1st Edition

The Ottoman Army and the First World War

By Mesut Uyar Copyright 2021
    486 Pages 89 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    486 Pages 89 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

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    This is a comprehensive new operational military history of the Ottoman army during the First World War. Drawing from archives, official military histories, personal war narratives and sizable Turkish secondary literature, it tells the incredible story of the Ottoman army’s struggle from the mountains of the Caucasus to the deserts of Arabia and the bloody shores of Gallipoli. The Ottoman army, by opening new fronts, diverted and kept sizeable units of British, Russian and French forces away from the main theatres and even sent reinforcements to Austro-Hungary and Bulgaria. Against all odds the Ottoman army ultimately achieved some striking successes, not only on the battlefield, but in their total mobilization of the empire’s meagre human and economic resources. However, even by the terrible standards of the First World War, these achievements came at a terrible price in casualties and, ultimately, loss of territory. Thus, instead of improving the integrity and security of the empire, the war effectively dismantled it and created situations and problems hitherto undreamed of by a besieged Ottoman leadership. In a unique account, Uyar revises our understanding of the war in the Middle East.

    List of figures viii

    List of maps xii

    Preface xiii

    A note on transliteration xix

    1 Prelude to war 1

    2 The decision to go to war 38

    3 Opening moves 71

    4 The year of uncertainty: 1915 106

    5 The year of glory and disappointment: 1916 211

    6 The dreams and realities: 1917 282

    7 The year of disasters: 1918 357

    Epilogue 417

    Bibliography 424

    Index 449


    Mesut Uyar is Professor of International Relations and Dean of the School of Business and Social Sciences at Antalya Bilim University, Turkey. Dr. Uyar is a retired Turkish Army colonel and former associate professor from the University of New South Wales, Australia and the Turkish Military Academy. He is the author or co-author of The Phaseline Attila: The Amphibious Campaign for Cyprus, 1974 (2020); The Ottoman Defence Against the Anzac Landing 25 April 1915 (2015); A Military History of the Ottomans: From Osman to Atatürk (2009); and numerous articles and book chapters.

    "The Ottoman Army and the First World War is a thorough analysis of the Ottoman Army on all fronts during the Great War. It describes its operational military history and military effectiveness during that war, and it is difficult to disagree with Uyar in his assessment that Western historiography has for too long ignored the so-called peripheral campaigns of the war ... This book is a long overdue addition to the modern historiography of the First World War."

    Michael Tyquin, British Journal for Military History