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Remembered Today:

Turkish/German gun captured at tabsor - September 1918


Eran Tearosh
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Hi everyone,

I am now looking into the events of September 19th, 1918 – The first few hours of the Armageddon Campaign, mostly regarding the infantry actions.

Here and there physical evidence (remains of trenches and lots of ammunition) is popping out.

Looking for relevant photo's, I came across this one:

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205248117

The caption claims:

Officers of the Suffolk Yeomanry (74th Division) examining a captured Turkish gun at Tabsor. September 1917.

Of course, 1917 is wrong, and we are talking about September 1918. I have reports that a similar gun (described as a German gun) was captured at et-Tire (About 5 Km North-East of Tabsor). My question: can anyone identity what type of gun this is?

Many thanks,

Eran

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Mate,

I have no ideas, but the gun does look like a 24cm Skoda Type, the recuporators in the front look like a Skoda type but I could be very wrong?

That's as far as my ideas go?

S.B

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Mate,

I tried reposting your request on the Axis History Forum but for some reason the IWM details didn't cross over so they can't see the photo, is there some way to dod this so others can check it out and find an answer?

Cheers

S.B

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Hi Steve,

Many thanks!

It's odd - I just tried the link, and it works perfect. Anyway - I suggest to do a google-search:

MINISTRY OF INFORMATION FIRST WORLD WAR OFFICIAL COLLECTION Q12864

That should lead directly there,

Again - thank you!

Eran

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Mate,

Sorry still no luck, like I said it looks like what is shown in the books as a 15/24 cm Heavy Howitzer Skoda Pilzen 1933 model

But that's way out of the 1918 date?

Its possible they also made the same type during the war but I am yet to find a photo as yet?

Cheers

S.B

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Prussian,

Many thanks! The missing Gun Shild makes it all clear. Never would thought of that.

Eran

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Mate,

I checked my lists for what Battery this Heavy Gun may of come from, but details on Turkish Heavy Artillery is short on?

The 2nd and 3rd Obüs/How Bty's (15cm Krupp K16 field guns) were with the 20th and 8th Corps around the Jordan, but no details on what Heavy guns were with the other Corps,

The 8th Army - 22nd Corps shows no Heavy guns on there Orbat that I can find?

It did have the 2nd Obüs/How Bty but it moved to the 20th Corps in March 1918 but appears not to be replaced?

The Austrian No 20th Bty (2x10.4cm Skoda M15 guns) were up that way but with the 7th Army?

I did see other Heavy batteries with the 7th Army (3rd Corps and 20th Corps) before the Sept date but couldn't confirm they were still with that Army in Sept, so one may have been with the 8th Army as the 2nd Obus/How went to the 20th Corps it may have been repaced by one of these two?

But the guns sizes for these I have are 105s not 150s, but they may have mixed them (the Batteries) up with part 105s and part 150s?

11th Obüs/How Bn -2x batteries each with (possibly 4x 105 mm guns) 10-17 & 12th Obüs/How Bn -2x batteries each with (possibly 4x 105 mm guns)

Sorry we may never know what Battery it came from?

S.B

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Hi Steve!
Do you have detailed infos about the ottoman forces???

I only have a book about the forces in 1916 ("Handbook of the turkish army, febr. 1916")

Here is a short wiki report of the battle of Tabsor, but I don´t think, it´ll help...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tabsor

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Looking for relevant photo's, I came across this one:

http://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/205248117

The caption claims:

Officers of the Suffolk Yeomanry (74th Division) examining a captured Turkish gun at Tabsor. September 1917.

Of course, 1917 is wrong, and we are talking about September 1918. I have reports that a similar gun (described as a German gun) was captured at et-Tire (About 5 Km North-East of Tabsor).

Eran,
I tread warily here in unfamiliar territory
But since the IWM caption gives both the wrong year and the wrong ID for the soldiers' regiment
[suffolk Yeomanry were in the 74th Div which was on the WF by this time (Megiddo)]
Is it also possible that the reference to Tabsor is wrong?
The fighting at Tabsor produced captured machine-guns and a pack gun, but I cannot find ref in the British OH to heavier artillery being captured there
However, as you correctly point out in your opening post, guns were captured at et-Tire, including several examples of 150-mm howitzers
see Vol.II, page 481
"Two or three batteries in the wadi south-west of Miske kept up fire on the 1/152nd Infantry to within 60 yards range. The Indians then dashed at them with the bayonet, capturing three 150-mm howitzers, seven 77-mm guns, and the whole of their detachments...."
and on page 482
"The first phase was carried out precisely according to the programme, little resistance being encountered by the 92nd and 28th Punjabis. A 150-mm howitzer battery was captured in very gallant circumstances by a wounded NCO, Naik Buta Khan, of the 92nd Punjabis, and four wounded men of the 1st Guides. The naik and his party having been bandaged, had again gone forward, but had moved to the right of the line of advance of the 92nd Punjabis. Suddenly on topping a rise, they came on the battery, with teams of horses and bullocks moving up to hook in. Without hesitating, the naik placed his four men between the battery and its teams, went back to the top of the rise, and attracted the attention of a supporting company of his battalion, which came to his assistance."
regards
Michael
Edited by michaeldr
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Mate,

I would have to agree, Tabsor is in the front line, not a good place for a 150mm gun or battery, so around Miske looks right for the range of a 150mm gun?

My maps don't show what Turkish Regt held the Tabsor area, being near both 7th and 20th Divs.

22nd Corps - Col Refet Bey (Bele)

The 7th Div Commander LtCol Nasuhi Bey was later captured

1-3/20th Regt

1-3/21st Regt (3Bn shown moved in the Hejaz but unknown if returned at this time?)

1-3/134th Regt

reports place the 13th Artillery Regt with the 7th Div at this time, but due to losses a (6 x 7.5cm L/30 Krupp) Mountain Baty 14th FA Regt was with them.

20th Div - LtCol. Yasin Hilmi Bey

1-3/61st Regt

1-3/62nd Regt

1-3/63rd Regt

Reported only two Artillery Bn's (4xBatteries) 20th FA Regt with unit?

As stated by me I could find no Heavy batteries with the 22nd Corps, but where did these 150mm come form is unknown.

Two Austrian Battys KUK (1/4 Bty - Capt Schaffer & 2/6 Bty - Lt Lewicki & Lt Kopasz) (each 6x 10cm Skoda Mountain guns) were with this Corps but may have moved before Sept 1918?

The Wikip shows the 46th Div with the 22nd Corps, but I can find no record of being anywhere near the front or with the 22nd Corps from Turkish records?

Turkish records do not show what admin units were with the 22nd Corps, but possibly an Engineer Company, a hosp unit, a Sig Company and a Train Bn, most were numbered after the Corps (eg; 22nd Train Bn), but not always

Of cause Turkish records and my own is open to correction, because Turkish formations moved around with in units and other units. what is true for a date can change the next day.

Is this what you are after?

S.B

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Dear Michael & Steve,

Thanks. I guess the answer is simply that all the operations in that area were labeled as 'The battle of Tabsur' and that's how this caption got to the photo.

Michael, you're right, of course. The Suffolk Yeomanry became dismounted and formed a part of the 'Broken Spur' division, the 74th (How did I miss that one?!), which was

already in France at this time.

However, as the 75th Division (Indeed, 75th Div. and not 74th Div. - but we know there are countless mistakes in these archives) was the force that broke through Tabsur itself

(I think they had the narrowest sector of the line to break through that day), it does make sense that we are looking at the area of Tabsur (Look at the topographic layout), and

the guns (including this particular one) were captured somewhere nearby, most likely at Miske (or maybe even at Et-Tire itself).

Eran

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Eran & Steve,

see plate 41 in 'The Advance of the EEF etc etc'

The ASIA Corps (and the Asia Corps Reserves) were in that area at that time

Do they have a separate orbat which might give you the id on this artillery unit?

regards

Michael

edit to add another useful map link https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Tulkarm#/media/File:Falls_skMap30Megiddo.jpeg

Edited by michaeldr
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As far as I know, the Asia corps is a little East of there, up on the hills, HQ at Azun.

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Mate,

Of cause the right flank unit shown on that map is the 19th Div of the German Asia Corps.

19th Div - Col Sabit Bey (Noyan) PoW 9-18

The exact Regts in Kemal's old Div have been harder of confirm?

Reports place these Regts as possibles

72nd, 77th and 57th Regts

reports also place the 25th Artillery Regt with the Div but due to losses this battery 1Bty/10th FA Regt attached.

Not shown in the 7th and 20th Div's lists given. but most Turkish Div's had admin units, like these with the 19th Div;

5th Sqn 4th Cav Regt

4Co/3rd Eng Bn,

19th Field Hospital

19th Sig Sect

20th Div admin units

3rd Sqn 12th Cav Regt

4Co/4th Eng Bn,

20th Sig Sec,

20th Field Hospital

7th Div admin units

2nd Sqn 4th Cav Regt -

7th Field Hosp -

7th Sig sect

All Div cav unknown if still with Divs at this time at Sqn strength or reduced to Troops?

Also reported that most Turkish Div's had a MG Bn formed from the MG Companies of the Div Regts, total MGs with these units very?

How Wikip places the 46th Div with the 22nd Corps is unknown as this Div was around Amman 21st Sept 1918 possibly with the 3rd Corps.

Most of this Div was broken up but at that time had

46th Div - Col Mahmut (Belig) Bey

144th Regt

17th Comp Regt (3Bn/17th, 2Bn/74th, 4Bn/73rd and 3Bn/75th Regts)

191st Regt

46th Artillery Regt - 4 x FA Bty's 3 x Mountain Bty's

Div admin

46th Div Cav Sqn - 46th Medical Co - 46th Field Hosp - 46th Cooking Plat - 46th Sig Sect -1x Pnr Bn 1Co/7 telegraph Bn- 70 bakery Co- 162 Donkey Co-11Co SAA + 151 heavy (transport)

S.B

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  • 4 weeks later...

Mates,

I notice a British intell report (dated Oct 1918) that gives us these Batteries and Heavy Batteries around July 1918 for the 8th Army Troops.

shown July 1918 Allied reports 1Bn/15th FAR (8x guns) 2Bn/13th FAR (1xgun) 2Bn/6th FAR (2xguns) 2Bn/47th FA (2xguns) Types not stated?

shown July 1918 Allied reports 3xBtys Composite Heavy How (12x 100mm guns) renamed 31st Heavy How Bn - 2Bn/8th FAR (8x 105mm guns) renamed from 1Bn/14th FAR

The British Intell report also gives these for the 7th Army;

shown Oct 1918 Allied reports 264th Heavy How Bty (2x105mm guns) and 209th Heavy How Bty arrived from 17th Corps Oct 1918

I could find no Heavy Batteries by these names in Turkish records so how they got those details is unknown but possibly from PoW reports?

I should add the Intell reports for the 20 Sept 1918 report the following Artillery units with the 22nd Corps HQ?

shown Sept 1918 Allied reports

2Bn/6th FAR (8x field guns)

8Bn/16th FAR (8x Field guns)

73rd Heavy How Bn (13Bty 14Bty (8x 150mm How)

268th Heavy How Bty (2x 105mm How)

1Bn/6th FAR (8x field guns)

72nd Heavy How Bn (11Bty 12Bty (6x 150mm How)

80th Heavy How Bn (3Bty 15Bty (5x 150mm How)

20th KUK Bty (2x 104mm How)

229th Heavy How Bty (2x 105mm how)

47th Heavy Bty (2x ?)

S.B

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Mates,

Further to my last British Intell reports (dated 8th Sept 1918) the following Turkish Troops around the Tabsor area.

21st Regt - 580 men

20th Div Attack Co - 70 men

Div Cav for 20th Div - 100 men

Attack Companies were a German idea and should be called the Storm Company for the Div (each Div by 1918 had a Storm Company made up of the best Troops in the Div) weather in front line or as a counter attack force is unknown?

Also the Cav either mounted or dismounted unknown, also unknown if the 3rd Sqn 12th Cav Regt was still the Div Cav as Intell reports give 6th Sqn 12th Cav Regt?

The Regt strength for the 21st Regt is given as 580 men so Bn strength is low. But Intell reports give large numbers of replacements sent to this Corps during Sept before the Allied attack.

The 20th Div is shown as 7Bn's

1Bn/17th Regt - 140 men

61st Regt - 510 men

62nd Regt - 690 men

63rd Regt - British reports place this Regt with 48th Div near Amman

7th Div

19th Regt - 700 men

20th Regt - 440 men

21st Regt as shown

Div Cav - 100 men

Div Attack Co - 70 men

shown attached to 8th Army

8th Army Attack Bn - 150 men (was surpose to be the combinded attack (Storm) Companies of the 8th Army)

2Bn/146th Regt (German Army) - 450 men

Surprising the report places parts the 46th Div near Et Tereh and Keram ((1Bn & 3Bn/17th Regt and 144th Regt + 1Bn/73rd Regt) with the 8th Army but Turkish and Allied reports place remainder of this Div (146th Regt + Div Cav) near Amman and Maan with 2nd Corps

If correct British Intell shows the low strength of the Turkish formations facing them that day of the Great attack.

I am sorry to say they do not give the Artillery strength of the three Turkish Armies?

Attack or Storm units were formed at Regt level of around 40 men, these were combinded into attack Co's at Div level, these were combinded to form attack Bn's at Corps level and Army level.

S.B

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  • 1 month later...

Mate,

The last known Turkish commander of the 21st Infantry Regt was Maj Ahmet Zeki (Soydemir).

He replaced LtCol Iskodrali Yusuf Ziya Bey WIA 9-8-15 DoW 11-8-15 at Gallipoli. so its unknown if he was still with the Regt in 1918?

Other known officers in this Regt on Gallipoli are, but inknown if that change over the long years of fighting Gallipoli Helles & Suvla 1915 to Caucasus 1916 Gaza 1917 Palestine 1918 destroyed Meggido 1918;

1bn - Capt Hasan & 3Co/1Bn Lt Zeki Rasit KIA 4-6-15 2bn - Ahmet Muhtar 3bn- Capt Ahmet Niyazi

Cheers

S.B

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