Turkish Army in WW2

Discussion in 'North Africa & the Med' started by Gerard, Jan 8, 2009.

  1. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Whilst reading Drew's thread about Monty's pre D-Day speech one point that was made was the hope to bring Turkey into the war on the Allied side. I suppose my questions are !. Did the Allies consider them important to be in on their side and 2. does anyone know anything about the Turkish Army in WW2?
    Drew5233 likes this.
  2. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

    Well to kick things off here is an excerpt from a website detailing various armies of WW2: The Armed Forces of WWII ( Near East ).

    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.
  3. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    Nice/interesting thread HG.

    Without looking at a map I would say it was move to do with strategy of land than having their armed forces on side with the Allies.

    I know that the original plans for Iraq in 2003 had the main British effort invading from Turkey (Keep watching the thread with my pictures) so on that front I'm thinking an offensive from Turkey into Bulgaria, Greece or the former USSR may have been on the cards.

  4. Bodston

    Bodston Little Willy

    From Jane's Tanks of World War II
    The pre-war Turkish armoured force was built around a contract with the Soviet Union that saw the delivery in 1935 of 60 T-26 model 1933 tanks, five T-27 tankettes and 60 BA-6 armoured cars. The outbreak of war caused France and Britain to court Turkey, and this resulted in the delivery of further small quantities of AFV's. France delivered 50 R-35 light infantry tanks in January 1940 and Britain 16 Mk VIB light tanks at the same time.
    Turkey's geographic location guaranteed that competition for her favour would continue. In September 1942 Churchill directed that tanks be made available in the form of 170 Stuarts and 200 Valentines. Deliveries began in November and continued through 1943. By the end of 1943 the Turks had also requested 500 Shermans to form two armoured divisions. By this time, however, Turkish indecision on entering the war, their receipt of weapons from Germany (22 PzKpfw III & 22 PzKpfw IVH), and a general shortage of armoured vehicles on the allied side had caused the British to lose their patience. Deliveries to Turkey were stopped in March 1944, by which time Turkey had received almost 400 Stuarts and Valentines, all tired vehicles from the Middle East and Persia/Iraq theatres and 34 Shermans that were no longer fit for service. Deliveries did not begin again until February 1945, when Turkey declared war on Germany. The Valentines, the most numerous tank in the inventory, were almost all 2pdr armed versions, with only a few Mk IX.
  5. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot 1940 Obsessive

    From Jane's Tanks of World War II

    Turkey's geographic location guaranteed that competition for her favour would continue.

    Anyone know what the big plan was? Indeed was there one?

  6. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

  7. Gerard

    Gerard Seelow/Prora

  8. Warlord

    Warlord Veteran wannabe

    Quote from "Malta Spitfire Aces", by Steve Nichols:

    "Late in the month, Battle of France ace Sqn. Ldr. Mike Stephens arrived at Luqa. He already had 11.5 kills to his credit, having scored these in Hurricanes in 1940-41 (INCLUDING TWO ITALIAN SM.84 BOMBERS DOWNED WHILE ON DETACHMENT TO THE TURKISH AIR FORCE IN 1941)." :sign_question: (Capitals are mine)
    What kind of game was Turkey playing?
  9. pminotti

    pminotti Junior Member

    Never heard about Turkish SM84 nor about cooperation between Italy and Turkey.

    Don't forget that we takes Lybia and Dodecaneso from them in 1911 War.

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