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Turkey and WW2


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#1 Demen Tolden

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 04:33 AM

Hello. I have a question that I havn't been able to find an answer for. To what extent was Turkey involved in WW2? I know that they joined the war on February 23 1945 which was ten days after Russia captured Budapest in Hungary. Around this time the allies had reached as far as the Rhine. It seems from this statement alone that they were only voicing support for the allies who seemed like they were going to win anyway, however, Istanbul seems like it would be in an important place to take supplies through since it is the shortest land route to Europe from East Africa and the Middle East. Because of what seems to be a strategic position, they must have had some kind of deal with the allies to at least allow supplies to pass through. Perhaps they contributed some of their own goods?

#2 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 04:43 AM

"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 ).

And the thread I created on the subject of Turkey in WWII,

http://www.ww2f.com/...rld-war-ii.html

Turkey like alot of countries jumped in at the end in order to become a member of the UN.
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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.

#3 JCFalkenbergIII

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Posted 07 November 2008 - 04:45 AM

"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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For the first time I have seen "History" at close quarters,and I know that its actual process is very different from what is presented to Posterity. - WWI General Max Hoffman.




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