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Turkey In World War II

Discussion in 'WWII General' started by JCFalkenbergIII, Feb 19, 2008.

  1. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    After reading this I was wondering. How much of a effect do you think Turkey would have made if they had come in on the side of the Axis? Or the Allies, but not at the last few months of the war?

    "The Turks, although neutral, were courted by both Germany and the Allies. They staunchly maintained their neutrality to the end of the war, giving haven to Germans escaping the Russian Juggernaut in Bulgaria and Romania in 1944, and from the Allies in Greece in 1944-45.
    Of course their surrendered Kar. 98K's and other equipment were immediately absorbed by the Turkish Army."


    "The Turks had a dilemma as World War II approached. On the one hand, they had made a great deal of progress toward becoming a modern secular nation. Entering the war on either side would put that progress at risk. On the other hand, the Turks had lost a great deal of territory at the end of World War I. In the Middle East, they lost territory which today is Iraq, Syria, Jordan, Israel, and part of Saudi Arabia. In the Mediterranean, the Italians seized islands along the Turkish coast, some as close as 3 miles away from the mainland. A strong current of Turkish political thought said that World War II was an opportunity to take those territories back. The question was: which territories did they go for? The Italian-held islands were an affront to Turkey. On the other hand, England ran (directly or indirectly) former Turkish territory in Iraq, Jordan, and Palestine. France held Syria and Lebanon. Turkey was also interested in regaining influence and/or territory in Turkish-speaking areas of the Soviet Union. Turkey could swing toward the allies and try to recover the Mediterranean islands, or it could swing toward the Axis and try to recover lost areas in the Middle East. After the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, Turkey also had the option of trying to exploit that war to reach its goals in the Soviet Union.

    Throughout the war, the Allies and Axis were very aware of Turkey's potential role. At various times both sides offered fairly major incentives to bring the Turks in. A couple of times it looked like they were about to succeed."

    http://members.aol.com/dalecoz/ww2_0998.htm
     
  2. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    If Turkey decided to go against the SU they would have the same abilities and effect of a second Romania. And I suppose the Caucasus would be as impassable as before to large bodies of troops, so not much of a show there either.
     
  3. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    A little more info I found,

    "Armed Forces: In 1938 the Turkish standing army had 20 000 officers and 174 000 men. Military service lasted for three years. In 1939 the Turkish army was administrationally divided into three army inspectorates, nine corps, and one military governorship; the country's armed forces were composed of 20 infantry divisions, three brigades of mountain troops, one fortress brigade, and five cavalry divisions (including two reserve cavalry divisions) - altogether 132 regiments (60 infantry, six mountain troops, 21 cavalry, eight reserve cavalry, 20 field artillery, 10 heavy artillery, and seven fortress artillery). In early 1941 Turkey established 17 corps headquarters, 43 divisions and three independent infantry brigades, two divisions and one independent cavalry brigade, as well as two mechanized divisions. The armed forces were poorly equipped; weapons shipments from Germany, Great Britain, and U.S. did little to improve that condition. Just before the onset of hostilities the Turkish navy underwent a program of expansion and modernization; two submarines were ordered for construction in Germany, two submarines and four destroyers were ordered for construction in U.K. Lesser vessels were also constructed in home shipyards. After Germany delivered one submarine in 1939, the Turkish navy contained 19 naval vessels and they included one armoured ship, one line cruiser, two light cruisers, two torpedo-boats, four destroyers, five submarines, and four other lesser ships (most vessels were obsolete); with a total displacement of 55 775 tonnes (the number of naval personnel stood at 9 200). The real combat value of the navy was insignificant. By the end of WWII, the navy had one battle cruiser, two cruisers, two gunboats, three minesweepers, eight destroyers, 12 submarines, three motor torpedo boats, five minelayers, a surveying vessel, a depot ship, a fleet tug, a collier, and an oiler. By 1940 the Turkish air force was composed of four air regiments (each regiment contained six air companies), and had in possession a total of 370 aircraft (it had 8 500 personnel). Thanks to British and French shipments one more air regiment, along with five independent air wings, was formed in 1941. Shipments of military equipment from Germany replaced the shipments from Allied countries in the same year. Close to the end of the war, two air force divisions were organized; they together contained 15 air wings (or 30 flights). The Turkish armed forces did not participated in any military operations of WWII. "

    The Armed Forces of WWII ( Near East ).
     
  4. clems

    clems Member

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    Turkey entered war in february 1945, no ?

    Because it was said that the allies would have an important role in the UN so many countries declared war to Germany.
     
  5. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Did you know here were Turkish volunteers in the RAF ? I don't remember where I read that but there was at least a small group.
     
  6. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    Quite a few jumped on the band wagon at the last minute to get the benefits.
     
  7. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    To be truthful I wouldn't be surprised. It seems that both sides were willing to take "Volunteers". Anyone LOL. What is interesting is that quite a few of the "What if" people who like to that Turkey would help turn the tide seem to not take into consideration just the logistics side of having to arm the Turks. At first all they would really be able to provide is bodies and you would still have to provide them with more modern weapons and equipment.
     
  8. Kai-Petri

    Kai-Petri Kenraali

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    https://turkishdailynews.com.tr/archives.php?id=31792

    ....the story of the visit made by Sukru Saracoglu, the then Minister of Foreign Affairs, and his delegation to Moscow in May 1939. This visit was the result of a suggestion made by the Deputy Commissar of the Soviets, Mr. Potemkin, while he was in Ankara. The purpose of the Moscow visit was to elicit the possibilities for providing arms and armaments for the Turkish Armed Forces.

    In May 1939 the Ankara Government was also negotiating with the British on the same subject. Saracoglu and his delegation took a boat from Istanbul to Odessa, then travelled on to Moscow for negotiations with the Soviet Foreign Commissar, the famous Molotov. As Faik Ahmet bey recounts, "the first and second meetings were to conclude with exchanges of information about the possible agreement of Turkey with Britain. There was, however, no mention made of the main subject by the Soviet side, as Saracoglu explained to the Parliamentarians."

    "The third meeting was presided over by the Soviet leader Stalin himself, with Saracoglu sitting on his right and Molotov on his left. Stalin was oddly suggesting that the Turkish delegation had come to Moscow on their own initiative, disregarding the conversations with Potemkin in Ankara. This annoyed Saracoglu and he corrected this erroneous impression by referring to the invitation Potemkin had made in Ankara. What a shock it was, and how humiliating for the Soviet side. Molotov was silent."

    "Stalin finally opened the subject of the agreement Turkey was about to sign with the French and British. The Russians were proposing changes in the agreement. Stalin underlined an important point: in case Germany was attacked, the Russians would not counterattack Germany. More importantly, Stalin proposed to negotiate another agreement with Turkey about the status of the Straits, to reconfirm the Montreux Agreement."

    As Faik Ahmet bey noted, "The real intention of the Soviets was to acquire a "de facto" position as to the legal status of the Straits in case of war."

    "Foreign Minister Saracoglu, as expected, immediately opposed this proposal. Stalin asked him to relay the Russian offer to President Ismet Inonu, adding such compliments as "It was Ismet Inonu who ingeniously solved the difficulties at the last minute in Montreux. I am sure he will find a solution to that problem too," but Saracoglu was adamant. He refused the Soviet proposal categorically. The session ended in suspense, waiting for Ankara's response. That was the end of the Moscow visit."
     
  9. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    The fact remains that The Soviets did at least sell tanks to the Turks (T-26, big deal ;) ). Speaking of Turks, didn't Kerem finish his military service already? What of him?
     
  10. Slipdigit

    Slipdigit Good Ol' Boy Staff Member Patron   WW2|ORG Editor

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    I haven't seen him in a while. Wonder if he was called back up after the recent altercations.
     
  11. JCFalkenbergIII

    JCFalkenbergIII Expert

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    The Turks also recieved some military equipment from Germany. Fw-190s and PZ IVs.
     
  12. Za Rodinu

    Za Rodinu Aquila non capit muscas

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    http://www.angelfire.com/pokemon2/kumdereli/turkey2.html
    Nazi Gold: Turkey and Argentina
    http://www.state.gov/www/regions/eur/rpt_9806_ng_turkey.pdf (mind, long PDF)
    Hitler vs Turkey - World Affairs Board
    Several interesting views in the World Affairs Board (I'd never heard of 'em)
     

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