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german loses at gallipoli


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hello friends

will any of our german members give me information as to the amount of germans who fought and died at the helles front?

regards

william

There were a few German and Austrian units there. The largest German unit was a German volunteer pioneer company (in which my father served). It originally was 200 men, and almost immediately they had 80% casualties, but mostly sickness, and they were supplied with replacements, including my father, who himself got malaria there. I don't think that they had many dead. I think that they mostly served as technical advisors; the Turkish pioneers were quite deficient, technically.

There also were some small MG units formed from German naval volunteers from the Goeben and Brestlau. I think that they had a high proportion of dead, in part as I believe that they tended to be killed when they were overrun. My guess is that these were platoon-sized detachments.

There were a good number of German officers in the command structure, probably several hundred, and I am sure that a number were casualties.

Finally, in November, I believe, two Austrian batteries arrived, a battery of 24 cm mortars for the ANZAC front and a battery of 15 cm howitzers which were sent to the southern beachhead. Additionally, German-manufactured artillery ammunition arrived which actually was likely to explode upon impact, in contrast to the Turkish-manufactured artillery shells, which tended to fire, but not explode. My father watched the 24 cm mortars in action and he felt that they were very effective. A high-ranking Austrian officer on the spot reported that the Germans were planning on bringing 20 batteries of heavy artillery to the penninsula, which I would think would have been a very bad bit of business for the Allies. I do not have any hard information on the casualties suffered by the two Austrian batteries, I have evidence that they were nil to light.

I would guess that in total the Germans may have suffered 30-50 dead, only a guess. I know a serving German officer who has Turkish and who studies this topic at depth; I could possibly write him and ask for his estimate. The actual details on this topic are very hard to come by.

Bob Lembke

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Fred;

Just by coincidence this morning I was reading a book by Joseph Pomiankowski, former Austrian Lieutenant-Field Marshal and Austrio-Hungarian Military Plenipotentiary to Turkey, and I just came across a paragraph which is the most detailed accounting of the number of Germans in Turkey, as of Novenber 1915, that I have ever seen. I think that the total was 5500, but most were munitions workers and arsenal workers, not soldiers. However, the only unit he specifically placed at Gallipoli was "a Prussian Sappers Company", i.e., my father's unit. However, surprisingly, he stated that there were 1500 Naval Infantry in Turkey. If correct, they cound not all have been from the Goeben and Breslau, as that would have stripped those ships bare. About that time the Breslau went into drydock and some sailors not needed for the overhaul were allowed to volunteer for a brief tour at Gallipoli as infantry; one of the ship's officers was killed by a head-shot on such a tour. But I would guess that the total crew of the Breslau, a light cruiser, was only about 6-700. I don't think that there was anything like 1500 German naval infantry at Gallipoli; I would guess more like 100-200. But I really don't know. I have seen statements that state that the pioneer company was the largest German formation there, and they were 200 strong briefly, and probably 100-150 thereafter, even with replacements.

The book so far has not said a word about casualties.

Bob Lembke

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Fred;

Just did a search to see about the availability of this book on the market, looked at a couple of systems that cover about 100,000,000 used books, and I found exactly one available, but in Italian. Fortunately my wife's super library has a copy. I would be 99.99% sure that it never was translated into English, even without researching the question..

Bob Lembke

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quote from Bob; About that time the Breslau went into drydock and some sailors not needed for the overhaul were allowed to volunteer for a brief tour at Gallipoli as infantry; one of the ship's officers was killed by a head-shot on such a tour. But I would guess that the total crew of the Breslau, a light cruiser, was only about 6-700.

Actually about half that Bob (if this web site is correct) - see Magdeburg Class Light Cruisers, SMS Breslau Built Vulcan, Stettin, laid down 1910, completed May 1912, cost 7,961,000 Marks.

Comments: First German light cruisers with belt armour. They were also longitudinally framed for the first time in a German cruiser. Crew 354.

from http://www.worldwar1.co.uk/cruisers/sms-magdeberg.html

Once again FD has come up with a great topic - Thanks William

And thanks for all the info Bob

I will follow this with interest

Best regards to all

Michael

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No casualty figures here,

but the guesses at numbers employed as given in the

'Handbook of the Turkish Army (Feb) 1916' by the Intelligence Section, Cairo

indicate that the Fortress Troops were well bolstered with Germans - see page 206

"Dardanelles

Eight battalions Fortress Artillery with German auxiliaries 400 or 500 strong, who were sent there in September and October 1914.

(?) Fortress Engineer battalions also stiffened by Germans

(?) Submarine mining companies, largely German; the latter sent to the Dardanelles in September 1914"

The Bosphorus also had "Five battalions of Fortress Artillery, with 600 to 700 Germans, Constantinople, October 1914"

but of course the allies never got that far (except for the odd submarine)

Under Manufacturing Establishments the German were thought to be well represented at

Admiralty Arsenal, Galata - 3,000 workers , of whom 384 were German

Anatolian Railway Co's Workshops at Eskishehir, Anatolia (making shell & SAA) - "mostly Germans, numbers given vary"

German S.S. General moored in Golden Horn making shell – "All German"

Oriental Railway Co's Engineering Works at Yedikule (Stambul) making shell, SAA and repairs to guns and rifles - "Germans, Austro-Hungarians and Turks"

Tramways Co's Workshops at Shishli, Pera, making shell, SAA and repairs to guns and rifles - "Germans, Austro-Hungarians and Turks"

"The total number of Germans employed in these factories is believed to be over 1,200"

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Michael;

Re the light cruiser; I am not a naval guy, but you are right, those little cruisers are more like destroyers, and 600-700 crew is clearly an overstatement. My point is that the crew, and the Goeben, could not spare 1500 naval infantry, nor a fraction.

It is really hard to research in this area. Your intelligence manual sounds very interesting; could you provide a citation? Although I suspect that it would be something that might only be found in the UK.

However, the detailed numbers of armory workers are probably too low. Pomiankowski's figures indicate more. The numbers are not right at hand; I could post them later. It could be observed that agents in Istanbul, if persistant, could probably come down with fairly accurate numbers for these workers.

On the other hand, I think that the numbers of actual troops are much too high. I read everything that I can about Gallipoli in German, and I cannot recall ever even hearing about some of these supposed categories of troops. When the war started the German Military Mission in Turkey had about 500 men. It was very hard to send anyone else. I have seen an authentic order calling for needed men to be sent singly, with the ID of Red Cross workers. I have no idea where these hundreds and hundreds of soldiers would have gotten there, unless the movement in 1914 was a lot easier. Again, leading authorities like, I believe, Liman von Sanders stated that the 200 man pioneer company was the largest German formation there. Lt.-Field Marshal Pomiankowski must have had a good idea of the numbers of German troops in the area. He was there for years. And he would have had little reason to mis-state this stuff after the war.

Likewise, your source is a war-time intelligence estimate from the other side, something that makes the authority of the source somewhat questionable. It would be a lot harder for spies to work in the military zone and get details on military units. Additionally, I am sure that the Allies were embarrassed when the Turks did not collapse when they landed, it might be human nature to gild the lily as to how many German troops there were assisting the Turks.

Please do not misunderstand me. I am really happy to learn of another source on these matters.

What is a "submarine mining company"? A unit to plant naval mines?

Bob Lembke

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Hi, You may want to look at this thread:

 

See also this thread about German Naval MGs at Gallipoli

 

God Bless

Helen

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Helen,

Thanks for those reminders

Bob,

No misunderstandings here; I did say in opening that these were "guesses" -

that's the nature of most intelligence and some guesses will be better or worse than others

You should be able to get the book in the US, indeed my copy was printed there

It's a joint production between the IWM and The Battery Press, Nashville together with Articles of War Ltd., Skokie

Originally Feb 1916, this reprint came out in 1996

IBSN: 0-89839-249-7 [this one is that of The Battery Press, Inc. (the IWM number is not the same)]

Regarding the quality of the intelligence

It should have been good (which is not quite the same as saying that it was!)

Don't forget that for several years the French had supplied the chief of police and the British a Naval Mission under Admiral Limpus

Limpus did not leave Turkey until September 1914 so he should have had up to date info

Liman's mission numbered 42 per the contract, but he admits that it rose to 70 just before the war. At the end of the war, he says that the German Mission had handled the papers of "more that 800 German officers, medical officers and officials present in Turkey"

He adds that the Germans also supplied directors and instructors for the "school of fire in Constantinople for infantry, field artillery and coast artillery, and cavalry non-commissioned officers' school in Ajas Agar ... ... we established an officers' school of equitation and a school for the instruction of trains."

With direct relation to the Gallipoli campaign, in the late fall of 1914 the German Admiral von Usedom was "made inspector general of coast artillery and mines. Later he was given supreme command of the fortified straits of the Bosporus and of the Dardanelles" So far I have not found mention of the size of his staff

I am not sure that this has made it any easier to judge the numbers involved in the Gallipoli Campaign. The Turks no doubt wished to play down the part played by the Germans and the A-H, but what, if any, agenda Liman had I cannot say.

'Submarine Miners'

The Royal Marines also had these for anti-submarine mine defences. In the case of the RM they became part of the Fortress Defence Troops "to prevent access to certain ports on the east coast of England and Scotland which could not be protected by booms or where additional protection to the booms was needed." The conditions in the Dardanelles must have been very similar.

The mines were not 'contact' detonated but rather were fired (via cable I imagine) based on observation. Later in the war this became more sophisticated with the introduction of hydrophones to listen for enemy submarines

best regards

Michael

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Liman's mission numbered 42 per the contract, but he admits that it rose to 70 just before the war. At the end of the war, he says that the German Mission had handled the papers of "more that 800 German officers, medical officers and officials present in Turkey"

He adds that the Germans also supplied directors and instructors for the "school of fire in Constantinople for infantry, field artillery and coast artillery, and cavalry non-commissioned officers' school in Ajas Agar ... ... we established an officers' school of equitation and a school for the instruction of trains."

With direct relation to the Gallipoli campaign, in the late fall of 1914 the German Admiral von Usedom was "made inspector general of coast artillery and mines. Later he was given supreme command of the fortified straits of the Bosporus and of the Dardanelles" So far I have not found mention of the size of his staff

I am not sure that this has made it any easier to judge the numbers involved in the Gallipoli Campaign. The Turks no doubt wished to play down the part played by the Germans and the A-H, but what, if any, agenda Liman had I cannot say.

There generally were small numbers of men involved, as the above states, directors and some instructors. I have seen photocopies of German diplomatic cables, which were used to transmit German military messages from Constantinople to Berlin, discussing transports of men to Turkey; they were miniscule; the two detailed were 11 men and five men, each headed by a named NCO. Another order mentioned a few men who were needed, and they were ordered to be sent singly, each man with false ID identifying him as a health worker. My father described his journey to Turkey; he had to turn in his uniform, was given money to buy his own civilian clothes, and he and a few men snuck in civvies thru the Balkans; additionally it probably required the bribery of Romanian officials. The Intelligence manual you cited (which I am going to try to obtain) mentions hundreds and hundreds of German soldiers stiffening various Turkish formations. They simply did not have those numbers of EM/OR available, in particular the specialist troop types mentioned.

I have been wondering about the figure of 1500 naval infantry (for all of Turkey) that Lt.-Field Marshal Pomiankowski gave, plus the numbers of arsenal workers, wondering where those numbers came from, and I just now thought that there must have been a number of German merchant ships and even a small liner or two in the area and in the Black Sea at the outbreak of war, and that these must have eventually collected at Constantinople, and their crews in large part may have been called to the colors. These could form naval infantry or provide workers, but not fortress artillery men or engineers; you would want trained experienced men as instructors and "stiffening" cadre.

'Submarine Miners'

The Royal Marines also had these for anti-submarine mine defences. In the case of the RM they became part of the Fortress Defence Troops "to prevent access to certain ports on the east coast of England and Scotland which could not be protected by booms or where additional protection to the booms was needed." The conditions in the Dardanelles must have been very similar.

The mines were not 'contact' detonated but rather were fired (via cable I imagine) based on observation. Later in the war this became more sophisticated with the introduction of hydrophones to listen for enemy submarines

I have read a lot from Central Power sources, and also English and French sources on the naval assault, and I have never seen anything suggesting such a weapon used there. Additionally, three years ago I spent part of a day carefully going thru the exhibits of the Naval Museum on the European shore of the Bospurus in Istanbul, which had a lot of material on the mine barrages in the battle, and there was no indication of this sort of weapon being available.

best regards

Michael

indicate that the Fortress Troops were well bolstered with Germans - see page 206

"Dardanelles

Eight battalions Fortress Artillery with German auxiliaries 400 or 500 strong, who were sent there in September and October 1914.

(?) Fortress Engineer battalions also stiffened by Germans

(?) Submarine mining companies, largely German; the latter sent to the Dardanelles in September 1914"

First of all I have never heard of the Germans even having such troops, although they may well have. Assuming that the Germans did have these troops and weapons, and that they decided to rush them to the Dardanelles, how on earth would they have gotten there? It is one thing to have groups of 5 or 10 or 20 men in civvies snuck thru on rail trains, without weapons or military kit, with Romanian border officials paid off to not notice the military hair cuts, but hundreds of men bringing in say 100 tons of 600 lb. naval mines? Would be noticable on a civilian passenger train. The Romanians were neutral but hostile to the Germans. The situation was so bad that there were efforts to fly artillery fuzes in, despite the distances and the primitive state of aviation at that time.

Incidentally, I think that the Turks were, in part, using recycled Allied naval mines in the Dardanelles, due to their shortages. Not sure here.

The Bosphorus also had "Five battalions of Fortress Artillery, with 600 to 700 Germans, Constantinople, October 1914"

but of course the allies never got that far (except for the odd submarine)

Again, hundreds and hundreds of Germans. They simply wern't there.

We also have to remember the terrible state of the Turkish Army after the multiple Balkan Wars a couple of years before. For example, supposedly, the Turkish Engineers had lost every one of their bridging pontoons in the Balkans. I believe that the army used 16 models of rifles, and a single infantry company would be using several different rifles.

Bob Lembke

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You'll enjoy the book Bob, I hope that you find it alright

please remember quote: "No misunderstandings here; I did say in opening that these were 'guesses' -

that's the nature of most intelligence and some guesses will be better or worse than others"

I cannot see ref to 16 sorts of rifles, but it does refer to the following:

Autumn 1914 - it was believed that the Turks had about

500,000 7.65 Mauser rifles, and about

200,000 9.5mm Mausers

it also possessed perhaps 500,000 Matini-Henry & Martini-Peabody rifles

but many of these (370,000) were old, dating from 1877-78

They also had Remingtons and Winchesters, but little ammunition for them

re pontoons

14 pontoon sections, of which 9 were in 1914 around Adrianople

[a footnote informs that there may be more, but that only 14 were definitely known to exist]

each section was provided with 25 metres of bridging equipment

regards

Michael

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I don't have the book to hand, so I can't easily give you a page citation, but Liman von Sanders, in his book, wrote an interesting section, some pages long, where he went into the state of the Turkish Army methodically, discussing it branch by branch. I believe that that is where I read that they had 16 types of rifles. Presumably many of these 16 types only existed in smaller numbers, but it does suggest the many problems that they faced. Likewise, I suspect that the whole Turkish Army in 1915 might have had only a few hundred MGs, but these seem to have been a variety of types.

I do know that that was where I read about the bridging equipment; in the section about the state of the engineers he stated that they lost all of their bridging material in the Balkan wars. It also stated that due to an almost complete lack of blasting material none of them had been trained in demolitions.

Liman von Sanders, as head of the Military Mission and then as CO of the 5th Army fighting at Gallipoli, certainly was in a good place to know these things; then, having lost the war, and writing after the war, would have little reason to be deeceptive about these details. But I would imagine that the weirder types of rifles, for example, were sent off to somewhere else than the vital Gallipoli front.

Bob Lembke

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When considering the German-Ottoman relationship I think that it would be a mistake to assume that it started from square one with the outbreak of war on 29th October 1914. Nor should it be assumed once the conflict had started that the Ottoman Empire was entirely cut off from all sides. There was a period of difficulty at the beginning of the war, but even Liman notes that throughout, grain was able to be brought in through "Roumanian ports and the Black Sea" and if grain, then why not other material too. The period of the land 'blockade' only lasted until late 1915 and it was ended thus "after the conquest of Serbia had opened the road to Central Europe. 160 [artillery pieces] were believed by the Greek General Staff to have arrived by December 12, 1915 at Constantinople, and it may be fairly presumed that 200 had arrived by the end of the year. Moreover, the advent of many trainloads of ammunition and the expansion of Turkish factories under German auspices enabled the Turks to increase their artillery strength without dread of a shortage of shell." (from the Handbook's Appendix VII 'C' - a similar increase in machine guns was also noted at this time)

ps: regarding the expansion of Turkish artillery and shell supplies at the end of 1915

The Turkish attack on 7th January 1916 was preceded by "two hours of preparation by the heaviest artillery fire and the explosion of mines" (Liman)

The British OH also notes "it was described by the old hands ... as the heaviest shelling they had ever seen on the peninsula"

However, we have strayed somewhat from FD's original question - German casualties - apologies to William

Though my dipping into Liman's book has not been in vain here for he mentions at least one death - Colonel von Leipzig, the German Military Attaché "lost his life by an accident in returning from the Dardanelles in June 1915"

Regards

Michael

Edited by michaeldr
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I don't want to sound like a broken record, but would like to take a further pass at the question as to how many men and how much material was getting thru to Gallipoli and Turkey generally. The former is one of the original two questions. I will be commenting on some points from Michael; I don't want to sound as if I am quibbling; I personally have learned a lot from Michael's posts. The Spousal Unit is back from Vermont and will be working at obtaining the intelligence manual.

Michael wrote:

When considering the German-Ottoman relationship I think that it would be a mistake to assume that it started from square one with the outbreak of war on 29th October 1914. Nor should it be assumed once the conflict had started that the Ottoman Empire was entirely cut off from all sides. There was a period of difficulty at the beginning of the war, but even Liman notes that throughout, grain was able to be brought in through "Roumanian ports and the Black Sea" and if grain, then why not other material too.

Indeed. I had not noticed, in Liman, that they were getting grain from Roumanian ports, or at least they were until Romania declared open warfare on Germany and Turkey. (At this time I believe they were negotiating with the Allies as to the size of their rewards when they did so.) Their restrictions and vigilance got worse as the war continued. You have to read the comments of officials who had to negotiate and bribe the Romanians, or from people who got thru. If they were getting grain from Romania via sea I would guess that it was Romanian grain, sold, I am sure, at a stiff price. But that is far different from allowing the transit shipping of howitzers or artillery ammunition. (I could go into detail on the extreme tricks that were used or considered in order to ship ammunition thru. One was an almost suicidal run by Admiral Horthy and his fast light cruiser thru the British/French fleet and then the submarines and mines inside the Straits. Risking the almost certian loss of one of the finest ships and officers in the hard-pressed Austrian Adriatic fleet to get a relatively small amount of ammunition would not have been considered if they could simply ship same through Romania.

The period of the land 'blockade' only lasted until late 1915 and it was ended thus "after the conquest of Serbia had opened the road to Central Europe. 160 [artillery pieces] were believed by the Greek General Staff to have arrived by December 12, 1915 at Constantinople, and it may be fairly presumed that 200 had arrived by the end of the year. Moreover, the advent of many trainloads of ammunition and the expansion of Turkish factories under German auspices enabled the Turks to increase their artillery strength without dread of a shortage of shell." (from the Handbook's Appendix VII 'C' - a similar increase in machine guns was also noted at this time)

ps: regarding the expansion of Turkish artillery and shell supplies at the end of 1915

The Turkish attack on 7th January 1916 was preceded by "two hours of preparation by the heaviest artillery fire and the explosion of mines" (Liman)

The British OH also notes "it was described by the old hands ... as the heaviest shelling they had ever seen on the peninsula"

Two events are being considered here. Serbija finally fell in about the fall of 1915. But they had done such a thorough job destroying the rails, bridges, etc. that after frantic work the first train was able to run thru into Turkey in mid-February 1916. Until that date moving material to Turkey was still extremely difficult. It was first considered to send the famous 30.5 cm Austrian Moto-Moerser, and a battery of 15 cm howitzers, but an advance party studied the route and the bridges and roads were in such a state that it was decided to send the much lighter 24 cm Moto-Moerser. Assuming that the latter had the same propulsive system, these guns broke down into several parts (and were accompanied with a mobile crane) and were mounted on a train of special vehicles designed by Dr. Ferdinand Porsche for rather high-speed travel, with some cross-country capability. Probably for this reason, the heavier 24 cm guns got to Gallipoli weeks before the 15 cm guns, which were also pulled by motor vehicles, but of a less advanced design. (Think of it! "Limber by Porsche".)

At this time some German artillery ammunition was also getting thru, ammunition that would most likely explode on impact. I doubt that it was "many trainloads" until well into 1916, no matter what the Greek General Staff told the British. Lt.-Field Marshal Pomiankowski detailed a lot of this activity and the difficulties. He travelled extensively about Turkey and surrounding theatres by auto, steamer, and horseback; just read his account of a visit to Baghdad; one could only hope that more recent leaders had read his account of that lovely trip and place.

However, we have strayed somewhat from FD's original question - German casualties - apologies to William

Though my dipping into Liman's book has not been in vain here for he mentions at least one death - Colonel von Leipzig, the German Military Attaché "lost his life by an accident in returning from the Dardanelles in June 1915"

I believe that he was buried in the garden of the German Ambassador in Istanbut, alongside two other leaders, including the previous German Ambassador. Not a healthy area for a westerner".

Regards

Michael

Bob

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Am plowing thru Pomiankowski, the more I read it the more I like it, 444 pages with lots of information. Author was on a tour of inspection with other top dogs, and in a train station they run into Gen. Townshend being taken under escort to Istanbul; he asks to have a conversation with Enver Pasha, and they talk a good while. (Have to read carefully, sounds like Townshend was trying to protect his reputation from Russian accusations. Something complicated.) Then in a few pages he is on an inspection trip to Galicia with Enver Pasha to see Turkish troops there, then visits with Austrian crown prince Karl and the King and Crown Prince of Bulgaria, and then on to Pless to interact with Hindenburg, Ludendorff, and the Kaiser. On pages 240-48 a detailed discussion of the state of the Turkish Army, rough. The 5th Army, not in combat for a year, I think, 20,000 men sick at any one time, 50-200 men dead of illness a day, officers not paid in 4 months, horses had 1/4 the feed they needed, etc.

Interesting observation that Liman von Sanders strongly opposed Enver Pasha sending three army corps to help in Galicia and against Salonika and Romania; he felt that the Turks needed them at home, especially on the Eastern Front (of Turkey, not in Russia above the Black Sea.) Interesting point of him promoting Turkish interests over purely German interests.

Really quite a book. Poking about in some Turkish material recently, unfortunately in Turkish (a killer), they cite Pomiankowski a lot. He seemed to be very able.

Bob Lembke

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I have been PMed and asked for a proper citation for the book I have been citing. It is:

Pomiankowski, Joseph; Der Zusammenbrucht des Ottomanischen Reiches - Erinnerungen an die Tuerkei aus der Zeit des Weltkrieges, Amalthea-Verlag, Zurich-Leipzig-Wein, 1928, 444 Seiten. (444 pages) Also lots of photos; I suspect the author might have had a personal photographer. Their quality is quite poor, although they are quite interesting.

Without researching the question, I would be 99% sure that it never was translated into English. However, there was an Italian edition published in Milano in 1934.

Bob Lembke

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Regarding the Germans involved in manufacturing:

Galata, Golden Horn, Yedikule and Pera are all areas of Constantinople and easily accessible by spies and diplomats.

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My point exactly. The manufacturing effort was centered in Istanbul (when did the Turks start using Istanbul? The Germans were still saying Konstantinopel.), and it would be fairly easy for spies and diplomats, and all between, to cosy about and get an idea as to what was going on, how many "western" workers were coming and going, etc. But in the military units, mostly away at restricted military zones (wern't all civilians evacuated from the Gallipoli area?), it would be very hard to penetrate these areas, and if caught would not be a fun situation. There also might be a tendency, when selling the Brits "intelligence", to "gild the lily", to enhance the numbers a bit, for the info to seem more valuable. At any rate, the numbers of german workers in the industrial activities reported in the British intelligence report may actually be a bit low, compared to Pomiankowski's figures, while the numbers of German soldiers attached to Turkish units are clearly overstated.

One factor might be assigning "Germanness" to some troops. I have repeatedly heard that, even when the Brits or ANZACs captured a Turkish officer, they often believed that they were German, due to better dress, a more refined air, possibly a lighter complexion or other signs of a higher socio-economic status. There certainly were too many reports of "German officers" captured or killed. If that were the case even when the prisoner was in hand, I would think that it might apply when elite, better-drilled troops were observed at a distance.

Bob Lembke

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I have been PMed and asked for a proper citation for the book I have been citing. It is:

Pomiankowski, Joseph; Der Zusammenbrucht des Ottomanischen Reiches - Erinnerungen an die Tuerkei aus der Zeit des Weltkrieges, Amalthea-Verlag, Zurich-Leipzig-Wein, 1928, 444 Seiten. (444 pages) Also lots of photos; Bob Lembke

Thanks Bob

Peter

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quote: when did the Turks start using Istanbul? The Germans were still saying Konstantinopel

1453 or very soon after

It officially became Istanbul after the foundation of the Republic in 1923.

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Reading thru Pomiankowski; interesting material on Gen. Townshead in Istanbul; supposedly was able to wander the city and dine in the finest restaurants. Author says that the Turkish attitude was that once a prisoner, you were no longer the enemy. Said that the Turks let captured English officers "vacation" in the capital, and wander about, until the German ambassador complained to the Turkish government. This does raise the question if the care of the EM/OR prisoners was as benign as that of these officer prisoners. He did state that the provisions for the English OR POWs was better than that of the Turkish rank and file, which may not be saying much. It was a very unhealthy place, and several of the very top German leaders died of disease there. Elsewhere P. stated, while on one of his many tours of inspection, that the biggest bottleneck in building the vital railroad over the Taurus was a labor shortage. I have read an account by a Jaeger unit passing that way that there were Caucasian POWs working on the railroad there. A miserable spot to be an officer, worse to be serving there as an EM/OR, and really bad to be there as a POW.

I earlier cited that in late 1916, the Turkish 5th Army, P. cited the Army losing 50-200 men to disease a day. The unit was not fighting, might still be under Liman von Sander's command, and might still have special support detachments detailed to it, and that sounds, very roughly, that the death rate was equivilent to a quarter of the Army dying per annum of illness.

Bob Lembke

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quote: "Though my dipping into Liman's book has not been in vain here for he mentions at least one death - Colonel von Leipzig, the German Military Attaché "lost his life by an accident in returning from the Dardanelles in June 1915" "

One of the RN officers writing in the Naval Review about his experiences at the Dardanelles refers to this incident [surely it can only be a rumour which he heard] saying that the attaché had been 'shot'

As Liman refers to it as an 'accident' one presumes that he was shot accidentally by an over zealous Turk who mistook him for one of the invaders

regards

Michael

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Hi William et all,

probably I can provide some answers to your question. My background are four'ish years in Istanbul as an supporting officer in a Turkish corps staff. In that time my interest with Gallipoli started and in particular the role of Germany and German officers, NCO's and soldiers during the campaign. In a couple of weeks my book "Gallipoli 1915" will be published with the German view on the campaign. The German losses were in my particular focus, even if I firstly thought that all were burried in Istanbul - Tarabya. The truth is, that from the approx KIA Germans on the Gallipoli peninsula only four soldiers were recovered and transferred to Tarabya. The rest of approx 80 soldiers are still sharing their last rest in the soil of Gallipoli with the other thousands of Turkish and Allied missed soldiers.

Between August 1914 and October 1918 in the area of Istanbul, the Black Sea, Gallipoli and the Aegean Sea (without the Palastine and Anatolian theatres!)around the Dardanelles 533 Germans died due to diseases or where KIA. The numbers of WIA or those, who were send home are around 800 - 900 men. Totally strength of all units (Military Mission in Istanbul, Sonderkommando Marine, Mittelmeerdivision, support for factories, Pionierkompanie) were around 3000 men but under a constant personal change due to losses.

I can send to all, who are interested the list of the 533 losses (KIA or died by names and places) because ot it's seize of 253kb I can't post it.

The only liable sources of this research were the list of losses from the units itself, for example the Landungsabteilung, which was the only formation, which were fighting in the Helles sector from the 3rd May 1915. For that reason I can give you the exact number an places of the German navy infantry men, who died or where wounded in this area. Later in June and August this formation was also fighting in the Ariburnu sector and later at the Suvla front. Between May and September the Landungsabteilung lost 17 men KIA and 54 WIA. The firstly arrived with approx 40 men but were reinforced several times up to 240 soldiers. The lost men an machine guns were replaced by the Mittelmeerdivision.

The Pionierkompanie (Bob told about it) came in June 1915 with the task to support the trench warfare. This formation came without none any national support and in small groups from Germany. As they arrived most of them became sick and after a short time more than half of the 220men were sent home or died of their diseases. There are no comprehensive documents about this formation left.

A large toll payed the crew of the light cruiser Breslau of Midilli, of whom 336 died on 20th January 1918 close to Lemnos after the Mittelmeerdivision left the Dardanelles and both ships were strocked by mines - the Breslau sunk.

Most of the documents are in the archives of the German Military Archives and the Foreign Ministery in Berlin.

Other Germans died due to diseases (mainly Typhus) or accidents in the hospitals in Istanbul. By the way - Colonel Erich von Leipzig, the German military attaché in Istanbul died in a train in Uzunköprü 28. June 1915 from a bullet of his own pistol - was it suicide, homocide or an accident - nobody knows.

Best regards

Klaus

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