Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, December 08, 2007

Von Sanders.

This is coolbert:

"Not one step backwards" - - Mustafa Kemal [Ataturk].

Here is a web site with absolutely first-rate commentaries on the First World War [WW1] by a group of twenty one eminent historians. I recommend this web site highly!

And the Shaping of the 20th Century."

"Historians Overview - - Historians Commentaries."

One particular commentary catches my attention right away.

"Mustafa Kemal - Turkish Military Legend."

By Jay Winter.

"One of the oddities of the battle of Gallipoli is that the Turkish position was very weak when the allies landed."

[this is to be anticipated. The Turks DID NOT EXPECT the landing at Gallipoli. Gallipoli would not have ever been expected as a place for an amphibious assault.]

"And the way in which the defenses of Gallipoli were reorganized established a reputation for military thoroughness and serious military discipline that most westerners thought Turks were incapable of. The man who did it, Mustafa Kemal, created a military legend for himself in rallying the men under his command to stay on the heights overlooking Gallipoli, and to pin down the allied troops who had landed there."

"They [Turks] know the terrain, they [Turks] know the light, and they [Turks] know the positions. The allies knew none of these things. And as a result of this, Mustafa Kemal appeared to be the kind of leader who could not only match western military prowess, but actually supersede it."


The historian Jay Winter is in large measure wrong in this instance?

Credit in this ["military thoroughness and serious military discipline"]
case goes to the German General Liman von Sanders. The overall commander of the Turkish forces at Gallipoli was NOT Ataturk. Was von Sanders, a German "seconded" to the Turks as an advisor. Turkish military commanders were NOT felt to have the ability, training and experience to command a modern army organized along "western" military lines. The TURKS WERE RECOGNIZED AS SKILLED FIGHTERS, VERY BRAVE AND TOUGH. BUT NOT CAPABLE OF COMMANDING AT THE VERY HIGHEST ECHELONS.

Kemal and the Turkish soldiers executed the orders - - orders given by a German. The brains behind the overall defense of Gallipoli was - - Von Sanders!!??




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