Research Article


DOI :10.26650/YTA2020-006   IUP :10.26650/YTA2020-006    Full Text (PDF)

Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918)

Davud Kapucu

The Ottoman Empire actively fought on many fronts from the Caucasus to Iraq, from the Suez Canal to Çanakkale. Apart from these fronts, the Ottoman forces were also active in areas where there was no effective fight by taking active/passive defense measures. Being under the threat of the British and French navy just off the Western Anatolia coast, and also having the assistance of the Allied Forces to carry out air operations with aircraft carriers wherever they wanted, led to the deployment of aviation units by the Ottoman Commander-in-Chief in the relevant regions. The aim was both to ensure the security of the capital Istanbul and to take measures against possible landing operations with the air troops in Gallipoli against the possibility that the Allied forces would make a landing over Gallipoli or Izmir after the Battle of Gallipoli. Using archival documents, this study examines the aviation operations carried out in Western Anatolia after the Çanakkale Victory.

DOI :10.26650/YTA2020-006   IUP :10.26650/YTA2020-006    Full Text (PDF)

Çanakkale Zaferi’nden Sonra Batı Anadolu’da Havacılık Faaliyetleri (1915-1918)

Davud Kapucu

Osmanlı Devleti, Kafkasya’dan Irak’a, Süveyş Kanalı’ndan Çanakkale’ye kadar birçok cephede aktif olarak mücadele etmiştir. Bu cephelerin dışında Osmanlı kuvvetleri, etkin olarak savaşılmayan bölgelerde de aktif/pasif savunma tedbirleri almak suretiyle faaliyet göstermiştir. Bu çerçevede, Batı Anadolu sahillerinin İngiliz ve Fransız donanmasının tehdidi altında bulunması, ayrıca İtilaf unsurlarının uçak gemileri ile istedikleri yerde hava harekâtı düzenleme kabiliyetine sahip olması, Osmanlı Başkomutanlık Vekâleti’nin ilgili bölgede hava birlikleri konuşlandırmasına neden olmuştur. İtilaf kuvvetlerinin Çanakkale Muharebeleri’nden sonra Gelibolu veya İzmir üzerinden bir çıkarma yapma ihtimaline karşı Çanakkale’deki hava birlikleri ile hem başkent İstanbul’un güvenliğini sağlamak ve hem de olası çıkarma harekâtına karşı önlem almak hedeflenmiştir. Bu çalışmada, Çanakkale Zaferi sonrasında Batı Anadolu Bölgesi’nde gerçekleştirilen havacılık faaliyetleri, arşiv belgelerine dayalı olarak incelenmiştir.


EXTENDED ABSTRACT


The Ottoman Empire, which joined the First World War on the side of the Central Powers, had to fight actively on many fronts due to its strategic and geopolitical position. These fronts stretched from the Caucasus to Iraq, from the Suez Canal to the Dardanelles. In addition, Ottoman forces also operated in areas that were not actively involved in conflict, taking active or passive defensive measures. The Ottoman Empire’s Deputy Commander-In-Chief in Thrace carried out military operations in case of a military landing by the Allied forces and as such took various measures in the Black Sea, Marmara, western Anatolia and around Iskenderun. 

The Ottoman Empire’s Western Anatolian coasts being under the threat of the British and French Navy , and having the assistance of the Allied Forces to carry out air operations with aircraft carriers wherever they wanted, led to the deployment of aviation units by the Ottoman Commander-in-Chief in the relevant regions.

The Ottoman Empire entered the First World War with six aircraft at the beginning of the war. After some time, the Ottoman Empire was in active at the front with 1500 personnel and 450 aircraft which were received from its ally Germany. At the beginning of the war, the Ottoman Deputy Commander-in-chief sent two aircraft to the Dardanelles and one plane to Izmir, taking into account the strategic and geopolitical situation of the Dardanelles and Izmir region. Over time, air troops were deployed in the region with aircraft from Germany and the amount of aircraft was increased.

At the beginning of the First World War, measures were taken by sending planes around Çanakkale and Izmir, and in 1915, also to the Dardanelles Front battles began with the offensive of the Allied Forces. On March 18, 1915, the Allies did not succeed in their naval operation, followed by a landing on the Gallipoli peninsula on April 25, 1915. However, the Entente forces withdrew from the region at the beginning of 1916, failing to achieve any success as a result of the joint defence of the Turkish land, air and naval forces.

After the victory of the Turkish forces in the Dardanelles, the Allied forces carried out operations until the end of the war in the western Anatolia region with the air and naval forces they had gathered in the islands . The Allied tactical operation was aimed at maintaining the control of the Straits and preventing entry and exit from there. Consequently, the region was constantly supervised by both sea and air elements due to its strategic importance. In addition, from time to time western Anatolian coasts, cities and ports were harassed and bombed by Allied naval and air elements.

The activity of the Allied forces was marked by the formation of 1st and 6th divisions in and around Çanakkale, which included the Western Anatolia region, and 5th and 12th divisions around Izmir, in order to follow, explore, monitor and report the situation to the command levels as quickly as possible. The possibility and expectation that the Entente forces would make a landing over Gallipoli or Izmir after the battles of the Dardanelles made the formation of the air defense forces mandatory in addition to the precautionary measures of the Ottoman State. The aim was to secure the capital Istanbul with air troops from the relevant regions in the Dardanelles and to advance against the Allied Air Forces. It was also intended to preempt possible landings into the region with the air forces in Izmir.

The Aegean Sea and the islands were monitored by the units and platoons established, and from time to time the allied bases there were bombed. Air battles took place with the aircraft of the Allied forces. From the point of view of the opposing forces, the strategic importance of the Ottoman territory led to Allied aircraft carrying out aerial attacks on Istanbul and Izmir from time to time. Although these aerial attacks did not affect the outcome of the war, they played their part in terms of psychological effects. The Allied elements demonstrated effectiveness, particularly by bombing strategic public institutions, air bases and warships.

The headquarters of the British Air Force in the Mediterranean was assembled and directed at a command post in Malta. The air operations against Istanbul and Izmir were carried out by the air units based at Mondros, under the command of Colonel Gordon. After the battles of the Dardanelles, 34 French and British aircraft based on the islands in the Aegean Sea operated on Western Anatolia. French aircraft served in Bozcaada, and a Greek aircraft station that was under the supervision of the Greek Ministry of War, was located in Mondros. Meanwhile, a base between Thasoz and Lesbos served the Entente aircraft. All these squadrons were managed under the command of the commander at Mondros.

Turkish coasts were blockaded from 1915. French naval forces were completely under the control of Beirut, Iskenderun, and the Antalya coasts. The French, assisting their naval forces, began to conduct aerial reconnaissance from the Egyptian ports and the small islands of Ruad and Meis between Cyprus and Syria. Upon the increase of enemy activities in the Aegean Sea and Izmir region, the 5th Airborne Division was assigned the task of reconnaissance and control against the Entente activities in the region. In this context, flights were made from the islands of Chios, Sisam, Rhodes, Lesbos and Kösten (Uzunada), and mobility in the region was monitored. 

From all academic studies carried out on behalf of the history of aviation thus far, it can be seen based on archival documents that no studies have been conducted on the topic of the air operations carried out in the western Anatolia region after the Gallipoli victory. Having remedied this with this study, aviation activities realized in the said region have now been examined in the light of archival documents.


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APA

Kapucu, D. (2020). Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918). Recent Period Turkish Studies, 0(37), 151-180. https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006


AMA

Kapucu D. Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918). Recent Period Turkish Studies. 2020;0(37):151-180. https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006


ABNT

Kapucu, D. Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918). Recent Period Turkish Studies, [Publisher Location], v. 0, n. 37, p. 151-180, 2020.


Chicago: Author-Date Style

Kapucu, Davud,. 2020. “Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918).” Recent Period Turkish Studies 0, no. 37: 151-180. https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006


Chicago: Humanities Style

Kapucu, Davud,. Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918).” Recent Period Turkish Studies 0, no. 37 (Jul. 2024): 151-180. https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006


Harvard: Australian Style

Kapucu, D 2020, 'Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918)', Recent Period Turkish Studies, vol. 0, no. 37, pp. 151-180, viewed 24 Jul. 2024, https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006


Harvard: Author-Date Style

Kapucu, D. (2020) ‘Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918)’, Recent Period Turkish Studies, 0(37), pp. 151-180. https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006 (24 Jul. 2024).


MLA

Kapucu, Davud,. Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918).” Recent Period Turkish Studies, vol. 0, no. 37, 2020, pp. 151-180. [Database Container], https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006


Vancouver

Kapucu D. Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918). Recent Period Turkish Studies [Internet]. 24 Jul. 2024 [cited 24 Jul. 2024];0(37):151-180. Available from: https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006 doi: 10.26650/YTA2020-006


ISNAD

Kapucu, Davud. Aviation Activities in Western Anatolia Following the Victory at Gallipoli (1915-1918)”. Recent Period Turkish Studies 0/37 (Jul. 2024): 151-180. https://doi.org/10.26650/YTA2020-006



TIMELINE


Submitted08.03.2020
Accepted17.04.2020
Published Online25.06.2020

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