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  • No Attaturk?

    After WW1, Greece went on the offensive and occupied much of Turkey, all the way to Ankara IIRC. Italy was also looking into a permanent presence in southern Turkey, but abandoned that idea when the Turks routed the Greeks and took back most of what they had lost in the early '20s (Anatolia only).


    What if that had never happened, and Constantinople had remained Greek through the 20th Century?

    Is this nothing, or did I just open yet another mad mess?
    "Why is the Rum gone?"

    -Captain Jack

  • #2
    Probably the basis for yet another Balkan War. Rump Turkey becomes a close ally of Nazi Germany. My first thought is 'you've taken it, now how do you keep it'. In all likelihood Turkey becomes a fair bit more aggressive regionally.
    Human beings are the only creatures on Earth that claim a god and the only living thing that behaves like it hasn't got one - Hunter S. Thompson

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BF69 View Post
      Probably the basis for yet another Balkan War. Rump Turkey becomes a close ally of Nazi Germany. My first thought is 'you've taken it, now how do you keep it'. In all likelihood Turkey becomes a fair bit more aggressive regionally.
      Agreed. The most interesting aspect of this is how Turkish-German relations develop during the 30s, and what effect this has on WWII. Historically Germany and Turkey weren't much more than business partners, but if Turkey is looking to get even with Greece and possibly expand into the Middle East things get much more interesting.

      Turkey has raw materials to offer Germany, and in exchange Germany could arm the Turks and help train their army (historically Turkey did buy some German gear, mostly planes IIRC).

      The big question is does Turkey join the Axis in 1941 and reclaim Anatolia? If yes, then things in the Middle East get very interesting. At this point Syria is still Vichy controlled and Iraq will soon rise up.

      What I see most likely is Operation Mercury never happening, and those forces being earmarked for the Middle East. A German Korps+ some Turkish divisions could cause a lot of trouble for the British in the Spring-Summer of 1941. Syria would stay Axis and the British wouldn't be able to put down the rebellion in Iraq. The Iraqi Army at the time wasn't actually that bad, it had 60 000 men in 4 divisions and even had motorized assets. Including some Italian light tanks and British Armored Cars. There was also Fawzi al-Qawuqjileading Arab irregulars, as well as the Arab Ba'ath Movement from Syria. Germany just needs to spin it as a war of Arab Independence against the British Imperialists and Zionists who oppressed them. Iraq was very pro Nazi and very anti British at this time. Iraq was a refuge for a lot of the Arab revolutionaries from Palestine, including Mohammad Amin al-Husayni, the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem and leader of the Arab Revolt.

      The British will now be facing a two front war, one that will only get worse when the war in the Pacific starts, as the historically the ANZACs withdrew some of their forces as the threat of Japan invading them was seen as very real. The British will have to send forces to Burma too likely, for political reasons if anything. They aren't going to keep everything in the Middle East with nothing standing between the Japanese and the Raj, even if Japanese logistical difficulties makes it difficult to advance any further.

      IMO I think it's possible that the Axis could take the Middle East in this scenario.
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      • #4
        Originally posted by BF69 View Post
        Probably the basis for yet another Balkan War. Rump Turkey becomes a close ally of Nazi Germany. My first thought is 'you've taken it, now how do you keep it'. In all likelihood Turkey becomes a fair bit more aggressive regionally.
        I doubt Turkey waits for the Nazis. The 4th Balkan war likely erupts in the late 20s with Bulgaria siding with Turkey and by the time of the Depression hitting in 1929-30 the Greeks would be done (they collapsed from than just Atttaturk, btw). This was the time of strong pacificism in Europe and talk of disarmament. The Greeks will not find political support from the Allies nor weapons or financial support. The British in particular would prefer a stronger Turkey holding the Bosphorus against Soviet aspirations than a noticeably weaker Greece. Turkey is the blocker to southern expansion by the USSR.

        A possibly better armed, poorer but victorious Turkey rides out the 30s and sells to the highest bidder during WWII (that would be the Allies).
        The Purist

        Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking - John Maynard Keynes.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by The Purist View Post
          I doubt Turkey waits for the Nazis. The 4th Balkan war likely erupts in the late 20s with Bulgaria siding with Turkey and by the time of the Depression hitting in 1929-30 the Greeks would be done (they collapsed from than just Atttaturk, btw). This was the time of strong pacificism in Europe and talk of disarmament. The Greeks will not find political support from the Allies nor weapons or financial support. The British in particular would prefer a stronger Turkey holding the Bosphorus against Soviet aspirations than a noticeably weaker Greece. Turkey is the blocker to southern expansion by the USSR.

          A possibly better armed, poorer but victorious Turkey rides out the 30s and sells to the highest bidder during WWII (that would be the Allies).
          Had the Turks lost the war against the Greeks in 1919 I doubt they would have had the strength to beat them just 10 years later. They would have had to wait till the 30s in order to get the military gear and technical support from the Germans that they needed.
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          • #6
            Originally posted by The Purist View Post
            I doubt Turkey waits for the Nazis. The 4th Balkan war likely erupts in the late 20s with Bulgaria siding with Turkey and by the time of the Depression hitting in 1929-30 the Greeks would be done (they collapsed from than just Atttaturk, btw). This was the time of strong pacificism in Europe and talk of disarmament. The Greeks will not find political support from the Allies nor weapons or financial support. The British in particular would prefer a stronger Turkey holding the Bosphorus against Soviet aspirations than a noticeably weaker Greece. Turkey is the blocker to southern expansion by the USSR.

            A possibly better armed, poorer but victorious Turkey rides out the 30s and sells to the highest bidder during WWII (that would be the Allies).
            The situation will be like this, the Greeks will attack the Turks and the attack falls apart and so the Turks will counter-attack the the Greeks and they will seek help from the British and this is not forthcomming, eventually the Greeks are defeated. To all this shows that the British will not help long standing allies, thus weakening the prestige of the British.

            Turkey can see how inefectual the British are as reliable allies, so Turkey decides that Britian can't be trusted as an ally.

            As the situation of Europe descends into another war, Turkey sees that Nazi Germany as a strong potential ally.

            This is shown up with the eventual defeat of the Allied forces in France and the low countries. Turkey now decides to seek an alliance with Germany and as the Axis grows just prior to Barbarossa the Turks sign the Tripartite Pact, thus allowing transit rights for the German and Italian forces, and on the 22nd June 1941 German, Italian and Turkish forces launch an offensive south into Vichy French Lebanon/Syria, and within days smashing headlong into the British in Palestine, while Rommels forces launch it's offensive from Lybia.

            Then the rot sets in as Iraq declares itself Axis, and by the end of 1941 we see that the Axis has defeated the British in North Africa and the Middle East.

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            • #7
              With Ataturk, it took less time than that to beat the Greeks, but without him, it seems that they never would have.
              Not between the wars, anyhow.

              Unrest in Turkey could have been an issue, depending on how heavy-handed the Greeks were, and don't forget the Italians in Cilicia.
              These two second-tier powers would have had to work together to keep order among the Turks, shattered as they were. It might even have lead to an alliance between them for the sake of survival in Asia Minor.

              This leads to a fascinating AH scenario;
              Italy made a show of standing up to Germany the first time the Nazis tried to grab Austria. What if that had lead to some serious hard-feelings in in the mid-1930s? German covert aid going to pan-Muslimism to stir things up against Italy in the Colonies, and by extension Greece?

              "Hey, Stalin, Hitler here again. I have a new deal for you; my boys have paved the way for you and all you have to do is sail in and Constantinople and those straits are yours. All you have to do is leave Eastern Europe to me. Deal?"

              Hang on to your butts...
              "Why is the Rum gone?"

              -Captain Jack

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                With Ataturk, it took less time than that to beat the Greeks, but without him, it seems that they never would have.
                Not between the wars, anyhow.

                Unrest in Turkey could have been an issue, depending on how heavy-handed the Greeks were, and don't forget the Italians in Cilicia.
                These two second-tier powers would have had to work together to keep order among the Turks, shattered as they were. It might even have lead to an alliance between them for the sake of survival in Asia Minor.

                This leads to a fascinating AH scenario;
                Italy made a show of standing up to Germany the first time the Nazis tried to grab Austria. What if that had lead to some serious hard-feelings in in the mid-1930s? German covert aid going to pan-Muslimism to stir things up against Italy in the Colonies, and by extension Greece?

                "Hey, Stalin, Hitler here again. I have a new deal for you; my boys have paved the way for you and all you have to do is sail in and Constantinople and those straits are yours. All you have to do is leave Eastern Europe to me. Deal?"

                Hang on to your butts...
                I don't see that at all. Hitler isn't going to hand over his Chromium to the USSR. Nor is he going to let the USSR get any closer to his oil. He freaked out when Stalin took more of Romania than he said he was allowed to.
                A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Destroyer25 View Post
                  I don't see that at all. Hitler isn't going to hand over his Chromium to the USSR. Nor is he going to let the USSR get any closer to his oil. He freaked out when Stalin took more of Romania than he said he was allowed to.
                  The deal was eastern Europe, stopping that in it's tracks.
                  BUt yeah, Chrome, I forgot that.
                  "Why is the Rum gone?"

                  -Captain Jack

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
                    The deal was eastern Europe, stopping that in it's tracks.
                    BUt yeah, Chrome, I forgot that.
                    Yeah but Hitler isn't going to want to let the USSR get that close to the Balkans on 2 fronts. He'd be practically making the Baltic a USSR lake. Stalin would have many more airfields and 2 land avenues of approach towards Romania.
                    A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

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                    • #11
                      Alright, well, back on track-

                      What about Turkey?
                      A rump state remains, but not leader of the caliber required to give them a miracle.
                      Do they need one?
                      Could Greece retain Constantinople? How would that affect history if they did?
                      "Why is the Rum gone?"

                      -Captain Jack

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                      • #12
                        Greece was very much dependent on British aid during the Greco-Turkish war, as Britain was just about their only backer. The clinch was when France and Italy decided the Treay of Sevres was not worth it and evacuated their holding in the south, causing the Greek right flank to be exposed.

                        It would take a lot more than the removal of Kemal Ataturk for the Greek or Turkish position to be significantly changed just due to the postwar politics in play.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by broderickwells View Post
                          Greece was very much dependent on British aid during the Greco-Turkish war, as Britain was just about their only backer. The clinch was when France and Italy decided the Treay of Sevres was not worth it and evacuated their holding in the south, causing the Greek right flank to be exposed.

                          It would take a lot more than the removal of Kemal Ataturk for the Greek or Turkish position to be significantly changed just due to the postwar politics in play.
                          Would they have withdrawn if there was no strong Turkish leadership?
                          Could the Greeks have at least kept the NW corner of the country?
                          "Why is the Rum gone?"

                          -Captain Jack

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                          • #14
                            I think we need to clearly establish under what circumstances the Greek victory happens. Attaturk never existing may not be enough to prevent Turkey from winning the war. But I don't know a whole lot about Turkish politics at the time. So when the Ottoman Empire collapsed who were the main players, not including Attaturk that is. If he never exists, who's going to step up and try to unite the Turks? Will there be infighting?
                            A wild liberal appears! Conservative uses logical reasoning and empirical evidence! It's super effective! Wild liberal faints.

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                            • #15
                              This is the point where an actual expert on that time and place would step in and educate us all a little bit.....
                              "Why is the Rum gone?"

                              -Captain Jack

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