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peter blackwell

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peter blackwell
Posted (edited)

 I was told the turkish soldiers were better equiped than the british, is this true? thanks Pete

Edited by peter blackwell

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emrezmen
Posted (edited)

Hello, Peter.

 

Definitely not. Maybe equal but not better. Ottoman army was better fed, I would say. Ottoman rations were more natural and diverse. See: 

Ottoman army, at first, had the advantage of hand grenades but this had been balanced in further stages of the campaign as other forum members who specialized on Allied side of Gallipoli might agree. Generally the conditions were pretty much equal most of the time in terms of ordnance and equipment.

 

Ottoman army was a copy of German army in all aspects including clothing and equipment. The uniforms/equipment were simple like the German ones and worn in every season without much change while, for example, British soldiers were allowed to wear shorts and shirts in summer. (Actually this is partly because of cultural habits or different attitude of mind)

 

I have some examples that you can make a comparison between Ottoman and British soldiers.

 

The photo below should give a clue about how a fully equipped Ottoman soldier would look like at Gallipoli. Soldiers equipped with M.1907 Feldflasche canteen and Brotbeutel bread bag. I'm not sure about the model of bayonet and the shovel. 

turk-Ottoman_soldiers_testing_captured_weapons.jpg.e50d770202f5c651f7bb784c9f2bf4f8.jpg

 

This second photo was taken at Lone Pine, apparently in a sunny winter day, immediately after the campaign. The soldier (from 47th Regiment) fully equipped, probably wears a German M.1901 Schnürschuhe ankle boot, old pattern German ammo pouches (M.1887?) and carrying a Mauser M1890 with 1890 sword bayonet attached. Great example of simplicity of Ottoman military clothing/equipment.

25542644_753634091427770_5301329036306495202_o.jpg.0f5fcac140629e7de5edca469afb3022.jpg

 

Third is an interesting photo. Note the shoes of the soldier in the middle. He's not issued with proper ankle boots while others probably wear -again- M.1901 Schnürschuhe. Maintaining a standard  especially of footwear wasn't possible most of the time (don't forget this was a poor country that was near collapse) and soldiers had to wear shoes like these.

6ff9b78be965ed9466c833e44144be8c.jpg.c8c4cf1edae1a6cf410b106da036be52.jpg

 

The fourth photo I want to show includes two veteran Ottoman soldiers. The photo is an example of the diverse range of equipment. Interesting thing is their ammo pouches which nearly made them look like guerillas. These pouches were very different yet very common. Still, well equipped and dressed with the exception of strange hat the soldier on the left wearing.

11032057_612538365549521_2974969510197503328_n.png.5f171cc85aa5a717229a8b35dc7fcb58.png

 

The last photo shows another Ottoman soldier guarding the Allied POWs. He has to be ideal, well equipped, well dressed Ottoman soldier fought at Gallipoli.

10999534_1537122819882194_8911584874381854963_o.jpg.4c11fe5ae9c9a6bccdd1e76d9b7863f0.jpg

 

 

To put it simply, Ottoman soldiers were quite well equipped (despite the huge diversity) but no better than British, French or Anzacs.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by emrezmen

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

I would agree, at that stage of the war the Ottoman soldier was still well equipted, but the signs of strain were showing late 1915, that by 1918 almost every thing had failed to supply the common soldiers with there needs.

 

Most soldiers captured in Palestine in 1918, said they had no clothing replacement for over a year.

 

S.B

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peter blackwell

Cheers pete

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Kath

Thanks for those photos, emrezmen.

 

Kath.

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peter blackwell

I'd just like to say a special thankyou to everyone on this forum, for there kind help Pete

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phil andrade

More than twenty thousand Ottoman troops were officially recorded as dying from disease at Gallipoli .

 

If I were to say that this was ten times the British total, I wouldn’t be exaggerating .

 

The implications here are significant in terms of the conditions endured by the opponents .

 

We tend to think of the Allies being more afflicted with dysentery than the Turks....how do we account for the disparity in the fatality rates from illness ?

 

If Turkish equipment was up to scratch, something was amiss with the medical services.

 

Phil

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peter blackwell

Thanks very much Pete

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phil andrade
On 05/05/2019 at 22:20, stevebecker said:

Mate,

 

I would agree, at that stage of the war the Ottoman soldier was still well equipted, but the signs of strain were showing late 1915, that by 1918 almost every thing had failed to supply the common soldiers with there needs.

 

Most soldiers captured in Palestine in 1918, said they had no clothing replacement for over a year.

 

S.B

 

Steve, or emrezmen,

 

Are there any figures for the number of Ottoman troops taken prisoner at Gallipoli ?

 

I note that the Turkish records posted more than ten thousand of their troops as missing in action in that campaign : most commentators assume that these were dead. 

 

Did the Allies make statements about the haul of prisoners they captured, or did the Turks admit to a number ?

 

Very, very few prisoners were taken by the Turks...just a few hundred.  It would be revealing to see how many of their counterparts were claimed by the Allies.

 

Phil

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stevebecker
Posted (edited)

Mate,

 

To follow on there is some coment on this see Erickson "Gallipoli The Ottoman Campaign" page 200

 

"abundant fresh water, adequate rations and the div bands played every day."

 

There more from an Ottoman officer reports, mail and the goodies he received from this system.

 

Erickson also shows that each Ottoman soldier had 3,149 caloris, of 900gs bread, 250gs meat, 150gs bulgar, 20gs olive oil and 20gs salt

 

Erickson shows

 

27 officers and 11,151 men as missing

 

But I could not find any PoW listed anywhere, I'll check British records to see what they say with the French?

 

Erickson also mentions the very few desertions in the Ottoman Army at Gallipoli at that time, so they missing must be PoW's or lost in some way.

 

Cheers


S.B

 

 

Edited by stevebecker

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Maureene

Some of the Turkish prisoners of War ended up in British run POW camps in Egypt.

Maardi Camp visited in January 1917 " a large proportion came from Gallipoli" but possibly this is in relation to a statement "Only a  small number have been captives since the beginning of the war."

Page 18 Turkish prisoners in Egypt :a report by the delegates of the International Committee of the Red Cross

https://archive.org/details/turkishprisoners00ininte/page/18

 

Original French report

https://grandeguerre.icrc.org/en/Camps/Maadi/14/fr/.  or

https://www.scribd.com/document/231547889/Rapports-de-MM-Le-Dr-F-Blanchod-F-Thormeyer-et-Em-Schoch-sur-leur-inspection-des-camps-de-prisonniers-turcs-en-France-en-Corse-et-en-Egypte

Digital/actual page 51

Cheers

Maureen

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peter blackwell

thanks for your valuable input pete.

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phil andrade

Thanks Steve and Maureen,

 

Looks like several thousand Turks went into the bag at Gallipoli......but I feel far from confident in that assertion.

 

Hazarding a guess, I would suggest that half - at least - of their eleven thousand reported missing had been killed.

 

I think that the French captured the best part of a thousand in their initial landings on the Asiatic side.

 

Of the British troops reported missing in action at Gallipoli, ninety six per cent were dead.

 

It troubles me that I can’t find a definitive claim concerning the number of Turks captured in the campaign.

 

Phil

 

 

 

 

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peter blackwell

Thankyou very much pete

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David26

It may be hearsay or evenn made up, but in case it adds to the general picture: a report was issued within 11 Division at Suvla Bay on 11 October 1915 from a captured Turkish officer who apparently had told his captors that only half his company had Mausers. The rest had a mix of Mannlichers, old style Mausers and even Martinis which used black powder. 

 

David. 

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stevebecker
Posted (edited)

David,

 

Yes mate the call for men forced the Ottomans to draw in there 2nd line and three line troops (Reserve and Milita).

 

There were shortages of weapons, and the Ottoman Army had Mauser 1903 and older 1887 both with different ammo.

 

They also had Martini Henry & Martini Peabody types from 1870's, in those non front line troops, but called to the colors during the fighting.

 

I also show some Winchester Rifles with Ottoman Troops and some different Carbines with the Cavalry.

 

All these guns had different bullets which made resupply hard?

 

S.B

 

Sorry this popped up and I can't get rid of it, my Turkish is not hat good to see if its of any use?

12345.jpg

Edited by stevebecker

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emrezmen
Posted (edited)

 

On 08/05/2019 at 10:43, phil andrade said:

 

Steve, or emrezmen,

 

Are there any figures for the number of Ottoman troops taken prisoner at Gallipoli ?

 

I note that the Turkish records posted more than ten thousand of their troops as missing in action in that campaign : most commentators assume that these were dead. 

 

Did the Allies make statements about the haul of prisoners they captured, or did the Turks admit to a number ?

 

Very, very few prisoners were taken by the Turks...just a few hundred.  It would be revealing to see how many of their counterparts were claimed by the Allies.

 

Phil

 

Sorry for late reply. 

 

I believe this was discussed many times in this forum, but I'm not able to say anything that much different from what has already been said. Only to add a little bit more to Steve's second comment, I attached a table from Turkish official history of Gallipoli (vol 3) which is basically the Erickson's source. File and index numbers from Turkish General Staff Archive (ATASE) are given on far right. 

 

See "Kayip/Esir" (Missing/Prisoner) section. Please note that the figures include not only POWs but also MIAs:

 

12345.jpg.6ed6ccfd56b6b1de246e786df0f3ea81.jpg

 

From 25 April to 18 November: 10,738 (27 officers)

From 18 Nov to 24 Nov: 3 (all ORs)

From 25 Nov to 8 December: 419 (all ORs)

From 9 Dec to 19 Dec: 18 (all ORs)

 

Sad to say, there's still no exact figure for Ottoman POWs after 104 years. I don't know any specific study (Tur or Eng) aiming to clarify this. (There should be something in "Statistics of the Military Effort of the British Empire During the Great War, 1914-1920", but I'm not sure. I couldn't find atm) I heard that some people in Istanbul University working on this but nothing came out yet. We may get an approximate or minimum number by looking into British war diaries.

 

I've two explanations for these relatively high POW numbers:

 

-Ottoman army was an army which mainly consisted of Anatolian peasant conscripts. Nearly 100% of soldiers (I'm not exaggerating it) was illiterate. This increased the importance of officers. Soldiers, when they lost their leader, were tended to quickly disperse, or give up the fighting because of lack of independent thinking to handle the difficult situations. When they have a decent leader, they can be turned into most stiff fighter. They were the same guys with those who were running in front of Bulgarians in 1912. Difference was the officers (thanks to Enver's reforms) and motivation provided by them.

 

-Bad treatment. This might be strange to say that after praising the leadership, but beating was a common act in Ottoman army. Most of the officers/NCOs saw it as a most effective way to straighten the illiterate soldiers out. (I'm not saying that they're all stone-hearted monsters, but it was one of the discipline methods adopted) This created a huge displeasure among the conscripts and they looked for a way to desertion at first opportunity. You can easily understand this by only looking at, for example, war diary of 9th British AC.

 

Cheers,

Emre

 

EDIT: Well that's a little bit funny, Steve somehow managed to get my uploaded image while I'm still writing the post. :D 

 

 

 

 

Edited by emrezmen

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phil andrade

Emre ( and Steve !),

 

Thank you so much for posting that tabulation.

 

I wish I knew the Turkish.

 

The columns are for dead, wounded and missing . Are the dead just those  killed in action and died of wounds, battle casualties only ?

 

What are those OR figures that show totals of 7,084 , 20,297 and 14,000 ? There is also an attached figure of 5,860.....I wonder what that means.  Am I right in assuming that all these additional figures  might be for men who were removed through illness or accident ?

 

I hope you don’t mind me asking these questions, but I really would like to make some interpretations.

 

The views about the officer/OR relationship are interesting and controversial in the light of those figures.  One officer killed for every one hundred men, more or less, and much the same proportion for the wounded.  The missing are in the ratio of one officer for every 400 plus men.  What a huge disparity !  There must have been a tiny number of officers wielding command over a very large host of men.

 

I’m intrigued as to what happened in the period 25 November to 8 December : quite a spike.

 

I’ve seen one reference that might be revealing : the terrific fighting in August 1915 cost 18,000 Ottoman  battle casualties in four days, but the Allies claimed only 400  Turkish prisoners in that period.  The implication here is that a very large number of the 11,178 Ottoman missing must have been killed.

 

Phil

 

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

I don't see the POW's as high as 11,000 plus, but there are large numbers during some of the fights during the Campaign.

 

I think the largest numbers was still those captured on the first day at Kum Kale by the French from the 3rd Div.

 

Other captures were in the small hundreds in other battles and deserters came in during the fighting.

 

I tried counting them, but still get less then 3000 + during the campaign, but I don't have all the sources to be 100% ?

 

Emre sorry about that.

 

Cheers


S.B

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phil andrade

Steve,

 

That 11,000  plus that you mention applies to missing in action, which encompassed many men who had been killed. I reckon you’re right about that three thousand or so actually being taken prisoner....perhaps thirty per cent of the missing were POWs, and, as to the balance, it’s a legitimate assumption that they were dead in the great majority of cases.

 

The more I reflect on this campaign, the more I see the Turks pitting flesh and blood against superior firepower. They had the high ground and commensurate fields of fire - sometimes even likened to a shooting gallery - but they still got killed in greater numbers than their enemies, despite their defensive advantage and the skill and tenacity of their troops. I realise that profligate counter attacks account for much of this ; but the exchange rate still defies the norm as we see it on the Western Front.

 

We must beware of condescending caricature.  This fighting indicated only too well how the Allies had formed a hubristic assessment of their superiority.....never underestimate your foe. Yet, it seems that this was still a “ primitive” ottoman host in many respects, with hardship and squalor taking a greater toll of its ranks than was the case in their British, ANZAC, French and Indian opponents, and God knows, things were pretty bad for them, too. 

 

Implicit in this arithmetic is material inferiority in equipment ....that’s my interpretation : but I will be only too happy to be told otherwise.

 

Phil

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Lawryleslie
On 06/05/2019 at 17:24, phil andrade said:

More than twenty thousand Ottoman troops were officially recorded as dying from disease at Gallipoli .

 

If I were to say that this was ten times the British total, I wouldn’t be exaggerating .

 

The implications here are significant in terms of the conditions endured by the opponents .

 

We tend to think of the Allies being more afflicted with dysentery than the Turks....how do we account for the disparity in the fatality rates from illness ?

 

If Turkish equipment was up to scratch, something was amiss with the medical services.

 

Phil

Phil this is a very interesting point you make here. Some figures put the number of British afflicted by disease as 145,000. If the Turks had 10 times more fatalities then it has to be down to medical care and rapid evacuation of our diseased troops to Malta and Alexandria that prevented More British fatalities.

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phil andrade
Posted (edited)

Yes, thanks for taking up this point, Lawryleslie.

 

Disease caused huge losses among the British , but - and this is so important - only a small number actually died from their illnesses.

 

Phil

Edited by phil andrade

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phil andrade

Further to my response to Lawryleslie, let me post these remarkable statistics for British non battle casualties in the Dardanelles.

 

These do not  include the Royal Naval Division, or any Dominion or Indian troops.

 

Admitted to hospital : 145,154, of whom 128,708 were sick and 16,446 were injured in accidents.

 

Of these, 1,881 of the sick ( 1.46%) , and 227 of the injured ( 1.38% ) died. I would think that the deaths from frostbite in the winter blizzards are included among the sick. That, I think, stands as a remarkable record of evacuation and survival in a theatre of notoriously unhygienic conditions, in which the most ferocious fighting imaginable occurred.  A success story of sorts.

 

Now look at the Ottoman record ....it seems grotesque in comparison.

 

The figures I have are 21,498 deaths from disease, and 64,440 sick who recovered.

 

I wonder if Emre or Steve might have more reliable sources for the Turks....the figures I’ve cited are hard to accept.

 

Phil

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David26
11 hours ago, stevebecker said:

David,

 

Yes mate the call for men forced the Ottomans to draw in there 2nd line and three line troops (Reserve and Milita).

 

There were shortages of weapons, and the Ottoman Army had Mauser 1903 and older 1887 both with different ammo.

 

They also had Martini Henry & Martini Peabody types from 1870's, in those non front line troops, but called to the colors during the fighting.

 

I also show some Winchester Rifles with Ottoman Troops and some different Carbines with the Cavalry.

 

All these guns had different bullets which made resupply hard?

 

S.B

 

Sorry this popped up and I can't get rid of it, my Turkish is not hat good to see if its of any use?

12345.jpg

 

Steve,

 

thanks for that about the various rile types - that makes complete sense. 

 

David.

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stevebecker
Posted (edited)

David,

 

That's why I get concern about the MG's at the Landings debate.

 

With the whole sale lack of any extra arms in the Ottoman empire, due to there losses in the last Balkan War, and the Third Armies defeat during late 1914, and the call to arms for all the countries men, there was just not enough weapons to arm the men, and more then that, the lack of many modern weapons.

 

Most MG companies had less then the 4 (four) MG's that the ToE said they should have, and rifles and ammo was a problem.

 

Most Rifles, MG's and Guns were of an older types, and until the rail link with Germany was open, there just was not the modern weapons around.

 

So yes the Ottoman empire was open to invasion, so why did we fail?

 

Your right, the whole so called Gallipoli campaign was about the high Ground, and who controled it.

 

At Helles and Anzac and at Suvla we all went to the high ground and the slaughter went on.

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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