Photos Turkey -PRE & During WWII

CemalPasha

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Few photo's of Turkey's pre-second world war preparations.
I'm thinking to share photo's of Turkish army during the second world war but I want to explain the situation before posting. For maybe little understandability about the situation before 40s in Turkey♥.

1937 Turkish army Thrace (Bulgarian -Greek border area) Maneuvers
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↓↓↓ Second from left Atatürk (1st President of Turkey & first Marshal (Turkish Army) ), far right İsmet İnönü (1st Prime Minister of Turkey & Chief of Staff of the Army a Turkish war of indepence) They wear Medal of Independence (Turkey) ↓↓↓
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Far right Fevzi Çakmak from 1920s to the end of second world war the commander of the armed forces second and last marshal of Turkey ↓↓


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Fevzi Çakmak was the second most important man in the Turkish War of Independence. He himself planned the military action plans. When Ataturk become president when war was over, çakmak become second marshall of Turkey.↓↓↓

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Why this exercises/maneuvers was done in 1937?

First of all, the fascist movement led by Benito Mussolini in Italy and then the aggressive armament of the Nazis led by Adolf Hitler in Germany after taking power and their pursuit of land division in the European continent was considered as the harbinger of an approaching war. Referring to this issue in some of their conversations, Turkish state officials, especially Atatürk, decide to organize military exercises both to prepare the armed forces for a military confrontation and to intimidate possible threats.

Apart from these, Mussolini was making declarations to found New Rome and started to pile up soldiers on the Dodecanese Islands ( see below ) Which is less than 1 mile near Turkish border.

For those who don't know, Dodecanese Islands seized in 1912 in Italo-Turkish War by Italy, island between Greece and Turkey. The most famous island are the Rhodos & Kos islands. A total of 12 majors islands and dozens of islets started to be garrisoned with Italian brigades.

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For this reason, investments in the army have increased excessively. Tanks from the Soviets
was brought, planes from the British were purchased, Dozens of pilots were sent to England & France for pilot training, thousands of vickers machine guns purchased for ships, mines to naval equipment from England and France, anti-aircraft devices, new railways started to be built. Even equipment bought from the Germans, for example a few U boats.

The most famous among the preparations was ''Çakmak Hattı'' . Çakmak Line construction started urgently. Its kinda Turkish maginot line. It took its name from Fevzi Çakmak the Turkish military leader of the period.
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Çakmak Line consisted of two main in total of 4 lines. Excluding the fortifications in Galipoli ( during the first world war ) campaign left over. The straits were demilitarized until the mid 1930s. Bosporus (Istanbul) and the Dardanelles ( Galipoli ) Straits began to be reclaimed again in the mid-1930s. Montreux Convention Regarding the Regime of the Straits is a 1936 agreement that gives Turkey control over the Turkish Straits again after WWI(the Bosporus and Dardanelles straits) and regulates the transit of naval warships.

Signed on 20 July 1936 at the Montreux Palace in Switzerland.
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That's why defenses from the 1920's survived until mid 1930s. but the province called ''thrace'' between border of Greece & Bulgaria to Istanbul was undefended, unfortified and mostly flat. That's why defensive lines are being build here. What i mean about lines bunkers, mg nest, artillery batteries & trenches.

The main vein of the line consisted of bunkers reaching from the north of Istanbul from the black sea coast to the Greek border.
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Other minor lines of defense are at South Bulgaria & where the location of rivers and lakes are combined in the west of Istanbul

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and the last line apart from these there were fortifications built/left during the Balkan wars also outsite of çatalca middle of Thrace. Fortifications have been repaired here. In this way, the çakmak line consists of 4 parts.

Turkey has started the construction of this line of defense as a precaution.Even today it is possible to see hundreds of bunkers outside of Istanbul.
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Also Turkey start seeking new allies in the region.

First of all The Balkan Pact, or Balkan Entente, was a treaty signed by Greece, Turkey, Romania and Yugoslavia mid 1930s in Athens, aimed at maintaining the geopolitical status quo in the region following World War I. To present a united front against Bulgarian designs on their territories, the signatories agreed to suspend all disputed territorial claims against each other and their immediate neighbors which followed in the aftermath of the war and a rise in various regional ethnic minority tensions. Other nations in the region that had been involved in related diplomacy refused to sign the document, including Italy, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and the Soviet Union. The pact became effective on the day that it was signed. It was registered in the League of Nations Treaty Series on 1 October 1934. The Balkan Pact helped to ensure peace between the signatory nations.
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Ankara, 27 February 1938: Balkan Pact summit in Ankara. From left: Kemal Atatürk of Turkey, Milan Stojadinović of Yugoslavia, Ioannis Metaxas of Greece, and Nicolae Petrescu-Comnen of Romania.
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Except this pact, Turkey establish a new alliance with eastern neighbors. Called Saadabad Pact was a non-aggression pact signed by Turkey, Iran, Iraq and Afghanistan on July 8, 1937 and lasted for five years. In this way countries would concentrate their armies in areas where possible attack can came & countries in Saadabad pact provide military aid when needed.

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Turkey made agreements with the neighbors & began to make preparations for potential Italian war. 90% of the army withdrew to west. Fortifications started to be built.
@DENO @avus_uka @Kadir93 @dz.serdar @Kadir93 @Faheka @Stimpy75
I will share the pre ww2 equipment of the Turkish army and military photo's on the eve of the war.♥
 
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In 1937, the first Armored Brigade was established in Lüleburgaz (Thrace area middle of çakmak area) still biggest Armored army headquarters.
Steps have been taken for new purchases, with the exception of the few dozen Renault FT-17 tanks & other tankets in the inventory, A total of 68 T-26 tanks, 34 BA-6 & BA-3s heavy armored car's were purchased from the Soviet Union.
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T26 in Thrace Maneuvers

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BA6 in Ankara victory day
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T26s in Ankara
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Lüleburgaz first Armored regiment

Before the start of the Second World War in 1939, Turkey entered into an alliance agreement with Britain and France.
The decision was made to purchase tanks from France and England in order to enlarge the Tank Regiment. 100+ Renault R35 tanks (10-ton, 37mm gun) from France and 26 Vickers 6-Ton (with 1x12.7 and 1x7.7mm Machine gun) from the UK purchased.
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Renault R35 tanks of Turkish army

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Apart from that, efforts to motorize the army were started in 1936.

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tankets in victory day i guess 1935-36

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a large number of tracked artillery tractors purchased

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Ataturk & Fevzi çakmak at the start of Thrace Maneuvers

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Thrace Maneuvers parade motorized division passing

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Thrace Maneuvers parade motorcycle troops are passing by

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motorized artillery battery
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The newspaper headline is from the first day of the exercise. To the troops in Thrace called ''RED Corps''
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Cavalry troops


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armored troops at the starting parade

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Foreign soldiers coming from abroad are observing parade in Thrace.


Photo's from the first day of the maneuvers, Ataturk following the maneuver with military staff and members of parliament

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In 1937, the Turkish Army at peacetime strength consisted of 174,000 soldiers and 20,000 officers forming 11 army corps, 23 divisions, one armoured brigade, 3 cavalry brigades and 7 frontier commands. This number increased rapidly before the war began, and a mobilization was declared during the war. 1937 Turkey's population was just 16 million (now 83 million +). Before 1937, the military service was 24 months. As the threats increased, the military service time was also increased. Between 1941 and 45 it rose to 40+ months.
At the end of 1943, when the number of conscripts approached 900.000+, shortage of food began in the country. Even bread was obliged to be purchased with identification.


I will share the situation of the Turkish army before the war starts. The next post will be related to the navy and air force before 1939.
 
An interesting newspaper headlines. The headline of the newspaper 1937, First Ataturk's daughter, Pilot Sabiha Gokcen, is using anti aircraft gun, the maneuver continues, maneuver location determined on the map. The foreign delegation came to observe the maneuver is on the right. interesting article! Spanish ship torpedoed in gallipoli straights Ships name : Armuro. and many Spanish ships like this have sunk in this area. And the last a cartoon about the Spanish civil war.

So,neutral Turkey practice hes army for upcoming wars. Even Turkish Straits saw Spanish civil war battles closely of hes shores.
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Turkish fleet in Malta 1936
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Turkish Navy before 1939
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Turkish Navy During WW2
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Flag ship Yavuz & 2 Battleships
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Turgut Reis
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The mainstay of the Turkish fleet was obviously the formidable Yavuz, modernized in France in the 1930s, which despite its guns of a limited caliber retained great firepower, high speed and good protection. The very venerable battleship Torgud Reis, formerly Wissembourg, an ancient German pre-dreadnought of 1891, served as a coastal battleship, but he had reached the ultimate limit of his life span and had been classed as a mere pontoon since 1924. He had just to be demolished in 1940s.

2 Cruisers:
The Hamidieh and Medjidieh, dating from 1903, were reportedly discarded by other fleets, but were retained as a training ship. They were perfectly operational as mine layers in case of conflict.
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(6) 4 Destroyers: (2 reserve)
in the end of 1939, Kocatepe and Tinaztepe) Withdrew from duty as a reserve

Zafer 1932
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Kocatepe & Tinaztepe
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Sultanhisar
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TCG Gayret
TCG Muavenet (DM 357)


(9) 8 Submersibles (1 sunk):



In 1939, the Turkish fleet could count on a force of 9 submersibles, units of almost all-German origin, but officially Dutch (both Birinci), Spanish (Gür), and at last officially German for the three Atilay, the Batiray (requisitioned) before placing orders to Great Britain for four other S-classs in 1939 (Burac Reis class) requisitioned and retroceded with a British crew in 1942. One of them was saunk in action in 1943. The remainder third joined in the fleet by 1945.

Atilay 1939
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Birinci
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Saldiray
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German workers at launching ceremony
Lol :D

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15+ Miscellaneous ships:
The Turkish Navy finally operated a panel of light units, including MAS torpedo launchers of the Dogan class, and Kavak MTBs of British origin and minelayers. In 1942 Turkey ordered and received ten more modern British torpedo launches, and towards the end of the war, in addition from the Royal Navy, seven HDML patrol boats and eight ML-type Fairmile launches in 1944-1945.

However the fleet was also reinforced by three recent minelayers (Atak and the two Shivrishar class), and 8 older, the two (modernized) Berkistavets, the four Aidan Reis, the Nusret and the obsolete Intibah (1886).

Tonnage: Battleships: 1(+1) – Cruisers: 2 – Destroyers: 6(2 reserve) – Submersibles: 9 ( 1 sunk in 1942) – Misc.: 15+

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The Turkish Air Force had 141 first line aircraft in 1937, Turkey hoped to increase the size of its fleet to 300 by 1938. Turkey had 300 trained pilots in 1937.


In the beginning of 1940, Turkish air brigades had more than 500 combat aircraft in their inventory, at the time making it the largest air force in the Balkans and the Middle East. The Turkish Air Force became a separate banch of the Turkish Armed Forces in 1944. Turkey entered the war on the Allied side in Feb 1945. The Turkish Armed Forces were placed on full alert and were prepared for war following the military alliance between neighbouring Bulgaria and the Axis Powers which was formalized in March 1941, and the occupation of neighbouring Greece by the Axis Powers in April 1941. Within a year, Turkey's borders were surrounded by German forces in the northwest and west, and Italian forces in the southwest. The Turkish Air Force made daily reconnaissance flights over Bulgaria, Greece, the Greek Islands in the Aegean Sea, and the Dodecanese Islands which then belonged to Italy, to monitor the positions of the Axis forces. The large cities in western Turkey were darkened at nights, and anti-aircraft guns and searchlights were deployed for defence against possible enemy planes. Almost all available funds in the Turkish Government Treasury was used to purchase new weapons from any available provider in the world.

During the war Turkey sent pilots to the United Kigdom for training purposes. 14 are known to have died in the UK. One of them was shot down by a German plane during a training flight in British air space, the rest died in accidents.

The Turkish Air Force received large numbers of new aircraft in this period, including Supermarine Spitfire Mk. I, V, IX and XIX, Curtiss Falcon CW-22R/B, Fairey Battle Mk. I, Avro Anson Mk. I, Hawker Hurricane Mk. I and II, Morane-Saulnier M.S.406, Curtiss P-40 Tomahawk and Kittyhawk, Westland Lysander Mk. I, Consolidated B-24D Liberator, Bristol Blenheim Mk. IV and V, Bristol Beaufort, Bristol Beaufighter Mk. I and X, Focke Wulf FW-190-A3, Martin 187 Baltimore, de Havilland DH.98 Mosquito Mk. III and IV, Douglas B-26B and C Invader, P-47D Thunderbolt and Douglas C-47A and B Dakota.

Old Military aircraft insignia of Turkey (1918–1972)
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Sabiha Gökçen She was the world's first female fighter pilot
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Ahmet Ali Çelikten
Afro-Turkish aviator who was black pilot in aviation history. Also first black aviator officer. Also served in Ottoman Aviation Squadrons & took part in the Turkish War of Independence.



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Pre 1939 Planes

Martin 139-W
is an advanced version of the Model-123 developed and produced by the US firm Glenn L. Martin. The version was named as Model-139W initially and they were renamed as B-10 after being deployed at the USAAF starting on 1934. After the start of the Faschist Italy thread in the Eastern Mediterranean it was decided to procure long-range bombers. As a result Capt. Enver Akoğlu was sent to the States to examine the plane. It was decided to purchase 20 planes but with uprated 1000HP engines instead of the standart 750HP ones. These planes were named as 139-WT. These planes were deployed in Çorlu at 55. and 56. “Tayyare Bölüğü” which were connected to “9. Tayyare Taburu”. During 1941-42 they were used extensively in reconnaissance duties over the Black Sea. They were transferred to “1. Alay/2.Tabur/4.Tayyare Bölüğü” and to transport commands and they remained in active duty until 1946. 4 of the planes crashed on duty. 1945 16 were within the TuAF 12 of which were active.

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ANT-9 designed by the well-known Russian designer A.N.Tupolev as the first Soviet passenger plane by real means. Based on the earlier ANT-7 it was an all-metal, high wing plane equipped with three reciprocating engines. Its first flight took place on May 1,1929 and they were deployed within the same year. It was very much appreciated and it was named “Krilya Sovieta-The Wings of the Soviets”. In 1932 the Soviet designer S.I.Komarov modified the plane. One of the major modifications was the installation of two more powerfull M17 reciprocating in-line engines instead of the previous three. This plane called ANT-9/PS-9 or simply PS-9 entered service in 1933. In the same year a Soviet delegation headed by Marshall Voroshilov came to Turkey together with a PS-9 and three Polikarpov R-5s to participate the 10th anniversary ceremonies of the Turkish Republic. After the ceremony the planes were presented to the Goverment. The PS-9 was handed over to the THP (Turkish Aerial Postal Services) which may be considered as the forerunner of the Turkish Airlines after serving the armed forces for one year. The plane remained in service until 1936.

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Nieuport-Delage Ni.D-42C/Ni.D-62

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Martin 139-W is an advanced version of the Model-123 developed and produced by the US firm Glenn L. Martin. The version was named as Model-139W initially and they were renamed as B-10 after being deployed at the USAAF starting on 1934. After the start of the Faschist Italy thread in the Eastern Mediterranean it was decided to procure long-range bombers. As a result Capt. Enver Akoğlu was sent to the States to examine the plane. It was decided to purchase 20 planes but with uprated 1000HP engines instead of the standart 750HP ones. These planes were named as 139-WT. These planes were deployed in Çorlu ( Bulgarian border) at 55. and 56. “Tayyare Bölüğü” which were connected to “9. Tayyare Taburu”. During 1941-42 they were used extensively in reconnaissance duties over the Black Sea. They were transferred to “1. Alay/2.Tabur/4.Tayyare Bölüğü” and to transport commands and they remained in active duty until 1946. 4 of the planes crashed on duty. 1945 16 were within the TuAF 12 of which were active.
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Consolidated Fleet Model-7
The representative of the Consolidated Aircraft Corp. organized an air show on July 17th 1933 in Ankara. The plane’s performance was very much appreciated and 12 Model-7s were purchased to be used in aerobatics and for aerobatics pilot training. They were deployed at the Eskişehir Air Force acedemy and they served until 1943. Since then they were used for regimental communications and in 1945 they were written off.

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Curtiss Hawk-II/III

TUAF purchased LGL-32 fighter planes from the French Firm Goudrou-Leuseurre in 1932. But since the French firm could not fill the obligations the contract was shifted to the US firm Curtiss. The new agreement covered the assembly of 24 Hawk-IIs, 7 Fledglings and 12 Fleets in Kayseri Aircraft Factory “KTF”. The first batch of 24 Hawk-IIs arrived with USAAC serials and they were assembled at the KTF. But later on 6 more Hawk-IIs were ordered but this time it was an under-licence production. In the meantime Hawk-IIIs were observed and they were very much appreciated by the authorities and a follow-on order of 40 Hawk-IIIs to be produced at the KAF was placed. The Hawks remained in service until 1945. The Hawk-II/IIIs were deployed at the 53th Fighter Co., 54th Figther Co. and at the Hava Okulu (aerial School).

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Supermarine Southampton Mk.II
Southampton is a seaworthy maritime plane designed and produced by the British firm Supermarine Aviation Works. Its first flight took place in 1925 and starting on 1927 they were deployed at the British units. As a replacement for the aging Rohrbach Rodra Ro.IIIa’s 6 were purchased in 1933 by the funds allocated from the National Budget. The planes arrived the same year and they were deployed at the newly formed company 31st Dz.Ty.Bomb.Bl. (31st Maritime Airplane Bomber Co.) located in Izmir. In 1943 they were dropped from active duty after the arrival of the “Mosquito”s.

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Curtiss “Fledgling” 2C.1


The “Fledgling”s produced by the US firm Curtiss Airplane & Motor Co. located in Buffalo-New York were bought from the producer by the funds from the National Budget in unassembled forms and they were assembled at the Kayseri Airplane factory (KTF). They entered service in 1933 at the “Hava Okulu (Flying School) as trainers for training observers and gunners. In 1934 the first Turkish assembled “Fledgling” was presented to Persia as a govermental gift. In 1943 they were transferred to 3. Hava Alayı (3rd Aerial Regiment) as liaison aircraft and they were dropped from active service in 1946.

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Polikarpov R-5

It is a reconnaissance plane whose production started in 1928 in the Soviet Union. They remained to be in front-line service until mid-1941. A delegation headed by Marshall Voroshilov from the Soviet Union came to Turkey to participate the 10th anniversary celebrations of the Turkish Republic. Together with the delegation three Polikarpov R.5s and a PS-9 ( Double engined ANT-9) came to Turkey. After the celebrations the planes were donated to the Turkish Goverment. The Polikarpov R-5s were assigned to the Application Training Company. The planes called “Erpet” by the Turkish aviators were very much liked but due to lack of spares they were shortly written off.

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deHavilland DH-84 “Dragon”


It is a passenger-cargo plane designed and produced by the British firm deHavilland Aircraft Co. Ltd. The “Dragon”s entered service in 1933. 4 of them were purchased by the Turkish Armed Forces in 1934 to be uitilized as “flying schools”. One of them entered sevice in 1934 and the remaining 3 in 1935. They were deployed at the Hava Okulu (Flying School) until being replaced by the Airspeed “Consul”s in 1944. Then they were transferred to Transport Command and they were used as transport planes until written off in 1946.

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Gotha Go-145A

It is a two-seater trainer produced by the German firm Gotha. In accordance with the treaty signed at the end of WWI the Gotha factory was closed since they were producing bombers. On October 2nd, 1933 the plant re-started production. The first production was an unarmed trainer Gotha Go-145. More 1000 examples were produced by “Ago”, “BFW” and “Focke-Wolf” in addition to Gotha. They were also produced under licence in Spain and in Turkey. The first 3 planes were brought from Germany and the remaining 43 planes were produced at the Kayseri Aircraft Factory in between 1936 and 1939. They were deployed at the Flying School replacing the Caudron C.59s. They remained in service until 1943 when they were started to be replaced by Miles Magisters. Then they were used as communication planes by air regiments until mid-1947.

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PZL P-24A/C/G

In 1934 the Turkish Goverment decided to procure 12 Dewoitine-510s in order to stregthen the interceptor units and signed an aggreement with the producer. One of the planes produced was exhibited at the Paris Air Show in 1935 but the French Goverment embargoed the despacthment of the planes putting forward the unsettled situation in the Hatay Sandjak. This behaviour which was completely contrary to the international law caused anger and furiousity in the Turkish Goverment and the contract was immediately cancelled. Turkey who was in search of an alternative started investigating the Polish built P.24 together with four other Balkan countries which were namely Romania, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and Greece and with a Baltic country Estonia. In the meantime a P.24/III arrived Turkey and made demostration flights. The performance was found acceptable and an order was placed in 1936. The first order was covering 20 P-24As 14 of which would be produced in Poland by PZL and the remaining 6 would be assembled at KTF (Kayseri Airplane factory). These planes had had 4 underwing racks for 12.5kg bombs, four 7.9mm Colt-Browning machine guns and two 20mm Oerlikon cannons. All of these planes were supplied within 1936. The second order covered 46 P-24Cs. 26 of these planes would be manufactured by PZL and 20 would be produced under licence by KTF. These planes were supplied within 1937. They were equipped with four 7.9mm Colt-Browning machineguns and they had two underwing rails for 50kg bombs. The P-24A and P-24C models were equipped with French made Gnome-Rhone reciprocating radial engines with an output of 900HP each. In 1939 an additional aggrement was signed for the production of two P-24Gs at the KTF facilities. These planes were equipped with two 20mm Oerlikon cannons, four 7.9mm Colt-Browning machine guns. Their engine was altered to 950HP Gnome-Rhone 14N-07. All of the P-24s were deployed at the 21st, 41st, 42nd, & 43rd Interceptor Companiers. The planes at the 42nd & at the 43rd were transferred to Flying School in 1943. They were droppped out of service in 1943 by the arrival of Hawker Hurricanes. The only existing example in the whole World is at the Aviation Museum at Yeşilköy-Istanbul.

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Focke-Wolf FW-44

20 Focke-Wolf FW-44s were procured from Germany with the loan received in accordance with the aggrement reached on 1936. All of the FW-44s were received on 27.4.1937. The planes which entered the military inventory were then transferred to the THK (Turkish Air League). Some remained in service until 1963. The THK serials given to these planes were THK-3, THK11-19 and THK20-29 .

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Focke-Wulf FW-58K “Weihe”

It was produced as a light transport by the German firm Focke-Wolf. After negotiations in between Turkey and Germany a loan for the procurement of aircraft was received and 6 pcs FW-58K “Weihe”s and 20 pcs FW-44s were procured. The planes were received within 1937. One of the “Weihe”s crashefd on the way Turkeyt and a substitute was given in 1939. The FW-44s were transferred to THK (Turkish Air League) and the “Weihe”s were deployed at the Hava Okulu (Flying School) for training navigators and bombardiers. In 1943 they were transferred to 3rd & 5th Regiments as liaison aircraft where they were written off in 1945.

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Pre 1939 Planes+
 
REPOST Post #2 The links of the photos were broken

In 1937, the first Armored Brigade was established in Lüleburgaz (Thrace area middle of çakmak area) still biggest Armored army headquarters.
Steps have been taken for new purchases, with the exception of the few dozen Renault FT-17 tanks & other tankets in the inventory, A total of 68 T-26 tanks, 34 BA-6 & BA-3s heavy armored car's were purchased from the Soviet Union.

Most of the photos are from the archive of Cengiz Söğütlü
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T26 in Thrace Maneuvers

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BA6 in Ankara victory day
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Lüleburgaz first Armored regiment
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Before the start of the Second World War in 1939, Turkey entered into an alliance agreement with Britain and France.
The decision was made to purchase tanks from France and England in order to enlarge the Tank Regiment. 100+ Renault R35 tanks (10-ton, 37mm gun) from France and 26 Vickers 6-Ton (with 1x12.7 and 1x7.7mm Machine gun) from the UK purchased.
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Renault R35 tanks of Turkish army

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Apart from that, efforts to motorize the army were started in 1936.
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a large number of tracked artillery tractors purchased

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Ataturk & Fevzi çakmak at the start of Thrace Maneuvers
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Thrace Maneuvers parade motorized division passing
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Thrace Maneuvers parade motorcycle troops are passing by
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motorized artillery battery
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The newspaper headline is from the first day of the exercise. To the troops in Thrace called ''RED Corps''
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Cavalry & infantry


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armored troops at the starting parade

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Foreign soldiers coming from abroad are observing parade in Thrace.
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Photo's from the first day of the maneuvers, Ataturk following the maneuver with military staff and members of parliament
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In 1937, the Turkish Army at peacetime strength consisted of 174,000 soldiers and 20,000 officers forming 11 army corps, 23 divisions, one armoured brigade, 3 cavalry brigades and 7 frontier commands. This number increased rapidly before the war began, and a mobilization was declared during the war. 1937 Turkey's population was just 16 million (now 83 million +). Before 1937, the military service was 24 months. As the threats increased, the military service time was also increased. Between 1941 and 45 it rose to 40+ months.
At the end of 1943, when the number of conscripts approached 900.000+, shortage of food began in the country. Even bread was obliged to be purchased with identification.


I will share the situation of the Turkish army before the war starts. The next post will be related to the navy and air force before 1939.
 
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Pre 1939 Planes+
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Monospar ST-12


It is a monoplane with two reciprocating engines designed and produced by the British firm General Aircraft Ltd. Its production started in 1935. Turkey purchased two planes which were received in October 1937. One of the planes (M.1/3215) crashed and the other one was dropped from active duty in 1941.

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Bristol Blenheim Mk.1/IV/V “Bizley”

The origin of the Bristol “Blenheim” was an executive monoplane called Type-142 with a capacity of 6 passengers designed and produced for the Daily Mirror in 1934. The military version of the plane was designed in 1935. It was initially called Type-142M which was changed to “Blenheim Mk.1” later on. 1351 examples of this model were produced. This was followed by Mk.IV whose production rate was 3307 examples and by Mk.IVT torpedo-bomber version and by the Mk.V which was called “Bizley” among the Turkish aviators. These planes remained on active combat duty within the RAF until 1943 until when they were replaced by the Beauforts and the Beaufighters. 40 examples of MK.I, 3 examples of Mk.IV and 18 examples of Mk.V joined the TuAF at different dates. The first were composed of 12 Mk.Is 2 of which were sent on Oct.1937 and the remaining 10 on Feb.1938 in accordance with the contract signed in 1936 foreseeing the modernisation of the TuAF. Later in 1938-1939 18 more Mk.Is and in Sept.1939 the last 10 Mk.Is joined the TuAF. These planes were allocated to the 10th and the 12th Battalions and to the 3rd Regiment. In 1942 3 examples of Mk.IV were received and they were deployed at the 3rd Regiment. The last Blenheims that joined the TuAF were the Mk.Vs all of which arrived on Sept. 1943. They were deployed at the 105th Torpedo Group and at the Aviation School. Blenheims were started to be dropped out of active duty starting in 1944 and the last example was retired in 1947. They were replaced by the Bristol Beauforts.

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Heinkel He-111F-1

It is the famous bomber used by the Luftwaffe during the WWII. Some were also used by the faschist forces during the civil war in Spain. The plane was designed by the famous German designer Ernst Heinkel and the first prototype flight took place in February 1935. Since 1936 they started being deployed at the Luftwaffe units. During the early days of 1937 a He-111 came to Ankara and made demo flights. The demos won admiration and it was followed by an order of 24 He-111F-1s in March. 16 planes arrived within the same year in two paties and the remainder came in 1938. The planes were deployed at the 1st Air Regiment in Eskişehir at the 1st and 2nd Battalions. After the arrival of the “Baltimore”s and the B-24s in the 40’s a somewhat peculiar picture was formed. The planes which were serving opposing air forces during the war were flying side by side at the TuAF. During the war spare parts for these planes were the major problem. The were brought from Britain which were collected from the shut-down Luftwaffe planes over the British skies. In 1945 they were withdrawn from active duty after the arrival of the Mosquitos.

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VULTEE - V

Vultee-V series planes was designed and produced by the US firm Vultee Aircraft Development Corporation as a tactical bomber and assault plane. Its design was based on the transport version V-1 with the inspirations given by Capt. Enver Akova. The plane also called A-19 by the USAAC were not deployed at large quantities but they were exported to China and Brazil in addition to Turkey. 40 of the Vultee V-11-GBT model (“T” stands for Turkey) were procured as replacements for the Breguet XIXs. Three of the planes arrived in 1937 and the remainder in 1938. They were deployed at the 27th, 28th, 44th & 48th Co.s of the 2nd Regiment. In 1944 they were transferred to the 101st & 103rd Recce Co.s. In between 1947 & 48 they served for a while at the 1st & 2nd Co.s of the 9th Regiment. They were retired in 1948 after the arrival of the P-47s.

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Supermarine Walrus Mk.II

Its design works were started by the British firm Supermarine Aviation Works Ltd. in 1932 and its first prototype flight took place in 1933. They started serving the RN in 1935. Walrus is a single engined biplane with a pusher propeller. They can take-off from the sea or they can be catapulted from the warships. In 1937, with the funds allocated from the National Budget 6 were ordered. The planes arrived at April 1938 and they were deployed at the 11st Dz.Tay.Bl (11st Maritime Airplane Co.). Starting on 1944 they were transferred to the 105th Torpedo Co.. They were written off in 1947.

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Koolhoven FK.49A

It is a plane designe and produced by the Dutch firm Koolhoven espacially for aerial photography and cartography. Its first production was in 1935. A total of 7 were produced. It was procured on 7th June 1938. It served General Directorate of Cartography of the Turkish Army. Its army serial number is 4902. In 1942 it crashed due to fire on one of the engines.

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Supermarine “SpitfireSpitfire Mk.Ia

The Spitfires designed and produced by the British firm Vickers Supermarine participated the Battle of Britain and most probably they are the most popular fighters of WWII. Different models arrived Turkey at different times. A batch of 15 Spitfire MK.1s were ordered together with the Hawker “Hurricanes” but only 3 of them were delivered. One of them which was an ex-Polish order arrived in Sept.1938. The other two arrived in 1940. Eventhough serials 4501 to 4515 were allocated by the TuAF they were never used. The planes were deployed at the 42nd Hunter Company. Two of them were returned to RAFME in 1942. The Mk.1s were equipped with a Rolls Royce Merlin-2 engine with an output of 1030HP. Their armament consisted of 8 pieces 0.303 caliper MGs. They were distinctive with their 3-blade propeller.

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Hawker Hurricane

A total of 164 Hurricanes of diffrent models served the TuAF. Following the Anglo-French Treaty 15 Mk.Is were ordered in 1939 which were received within the same year. This was followed by a second batch of 15 and they were received in 1940. A further 5 Mk.Is were ordered and they arrived in 1943. Some of the planes in the second batch were ex-Yugoslavian orders and some were ex-Polish orders. All of the Mk.Is were assigned to 5th Regiment, 8th Battalion, 42nd and 57th Hunter Companies. In 1943 they were transferred to the 4th Regiment.

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Morane Saulnier MS.406C1

In accordance with the treaty signed by France and Great Britain France promised to supply 40 MS.406C1s to Turkey. The first party of 30 planes came to İstanbul by a streamer and they were assembled under the supervision of French technicians in Yeşilköy. These planes were assigned to the 43rd & 48th Companies of the 11th Battalion of the 4th Regiment located in Kütahya. In 1942 the regiment moved to Merzifon where they were reorganised as the 5th Air Base in early 50’s. The planes were withdrawn from frontline duty in 1943 and they were assigned to Flying School in Eskişehir. In mid-1945 they were retired from active duty.

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Westland Lysander Mk.II

Lysander was designed and produced by the British firm Westland as an army cooperation aircraft in accordance with the demands from RAF. Its first flight took place on June 15th, 1936. In addition to Turkey Lysanders were utilized by France and they were also produced under licence in Canada. Due to its lack of speed they were withdrawn from the frontlines even during the first days of the WWI. During 1939-1940 36 pcs Lysander Mk.IIs were received by the TuAF as British Military Aid. 12 of the he planes which arrived by maritime lines were assembled at Yeşilköy-Istanbul and the remaining 24 were despatched to Eskişehir. 12 of the planes were utilized as trainers and target tugs. 12 were sent to Merzifon. In 1948 they were replaced by P-47 “Thunderbolt”s.

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The main Turkish air force inventory during the second world war in 1940 and beyond ww2
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Supermarine “Spitfire


No other Spitfire was supplied until mid-1944. In July 1944 39 pcs Mk.Vb was sent from RAF stocks. This was followed by 71 pcs Mk.Vc’s and 3 recce version Mk.V/R came in February 1945. Mk.Vb’s were deployed at the 1st and 2nd Co.s of the 5th Regiment, 1st, 2nd and 3rd Co.s of the 6th Regiment. The Mk.V/Rs were used with the “High Altitude Photo-Recce Unit”. These models were distinguished with their four-blade propellers. According to the TuAF sources they were equipped with Rolls Royce Merlin-20 engines with an output of 1500 HP. But the British sources state that the Mk.Vb’s were equipped with a 1585HP Rolls Royce Merlin 45M engine and the Mk.Vc’s with a 1470HP Rolls Royce Merlin 45 engine. The standart armament of the Mk.Vb’s were 4 pcs 0.303 caliper MG and 2 pcs 20mm cannon whereas the Mk.Vc’s had 4 pcs 20mm cannons and they were capable of carrying a bombload of 500lbs. They were replaced by the P-47 “Thunderbolts” in 1948. After the WWII, the TuAF was inclined to make the “Spitfire”s her standart interceptor-fighter. An aggreement was signed with the Britsih firm Vickers for the overhaul and maintenance of the “Spitfire”s. In between Jan.1947 and Feb.1948 170 pcs Mk.IX were received. These planes were deployed at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd Co.s of the 4th Regiment, 3rd & 4th Co.s of the 5th Regiment 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Co.s of the 7th Regiment and 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Co.s of the 8th Regiment. Some of the planes were then transferred to the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Co.s of the 6th Regiment in 1949. After the reorganization of the TuAF they were deployed at the 4th & 6th Air Bases in 1951. They were written off in 1954. The Mk.IXs were equipped with a Rolls Royce Merlin 61 with an output of 1475HP. Their armament varied (some were equipped with 8 pcs 0.303 Caliper MGs whereas some were equipped with 4 pcs 0.303 caliper MG plus 2 pcs 20mm cannons. Some even had 4 pcs 20mm cannons and they were capable of carrying a bomb load of 500lbs. Only one Spitfire M.XI arrived. The exact date of arrival and deployment is not known. It was assigned to “High Altitude Photo-Recce Unit”. 4 pcs Mk.XIX were sold to Vickers by the RAF to make the overhaul. These planes were brought to Turkey in March 1947 and they were also deployed at the “High Altitude Photo-Recce Unit”. These planes were equipped 2 cameras underneath the fuselage an done each on the port and starboard sides of the fuselage. They were the most powerful Spitfires equipped with a 2035HP Rolls Royce Griffon engine. They are distinctive with their five-blade propeller.

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Hawker Hurricane


A total of 164 Hurricanes of diffrent models served the TuAF. Following the Anglo-French Treaty 15 Mk.Is were ordered in 1939 which were received within the same year. This was followed by a second batch of 15 and they were received in 1940. A further 5 Mk.Is were ordered and they arrived in 1943. Some of the planes in the second batch were ex-Yugoslavian orders and some were ex-Polish orders. All of the Mk.Is were assigned to 5th Regiment, 8th Battalion, 42nd and 57th Hunter Companies. In 1943 they were transferred to the 4th Regiment. Following the insistant demands of Turkey three MkIICs were given on 31st Dec.1943 which was followed by further shipments on 31st Jan.1943, 31st March,1943 and 1st July 1943 totalling to 47 pieces Mk.IIC. Thses shipments were followed by a batch of 38 Mk.IIBs on 1st.Aug.1943 & 1st.Sept.1943 and 44 pieces Mk.IIC/R recce types on 1st.Feb.1944. Mk.ııBs were deployed at 4th Regiment, 3rd Company whereas Mk.IICs were deployed at the 4th Regiment, 1st & 2nd Companies and 4th Regiment, 8th Battalion, 53rd & 58th Hunter Companies. Mk.IIC/Rs were assigned to 101st, 102nd & 103rd Aerial Recce Groups. They were dropped from active duty after the arrival of the P-47 “Thunderbolt”s in 1947.

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Fairey “Battle” Mk-1

In accordance with the aggrement signed between Turkey and the United Kingdom it was aggreed on the sale of Fairey “Battle”s to Turkey which would be paid back in twenty years with an annual interest of 4%. In the meantime 30 Fairey “Battle”s were being shipped to Poland. But due to Poland’s sudden occupation by the Nazi Germany the ship’s route was diverted to Turkey. The planes which arrived on Feb.2.1940 were assigned to the 2nd. “Talim Taburu” and to the 3rd “Talim Taburu” as light bombers and recce planes. In 1944 they were replaced by the “Baltimore”s and the remaining aircraft were transferred to the “Hava Okulu” as trainers. They remained in servise until being replaced by the AT-11s in 1947.

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Henriot H-182

It is a trainer produced by the French Compagnie des Avions Henriot. The first model H-180T (Nr.1) made its first flight in 1934. Within the same year it participated the “Salon de l’Aeronautique” in Paris and and it won admiration with her modern lines. Models H-182.01, H-190M & H-191 were produced in accordance with the demands of the customers. They also served the Republicans during the Spanish Civil War. 36 of them were deployed at the TuAF in 1940 together with the Morane-Saulnier fighters. The first 19 had camouflage painting whereas the remainder silver colored metallic bodies. They served the Aviation School until they were transferred to the Regiments as liaison planes in 1943. 5 were lent to the THK. They were dropped from active duty in 1945.

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Avro “Anson”

Avro Anson is a multi-purpose trainer developed from a 6-passenger-capacity transport plane and it started being deployed at the RAF starting in 1935. It was also the first plane with recractable undercarriages in the RAF. In accordance with the agreement signed between the Turkish and the British goverments on January 8,1940 25 Ansons were bought. The sum of the purchase was to be paid back in 20 years with an annual interest of 4%. 6 of the planes were brought in 1940 and the remainder in 1941. The planes were deployed at the Aeronautics School, 3rd Training Battalion to be used as bombardier and MG training. The planes were also assignted to the 1st & 3rd Alay where they were used for instrument and bombardier training. They remained in active duty until November 1946.

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Curtiss-Wright CW-22 “Falcon”

The plane also known as SNC-1 “Falcon” was started to be produced by the US firm Curtiss-Wright in 1939. In 1940 a newer model for the USN, the CW-22B was put into production. Towards the end of the 1930s the TuAF planned an urgent modernisation and 50 CW-22R models were bought from Curtiss-Wright. The planes which arrived in 1940 remained in active duty until 1949 until the arrival of the T-6 “Texan”s. In 1940 a second batch of 50 planes, this time the USN version the CW-22Bs were purchased. These planes were deployed at the Hava Okulu in between 1940 and 1949. Some were used for lisison purposes by some of the regiments. 5 were loaned to THK (Turkish Aerial Foundation) in 1940 but they were returned in 1942.
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Miles Magister Mk.I/IA

It is a low wing type monoplane with a wooden fuselage. It was designed and produced by the British firm Miles. The first prototype flight took place on 20th March 1937. In between 1937-41 1293 pieces were produced. In 1941 the British Goverment promised to supply 25 Mk.1s in 1941 and 75 in 1942. However only 76 were despatched in 1941. 6 of these planes were lost enroute to Turkey which were shipped later on. Kayseri Aircraft Factory obtained the rights of under licence production from the Miles Co. and they produced 5 in 1941 and 21 in 1942. The rights of under-licence production was transferred to THK, The Turkish Aerial League and they produced a further 20 in their facilities located in Ankara. These planes were deployed at the Hava Okulu, 1st Training Battalion, 1st & 2nd Companies in between 1942-50, Air Force Academy in between 1951-60. 60 of these planes were transferred to THK at different times and they remained in active service until 1963.

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Consolidated B-24 “Liberator”

The plane which was designed in parallel to the USAAC demands made its first flight om Dec. 29, 1939. Britain and France who want to modernize their air forces due to the approaching war placed orders. But since the “Liberators” were not ready before the war, France’s deliveries were not fulfilled and they were shifted to Britain. B-24s were used by the USAAC in all the fronts and they were poduced more than any other allied bomber. The production quantity is around 18.000, Four B-24s made an emergency landing to Turkey after the first Ploesti bombing raid on June 12, 1942 and seven more after the second Ploesti bombing raid on August 1, 1943 (Another one called “Hadley’s Harem” crashed into the sea near Manavgat. This plane is being exhibited at the Rahmi Koç Museum). Three of the first group of planes which landed in Turkey landed near Adapazarı and the other three near Ankara. The planes were interned together with their crew Eventhogh one of the planes succeeded to escape to Cyprus it was sent back to Tukey. 5 planes were recovered out of the 11 and they joined the TuAF as heavy bombers. They remained in service until 1947.

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Curtiss “Tomahawk”Mk.IIB

In the year 1942 42 Tomahawk Mk.IIBs were sent from the RAFME (RAF Middle East) stocks to bolster Turkey’s neutrality.These planes were similarly equipped with the P-40C’s in the USAAF inventory. Eventhough the TuAF sources say that they were equipped with 3 pcs 0.50 inch cannons the US and British sources (i.e Joe Baugher) state that the Tomahawk Mk.IIB’s were equipped 4 pcs 0.303 caliper MG on the wings and 2 pcs 0.50 inch cannons on the nose. All of the Tomahawks were deployed at the newly founded XIVth Battalion (located at Gaziemir-Izmir, within the 3rd Regiment). Later on the battalion was reorganized as 1st Battalion composed of two companies. Tomahawks were in poor condition even when they arrived and they were replaced by the Spitfire Mk.Vs in 1944. A remaining few examples were used as trainers for the Spitfires.
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Curtiss P-40D (Kittyhawk-1)

The US firm Curtiss-Wright Corp. was working on a new model of P-40 equipped with an 1150HP Allison V-1710-39 engine. The plane which had the H87A-2 factory designation would later be called P-40D “Kittyhawk-1” Even before the first prototype flight RAF ordered 560 of this model. Later some of the planes were transferred to Canada and 24 were leased to Turkey under the “Lend-Lease Agreement”. The planes were deployed at the 3rd & 4th Companies of the 2nd Battalion, 6th Regiment. The planes were already in poor conditions at the time of arrival and starting in 1944 they were started to be replaced by Spitfire Mk.Vs. 9 of them which were stil flyable were used as trainers for Spitfires.

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Focke-Wolf FW-190A3 !

The Focke-Wulf FW-190 made its first flight on June 1, 1939 and it entered service in 1941.After ıts first apearance in action over northwestern France in September 1941 it proved its superiority over the Spitfire Mk.V, Britain's best fighter of the period. The FW-190 which was designed by the famous German designer Kurt Tank was a single-seat fighter which was also used as ground-attack aircraft and even as nightfighter until the end of the war. The FW-190 first saw action against Spitfires of the RAF in the spring of 1941. It had an excellent BMW 801Dg two-row radial engine, which was in excess since most German aircraft used in-line engines. The FW-190 was smaller than any British fighter, but carried heavier armament. Usually the armament arrangement included four 20mm cannon and two 7.9mm machine guns. It was extremely maneuverable, well-protected, and had a wide-track landing gear unlike other contemporary fighters. The procurement of the FW-190 A3s is the last link of a chain of Turco-German relations covering cooperation in aviation which started even before the WWI by the arrival of German planes and aviators at the Ottoman Empire. It was followed by the foundation of TOMTAŞ with the cooperation of Junkers in Kayseri which produced the Junkers A20s. In accordance with the agreements that were signed in the following years various German planes were procured and they served within the Turkish Armed Forces among which Rohrbach, Gotha and the earlier Focke Wolf models may be named. Another commercial agreement in between the two goverments was signed in 1941 after the great efforts of the German ambassador, former premier, Franz von Pappen. Turkey was to supply iron and chromium ores which were very strategic material for Germany and in return Turkey was to receive FW-190 A3s. 72 pcs FW-190 A3 arrived Turkey and the first flight was made on July.10th 1943. The planes were deployed at the 1st, 2nd, 3rd & 4th Co’s of the 5th Air Regiment. They were very much liked by the pilots and the crew and they remained in service until the end of 1947.

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Miles Master.II/Martinet


Miles Master was planned as an advanced trainer by the British firm Miles. The first prototype flight took place on 3rd June 1937. In 1939 some were ordered for the RAF. A total of 3227 were produced . They also served the air forces of USA, Egypt, Portugal, South African Republic, Ireland and Turkey. It was planned to procure 100 planes. But since is was observed that the CW-22s were having a much better performance the quantity was dropped to 27. On July 1943 8 Mk.II models arrived which was followed by 7 “Martinet” target towing models on March 1945. Within the same year 12 more Mk.IIs arrived. They were assigned to target towing duties in various regiments and they remained in service until being replaced by the T-6C “Harvard”s.

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Bristol Beaufort Mk.II

Beaufort was produced by the British Bristol Co. whose design was based on the earlier “Blenheim” and it was initially called Type-152. It was similarly a torpedo-bomber but it was heavier than the previous since it was designed to accomodate a crew of four. The Beauforts started being the standart torpedo-bomber of the RAF in 1940. Eventhough they raided the famous German battleships Scharnhorst and Gneisenau they were not considered successfull planes. 2080 examples including the 700 produced in Australia under licence were produced. Mk.1 is the dominating model with 104 examples which was followed by Mk.V having 520 models produced. They were withdrawn from active duty in 1944. These planes were nicknamed as “The Fying Coffins” by the Britsh pilots. They were not liked by the Turkish pilots either. Since Blenheim Mk.Vs in the TuAF were not able to fulfill their duties it was promised by the British Goverment to be replaced by 32 pcs Beauforts. These planes were brought to Turkey from RAFME-Egypt in March,1944 and they immediately replaced the existing Blenheims at the 105th Torpedo Group. They remained in active duty until being replaced by the Beaufighters in 1947.

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deHavilland DH-89 “Dominie”

DH-89 “Dominie” is a version of the DH-89 “Dragon Rapid” designed and produced by the British firm deHavilland. The “Mk-1” version was produced for aerial navigation training and the “Mk-2” version for liasion and transport. The Turkish State Airlines (DHY) continuing to expand even during the WWII opened new domestic routes and started seeking possibilities of procuring new aircraft. As new aircraft “Dominie”s were found at the RAFME located in the Middle East. With the funds allocated from the National Budget 8 of them were bought and they first entered the inventory of the Turkish Armed Forces. The first four arrived in April 1944 and the remainer in August 1944. All of the planes were transferred to the DHY. One of the “Dominie”s was sold to Mr. Vecihi Hürkuş, the famous Turkish aviator in 1959.

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Martin 187 “Baltimore” (A-30)

Martin 187 “Baltimore” was designed in accordance with the demands of the British Goverment with the design based on the previous Martin 167 “Maryland”. Its series production started in 1941. Eventhough the plane was designated as A-30 by USAAC it was never used as a bomber. Minor numbers were utilized as transports, trainers and liaison planes. These planes were delivered to RAF under lend-&-lease program in 1941. The total number of planes delivered to RAF were 975 and 281 of these planes were Mk.IIIA (USSAC serial nr. 41-27682/27962) and 294 were Mk.IV (USAAC serial Nr. 41-27963/28256, RAF serial Nr. FA381/FA674)

These planes were also selected by the Turkish Army as medium-light bombers and 72 of the Mk.Ivs which were being flown by the RAFME were procured by means of the national budget. The Baltimores were transferred to Adana in two parties the former composed of 26 planes on August 21,1944 and the remainder 46 on November 12,1944. They replaced the Fairey Battles in 1.Alay and 2.Alay but the war weary and aged planes soon started being written in a very short time. Starting on 1947 they were started to be replaced by the Mosquitos and the replacement within the 1. and 2. Alays ended in 1949. The last Baltimore which was deployed in the Mansh Battalion was dropped from active duty in 1950.

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The main Turkish air force inventory during the second world war in 1940 and beyond ww2+

Turkish technician erasing The swastika on the Heinkel He-111 bombers rear wing. Purchased by the Turkish Air Force from Nazi Germany is replaced with the crescent and star.

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Douglas C-47A/B, DC-3 “Dakota”


Without any doubt the C-47 and its civilian version DC-3 are the most famous planes of the aviation history.The military career of the Douglas DC series (Douglas Cargo) began in 1936 when the Army Air Corps ordered a pair of DC-2s under the designation C-32. A contract followed for 18 DC-2s in the C-33 freighter configuration and two more as C-34 staff transports. Then, in 1937, the Army ordered a plane built to its own specifications. It was a hybrid design that combined the fuselage of the DC-2 with a DC-3 tail. This was the sole C-38 prototype and it led to 35 production versions called the C-39. The C-39 represented the first serious effort by the Army to establish an airlift capability. By 1941 the old USAAC had been transformed into the USAAF and it selected a modified version of the DC-3 - the C-47 Skytrain - to become its standard transport aircraft. A reinforced fuselage floor and the addition of a large cargo door were the only major modifications. Other changes included the fitting of cargo hooks beneath the center wing section and the removal of the tail cone to mount a hook for towing gliders. 110 C-47A/Bs and DC-3s served the Turkish Armed Forces and the Turkish Air Force. But it was the Turkish State Airlines who was the first to buy 30 C-47s from the RAFME stocks in Cairo in 1945 in order to renew the fleet and to expand the existing routes. This was followed by the procurement of 18 C-47As with the sources allocated from the national budget in 1946. They joined The Turkish Armed Forces in 1948. It was soon followed by 81 C-47A/Bs supplied from the USAF stocks in Germany within the American Military Aid Programme, The shipment started in August 13, 1948 and it was completed in April 24, 1949. But 7 of these planes which arrived in 1949 were then delivered to an unknown destination most probably to Persia within the same year(1). The last C-47s added to the inventory were 11 planes 2 of which were acquired from Libya, one from the Turkish Airport Authorithies (DHMI) and one from the Turkish Mineral Exploration Agency (MTA) one from USAFE and 6 from THY (Turkish Airlines) which were used as VIP transports. The planes which were acquired from USAFE and THY were given the Turkish Military Serials which were previously assigned to those 7 planes delivered to an unknown destination(1). C-47s served in the TuAF for a long period of time and they often worked side by side with C-130s and with C-160s. They flew the “Western Courier” and the “Eastern Courier” routines starting from the Etimesgut Military Airport. They were started to be replaced by the CASA CN-235s in Dec. 1993. Three EC-47s which were converted into ECM planes remained in service until 1995. The last C-47 was replaced in 1998.

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Airspeed “Oxford”Mk.1/Mk.2/”Consul”

Oxford is a trainer designed and produced by the British firm called “Airspeed” founded in 1931. Its first prototype flight took place in 1936. In order to meet the multi-engined trainer plane demand of the TuAF 50 factory new Mk-1s were procured from the national budget and they were brought to Turkey via Egypt (1941). Later in 1946 30 more Mk.2s and 2 Consuls were bought. 20 of the Mk-2s were used as trainers and 10 as ambulance planes. The Consuls were used as VIP transports. These planes remained on duty until 1952 and were gradually replaced by AT-11s starting on 1949.

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de Havilland Mosquito

After the end of thre WWII TuAF decided to equip three regiments with deHavilland “Mosquito” torpedo planes and fighter-bombers. The planes ordered were delivered by the British firm Fairey Aviation in between January 1947 and April 1948. However neither the supplied quantities nor the registration numbers of the TuAF and Fairey Aviation are in conformity. In the TuAF inventory 10 Mk.III(T) torpedo-bombers and 122 Mk.IV fighter bombers appear whereas the figures are 10 and 132 respectively in the Fairey Aviation records.

Three of these planes were used by the General Commander of the Cartography and they bear civil registrations. The first party arrived were deployed at the 3rd Regiment at Gaziemir in the anti-shipping role. The remainder were deployed at the 1st Regiment in Eskişehir and 2nd Regiment in Diyarbakır. But the plywood and glue used in the construction of these planes didn’t end up with good results and many accidents occured. The planes in Diyarbakır were transferred to Eskişehir. In the meantime the Regiment in Gaziemir was disbanded and the 1st Regiment was reorganized as 1st Air Base and the 2nd Regiment as the 2nd Air Base in 1951. In 1953 after the arrival of the US built Republic F-84G “Thunderjets” they were removed from active duty.

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Beechcraft D-18S/E-18S

The D-18Ss which made their first flight in 1937 were the very first Beechcraft planes to join the TuAF. Two of them were received within the USA Military Program on March.2.1947. These planes were utilized for photo-tophographical duties. The planes were painted in bright red and they had polished aluminum engine cowls. The “TC-1HRT” and “TC-2HRT” were allocated to the “Irtibat Nakilye Bölüğü” but in 1948 they were transferred to 10.Alay/4.Bl. these planes which were deployed later on by 224. Filo remained on duty until 1959. In 1959 an E-18S was procured and it was deployed at 224 Filo. Later on in 1975 two more civilian planes were procured and one of these planes were used for calibration duties. One of these planes was ex-TC-KUM. In 1959 the D-18Ss were retired. The last E-18S remained on duty until 1983. The E-18Ss were deployed on cartografical duties.

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Bristol Beaufighter TF.Mk.X

The Beaufighters produced by the British Aeroplane Co. were long-range figther-bombers whose design was based on he previous Bauforts. Its first flight took place on July 17th, 1939 and they started being deployed at the RAF units starting in 1940. They are considered as one of the most sucessfull airplanes of the WWII era. 5562 examples of different versions were produced until the production ended in Sept.21, 1945. They remained in active duty since 1949 and during the 1950s they were used as target tugging planes. 24 Beaufighters TF.MK.X were presented by the British Goverment since the existing Beauforts were faced with severe accidents. The planes arrived in between april and August 1947 and they were assigned to 105th Torpedo Group replacing the Beauforts, 18 on duty and 6 as reserve. After the abolishment of the group they were assigned to the 15th Recce Regiment in Afyon. But since they were faced with take-off problems due to altitude (circa 600 m above sea level) they were transferred to Eskişehir to be stored. After the arrival of B-26s in 1948 they were retired.

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Beechcraft AT-11 “Kansan”


AT-11 is a variation of the Model-18 designed by the Beechcraft Co. in 1935 and they were used as advanced trainers and bomber-trainers. The design studies of this low-wing plane started in 1937 and they started being mass produced in 1939. They were started to be exported from 1940 onwards. A total of 9388 were produced and more than 250 of them were still in active service in the year 2000. AT-11s started joining the TuAF since 1948 and they are the second Beechcraft version that was deployed. A total of 128 planes joined the TuAF with the US Military Assistance Program. They were brought to Turkey by an aircraft carrier on May, 14,1948. They were officially registered on August,24,1947 as TuAF planes replacing the Airspeed Oxfords and they remained in service until 1983. These planes were mostly used for training and liaison purposes. The most extensive user was the Eskişehir Bomber Training and Shooting School but after the retirement of the B-26s most of them were also retired. The remaining planes were used as target tugs and liaison planes at various air bases.

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Douglas A-26/B-26 “Invader”

“Invader”s designed and produced by the US firm Douglas Aircraft Co. made its first flight on July 10,1942. In order not to get confused with the B-26 “Marauder”s they were designated as A-26 “Invader”s until the retirement of the former which were then named as B-26. They were designed as light bombers, ground attack aircraft and tankers and they are the only bombers which served in three wars (WWII, the Korean and the Vietnam Wars). The start of the Cold War after the WWII and the Soviets demand of Kars-Ardahan and the control over the straits pushed Turkey towards the US and TuAF demanded B-26 bombers among other planes from the States. The US did not refuse Turkey’s demand and supplied a total of 45 B-26s in three parties. The first party composed of 12 planes arrived on March 16, 1948 under General G. Palmer’s command and the second party of 15 planes came on March 26,1948. The remainder arrived within 1949. But after Turkey’s joining NATO and the arrival of F-84Gs B-26s lost their importance and they were assigned mostly to target towing duties. They were finally dropped from active duty in 1958 eventhough they remained in service in the USAF until 1972.

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Republic P-47D “Thunderbolt”

P-47s are among the most popular fighters of the WWII era. Its first flight took place on May 6th 1941 and a total of 15677 were produced. After the WWII, 180 P-47Ds were received within the US military aid program. All of the planes came within 1948 and they were deployed at the 9th, 5th & 8th Regiments. After the reorganization of TuAF they equipped the 151st & 152nd squadrons of the 5th AB (Air Base), 181st & 182nd Squadrons of the 8th AB and 191st & 192nd Squadrons of the 9th AB. P-47s are considered as interim aircraft before the jet era and their service life was relatively short. Starting in 1952 were started to be replaced by the F-84Gs. The last one was dropped from active duty in 1954.

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North American T-6C, LT-6G,T-6G,T6 Mk.II, “Texan”&“Harvard”

T-6 “Texan”s are one of the most widely used trainers in the history of aviation. Its design was based on BC-1 basic trainer and the first order was received in 1937. In between 1938-1945 15,495 T-6 were produced. 10,057 of these planes were procured by the USAAC/USAAF and the remainder were deployed at the USN with the “SNJ” code and at 30 ally countries. The RAF was very interested in T-6s and they demanded great numbers. They were also produced under licence in Canada by Noorduyn.Those produced for the RAF and under licence in Canada were named “Harvard”s. Many USAAF pilots flew the T-6s before graduation and the pilots who participated the Battle of Britain and flew the Spitfires and the Hurricanes were trained on the British version “Harvard”s. In between 1948 and 1958 Turkey received a total of 196 T-6s within the MAP program. The first group composed of 100 T-6Cs arrived by ship on Aug.2nd 1948. In 1955 a total of 26 planes composed of 17 pcs Harvard IIB, 5 pcs Harvard II, 2 pcs SNJ-3 and 2 pcs SNJ-4 from the Norvegian Air Force were received. A third batch of 19 pcs LT-6Gs and 11 pcs T-6Gs from USAF arrived within September and October 1957. The last batch composed of 40 Harvard Mk.IIs were received from the RCAF. The T-6s were deployed at the Flying School and at the Figther Training School in between 1948 and 1951. In 1951 they were transferred to the newly founded Air Force Academy and they were deployed there until 1956 which were then transferred to the Flying School located at Gaziemir-İzmir. In 1974 their long and successful life within TuAF came to an end and they were replaced by the T-34s, T-41s and T-37s.

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Turkish motorized vehicles
Bussing-Nag in 1933, Ford in 1935, ZIS 6 × 4 trucks in 1936-37,
Garner G3 in 1938, Praga TH6 and TH7 model armored vehicles were entered the inventory in 1936-38. These were generally used to transporting artillery units , materials and personnel.

Photos from the archive of Cengiz Söğütlü.

Bussing-Nag



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ZIS 6×4

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Praga TH6, TH7

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Garner G3

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Other army vehicles

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Turkish equipment in the middle of the war

T-26 tanks, which started to malfunction heavily and completed their technological life, were taken out of service in 1943.

In 1943, two new armored brigades were formed in Niğde ( middle anatholia ) and Selimiye(Istanbul) with the equipments provided by the UK and the USA.

Vehicles handed over to the Armored brigades in 1943: 25 M4 Shermans and 220 M3 Stuart tanks of US origin, 150 Mark VI Vickers & 180 Valentine tanks of UK origin, , unknown number of Daimler Scout wheeled armored reconnaissance vehicles, 60 Bishop Self-Propelled Howitzer based on Valentine tank 60 and unknown number of Bren Gun Carrier (Universal Carrier).

Also in 1943 Turkey receive 56 German Panzer III Ausf N and 15 Panzer IV Ausf G tanks. In 1944, the first armored brigade formed in Davutpaşa was transformed into an Armored Division.

Purpose of supplied equipment from Allies and the Axis has aim take Turkey in their side. Turkey chose to be neutral until the end of the war.

Photos museum in the from the tank school etimesgut of Ankara ( Armored Units Training and Division Command )

Photos from the archive of Alper Akkurt

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Renault R35 from the French

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Panzer III (T-3 as it says on the sign :))

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Another classic Panzer IV (So T-4 :))

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Daimler Scout Car

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Bren

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M4 Sherman



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@DENO @avus_uka @Kadir93 @dz.serdar @Faheka @Stimpy75
 

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