George Henry Allen.

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saries. Introduction of Western military and naval ideals. Foreign mili-
tary advisers. Army reform by the German General von der Goltz. The
German the army model ; the British the naval pattern. German officers
in Turkish army service. Universal military service. Quota oi non-
Mohammedan troops. Peace and war strength. Training of non-com-
missioned officers. The General Staff. Military Law of 1910. Military
schools. General reorganization under a German commission, 1913. State
of organization in 1914; first, second, and third lines; equipment; aviation
section ; the gendarmerie ; military council ; army inspection ; train troops ;
sanitary service. German commission enlarged. Quality of the army.
Bulgaria : Advent of the Bulgars. A mingled people. Original limits of
the Bulgarian Kingdom. Periods of decline and recovery. First incur-
sion of the Russians. Under the Byzantine Empire. A second Bulgarian
empire. A Turkish province. Russia restores the nation. Under Russian
influence. Eastern Rumelia incorporated in Bulgaria. The modern army :
service, military schools and training, annual contingent of recruits ; organi-
zation, strength, and equipment Qualities of the forces and approximate
strength in 1914.

The history of the Turkish army and the history of the
Ottoman Empire are one and inseparable, and its beginning
reads like an old Eastern romance, so full is it of dramatic
incidents and unexpected situations. Early in the thirteenth
century a tribe of Oghuz Turks driven from their homes
in Khorasan started westward. When they were crossing
the Euphrates their leader, Suleiman Shah, was drowned,
whereupon the members of the tribe separated, were scat-
tered, and lost to history, except a small number who re-
mained loyal to their dead leader's son, Er-Toghrul. Under

245



246 The Great War

his leadership, this small body of four hundred families
continued their journey, hoping soon to reach the land of the
Seljukian Turks, and there to find a home under Aladdin,
Sultan of Iconium. As they rode westward they came
upon a battlefield where two armies of unequal strength
were contending for the mastery. Without stopping to
learn who the combatants were, Er-Toghrul with quick
chivalry decided in favor of the weaker side and threw his
whole armed strength with such force upon that side that
he soon won a glorious victory for it. When the battle
was done it was found that a strange fate had led them to
the very man whom they sought, and by their assistance
they had saved his small army from the host of the Mongols,
the most implacable enemies of the Turkish race. In grati-
tude for his timely aid Aladdin received Er-Toghrul and
his hardy band of warriors most gladly and gave him a
principality in Asia Minor.

Once settled here his small force of fighting men was
quickly augmented by volunteers from the kindred tribes
who always flocked about the standard of an able leader.
The crescent, the device which Aladdin bore on his ban-
ners, Er-Toghrul, as his vassal, adopted ; and it was reserved
to his descendants to make it known throughout the world.
Fighting on the frontiers was incessant, and Aladdin had
cause for gratitude to his faithful vassal on many occasions;
nor did he fail to show his appreciation of his services, but
showered him with honors and bestowed upon him much
valuable territory. Thus was the foundation of the Turkish
Empire laid, but it was reserved for the son of Er-Toghrul,
for Osman, a warrior chief who extended his possessions
far beyond the borders of his father's principality, to mold
his tribe into a nation which should be known by his name
as the Ottoman Empire. Although Osman never assumed
the title of Sultan, he is considered the founder of the



The Armies of Turkey and Bulgaria 247

empire and it is his sword which is girt about each new
sultan when he ascends the throne, — a custom corresponding
to the coronation of the western sovereigns, — and the people,
upon his accession, pray "May he be as good as Osman."

It was in the fourteenth century, during the reign of
Osman's son, Orkan, that the military organization of the
empire was undertaken which for so many years made the
Turkish army the most efficient and powerful in the world.
Er-Toghrul and Osman had fought at the head of armed
vassals and volunteers who were disbanded when the wars
were ended; but Orkan felt that the future welfare of the
empire demanded a permanent force well-disciplined and
at all times ready to do the sultan's bidding. On his acces-
sion Orkan had created his brother Aladdin his "Vizier"
("the bearer of burdens"), an ofhce -destined to become
permanent, and from the beginning one of great influence
and power. It was to the ability and loyalty of his brother,
Aladdin, that the laws providing for the organization and
maintenance of a standing army of regular paid troops,
both infantry and cavalry, are due. Thus a century before
Charles VII of France created his fifteen companies of
men-at-arms, which have been considered the first standing
army of modern times, the Ottoman Empire had a force of
permanent highly trained and disciplined troops. They
were called "Yaya" and "Piade" and were "divided into
tens, hundreds, and thousands, under their respective decu-
rions, centurions, and colonels." This force, highly paid
and privileged, soon became a source of anxiety to the
sultan, lest they should be a danger rather than a protec-
tion to the empire. A means of curbing this independent
and haughty host was sought and it was then that Tschen-
dereli suggested to the sultan and his brother, the Vizier
Aladdin, the plan which resulted in the organization of
the famous corps known as the Janissaries.



248 The Great War

This force, for centuries the terror of Europe and Asia,
was composed entirely of the children of Christian parents
who had been taken as prisoners of war. A thousand
boys were chosen each year from among the year's pris-
oners; and when a thousand suitable boys could not be
found among the captives the deficiency was made up
from the sons of the sultan's Christian subjects. They
were taken entirely away from their parents when very
young, forced to become Mohammedans, and brought
up under the severest discipline. Their pay, however,
was high and rich rewards fell to ability and faithful-
ness. This system of taking Christian children, a thou-
sand each year, was continued for three centuries until
the reign of Muhammed IV, at which time the corps
was recruited from among the sons of the janissaries and
native Turks.

The name janissary is a corruption of two words, yeni
tscheri, which mean "new troops." The story is told that
the Sultan, soon after the first enrollment of his young
soldiers was complete, led them to the house of the dervish,
Haji Beytasch, and begged that he bless and name them.
The dervish laid his sleeve over the head of one of the
boys and said: "The troops which thou hast created shall
be called yeni tscheri, their faces shall be white and shining,
their right arms shall be strong, their arrows sharp. They
shall be fortunate in fight, and they shall never leave the
battlefield save as conquerors."

In addition to the janissaries, Aladdin organized other
corps of the army, which he divided into regular and irreg-
ular forces. The regular forces were paid in land in order
to create among them the desire of retaining all that they
had conquered. The irregular forces, on the other hand,
were paid neither in land, as the regular troops, nor in
money, as the janissaries, but in plunder. They were called



The Armies of Turkey and Bulgaria 249

out at the beginning of a war and disbanded at its close, and
were used in great swarms in advance of the regular troops
to weary and wear out the enemy before the main body of
the army came up for the fight. The sultans, true warrior
kings, led their troops in person, and the effect of this cus-
tom upon the morale of the soldiers, who looked upon
their rulers as the divine representatives of the Prophet,
cannot be exaggerated. So long as this practice was ad-
hered to the history of the Ottoman army is one long
chapter of successes, reaching its zenith with Suleiman, the
Magnificent, in the sixteenth century. It was at this time
that the two great empires, the Holy Roman Empire, under
Charles V in the west, and the Ottoman Empire, under
Suleiman in the east, attained a degree of splendor and
power never before possessed by either, and which neither
was again destined to hold. Under Suleiman all branches
of the Turkish government received careful attention and
revision. The feudal system, which in the west became a
source of weakness to the empire, was in Turkey, by the
laws of Suleiman, molded into an effective military weapon
under the direct control of the sultan, who alone could re-
ceive homage from holders of fiefs, either of the large
ziamets or of the small timars, and who alone had the power
to bestow a lapsed ziamet. The total feudal force at this
time reached the strength of one hundred and fifty thousand
horsemen, who must come together when summoned and
serve without pay until the close of the campaign. In addi-
tion to these feudal troops there were the regular and
irregular forces of the standing army and the squadrons of
Tartar cavalry which the Khans of the Crimea furnished to
the sultan. The total forces formed an army with which
none of that day could compare. At this time, also, the
Turkish navy reached a high degree of efficiency and was
supreme in the Mediterranean.



250 The Great War

Although the army and the empire reached the height
of its power under Suleiman, and although he proved him-
self an able and devoted ruler, yet the germs of decadence
were sown in his reign that were to prove the ruin of his
army and empire. The janissaries, the flower of the Otto-
man forces, had until his time held the privilege of not
taking part in a campaign unless the sultan was command-
ing the army on the field of battle. This law was altered
by Suleiman, thus opening the way for weak and inactive
sultans to avoid and shirk their hereditary responsibility,
and for the nation to lose its warrior chiefs. The troops
were, after this time, with few exceptions, such as during
the reign of Murad IV, commanded by the grand vizier,
while the sultan remained in his palace in Constantinople.
Also, at this time, the fame of the janissaries began to attract
many adventurers, who were admitted to their ranks, the
severe decipline was relaxed, the communistic life aban-
doned; they were permitted to marry and engage in
various business enterprises, while the pay and privileges
remained the same as of old. They grew to be a haughty,
overbearing, and unruly body of men, a source of disturb-
ance to the state and of weakness to the army. From this
time insurrections among them became frequent, and they
were as great a scourge to their rulers as to their enemies.

Disaster abroad and disturbance at home followed the
army for the next century. There was a period of revived
glory under the four great Koprili viziers, but this was not
lasting; and in the eighteenth century the Turkish domina-
tion in the Crimea was lost, its marine destroyed, and, in
1774, when the treaty of Kutchuk-Kainardji granted to
Russia the protectorate over all Greek Christian subjects of
the sultan, the dissolution of the empire seemed unavoidable.

In order to stem the tide of ill fortune, efforts were made
to introduce reforms into the army, but all plans failed;



The Armies of Turkey and Bulgaria 251

every innovation being bitterly and effectively opposed by
the janissaries. When French officers were brought to
Constantinople to found an engineering school, to build
arsenals, and to form an army on European models, the
janissaries rebelled and deposed the sultan.

Defeats by the French armies of Napoleon and by
Mehemet AH, vassal of the Porte in Egypt, convinced the
enlightened members of the government that Turkey could
maintain her honor on the field of battle against Europe
only by opposing European methods to the European
forces. Heroic measures alone could cure the ills of the
army; and when Mahmud II came to the throne he had
determined on the destruction of the janissaries. On the
15th of June, 1826, they expiated their haughty insolence
and blind selfishness with their blood; and a new regular
army, devoted to reform and progress, was established.

Throughout the whole nineteenth century the policy of
the Sublime Porte in military and naval affairs was that of
devotion to western ideals and methods, with European
officers for teachers and advisors. Napoleon, when he was
still Httle known, conceived the idea of crippling Great
Britain by striking her empire in the east, and asked the
French government to send him to Turkey to reorganize
the armies of the sultan; but fate had other work in store for
him The great von Moltke, as a young man, was in Turkey
as military advisor; during the Crimean War many British
officers were attached to the Turkish army ; and at the time
of the Russo-Turkish war of 1877-1878 British officers
were still at work with the armed forces of the sultan.
The foreign officers found the task of reforming the
Turkish army a thankless one. The sultan generally failed
to give them any authority, and in the army they met with
little sympathy and cooperation; neither Turkey nor the
army was ready for reform. After the Russo-Turkish war



252 The Great War

of 1877-1878, however, Abdul-Hamid II called the German
General von der Goltz to his aid. Von der Goltz is a vet-
eran of the Austro-Prussian war of 1866, was a general staff
officer in the Franco-Prussian war of 1870, and is the author
of various military and historical works. He was engaged
in the reorganization of the Turkish army from 1883 to
1893. A man of such character and ability could not have
wasted ten years of his life. He must have found a more
fertile field for his labors than the many other foreign mili-
tary advisors who had tried to reform the Turk. Turkey
along with all other nations had turned to Germany as a
model for military virtues, and when, later, the "Young
Turk" revolution had established a new regime in Turkey,
Enver Bey went to Berlin. That the "Young Turks" ap-
plied to Great Britain for naval advice and to Germany for
military counsel indicated a genuine desire for reform along
lines of real efficiency. The calling of a score of German
officers to Turkey in 1909 confirmed the establishment of
the German ideal in the Young Turk government as it had
already been recognized under the old regime. Enver
Pasha, as minister of war, largely extended the German in-
fluence, and a numerous commission of officers under the
leadership of General Liman von Sandars took charge of
the Turkish forces with prospects of enjoying the full sup-
port of the government in creating a new army. It is then
to Germany that we must attribute the organization of the
Turkish land force, as we know it, in 1909.

Since that time universal service has been applied to the
Christian as well as to the Mohammedan population. Ser-
vice is for three years in the active army, six years in the
reserve of the active army, nine years in the first category,
and seven years in the second category of the general
reserve. Numerous classes are exempt from service in
the active army and pass directly into the general reserve,




i'lirkish ariilkTV.




Turkish infantry.



The Armies of Turkey and Bulgaria 253

in which they remain for eighteen years and receive from
six to nine months' training with the colors. They then
pass into the second catejjjory of the general reserve in
which they remain seven years. Service begins with the
twenty-first year of age, but volunteers are accepted be-
tween the ages of eighteen and twenty-one, if they are
qualified for service. It is provided that the number of
non-Mohammedans in any body of troops shall not exceed
twenty-five per cent of the total strength of the organiza-
tion. Men who display special aptitude may be furloughed
before the expiration of the prescribed period of service,
even after one year's service. All men, Mohammedans
and others, may purchase their discharge after three months'
service with the colors for about $230. They do not, how-
ever, escape service in the general reserve. Reservists of
the active army are liable to be called out for one period
of training not to exceed one month in duration, and mem-
bers of the general reserve are subject to be called every
two years for one month's training.

The peace strength of the active army was about 10,000
officers and 230,000 men; but since 1906 Turkey has so
often engaged in hostilities, and mobilized preparatory to
war, that the strength of the army probably exceeded the
authorized peace establishment by large numbers. The war
strength is estimated at 24,000 officers and 600,000 men.

The non-commissioned officers are drawn in part from
the troops and in part from non-commissioned officers'
schools. Under the new regime careful attention has been
given to the development of suitable non-commissioned
officers, and each of the model regiments under the super-
vision of German officers maintained schools for the edu-
cation of non-commissioned officers.

The officers of the General Staff were drawn exclusively
from military schools. Most of the officers of the technical



254 The Great War

services and about half of those of the line of the army
came also from the military schools; all others were pro-
moted from the ranks. The Turkish army possessed no
trained corps of reserve officers such as existed in the
armies of Europe, but the proportion of active officers w^as
large. The law of 1910 made provision for the creation of
a corps of reserve officers to be divided into two classes.
The first class included officers who had completed their
service with the colors, retired officers and those who by
reasons of physical defects fell below the standard required
of active officers. The second class was to be made up of
non-commissioned officers who had completed their service
and of high school graduates with military training who
passed a prescribed examination. Provision was also made
for the establishment of a school for the training of reserve
officers in Constantinople. A law of 1909 was intended to
regulate promotion and to eliminate from the army many
officers who through favoritism had reached grades for
which they were not qualified ; but the great demand for
officers due to the mobilizations of 1911, 1912, and 1913
either prevented the contemplated eliminations or made it
necessary to recall those who had been dropped. There
were more than thirty state military schools in Turkey for
the education of young men for the grade of officers in the
army. Graduates of these schools went to the School of
War near Constantinople for a two years' course and were
commissioned directly in the army. The General Staff
Academy in Constantinople prepared officers for the Gen-
eral Staff. On the completion of the three-year course in
the General Staff Academy officers served two years with
troops, and were then available for service on the General
Staff. In addition, there was a school for the superior
training of officers of artillery and engineers, a school of
application for officers of cavalry and infantry, schools



The Armies of Turkey and Bulgaria 255

of fire for both infantry and artillery, and a military riding-
school in Constantinople with a course for non-commis-
sioned officers.

As a result of the Balkan War of 1912-1913 a general
reorganization of the army was undertaken under a numer-
ous commission of German officers with General Liman
von Sandars at its head. Many reforms were doubtless
instituted, but no important units could have been created
before the outbreak of the Great War. The Turkish
army of 1914 was in organization and numbers substan-
tially that of 1909.

The first-line infantry consisted of 130 regiments, 43 rifle
battalions, 9 rifle regiments, and 13 battalions of frontier
guards, — a total of 473 battalions, each of 4 companies.
The second line included 342 battalions of the general
reserve, made up of men who had been trained in the line
of the army, and 170 battalions of second reserve men, who
had passed directly into the general reserve, and who had
received only six or nine months' training. The third line
included the seven oldest classes of the general reserve and
was not under organization in peace. The infantry was
provided with machine-guns on the basis of a company
of 4 guns to a regiment. The first line was armed with
the Mauser repeating rifle, caliber .30, and the second line
with the Mauser, caliber .38. The third line was provided
with the Martini-Henry rifle, caliber .45. The officers
were armed with pistol and saber.

There were in the first line 208 squadrons of cavalry and
in the second line 120 squadrons. Five squadrons formed
a regiment. On mobilization the fifth squadron in each
regiment was to fill the other four to war strength, and
then serve as a reserve squadron. The Mauser repeating
carbine, caliber .30, was prescribed for all the cavalry; but
a large part of it was probably armed with the older model



256 The Great War

Mauser, caliber .38, and the Martini-Henry carbine. The
cavalry carried, also, the saber or lance, and in some cases
a pistol.

The first-line army comprised 35 regiments of field artil-
lery with 2 or 3 batteries to the regiment, 23 battalions of
mountain artillery with 3 batteries to the battalion, 5 divi-
sions of horse artillery with 2 batteries to the division, and
6 battalions of heavy artillery with 3 battalions to the divi-
sion. There seems to have been no artillery provided for
the second and third-line armies. The field artillery was
in process of change from six to four-gun batteries. The
four-gun batteries were armed with the rapid-fire field
piece, the Krupp 3-inch gun. The remaining field guns,
as well as the field howitzers, were of the older Krupp
models. There were some 150 companies of coast or
fortifications artillery, making a total of about 400 officers
and 15,000 men. The seacoast guns were of various types;
some modern guns were introduced during the Balkan
War, including a number of rapid-fire howitzers. Tech-
nical troops, in the proportion found in European armies,
existed on paper, but, certainly, those to be allotted to the
second-line army had never been formed.

The war ministry maintained an aviation section and
there was a training ground estabhshed near Constanti-
nople. The aerial park consisted of one or two dozen
machines of various types. Foreign instructors were en-
gaged and Turkish officers were attached to some of the
European armies for instruction in aviation.

The Turkish gendarmerie was a numerous body of men
with a military organization, the total force amounting
to about 45,000, 8,000 of whom were mounted. The
dismounted gendarmes were armed with Mauser or
Martini-Henry rifles; while the mounted men carried the
Winchester repeating carbine and the saber.



The Armies of Turkey and Bulgaria 257

The sultan was the commander-in-chief of all the armed
forces. The Superior Military Council was created in 1909
under the presidency of the minister of war; the other
members of the council being the commanders of the
Army Inspections and certain other superior officers.

Thirteen army corps of the Turkish army were grouped
into Army Inspections, each supervised by an inspector
general; the fourteenth corps and 5 divisions were inde-
pendent. The corps consisted of 3 infantry divisions, a rifle
regiment, 1 cavalry brigade, 6 to 9 batteries of heavy artil-
lery, 1 battalion of engineers, 1 train battalion, and 1 tele-
graph company. The division was made up of 3 regiments
of infantry, 1 rifle battalion, 1 regiment of field artillery, 1
company of pioneers, 1 train company, and a telegraph
section. The estimated strength of the field armies avail-
able for a European war was 620 battalions of infantry, 163
squadrons of cavalry, 200 batteries of artillery, and 360
machine-guns, with a strength of about 450,000 rifles, 21,000
sabers, and 1,000 field guns.

The army organization provided for one battalion of
train troops for each army corps. The three companies
of the battalion were, in war, designed to form ammunition
columns for the three divisions of the corps. It appears
that with the exception of the ammunition columns, the
entire army train would have to be improvised in war.



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