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1918 - Constantinople Liberated

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  • #16
    " I'm not sure why you want to "liberate" Turkish territory from the Turks 500 years after the fact. "

    Hmmm.... a lot more research is necessary, but I recall the Constantinople metro area was more than a bit cosmopolitian & international in character. a look at a 1904 ethniic/language survey shows the area of the Bosphorus Straits region as having Greeks the more numerous, tho not a majority. Across Asia minor of 1900 the 'Turks' were not universal. Rather Seljuks, Ottomans, Kurds, Armenians, Greeks, & miscl others created a regional pastiche. In the 1920s the Turks abandoned the Ottoman tradition of ethic accomodition and local autonomy for their new policy of 'Turkish' cultural homogenity.

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    • #17
      My point was that the Ottoman's were hardly an oppressive regime that anyone needed to liberate the population from . The Armenian genocide that occured during the war seems out of character and more in line with the general xenopobia that took place amongst all the combatants.
      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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      • #18
        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
        My point was that the Ottoman's were hardly an oppressive regime that anyone needed to liberate the population from .
        Ok, that fits.

        Originally posted by The Purist View Post
        The Armenian genocide that occured during the war seems out of character and more in line with the general xenopobia that took place amongst all the combatants.
        The Armenian thing was partially from a emerging 'Turkish' nationalism. As opposed to the tolerant or imperial Ottoman attitude. There were other reasons but I'd have to dig out some books to expound. Its been nearly thirty years since the modern Middle Eastern History courses & professor McDaniels

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        • #19
          Assuming the Greeks do take control of Ionia & Istambul ect... and hang on to it all, means in 1940 the Greek nation is much larger, a bit wealthier, and has perhaps a bit more international prestiege. Would Mussolini consider war with Greece then?

          If Italy does blunder into war with Greece, the eventual outcome is still likely to be German intervention. Would a truncated Turkish nation decide to throw in with the Axis to recover 'Its' territories? That has bad implications for the British position in the Middle East.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Exorcist View Post
            In fact, I think it only fell twice since Constantine made it his city.
            It is disappointing that the Turks changed the name, but oh well...
            Reminds me of the old '20s jazz song --

            It's Istanbul, not Constantinople,
            No, you can't go back to Constantinople,
            Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
            Any more!
            (And it's nobody's business but the Turks.)


            I like this idea but I'd prefer it take place earlier, when first planned, with heavier military: the British Royal Navy intended to sail right into Constantinople and take over the place.

            They failed because of ONE LITTLE TURKISH MINING SHIP. The Royal Navy got all the mines out laid across the straits, but at night just before their incursion, a Turkish boat got in there and secretly laid mines parallel with the banks, where no one supposed there would be any ------ and it took out at least two big Navy ships, I'd have to check, but the damage was terrible and the Navy retreated at this point.

            Afterward followed the failure of Gallipoli; it was pretty much a debacle, but if the Royal Navy had been able to get through the straits and into Constantinople, I think they could indeed have held it and.........liberated it.

            After 500 years might be a little late to talk of liberation, but conquest, anyway.

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            • #21
              One frequently reads how the Allied fleet had its lead ships past the last mine belt when the withdrawl order was signaled. I dont know what the Turkish view of this was.

              Results of the fleet steaming on the Istambul? Well, in 1982 our amphibious warfare instructor gave a two hour lecture on everything that went wrong in the Gallipoli operation from the prespective of modern amphibious warfare doctrine. So Gallipoli would not become a case study in ten ways to screw up a amphib. op.

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              • #22
                Having studied modern Greek history, as well as Byzantine history, Greece taking Constantinople would be a feat. It is not that the Greek can't fight, it's that Greeks fight each other even when everything is at stake, a tradition that goes back to the before the Persian Wars, of which Manzikert is a prime example.

                While I cannot remember the names, the King and the PM undercut each other in the wake of WWI so that the already unwise advance to Ancyra was doomed, and also the army could not be reorganized to defend Smyrna.

                Supposed the Greeks worked together. The Greeks could take Thrace, but would have to uni latterly cleanse it of Turks. But would this stop the Turks form cleansing Anatolia. I'm sad to say without a substantial genocide of Turks, Anatolia could not be held. They outnumbered the Greeks 5:1 (I think maybe more) and only in Smyrna and Trebizond did the Greek hold a majority. Even going back to the borders of Manuel I Comnenus would have required a horrific defeat for the Turks and the death of Ataturk AND probably the Turks fragmenting.

                Forced population exchange was coming, it had too. Two races of man cannot long live under one flag without one totally dominating the other (like how England dominates Scotland in every area except bagpipe music, Scottish PMs not withstanding). The lines were destined to be drawn to the dismay of the Greeks. How much is the question.

                And by that I mean the Greeks would have liked ALL of Anatolia to recreate a Byzantine like state.
                How many Allied tanks it would take to destroy a Maus?
                275. Because that's how many shells there are in the Maus. Then it could probably crush some more until it ran out of gas. - Surfinbird

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                • #23
                  I don't see the problem with Greece taking Constantinople and all of the European Ottoman Empire.
                  On 11th June 1917 Constantine abdicated and left the country. The throne was taken by his son Alexander, who agreed to work with Venizelos. Eleftherios Venizelos, returned to Athens to form a government and on 29th June 1917, declared war against the Central Powers. By July 1918 the Greek Army had 250,000 men fighting in Macedonia.
                  And given the British/French willingness to give much of Anatolia to the Greeks after the war you'd think they'd have no problem assisting Greece by sea with taking Constantinople, or at a minimum cutting the Turks off from resupplying the city.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Phebe View Post
                    Reminds me of the old '20s jazz song --

                    It's Istanbul, not Constantinople,
                    No, you can't go back to Constantinople,
                    Now it's Istanbul, not Constantinople
                    Any more!
                    (And it's nobody's business but the Turks.)

                    I can hear the beat just reading the lines!
                    And even if that last line is not part of the song, it's accurate. They won the battle, they call the shots. Simple as that.
                    "Why is the Rum gone?"

                    -Captain Jack

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Tuor View Post
                      I don't see the problem with Greece taking Constantinople and all of the European Ottoman Empire.


                      And given the British/French willingness to give much of Anatolia to the Greeks after the war you'd think they'd have no problem assisting Greece by sea with taking Constantinople, or at a minimum cutting the Turks off from resupplying the city.
                      Maybe in 1918. I recall one of the reasons the Brits & French packed up & departed in 1919 is the support for any more warfare or military adventures was so low mutinies were feared amoung the Anglo/French occupation units in Turkey. Again its been nearly thirty years so I cant recall the complete details of the end of the occupation. One other fragment I do recall was the Italian government briefly sent some expiditionary units to the coast of Asia Minor. The had theri own morale problems and departed everywhere but Roades.

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