Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Greco - Turkish War 1919 to 1922

Dragged into the modern age by Kemal Ataturk; Turkish infantry march under the flag of the Republic

I was intrigued to read in a recent email about a Turkish public holiday on the 30th of August - Victory Day (Zafer Bayramı) – National Holiday – Victory over the allied forces during the final battle in Dumlupınar in 1922, ending the War of Independence. Despite my liking for all things Turkish my knowledge of this particular episode was minimal, to say the least, and my first exposure to the period was as a result of reading Louis de Bernieres book 'Birds without Wings'; a novel set against the backdrop of the last years of the Ottoman Empire and the wars that impacted upon the same. I enjoyed the novel enormously and had made a mental note to explore this era in more detail with a view to seeing what wargame potential there is.

Well, there appears to be rather a lot! I should qualify this by saying that we are not talking about great examples of tactical or strategic brilliance; rather more with the potential the conflict offers - especially when you include the earlier period from 1918 when the British and the French were also involved. I am still getting my head around the permutations and will need to refer to a couple of the books I have in the Turkish section of my library but I am thinking that this is an ideal subject for use with Memoir of Battle and my block armies and so could be set up and underway relatively easily.

Besides, any war that includes the following has a lot going for it in my opinion - On September 1, Mustafa Kemal issued his famous order to the Turkish army: "Armies, your first goal is the Mediterranean, Forward!"

My next order of business though is to acquire a good biography of Kemal Ataturk - I must confess that he is fast moving up my list of the most influential historical figures I have an interest in!


Tim Gow said...

This is a conflict I'd love to know more about, so I look forward to reading the fruits of your research.

David Crook said...

Hi Tim,

Rest assured I will make sure that everything gets 'blogged' at some point!

All the best,