Hospital

19th Sig Sect

1Co/15th Telegraph Bn

20th Div

1Bn/20th FAR & 2Bn/20th FAR - 16 guns

Div Troops

3rd Sqn 12th Cav Regt (possibly 6th Sqn 12th Cav Regt in Galicia)

4Co/4th Eng Bn,

20th Sig Sec,

20th Field Hospital

I am still unsure about what types of guns were in these Artillery Regts, 75mm Field and Mountain guns (standard FAR) or had they all been replaced by the 77mm German guns?

Why no Third Artillery Bn?

And why no heavy guns?

Were there extra supply troops like Transport Companies to supply them.

What about MG's?

Each Turkish MG Co had 4xMG's were these increased?

All reports say that each Infantry Regt was increased to four Bns, But other then the 57th and 72nd MG Co's (19th Div) no other MG companies are shown, did they form these in the 20th Div Regts?

I should add that when the 19th Div arrived in Palestine British Intell reports give this strength as;

shown Oct 1917 Allied reports (6500 men 18 Mg's (3x Regts with 6 MGs per Regt) + Div MG Co 230 men, Div Cav Sqn 350 men, Div transport 350 men, Div Arty (25th FAR) 1500 men 32x 75mm guns 4x100mm 4x150mm

So by Oct 1917 the Div had increased its field guns by another 16 guns, but still 75mm, so that may answer did they change to 77mm guns. And also gained two heavy How batteries.

Cheers

S.B

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stevebecker

Mates,

Seen this on another site;

I have gathered some info about the Turkish troops in Galicia.I didn't give any info about the battles.Just tried to show how the Ottoman Army went there and how they returned and some details about equipment and command.I hope it will be useful.(All info here gathered from Ýsmet Görgülü's book On Yýllýk Harbin Kadrosu,Türk Tarih Kurumu Yayýnlarý 1993 and Birinci Dünya Harbinde Türk Harbi-Avrupa Cepheleri(Özet),Genelkurmay Askeri Tarih ve Stratejik Etüt Baþkanlýðý Yayýnlarý 1996.)

Enver Pasha was the supreme commander of the Ottoman Army.He believed that the result of the war will be decided in European soil.So he decided to send 3 well equipped korps to Eastern Europe to help the Germans and Austrians.It was a great act of stupidity that even Liman von Sanders tried to prevent Enver Pasha doing that.
15th Army Corps(19th and 20th Divisions) were sent to Galicia, 6th Army Corps to Romania and 20th Army Corps along with 177th Reinforced Infantry Regiment to Macedonia.The first troops of 15th Army Corps arrived in Galicia in the end of July 1916.First troops of 6th Army Corps arrived in Romania in the second week of September.The first troops of 20th Army Corps arrived to Macedonia in the end of September.177th Infantry Regiment arrived in December 1916.
After fierce battles, 19th Division started leaving Galicia on 11 June 1917.The last party left on 7 July 1917.They were replaced with 15th German Reserve Division.20th Division stayed and participated in general counter offensive in July.They were replaced with 24th German Reserve Division on the night of August 8.They all returned to Istanbul on 11 September 1917.

15th Army Corps

The troops of 15th Army Corps started to leave for Galicia on 23 July 1916 and the last troops left on 11 August 1916.There were 4 Army Corps under the command of German Army(South) in Galicia Front.15th Army Corps would be the fifth one.15th Army Corps consisted of 2 Divisions.(19th and 20th Divisions)
The Organisation of 15th Army Corps was like that:

Corps Headquarters:

15th Army Corps Commander Colonel Yakup Sevki (Later to be Brigadier General on 8 October 1916)
Brigadier General Cevat (Assigned on 10 November 1916)

15th Army Corps Chief of Staff Liutenant-Colonel Hayri
Liutenant-Colonel Sefik
Major S. Avni

19th Division:

19th Division Commander Liutenant-Colonel Sefik
Liutenant-Colonel Sedat(Assigned on 16 October 1916)

19th Division Chief of Staff Major Lutfu

3 Infantry Regiments(All regiments were consisted of 4 batallions.)

57th Infantry Regiment(Commander; Major Hayri)
72th Infantry Regiment(Commander; Major Rifat)
77th Infantry Regiment(Commander; Yarbay Saip)

2 Machine Gun Detachments

Cavalry Company(5th Company of the 4th Cavalry Regiment)

Artillery Regiment(Commander; Major Ziya. 2nd Rapid Firing Batallion of 25th Artillery Regiment and 1st Batallion of 9th Artillery Regiment)

Engineer Company(4th Company of 3rd Engineer Batallion)

19th Medical Company

Signal Group


20th Division:

20th Division Commander Liutenant-Colonel Yasin Hilmi

20th Division Chief of Staff Captain Ismail Hakki

3 Infantry Regiments(All regiments were consisted of 4 batallions.)

61st Infantry Regiment(Commander; Liutenant-Colonel Bahattin)
62nd Infantry Regiment(Commander; Major Nazmi)
63rd Infantry Regiment (Commander; Major Ahmed Muhtar)

2 Machine Gun Detachments

Cavalry Company(6th Company of 12nd Cavalry Regiment)

20th Artillery Regiment(Commander; Major Suleyman Avni)

Engineers Company(4th Company of 4th Engineers Batallion)

German Aid

On August 1916, German Army gave 18 artillery pieces with different sizes and 2 flame throwers.In September 1916, 30 Russian machine guns were given to 15th Army Corps.In December 1916, 15th Army Corps was equipped with 72 German(1915 model) light machine guns.

Casulties(23 July 1916-15 July 1917)

15th Army Corps went to Galicia with nearly 33.000 men.In July 1917, there were 15000 wounded and dead.Among these men, there were 100 dead officers and 120 wounded officers.

Awards

15th Army Corps was closely watched during the campaign.After every success, they were congratulated by Kaiser and the Sultan.
On 22 January 1917, many officers were awarded with Iron Cross.On the same day, all regimental flags of 15th Army Corps were awarded by the Sultan.
15th Army Corps CO Brigadier General Cevat was awarded by Austria-Hungary Emperor Karl.
In July 1917, Sultan awarded 61st and 63rd Infantry Regiments were awarded by Sultan with Ottoman War Medal.On the very same day, some officers were awarded with Iron Cross.[/i]

What is interesting is the German aid Aug 1916,18 artillery guns?

S.B

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stevebecker

Emre,

 

Mate you see what this has.

 

I never got to read it so what maps it has I am don't know?

 

Or contact the author to see where he can point you.

 

Cheers

 

S,B

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emrezmen
14 hours ago, stevebecker said:

Emre,

 

Mate you see what this has.

 

I never got to read it so what maps it has I am don't know?

 

Or contact the author to see where he can point you.

 

Cheers

 

S,B

 

Steve, thank you for letting me know. I have the article. (You can download it here: https://www.ttk.gov.tr/yayinlarimiz/dergi/belleten-cilt-lxxix-sayi-284-yil-2015-nisan/) There's only one map in it based on official history.

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stevebecker

Emre,

 

Yes its an area not looked at by few.

I look forward to what you can find to see what forces they had there, as the strength of the units seams to change over the time in country.

 

Cheers

 

S.B

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emrezmen
On 08/08/2019 at 02:55, stevebecker said:

Emre,

 

Yes its an area not looked at by few.

I look forward to what you can find to see what forces they had there, as the strength of the units seams to change over the time in country.

 

Cheers

 

S.B

 

Sorry Steve, I don't fully understand. Did you mean what Ottoman units were there and what was their strength?

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stevebecker

Emre,

 

Yes I know or hope I know the basic order of Battle of the 15th Corps (as I shown above) but as the Corps was reinforced by the Germans with more MGs and guns, and heavy Artillery was added to these, either at Division or Corps level.

 

What the make up during fighting in action and did the Ottomans convert both Arab Regts into normal Regts?

 

Have you seen any order of battles for this Corps?

 

Just some questions I am after

 

Cheers

 

S.B

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