• We have updated our Community Code of Conduct. Please read through the new rules for the forum that are an integral part of Paradox Interactive’s User Agreement.
Introduction and Contents


Old Boardgame Grognard
46 Badges
Aug 31, 2008
  • Europa Universalis IV: El Dorado
  • Europa Universalis 4: Emperor
  • Europa Universalis IV: Golden Century
  • Europa Universalis IV: Dharma
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rule Britannia
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cradle of Civilization
  • Europa Universalis IV: Third Rome
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mandate of Heaven
  • Europa Universalis IV: Rights of Man
  • Europa Universalis IV: Mare Nostrum
  • Europa Universalis IV: Cossacks
  • Europa Universalis IV: Common Sense
  • Crusader Kings II
  • Europa Universalis IV: Res Publica
  • Europa Universalis IV
  • Europa Universalis IV: Art of War
  • Europa Universalis IV: Conquest of Paradise
  • Europa Universalis IV: Wealth of Nations
  • Europa Universalis: Rome
  • Hearts of Iron III
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Cadet
  • Rome: Vae Victis
  • 500k Club
  • Crusader Kings II: Way of Life
  • Crusader Kings II: Horse Lords
  • Crusader Kings II: Conclave
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Colonel
  • Crusader Kings II: Reapers Due
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Together for Victory
  • Crusader Kings II: Monks and Mystics
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Death or Dishonor
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Hearts of Iron IV: Expansion Pass
  • Rome Gold
  • Semper Fi
  • Hearts of Iron III Collection
  • Hearts of Iron III: Their Finest Hour
  • For the Motherland
  • Crusader Kings II: Sword of Islam
  • Crusader Kings II: Sunset Invasion
  • Crusader Kings II: Sons of Abraham
  • Crusader Kings II: The Republic
  • Crusader Kings II: Rajas of India
  • Crusader Kings II: The Old Gods
  • Crusader Kings II: Legacy of Rome
  • Crusader Kings II: Charlemagne

Start Year:
1936, standard Road to War
Difficulty: Normal
Version: Vanilla TFH 4.02
Cheats/Mods: "Prepare for War" event extended to 12 March 1937*
Style: Gameplay as alternate history, with screenshots


President Kemal Atatürk entering the Grand National Assembly of Turkey in 1936. Stormy and difficult times lie ahead. Especially in this alternate world of Turkish Glory.

Note: Moderator permission received on 24 April 2022 from @Qorten to include an interactive component in the AAR for a post-war Peace Conference, where selected commentAARs will be able to role play countries, negotiate and vote on territorial settlements in a series of ballots.


This is my first AAR. I hope (if enough dear readers sign on) for the AAR to be fun and inclusive. By that I mean I will welcome advice on both the game and readability as we go along and do my best to satisfy requests for info and the like. I will try to work on improving presentation etc. as I go along – as I say, the forum and this AAR gig are all new to me.

PS: now the AAR is well established, you may be looking at having a read but it taking quite a while to catch up. If you do, please feel free to make any comments on those earlier chapters if anything interests or amuses you along the way! I know I sometimes feel reluctant to do so in other AARs, but would thoroughly welcome it here, so you feel part of the conversation - always happy to get feedback or answer questions. :) [5 Nov 17]

Added 15 Jan 2018: Now, for those who may be daunted by reading a long-standing AAR from the start: a summary of the whole of the first part is available:
Talking Turkey - Summary of Book One: The New Balkan War (Chapters 1-38). Part 1 also contains a summary of battle casualties for each campaign of the entire New Balkan War at the end.

New 12 Mar 2018: The summary of the second part is now ready:
Talking Turkey - Summary of Book Two: The Path to Glory (Chapters 39-76)

Like all authAARs, I'd love you to read the whole work from the start. There is a lot of narrative in this AAR that gives it its flavour. And at least you don’t need to wait for updates to come out! ;) But if it means you might start reading when you may not have done otherwise, then this summary is for you.

Modification [*added 1 Feb 2017]

As a relatively new player, and not having tested this aspect before, I did not realise the "Prepare for War" event had a time limit of 300 days (I know, I didn't read the small print when I fired the event:oops:). It was only after I reviewed the end of the first game year (and saw neutrality reduction had ground to a halt) that I discovered the event had stopped, with Turkey's very high starting neutrality (90) not dropped to anything that would provide the kind of options the game and AAR were based on.

After reading up and (to continue the game as intended and not keep myself or readers waiting for years for anything to happen), I modified the 1 Jan 37 save file to reflect where neutrality would have fallen to had the Prepare for War event continued up to that point. I then extended it to end on 12 March 1937: this would leave a small residual neutrality level (ie not reducing it to 0), meaning that to declare war on a potential adversary there would still need to be some threat level there (not making it too easy, thus requiring some work to get a 'case for war').

Apart from playability, I think this is a reasonable scenario assumption in this case, as the premise is the Government is preparing the nation for war and would not simply stop preparing to do so at an arbitrary point. That's my justification anyway ;) (I hadn't wanted to make any changes to the base game, not even using custom game, unless I had to).

AAR Style

I might occasionally pose some strategic questions as a kind of informal War Cabinet: set the issue out, put a few initial pros and cons, seek advice, then make my own decision. I have chosen Turkey as it is large enough to have some potential, but small enough to be able to cope with some detailed AAR reporting and my preferred micromanagement game style (which you really need if you're going to succeed with a minor).

I will play and update turn by turn (as regularly as work/real life let me) so any game advice offered by you will be ‘real time’ for the next phase. You will not know any less than me about what happens next! I will undertake to let you know if I’m going to be away/offline for a while, as a courtesy.

I’ll try to apply a few ‘realistic touches’ if I can to strategy debates, operational reporting and world events as alternate history. A bit as if you were being provided confidential reports as government ministers being kept up to date on the war. But I won’t be pretending to be a Turk (which would be lame and probably a bit insulting), try to use the language (other than a few words translated for operational titles and the like) or get too cute with that kind of thing. You’ll have to imagine it as originally Turkish but translated into English!

As the AAR has developed I've also thrown in a bit of narrative storytelling and humour in between the 'serious stuff'.

If that sounds interesting/a little different, then I hope you will give me a go :).

Game Goals

Quite simple, only a few really:

1. I've made no pre-game decision yet on which faction to join, but I will eventually join one. So my first goal is to get my chosen faction to ‘win’ the game (the standard 12 objectives). That means I will try to be a good faction partner and will be active in trying to set its direction, as much as I can.​
2. The Second goal is to secure as many VPs for Turkey as possible within that victory framework.​
3. My third goal is a fall-back if my faction doesn't win: survive as a minor through to 31 Dec 1948 with as much as I can hold onto - which can sometimes be pretty desperate, hard fought and close run. But if at any stage another faction 'wins' (the 12 objectives) before the game times out, I will throw in the towel: beat is beat!​

Game Style

I’m usually happy to take as many Expeditionary Forces as are offered and I can support. I’m happy to go ahistorical (this is alternative history after all) but not ridiculously gamey. I will try to keep it in the spirit of the reasonable. I won’t reload from base saves if I do something silly and the AI takes advantage (it usually needs all the help it can get), or a calculated risk fails to pay off and disaster strikes - even if it means likely defeat. So be it – it might add a bit of excitement! I have also taken a"no tag" pledge, even for recalcitrant puppets!

Qualification: no tags to play the game or change anything about another country, but I have tagged later, just for selected screen shots for war reporting, consistent with storytelling and the kind of info you would eventually see in papers or get through other (liaison or intelligence) reporting. And for something to keep things more lively during those 'boring' periods of peace! ;)

So please follow: if you do, let me know if you are running any current AARs and will have a look at yours too.:)


Book One: The New Balkan War

Chapter 1: First Things First (1 January 1936)
Chapter 2: Early Days (1 January to 30 April 1936)
Chapter 3: Special Cabinet Policy Meeting (1 May 1936)
Chapter 4: The Hibernating Giant Begins to Awake (1 May to 31 August 1936)
Chapter 5: Armed Forces Reorganisation and Battle Plans (1 September 1936)
Chapter 6: Destiny Awaits (1 September to 31 December 1936)
Chapter 7: Prelude to War (1 January to 14 March 1937)
Chapter 8: War against Bulgaria - Operation Kleidion #1 (15 to 21 March 1937)
Chapter 9: War against Bulgaria - Operation Kleidion #2 (21 to 26 March 1937)
Chapter 10: Victory in Bulgaria (26 March to 4 April 1937)
Chapter 11: The ‘Shaky Peace’ (5 to 24 April 1937)

Chapter 12: War with Greece #1 "Operation Büyük Taarruz" (25 to 28 April 1937)
Chapter 13: War with Greece #2 – "The Salonica Pocket" (29 April to 5 May 1937)
Chapter 14: The “Three-Pronged Fork Memo" (6 May 1937)
Chapter 15: War with Greece #3 – "The Road to Larisa" (6 to 11 May 1937)
Chapter 16a: A Fork in the Road (12 May 1937)
Chapter 16b: Our Path to Greatness (12 May 1937)

Chapter 17: War with Greece #4 – "Four Battles" (12 to 17 May 1937)
Chapter 18: War with Greece #5 – “A String of Pearls” (17 to 21 May 1937)
Chapter 19: War with Greece #6 – "All In" (21 to 29 May 1937)
Chapter 20: War with Greece #7 – “Operation Minotaur” (29 May to 4 June 1937)
Chapter 21: War with Greece #8 – “Five Hours” (4 to 6 June 1937)
Chapter 22: War with Greece #9 – “Antici…….pation!” (6 to 29 June 1937)
Chapter 23: The Greater Turkish Republic (29 June 1937)
Chapter 24: 'Peace is Preparation for War by Other Means' (29 June to 6 July 1937)
Chapter 25: The Summer of Love and Hate (6 July to 18 August 1937)
Chapter 26: A Friendship Renewed (18 to 29 August 1937)
Chapter 27: The Apotheosis of Şükrü Âli Ögel (29 August 1937)
Chapter 28: Speak Loudly and Carry a Large Hammer (29 August to 30 September 1937)
Chapter 29: Using a Hammer to Crack a Nut (1 to 16 October 1937)
Chapter 30: Hammer and Anvil – Opening Blows (16 October to 3 November 1937)
Chapter 31: The Battle of Beograd – “Just Waiting for the Hammer to Fall” (3 to 9 November 1937)
Chapter 32: Breakout in Yugoslavia – “Caught Between the Hammer and the Anvil” (9 to 18 November 1937)
Chapter 33: War in Central Yugoslavia – “Going Hammer and Tongs” (18 to 24 November 1937)
Chapter 34: Pocketed! (24 to 29 November 1937)
Chapter 35: The Hard Yards (29 November to 3 December 1937)
Chapter 36: ‘A Mountain of Pain’ (4 to 9 December 1937)
Chapter 37: Split the Difference (9 December 1937 to 9 January 1938)
Chapter 38: Janus (9 January 1938)

Talking Turkey - Summary of Book One: The New Balkan War (Chapters 1-38)

Book Two: The Path to Glory

Chapter 39: 'The Path to Glory is Paved with Choices' (10 January 1938)
Chapter 40: Atatürk Declares “The Trains Will Run on Time” (10 to 31 January 1938)
Chapter 41: As Clear as Mud (1 to 28 February 1938)
Chapter 42: Springtime for Hitler (1 to 12 March 1938)
Chapter 43: The Wages of Sin (13 to 31 March 1938)
Chapter 44: The Invisible Men (1 to 30 April 1938)
Chapter 45: Mud, Blood, Mountains and Auditors (1 to 31 May 1938)
Chapter 46: ‘An Army of Lions’ (1 to 16 June 1938)
Chapter 47: Give and Take (17 to 30 June 1938)
Chapter 48: ‘A Ray of Hope for the World’ (1 to 31 July 1938)
Chapter 49: Triumph and Tension (1 to 31 August 1938)
Chapter 50: ‘Peace for Our Time’ (1 to 30 September 1938)
Chapter 51: ‘The Lights are Going Out’ (1 to 31 October 1938)
Chapter 52: Hibernation (1 November to 31 December 1938)
Chapter 53: Lancers and Liver Pills (1 to 27 January 1939)
Chapter 54: A New Sun Rises for Civilisation (28 January 1939)
Chapter 55: A Long Three Days in Ankara (29 to 31 January 1939)
Chapter 56: A Şik Figür, a sick President, a ‘Sick Man’ and a sick Pope (1 to 9 February 1939)
Chapter 57: A Funeral, a Festival, a Coronation and an Annexation (10 February – 31 March 1939)

Chapter 58: Time is a Thief (1 to 30 April 1939)
Chapter 59: Merry Month of May - Marx, Montenegro and Mafia Madness (1 to 31 May 1939)
Chapter 60: Blood Will Flow (1 to 30 June 1939)
Chapter 61: The Sun Shines while Storms Approach (1 to 31 July 1939)
Chapter 62: To be Red, or not to be? (1 to 30 August 1939)
Chapter 63: Special War Edition (31 August to 7 September 1939)
Chapter 64: Poland in Flames (7 to 14 September 1939)
Chapter 65: “Lepiej umrzeć stojąc”: Better to Die Standing (14 to 20 September 1939)
Chapter 66: Poland’s Agony (21 September to 3 October 1939)
Chapter 67: Wonderful, Wonderful Copenhagen! (3 to 31 October 1939)
Chapter 68: War in the Margins (1 to 30 November 1939)
Chapter 69: The Winter of Their Discontent (1 to 31 December 1939)
Chapter 70: Solidarity Forever! (1 to 31 January 1940)
Chapter 71: Cold Comfort for Finland (1 to 28 February 1940)
Chapter 72: Soviets March Forward in March (1 to 31 March 1940)
Chapter 73: Down and Dirty in the Dutch Dykes (1 to 30 April 1940)
Chapter 74: The Western War – The Low Countries (1 to 15 May 1940)
Chapter 75: Special War Cabinet Meeting (15 May 1940)
Chapter 76: Crescendo! (15 to 31 May 1940)

Talking Turkey - Summary of Book Two: The Path to Glory (Chapters 39-76)

Book Three: The Great Liberation War (Part 1 - A Tale of Two Fronts)

Chapter 77: Dreams and Nightmares (1 to 2 June 1940)
Chapter 78: Romanian Blitz (3 to 6 June 1940)
Chapter 79: The Drums of War (7 to 13 June 1940)
Chapter 80: Troubled Waters – Mediterranean Theatre (14 to 18 June 1940)
Chapter 81: “Going to Hell in a Hand Basket” – Other Fronts (14 to 18 June 1940)
Chapter 82: A Trial of Strength (19 to 30 June 1940)
Chapter 83: Intermezzo (1 July 1940)
Chapter 84: A Tug-of-War (1 to 16 July 1940)
Chapter 85: The Times - A View of the West (16 to 31 July 1940)
Chapter 86: Pravda - The Eastern Perspective (16 to 31 July 1940)
Chapter 87: In the Balance (1 to 15 August 1940)
Chapter 88: Decision Time – Cabinet Pre-Brief (15 August 1940)
Chapter 89: War Cabinet Meeting – ‘Contingency Plan Orange’ (16 August 1940)
Chapter 90: War Cabinet Meeting – Rhodes (16 August 1940)
Chapter 91: War Cabinet Meeting – Revenge (16 August 1940)
Chapter 92: The Year the World Burned (16 August to 1 September 1940)
Chapter 93: A Showdown on the Tri-border (1 to 8 September 1940)
Chapter 94: Hits and Misses (8 to 14 September 1940)
Chapter 95: Testing Times (15 to 30 September 1940)
Chapter 96: An Ominous October (1 to 14 October 1940)
Chapter 97: The Action of a Tiger (15 to 27 October 1940)
Chapter 98: Glorious Truth and Reflected Power (28 October to 1 November 1940)
Chapter 99: A Dimming of the Light (1 to 15 November 1940)

Chapter 100: The Sound of Gunfire (16 to 25 November 1940)
Chapter 101: The Leaning Edifice of Bordeaux (26 to 30 November 1940)
Chapter 102: Dark December Days (1 to 3 December 1940)
Chapter 103: War, What is it Good For? (3 to 6 December 1940)
Chapter 104: A Nightingale Sang (6 to 15 December 1940)
Chapter 105: A Hard Year Turns (16 to 31 December 1940)
Chapter 106: “The Year of Decision” (1 January 1941)
Chapter 107: The Fascists Strike Back (2 to 16 January 1941)
Chapter 108: From Each According to His Ability (17 to 31 January 1941)
Chapter 109: Sharp Defiance (1 to 14 February 1941)
Chapter 110: The Sound of Distant Guns (15 to 28 February 1941)
Chapter 111: A Crossroads (War Cabinet Pre-Briefing - 28 February 1941)
Chapter 112: Emergency War Cabinet Meeting: Part 1 - the Patriotic Front (1 March 1941)
Chapter 113: Emergency War Cabinet Meeting: Part 2 - Remaining Business (1 March 1941)
Chapter 114: Patriotic Resolve (1 to 7 March 1941)

Book Four: The Great Liberation War (Part 2 - The Battle of the Balkans)

Chapter 115: Balkanları Savun! Defend the Balkans! (8 to 14 March 1941)

Chapter 116: Hungry Beasts (15 to 18 March 1941)
Chapter 117: Predators and Prey (18 to 24 March 1941)
Chapter 118: Into the Vortex (24 to 28 March 1941)
Chapter 119: The Wind in their Hair (29 to 31 March 1941)
Chapter 120: In the Balance (1 to 4 April 1941)
Chapter 121: The Reich Strikes Back (5 to 7 April 1941)
Chapter 122: German Sewer Rats (8 to 13 April 1941)
Chapter 123: Under Pressure (13 to 19 April 1941)
Chapter 124: White Knuckle Time (20 to 23 April 1941)
Chapter 125: Timisoara (23 to 30 April 1941)
Chapter 126: A Band of Brothers – Prologue (1 May 1941)
Chapter 127: A Band of Brothers – Timisoara Part 2 (1 to 7 May 1941)
Chapter 128: Three Days in May (8 to 10 May 1941)
Chapter 129: Desperation and Apprehension (11 to 15 May 1941)
Chapter 130: Holding On (16 May 1941)
Chapter 131: Lead for Breakfast (17 to 21 May 1941)
Chapter 132: A Rain of Blows (22 to 27 May 1941)
Chapter 133: Time to Dig Deep (28 to 31 May 1941)
Chapter 134: No Mountain High Enough (1 to 4 June 1941)
Chapter 135: Uphill Battles (5 to 10 June 1941)
Chapter 136: The Danube Line – Part 1 (10 to 15 June 1941)
Chapter 137: The Danube Line – Part 2 (15 to 20 June 1941)
Chapter 138: An Alternate Barbarossa – Part 1 (20 to 23 June 1941)
Chapter 139: An Alternate Barbarossa – Part 2 (24 to 26 June 1941)
Chapter 140: The Hills Are Alive with the Sound of Gunfire (27 to 30 June 1941)

Note: I am now relying on Threadmarks, so this index currently only extends to Chapter 140. :)
Last edited:
  • 2Like
  • 1
Chapter 1: First Things First - 1 January 1936
Chapter 1: First Things First - 1 January 1936

Before I do anything with leaders, sliders or dispositions, I will conduct a short strategic appreciation. This will briefly set out my view of the world as the Turkish leader: threats, opportunities, where I want to get to, what military options I want to have and by when. That will then help set my force structure and industrial objectives, R&D etc.

1. General Diplomatic Outlook and Strategic Assessments

We start 1936 most closely aligned to the Allies but drifting towards the Axis (which at the moment is only Germany). I believe my major future threat is probably the Soviet Union, which I can hedge against by choosing to begin alignment towards either the Axis or Allies, or indeed siding with the Comintern. Prior to joining a faction, the Allies could become a threat if my intended imperial adventurism becomes too indiscreet or intolerable. I don’t believe the Axis will pose a real threat for the foreseeable future unless I do something to specifically offend them.

Turkish neutrality is quite high (90) and immediate threats non-existent. So if I want to pick an early victim for expansion (which I do, or this AAR is going to be pretty boring) I have to ‘prepare for war’ and work hard on some poor sucker’s threat level. If I can, I want to avoid having to join the Axis early (the easiest way to get to declare limited wars of expansion), as I don’t want to risk getting off-side with the Germans by having to repeatedly knock back unwanted requests to join a global war. I’m not sure how realistic this is, but will find out as I go along (if anyone has any advice on this aspect, I’d be most happy to receive it). Not joining early also leaves my options open.

Eventually though, I’m going to want to ‘pick a likely winner’, as that’s my first goal. I suspect that’s likely to be either the Axis or the Allies: the Soviets start a long way back, and for a minor power trying to survive long term and build a regional empire, I don’t think I can afford to wait for the late game surge. But I’ll leave my mind open for now and not start to align yet.


Here is the immediate neighbourhood.

1a. Potential Takeover Targets

Of my immediate neighbours, for now, the SU is out, as are the Allies and their puppets (eg. Syria and Iraq). Bulgaria and Greece are obvious candidates. Persia is a possibility, but it’s a narrow front, difficult country, an extended area to defend later if I win and the gains aren’t so good. I’m not really considering major amphibious adventures further afield, as I don’t think I’d be able to sustain them once the chips are down.

So, Greece or Bulgaria: when/if could depend on any quirks in coming events and it will take a while to work up to a DoW anyway. This is more a question for what kind of forces I might need to tackle one or the other (probably both, but in succession). I need to be able to do it by myself, as I don’t want to share the spoils and won’t be getting Expeditionary Forces either.

I’m only relying on what is available on the map re resources/IC/LS etc. for information. Both Greece and Bulgaria have some useful resources and should be able to provide valuable MP, IC and LS if conquered. Either could be a springboard to other possible future Balkan targets (Yugoslavia, Romania to start with). I will have to decide as I go whether I will have the intelligence capacity to target one or both (perhaps staged) for threat enhancement and to better check out their forces and dispositions.

1b. Force Structure and R&D Considerations

OK, to have some options in a year or two, what do I need the most (as my very limited LS :( won’t let me research a lot)?

I need to be able to defend my border with the SU, though I’m not expecting an immediate threat. But mountain troops and artillery will be a must for that for R&D especially. I think I’m likely to keep my economic R&D focus on the basics (IC augmentation, supply improvements, education, agriculture) and military on infantry (which is going to be my core skill for unit and doctrine research), then some artillery and maybe a few other niche capabilities later on.

MP and officer levels are quite good for now, but I think they will be a problem later, so I can’t let them slip too much. Anything higher tech (aircraft, ships, armour, etc.), I think I’m going to rely on licenses if I can. So I will also need money when it comes to trade and resource policies (not to mention saving a few $ for better policy options when they become available). Being able to eventually improve my infrastructure would also be useful, not sure yet if/when I’ll be able to afford the research for that.

Of my potential first takeover targets (Greece and Bulgaria), both have some difficult terrain, so some mountain troops will be useful. If Greece is a target, I’ll have to worry about their navy: it would be useful to be able to stage a viable invasion of Crete to ensure I finish them off – just enough to make it stick. I’ll want a few units for exploitation purposes, but will probably need to do it on the cheap and/or not really very fast (cav, AC?). Later on, if I get involved in the Middle East, I’ll need desert equipment and something a bit faster, but will worry about that later. Garrisons/militia will probably be important for a cut-rate power such as mine with (hopefully) some long borders and coastlines to defend, so I’ll need to gradually build some tech and units for that as well. For port guarding in particular down the track (whether it’s against the Axis or Allies).

1c. Current Orbat


2 x Corps HQs
10 x Inf Divs (all Level I, 3 x inf bdes, Reserves)
1 x Mtn Div (Level 1, 3 x mtn bdes, Reserves)
3 x Cav Divs (all Level 1, 2 x cav bdes, Reserves)

Conclusions: Only the Corps HQs and five of the inf divs have leaders and there are only three more in the pool, so new Corps HQs will have to wait. A few L2s, mainly L1. Not great – hope I’ll be getting a bit more and better than that later! Equipment standards definitely need improving. At least I have mtn inf capability, but if I’m to build a few more of them I’ll want some proper equipment for them too. Same with desert gear for later, so L2 inf equipment is a big mid-term priority, both to improve standards and to get those important specialties.

In terms of land doctrines, my best are currently in Grand Battle Plan and a bit in Human Wave, which is about right for me I think. The rest are in the Dark Ages! I’m not that interested in the Superior Firepower/5 bde division option (that will be a nice luxury later if I ever get that far), nor the mech/arm/mot route. I should probably at least research basic light armour and the armoured car equipment streams when I can, though they are secondary (and will also cause supply problems later, a problem with the rough terrain and poor infrastructure that surrounds me, especially in the Middle East).


Not a bad little regional navy, but very 1918 of course:

1 x BC, 2 x CL, 1 x DD, 1 x SS (all L1 of course) and a Tpt.​

This will only ever be of use against small neighbours, before general war breaks out. Will look to prepare it for assisting a likely Greek invasion, but then it will probably be hidden somewhere. No doctrines to speak of. Other than maybe one more transport (will work out necessary weights for an invasion force later), I don’t see myself building or researching any more than this.

Air Force

1 x INT and 1 x TAC. No doctrine or additional equipment. At least it’s something to look at using with similarly under-equipped small neighbours, will probably use licenses later if I need anything more than that.


So there it is: I’ll crunch my tech priorities later (can’t even buy IC yet, need to research the doctrine for that first), but this gives me a good start. LS of 6.5 to start is of course terrible, but it is what it is and I must try to improve it as a priority. IC of 18 not much better: will see what’s worth building in light of my above priorities after the basics and upgrades are dealt with.

1d. Trade and Resources

Stockpiles are at least good, not much money: will try to boost that if I can. Not many convoys and I can’t afford to buy them, so will be relying on land based trade.

2. First Changes Made

Anyway, that’s my read of the starting position, I’ll now apply that to my initial settings.

2a. Technology

Officer strength is OK for now, so I’ve zeroed that. Small amount in for diplomacy, just to build some flexibility for later trade or diplomatic options. I will need to do some work in the intel space, so a reasonable amount in there to start to build counter-espionage at home and start influencing neighbours.

That leaves me with 5 and spare change for tech research. Overwhelming initial emphasis is on building up my woeful LS and IC bases. The fraction will go on the first inf equipment upgrade. Doctrines (mainly land) and other equipment upgrades (armour, artillery, etc.) will just have to wait.


You have to start somewhere.

2b. Government and Policy

First thing I do is take the ‘Prepare for war’ national decision. Got to start somewhere!


The first (and as it happens, last) public announcement by FM Aras!


I can’t afford any policy changes yet, though I wouldn’t mind improving training standards later. Will examine which I will aim for and what conditions I need to get them in a subsequent post.

As I’ve said, I don’t want to align to a faction yet and certainly not the Comintern, so I’ll change the pro-Soviet Foreign Minister out for the General Staffer, also for the small intel boost. For Armaments, I’ll back an Infantry Proponent to pursue my preferred Infantry/Militia army line.

For Chief of Staff I’ll again support the land army track and get some MP assistance (given I’ve decided agriculture improvement will have to wait) by appointing a School of Mass Combat advocate. Current MP is 162 and it will cost 97.4 to mobilise, so I had better do what I can there to prepare for the longer term MP drain a war of expansion will create.

Supply consumption is not a problem yet, so I’ll stick with the current Chief of Army. No real choice for Chief of Navy; Chief of Air Force is the best available; no alternatives for Security or Intelligence Ministers. Here is the new Cabinet and the inherited policy platform (not much I can do about that yet).


A new Government for a glorious future!

2c. Intel

Will go for the standard domestic intel build first: need to get National Unity up badly (starts at 54%). Will then prioritise action against would-be victims once the domestic scene is sorted. Here is the very modest starting position.


The nation, united, can never be defeated!

2d. Production

OK, having sorted all that out, will see to industrial priorities. Can’t build IC yet (that tech research has been started). At least consumer and supply requirements are low for now. With upgrades and reinforcements paid for, that leaves a reasonable amount for production. I do want to get a few practicals going too. Here are my initial choices. Will tinker and play 'slider tag' as the game gets going!


For a stronger Turkey.
I wanted to start on the arty for what will become my main attack divs. A mtn bde to get inf practical up and to start building a second mountain division. I’ve gone for Garrison over Militia because I don’t plan on moving them after placing them. They can suppress a bit (I’ll be using them for occupation duties) and they are a little stronger (organization and soft attack) and consume fewer supplies. Offsets the higher Officer and IC cost.


This presentation by the Armaments Minister convinced the Cabinet to approve his proposal. Good for local employment too.

2e. Resources and Trade

I will wait and see who offers what, in the hope of getting some $ for some of my excess resources (energy, in particular) and preserving my scarce diplomatic points.


Here is the starting position. Some potential there to both stockpile and trade.

Won’t bother moving or reorganizing units yet. So that’s it for the set-up. Will let it run a bit and then post the initial period of build, watch and wait soon. Let me know if you think any of the starting decisions are questionable or you think there are better alternatives! :)
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 2: Early Days - 1 January to 30 April 1936
Chapter 2: Early Days - 1 January to 30 April 1936

Until there is some military action to speak of, the ‘pre-war’ period will be dealt with by some broad summary updates and other news, especially in trade, intelligence and production. These are important for bedding down the early period. I will deal with key decisions, developments and world events. This will be a mix of ‘confidential’ Cabinet briefings, and perhaps the occasional news clipping of what the public is being told about events in Turkey and through wire services from around the world.

1. Intelligence Reporting

Annual Cabinet Intel Briefing – 1 Jan 36. Our small existing spy network – which for some reason reaches into the Philippines, various minor Chinese and Far Eastern states – has produced some basic estimates for some of our neighbours. But with only one operative in each country, Security Minister Kaya agreed much of the information was of dubious reliability. In particular, the LS estimates are ridiculous! o_O Our operatives seem to have assumed their salary would increase with the amount of leadership they reported! :D The IC and MP figures look more realistic, though of course we can’t know for sure. In the table below, 'CI' is their reported Counter Intelligence [Erratum: should be 'Counter Espionage'] strength: these figures appear a bit high as well.

Intel Summary 001 – 1 Jan 36 [Cabinet in Confidence]

Domestic Network: 2 active CI operatives, no foreign spies caught recently.​

The Cabinet will track these figures over time and see if their reliability improves, especially in the countries we intend to focus on (with numbers and specific intel targets). Kaya was instructed to get our domestic house in order first, with subsequent external collection priorities on Bulgaria (for which we have no intel as yet); maintaining coverage of Greece; then trying to keep tabs on the Soviets and other neighbours if resources permit. But for now, given our low numbers in key foreign countries and their reported CI capabilities, we’ve instructed all cells to lay low for now and engage in passive collection only.

Key assessments are that:
  • Persia and Iraq will be relatively weak, so we don't need to direct too much intel effort there yet.
  • The UK and France strong and with the ability to surge to the Middle East if necessary. More intel won't tell us much more about that.
  • The Soviets way beyond our league unless they are otherwise occupied, but some info would be useful.
  • The quickly rearming Germany would be a big handful if they ever came our way, while Italy’s fleet would dominate the Eastern Med and their land forces would dwarf ours if they were to attack us in strength. Again, we don't need more intel to tell us that.
  • The intel focus must remain on Greece and Bulgaria, who we assess to be weaker than Turkey unless allied to and aided by a major Faction, and where we will want to pursue active intel operations.
  • So we must tread carefully, as all the European Majors could potentially be near enough and large enough to us to cause us grief.:eek:
Intel Update 01/1936. By 30 Apr 36, our domestic spy network is fully stocked (10) and we have 12 spare spies available for tasking. So we switch our domestic focus to building national unity, with only a small priority for counter-intelligence, as no foreign spies have been caught recently. Of our external network, only five of our starting twelve spies survive and the only useful spy we have left is one in Greece. So the collection priority now goes to Bulgaria and Greece, with an eye kept on the Soviets (we'll see if we can sustain a network in the face of their CI capacity, which we no longer have data on). Our neutrality has fallen rapidly down from 90 in January to 66 now. Still a way from what we need for a DoW on Greece or Bulgaria – we may look at building their threat levels once we have a few assets in place.


2. Military News

Transport Infrastructure Survey. The new Government commissioned a survey of our national transport infrastructure for military purposes. Chief of Staff Örlungat confirms the network is reasonable around our coastline and inland from Istanbul to Ankara (60%), but fairly poor elsewhere (40%). This could cause movement delays when switching to or from potential western, Caucasus or southern fronts, and supply problems if operating in the non-coastal Middle East, Caucasus or Persian areas, where we anticipate even poorer infrastructure plus mountain and desert conditions over the border.


Our conclusions:
  • Though out of our reach for now, a direct link of improved infrastructure from Ankara to the south would be a worthwhile national project in the future, the same to the Caucasus front and our border with the Soviets.
  • We will need to preposition all anticipated forces for any future offensive operations close to the intended target, but this means we will need to take care on stripping forces from other fronts, as a surprise attack there would take a long time to respond to.
  • So (apart from keeping our eyes open) we should try to maintain reasonable relations with the Soviets and not provoke the Allies when it comes time to move on the Balkans.

Training Improved. By 9 Jan 36, we had sufficient funding to enact specialist training: we need quality if we can’t have a lot of quantity, and the extra recruitment time is something we can live with.:)


Armed Forces Sitrep 01/1936: Soviets Militarise the Border. By 13 Mar 36, CoS Örlungat reports that the Soviets have significantly increased their presence on the border.o_O At least five mtn divs, an inf div and a cav div have been observed moving into position. FM Bele reports that relations with the Soviets are currently neutral (0). We remain alert, but not alarmed. :cool: As a precaution, CoS Örlungat will begin moving nearby divisions to the border to take up defensive positions, using regular marches to preserve supplies and because the situation is not yet urgent - we hope! It won’t provide a solid front, but we don’t want to divert troops from elsewhere: just to demonstrate resolve and deterrence.


Soviet border and Turkish troop movement plans, as at 13 Mar 36.

We can’t present too easy a target – Turkey must come to be seen as a strong regional player! And I just don’t trust those Soviets: before he was captured sometime since January, our sole spy reported rumours that the Soviets have grand designs on Turkey to become part of the Comintern. If they can’t get us to join willingly, they may one day try to do it by force. :mad:

Armed Forces Sitrep 02/1936: Redeployment Complete. By 23 Apr 36, our redeployment to the Soviet border is complete. Not a solid line, but more reassuring than it was. You will notice the upgrade and reinforcement process has now brought our standard inf divs up to 2-2 strength (having started the march at 1-2). Still no leaders assigned for any of the Caucasus border divs and no Corps HQ made available yet. This is life on the poverty line!


Soviet - Turkish border as at 23 Apr 36.

3. Economic News

Trade. We are trying to save money, so for now are rejecting most trade offers to sell us materiel or resources. Crude oil is running at a small deficit, so we might consider something modest there if the price is right. We continue to hoard diplomatic points and are waiting for traders to beat a path to us.:cool: Below are the main developments from January to April.


Accepted on 16 Jan 36. Exactly what we were after. Will retain a surplus buffer in RMs, but almost double our daily $ trade surplus.


Accepted on 29 Jan 36. Tops up our slight Metals deficit and allows the stockpile to grow and we can afford the modest $ cost.


Declined on 8 Feb 36. We’re not so desperate for money that we’d sell a license to a country we may be at war with in a year or two. Hope they don’t read too much into this!


Two deals accepted on 8 Feb 36. We are running a large energy surplus and would still like to build our metals stockpile. Our net $ position is improved as a result of these deals.


Accepted on 7 Apr 36. We were waiting for an offer on crude oil. This is as much as we can afford at present. Even so, it will decrease our crude oil deficit by less than half.

Production. As things settled down in January, supply and reinforcement needs have risen, which will slow down our production builds initially, especially for the mtn bde. By February, the gar bde is down to 61% and the mtn bde is going nowhere. :( If this persists, I may need to decrease the current full upgrade rate to compensate.


Things had improved by the beginning of April, with all production proceeding as planned and a small IC surplus being directed into supplies. By 13 April, our reinforcement and upgrade program was almost complete. We used the surplus to commission our first home-built mobile unit – an armoured car bde to supplement one of our cav divs for breakthrough/quick response duties. Also want to get mobile unit practical up a bit before we embark on more ambitious (licensed) projects later.


Quite expensive and not exactly cutting edge technology, but it will have to do! ;)

4. World News

3 Feb 36: (Wire Services Report, Rome). Italy announces that the trains will run on time. :rolleyes: Though some reports indicate the only one they got to run on time was one carrying Il Duce. This is widely regarded to be a bit of domestic Italian propaganda and to have no significant practical effect.


Italian "Duce" Mussolini - inordinately happy about getting a few trains to run to schedule!

13 Mar 36. (Wire Services Report, Rome). Italy declares Ethiopia as a puppet regime, ending the short war of conquest it began in October 1935. Not the New Roman Empire yet, but perhaps the first ripple in a new wave of military adventurism around the world?


Italian artillery in Ethiopia, early 1936.
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 3: Special Cabinet Policy Meeting - 1 May 1936
Chapter 3: Special Cabinet Policy Meeting - 1 May 1936

[Ed. I’ve already noticed that doing an AAR makes you think more about the game. Some of this may be a bit obvious to experienced hands (and even for a trained recruit like me are normally handled ad hoc and quickly/instinctively). But in part it’s my pseudo-realistic AAR approach (and filling in time while more exciting events brew, though on important foundational issues), but also a chance to learn more about the game myself, hone some understanding of more obscure game elements (hoping here for some growing commentary, please guys :)) and maybe something to help other novices appreciate some of these finer aspects.]

To resume the story, legislative aims occupied the attention of the Cabinet as 1936 wore on. We have begun to consider which policies to aim for next and what we need to achieve them. The President convened a Special Cabinet Meeting on 1 May 36 to consider the forward program and make the necessary decisions.


President Atatürk during a break in the Special Cabinet Meeting of 1 May 36. One can see the burden of statesmanship weighs heavily on his shoulders, as it has for many years now. Perhaps a cup of tea and a breath of fresh air ;) will help him through!
1. Civil Laws

Our current setting is Limited Restrictions. Our proud Turkish Government is not one of those soft Western democracies, so all we need to introduce Legalistic Restrictions is NU of 60% (currently at 54.878%) – a realistic objective to aim for. Repression (requiring an NU of 70%), would be even more effective, but will have to remain a longer-term goal. A Totalitarian System could only be introduced if the National Socialists (in our case the Ülkücu Harekat) became the government. Their standing is currently only at 3%, while our glorious Paternal Autocratic Government (Cumhuriyet Halk Partisi) is the beating heart of the nation: so that is simply not going to happen!

Decision: We will aim to enact Legalistic Restrictions when NU reaches 60%, but this is
not our highest legislative priority if we need to choose between other options.


2. Conscription Laws

We are currently stuck with Volunteer Army legislation. This is poor for MP, officer recruitment and has high reserve penalties. We must do better! Our immediate aim is to introduce the One-Year Draft, for which we (again) need NU of 60% (we are already below the non-democracy neutrality threshold of 70). Another realistic objective. Short of war, the Two- and Three-Year Drafts each require NU of 70% and (respectively) neutrality below 65 (almost there already) or 60. Service by Requirement would be great for MP and officer recruitment in particular, but that won’t be available short of war.

Decision: We will aim to enact One-Year Draft when NU reaches 60%, as a high priority.


3. Economic Laws

We have Basic Mobilisation in place. This provides a small $ income boost, but still has a significant (25%) penalty on IC and resources. This is holding us back if we are to generate a strong Turkey. Both Full Mobilisation and War Economy for us have the same remaining criterion to achieve: the familiar 60% NU benchmark. War Economy will give us superior IC (25%) and resource (10%) bonuses, at the cost of a greater money (25% vs 10%) penalty. We will need to look at more foreign income sources if we are to maintain a War Economy, pay for legislative change and save to buy licenses. But the resource boost will help with that, as we are quite strong in resources - hopefully enough to support an expanding IC output in the future and still trade for money. Total Economic Mobilisation will have to wait for a war to break out.

Decision: We will enact War Economy when NU reaches 60%, as a high priority.


4. Education Investment Laws

Fittingly, we have already adopted Massive Educational Investment. Given our parlous LS situation, we must wear the financial penalty (25%) in order to gain the 20% leadership modifier.

Decision: Set and forget!


5. Industrial Policy Laws

We are maintaining a Consumer Product Orientation. The Cabinet’s view is the IC production efficiency penalty (15%) is not outweighed by a small peacetime consumer goods bonus (1%); and we believe dissent :mad: is not going to be an issue for the foreseeable future (if our Secret Police have anything to do about it)! Mixed Industry would help with supply production (+10%) and throughput (+5%) and with consumer goods demand in both peace and war (-5%). As with many other of our immediate policy choices, 60% NU is required, given our form of government. A Heavy Industry Emphasis would have mixed benefits for our economy, requires an active war and NU of 80%. None of that makes it a particularly realistic or even desirable option, so we will not be pursuing it, even as a long-term goal.

Decision: We will enact Mixed Industry when NU reaches 60%, as a medium priority.


6. Press Laws

Naturally, a strong government needs a State Press, which we already have. The remaining option is a Propaganda Press. Though the benefits look reasonably tempting in theory, either the National Socialists or Stalinists need to be in power to enforce it :eek:. Again, not happening!

Decision: Set and forget!


7. Training Laws

We upgraded to the top option, Specialist Training, in January this year. Unless we later find ourselves needing more cannon fodder at some war-torn and desperate point in the future, we will continue to value quality over quantity.

Decision: Set and forget!


8. Summary

The legislative program priorities are, in order:
  1. Conscription – One-Year Draft
  2. Economic – War Economy
  3. Industrial Policy – Mixed Industry
  4. Civil – Legalistic Restrictions
Actions arising:
  • At current costs, each change of laws costs us $13.1. We have four legislative priorities on the books for when our NU ticks over the 60% mark, so that means we will need at least $52.4 in the bank by then if we want to enact them all at once.
  • We also need to factor in some future recurrent bottom line impacts (ie decreased income) that will come with some of the changes. With a current balance of $138 and only a marginal net surplus, we can cover the up-front costs of all four easily enough, but will need to keep an eye on recurrent impacts and the need to save for future expenditure (eg. for production licenses; any further legislative changes; and covering potential resource shortfalls with increased production or disrupted trade).
  • Meanwhile, Security Minister Kaya has been directed to devote redoubled efforts to increasing NU through the domestic spy network (we will first assess the effect of the recent changes to see how quickly NU is moving) and to alert the Cabinet when the 60% threshold is approached.
The meeting ended with a very positive atmosphere and with anticipation of major policy advances to come. An announcement was made to great fanfare and received a very positive reception in our (conveniently state controlled) press!


A great fanfare! There was rejoicing in the streets at the
Government's announcement of bold new policy plans!
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 4: The Hibernating Giant Begins to Awake: 1 May to 31 August 1936
Chapter 4: The Hibernating Giant Begins to Awake: 1 May to 31 August 1936

1. Intel and Diplomatic Reporting

8 May 36 - Intel Update and Strategic Discussion in Cabinet. Head of Intel Ögel reports our new spies have quickly deployed to Bulgaria (now with 6 spies) and Greece (7). Our first reports from Bulgaria indicate their IC is very similar to ours (indeed slightly higher at 0/26/19). We had better not wait too long before we try to take them down, or the problem will just keep getting bigger. Their counterespionage is only 4, so we will start getting active right away. Threat raising and our own counter-espionage efforts will take priority. Something similar with Greece.

  • CoS Örlungat noted that added to the likely increasing production (and therefore military power) of Bulgaria, there was a wider invasion front (four provinces) available than against Greece (only one province frontage, plus possible amphibious landings).
  • FM Bele said Bulgaria was already quite aligned to the Axis and was drifting further towards them. If that were to accelerate (due to their own desires or influence from Germany), there is a risk they could join the Axis before we could intervene, though their neutrality is still 79. On the other hand, Greece is significantly aligned to the Allies and has neutrality of 74. We remain unsure though whether they would risk joining the Allies unilaterally with such powerful potential enemies (Germany, Italy) nearby. Relations with both countries remain quite good, at 75.
31 Aug 36. Our neutrality down to around 41%, Bulgaria’s threat level against us is up marginally to 0.47%, but Greece’s hangs stubbornly at 0.01. At this rate it looks to be another six months at least before we will be able to declare war.
  • But the good news is both Bulgaria and Greece’s counter-espionage (CE) has been reduced to zero, so we will divert some effort into military intelligence there, and look to divert a little more LS from intel to officers.
  • We are now reporting only 2 CE for the Soviet’s, so our network there is growing for a modest investment. Later we will look at developing networks in Romania and Yugoslavia, but that can wait.

2. Military News

1 May 36. Before new Army units start coming on line, here is a simple breakdown of our current 1936 model Army force structure.


Army force structure as at 1 May 36.

8 May 36. Our first new unit, the 1st Gar Bde, was deployed to Izmir to train and guard the port. We can only hope that it, and more to come, might get some foreign garrison missions in the future.

21 Jun 36. A proud day our first new 1st Arty Bde (L2) has been added to our 5. Piyade Tümeni, based in in Istanbul. This will become our first “Strike Division”. Another arty bde has been started immediately and sent to the top of the queue. By now, all our inf bdes have finished upgrading to L2, as have the cav. We have also decided to mov the whole Cavalry Corps (the Türk Süvari Kolordusa), commanded by LTGEN Wehib Pasha, to Istanbul. Our next move in our gradual build-up for Operation Balkan Assist ;). As a special honour, the President himself has observed the cavalry on exercise, en route to Istanbul.


The Cavalry is coming! Their long trek started on 21 Jun.


President Atatürk with Turkish Army officers during an Army exercise, May 1936.

31 Aug 36 - Future Plans. By the end of August, the Cabinet directed the CoS to prepare plans for a major reorganisation of the Turkish Army, in order to prepare for offensive operations in the Balkans. This should include pre-emptive mobilisation plans (timing, likely cost), when units should start moving to the front and any ideas to deceive the enemy about our intentions until the last minute. The plan should be for operations against Bulgaria. Cabinet believes Greece can wait a while longer. Cabinet will consider these plans in September.

3. Politics and Security

16 May 36. Security Minister Kaya reports our NU has already past 55%. On current projections (and without any adverse surprises) we will be able to reach the 60% mark and pursue our new legislative agenda before the end of 1936. Great news!

31 Aug 36. NU to almost 56.9%, rising by about 1% per month - our goal nears.

4. Production and Technology

Jun 36. With our intel operations now well established, we diverted a small amount of LS (0.30 to start with) from Intel (now at 0.80) to Leadership, to start preparing new officers for our expanding Army. We noted the deployment of our new arty bde decreased our officer numbers from 97% to 94%! I don’t much like letting numbers get below 90% and would prefer over 100% when the time comes to fight, so we may have to devote more to this in the future – hoping some of our tech advances can help a little there in the nearer term.

20 Jul 36. A magnificent day for Turkish research! :D


No startling effects felt as yet, but here are our new research priorities, which remain largely industry based. We need to persist with Industrial Production and Efficiency, both for the IC benefits and to allow the future pursuit of Advanced Construction Engineering and thus infrastructure building. Now we have Construction Engineering, we can start building some IC, which we will fit into the production schedule as soon as we can. Here are our new research settings:


18 Aug 36. Some more good news – a welcome boost for Turkish industry.



That translated into a couple more IC - our production lines are soon running at almost full capacity.

Trade - Summary of key deals: May-Aug 36


Accepted on 21 Jun 36. We are now adding to our crude oil and fuel stockpiles, so this deal with Italy will be a handy little earner. It might also earn us a bit diplomatic goodwill with them – we can hope.


Cancelled 23 Jun 36. The deal only lasted two days! Fools indeed. Fickle and unreliable Italians [game comment only]! Glad we didn’t waste any diplomatic points on that. I only include this little farce to illustrate their lack of staying power – I won’t bother with such announcements in the future.

Late July. Germany cancelled our lucrative rare materials deal and there don’t seem to be many takers for new RM deals. We’re now getting many offers to sell supplies for cash, which is now running at a deficit. I don’t want to affect our modest production program if I can help it, so will try to hold out for something better, and just wear the deficit for a while if I must.


Accepted 21 Aug 36. These two deals will help a little – small nuggets of gold among the dross of supplies-for-cash trade offers.

5. World News

4 Jun 36: (Wire Services Report, Paris). France has announced the Popular Front. Everyone else had forgotten about the night of 6 Feb 34 :p, but I guess they didn't! The new French Government is headed by SFIO leader Léon Blum and exclusively composed of Radical-Socialist and SFIO ministers. Whether this has any significant practical effect on France and its preparedness remains to be seen, but it is a major political event for France.


6 Aug 36. News flash - Civil War in Spain disturbs the Olympic Spirit!


FM Bele advises we should steer well clear of this conflict – the President and Cabinet agree.


A map of initial positions in the Spanish Civil War, 6 Aug 36. Republican territory is the lighter shade.

1-16 Aug 36. The Games of the XI Olympiad.


At the 1936 Berlin Olympics, Turkish athletes competed vigorously and did the country proud. Our man on the scene, Pasha Mehmet Wiki, reports 48 Turkish competitors - 46 men and 2 women - took part in 26 events in 7 sports. We won our first-ever Olympic medals at these Games - in the wrestling. How noble! Yaşar Erkan won Gold in the Men's Greco-Roman Featherweight, while Ahmet Kireççi won Bronze in the Men's Freestyle Middleweight.


Yaşar Erkan, Man of Gold!


Turkey’s 1936 Olympic wrestling team: heroes of the nation, one and all!

With Tokyo set to host the 1940 Games, some patriotic Turks are suggesting perhaps we should bid for the 1944 Olympics to be held in Istanbul - the great world city, where East meets West? Following on from Japan’s example, why should Western countries get all the kudos?

A fitting note on which to finish this latest update. Please, dear readers, feel free to join the conversation! :)
Last edited:
  • 3Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 5: Armed Forces Reorganisation and Battle Plans - 1 September 1936
Chapter 5: Armed Forces Reorganisation and Battle Plans - 1 September 1936

1. Army Reorganisation and Redeployment

Army Chief Yamut announced our two current Corps HQs will be renamed, with each commanding five divisions. This will maximise the coverage of our currently very limited pool of qualified generals.

Unit Re-Organisation and Command Appointments

All current appointments have been cleared. Yamut advised that we currently have 10 generals qualified for Divisional or higher command, while two more – Orbay and Muzir – have recently passed their command exams and are due to be promoted on 1 Jan 37. [Ed note: this info is available from an HoI3 wiki but - if it proves accurate, as I haven’t used it before – I think it is very reasonable that an Army Chief would know who the next batch of promoted Generals would be]. This list includes our esteemed Prime Minister Inönü, who has generously indicated he is willing to serve in any capacity required in time of war:


This means that (with hopefully 12, by the time we expect war to be declared) we will still only have enough generals to command our Supreme Command HQ; the two Corps HQs and nine other divisions. For now, though it would be highly desirable later, we will not raise separate Army or Army Group HQs in the chain of command. We considered, but disregarded, the further amalgamation of divisions, so we could preserve enough separate manoeuvre units for tasks. All appointments will take effect immediately, to minimise disruption to unit organisation.

Supreme Command HQ. The Istanbul HQ, currently commanded by Field Marshal Cakmak, will be redesignated the Supreme Command HQ. We want one of our best logisticians in charge there, so the new Supreme Commander will be Field Marshal Calistar.


While disappointed to be losing the Supreme Command, General Cakmak (centre) has been given a key line command appointment and vowed to do all is his power for “the people, the nation and the President”. He will serve under PM Inönü (left), pictured here accepting his new military command from the President (right) during the change of command ceremony on 1 Sep 36.

1st Corps will command the new ‘Strike’ Division (1st), which will have the arty bde currently with the 5th transferred; three standard inf divs and our mtn Div (currently three mtn bdes, with a fourth due on 4 Dec 36). This will be our premier assault formation and needs one of our best and most effective offensive generals in charge. Our PM, LTGEN Inönü, will fill this critical appointment.


New 1st Corps Structure and Command Appointments.

2nd Corps will be commanded by LTGEN Artunkal. He will command another new ‘strike’ division – the 9th (next arty bde due to be finished on 3 Dec 36), two standard inf divs and two cav divs (each of three cav bdes) – these (the 1st and 3rd Cav) will be reinforced by disestablishing the 5th Cav Div. If the new AC bde (which should enter service in early Jan 37) is battle ready before war breaks out, it will be added to the 1st Cav.


2nd Corps Structure

Independent Infantry Divisions

The 15th Inf div will act as an independent div under Army command. It will have a commander assigned (Gataly), as it has a frontline role in the initial planned assault.

The 17th Inf div will combine with the Navy to form Joint Task Force 1, based in Istanbul. It will act as a potential amphibious force and our strategic reserve on the Western Front.

The 19th Inf Div will remain deployed on the Soviet border as the sole garrison on the Caucasus Front. It will be based at Aharvi, with orders to make a fighting withdrawal back to Trabzon in the event of a surprise attack by the Soviets, to await reinforcement.


The 1st Gar Bde will redeploy to Gaziantep as the sole defence on the Southern Front.

2. Plans for Operation Kleidion – the re-conquest of the Bulgarian Vilayet

CoS Örlungat advised the Security Cabinet meeting of his plan for the invasion of Bulgaria. He has named it after the battle that saw our Byzantine predecessors finally vanquish the First Bulgarian Empire in 1016, at Kleidion. The cover story will be the conduct of ‘annual military exercises’ in Thrace which will be announced for some time early in 1937. The exact timing of the attack will rest with the President, but the Army will require sufficient time to mobilise and ensure all forces are in position.

2a. Strategic Scheme of Maneuvre and National Defence. We must apply maximum force and take the risk of stripping other areas of troops if we wish to achieve rapid and decisive victory. Small forces will be left to guard the key cities (ie. VPs) of Trabzon and Gaziantep. All other Army forces, plus the Navy and Air Force, will be allocated to Op Kleidion. The main attack forces will be organised under two corps each of five divisions, an independent division and a Joint Task Force for possible amphibious operations.

2b. Immediate Pre-Attack: The Navy will conduct a patrol along the Bulgarian coast soon before D-Day to see if it can confirm the location of any Bulgarian Navy units and whether the key city of Varna is garrisoned. As soon as war is declared, the Air Force will breach Bulgarian air space to attempt to confirm any depth positions and to test the actual composition and strength of any deployed border defences through probing ground attacks.

2c. Deception and approach: Depending on Bulgarian preparations, our attack forces will attempt to achieve additional surprise by deploying from assembly areas back from the front, under cover of the announced Thracian exercises, then attacking as soon as they arrive in the three border provinces that will form our stepping-off points. But if Bulgaria visibly steps up its border defences before then, in response to our earlier national mobilisation, units may deploy forward early.


Op Kleidion pre-deployment map: main assault formations.

Other Op Kleidion assigned forces:
  • 17th Inf Div will be based in Istanbul as the designated amphibious force and Western Front reserve.
  • The Navy. Fleets have been renamed and commanders appointed. They will remain based in Istanbul.
  • Air Force. The single INT and TAC squadrons have been separated and given commanders. They will rebase to Istanbul.

2d. Tasks: these represent the commander’s overall intent. The CoS reiterated that “any attack plan just gets you to the line of departure”. Commanders will have to improvise as they go. We want maximum speed but to avoid needless casualties – we have a long series of wars ahead and need to preserve our precious manpower. Tasks:
  • 1st Corps: Main Axis of advance.
    • Phase 1 objective, Plovdiv.
    • Phase 2 objective, – Sofiya.
  • 2nd Corps: Secondary Axis of advance.
    • Phase 1 objective, Varna. Be prepared to exploit the line Yambol-Sliven-Shumen-Ruse with a strong and fast-moving cavalry force if possible.
    • Phase 2, hold Varna, prepared to support 1st Corps in attack on Sofiya, possibly with flanking support in open country to the north, along the Silistria-Orechow-Vratsa line.
  • 15th Inf Div:
    • Phase 1, hold Demirköy and block the approach to Istanbul from Bulgarian counter-attack; be prepared to support an attack by 2nd Corps on Burgas, if required.
    • Phase 2, be prepared to either reinforce 1st Corps or relieve 2nd Corps in Varna.
  • 17th Inf Div:
    • Phase 1, Front Reserve, be prepared to assault Varna by sea.
    • Phase 2, be prepared to support 1st Corps’ attack on Sofiya.
  • Air Force:
    • Phase 1, recon of depth enemy positions, air superiority, ground attack, interdiction of enemy reserves.
    • Phase 2, air support of land ops.

Op Kleidion Plan.

Decision: The Cabinet approved both the reorganisation and redeployment of the Armed Forces with immediate effect and the adoption of Operational Plan Kleidion, with detailed implementation left to the Chief of Staff and commanders.
  • Other Matters. The Navy was directed to conduct coastal reconnaissance patrols of both Greece and the Bulgarian coast during early September, to see if any fleet or land force strengths and dispositions could be discovered.
Last edited:
  • 2Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 6: Destiny Awaits - 1 September to 31 December 1936
Chapter 6: Destiny Awaits - 1 September to 31 December 1936

1. General News and Events

1-3 Sep 36.
The 1st Fleet’s recon mission provided useful information on Greek and Bulgarian dispositions in coastal areas. From this we saw that the main port and airfield in Crete (Iraklio) has a small garrison; other Greek forces are dispersed around the country; and Varna is currently heavily garrisoned.



4 Sep 36. As a sign of Turkey’s importance and esteem in the world, the UK’s King Edward VIII made a state visit. He is pictured here with the President in Istanbul.


27 Sep 36. An increasing trade deficit required us to use valuable diplomatic leverage to negotiate a major trade deal with the US. This will put a brake on production and slow the delivery of our first AC bde, but was required to keep our cash reserves sufficient for our ambitious legislative program and plans to modernise the armed forces through the future purchase of foreign licenses.


10 Oct 36. Hot on the heels of the need to stem the trade deficit, irresponsible unions launched an industrial campaign :(. Faced with a choice between dithering and decisive action, natural we cracked down hard on these rogue agitators! In the main, we could not afford the risk to national unity of doing nothing. We will have to wear the extra cost by bumping up production of consumer goods for a while. This all slows production further, and will further delay the AC bde, but that is acceptable for now.


23 Oct 36. The Navy Chief has confirmed that our current transport lift capacity is just one division with our sole transport. With 40 lift capacity and an inf bde weight of 10, we can lift up to either a 4 x bde div, or a strike div (3 x 10 + 5 weight for an arty bde). If we want more than full strength one div at a time in any future amphibious assault, we will need more than one tpt fleet. Cabinet deferred a decision on commissioning another tpt, as there are other higher priorities.


6 Nov 36. All Op Kleidion formations are now in place: no change has been detected in Bulgarian border deployments – so far, so good!

  • Post script: By 4 Dec, 1st Inf Div was reallocated its arty bde from 5th Inf Div and was designated as a ‘Strike’ div; 9th Inf Div received its new arty bde and is also designated ‘Strike’; while the 1st Mtn Div is now four bdes strong. With the main deployments now in place, we just await the word to mobilise and attack.
12 Nov 36. With our networks now approaching full strength in Bulgaria and Greece, we have changed collection priorities and instructed our operatives to establish new networks in Romania and Yugoslavia.


15 Nov 36. Some additional military intel has provided an estimate of the Bulgarian reserve forces currently station in Sofiya. Combined, these reports start to build a picture of overall Bulgarian dispositions, but we will need more comprehensive and reliable information, updated just before our invasion, to make the best decisions on immediate objectives. Our best chances rely on catching reserve forces on the move or forcing entrenched units to move through manouevre. But there will no doubt be some hard fighting required to make that happen.


11 Dec 36. Only a few short months after his visit to Turkey, King Edward VIII has abdicated ‘for love' (whatever 'love' means;)), to be replaced by his brother King George VI. These are strange times we live in.

30 Dec 36. A Parliamentary scandal has broken out - a poor way to end the year! We will show the grasping offender no mercy:mad:. We can ill afford the drain on national leadership and additional requirement for consumer goods to rein in dissent until trouble subsides. Bad timing indeed!


2. Special Report – Technological Advances, Sep-Dec 36

The following important advances were made during the last four months:


26 Oct 36. Education advanced – a critical first breakthrough for our research capability.


10 Nov 35. Our first infantry equipment upgrade has been made These will be fully resourced.


21 Nov 36. Agriculture has been improved, so we can start to build our manpower reserves early for the difficult years of sacrifice which lie ahead.

As a result of these advances, our technology level has risen a little and new research areas are now being pursued, with more new infantry equipment being researched and our first land doctrine study commenced.


Our research priorities and progress as at 21 Nov 36.

3. Special Report – the Spanish Civil War

2 Nov 36. We have military observers with both the Republican and Nationalist sides. Our current relations are better with the Republicans (75) than the Nationalists (0). But the Leftist leanings of the Republicans leave us doubtful about their susceptibility to Communist influence in the longer term. We maintain our neutrality, but have secretly mentioned to both sides that we will recognise their government if they prevail in the conflict. Which at the moment seems likely to be the Nationalists.


Spanish Civil War, position as at 2 Nov 36: Nationalists make gains.

15 Nov 36. The Nationalists have seized the national and Republican capital of Madrid. The Republican Government has re-established itself in Barcelona. This is a severe practical and symbolic loss for the Republicans, though they continue to fight.


Madrid falls to the Nationalists.

31 Dec 36. By year’s end, the Nationalists have made further deep inroads into Republican territory. Our military observers assess the Republicans are more than half way to surrendering, despite the efforts of the International Brigade. We have now stepped up diplomatic liaison with the Nationalists in anticipation of their likely win.


Spanish Civil War, position as at 31 Dec 36: Nationalists poised for victory.
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 7: Prelude to War - 1 January to 14 March 1937
Chapter 7: Prelude to War - 1 January to 14 March 1937

1 Jan 37. Security Minister Kaya advises our progress in lowering national neutrality is on track. With some sustained espionage and threat-raising propaganda against the Bulgarians, he estimated it should be possible to manufacture a casus belli by some time around mid-March. Maybe a ‘border incursion’ or some other serious ‘provocation’ can be arranged at the crucial point: he has already accumulated a good supply of Bulgarian uniforms and equipment that should meet the requirement for a foreign flag operation.


Our mobilisation will be masked (we hope) by the declaration of annual exercises. Only the most senior key commanders will be made aware of our true plans: the rest will be attributed to the need to test national defences. We can at least try to achieve a degree of surprise, but will proceed regardless! Priority for reinforcement will be directed to the main combat formations (though that is the bulk of the Armed Forces).

Kaya reported that raising national unity has taken somewhat longer than anticipated. We are still some way off our benchmark for legislative change. Of them, the One-Year Draft change is crucial for mobilisation: if we can get that reinforcement process completed, mobilisation will be faster. But Kaya’s analysts do not believe NU will be low enough much before the end of April or May. We will leave the final decision on timing this to the President, as advised by the Prime Minister and Chiefs of Staff.


Production Update. Note a convoy fleet has been ordered: they are cheap and quick to produce. We wish to cover contingencies for future seaborne supply needs, plus some room to negotiate key seaborne trade deals (although our emphasis remains on land based trade or deals where the trading partner is responsible for convoys). We will wait until we have more IC and have consolidated our first gains from conquest and our initial Armed Forces expansion program is well under way before we order new IC production: with our poor construction practical, new IC at this point will be expensive and take a major proportion of our productive capacity off line for a considerable period.


17 Jan 37. Our first AC bde has been produced and delivered to 1st Cavalry Division. This will improve their speed and strength. Another arty bde has been commenced.


22 Jan 37. These two techs will boost our production further. We will continue to research them. All leadership previously assigned to Diplomacy has now been switched to Officers, as the demand will keep growing and war approaches. But intelligence efforts must remain strong for now, in order to bring about the climate for war we seek.


8 Feb 37. A further boost to research. Time to bring all the remaining infantry equipment up to standard


14 Feb 37. Research has been further geared to war, including another boost to officer recruitment, this time at the expense of base research.


14 Feb 37. Cabinet has met to consider setting a D-Day for Operation Kleidion, the invasion of Bulgaria. With a case for war expected to be ready by mid-March, and allowing up to a month for full mobilisation, we can either launch early (mobilise now) or perhaps await the implementation of our legislative reforms, research and production, mobilising around the end of April and launching a spring offensive in May. The momentous decision was made to attack early. The ‘Thracian exercises’ will be announced for March as a regular test of Turkish capability, nothing more. We will soon find out if anyone believes us! As expected, the decision to mobilise increased tensions between us and our neighbours as soon as we made the announcement. We will see if the frontier is reinforced or they mobilise themselves. The case for war will be ready sooner rather than later, but we must still wait for the right time to strike.


Thrace deployments 14 Feb 37.


Our annual military exercises in Thrace have been announced. Nothing to see here, move along!

15 Feb 37. The Supreme command has determined march times for our approach march to the border provinces. 1st Corps will begin moving at H-53 hours, the inf divs of 2nd Corps at H-49, 15 Inf Div and 3 Cav Div at H-34, and 1 Cav Div at H-31. They will begin the advance over the border to their respective targets immediately on their (hopefully) simultaneous arrival. Almost all production is now being directed to mobilise reinforcements, but there is enough left to maintain remaining upgrades and put a little into the completion of the new convoy fleet. Other new units are not expected to be ready until May: the campaign will be fought with the forces currently to hand. The 1st Fleet will commence its coastal recon of Varna shortly before H-Hour, with 17 Inf Div embarked just in case an opportunity landing may be useful (to seize land or divert reinforcements).


A reminder of the Op Kleidion Plan. Its essential elements remain unchanged.

12 Mar 37. Mobilisation is virtually complete, with units at or near full strength and organisation. No neighbouring countries have mobilised and there appear to have been no changes to Bulgarian border deployments. Excellent! D-Day will be 15 March, H-Hour 0800. Security Minister Kaya has been directed to put the foreign flag border operation into effect. Intelligence priorities for Bulgaria have now changed focus to military espionage.


President Atatürk is briefed on final Op Kleidion details by military staff in the field, Edirne, 12 Mar 37.

13 Mar 37, 0300. 1st Corps begins approach march, 2nd Corps and 15 Inf Div follow soon after, with the final ‘fast’ cavalry division commencing its move at 0100 on 14 Mar. The 1st Fleet sails soon after to take up position off the Bulgarian coast.

14 Mar 37, 0400. News Flash! "Bulgarian forces violate Turkish border in Thrace! 23 Turkish soldiers wounded and 11 killed in dastardly Bulgarian attack on exercising Turkish troops, who only had blank ammunition to hand! Bulgarian Ambassador summoned."

Our notes of furious protest and ultimatums have been delivered to the bemused Bulgarians - and to our embassies around Europe and the world, of course.


A Bulgarian border guard on 14 Mar 37. They seem to suspect nothing. Business as usual!?

14 Mar 37, 0700. 1st Fleet arrives on station, reports Bulgarian reserves still stationed in Varna; no Bulgarian moves on the border – they appear to be trying not to provoke us, while complaining furiously about our accusations.


Picture of Varna Harbour on 14 Mar 37 – no unusual activity observed.
Last edited:
  • 2Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 8: War against Bulgaria (Operation Kleidion #1) - 15 to 21 March 1937
Chapter 8: War against Bulgaria (Operation Kleidion #1) - 15 to 21 March 1937

15 Mar 37, 0800. Announcement by President Atatürk:

“People of Turkey, it is my solemn duty to report to you that Bulgaria has refused to apologise for its outrageous attack on Turkish soil and soldiers. They continue to deny responsibility even while continuing to skirmish with Turkish troops along the border. They have refused an ultimatum to acknowledge their guilt and demilitarise the border. Unless they comply with our demands by midday today, a state of war will exist between Turkey and Bulgaria. The aggressors in Bulgaria will be made to pay the full consequences for their actions.”


Troops march to their final assembly areas, 15 Mar 37.

15 Mar 37, 1200. WAR DECLARED! All units have now arrived at the Line of Departure. Attacks commence immediately: Op Kleidion is launched. Publicly, we assert Turkey had no choice but to declare war on Bulgaria:


An excerpt from the accompanying announcement by the Government:

“The only way to secure the border is to depose the criminal regime of King Boris III and bring Bulgaria back under direct Turkish authority: our war goal is unconditional surrender by the Bulgarian thugs!”


King Boris III of Bulgaria: “an enemy of the Turkish people!” Well, he is now, anyway ;)

The declaration of war has allowed more effective laws to be enacted immediately, though some may need to revert if peace comes about. We will take advantage of this production surge to start building some new units and some extra IC: it can always be deferred later if necessary. A key goal is to give all our frontline infantry divisions some artillery support.


Given the gaps in the Bulgarian line and apparent total surprise, 1st Corps will flank the entrenched defenders in the hills of Momcilgrad, leaving a holding force in place in Edirne while sending the rest of the division to seize the high ground of Dimitrovgrad and a launching point for an attack on Plovdiv.

2nd Corps will similarly leave one division in reserve and send the rest to seize Yambol, flanking Burgas and closing on Varna.

15th Div will remain in place, preparing to attack Burgas (especially if they break their entrenchments and become vulnerable to attack). As it happens, the Bulgarians begin pulling out immediately, so the holding attack by 15 Inf Div and 2nd Corps goes in.

15 Mar 37, 1300. Our first air sorties show all Bulgarian units in south-West Bulgaria retreating. Our tactical bombers will support an attack on Burgas, which is ordered immediately, with interceptor cover flown across the front.


Initial lines of attack as at 1300.

15 Mar 37, 1700. First contact is made in Burgas: the Bulgarians are completely unprepared, with unit strength and organisation minimal.


Battle of Burgas – first contact. The Bulgarians are completely unprepared for the attack by the 13 and 15 Inf Divs!


Turkish machine gunners from 15 Inf Div in action during the attack on Burgas.

15 Mar 37, 2100. As a result, all commanders are ordered to attack across the front, with speed and audacity. If we can continue to press this rabble and destroy their defences before they can mobilise and entrench, it will be a walk-over. The battles in Burgas and now Momcilgrad are both progressing favourably.


All-out attack across the front.


7 Inf Div makes contact with the enemy in Momcilgrad.

16 Mar 37, 1400. The Air Force provides reports on the Bulgarian defences in Burgas: they are on the point of collapse: by 1500 the battle was won.



18 Mar 37. Our swift cavalry forces have seized Yambol and are attacking the first elements of Bulgarian forces retreating to Sliven from Varna. Our TAC have also provided an accurate picture of the units in Varna: they are weak, in disarray and already retreating to Sliven. We will try to pin and destroy them before they can retreat inland towards Sofiya. Resistance in Momcilgrad quickly collapsed, with their forces also now in retreat. 9 and 11 Inf Divs (from 2nd Corps) arrived later that day in Yambol and were sent straight into attack Varna. Our forces consolidate in Burgas and reorganise themselves to join the attack in Varna (if the Bulgarian defences haven’t already collapsed).


9 and 11 Inf Divs attack Varna.

19 Mar 37
  • 1 Mtn Div arrived in Dimitrovgrad quickly, then immediately attacked Plovdiv. Only a HQ was in place to defend: the battle was speedily won, but it will be a race to see if we can occupy the city before further Bulgarian units arrive.
  • 1 Cav Div has occupied Sliven. It will hold until it has reorganised for further attacks and then exploit targets of opportunity. The Inspector General has noted how long it is taking our troops to reorganise after an attack. We have so far been able to keep some forces on hand to attack while others rest, but our doctrine must be updated in this area if future offensive operations – where the enemy will be less disorganised – are not to be badly slowed down.
  • Resistance collapsed in Varna at 1300. Casualties in the campaign so far have been relatively light.
  • By 1400, 3 and 5 Inf Divs had arrived in Dimitrovgrad and were ordered on an immediate flank march through the mountains in Pazardzhik, to directly threaten Sofiya. The mountain trek will take some time, but it may allow an early and strong strike into Sofiya to end the war quickly.

3 and 5 Inf Divs ordered on a flank march towards Sofiya.

  • 1 Inf Div 'Strike' arrived in Dimitrovgrad by 1600 and was ordered to reinforce the drive by 1 Mtn Div on Plovdiv and take the southern route to Sofiya, via Asenovgrad and Stanke Dimitrov.
21 Mar 37
  • By 0900, 1st Mtn Div arrives in Plovdiv! Our first major operational objective is now in the bag.



A view of Plovdiv, as observed by advance elements of 1st Mtn Div as they approached from the hills above the city.


21 Mar 37, 0900, D+6:
A map showing territory seized and lines of advance. 1 and 3 Cav Divs have been sent to attack Schumen and Silistria to try to cut off and destroy the retreating Bulgarian divisions in the east, while the bulk of 2nd Corps mops up and occupies Varna. 1st Corps drives west to attack Sofiya from two different directions.
Last edited:
  • 2Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 9: War against Bulgaria (Operation Kleidion #2) - 21 to 26 March 1937
Chapter 9: War against Bulgaria (Operation Kleidion #2) - 21 to 26 March 1937

21 Mar 37

1400. Varna occupied by 9 and 11 Inf Divs. They will need to reorganise before resuming the offensive. 17 Inf Div is despatched to Varna by sea, to allow the offensive to push on more quickly. They will attack retreating Bulgarian forces in Tobulchin as soon as they unload from the 1st Fleet transports (which they do by early morning on the 22nd).


The centre of Varna as Turkish forces march in. Not surprisingly, the streets are deserted.

22 Mar 37

0600. 17 Inf Div (which is still at a lower level of preparedness from the rest of the front line units) makes contact with the Bulgarians in Tobulchin. This fight will be a little tougher, but we should still prevail once the Bulgarian’s shaky organisation collapses.


1000. 1 Mtn Div arrives in Asenovgrad. They are attacked by Bulgarian stragglers, who are quickly driven off. They will now drive for Stanke Dimitrov.


23 Mar 37

0100. 1 Cav Div arrives in Shumen, extending the outflanking move on Bulgaria’s eastern forces. They will push on north-west to attack Ruse as soon as they are ready, which would close the noose.

0900. Our attacks on Tolbuchin on the north Bulgarian coast (by 17 Inf Div) and Stanke Dimitrov on the southern approaches to Sofiya (by 1 Mtn Div) are successful.


1400. First contact is made in Ruse, where 1 Cav Div is up against the Bulgarian 8th Inf Div. MAJGEN Wehib Pasha is confident of victory, but is a long way ahead of any supporting forces and cannot see if the Bulgaria’s are reinforcing from the west. He orders air recon and ground strikes to get a better idea of what he is facing and soften up the enemy.


24 Mar 37

0200. 1st INT Wing is now out of range of the front and has been ordered to rebase at Varna for the last stages of the campaign, though no hostile aircraft have been encountered to date.

0400. Analysis of the air recon ordered by MAJGEN Wehib Pasha yesterday near Ruse show two Bulgarian divisions (of unknown composition) approaching to reinforce the defence. He is advised to expect a prolonged fight. No other Turkish reinforcements are yet available to help his attack.


Recon map, showing unidentified Bulgarian formations approaching Ruse, 23-24 Mar 37.


The battle rages in Ruse, where 1st Cav Div meets resistance from a series of Bulgarian infantry divisions, which arrive in succession.

1700. In the south, 1 Mtn Div has reached Stanke Dimitrov, near Sofiya. They are counter-attacked by the Bulgarians, but quickly defeat them. They will now reorganise to prepare to assist the final attack on Sofiya.

25 Mar 37

0200. 3 Cav Div have now arrived in Silistria to cut Bulgarian forces retreating from Tolbuchin, some of whom are soon encountered and defeated. They will be sent to reinforce 1 Cav Div’s attack on Ruse as soon as they are ready.


1800. In Ruse, 1 Cav Div has now defeated the Bulgarian 8th and 10th Inf Divs, but another enemy division may arrive before MAJGEN Wehib Pasha can seize the province. He has certainly shown himself to be a vigorous attacking cavalry general so far.


26 Mar 37

0000. The retreating Bulgarian 12 Inf Div attacks 3 Cav Div in Silistria from the east, in some strength. The battle lasts a few hours before the Bulgarians are defeated, with light Turkish losses.


0500. 3 and 5 Inf Divs have arrived in Pazardzhik and immediately attack Sofiya. 1 Mtn Div is still reorganizing in Stanke Dimitrov, while 1 Inf Div is on its way from Asenovgrad to join up with 1 Mtn Div and open another attacking front on Sofiya.


0600. At dawn, 1 Cav Div encounters the Bulgarian 12th Inf Div in Ruse (clearly making a return after their earlier defeat by 3 Cav Div in Silistria), which has just taken up positions but has had no time to entrench. Wehib Pasha again presses the attack. The constant action has begun to take its toll, but the brave “Fighting 1st” never wavers in their resolve! 3 Cav Div has now arrived from Silistria to reinforce the attack.


The fighting in Ruse resumes, with 3 Cav Div joining in reserve.

0900. The final – but hardest – battle of Operation Kleidion begins, with contact made by 3 and 5 Inf Divs on the outskirts of Sofiya, where the Bulgarian 3rd Inf and 1st Cav Divs are entrenched and defending. The fighting is evenly poised.



An aerial recon photo taken by the 1st TAC Wing of central Sofiya on the morning of 26 Mar 37. Ground air defence batteries opened fire and Bulgarian troops seem to be well dug in.
1200. 1 and 3 Cav Divs have now routed the Bulgarian 12 Inf Div in Ruse and rush to secure the province. The battle took three days, with a total of 160 Turkish and 252 Bulgarian soldiers killed.


1200. In the Battle for Sofiya, our mighty 1 Inf Div has now arrived to reinforce the ranks and turn the odds in our favour.



The 1st Arty Bde from 1 Inf Div ‘Strike’ in action in the hills above Sofiya, 26 Mar 37.

1700. Here is how progress stands in Bulgaria this evening, at D+11. Once 1 and 3 Cav Divs occupy Ruse, we will basically hold along the Ruse-Shumen-Sliven line in the east, to avoid unnecessary casualties. The war will be decided in the streets of Sofiya. Even without its loss, Bulgaria is already close to surrender!

Last edited:
  • 2Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 10: Victory in Bulgaria - 26 March to 4 April 1937
Chapter 10: Victory in Bulgaria - 26 March to 4 April 1937

26-28 Mar 37

The fighting in Sofiya rages on. In the east, 1 and 3 Cav Divs have secured Ruse and are digging in, awaiting the result of the decisive battle in Sofiya. The air force continues to hit Sofiya.


Bomb damage in Sofiya, 27 Mar 37.

29 Mar 37

1500. The bulk of 1st Corps – 1, 3 and 5 Inf Divs – are now fully engaged against the Bulgarian 1st Inf Div in Sofiya, where the fighting is street to street. The Bulgarian 3rd Inf and 1st Cav Divs had earlier been forced to retreat due to the unrelenting Turkish pressure.


Battle of Sofiya – update as at 1500 on 29 Mar 37.

1600. The Bulgarian 1st Inf Div breaks ... but aerial recon indicates further Bulgarian reinforcements continue to head into the city. They are determined to put up a last stand. But it will be their last.


30 Mar 37

1600. The Bulgarian 10th Inf Div arrived before we could occupy the city and continues to hold out in Sofiya. 1 Mtn Div has now joined the fight. It is up to the 1st Corps troops now engaged to win the day. Surely the enemy can’t last much longer?



While civilians flee the heavy fighting in Sofiya, more Bulgarian units enter the fray. Our intelligence services later identified the soldiers in this photo as elements of the Bulgarian 2nd Inf Div heading from the west towards the battle in the Bulgarian capital on 30 Mar 37.

31 Mar 37

0800. With Bulgaria on the brink of collapse, our intel efforts have been redirected. The focus is now on Greece, with some increased attention on Romania and Yugoslavia. With the quick success of the Bulgarian campaign, Cabinet is keen to keep up the momentum, especially now that Greece may begin to prepare its defences more thoroughly. We expect a longer and tougher fight against the Greeks, over more difficult terrain. The General Staff has been directed to come up with plans for a new Greek campaign. And it isn’t hard to work the Turkish people into a state sufficient to attack our old enemy!


1 Apr 37

0600. Hard fighting in Sofiya sees the Bulgarian 10 Inf Div finally crack. But their resistance is not yet over, as they frantically pour more units into the meat-grinder. The morale of our four divisions in contact remains high and they continue to take the fight forward. They know victory will soon be in sight.


2200. The Bulgarian 2nd Inf Div is now in place. House to house fighting goes on by day and night.



Street fighting in Sofiya, 1 Apr 37. The Bulgarians, seen here, had finally started to put up a serious fight as they overcame the initial shock of our invasion, but by then they were doomed to a valiant rearguard action.

2 Apr 37

1600. Victory at last! The Bulgarian 2nd Inf Div retreats with heavy losses. After seven days of heavy fighting, from the outskirts of the city to its centre, we suffered 494 killed, while the Bulgarians lost 1458.


1700. 1 Inf Div, led by MAJGEN Cakmak, is the first to enter Sofiya. There will be no further resistance. Cakmak contacts the remaining representatives of Bulgaria’s Government, to demand their unconditional surrender. King Boris III will be permitted to abdicate, renounce all claims to the throne, and live as a ‘guest of the Turkish Government’ in quiet retirement in a remote mountain retreat in Stara Zagora.


1800. Final positions in the Bulgarian campaign. All three key objectives had been secured by D+18: this was even quicker than we had hoped before we began. Casualties were not too heavy and even those units that lost some organisation in the final heavy fighting should not take too long to recover. Our Generals and units have gained some valuable battlefield experience, and the boosts to funds and our manpower, IC and leadership bases should help set us up for the next stage of our expansion plans.


Map of final positions when the ceasefire came into effect, at 1800 on 2 Apr 37.

3 Apr 37

0000. Bulgaria formally accepted our terms at midnight. The war is over in a little more than half a month! However, peace has brought some less advantageous laws into being. We will remain mobilised to keep an edge on our fighting troops. We are close to having the national unity to implement better laws, while another war soon may bring its own opportunities. We will assess the most efficient program of legislative change when the dust settles, our plans for Greece are agreed, and NU hits 60. These are good problems to have!


In recognition of his previous senior service and heroic leadership of the 1st Inf Div, General Cakmak has been promoted to the honorary rank of Field Marshal and named as the new Bey of the Vilayet of Bulgaria. He will retain his command of the 1st Division and join them on campaign when we are at war.


President Atatürk on the announcement of Field Marshal Cakmak’s appointment as the new military governor of Bulgaria, back in Istanbul, shortly after the Bulgarian capitulation.

Not surprisingly, Greece, Romania and Yugoslavia now see Turkey as their highest security threat. But the assessed appetite of their populations for war (ie their neutrality) is still far too high for them to generate a serious threat of pre-emptive attack on us. We therefore feel safe in not defending our borders against either Yugoslavia or Romania (which we hope will also make it less likely that they militarise our new mutual borders). Turkey now has no such problem regarding a declaration of war on any of our neighbours: our population has now been shown that war can be glorious and Turkey’s lost prestige and lands can be restored.


A New Regional Order begins to emerge.

Our intel efforts will be directed initially to counter-espionage in Greece and Romania to cripple their domestic networks and to building our network in Yugoslavia to the point where that can also be enforced. Priorities after that will be determined by the circumstances and our strategic timetable and plans for the Balkan region.

0100. In accordance with contingency planning already agreed before the end of the Bulgarian War, all Op Kleidion forces have been ordered to redeploy to assembly points along the Greek border. This time, we are not contemplating a deception plan. Instead, we wish to be in position to strike Greece as quickly as possible if they begin shifting forces to the border and/or mobilising. We cannot allow a strong border defence to emerge. 17 Inf Div will return to Istanbul to refit and be prepared once again for amphibious operations.


Word also came through today that a license for building a light armour brigade has been approved by our friends in Nationalist Spain. None of the major powers were willing to sell us one: we would have liked some German armour, but they were unwilling to sell us anything.


4 Apr 37

The new ‘automatic’ legislative regime, combined with the need for upgrades, reinforcements and supplies, has temporarily crippled our industrial production. In fact, it is now worse than when war broke out, as our previous Basic Mobilisation economic laws have ‘regressed’ to a Full Civilian Economy. Such exuberant softness and indulgence cannot be tolerated in the longer term! However, we were not prepared to roll straight into another war with Greece before the Bulgarian campaign was finished, units refitted and redeployed. That will need to be fixed soon: the Prime Minister reports our new legislative program will be ready by the end of the month. We will look at specific options and the relative timing to any new war with Greece when the time comes.


Technology is however on the up – the emphasis on research and officer recruitment will be increased, though the reversion to Volunteer Army laws is very bad for our MP and officer recruitment.

Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Chapter 11: The ‘Shaky Peace’ - 5 to 24 April 1937
Chapter 11: The ‘Shaky Peace’ - 5 to 24 April 1937

5 Apr 37

The 1st Fleet was sent on another patrol to determine Greek deployments in the west and south. They appear to have a large garrison/reserve in Athina and two more infantry divisions stationed on the Peloponnese.


7 Apr 37

Our submarine flotilla has begun patrolling the seas around southern and eastern Greece.


The Turkish submarine TCG Gür on patrol in the Western Aegean Sea on 7 Apr 37.

10 Apr 37

The ‘Shaky Peace’ Speech. Outgoing British Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin today made a speech to the House of Commons where he described peace in Europe and the world to be a “noble edifice built on increasingly shaky foundations”. He referred to the continuing Spanish Civil War, Italy’s conquest of Ethiopia and our recently concluded righteous war against Bulgaria as evidence of this growing instability. For now, Asia remains at peace, but that too was “in the balance”, given Japan’s expansionist ambitions there. He was careful when referring to Germany – apparently not wishing to aggravate the potentially most powerful of Britain’s strategic competitors. [Editor's note: Baldwin did announce his retirement on that day, but this speech is part of 'alternate history', spurred in part by our recent victory against the "Perfidious Bulgars", so soon before he decided to step down.]


British PM Stanley Baldwin made his ‘Shaky Peace’ speech on 10 Apr 37, on announcing his forthcoming retirement.

However, recent reports of the imminent launching of the new aircraft carrier HMS Ark Royal and the continuing modernisation of the Royal Air Force and re-equipment of the British Army shows they are hedging their bets. Some other figures, such as the outcast Conservative politician Winston Churchill, argue much more should be done, while the Labour Party is opposed to rearmament. How Britain asserts itself (or not) will have a major effect on which faction Turkey may choose to align itself to should the international situation continue to polarise. Following Baldwin’s speech, the current era is now being commonly referred to as the ‘Shaky Peace’: a very appropriate description of the situation now in the Balkans. And Turkey is the one doing the moving and shaking!


The launching of the HMS Ark Royal on 20 Apr 37, soon after Baldwin's 'Shaky Peace' speech.

18 Apr 37

Mexico City, International Wire Services. Back in February, Trotsky gave his “I Stake My Life!” address to the N.Y. Hippodrome Meeting via telephone from Mexico City, for the opening event of the Dewey Commission on the Moscow Trials. Today, he has called for a new revolution to get rid of Joseph Stalin. Many are speculating that Stalin is unlikely to ignore this latest outburst.


23 Apr 37 – War Cabinet Meeting

Operation Büyük Taarruz (or “Great Offensive”) is the code name for the plan to conquer Greece. Named after the successful Turkish counter-attack against the Greeks in 1922, which led to the successful conclusion of Greece’s war of aggression against Turkey. But all that did was restore the status quo at the time: President Atatürk has always considered that as Act One of a two-act play. Now, almost 15 years later, he has reiterated the words he gave our forces back then on the 1st of September 1922: “Armies, your first goal is the Mediterranean, Forward!”

The General Staff’s plan has some similar strategic characteristics to the successful invasion of Bulgaria. We have determined the seizure of a few key cities will break the resolve of the Greeks to fight. The plan is quite general in nature and will be adjusted as the operation unfolds and the quantity and strength of Greek resistance becomes clear.


Op Plan Büyük Taarruz overall scheme of manoeuvre.

In Phase 1, 1st Corps will attempt to drive down the open coastal plain of eastern Greece towards Athina (2 VP). While it cannot afford to completely ignore its mountainous western flank as it heads south, it will see how far it can get without being cut off from supply. Our hope is that it can meet and defeat the Greek reinforcements that may move north from Athens in open battle. Meanwhile, 2nd Corps plus 15 Division will drive for Salonica, our first major (1 VP) objective in Phase 1.


Op Plan Büyük Taarruz Phase 1, in detail.

In Phase 2, 2nd Corps will switch west to follow up and support 1st Corps as it advances towards Athina. Phase 3 will be a sea landing on Crete by 17 Inf Div to capture Irakleio (1 VP), if Greece does not surrender after the fall of Athina. The Joint Task Force will rebase to Izmir before the landings commence. Depending on the strength of the garrison in Irakleio, more forces may need to be ferried by the Navy to support 17 Inf Div’s attack.


Op Plan Büyük Taarruz Phases 2 and 3, in detail.

Potential Drawbacks. One doubt expressed by the Chief of Staff is whether we have sufficient forces to defeat the Greek Army once it has mobilised and concentrated its forces against our thrusts from the north. The Athina garrison looks sizable, as does that in Salonica, where at least one motorised infantry unit has been spotted. We have commenced the research of Operational Level Organisation to decrease the time required to reorganise after an attack, but that will not be ready for implementation before December this year. A range of other infantry equipment and doctrine upgrades will come on line between early May and December. But if the attack is to come soon, it must be with the force-in-being: no substantive new units will be ready before June (a new arty bde).

Cabinet Decision. Nonetheless, the President and Cabinet are determined to press forward: they approved Op Plan Büyük Taarruz and have instructed the Armed Forces to be prepared to move to high alert. Indeed, if any new Greek units appear on the northern border or their army mobilises, it is likely the order to attack will be given early, to prevent entrenchment and reinforcement. The date for D-Day will be confirmed shortly.

24 Apr 37

National unity has reached 60 and our legislative plan is ready to be enacted. The Chief of Staff reports all units are in position, refitted, and ready to attack. To save cash reserves, it has been decided to raise Conscription and Economic laws on the (imminent) outbreak of war (tomorrow, as it happens), but we will proceed immediately with the introduction of Mixed Industry and Legalistic Restrictions laws today.



The President inspects a munitions factory on the day new Industrial Policy laws came into force (24 Apr 37). We are keen to demonstrate 'business as usual' before the surprise declaration of war on Greece tomorrow.

Our forces are now in place and ready. In a gesture of deep national symbolism, the President has decided to launch the war on Greece tomorrow, April the 25th, the 22nd anniversary of the Allied landings in Gallipoli (Gelibolu) during the Great War. This latest period of ‘Shaky Peace’ in the Balkans will have lasted only three weeks!


Republic Boulevard in the capital Ankara, 24 Apr 37, the day new laws were introduced to strengthen the Republic. All is calm before the next campaign of what will become known as the New Balkan War begins tomorrow.
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Nice AAR. Also, while I think the CV-33 is a very cute tank you may wish to get something....bigger. Trust me on that one. :D
  • 1Like
Nice AAR. Also, while I think the CV-33 is a very cute tank you may wish to get something....bigger. Trust me on that one. :D

Second that about the AAR.

Just a heads-up, do not Puppet Greece or join the Axis too early, or the game may turn undesirably.

Eurasia, thanks so much for the comment - and for being the first to do so! :D I could see people were reading, but not sure if any were following. Yes, the CV-33 is a bit lame (you're talking here to an ex-tanker :eek:), but I tried everyone and that's the best I could do for a first build. Hope to upgrade it later, but wanted the practical to start building. No-one else was selling :( - yet, anyway.

Thanks very much to you too, markkur. Good advice: you will see in my update (later on tonight, Australian time), that the war has started well against Greece (first four days of combat completed), and we have indeed opted for a conquest.

I'm genuinely up-in-the-air about which faction to join and - despite my initial grandiose schemes of conquest - I am by no means sold on joining the Axis. Even if it means a bit of fence-sitting in between the initial expansion program (which still has a way to go) and the joining of WW2 proper. Turkey -> Axis seems a bit of a cliché and too predetermined for the way I'm treating the game. Turkey has three genuine options, especially if we've built up a bit of weight by the time to decide comes. Perhaps the Allies will do enough to show a win is possible, with a bit of Turkish help. Or even (heaven forbid) the Comintern :eek: (that would be a real challenge)!

But as I'm also (as you will have seen from the Spanish Civil War reporting) writing things as alternate history beyond the immediate Turkish region, there will still be some (I hope) interesting things to talk about along the way. :)

To all readers: my next strategic decisions - after the hoped-for conquest of the Wretched Hellenes - will be Yugoslavia and Romania: when/if to attack, whether to conquer or puppet, and sage advice from more experienced players than I about the game consequences of such decisions. Happy to get into such broader discussions beyond the immediate tactical events. Do let me know if you are watching (it makes it easier to write), even if it's just as a 'silent observer':cool:. I'll always respond to reader posts as soon as I can get to them.
  • 1Like
  • 1
Chapter 12: War with Greece #1 - "Operation Büyük Taarruz" (25 to 28 April 1937)
Chapter 12: War with Greece #1 - "Operation Büyük Taarruz" (25 to 28 April 1937)

25 Apr 37 (D-Day)

At 8 am on the morning of 25 April 1937, the latest in a long line of wars between Turkey and Greece was declared. Orders to commence Operation Büyük Taarruz had been given earlier that morning. Turkish forces in the Vilayet of Bulgaria and Thrace crossed the border as the declaration of war was delivered - without warning, of course - by our Ambassador in Athens to the Greek Foreign Minister. Who was "apoplectic with shock and anger", so our Ambassador cabled before departing under diplomatic immunity - which he was very glad he had after the reaction he got. Again, as with Bulgaria, our simple war goal is the complete conquest of Greece. This time, we will finish what the Greeks so insolently began in Smyrna (Izmir) 1919!



Greek Prime Minister Themistocles Sophoulis (pictured) may consider himself to be a “flamboyant tough guy”, but will surely be regarded differently by history after we have dealt with him!

As decided yesterday, after a short respite following the victory over Bulgaria, the nation is now ready again for the stringencies of war. They have already come to welcome the glory of our victories and the full restoration of Turkish pride and power. Full conscription and economic mobilisation have again been declared.


H-Hour: 0800. The first attacks on northern Greece commenced promptly. In the east, 13 and 15 Inf Divs attack Thasos, while the rest of 2nd Corps, led by 1 and 3 Cav Divs, and including 11 Inf Div, hit Kavala to cut off the anticipated Greek retreat from Thasos. The aim is to encircle and destroy all Greek forces trapped in Thasos and drive straight through to Salonica. In the west, 1st Corps attacked Giannitsa in force. While fortified, it is lightly held with only a single brigade. 5 Inf Div, further to the east in Paschmakti, is initially held back to watch the Greek division stationed in fortifications at Serres, until further information on Greek combat strength is known.


0900. The first reports from aerial recon in Giannitsa shows Greek preparedness to be very low. We assess they are ripe for the picking and progress must be made as quickly as possible, before they mobilise and bring reinforcements to the front from the south.


As a result, 5 Inf Div, under MAJGEN Namut, is ordered to attack Serres unsupported: the Greeks there have broken their entrenchments and are attempting to flee south. We must hold and trap them before they can escape.


2000. The first battle of the Greek War, in Thasos, is won early on the night of D-Day! With luck, our flanking cavalry force will have secured Kavala (to the west) before the Greeks can retreat. One less unit to have to contend with later!


At the same time, our forces attacking Serres make first contact with the enemy. While the Greek 11th Div has the advantage of their fortifications, they have been caught out of their trenches (trying to flee) and are woefully unprepared. Our 5 Inf Div (brave veterans of the Battle of Sofiya) should make short work of a position we had originally been prepared to bypass.


26 Apr 37 (D+1)

1300. The Greeks are routed from Serres and what could have been a thorn in our side has been quickly removed. We hope to trap this fleeing division in a ‘Salonica pocket’, where 2nd Corps will grind it to dust.


At the same time, way to the south, our submarines have spotted Greek units heading north from Athina and Kalamata (it appears to be two divisions at least, in total, moving). We would actually prefer to destroy as many Greek defenders as we can in the open, before they are fully prepared, rather than entrenched and mobilised in Athens' fortifications.


27 Apr 37 (D+2)

The president has made a surprise visit to HQ 1st Corps. He later met the Corps Commander (and Prime Minister) LTGEN Inönü. His visit helped to inspire morale for the troops, but Inönü privately remarked that our great leader was beginning to look increasingly frail. The years of struggle have begun to take their toll, but he remains dedicated to the nation and the cause of Turkish independence and greatness. He gives what strength he has left to give, without thought for his own health.


President Ataturk visits HQ 1st Corps, in the hills of Goce Delcev, Bulgarian Vilayet, 27 Apr 37.

In World News: Barcelona, 27 Apr 37. Spanish Civil War “atrocity”! The Bombing of Balaguer. The Spanish Republican Government (which is now in a desperate fight for survival) has claimed that German bombers sent to aid Franco's Spanish Nationalists have destroyed Balaguer, a significant symbol of Catalan culture. It was a market day and the town square was crowded when Heinkel 111s and Junker 52s, escorted by fighters, pounded Balaguer with high explosive bombs. It was then set alight with incendiary bombs and strafed.

“They bombed and bombed and bombed”, said the Mayor of Balaguer. Reporters noted that the town had military targets – it was a communications centre and had a munitions factory – but the attack did not target these. They simply unloaded their bombs indiscriminately on the undefended town. British papers ran with headlines such as “Hitler’s hand in horrors of Balaguer!”


The Spanish Civil War, position on 27 Apr 37, the day of the "Bombing of Balaguer".


A German bomber drops its cargo of death on the historic Spanish Republican town of Balaguer …
and the results for the Catalan town, whose name has already become a byword for the horror of modern aerial bombardment on civilian targets.

28 Apr 37 (D+3)

1100. Armament Minister Calistar reports production is once again in full swing under the new wartime legal regime. And if we again have to revert to peacetime restrictions following the war, we will now at least have better Conscription and Economic law options to fall back on.


1700. In the east, LTGEN Artunkal reports 2nd Corps is making excellent progress. 1st Corps’ 5 Inf Div has now occupied Serres, securing the Corps’ western flank and reorganising for their next attacking task. Meanwhile, in the centre, 1 Cav Div (the ‘Heroes of Ruse’, under the redoubtable Wehib Pasha) is already advancing on Arnaia. 3 Cav Div is securing Kavala to ensure the Greeks retreating from Thasos are cut off. 13 and 15 Inf Divs (the latter operating independently but in concert with 2nd Corps) are closing in on Thasos from the north and east.


2nd Corps positions, 1700 on 28 Apr 37.

1900. In the west, Commander 1st Corps, LTGEN Inönü, reports that the fortifications of Giannitsa have been occupied and our forces are now breaking out.
  • From Giannitsa, 1 Mtn Div has been ordered to attack Greek forces in Edessa, to help secure the flank of the main advance. They will try to do so as the rest of 1st Corps drives south, but are likely to find the going slower in the mountainous country and can only rely on air support (when available) to assist them. But their recent efforts in Bulgaria showed them to be tough and tenacious, and they are now commanded by MAJGEN Muzir (Skill Level 2), one of our brightest new star commanders.
  • 1, 3 and 7 Inf Divs are advancing on Meliki, in the main thrust down the Greek east coast. 5 Inf Div in Serres is still reorganising after its battle there, but has been ordered to attack Kilkis as soon as it is ready, to secure the western flank of the advance and help surround Salonica, preventing either reinforcement or escape.

1st Corps positions, 1900 on 28 Apr 37.

2100. 1 Mtn Div makes contact with the Greek 6th Div in Edessa. While the enemy here are a little better organised than some of the units we have encountered previously, they don’t look a match for “Muzir’s Mountaineers”!


As the battle in Edessa starts, further east in Meliki the battle has been won against light Greek resistance and with no losses to our forces.


Phase 1 of the plan remains firmly on target.
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
I'm genuinely up-in-the-air about which faction to join and - despite my initial grandiose schemes of conquest - I am by no means sold on joining the Axis. Even if it means a bit of fence-sitting in between the initial expansion program (which still has a way to go) and the joining of WW2 proper. Turkey -> Axis seems a bit of a cliché and too predetermined for the way I'm treating the game. Turkey has three genuine options, especially if we've built up a bit of weight by the time to decide comes. Perhaps the Allies will do enough to show a win is possible, with a bit of Turkish help. Or even (heaven forbid) the Comintern :eek: (that would be a real challenge)!
To all readers: my next strategic decisions - after the hoped-for conquest of the Wretched Hellenes - will be Yugoslavia and Romania: when/if to attack, whether to conquer or puppet, and sage advice from more experienced players than I about the game consequences of such decisions. Happy to get into such broader discussions beyond the immediate tactical events. Do let me know if you are watching (it makes it easier to write), even if it's just as a 'silent observer':cool:. I'll always respond to reader posts as soon as I can get to them.

When I played Turkey...joining the Allies was not an option. I eventually went the usual route. The fact was I did not have good enough quality, nor numbers in troops to be a major faction. However, I play mostly historical games and don't do WCs.

<imvho> Romania? Take it only if you plan to fight alongside Germany. You do need the oil and will also benefit Germany like Romania. Taking Hungary, if you plan to fight the Soviets, will work because you are already committed to defending your part of the Front in Barbarossa. Germany fighting alone without both will likely not be a win for the Axis.

IDK if I could have taken Turkey communist. The player must start from day-1 I would think. But I'm not certain whether you still might be able to join the Soviets. If you could swing-it...you would become the ultimate stab-in=the-back, bar Mussolini and all others.:cool: A Rebel Turkey in Germany's backyard would make the usual Polish Partisan uprising look like picnic-ers.:)
  • 1
When I played Turkey...joining the Allies was not an option. I eventually went the usual route. The fact was I did not have good enough quality, nor numbers in troops to be a major faction. However, I play mostly historical games and don't do WCs.

<imvho> Romania? Take it only if you plan to fight alongside Germany. You do need the oil and will also benefit Germany like Romania. Taking Hungary, if you plan to fight the Soviets, will work because you are already committed to defending your part of the Front in Barbarossa. Germany fighting alone without both will likely not be a win for the Axis.

IDK if I could have taken Turkey communist. The player must start from day-1 I would think. But I'm not certain whether you still might be able to join the Soviets. If you could swing-it...you would become the ultimate stab-in=the-back, bar Mussolini and all others.:cool: A Rebel Turkey in Germany's backyard would make the usual Polish Partisan uprising look like picnic-ers.:)

Hmm, some food for thought there. I'm not familiar enough with the game as a minor (or in this case Turkey) to know if it would be possible/how long it would take to get to the point of aligning to/joining the Comintern once you 'align to faction' (and barring others - Axis or Allies) from intervening to counteract it.:confused: It often seems to work reasonably quickly, but I'd just need to find out the hard way, I guess. The clash of political systems is a thing re the Communists and Turkey, but not sure if the Realpolitik of the game can just let you ignore that if the alignment happens anyway.

For Romania, my thought was either to ignore, or perhaps to go for a quick/cheap kill and puppet, thus getting the benefit of their quite large army and still have oil refinery access at least. Will study up on the options a bit when the time comes to consider it: may try to experiment a bit too! For my "max Turkey VP" personal goal for the game, I'd count anything I'd puppeted and was still under my control as counting to that. Same argument I guess for Yugoslavia.

Yes, a stab from Turkey while the Axis was (say) deep inside Russia (whether in the Allies or Comintern) could be an interesting option!:cool: Dangerous, but full of potential too. Choices, choices (in theory anyway)
  • 1
Chapter 13: War with Greece #2 - "The Salonica Pocket" (29 April to 5 May 1937)
Chapter 13: War with Greece #2 - "The Salonica Pocket" (29 April to 5 May 1937)

29 Apr 37 (D+4)

0900. Fighting in Edessa between our 1 Mtn Div and the Greek 6th Div continues. The battle progresses well, but the terrain is difficult and progress slow.


A mortar crew from the Greek 6th Division firing on 1 Mtn Div positions during the Battle of Edessa.​

1400. The Greek forces in Thasos have been cut off and destroyed.


2000. The bulk of 2nd Corps is now driving on Arnaia, meeting no resistance.


30 Apr 37 (D+5)

0400. The fast-moving 1 Cav Div is the first to arrive in Arnaia. Having met no resistance, they push on towards Salonica, relying on the rest of 2nd Corps to catch them up in time for a consolidated attack on our Phase 1 key objective.



0900, 30 Apr 37. Lead elements of 1 Cav Div dash along the open plains of Arnaia towards Salonica.

1100. “Muzir’s Mountaineers” are victorious in Edessa! Huzzah! They will continue to guard the supply lines of the main advance alone, until 2nd Corps can mop up in Salonica and then redeploy to the main axis of attack along the Greek eastern coastal plain.


1 May 37 (D+6)

0000. After a punishing night march, 3 and 7 Divs arrive in Meliki. No sooner do they arrive, than their advanced elements are sent on their way south to Katerini: there can be no rest while circumstances remain in our favour. Every hour saved now will mean many lives saved later.


0200. It seems we arrived in Meliki just in time! By 0200 the fleeing Greek 1st Mot Div and HQ 3rd Corps arrived in Meliki from the east, where they had attempted to flee 2nd Corps’ lightning advance on Salonica. They were quickly beaten back and are now cut off in the ‘Salonica pocket’ – as planned.


1800. 1st Fleet reports on Greek defences in Crete, having been sent to scout in preparation for the naval landings planned in Phase 3. They confirmed that an infantry division is defending Irakleio.


2 May 37 (D+7)

0100. With 1 Cav, 3 Cav and 11 Inf Divs now assembled in Arnaia, LTGEN Artunkal orders an attack on Salonica. The gallant MAJGEN Wehib Pasha will command the three divisions, as he has had time to scout the enemy positions, which appear disorganised.


0900. After a night march into the assembly area for the attack, by the morning Pasha leads the attack, with the heavily armed 9 Inf Div ‘Strike’ recently arrived and held in reserve. Pasha’s superior skills – learned quickly over the last few months spent in glorious battle – allow him to shock the Greek defenders. Victory will surely be ours, but the fighting must still be pressed with vim and vigour – the only way he knows!


3 May 37 (D+8)

On the home front, today brings news of the next of our much-awaited infantry equipment upgrades: immediate production priority will be given to get the improved weapons to our units fighting at the front.


1500. After less than two days of fighting, the battle for Salonica is won. A sharp fight through the streets of the city, but the badly outnumbered and poorly organised Greek 1st Mot (which had earlier tried to flee to Meliki only to be turned back by 1st Corps) and 2nd Border Divs were no match for four fully equipped and battle-hardened Turkish divisions.


1900. Further north, 5 Inf Div has crushed token resistance in Kilkis. Now the Greek forces trapped in the ‘Salonica pocket’ have nowhere to retreat. They begin surrendering in large numbers.


4 May 37 (D+9)

1200. The province of Salonica has fallen, with 1 Cav Div once again the first unit in. That afternoon, they also begin taking many Greek prisoners who know they are surrounded and defeated.



Greek prisoners taken on the road from Salonica to Kilkis, 4 May 37.

5 May 37 (D+10)

1600. Phase 1 of Operation Büyük Taarruz is now complete. Having regrouped after the successful attack on Salonica, the bulk of 2nd Corps has now been ordered to shift west, to reinforce 1st Corps’ advance towards the Greek capital.


In the west, Edessa is secure, with 1 Mtn Div reorganising for its next mission, which will be determined when 2nd Corps arrive in Meliki. 1st Corps has secured Katerini from a series of weak and disjointed Greek counter-attacks and will next strike south to Larissa, where the fighting promises to get tougher. We are expecting the arrival soon of the first Greek reinforcements from the south (spotted back on 26 Apr by our naval recons, heading north from Athina).

1st Corps will be relying on the rapid redeployment of 2nd Corps (especially the cav divs) to keep its rear lines secure as they push on at top speed. The coming battle will test the degree to which the Greeks have been able to reorganise their army and prepare defences. If they can consolidate in strength in Larissa or further to the south in Lamia and threaten our flanks from the mountains, we may have to consolidate our advance and prepare a more deliberate, flanking attack. But for now, we will stick with quick-moving, single axis attacks while we can.


Situation on the Greek front, 1600 on 5 May 37.
Last edited:
  • 1Like
  • 1Love
Nice execution! Hopefully you'll be able to determine your course. I would "guess" that getting close enough to the SU is not possible now but that's a reach...IDK.

Btw, having any supply issues? Speaking of that...given any thought about your own supply-lines to the Soviet border and the infrastructure between, should you fight the commies there? iirc, Supply is not too bad along the eastern border but Turkey has no Airbases in the east and that is limiting when you need TACs to counter Soviet Armor. Just a thought.
  • 1Like