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Defeat In Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913

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No critical analysis has ever examined the specific reasons for the Ottoman defeat. Erickson's study fills this gap by studying the operations of the Ottoman Army from October 1912 through July 1913, and by providing a comprehensive explanation of its doctrines and planning procedures. This book is written at an operational level that details every campaign at the level of No critical analysis has ever examined the specific reasons for the Ottoman defeat. Erickson's study fills this gap by studying the operations of the Ottoman Army from October 1912 through July 1913, and by providing a comprehensive explanation of its doctrines and planning procedures. This book is written at an operational level that details every campaign at the level of the army corps. More than 30 maps, numerous orders of battle, and actual Ottoman Army operations orders illustrate how the Turks planned and fought their battles. Of particular note is the inclusion of the only detailed history in English of the Ottoman X Corps' Sarkoy amphibious invasion. Also included are definitive appendix about Ottoman military aviation and a summary of the Turks' efforts to incorporate the lessons learned from the war into their military structure in 1914. The Ottoman Empire fought the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 against the joint forces of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia--and was decisively defeated. The Ottoman Army is frequently depicted as a mob of poorly clad, faceless Turks inept in their attempts to fight a modern war. Yet by 1912, the Ottoman Army, which was constructed on the German model, was in many ways more advanced than certain European armies.


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No critical analysis has ever examined the specific reasons for the Ottoman defeat. Erickson's study fills this gap by studying the operations of the Ottoman Army from October 1912 through July 1913, and by providing a comprehensive explanation of its doctrines and planning procedures. This book is written at an operational level that details every campaign at the level of No critical analysis has ever examined the specific reasons for the Ottoman defeat. Erickson's study fills this gap by studying the operations of the Ottoman Army from October 1912 through July 1913, and by providing a comprehensive explanation of its doctrines and planning procedures. This book is written at an operational level that details every campaign at the level of the army corps. More than 30 maps, numerous orders of battle, and actual Ottoman Army operations orders illustrate how the Turks planned and fought their battles. Of particular note is the inclusion of the only detailed history in English of the Ottoman X Corps' Sarkoy amphibious invasion. Also included are definitive appendix about Ottoman military aviation and a summary of the Turks' efforts to incorporate the lessons learned from the war into their military structure in 1914. The Ottoman Empire fought the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 against the joint forces of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia--and was decisively defeated. The Ottoman Army is frequently depicted as a mob of poorly clad, faceless Turks inept in their attempts to fight a modern war. Yet by 1912, the Ottoman Army, which was constructed on the German model, was in many ways more advanced than certain European armies.

44 review for Defeat In Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913

  1. 4 out of 5

    Heinz Reinhardt

    In American consciousness, the Korean War is often termed the 'Forgotten War'. Considering MASH, and books like Clay Blair's tome of the same name, it most certainly is not. The Balkan Wars, however, wouldn't even begin to register on even most in Europe, let alone the United States. Fought from late Autumn 1912 through to the early Summer of 1913, the two Balkan Wars changed Europe forever, and directly paved the way for the First World War. During the First Balkan War, the Ottoman Empire was a In American consciousness, the Korean War is often termed the 'Forgotten War'. Considering MASH, and books like Clay Blair's tome of the same name, it most certainly is not. The Balkan Wars, however, wouldn't even begin to register on even most in Europe, let alone the United States. Fought from late Autumn 1912 through to the early Summer of 1913, the two Balkan Wars changed Europe forever, and directly paved the way for the First World War. During the First Balkan War, the Ottoman Empire was assaulted by the Balkan league of Bulgaria, Serbia, Montenegro and Greece over the territories of Epirus, Macedonia, Thrace, Salonika and Albania. The Turkish Army was smashed, though as Edward Erickson points out, it learned from its costly mistakes, and used those lessons to deadly effect later against the forces of the Entente in the First World War. Caught in the midst of a complex military reorganization and doctrinal change, the Ottoman Army can be, slightly at least, forgiven for being defeated during the war. However, as the author points out, it was not a swift and easy defeat, the Ottoman Army fought very well, and even found ways to improvise entirely new stratagems (such as amphibious warfare) that were entirely lacking from the Turks playbook prior to the war. If anyone should be castigated it would have to be the Turkish General Staff, which emphasized the offensive and the operational goal of seeking battles of encirclement and annihilation rather than taking advantage of modern firepower and looking towards the tactical defensive. Then again, this was a mistake caused by every military in the world at the time. These military's would suffer tremendously in Europe in 1914, and the Americans would have the same problems in 1918. It would be the Christian Slavic states of the Balkans who fought with unimaginative (if incredibly brave and heroic) tactics, often simply overwhelming Turkish positions with bayonet charges, or knocking back offensives with hastily launched counter attacks, again, at bayonet point. Much like the Russo-Japanese War, Europe and the rest of the world would take all the wrong lessons from the fighting in the Balkans, coming to think that the offensive was dominate, and that supporting firepower was secondary to elan, courage, and the old trusty cold steel. (This, in fact, would be a lesson Japan would not learn until the end of the Second World War.) The early Bulgarian and Serbian triumphs in Macedonia and Thrace seemed to confirm the biases of foreign observers, this despite Ottoman tactical triumphs along the Catalca River against the Bulgarians and against the Montenegrin's near Iskodra, all of which were defensive triumphs. As Erickson points out, however, the Turks learned their lessons, and their ability to maintain a fighting force throughout WWI is the proof within the pudding. The book is thick with tactical and strategic detail, and should be required reading for those looking to learn how the approach to formulating a coherent doctrine (or lack thereof) can hinder (or help) military operations in reality. All in all an excellent book, and one that I highly recommend. Has definitely made me look to reading more on the fascinating Balkan Wars.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Velisarios

    Χρησιμοποιήθηκε, μεταξύ άλλων, για τη σύνταξη του άρθρου: Μικρασιατική Εκστρατεία: Βαθύτερα Αίτια της Στρατιωτικής μας Ήττας

  3. 5 out of 5

    Александър Стоянов

  4. 4 out of 5

    Jonathan

  5. 5 out of 5

    Demetrios

  6. 4 out of 5

    عبد العزيز المطيري

  7. 4 out of 5

    Shrike58

  8. 4 out of 5

    Celal Gültomruk

  9. 5 out of 5

    Ghada F Iyal

  10. 4 out of 5

    Umut

  11. 5 out of 5

    MR D MCMILLAN

  12. 5 out of 5

    Ertugrul Sevindik

  13. 5 out of 5

    Wilson

  14. 4 out of 5

    Selcuk Sumengen

  15. 4 out of 5

    David

  16. 4 out of 5

    Emrah Sever

  17. 4 out of 5

    ömer

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mahir Şanlı

  19. 5 out of 5

    Rizwan Niaz Raiyan

  20. 4 out of 5

    Aytug

  21. 4 out of 5

    Bubba

  22. 5 out of 5

    Liam

  23. 4 out of 5

    Kimbeattie

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jbondandrews

  25. 5 out of 5

    Michael Mustafa

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jerome

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jur

  28. 5 out of 5

    Turgay

  29. 4 out of 5

    karachi

  30. 4 out of 5

    Stephen Boiko

  31. 4 out of 5

    Joel Trono-Doerksen

  32. 5 out of 5

    Blake

  33. 5 out of 5

    Michael Shulman

  34. 4 out of 5

    Ser-Sin Alp-Gök

  35. 5 out of 5

    Renan Virginio

  36. 5 out of 5

    Erdem Karaadam

  37. 4 out of 5

    Derek Weese

  38. 4 out of 5

    Matt Salisbury

  39. 5 out of 5

    Kartal G

  40. 4 out of 5

    Bayraktar

  41. 5 out of 5

    Michael

  42. 5 out of 5

    Riley Feldmann

  43. 4 out of 5

    Yusuf Agah

  44. 4 out of 5

    Jenny

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