- Series: Contributions in Military Studies (Book 201)
- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Praeger (November 30, 2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0313315167
- ISBN-13: 978-0313315169
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.8 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 12 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,802,007 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War (Contributions in Military Studies)
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"Colonel Erickson has written an extraordinary book that provides, for the first time, a comprehensive chronicle of the often misunderstood Turkish Army of The Great War. This book belongs in the bookcase of all students of that tumultuous period. No other book exists that contains such a valuable amount of accurate information and explanations, including much sought-after Orders of Battle with firm numbers that are unattainable elsewhere. This inside view sheds new light on famous battles, such as that of Gallipoli, often down to remaining artillery shells."-Camaraderie
..."a major work of research and of historical justice."-The International History Review
, ,," this book will be the definitive work on the subject for the indefinite future and is highly recommended."-Middle East Journal
"This excellent monograph dispels many myths and assesses the overall Ottoman war effort from the "Turkish side of the hill." Comprehensive and balanced, Ordered to Die is likely to remain the definitive study of this topic."-Military Heritage
"A reader interested in the Ottoman campaigns of the time, Erickson is a must. He writes well, and provides a large amount of Order of Battle and biographical information, and his conclusions are stimulating."-The Journal of the Western Front Association
..."a comprehensive and valuable study from the perspective of the 'other side, ' deepening our understanding of the war in the Middle East, and widening the basis for future comparative works on specific campaigns and fronts."-Journal of Military History
"Edward Erickson has performed a valuable service for historians in producing the first fully researched overview in English of the Ottoman army in the First World War...Historians without language abilities in Turkish owe Erickson a considerable debt for this essential book."-War in History
"Ordered to Die is the only comprehensive account in English dealing with the Ottoman Army during the Great War....The book presents covers virtually all aspects of the Ottoman Army in the period, organization, training, equipment, tactics, and politics, as well as operations....An important book for anyone interested in the Great War."-The NYMAS Newsletter
?, , , this book will be the definitive work on the subject for the indefinite future and is highly recommended.?-Middle East Journal
?[e]minently readable.?- Stand To!
About the Author
EDWARD J. ERICKSON teaches social studies at Norwich High School in Norwich, New York./e After serving as an infantry noncommissioned officer in airborne assignments, he was commissioned in the Field Artillery and served with divisional and corps artillery units in the United States, Germany, Italy, Turkey, and in Operation Desert Storm.
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It covers the Ottoman venture into Iran, as well as the Ottoman troops in alliance with the Austrians and Germans in Romania, episodes obscure to many readers. The overall tone, perhaps to be expected, is somewhat pro-Ottoman.
The book provides a lot of history. What is less understood is how the presumed sick man of Europe managed to field such large armies operating in a quite large geographic area, for so long. How did they last four years? They fought Russians and British and Commonwealth (Anzac, Indian Army and others) formations, and fought stubbornly, and managed some victories at Kut and Gallipoli, and fought off the large naval effort to force the Dardanelles. Some of it can be explained by German assistance in officers, equipment and soldiers, but mostly it was Turks with Turkish officers.
"Have you ever wondered why the Turks were still in the field in late 1918? The historiography of the war fails to answer this question. The simple fact is that their army was much more effective than is generally thought. They fought a three (and at times a four and five) front war for four years. They did not collapse (as did the Austro-Hungarians, the Russians, the Bulgarians, and others). Their POW rate was very low throughout most of the war. They fought outnumbered in almost every battle and they suffered huge casualties. Overall, the fighting history of the Ottoman Army is a remarkable story. "Ordered To Die" seeks to explain exactly how the Turks went about their war and why they were often successful. Indeed they were a very effective army".
Well, those four or five fronts were a long way from their opponents' supply lines (and from their own in several cases, mind you), so their enemies couldn't bring their full force to bear; not to mention being a relative backwater to the Western allies in a World War. Bear in mind the Turkish army's collapse in the Balkan War a few years earlier. However, the Turkish army was extremely tenacious in combat, and did suffer horrendous casualties, but the Turkish high command frittered away their resources in poorly conceived offensive operations, as this book makes clear. The British high command doesn't come out of it too well either, in the early part of the war, but that is no secret.
This book is based on mainly Turkish-language sources; the author is a former NATO officer attached to the modern Turkish army, and received much help from his former colleagues in accessing Turkish archives. It is NOT a biased account of the Turkish army at war, however, and the author checks numbers and facts against other sources. he does offer corrections to many generally accepted figures from previously unquoted Turkish accounts, and provides corroborating references.
The chapters are:
1. Army on the Brink - p1
2. Plans - p15
3. The Early Offensives, November 1914-March 1915 - p51
4. Under Attack, April 1915-January 1916 - p75
5. High Tide, January-December 1916 - p119
6. Strategic Pause, January-December 1917 - p159
7. End of Empire, January-November 1918 - p179
8. Conclusion - p207
Appendices - pp217-250
Bibliography & index.
The maps are disappointing, being taken from the Turkish General Staff history they are relatively small and undetailed; the Turkish names are not a problem, but the lack of detail doesn't help in understanding what is being represented. One star demerit.
The Foreword by the Chief of the Turkish General Staff says "...While we in Turkey may disagree with some of his fine points in this book, especially with the parts of the book which contain some assessments made by some academicians on the Armenian rebellion, we still think that his account is fairly balanced and objective". I agree, and recommend this book to anyone interested in the Turkish side of the hill in the First World War.
I borrowed this book from a library.
For those who are interested, there is a good little boardgame on this subject - Ottoman Sunset - available from Victory Point Games (Victorypointgames dot com).
The book gives a good idea about the Turkish forces during the WW1. It has the honor of being the first serious review in English language and I hope it will stimulate further research.
I am glad I bought this book. The price appears to be high, but turns out to be reasonable in comparison to the value, as there is no way to reach this information elsewhere.
Congratulations and thanks to Mr. Erickson.