Nov 14, 2010

Ottoman Empire: world war one

Ottoman Empire: world war one

The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers in October–November 1914, due to the secret Turko-German Alliance signed in August 1914, threatening Russia's Caucasian territories and Britain's communications with India and the East via the Suez canal. The British Empire opened another front in the South with the Gallipoli (1915) and Mesopotamian campaigns. In Gallipoli, the Turks were successful in repelling the ANZACs (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps), forcing their eventual withdrawal and evacuation. In Mesopotamia, by contrast, after the disastrous Siege of Kut (1915–16), British Empire forces reorganised and captured Baghdad in March 1917. Further to the west in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, initial British failures were overcome with Jerusalem being captured in December 1917 and the Egyptian Expeditionary Force,under Field Marshall Edmund Allenby, going on to break the Ottoman forces at the Battle of Megiddo in September 1918.

Russian armies generally had the best of it in the Caucasus. Vice-Generalissimo Enver Pasha, supreme commander of the Turkish armed forces, was a very ambitious man, with a dream to conquer central Asia. He was not, however, a practical soldier. He launched an offensive with 100,000 troops against the Russians in the Caucasus in December of 1914. Insisting on a frontal attack against Russian positions in the mountains in the heart of winter, Enver lost 86% of his force at the Battle of Sarikamis. The Russian commander from 1915 to 1916, General Nikolai Yudenich, with a string of victories over the Ottoman forces, drove the Turks out of much of present-day Armenia, and tragically provided a context for the deportation of the Armenian population in eastern Armenia.

In 1917, Russian Grand Duke Nicholas assumed senior control over the Caucasus front. Nicholas tried to have a railway built from Russian Georgia to the conquered territories with a view to bringing up more supplies for a new offensive in 1917. But, in March of 1917 (February in the pre-revolutionary Russian calendar), the Czar was overthrown in the February Revolution and the Russian army began to slowly fall apart.

0 التعليقات:

Post a Comment