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Turkey In World War II


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#1 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 07:29 AM

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
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#2 Za Rodinu

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Posted 19 February 2008 - 12:47 PM

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.

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#3 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 08:05 AM

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 ).
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#4 clems

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 01:14 PM

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.
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#5 Skipper

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 03:05 PM

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.

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#6 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 01 March 2008 - 06:23 PM

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.


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

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Posted 03 March 2008 - 05:57 PM

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.


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.
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#8 Kai-Petri

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 09:43 PM

https://turkishdaily...es.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."
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#9 Za Rodinu

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 09:54 PM

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?

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#10 Slipdigit

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Posted 13 May 2008 - 10:47 PM

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

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#11 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 05 September 2008 - 11:57 PM

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

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Posted 06 September 2008 - 07:57 AM

http://www.angelfire...li/turkey2.html

İsmet İnönü tried to overcome the difficulties stemming from the world economic crisis with a policy of statism during the period when he was the Prime Minister. He wanted to develop industry and did very important things in this way. Inonu's greatest success was in keeping Turkey out of the Second World War. He wanted his country to be neutral in this war.
His policy in this way was build a balance between other countries and at the same time insisting on neutrality. His first job was to sign an agreement with Soviet and German on 23 August 1939. Inönü thought that his agreement could harm Turkey, so signed agreements with France and Britain on 13 October 1939. And with this agreement Turkey could get economic aid. Later İnönü signed nonaggression pact with Soviet Union on 25 March 1941.

Germans arrived on Turkey's doorstep in June 1941. A few days before German attacked the Soviet Union, Inönü signed a nonaggression pact with Germany. Inönü's this policy continued throughout the war. Inönü never permitted German access to the Straits (strategic location controlling the Turkish Straits (Bosporus, Sea of Marmara, Dardanelles) that link Black and Aegean Seas) or passage on or over Turkish land, maintaining his assertion that the Germans could not win the war. After Germany's defeats in Egypt, North Africa, and Stalingrad seemed to confirm this position, Inönü relented at a meeting with Roosevelt and Churchill in Cairo to a request that Turkish military facilities be made available to the Allied forces.

When the war was about to end, Turkey sided with the USA, Britain and the Soviet Union and declared war against Germany and Japan and signed the United Nations communiqué dated 24 January 1945. Turkey, which was officially invited to the San Francisco Conference on 5 March 1945, was among the founding members of the United Nations.

Turkey did not enter the Second World War, but was negatively affected by the war. Throughout the war a large army was kept ready, prices increased rapidly, many of the basic food items were rationed, many items could not be found or were sold on the black market. During the war years, inflation rose significantly and this is still one of the main problems for now.


Nazi Gold: Turkey and Argentina

Like other neutral countries, Turkey was bound to the Nazis through trade, but that’s where any similarities stop. Turkey descended from the Ottoman Empire and was primarily a Moslem nation. During the World War I, Turkey had aligned itself with Germany. Immediately following WWI, Turkey conducted a program of exterminating the Armenians, a charge that Turkey still vigorously denies. Moreover, Turkey began WWII bound to Britain and France by the military alliance of October 1939; declared neutrality in June 1940 after the fall of France; and ended the war allied with the Allies. Much of Turkey’s proclaimed neutrality was a result of Turkish fears of a Nazi invasion. After the fall of the Balkans to the Nazis, Turkey signed a Treaty of Friendship with Germany in June 1941.
Throughout the war, Turkey walked a tightrope, balancing the needs and expectations of the Nazis against those of the Allies. While Istanbul was a center of spying and intrigue during the war, Turkey took no overt action against the Nazis, and in turn the Nazis never violated Turkey’s borders. In October 1941, Turkey signed an important trade agreement with Germany. In exchange for raw material, especially chromite ore, Germany would supply Turkey with war materials and other finished goods. At the same time, Turkey maintained friendly relations with the U.S. and Britain, which supplied Turkey with modern war equipment in exchange for chromite ore. Turkey’s chromite ore was critical for the Nazis. Turkey was their sole source for chrome, a vital element in steel making. Albert Speer stated that Turkey’s chromite ore was so vital to the Nazis that war production would come to a complete stop 10 months after the supply was cut off. The ore was shipped from Turkey by rail through some of the most rugged country in the world. Towards the end of the war, the allies targeted bridges along the main rail line to stop the chromite shipments.
In 1941, Turkey was added to the lend-lease nations available to receive equipment. In January 1943, during the Casablanca Conference, FDR considered asking Turkey to enter the war. In November 1943, all three of the big leaders, Churchill, Roosevelt, and Stalin, called for Turkey’s entry into the war. In February 1944, after Turkey made its entry into the war contingent upon massive military assistance and a significant Allied military presence, Britain and the U.S. stopped their aid program. By 1943, the Allies foresaw no threat from a Nazi invasion. It wasn’t until April 1944 before Turkey ceased the chromite exports to Germany, and then only after being threatened with the same economic sanctions that the other neutral countries were under. Later in August, Turkey suspended all diplomatic relations with Germany. Late in February 1945, on the eve of establishing the United Nations, Turkey declared war on Germany.
Turkey was not a major receiver of gold from the Nazis. In fact, the best estimate of the US experts was in the range of $15 million dollars. Most of the gold was believed, to have been looted from Belgium. In addition, two private German banks, the Deutsche Bank and the Dresdner Bank, sold gold from the Melmer account in exchange for foreign currency.
Allied efforts to recover gold from Turkey were never pursued with any vigor. Turkey’s geographical location, controlling access to the Black Sea, and its border with the Soviet Union made Turkey a cornerstone for US strategic interests in the coming Cold War. In 1946, formal talks were held considering the gold received from the Nazis as well as German assets in Turkey. The Allies estimated that German assets totaled $51 million. In March 1947, the Truman Doctrine included Turkey along with Greece. In July, the US signed a $150 million trade agreement with Turkey. The trade agreement dealt a deathblow to any further negotiations on restitution.52 Turkey never turned over any gold.


http://www.state.gov...6_ng_turkey.pdf (mind, long PDF)

US State Dept Report on Allied Relations and Negotiations With Turkey
A. Turkey's Neutrality in World War II
B. High-Level Allied Discussion of Turkish Neutrality
C. Allied Failure To Bring Turkey Into the War in 1944
D. The Economic Side of Turkish Neutrality
E. Allied Economic Policies Toward Neutral Turkey; Preclusive Trade and Military Assistance
F. U.S. Participation in the Preclusive Purchasing Program of Turkish Chromite and Other Commodities
G. Turkish Cessation of Trade With Germany, April 1944
H. Turkish Severance of Relations With Germany and Declaration of War, 1944-1945
I. Turkey's Wartime Trade in German Looted Gold
J. Allied Attempts To Implement a Safehaven Program in Turkey
K. Attempts at a Postwar Allied-Turkish Agreement on Restitution and Reparation of Looted Gold and German External Assets
L. U.S.-Turkish Relations: From "Live and Let Live" to the Truman Doctrine
M. Failure To Reach Agreements With Turkey on Restitution of Gold and German External Assets, 1947-1953


Hitler vs Turkey - World Affairs Board
Several interesting views in the World Affairs Board (I'd never heard of 'em)

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