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Thread: The Prisoners of Silence - NSDAP 1936-1991 (History and background)

  1. #201
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karelian
    while the population throughout the Maronite-dominated parts of Lebanon greeted the news of US invasion with great enthusiasm.
    Heh, for some reason I can't help but thinking of OTL's invasion of Lebanon in the 50s.

    Turkey, IMO, will desperately try to stay out of the war; although the presence of people selling Doner Kebabs in Neuropa suggests somehow they come around...
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

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  2. #202
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    Oi, this aar looks fabulous!

    Evil yanks as allways. Everywhere.

  3. #203
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    A group of men in Egypt decided they have to act before it's too late? That could mean any number of things. What a cliffhanger.

  4. #204
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    BTW Karelian, your PM box is full.
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

    Great War: The American Front: Can the United States defeat Britain and its Confederate Lackeys? Or will the CSA defend its freedom against the Yankee Menace?

  5. #205
    Field Marshal Nathan Madien's Avatar

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karelian
    The circle of US troops around Beirut was complete, and only northern and eastern parts of Lebanon remained fully in control of the Baathists - largely due the arrival of Syrian reservist troops that had occupied the openly rebellious territories and re-stabilized the new frontlines. It was clear for everyone that Lebanese Baathist government had lost the little credibility it ever had, and now clung to power merely because of Syrian support. The end of Baathist rule in Middle-East seemed to be at hand, and all sides reacted to this change in the balance of power.
    Karelian, I am a bit confused by this. How does Lebanon fit into the whole Baathist picture and how does eliminating Baathism in Lebanon lead to the end of Baathist rule in the Middle East?
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  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nathan Madien
    Karelian, I am a bit confused by this. How does Lebanon fit into the whole Baathist picture and how does eliminating Baathism in Lebanon lead to the end of Baathist rule in the Middle East?
    Here´s what has happened so far:
    The decline of the French colonial rule and the early years of independence in both Syria and Lebanon were politically rather active in both countries, as the old parties were challenged with new political organizations such as the SSNP and Ba´ath (just like in OTL.) Then the local Baathists (who are still political minority in the whole region) begin to receive funding and support from Germany, where certain groups within the new leadership of the Reich want to expand the fascist influence to the Middle-East.

    Meanwhile the situation in Palestine descended into low-scale civil war, and the British troops withdrew, practically ending the Mandate but leaving the political future of the country open.

    Then Nasser and Free Officers rose to power in Egypt in 1950, and their junta quickly established diplomatic contacts to the Reich, signing profitable arms deals. Their next step was the nationalization of the Suez Channel area.

    By this point the Baathist ideology was gaining more support among Sunni Arab population everywhere in the Middle-East. German and French intelligence services analyzed the new situation and provided Berlin a new report about the geopolitical situation of the region.

    This document recommended covert action and support for local Baathists in Lebanon and Syria, and initiated a prosess where Germans recruited Arab volunteers and veterans of war-era Muslim SS-units with the pretext of sending them back to fight in Palestine. The real goal of this project was to provide support for the coups of Syrian and Lebanese Baathists.

    The actual operation was codenamed Zedernholz, and it begun on 5th of August 1951. The Baathists had good initial success. Syria and Lebanon fell under their control with Sunni Arab part of the population acting as their main source of support in both countries. This also ment that the other religious and ethnic groups in both countries had to choose their side, and many aligned themselves against their new government.

    As a response to the German activity in Middle-East, United Nations issued UNSC Resolution 42, urging the member states to "restore order in British Mandate of Palestine, end the violence and restore peace to the area."

    In October 1951, British and American troops returned to Middle-East with force. British PM Eden and US President Truman hoped that a quick military intervention would end the violence in Palestine, free Suez for international traffic and stop the expansion of German sphere of influence in the Middle-East. They were bitterly disappointed. Allthough Suez was soon open again and the Egyptian Navy and air force no longer posed a credible threat to the shipping in Mediterranean, Palestinian question was still unresolved and Lebanese and Syrian Baathists refused to enter negotiations since the number of Western troops in the region was initially too small to pose a credible threat to their regimes.

    Now President Truman was in a sense "stuck" to Middle-East: His earlier remarks about a quick show of force and the hostile additude of the Congress prevented him from reinforcing this theatre or expanding the US strategic aims to the "rollback of Baathism. And then came the presidential elections of 1952. Republican Robert Taft managed to win, and when he unexpectedly died on July 31st, his Vice-President Douglas MacArthur became the 35th President of the United States in August 1953.

    The prestige of the old general and the growing frustration of the continuing "phoney war" in Middle-East allowed MacArthur to revise the US strategic objectives in Middle-East. Fresh reinforcements were sent to the region, and in 10th of September 1953 a new offensive broke the period of trench warfare in northern Palestine. During the next month American troops pushed the Syrian and Lebanese forces northwards, and after a succesfull amphibious assault Beirut fell to US troops. The Lebanese junta lost it´s credibility, and it seemed that the next stop for US troops would be Damascus.

    Hopefully this clarified the overall situation?
    Last edited by Karelian; 26-01-2009 at 09:14.
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  7. #207
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    Overview of the Middle-Eastern War, Part XIII:
    The road to Istanbul Conference



    It is high time for a true understanding between the nations. It must be an understanding that rests on mutual respect, since only that can last — the kind of respect that characterizes the relations between former front soldiers. Let there be no doubt: all great powers have piled up more war material than ever before. He who fought in the World Wars has an inkling of what a modern war with its perfected weapons might mean. Whole cities and villages would vanish into seas of flame, all life might perish to this inferno. And so I turn to my comrades from the fronts of the World Wars, both here and abroad.

    Be honest! Once we stood out there, proud to be true men — soldiers, fighters, far from the routine of our former lives. We sometimes may have enjoyed a life that stood in stark contrast to the decadence that modern culture and its excesses bring. We felt superior to those far behind the lines who had nothing to do with life at the front. We felt that we were defending the life of our nation, that we were the bearers of its future. Sometimes we had glad and cheerful hours. We attempted to live each minute of the life that had been given us with double intensity. None of us wanted to have the time at the front fade from memory.

    But be honest again! We sensed the horror of death. We probably saw death more terribly and intensely than any who came before us. We crouched in the trenches, waiting for devastating attacks. We held our breath in fear when we heard the shells rushing toward us, when mines exploded near us. Our hearts almost burst as we vainly sought cover from the zinging of machine guns. We thought we were suffocating behind our gas masks. We staggered through water-filled trenches. We kept watch on frosty nights in the mud of shell holes. We endured days and weeks of horror during the great battles. We froze and starved and sometimes came near to desperation. We heard the cries of the badly wounded, we met the blind staggering along, we heard the death rattles of the dying. Our last hopes for life vanished amidst the corpses of our comrades. We saw the misery of refugees behind us. We saw the widows and orphans, the cripples and the suffering, the sick children, the starving women.

    Be honest! Did not each of us say: Why is all this happening? Does it have to be? Cannot humanity be spared this in the future?! Still we held on — on our side and on the other side! We held on as men doing their duty, who displayed discipline and loyalty, men who abhorred cowardice. Today I raise the same question to all the world — as a front fighter to front fighters, as a leader of one people to the leaders of other peoples: Must it be?! Can we not together through good will spare humanity from this?!

    Today I must speak because I am a man who attempts to save the world at the last moment from catastrophe. History surely will give more laurels to men who in difficult times find the way to bring understanding between peoples, thereby rescuing culture, than to men who believe they can win victories by political and military aggression, or even those who achieve real victories. Just as little as war and the continuation of war by other means under the name of "peace" benefit culture and the prosperity of the nations, so a true peace brings advantages for all. The front fighters in the German government want honorable peace. I appeal to the front fighters in other states, and to those of good will in the governments of these states, to support us in this goal.*

    *Part of the famous "An die Frontkämpfer der Welt"-speech Rudolf Hess held in Istanbul Conference.


    The Enemy at the Gates and the Enemy Within


    At October 1953, Nasser was the most important leader in the Arab World. Millions of Arabs through the Middle-East saw him as a leader who had outmaneuvered the old colonial powers and hastened their decline, restoring to the Arabs long lost feelings of pride and self confidence. After overthrowing the corrupt monarch Nasser had managed to set the stage for the creation of an aspirational dream - a unified Arab World. And he ruled Egypt as the first native Egyptian in over 2500 years. His populist policies had successfully swept away the old injustices of Egyptian society, converting the poor peasants of Egypt into his devout supporters in the process. Only few years ago it had seemed like the example and leadership of Baathist Egypt (and Nasser himself) would finally unify the divided Arab countries. Nasser had restored Egyptian control of Suez, and the forces of Arab unification gained a major victory when true patriots in Lebanon and Syria had swept away their corrupt governments. Middle-East was being liberated, and the remaining decadent Hashemite monarchies and Jewish militias in Palestine seemed like the last obstacles in Nasser´s path towards a greater destiny as the first leader of an unified Arab world.

    Then their fear and envy towards the rising power of Arabs had made the imperialists desperate and they had returned to enslave Middle-East in 1951. Together with the Zionists they had crushed the resistance of Palestinians, occupied legitimate Egyptian territory in Suez and had finally isolated Egypt with their cursed naval blockade when Nasser had naturally turned down their arrogant demands of "new, fair elections" and restoration of Western rule of Suez Channel. For two years Egypt had withstood their merciless siege, confident on the fact that under the wise leadership of their President the brave people of Egypt would ultimately win this struggle and humiliate the imperialist infidels.

    That had been the official story for two long war years. But in 1953 medical supplies were in critically short supply, and at night the police had little trouble with enforcing the official blackout since enemy air raids had paralyzed the Egyptian power grid long ago. Egyptian agriculture suffered from the lack of fertilizers and the fact that many peasants had been conscripted to the ranks of the Egyptian Army. And the loss of export markets had immediately crippled the Egyptian economy, even though tight war-time regulation had so far managed to hide this fact by maintaining minimal standards of living in the country. Egyptian Air Force lacked spare parts and fuel, and her small navy had been destroyed long ago. And recently the news from Lebanon and Syria were indicating that Egypt would soon stand alone, even though the government-owned magazines and radio stations denied these rumors as mere enemy propaganda.



    "Sad are only those who understand." The old Arab proverb described the mood of General Muhammad Naguib well in October 1953. Yet the old aristocrat himself was powerless to act, since Nasser kept close watch to his strongest potential rival.

    The common people still generally supported Nasser and the war, but the growing misery caused by the blockade made the life of common Egyptians increasingly difficult. Nasser knew this well, and it troubled him greatly. He knew well that his earlier decisions had turned the old leadership of Egyptian officer corps against him, and as the situation in the Syrian Front kept deteriorating fears of an internal conspiracy grew in his paranoid mind. His fears led Nasser to increase his control of the armed forces, and the Egyptian secret police begun to make arrests, trying to reveal the presumed conspirators and foil their plans. The news of arrests or simply disappearance of their relatives and friends had strong effect to the generals: they realized that the internal purges and witch hunt in the Egyptian Army had spared them only because Nasser was not stupid enough to "decapitate" his army in a middle of war. In the end Nasser´s fears of a conspiracy and his actions to prevent proved counterproductive: many elder officers who had so far viewed Nasser somewhat ambivalently and kept themselves outside the internal power struggles now became alarmed enough to take action.

    The conspiracy began to take shape rather slowly, as the mutual mistrust between officers and their fear of Nasser´s retaliation made them overtly cautious. Ironically General Naguib, whom Nasser suspected to be the main culprit only heard of the conspiracy in late September 1953, when the events in Lebanon and Syria convinced the conspirators that the time to act had come. One of Nasser´s trusted aides became a critical part of their plan.



    Initially the generals contacted by Muhammad Anwar Al Sadat were surprised and suspected that he was merely trying to reveal their plot. Sadat seemed like the last person to betray Nasser. During WWII he had been imprisoned because of his contacts with Italian and German leadership. He had been one of the founding members of Free Officers, and the recent years had witnessed his rise through the ranks to Nasser´s second-in-command.

    The reasons for Sadat´s involvement to the October Plot (as it was later titled) were twofold. Over the years he had grown weary of Nasser´s close ideological relationship with the Third Reich, and privately agreed with General Naguib´s calls for increased democracy and Egyptian neutrality. He was also first and foremost an Egyptian patriot and believed that only firm action would save Egypt from Western occupation.

    While Sadat had the freedom of action necessary for the plan, General Naguib was once again contacted because of his public popularity. Any plan that aimed to remove Nasser from power had tremendous risks due his popularity, and Naguib was considered to be perhaps the sole person with enough prestige and authority to keep the country in control. Now the only thing conspirators lacked was a scapegoat. But where to direct the wrath of common Egyptians? Since pan-Arabic Baathism itself was still immensively popular, the officers momentarily though about the possibility of contacting the suppressed Muslim Brotherhood. When this plan was deemed too risky, only one potential option remained.

    Founded in 1922, the communist movement in Egypt revived after the Second World War; ultimately smaller parties and groups merged together and formed the al-Haraka al-Dimuqratiyya li-l-Taharrur al-Watani (Haditu or DMNL, Democratic Movement for National Liberation) in 1947, only to see many of its leaders, most of them Jewish, arrested and exiled a year later. Communists in Egypt had a part in bringing down the Egyptian monarchy and initially the DMNL supported the military regime of the Free Officers. Once the close relation with New Europe and Nasser´s regime became obvious , communists turned against the new rulers; being persecuted again they went underground, working in cooperation with their exiled comrades in Italy.

    When a column of trucks moved through the dark, cold streets of Cairo on 5th of October and military police established vehicle checkpoints to the main roads leading to the Egyptian metropolis, a complex plan was being set to motion. In late September few prominent DMNL leaders had managed to escape from prison, and a week later Sadah informed Nasser that he had received alarming information: this might have something to do with a conspiracy that aimed to overthrow the current regime. Nasser ordered Sadah to reinforce the military presence in the capitol, and Sadah complied, stating that he would personally selected the garrison units so that he could guarantee their reliability.

    That night Sadah was sitting in his office, waiting for a phonecall. He reportedly sat in solitude in his room for hours. Conflicting interests of his personal sense of honor, sense of duty towards his homeland and his long friendship with Nasser, the fear of seeing Egypt reduced back to a Western puppet...It was a long, dark night for Muhammad Anwar Al Sadat, and he was all alone with his decision and it´s uncertain outcome that would most likely determine the future of Egypt and Middle-East. Then the phone rang, and the weary general was informed that the critical part of the coup plan had been successful.

    On the next morning news of Nasser´s assassination caused mass hysteria among the streets of Egyptian cities and towns. In his radio address to the nation Prime Minister Naguib openly blamed exiled Egyptian Communist Henri Curiel and his exiled "Rome Group" for murdering "the hero of whole Arab world" and promised to do his best to bring "these foul, bloodthirsty dogs" to justice. He also stated that Egypt was willing to enter armistrice negotiations with Western powers under the conditions that "we could be able to keep our honour, retain our position as a sovereign nation and remain free to continue the work great Nasser initiated."

    The next day Middle-East was once again in front pages of newspapers across the world: President İnönü of Turkey had sent public calls for international peace conference to leaders of USA, Germany, Britain, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria and offered his services as a mediator and peace broker.
    Last edited by Karelian; 25-09-2008 at 12:48.
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  9. #209
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    Overview of the Middle-Eastern War,
    Part XIV: The position of Turkey and the Istanbul Conference



    June 18, 1941

    The German Government and the Turkish Republic, inspired by a desire to place relations between the two countries on a basis of mutual confidence and sincere friendship, agreed without prejudice to present obligations of both countries to conclude a treaty. For this purpose the German Reich Chancellor appointed Ambassador Franz von Papen and the President of the Turkish Republic appointed Foreign Minister Şükrü Saraçoğlu as plenipotentiaries, who, on the basis of full powers accorded them, have agreed on the following declaration:

    Article I

    Germany and Turkey bind themselves mutually to respect the integrity and inviolability of their territories and will take no measure that is aimed directly or indirectly against the other contracting party.

    Article II

    Germany and Turkey bind themselves in the future to communicate with each other in friendly manner on all questions affecting their common interests in order to bring about understanding on the treatment of such questions.

    Article III

    The foregoing treaty will be ratified by articles of ratification, which shall be exchanged forthwith in Berlin. The treaty enters into force on the day of signature and is effective from then onward for a period of ten years. The parties concluding the treaty will agree at the proper time regarding the question of extending the treaty.

    ECONOMIC NOTE

    In connection with the happy conclusion of the German-Turkish treaty today I have the honor to bring Your Excellency's attention to the fact that my government is ready, in so far as is at all possible, to further economic relations between Germany and Turkey, taking into account the possibilities given by the economic structure of the two countries and taking as a basis experiences made for the benefit of both countries by each other during the war. Both governments will enter forthwith into negotiations in order as far as possible to create a treaty basis for the carrying out of this agreement.

    PRESS-RADIO DECLARATION

    In connection with the happy conclusion of the treaty the plenipotentiaries of both sides express the wish that the press of both countries, as well as the radio on both sides, in their publications and transmissions will always take account of the spirit of friendship and mutual confidence that characterizes German-Turkish relations.



    The position of Turkey was a pivotal part of Cold War in Middle-East. While Germany sought to integrate Turkey into it´s sphere of interest, Western powers sought to lure Ankara away from Berlin. In 1953 this gamble had been going on ever since the German invasion of Poland. While Turkey initially remained relatively friendly towards the Allied cause, the fall of France changed the situation almost overnight. Turkish officials had estimated that the war in the west would last at least four years, and the shock caused by the quick collapse of France increased support for neutral stance towards the Axis powers so much that it soon outweighted the support of more pro-Allied foreign policy. Towards the end of 1940, allthough no official agreement was reached, German and Turkish diplomats reassured each other about their desire for peaceful co-operation. Moreover, efforts were to be directed at getting the Turkish government to assist Germany´s war effort. Foreign Minister Ribbentropp, in his usual rash manner, was adamant that Turkey was to condone unlimited transit facilities for Wehrmacht troops, arms and equipment. It was left to Papen, the German ambassador in Ankara, to tone down Ribbentrop´s tirated and conduct negotiations with the Turkish government in a more accommodating manner.

    The Turko-German diplomatic relations during WWII followed a pattern where Turkish neutrality was slowly but steadily compromised and adjusted towards pro-Axis non-belligerence. Before Operation Marita Hitler´s personal assurance to President Inönü in March 1941 had a strong effect. Turkey was naturally alarmed when German Army marched to Bulgarian soil. While Turkish Army leadership was (quite understandably) nervous enough to order most bridges between Bulgaria and Turkey to be blown up, Wehrmacht dutifully kept their distance from the Turkish border and stayed behind the previously agreed 40-mile security zone, just as Hitler had assured. Spring 1941 was a critical period for Turkey since the approaching Operation Barbarossa. On Hitler´s and Ribbentropp´s orders, Papen was to transform the relationship with Turkey, if possible, into a close alliance in step with military operations. Another important event occured only months later, and it would have long-lasting impact to Turkey´s future. 1941 was a year when On 13 May Şükrü Saracoğlu, the Turkish Foreign Minister gave permission - though it was withdrawn two weeks later- for the transit of German war material to assist the anti-British uprising in Iraq, while he also expressed his will to conclude a formal non-aggression pact with Germany.

    Thus Hitler had to settle for a ten-year Treaty of Friendship in which Turkey promised benevolent neutrality, but which did not force the country to cut it´s ties with Germany´s enemies. Both sides made a commitment to respect each other´s territory and to take no hostile measures against each other, either directly or indirectly. With this treaty signed on 18th of June 1941 Hitler was able to attack the Soviet Union with Turkey´s neutrality assured. Now new factors begun to influence the relations between Berlin and Ankara. Apart from Germany´s continued military achievements in the East another factors in particular were to assist Germany: the temptation of Pan-Turanism.


    Zeki Velidi Togan was a veteran supporter of Turanist cause. He had led independence-aimed movements in Russian Civil War, resisted Soviet rule in the 1920s and then created a succesfull academic career, teaching in Istanbul, Vienna, Bonn and Göttingen before WWII. During the war this Bashkir historian went to Berlin to advocate Pan-Turkic views about the future of former Soviet territory.

    Saracoğlu, Turkey´s Foreign Minister and soon-to-be Prime Minister had affirmed his sincere hope of the fall of the Soviet Union allready in summer 1941. He also stated: "We are Turks and Turkists. We will remain forever as Turkists. For us, Turkism is a matter of conscience and culture as much as a matter of blood...And we will always work in this direction." Meanwhile Members of Turkey´s elites, including high-ranking government officials, toyed with their own territorial aspirations. Hüsrev Gerede, pro-German ambassador in Berlin, privately noted that Germany would do wisely by using the excellent propaganda value of Turanic ideas among the Turkish peoples in the areas now occupied, or about to be occupied by the Germans. Some circles in Turkish government were clearly tempted by the potential advantages of drawing closer to the Third Reich. Only a few weeks later, however, Gerede backed away from the suggestions he had previously made. The temptation had not vanished, but the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran had just reminded Ankara that Allies were still strongly fighting and would most likely not tolerate quick turns in Turkish foreign policy. While Pan-Turanism had it´s supporters among the common people in Turkey, it´s impact upon the policy of Turkey´s President and Inönü Administration in general was much more limited. Fevzi Cakmak, Chief of General Staff was certainly in favour of Pan-Turanist ideals, but the old Marshall dutifully kept Army out from politics during WWII.

    Second half of 1941, Nazi officials followed Pan-Turanian activities with keen and active interest. When frontlines in Soviet Union kept moving eastwards, two-men strong "Committee of Experts on Turanian Affairs" travelled to Berlin to negotiate with German officials. This committee of Nuri Pasha and Ahmed Zeki Velidi Togan gave concrete proposals about the future status of Turkic minority nations in European Russia, and acted as if they had the backing of Turkish government - allthough the official status of their mission was never officially stated. The committee proposals included creation of independent Turk-populated states and the inauguration of propaganda activity among these people at present under Soviet rule. Ernst Woermann, director of political department of AA, explained: "It is obvious that only in alliance with Germany will Turkey be able to implement Pan-Turanian ideals. A Pan-Turanian Turkey will therefore necessarily be pro-German."

    German diplomats knew well that most likely way to draw Turkey closer to Germany was by playing upon it´s perceived irredentist temptations. In July 1941 Papen suggested to Ribbentropp that "Turkey´s territorial ambitions in northern Syria should be answered." 9th of July, two days before the British and Free French troops succeeded in their military campaign in Syria, the Turkish Foreign Minister Saracoğlu had inquired whether Germany would agree to his country´s occupation of northern Syria "as a provisional solution until a peace agreement has been signed." According to Hans Kroll, Papen´s first secretary, Aleppo and Mosul were additional targets on Turkey´s potential wish list.


    Otto Erwin von Hentig was Germany´s primary contact person to the Pan-Turanian movement. Former spy in the Middle-East and responsible for matters conserning the peoples of South-Eastern Russia, Hentig was regarded as something of an expert. He was also personally an open supporter for Pan-Turanism.

    Ultimately the uncertaincy about the future of former Soviet territory and internal fighting in German administration prevented a closer cooperation between Germany and Turkey. Hitler´s plans for Crimea and other areas inhabitated by Turkic peoples were directly opposed to many Pan-Turanian proposals. By early 1942 Germans had also come to the realisation that not all Soviet Turanians shared Turkish Pan-Turanian sentiments. The Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Muslim Georgians and others who rejected Moscow did not necessarily want to have it replaced by Ankara. Yet the cooperation attempts and proposals continued. On 23 February 1942, Asim Gündüz, second-in-command of Turkey´s General Staff took personally contact to OKW and proposed secret co-operation. Gündüz indicated that once German troops had reached the Caucasus, Turkey would have to take account of the situation. Most likely this was not only a personal invitation but a careful plot, since following August President Inönü told Ambassador Papen that he hoped "that the arrival of German troops in the Caucasus in autumn has created a new situation in which it will be necessary to take new decisions." Yet Inönü kept his distance from the Turanian movement. Their activists were not prevented from conducting their activities, but official encouragement was painstakingly avoited and the trials of Türkçülük Davası made certain that Turkish public opinion was kept in check while the war went on. Behind the scenes Pan-Turanism still acted as a powerful magnet, and it´s power just grew after the Treaty of Kirovograd in 1943. After the Soviet separate peace had left Caucasus and areas west from Volga to German sphere of interest, Prime Minister Saracoğlu and Foreign Minister Menemencioglu took contact to Papen. They stated that Turkey would still support all efforts that aimed to the creation of a series of Turkic buffer states along the Turkish border, and that Ankara should have a say in the administration of these territories. They also presented new plans to educate local youth in Turkish and German universities "to cleanse them from Communism." The fact that such plans were most likely created mainly to instil in them Turkish nationalism so that the way would be cleared for future Turkish hegemony over these areas were naturally never admitted this openly.

    Menemencioglu, the new Foreign Minister was audacious enough to suggest to Papen that a written promise to transfer Syria to Turkey at the end of the war might help to accelerate chromite deliveries. But while this showed how far Turkey had travelled from it´s official neutrality, Turkish interests once again clashed with Hitler´s objectives and vague visions. He ordered Papen to suspend all talks on such matters until the Turkish government was prepared to change it´s overall political attitude in favour of Germany against the belligerent powers. While the Pan-Turanist movement thus continued it´s operations in Turkey at a domestic level, in German-Turkish relations it ceased to be an issue. Caucasus was soon a hotbed of guerrilla activity, as nationalistic independence movements and Soviet partisans fought against German occupation forces and one another.


    Numan Menemencioglu, Foreign Minister of Turkey between 1942-47 was President Inönü’s man in key foreign affairs and they usually met each other four or five times a week. He worked in close cooperation with his predecessor, later Prime Minister Saracoğlu and had a strong influence to Turkish foreign and domestic policy during and after the war. Together with Saracoğlu he sought to create a closer relationship with New Europe in order to support the position of Turkic peoples in former Soviet territory under German control.

    Turkish pro-Axis stance was also visible in the generous interpretation of the Straits Convention. Axis shipping was able to transfer troops and war material with ease, while the Soviet Black Sea Fleet was denied access. The German diplomats still came to the conclusion that evidently Turkey preferred neutrality to more substantial assistance even when the Wehrmacht had seemingly dealt the Red Army a decisive blow. And Germans were not the only ones who sought to please Turkey with promises of territorial expansion. When the Italian capitulation drew near, Churchill supported the plans to give Italian-held islands in Aegean to Turkey in exchange of Turkish participation to the war. German intelligence was aware of such plans, and when Germany took control of Rhodes, Leros, Kos, Samos and other islands after the fall of Mussolini in 1943, one of the most important objectives of this operation was to remind Turkish officials of the growing German influence in all borders of Turkey. German Janus-faced diplomacy continued as well. Ribbentropp made harsh, indirect threats of a German-Bulgarian invasion and air raids should Turkey adopt a more favourable attitude towards the Allies.

    Meanwhile Papen and German businessmen were happily expanding the economic cooperation between Berlin and Ankara. The reasons for their activity in Turkey were obvious: more than a half of Germany´s vital chromite imports originated from Turkey. Speer understood the importance of Turkish chromite quite well, and pressured Hitler to continue the large-scale arms trade to Turkey. While he had doubts of the sincerity of Turkish neutrality, Hitler still viewed the supply of arms as a bargaining tool in the German quest for Turkish chrome. As long as the raw materials kept coming, Turkey received much-needed boost to the capabilities of her own defense forces, that were in turn preparing to defend the neutrality of Turkey against the rising power of Germany. It was an odd, but ultimately mutually profitable economic situation. By the end of WWII Germany had regained it´s position as Turkey´s most important trading partner. Turkish Chromite, cotton, copper, oil, tobacco and other agricultural products were trated to German industrial machinery, railway technology and war materials. In late 1940s Germany had taken over half of Turkey´s total exports. In addition the two economies were becoming increasingly similar. Turkish regime had found itself attracted to the economic policies adopted by the Fascist and Soviet regimes almost a decade ago, but in early 1950s the main principles followed by Turkey were still autarchy and tariff protection, as well as state-sponsored industrialization particulary in such fields as metallurgy, textiles and glass.


    Hüsrev Gerede, Ambassador of Turkey in Berlin. This openly pro-German diplomat had good contacts to many influencial colleagues in Auswärtiges Amt, and he was also included among the pro-Turanian wing of Turkey´s foreign policy experts. His role was critical during the intensive diplomatic campaign that begun on 6th of October 1953.

    German demands, US support and Turkish gambles - road to Istambul


    When WWII ended, Turkish diplomacy had been remarcably succesfull. Despite it´s alliance with Britain, Turkey had managed to stay out from the fighting during the Second World War. President Inönü had seen no reason to enter the conflict as long as Turkish security was not immediately threatened. By the end of the war the emergence of Third Reich as a world power compelled Ankara to distance itself from its former alliance with Britain. This was rather easy, since the diplomatic relations with British had been allready damaged and rather icy because of Turkey´s refusal to fulfil its treaty commitments during the war.

    It was still a troublesome situation for Turkish diplomacy. In 1948 Britain was still the only Western power strategically involved in the eastern Mediterranean, and consequently Ankara´s only potential ally against German attempts to pressure Turkey. However, the manifest waning of British power made it clear that Turkey could no longer rely on Britain for it´s security. The shift of economic and political power in Europe for Ankara to consider other options for Turkey´s quest for security and economic development. And then there was the legacy of Atatürk, who had firmly stated that the historical mission of Turkey should be inclusion to the Western community of nations. This statement created much internal discussion and divisions among Turkey´s elites. How should Turkey respond to the new international situation of Cold War? What would Atatürk have done? Should the country continue the traditional accommodation with democratic Western powers, or seek closer relationship with New Europe? While this debate would most likely have ment a major political shift in the elections of 1950, the outbreak of Middle-Eastern War made President Inönü to postpone the transition to true multi-party democracy even though he firmly believed that initiating such a dramatic change in such a difficult international situation would not be wise.

    Personally Inönü was disappointed, since he had been calling for changes before. He recalled the failure of the first two "experiments", the Progressive Republican Party of 1924 and the Free Party of 1930. Personally he noted that in restraining their developement, both Atatürk and he had "made a mistake." He believed that "At whatever the cost, we should have protected the second party and made it survive. Then we would not have this deficiency now. But we will make up for this deficiency. I could live the rest of my life with a single-party regime. But I am thinking of later. I am thinking of what happens after me. For the reason, we should enter this work with as little delay as possible."

    While putting a halt to the internal reforms, Inönü Administration was quick to capitalise the important international role which the Truman Doctrine and Middle-Eastern War had so resoundingly assigned to Turkey. The objective of renewed Turkish diplomatic efforts was not only to strengthen Turkish position in relation to Berlin as much as possible, but also to reveice as much American economic aid as possible. As a contemporary observer remarked: "The Turkish diplomat resembles a sort of super-estate salesman; he bids up the price of his 900x300 mile rectangle of territory without of course delivering. Therefore the Turkish leadership embrace the Western intervention to Middle-Eastern affairs solely because it has enabled them to exploit their geographical position more profitably than ever before." The large amount of Marshall Plan economic aid which was poured into the country in 1940s had no precedent in Turkish history. And while Berlin objected, Germans made no active attempts to stop the program since the Turkish economic dependence from Germany was still firmly intact, and just like in the case of Sweden more prosperous Turkey only ment that New Europe had more profitable neutral trading partners.

    Ultimately the pragmatic Turkish leaders had never concealed their preference to side with the powers which were interested in guaranteeing their regional status quo and represented the western world into which Turkey wished to be integrated. Ankara´s neutrality was not a statement of political principle, but rather a cynical and realistic response to circumstances. Thus, when on 6th of October 1953 Ambassador Hans Kroll informed President Inönü that Berlin wanted to consult Ankara about the Article II of the Turko-German Treaty of Friendship, demanding "bilateral negotiations about concrete security questions", there was no outright panic in Turkish Foreign Ministry. During the same day President Inönü gave orders to send invitations to public calls for international peace conference to leaders of USA, Germany, Britain, Egypt, Lebanon and Syria and offered his services as a mediator and peace broker. During the same afternoon the Turkish 1st, 4th and 3rd Armies begun to mobilize their reservists in Istanbul, Izmir and Erzincan districts.
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  10. #210
    British Unionist trekaddict's Avatar
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    They are utterly screwed. Even a de-mobilized Wehrmacht should easily be able to crush them, considering the number of experienced and seasoned troops they have left over from World War 2.
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    So Turkey is at the crossroads - Democracy or Fascism?? Whether it choses, it will be a major political shift torwards good or evil, one will see!

    Splendid update again, Karelian!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Karelian
    German diplomats knew well that most likely way to draw Turkey closer to Germany was by playing upon it´s perceived irredentist temptations. In July 1941 Papen suggested to Ribbentropp that "Turkey´s territorial ambitions in northern Syria should be answered." 9th of July, two days before the British and Free French troops succeeded in their military campaign in Syria, the Turkish Foreign Minister Saracoğlu had inquired whether Germany would agree to his country´s occupation of northern Syria "as a provisional solution until a peace agreement has been signed." According to Hans Kroll, Papen´s first secretary, Aleppo and Mosul were additional targets on Turkey´s potential wish list.
    Hrmm, other than... bleh. I cannot think of the town's name at the moment, but I was not aware there were other irredentist demands.

    The Armenians, Azerbaijanis, Muslim Georgians and others who rejected Moscow did not necessarily want to have it replaced by Ankara. Yet the cooperation attempts and proposals continued.
    To be fair, I'm not sure the Armenians would like to be called Turanians.

    Turkish pro-Axis stance was also visible in the generous interpretation of the Straits Convention. Axis shipping was able to transfer troops and war material with ease, while the Soviet Black Sea Fleet was denied access.
    One wonders what the Black Sea Fleet ended up doing...

    Hrmm. While I regret Inönü's decision, it's certainly true that Turkey's history of democracy after this was still in doubt for a while after this OTL.

    Anyway, if the Germans mess with Turkey... this will not end as they think it will.
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

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    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin
    One wonders what the Black Sea Fleet ended up doing...
    To go to the bottom of the Black Sea after being pounded by the Stukas?
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    Quote Originally Posted by trekaddict
    They are utterly screwed. Even a de-mobilized Wehrmacht should easily be able to crush them, considering the number of experienced and seasoned troops they have left over from World War 2.
    That might be true, but the long-term modernization program has improved the quality of Turkish Army by a large extent. Invading such a wide and mountainous country would definitively not be a cakewalk, even though the ultimate outcome might be clear from the outset.

    And since it is October, military planners think the timing for offensive operations would be far from optimal. The Turkish partial mobilization should thus be compared to the increased readiness status of Austrian Bundesheer during the Soviet invasions of Hungary and Czechoslovakia - purpose is to avoid hostilities and to give credence to the determination to prevent "wanton or negligent disregard of neutrality." Especially because Germany is not actually planning an invasion in the first place, but more of that in the next update.

    Quote Originally Posted by Zauberfloete
    So Turkey is at the crossroads - Democracy or Fascism?? Whether it choses, it will be a major political shift torwards good or evil, one will see!
    It all comes down to Inönü and his plans to transform the domestic politics of Turkey. A functional multi-party democracy might well survive in a Finlandized form, while the continued oppression of all political extremism won´t work for much longer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin
    Hrmm, other than... bleh. I cannot think of the town's name at the moment, but I was not aware there were other irredentist demands.
    It was really suprising to discover the extent of territorial demands that certain figures in Turkey´s WWII-era government supposedly un- or semi-officially expressed to the Germans. I find it hard to believe they wouldn´t have ment business with such comments, allthough they were always careful not to make any official demands.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin
    To be fair, I'm not sure the Armenians would like to be called Turanians.
    Same goes for Georgians and many other ethnic groups. The quoted part is unclear in that sense, since I´m referring to all the minorities that were not that keen to become parts of Pan-Turanian area.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin
    One wonders what the Black Sea Fleet ended up doing...
    Quote Originally Posted by Kurt_Steiner
    To go to the bottom of the Black Sea after being pounded by the Stukas?
    Scuttling virtually all of it´s major ships after the last naval bases were lost due the Axis conquest of Caucasus, finally ending the Soviet naval supremacy in the Black Sea.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin
    Hrmm. While I regret Inönü's decision, it's certainly true that Turkey's history of democracy after this was still in doubt for a while after this OTL. Anyway, if the Germans mess with Turkey... this will not end as they think it will.
    Why Inönü´s attempts to spare Turkey from becoming a new battlefield of WWIII and to end the Middle-Eastern War by acting as a mediator would be regrettable? If you are referring to his decision to halt the reforms...well, the next elections are due in May 1954, and Inönü is aiming (actually hoping) to solve the crisis before that. And you are right, German leadership is about to be just as suprised as the other parties arriving to Istanbul once the actual negotiations start.
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  15. #215
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karelian
    Why Inönü´s attempts to spare Turkey from becoming a new battlefield of WWIII and to end the Middle-Eastern War by acting as a mediator would be regrettable? If you are referring to his decision to halt the reforms...well, the next elections are due in May 1954, and Inönü is aiming (actually hoping) to solve the crisis before that. And you are right, German leadership is about to be just as suprised as the other parties arriving to Istanbul once the actual negotiations start.
    If the negotiations succeed and the crisis is resolved, how would that stregthen Inönü's hand at home?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Karelian
    That might be true, but the long-term modernization program has improved the quality of Turkish Army by a large extent. Invading such a wide and mountainous country would definitively not be a cakewalk, even though the ultimate outcome might be clear from the outset.
    Surely it would only be true if America didn't get involved?

    It was really suprising to discover the extent of territorial demands that certain figures in Turkey´s WWII-era government supposedly un- or semi-officially expressed to the Germans. I find it hard to believe they wouldn´t have ment business with such comments, allthough they were always careful not to make any official demands.
    It's just surprising to imagine a Turkish state, based eclusixvely on Turkishness, to be demanding much. Officials rambling on to the Germans, sure. but Inonu surprises me.

    If you are referring to his decision to halt the reforms...well, the next elections are due in May 1954, and Inönü is aiming (actually hoping) to solve the crisis before that. And you are right, German leadership is about to be just as suprised as the other parties arriving to Istanbul once the actual negotiations start.
    I did mean the reforms, yes. And I look forward to his plan.
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

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  17. #217
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    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin
    Surely it would only be true if America didn't get involved?
    While United States has not (yet) given Anglo-Turkish Treaty-styled security guarantees for Ankara... Well, counting on US neutrality in a middle of a war in Syria and Lebanon is just something post-Hitler leadership of the Reich correctly sees as way too risky approach. And the moderate technocrats and major cartels behind Speer are still strictly opposed to the possible escalation of war in any case, just like the Wehrmacht leadership.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin
    It's just surprising to imagine a Turkish state, based ecxlusively on Turkishness, to be demanding much. Officials rambling on to the Germans, sure. but Inönü surprises me.
    It is suprising, but still quite likely from my point of view. While Inönü didin´t personally suggest or claim anything and all such Turkish proposals were presented vaguely and unofficially, Inönü, Saracoğlu and Menemencioglu were the still the trio behind Turkish wartime foreign policy.

    There´s just no way Togan´s Committee would have travelled to Berlin in 1941 without their approval, or that Saracoğlu and Menemencioglu would have been able to make their historical remarks without the approval of their President.

    Historically such comments were all made before Stalingrad and the failure of Axis invasion of Caucasus, and before it became clear that supporting Axis powers would be betting on the wrong horse. Still it is good to bear in mind that historically Inönü removed Menemencioglu and his pro-Turanian Chief of Staff, Cakmak, from their positions only in June 1944.

    From my point of view it looks like Inönü was first and foremost a political pragmatist, who sought to utilize Turkey´s geostrategic position to a maximum extent while following Atatürk´s original isolationist-oriented strategy – and it´s basic principle of limiting international entanglement.

    I firmly doubt his willingness to support Pan-Turkic expansionism as well, but historically he seemed to have nevertheless made some plans in that regard when Germany seemed to be winning in the Eastern Front.

    Quote Originally Posted by Faeelin
    I did mean the reforms, yes. And I look forward to his plan.
    He´s not the only politician who arrives to Istanbul with grand plans.
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  18. #218
    Just amazing you did an impressive narrating here..
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    Overview of the Middle-Eastern War,
    Part XV: Istanbul Conference



    I feel impelled to speak today in a language that in a sense is new, one which I, who have spent so much of my life in the military profession, would have preferred never to use. That new language is the language of atomic warfare.

    Today, the United States stockpile of atomic weapons, which, of course, increases daily, exceeds by many times the total equivalent of the total of all bombs and all shells that came from every plane and every gun in every theatre of war in all the years of the Second World War. A single air group whether afloat or land based, can now deliver to any reachable target a destructive cargo exceeding in power all the bombs that fell on Britain in all the Second World War. In size and variety, the development of atomic weapons has been no less remarkable. The development has been such that atomic weapons have virtually achieved conventional status within our armed services. In the United States, the Army, the Navy, the Air Force and the Marine Corps are all capable of putting this weapon to military use. But the dread secret and the fearful engines of atomic might are not ours alone. In the first place, the secret is possessed by our friends and allies, the United Kingdom and Canada, whose scientific genius made a tremendous contribution to our original discoveries and the designs of atomic bombs.

    The secret is also known by Germany. The German regime has informed us that, over recent years, it has devoted extensive resources to atomic weapons. During this period Germany has exploded a series of atomic devices, including at least one involving thermo-nuclear reactions. And the secret keeps spreading: recently the Soviet Union has conducted its first atomic test explosion. If at one time the United States possessed what might have been called a monopoly of atomic power, that monopoly ceased to exist several years ago. Therefore, although our earlier start has permitted us to accumulate what is today a great quantitative advantage, the atomic realities of today comprehend two facts of even greater significance. First, the knowledge now possessed by several nations will eventually be shared by others, possibly all others. Second, even a vast superiority in numbers of weapons, and a consequent capability of devastating retaliation, is no preventive, of itself, against the fearful material damage and toll of human lives that would be inflicted by surprise aggression.

    The free world, at least dimly aware of these facts, has naturally embarked on a large programme of warning and defence systems. That programme will be accelerated and extended. But let no one think that the expenditure of vast sums for weapons and systems of defence can guarantee absolute safety for the cities and citizens of any nation. The awful arithmetic of the atomic bomb does not permit of any such easy solution. Even against the most powerful defence, an aggressor in possession of the effective minimum number of atomic bombs for a surprise attack could probably place a sufficient number of his bombs on the chosen targets to cause hideous damage. Should such an atomic attack be launched against the United States, our reactions would be swift and resolute. But for me to say that the defence capabilities of the United States are such that they could inflict terrible losses upon an aggressor, for me to say that the retaliation capabilities of the United States are so great that such an aggressor's land would be laid waste, all this, while fact, is not the true expression of the purpose and the hopes of the United States.

    To pause there would be to confirm the hopeless finality of a belief that rivalling superpowers are doomed malevolently to eye each other indefinitely across a trembling world. To stop there would be to accept helplessly the probability of civilization destroyed, the annihilation of the irreplaceable heritage of mankind handed down to us from generation to generation, and the condemnation of mankind to begin all over again the age-old struggle upward from savagery towards decency, and right, and justice. Surely no sane member of the human race could discover victory in such desolation. Could anyone wish his name to be coupled by history with such human degradation and destruction? Occasional pages of history do record the faces of the "great destroyers", but the whole book of history reveals mankind's never-ending quest for peace and mankind's God-given capacity to build.

    The Government of the United States approaches this conference with hopeful sincerity. We will bend every effort of our minds to the single purpose of emerging from that conference with tangible results towards peace, the only true way of lessening international tension.*


    *Part of the famous "Sword of Damocles"-speech President MacArthur held to the General Assembly of United Nations priour to Istanbul Conference.


    A Gathering of Eagles


    When Istanbul Summit begun, Ambassador George McGhee was clearly a right man in the right place.
    He knew the Middle East well, having toured there on different diplomatic assignments for almost a decade.


    When Berlin and Washington finally entered to negotiation table after the ice-cold silence that had descended to international stage after the signing of Zürich Accord, the man who met the German representatives in Istanbul was one of the most influential players in the postwar diplomacy of United States. When the postwar policy of containing Nazi power had required new kind of credibility from US foreign policy, Ambassador McGhee had been among the new generation of diplomats who had helped to provide it.

    A native of Texas and a former geophysicist who had earned his fortune from the oil industry, George Crews McGhee begun his international career as a civilian official in the U.S. logistic support for British defense on the War Production Board and the U.S.- U.K. Combined Raw Materials Board. As a naval officer from 1943 to the capitulation of Japan he served in with the 21st Bomber Command´s B-29s in Saipan and Guam. McGhee entered the State Department in 1945 and was soon assigned to diplomatic duties in the Middle-East, steadily rising through the ranks and gaining more influence. In 1951, Ambassador McGhee became Assistant Secretary of State for the Near East, South Asia and Africa and soon afterwards he was appointed Ambassador to Turkey. He was an obvious choise for the job: McGhee had been in Ankara before while supervising the implementation $400 million project of economic and military aid to Turkey, and his subsequent assignments had gained him a reputation as a skillfull negotiation and a steadfast defender of US interests in the Middle-East.



    After serving as the First Counsellor for Ambassador Franz von Papen during WWII,
    Hans Kroll was appointed to the position of Ambassador in Ankara soon after the war
    ended and von Papen was recalled to Berlin.


    Ambassador Kroll was a well-known figure in postwar Ankara. Ever since the end of the war, he and Mcghee had been competing from the attention of Turkish elite, trying to sway them to their side in the Cold War. But while McGhee had been able to take full advantage from the extensive amounts of American investment and aid to Turkey, Kroll had been more or less forced to play along the same blunt outlines his predecessor von Papen had been instructed to follow. Berlin wanted results, and especially when Hitler was still in power the tone of diplomatic messages Kroll had to deliver to Inönü Administration was often harsh and uncompromising. The postwar power struggle in the Third Reich had seen many old ambassadors and prominent diplomats replaced by personel who were royal to the new ruling clique, but Kroll retained his position due his open support for plans of European integration. Yet the tone of German diplomacy towards Turkey didin´t change much - poorly masqueraded threats and direct demands were the norm, and Turkish officials soon learned that whenever Ambassador Kroll demanded audience, they could often expect bad news from him.

    And while Kroll wasn´t entirely comfordable with his role as a bird of ill omen, he dutifully played the part, knowing that his political opponents in Berlin would not waste any chances to get him ousted from his position. It was still a great shock to him to receive direct orders to inform Turkish Government that Germany wanted to consult them about the Article II of the Turko-German Treaty of Friendship on October 1953. Article II meant "bilateral negotiations about concrete security questions", and in this case, as Kroll reported to Turkish delegation, Berlin wanted to "further deepen and improve the good and friendly relations between Turkey and the Third Reich." It was to be done by signing a new agreement about railway transfer of "unarmed volunteers and food and oil supplies to northern Syria to save local population from starvation." In effect, this agreement would allow one daily train with 500 unarmed personel to travel back and forth from Gyumri in Armenia to Karkamis in Turko-Syrian border. Kroll represented the terms of Berlin in serious, heavy-hearted manner, since he knew well that this initiative meant that the hawks in German administration were getting the upper hand in the foreign policy affairs.



    General Namut, Chief of the Turkish General Staff was equally serious when President Inönü asked him about the chances Turkey would have to resist armed German aggression after he had arrived from the meeting with Krom and the rest of the German delegation. Despite the fact that Turkish Army was now completely different and much larger force when compared to the obsolete militia it had been at the beginning of WWII, the estimation of General Namut was bleak. Strong Axis airforces were positioned within striking distance of Istanbul and Izmir, while strong land forces were also positioned near to Turkish border in Bulgaria and Caucasus. By the time it would take for Turkey to mobilize, Germans would have most likely allready invaded, captured Istanbul and broken through the easily defendable mountain valleys in Caucasian border by their sheer numerical superiourity.

    General Namut concluded his estimation by noting that while Turkey could still fight on and tie down substantial Axis formations in such a situation, the country would still face a major humanitarian catastrophe. The large number of civilians who would have to be left behind to major cities or who would become internal refugees could not be effectively fed or sheltered during the cold winter months, and the arrival of American reinforcements could turn Turkey into frontline of World War III - a conflict that General Namut believed would turn into a global nuclear war sooner rather than later. President Inönü left from this meeting looking deeply stressed, and few hours later he called Namut and gave order to initiate defensive preparations and partial mobilization of Army reservist formations in military districts bordering Greece, Bulgaria and Caucasus.



    As a former confidant of Rudolf Hess and long-time leader of NSDAP/AO, Obergruppenführer
    and Gauleiter Ernst Bohle had been able to retain his position in postwar purges. He had initiated ambitious
    reform of NSDAP/AO largely to expand his own personal prestige and authority among the other Party leaders.


    Ambassador Kroll wasn´t the only German official active in Turkey on 6th of October. As a part of the postwar organization changes and the German reaction to the Cold War, the Foreign Organization of the National Socialist German Workers Party, NSDAP/AO, had changed a great deal from it´s original role. While foreign comparisons to "Nazi Comintern" were publicly dismissed as hostile propaganda and complete misinterpetation, in reality the organization that had been originally tasked to perform of ideological training and uniform orientation of Germans living abroad had been transformed into a large umbrella organization with the task of supervising and coordinating international National Socialist movements.

    After the death of Hitler his lasting reluctance to make actual decisions about the postwar political structure of German sphere of interest and comments like "I cannot set any goals which will someday produce independent, autonomous states..." were set aside as the new Speer-Lammers-Goebbels-triumvirate organized the German hegemony (and their personal political power) on Europe on the basis of local puppet regimes and semi-independent Axis partners. And once the principle of international cooperation had taken root in Europe, it did not take long before it was extented to outside of New Europe as well.

    The representatives of NSDAP/AO were soon busily forming contacts to pro-Axis political movements in Latin America and South Africa. The success of Afrikaner Party in 1948 South African general election was partly due the support of NSDAP/AO, and this success marked the beginning of a new era in German foreign policy. Now Auswärtiges Amt, Abwehr and NSDAP/AO were the three primary organizations responsible for the different aspects of German foreign policy. It goes without saying that the internal strife and competion among the different bureaus and organizations of the Third Reich soon included the expanded NSDAP/AO as well. And just like the various factions within top circles of power in Berlin, the leaders of Auslands-Organisation sought to utilize the Middle-Eastern War to improve their own positions. While Abwehr had pretty much initiated the whole turmoil in Middle-East with Operation Zedernholtz and the Auswärtiges Amt was now seemingly leading the effort to pressure Turkey to grant military access to German supplies, NSDAP/AO had spent the first years of the war by establishing contacts to prominent Turkish Pan-Turanists. When Istanbul Summit begun, German-funded political activists were slowly expanding their network accross Turkey one Ortsgruppen and Stützpunkte at a time. Meanwhile the Turkish Secret Service MAH kept observing and infiltrating this operation while still keeping it unexposed.


    High Noon in Tarabya



    On October 7th Ambassador McGhee was authorized to accept the invitation German embassy had sent to him during the last night. During the same day McGhee and a small group of his aides quickly left Ankara and travelled to Tarabya near Istanbul. The small area was filled with several villas and "summer embassies" dating back to the Ottoman era, and the actual negotiations took place in one of these remote and luxurious buildings at the shore of Bosphorus.

    But while the negotiations continued, the international situation kept escalating fast. On 8th of October the Soviet Union successfully concluded their first nuclear test in Novaya Zemlya, much to the shock of German (and Western) leadership. In a rare public speech commenting the Soviet nuclear test, Chairman Malenkov also announced that the Soviet Union would "closely monitor" the development in Turkey.

    Two days later President Inönü sent a telegram to Ambassador Gerede in Berlin. While he vowed Gerede to keep this as a secret until told otherwise, Inönü stated that his personal opinion was that Turkey would soon have to accept German troop transfer request - according to MAH and Army intelligence reports, troops of the Transcaucasus Front of Red Army were mobilizing on the eastern border of Turkey.




    The mounting German pressure against Ankara was something Washington was firmly aware as well. On the night of October 11th, the carrier groups of US Sixth Fleet left only a few ships behind to maintain the naval embargo of Syrian ports, and sailed westwards to the international waters near the coast of Turkey. Together with their supporting ships the carriers USS Franklin D. Roosevelt, USS Randolph, USS Coral Sea, USS Kearsarge, USS Lake Champlain and USS Midway were a powerful display of US naval supremacy in the Mediterranean Fleet. But while the US naval manouvres in southern coast of Turkey displayed a strong signal of Western strength to Ankara, military planners in all sides knew well that from their new location the carriers of the Sixth Fleet were well-positioned to strike against German air bridge and their supply bases in Greece. But despite their impressive power projection capabilities, the American carriers were no the only naval force on the Turkish coast during that fateful October.



    Because of the insistence of Reichspräsident Lammers, Kriegsmarine and Luftwaffe had been steadily reinforcing their presence in northern Mediterranean. Squadrons of German naval bombers were positioned to airfields in Bulgaria and Greece, and German U-boats constantly shadowed the movements Sixth Fleet. While this was something US planners were prepared for, reports of German U-boat sightings in the Red Sea were much more worrisome. In a case of an open war between New Europe and the West, Red Sea was pivotally important since it was the only possible route for supply convoys to Republic of Italy and Middle-East. Egyptian ports in the Red Sea coast were destroyed and could not be used as bases of operations, but the Allied planners assumed that the Germans were nevertheless operating an unknown number of U-boats in the Indian Ocean by using Portuegese colonies as their supply bases. A new war would mean a new battle between supply convoys and German wolfpacks in Atlantic and Indian Ocean.

    As the generals prepared for the worst, key foreign policy experts and President MacArthur were debating about the future of Middle-East - and the world - in closed National Security Council meetings. The divided opinions among the council soon centered around President MacArthur and Secretary of State Herter. President and his supporters were willing to take the risk and quickly move forward in Syria in an attack that would end only after toppling the last pro-Axis regime in the region. Herter and more cautious members of Department of State were reluctant to support a move what they saw as "unwisely driving the Germans into a corner."

    Herter and his supporters played a dangerous game, gradually separating themselves from the diehard Cold Warriors, who decried any effort to enter into a dialogue with the Germans. To many, any contact or negotiation with the Nazis constituted treason and they insisted that they should be spoken only as villains, thieves and murderers. Personally Herter and McGhee shared the same viewpoint in their belief that any rapprochement with Berlin during the era of Hitler would have been out of the question. With succeeding German leaders, however, they believed that the West should at least persist in the efforts of establish contacts and mutual confidence that might lead to a relaxation of tensions.



    Ultimately it was the Soviet nuclear test that changed everything. Back in Berlin, the majority of General Staff shifted their support behind Speer and the moderate industry leaders and technocrats, referring to the growing Soviet threat in the eastern borders of New Europe as a good reason to reach some kind of settlement to the Middle-Eastern situation. Ernst Bohle utilized his extensive connections to mid-level Party leadership to outflank Lammers and at this point Goering, always looking for opportunities to promote his own goals, abanoned his earlier support for hardliners and was also willing to form some kind of proposal to be send to US. At the same time it was agreed that informal negotiations in ambassador level were no longer enough, and accompanied with a huge media event Berlin accepted the Turkish invitation and dispatched no one else than Hess himself to Istanbul.

    The news of German decision gave Herter much-needed leverage against the legendary stubborness of President MacArthur. Reluctantly he ordered General Ridgway to postpone the planned offensive against Damascus, and authorized Herter to travel to Istanbul to attend to the high summit there. When Herter arrived to Turkey he had no illusions left - the only option for negotiated settlement would be a new global conflict, where nuclear weapons would guarantee that there would be no victors.



    Luckily for Herter, Ambassadors McGhee and Kroll had not spent the week between 7th and 14th of October idly chatting, but had intead largely done the actual hard work for him. The German proposals presented by Hess in the "official" Istanbul Conference were almost identical with the ones McGhee and Kroll had ultimately both agreed in their cabinet meeting on the approval of Berlin and Washington. The principle was the same it had been in Zürich: ideological boundaries and spheres of interest would be readjusted according to current frontline situation. Once it was mutually agreed to of allow Syria to retain it´s Baathist government, the rest of the treaty seemed to provide nearly all the objectives that British and US governments had originally set to Operation Damask. Suez would become a demilitarized, international territory. Egypt and Lebanon would arrange free, internationally supervised elections within six months.

    Ultimately mutual guarantees for the current borders and neutral position of Turkey were also included to the final agreement. While many within the Department of State would have preferred Turkey´s membership in NATO, the decision was widely seen as a yet another success for President Inönü´s foreign policy and gave Turkey´s position much-needed credibility.

    While these parts of the treaty were all warmly welcomed in the United States, it´s final part was immediately greeted as a true success story of American diplomacy...

    Last edited by Karelian; 30-12-2008 at 09:03.
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  20. #220
    Field Marshal Faeelin's Avatar
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    Paradox ate my post, so some thoughts:

    -How useful will free and fair elections be? I can easily see a victory for anti-American parties. Meanwhile, if the Germans are supported Pan-Arab nationalists, does the US turn to the Islamist parties?

    -What's the nuclear balance like? For most of our fifties, the US could probably have gotten out of a war with "only" a million casualties, since the Soviets lacked a way to hit America; the reverse, however, was not true.

    -The "Nazi Comintern"; while I believe it, how would this work in practice? "Order yourself along national socialist lines to better serve the Aryan race!"

    -Since the Germans are the ones oppressing the Caucasian peoples, surely their Pan-Turanian promises are a bit fake?
    I am therefore officially rooting for a Franco-German strike on Russia, prompting the Soviets to strike back with their hitherto secret nukes. This will serve as a salutary lesson to all involved and leave everyone suitably chastened.-El Pip

    Great War: The American Front: Can the United States defeat Britain and its Confederate Lackeys? Or will the CSA defend its freedom against the Yankee Menace?

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