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The Greco-Turkish War (Democritus Only)

A staging-point for declarations of war and other major diplomatic events. [In character]
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Fregantes Empire
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The Greco-Turkish War (Democritus Only)

Postby Fregantes Empire » Thu May 13, 2021 7:19 am

The Greco-Turkish War

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As the new Turkish Government in Ankara rose in opposition to the Ottoman Government in Constantinople and signed a peace treaty with the major Allied Powers, it turned its gaze towards Western Anatolia and Eastern Thrace, holdings belonging to the Greeks, for now. Extensive revolts starting in February 1921 are now bearing fruit, and the Government of the Grand National Assembly is poised to reclaim what it calls "The Turkish Motherland" in its entirety. The Eastern Mediterranean plunges into yet another bloodbath.

Fiat justitia ruat caelum - Dating begins 18th of August 1921.

Interactive War Map: https://www.google.com/maps/d/edit?mid= ... sp=sharing
Last edited by Fregantes Empire on Fri Jun 04, 2021 5:28 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Fregantes Empire
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Postby Fregantes Empire » Thu May 13, 2021 7:20 am

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Hakimiyet-i Milliye

Date: 18/08/1921




Western Anatolia Burns



Violent clashes in Izmir, local Greek command posts in flames, the Aegean countryside up in arms, Greek supply lines threatened on all sides. As the Great Revolt continues, Western Anatolia burns, and the blood of the martyrs will cleanse the land up until the Aegean Sea.

The revolts started in February grew thanks to a surprising lack of action from the Greek Army, with cities and towns such as Balıkesir, Akhisar, Alaşehir and Nazilli also rising in revolt. The countryside, predominantly Turkish, followed their brethren joined the revolt as well. Trained by the Kuva-yi Milliye Irregulars, the rebels are clashing with Greek garrisons and detachments in protracted urban conflicts with certain quarters of the cities being barricaded while others are turned into warzones, or harassing the Greek supply convoys in the countryside, sometimes seizing ammunition and intel. Reports also indicate that regular army officers are also present in these actions, suggesting a local semi-organized armed force being organized.

Izmir has been seeing the brunt of the bloodshed. Expectedly, burning the Greek HQ within the prized city of Western Anatolia was not possible, and the Turkish militia was repelled, but the militia has barricaded itself into certain quarters, turning them into strongholds. Smuggled weapons, countryside agitators and supplies (thanks to an effective control over the roads) keep the rebellion alive. The regular officers are reported to be trying their best to prevent the militias from attacking the Ionian Greeks, Armenians, and other minority residents of the city.

It was also announced from the Military HQ in Ankara that the Regular Army under Ismet Pasha has crossed into the Greek Occupied zone. According to the briefing made in the Assembly, the Turkish Army will utilize the chaos in the Greek organization created by the insurgents. The march began with an artillery barrage to soften whatever remained of a coherent Greek line. As of 18th of August today, the forward elements are to reach Alaşehir, Dursunbey, Demirci, Nazilli and Çine.

Within the tabernas, the cafes and on the streets, people have started to talk about something called the “Double Crescent”. No one knows for sure what it is, whether it is a codename or a symbol, but it is certain that we will not wait for long.

Across the Straits



Moving across the Straits, the situation resembles that of Western Anatolia. Eastern Thrace equally rose in revolt while, interesting reports come from Constantinople.
In Thrace (mimicking Izmir) many prominent towns and the city of Edirne saw extensive popular uprising, with armed conflict being reported between the Turkish rebels and the Greek occupiers. Eastern Thrace sharing a land connection with mainland Greece is a fact noted by the Turkish Military leadership, as such the three divisions within the region are following an unorthodox development.

The 1st Division has been split into two and the first half was recalled to Constantinople to bolster the city’s defenses and participate in the Joint Defense of the Straits. The Turkish military leaders within the city have also proclaimed that all active military personnel belonging to a nation not participating in the Joint Defense of the Straits must leave the city and the wider Zone of the Straits within 20 days, a statement backed up by the GNA Government. The second half advanced along the Black Sea coast with a bent towards Kırklareli, reaching Pınarhisar.

The 2nd Division would advance from the South, passing Çorlu and towards Tekirdağ. Upon reaching the settlement, the Division would immediately start supporting the militia within the city yet would not directly engage with the Greek soldiers unless they engaged with them first. The division was also ordered to be ready for any order to advance further.

The 3rd Division would receive similar orders, not engaging the Greek regular soldiers directly and supporting the local militias. The division would advance towards Lüleburgaz with an ultimate aim of reaching Edirne, where the urban militia is also fighting a protracted conflict.

The non-engagement policy of the Turkish forces is attributed to the promise made to the Allied Powers in the Treaty of Saint-Maurice, stipulating that the fate of Eastern Thrace will be determined diplomatically. The GNA Government announced that it still aims to respect this promise.
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Lendenburgh
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Postby Lendenburgh » Sat May 22, 2021 4:11 pm

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Greek Anatolia
Ionnis Metaxas, commander of the Northern contingents of the Greek Anatolian Army since their landing at Smyrna in 1919, has been assigned an additional 2 infantry divisions of 5,000 men each in order to meet the oncoming Turkish army under Pasha. The 6th Infantry division, now holding at Dursunbey, faced heavy casualties as they were driven back from the border of the Greek Occupation zone at the Emet Stream, also the border with the Turkish province of Bursa. However, with nearly 70,000 regular infantry in the Northern theater, Metaxas feels confident in his defense.

The 2nd and 3rd infantry, with the support of 10 patrol aircraft, have fortified the town of Balikesir in a bid to secure supply lines to the front at Dursunbey, while the 7th infantry has advanced to the small village of Söğütçük to secure the southern road into the province. The garrison along the hilly border with Bursa has otherwise been reduced, with the 1st infantry division as well as two patrol aircraft being called back to Smyrna to help quell the riots in the city.

Within Smyrna itself, violent clashes between Armenian and Greek Christians and the Turkish minority continue, despite Commissioner Stergiadis' continued orders to the military to separate the two groups and prevent violence at all costs. Already, over 1,000 Greek soldiers have been returned to Athens to be court marshaled for crimes against civilians.

To the south of Smyrna, the 4th infantry division has been deployed to the North of the Bozdağ Mountains securing the Gadiz River to Salihli, while the 5th infantry division has taken the road to the South, taking up defensive positions on the ridge North of Nazili. The 6th infantry has been ordered to withdrawal from the city of Aydin, leaving it to Turkish forces, to the Northern ridge to protect the 5th's flank as well as the road to Smyrna.

The Battleship Lemnos as well as 4 destroyers have been deployed to the straits between Samos and the mainland, and have begun to shell coastal positions of the Turkish to the south. Additionally, two divisions of infantry are expected to be landed at the town of Ephesus (Kuşadası) along with 200 artillery pieces for the 5th and 6th infantry.

Despite the abundance of high-load supply trucks attatched to each division of the Greek Army, local resistance continues to make supply lines spotty at the best of times, with attrition rates for equipment becoming higher month after month into the occupation.

Greek Thrace
Because of the commitment of forces to Anatolia, the Greek army presence in Thrace remains thin. The overwhelming Turkish majority has essentially pushed the Greek army out of the cities of Edirne and Tekirdağ, but contigents of garrisons remain to put up some defense to the Turks advancing from Constantinople.

Out of fear of a Turkish invasion into Macedonia itself, Prime Minsiter Vinizelos has extended a request to the Entente to provide artillery and armored cars to help to secure the Thracian front. Meanwhile, a newly conscripted division of 10,000 is advancing into Thrace from Alexandropoli.

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Laka Strolistandiler
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Postby Laka Strolistandiler » Sun May 23, 2021 6:48 am

OOC: is there an OOC thread or should OOC matters be discussed here? Is this an open RP? (I obviously understand that this is strictly PT).

UCA- and SM- opposed. Semi-isolationist, pro-autarky but not against some international cooperation. People and the regime willing and ready to annihilate themselves and any aggressor. Counter force first strike nuclear policy. Ruled by very anti-democratic tomboy Queen Alexandria, with her head of government- First Minister Teilga and funny war crimes Fieldmarshall Von Ludendorff-II. Anti democratic but will not try to spread fascist ideas because why

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Fregantes Empire
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Postby Fregantes Empire » Fri May 28, 2021 12:11 am

Laka Strolistandiler wrote:OOC: is there an OOC thread or should OOC matters be discussed here? Is this an open RP? (I obviously understand that this is strictly PT).

OOC: This is a region-only RP, we forgot to specify that. Sorry.
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Postby Fregantes Empire » Sun Jun 06, 2021 10:01 am

Western Anatolia: The Double Crescent

With the Greeks establishing a commendable defensive line, Ismet Pasha knew that the time had come. With the approval of the HQ in Ankara, Operation Double Crescent ould start in earnest. While it would require a serious level coordination between the regular army, the militias and the Kuva-yi Milliye irregulars, the Turkish intelligence has been preparing for such a scenario since the Treaty of Saint-Maurice, and would help the elements of all the Turkish forces in the theatre communicate to the best of its ability.

In Balıkesir, the numerical superiority of the Greek froces was noted by the 1st Infantry Division. The division was ordered to adopt a defensive posture, and to move to the hills surrounding Balıkesir to the Northwest, between the villages of Kabakdere and Ortamandıra. A few trenches were dug as defensive measures, yet the men of the 1st Division were locals of the regioni and knew where to hide in the hills for ambush, but also to hide from artillery fire. While reluctant to bombard the city, the Turkish guns would open fire from the highground to the Greek 2nd Infantry Division to the Northeast of the city and the Greek 3rd Infantry Division to the South, from Kabakdere and Ortamandıra respectively.

In Dursunbey, the 2nd Infantry Division would start bombarding the Greek positions from the hills. Seeing that the Greeks have positioned themselves in the middle of the of the valley to the West, the Turkish artillery would target the two hills to cause a landslide, hopefully burying the Greek 6th Infantry into the earth without having to engage. With this complete, the Turkish soldier would take any survivors as POWs, and start marching towards Balıkesir to aid the 1st Infantry Division.

Around Söğütçük, the best course of action wuld be less clear. Passing through Hacıhamza, the 3rd Infantry Division would move to Bardakçı then to the North, the range of hills that separate the provinces of Bursa and Balıkesir. While twice the size of their Greek foes, the division lacked any artillery pieces, so they would stay to the southern side of the hills, shadowing the Greek 7th Infantry Division.

The 4th Infantry Division would move to engage with its Greek counterpart, pinning it down. While the Greeks would have the artillery advantage, the Turkish forces had a trick up in their sleeve: The 1000 strong irregular Kuva-yi Milliye Cavalry stationed near Turgutlu, experienced in the terrain after two years of guerrila figthing. As the two divisions locked in battle, they would lurk from behind to disable the artillery and sandwich the Greek forces.

The two cavalry divisions would similarly see action. The 1st Cavalry Division would move to aid the 4th Infantry Division and the irregular cavalry in Salihli. With being the 3rd agent of the encirclement, the division would then split in two, with one half still fighting in Salihli while the other moved towards the vicinity of Mount Boz. Coupled with this, the 2nd Cavalry Division would perform a manouver, moving towards Uluderbent and then following the hills separating the Manisa and Izmir provinces, reaching Sarısu. The 5th Infantry Division would move to the hills immediately to the West of Çatak, and start shelling the Greek positions in Beydağ. The shelling would be signal to the Turkish cavalry units, and they would charge from Sarısu and Mount Boz towards the Greek forces near Kiraz.

To the South, things were much more complicated. The HQ in Ankara would order Ismet Pasha to prevent the landing of the Greek soldiers in Kuşadası, or at least delay, harass and isolate them. To this end, the 7th Infantry Division would move to Söke and onwards, trying to reach the hills adjacent to the settlement that surround Kuşadası. Once there, they would start shelling the Greek vessels and the forces that have already landed from Kirazlı and Yeniköy. The 4th group of Kuva-yi Milliye Cavalry would depart from Torbalı to aid the 7th Infantry in this endeavour.

While the Turkish Regular Army engaged the Greek forces, the militias and the rest of the Kuva-yi Milliye cavalry were not idle. Success demanded that the Greek 5th and 8th Infantry Divisions be either pinned down or neutralized. To this end, the 1st and the 2nd groups of Kuva-yi Milliye cavalry (stationed in Bergama and Akhisar) would move to harass the Greeks in Soma with hit and run attacks. The 4000 strong militia forces would march down to Izmir to aid the local militia in its ardent defense. Their total forces would number around 9,000, a harder menace for the Greek 1st Infantry Division to quell. Additionally, in order to prevent the Greek 5th Infantry Division from flanking the Turkish position near Söke, the Turkish Militia near Aydın would engage the Greeks near Hıdırbeyli. While the Greek forces would have the advantage in numbers, equipment and training, the militia would only have to hold out until the arrival of the 6th Infantry Division, which would have reached Aydın by that point.

Two new Infantry divisions (the 8th and the 9th) would also be raised from the provinces of Çanakkale and Kütahya, slowly entering the battlefield.

Eastern Thrace

With the Greek forces in Eastern Thrace only comprised of militias, the Turkish forces could counter the guerillas with guerillas. The militia from Tekirdağ would move to engage the Greek militia in Ortaca, hoping to rout them with superior numbers. Before engaging the enemy, however, the leader of the Greek militia would be presented with an offer: If they were to surrender, they would be permitted to cross the River Maritsa, provided they would not harm any Turkish forces or civilians in the process. Meanwhile, the militia in Edirne would seize the city with the withdrawal of the Greek forces. Some 3,000 strong, the militia would start barricading the city for any potential Greek offensive coming from the ther side of river Maritsa. The Greek militia just outside the city would also be presented with the surrender offer.

Meanwhile, the elements of the Regular Army would continue to move deeper into Eastern Thrace. The 2nd Division would arrive at Çavuşköy, with its ultimate destination being Keşan. Meanwhile, the 2nd half of the 1st Division would liberate Kırklareli, a major settlement in the region. Lastly, the 3rd Division, after having liberated Lüleburgaz, would present the Greek militia to its west the same offer of surrender.

The Turkish Government would then present the prerequisites for any armistice talks in the newspapers:

-All Greek armed forces will vacate Anatolia, and will retreat to the West of River Maritsa in Eastern Thrace.

-The fighting in Symrna will cease, and while the Greek forces in the city will be permitted to remain until the conclusion of the armistice, the control of the city will be handed to the Turkish forces.

-No Greek forces will remain in the Joint Defense Zone.
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Lendenburgh
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Postby Lendenburgh » Wed Jul 28, 2021 12:01 pm

Kuşadası, Anatolia
The 8th and 9th Infantry divisions had landed in the city, and were preparing for a leisurely resupply, but with Turkish incursions just miles from the city limits threatening to cut off Greek forces from Smyrna, a hasty offensive was instead organized. The battleship Lemnos had moved up the coast to begin to shell Turkish positions north of the city, while the landing units would provide ground pressure. The 8th infantry was ordered north, to surround the hill which the Turkish cavalry had set up positions, and to occupy the town of Selcuk and the ruins of Ephesus. The 9th infantry would advance East through the valley to engage the Turkish infantry at the town of Gokcealan. The 5th infantry would maintain control over the crossroads to the East of the valley, preventing Turkish militias from reinforcing.

Smyrna, Anatolia
The first infantry was having a progressively more difficult time maintaining control over the city, and had been authorized by the Greek government to start using more violence in their suppression. Thus far, they had managed to keep the militias relegated to certain neighborhoods while the port was still secure for entry, but the process of getting supplies and commands to Greek forces further afield was becoming more difficult by the day. The Greek command estimated that they could only hold Smyrna with the current number of troops for a few more months, and that reinforcements were imminently needed. Despite this, the Greek government demanded at least one major military victory on the Anatolian peninsula before they would negotiate with the Turks, so that they may attain a better position in the peace terms.

Thrace
The situation in Thrace was all but hopeless, the small and disorganized Greek militias had either scattered into the countryside or surrendered to the Turkish forces which were advancing. As such, the newly organized 9th infantry was ordered to hold the river, help intake refugees, and prevent any Turkish crossings, but to not make any attacks or incursions across the river.

Balekasir, Anatolia
Though the 8th infantry had been bogged down in their journey to Smyrna by Turkish irregular cavalry, and was taking heavy losses, the forces inside the city of Balekasir were ordered to undertake an offensive to push the Turkish into the Joint Defense Zone. The second infantry would advance into the hills to the Northwest of the city, while the 3rd would advance directly north and provide flanking support. The shattered 6th infantry had continued its westward retreat and was now providing a defense for the city itself as the attack took place. To unknown effect, all 210 guns of the units were brought to bear upon the Turkish forces. Though it was suspected the mountains and the guns' limited range would compromise their effectiveness heavily.

Near Çaygören, Anatolia
Using the river that ran through the area as their defense, the smaller 7th infantry prepared for further attacks from Turkish forces. Driven from their forward position, they were undoubtedly the thinnest portion of the Greek line between the Turks and Smyrna. Though, at least, unlike the 4th infantry to the South, they had not been surrounded and broken apart.

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Nowa Polonie
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Poland Overseas #1 - Thrace

Postby Nowa Polonie » Wed Jul 28, 2021 7:46 pm

The Legion of St. George Engages Turks in Thrace

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Now bloated to a size over twice it's original size of ~2,800, the Legion of St. George has grown to a force of nearly 6,000 - while, in the wake of the Polish-Soviet War, reinforcements and resupply from Poland haven't been as forthcoming as the Legion's leadership would like, it has readily absorbed the bulk of the remnants of the Transcaucian Army units that accompanied it in its flight from Poti, while a steady flow of many religiously and nationalistically minded volunteers from the nearby Balkan countries have also helped to bolster Poland's growing foreign legion.

News from Grecian Thrace, where at last the Polish-led Legion of St. George, which had previously disembarked in Salonike, finally entered the fray of the ongoing Greco-Turkish War - in the face of a collapsing Greek effort in Eastern Thrace, the Legion broke ranks with Greek command to launch an immediate counter-attack across the Maritsa River to allow Grecian forces in the area to regroup and reinforce themselves, and to secure strategic territory around the Straits of Marmara. Arriving early in the month of April from Salonika, the primarily Orthodox troops of the Legion observed a Divine Lithurgy in the pre-dawn hours of the 14th, crossing over with minimal resistance, as in truth, Greek units were withdrawing faster than the Turks could pursue.

By the afternoon of the same day, the Legion established its headquarters in the town of Kesan/Rusion - locals were pleasantly surprised when in contrast to both Turkish and Greek units which had previously occupied the town, Polish troops refrained from any looting or violence directed towards the local populace, and the professionalism of both its enlisted men and officers - though it is notable that that once contact was established with the Turkish 2nd. Thracian Division immediately to the East of the town, that Transcaucasian troops were immediately mobilized out of the town to make up the majority of the men now in active combat with the Turkish Army. Of the Transcaucasian troops, many are Armenians, Laz, Georgians, and not all find the towns and villages they had once called their homes under Soviet occupation. For many of them, their involvement in this campaign presents them with their only chance to exact any kind of revenge for what was in effect the annihilation of their country, and for freedom of the nations of people that had made it up, and while they have thus-far adhered to their Polish officers calls for professional conduct, those same Polish officers are under no illusions that it is best to place their Transcaucasian troops as close to the Turkish Army as possible, and as far away from Turkish civilians as it can, lest they wish to tempt fate, and the wrath of bitter men.

While the Legion has avoided advancing much further East than Kesan/Rusion, establishing its frontline with the Turks perhaps only a dozen miles from the town, their prior experience has allowed them to establish new strong positions around the town, and it has already sent immediate telegrams to nearby Greek forces to exploit the opportunities it has presented by its new, aggressive posturing, and for nearby beleaguered Greek forces to regroup and consolidate. The Legion notably used its small air contingent, which had slowly been rebuilt after its flight from Georgia, to drop hand-written messages of encouragement to nearby Greek army units and militias, appealing to them turn their rout into a fighting retreat, and not to surrender 'Greece's ancient and sacred soil'.

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Rude Awakening - Turkish troops faced what was likely their first first-light heavy shelling in their advance into Eastern Thrace. While the Legion had lost much of its heavy equipment, its long recuperation, first at Constantinople, and then at Salonike, has allowed it to replenish if not all, then most of its heavy weapons, including the air-wing of two dozen aircraft which had at one point accompanied it. With Poland's War with the Soviets over, this slow trickle has begun to steadily increase, especially as Polish involvement in the conflict has neatly segued into the beginning of arms shipments to the Greek war effort. While the Legion has over-stretched its ability to best put to use the weapons it does have (possessing what was generous heavy weapon support, for a unit half its current size), as Polish shipments continue to arrive to compensate for the Legion's new size, it will become one of the fiercest single units involved in its theatre, if not the war, and with its initial small-scale skirmishes with advance Turkish forces, their use of both stalwart initial defensive posturing by infantry, followed by aggressive retaliation by artillery, which had been mastered against the Soviets in the weeks-long defense of Poti, is now being put to nefarious use on the Turks - were the Turks' numerical and strategic superiority in theatre not so great, and the local failings of the Greek war effort fewer, then perhaps, perhaps, the officers of the Legion might even consider a knockout punch for the prize of the ongoing Thracian campaign - the City of Worlds' Desire itself. For now, though, it has limited its ambitions - for now.

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Fregantes Empire
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Postby Fregantes Empire » Sun Aug 01, 2021 12:19 pm

Western Anatolia



Balıkesir

The 1st Infantry, while aware of a possible flanking by the Greek pus towards the north, was ordered to stay in position. They were instructed to wait for the 9th Infantry's arrival to the scene to take any offensive action. The 9th Infantry performed a forced march, arriving in the vicinity of Naipli in 6-7 hours. They then positioned themselves near Aktarma, to check the Greek 3rd infantry in case it would change its direction towards the Southwest. Meanwhile, the 2nd Infantry near Dursunbey followed its prey, and marched in the direction of Balıkesir. It was ordered to halt Akçaköy, where one would see the plains on which Balıkesir stood, just behind the retreating Greek forces. The irregular cavalry force was still harassing the Greek forces en route to Balıkesir, trying to slow them down as much as possible.

Çaygören

(A little info for the following stuff: The "T" shaped "lake" near Çaygören, it is actually the reservoir of a nearby dam. That's why it's name is "Çaygören Barajı", meaning Çaygören Dam. It did not exist back in 1921, and I assume the stream just continued through the valley. There is a bizzare way of communication in the Eastern Black Sea region of Anatolia: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Turkish_bird_language. There are records and folk stories of this specific way of communcation being used in WW1 and the Turkish Indepedence War, much like the Native American code talkers of the US, albeit in smaller scale.)

Following the Simav Stream, the 8th Infantry would advance through the valley until they were overlooked by Düvertepe, barely out of the enemy vision. Their aim would be to engage the Greek forces waiting for them at the end of the pass. Before doing so, though, they awaited for a very particular signal. As the 8th Infantry moved into the pass, the 3rd Infantry was ordered to move around and occupy Çaygören. Top secrecy was required to carry out this flanking manouver, so the division would move in the dark. For the two sided coordinated attack to be successful, the divisions would have to communicate without alerting the Greeks. Messengers wouldn't do, light signals would be too obvious. Luckly, both divisions had soldiers from the Pontic Mountains, who used a particular "bird language" to communicate through long distances in their native lands. Unintelligible to Turks from other regions despire the information being communicated in Turkish, there was no way the Greeks could identify it as a signal, let alone differentiate it from actual birds singing. Within 2 hours after the bird language signal was given though, the two divisions would block the Greek 7th from both sides of the pass, and engage.

Mount Boz

With the elements of the Greek 4th Infantry surrounded and broken apart, the Turkish forces would take many of the Greek forces as POWs after disarming all of them. The HQ in Ankara has ordered all Turkish forces in all fields to treat the local Ionian Greeks with the respect demanded by the rules of war. The Greek forces coming from the other side of the Aegean were spared as well, but not treated as "warmly" as their Ionian counterparts. With the Greek forces to the North and to the South of Mount Boz all but neutralized, two roads to Symrna laid open.

To the North, the 3rd Irregular Cavalry rode as the spearhead, and occupied Kemalpaşa. The re-united 1st Cavalry followed suit, and arrived at Turgutlu, while the 4th Infantry reached Derbent. To the South, the 2nd Cavalry and the 5th Infantry would occupy Tire and Ödemiş respectively. While there was a considerable distance until Izmir, the nearly unopposed way encouraged the Turkish forces, especially the militias in Izmir.

Izmir

With the Greek forces in the city increasing their use of violence to suppress the militias, The Turkish guerillas had to decrease their presence in the streets, and fortify certain quarters and neighbourhoods of the city as they had done before. The rule over the sea that is the Western Anatolian countryside still kept the Turks supplied and hindered Greek supplies, yet those themselves were not enough. They knew their numbers weren't enough to kick the Greeks out, let alone storm the port. They didn't need to do that though anyway though. The regular army officers disguised as refugees informed the militias of a new secret objective now that the Turkish forces were rushing to towards the city. Their first act would be to station scouts towards the east of the city and the port. Any Greek reinforcements landing in the city would be spotted and reported to nearby Turkish units, eventhough this was only thier secondary mission.

That day, the Greek Governor would receive a telegram from Ankara asking for the surrender of the Greek forces in Western Anatolia, with the same conditions pointed out in the newspapers:

-All Greek armed forces will vacate Anatolia, and will retreat to the West of River Maritsa in Eastern Thrace.

-The fighting in Symrna will cease, and while the Greek forces in the city will be permitted to remain until the conclusion of an armistice, the control of the city will be handed to the Turkish forces.

-No Greek forces will remain in the Joint Defense Zone.

Kuşadası

The Greek landing, despite all efforts, was successful. Now the Turkish forces needed to make sure the Greek forces there would never reach Izmir. That would not be easy however, as the Greek battleship bombarded the 4th Irregular Cavalry's mountain position and assailed it with the ground troops. The Cavalry would retreat to Selçuk and then Belevi, a key point in the way towards Izmir, and fortify the settlement. The 2nd Cavalry which recently reached Tire would be ordered to reinforce this front, but it would take time for them to arrive to the scene.

The 7th Infantry would retreat to Balatçık, where it would have a clear vision over the Greek forces near Germencik, and start shelling them. Taking advantage of the Greek forces being shelled, the irregular forces and the 6th Infantry would engage the enemy after the shelling would cease.

It should also be noted that the Greek battleship destroyed a particular house as it bombarded the Turkish cavalry. This humble building was declared as the housing of Virgin Mary during the last of her days, in 1891 by Lazarist priests no less. The site being of significant importance for both local Muslims and Christians, the Turkish media would paint its destruction as an example of Greek barbarism and hypocrisy in their occupation of Western Anatolia.

Thrace



What the XV. Army Corps had started had to be finished in Eastern Thrace.

As the Greek militias Fled across the Meritsa River, the Turks followed suit, though letting the Greeks cross the river. As the treaty of Saint-Maurice has stipulated, the fate of Eastern Thrace would be settled diplomatically, and the regular Turkish forces had a strict no engagement policy. That is, until a certain Polish Legion betrayed the hospitality offered to it in Constantinople and opened fire on the Turkish forces from Keşan. Surprised and confused, the 2nd Thracian Division halted its march towards Keşan, and settled in Haliç. The engagements with the Polish Legion was different from anything they had faced before. A well equiped and supplied volunteer force, hardened in the massacre that was the Transcaucasian War. While the Turks conducted a more "civil" conflict, these men in their hatred and desire for revenge surely did not distinguish between the Soviets and the Turks.

The Turkish militia in Edirne would send the Greek militia across the River an envoy. The envoy would then present a letter from the militia leader, ensuring their Greek counterpart that the Turks would not cross the river except for the neighbourhoods of the city on the other side, and that they had no desire to fight with the Greeks across the river. "We fight for the liberation of our Motherland, not for the occupation of yours" would be the last phrase written in the letter, and the envoy would present the food supplies they were ordered to gift to the Greeks as a show of goodwill. As the other Turkish forces reached the River Meritsa, they would engage in similar acts of goodwill. Eastern Thrace was liberated with minimal casulties and nearly no shots being fired from the Turkish soldiers.

Except for the Polish bridgehead, of course. The fact that the Poles acted independenlty from the Greek high-command made them into a "hostile third party force" in the eyes of the Turkish commanders, yet they were uncertain how to approach the problem. On one hand, the GNA Govenrment was not at war with the Polish Republic, and Poland had the respect of the Turkish leadership back in Ankara. Plus, the Turkish forces didn't want to engage in a conventional conflict as that would violate the Treat of Saint-Maurice. On the other hand, here was a force that had nothing to do with this conflict, boldly occupying a portion of the Motherland. As a result, the rather unconventional orders sent from Ankara was no surprise to the Turkish commanders.

The elements of the 1st Thracian Division were ordered to hold the key point of Uzunköprü, while the 3rd Thracian Division and the militias from Tekirdağ were ordered to move along the river towards South, slowly cutting off the Polish Legion from the wider Greece. Given the inactivity of the Greek forces in Alexandroupoli, this manouver would most likely be non-contested, yet it would definitely be spotted by the Poles. At the moment when the Poles would realize that they are being surrounded, the Poles would receive a letter from the Turkish commanders.

This letter would contain two photographs; one of the Battleship Lemnos bombarding the Anatolian coastline and the nearby hills and the other one featuring the destroyed House of Virgin Mary. The letter would indeed explain how the destruction happened to the devout Poles and their Orthodox companions, and would contain the phrase "This is the barbarism your are trying to help. While your shells serve as calls to morning prayer, theirs destory God's gifts in this world". The second part of the letter would be terms of surrender. If the Poles would surrender, they would be permitted to cross the River Meritsa or escorted to Constantinople to be sent back to Poland. They would keep their weapons, their equipment and even their local recruits if they had any. The Legion had 24 hours to reply.

After all, ones doesn't always need to be a conqueror to be in the City of World's Desire.
"Long live the legacy of the Roman Empire!"

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Poland Overseas #2 - Thrace II

Postby Nowa Polonie » Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:13 pm

A Familiar Response

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With a sizeable contingent of its company made up of Cossack volunteers, it was only natural that one should volunteer to deliver to the Turks the response of the Legion of St. George to their (admittedly) reasonable requests - but asking for reason from a band such as the Legion of St. George was as much a fool's errand as the task of delivering the ill-fated request in the first place.

''...They have given us 24 hours to reply.''

''We'll give them a reply alright...''

There was an hour before the sun rose over the town Halic, where the Turkish Army's 2nd Thracian Division found itself billeted - the Turks had placed sentries, but vigilant as they were, they were expecting either an outright attack, or nothing at all, and the rumour throughout the ranks was that with an offer made to the Polish-lead 'Lejyonerler' that they would quietly take their chance to withdraw and extradite themselves. It was through these pickets that a lone Cossack slipped through under cover of darkness, quickly and quietly covering the few miles between Kesan and Halic on horseback; his mission to deliver to the Turks the reply of the Legion.

As the town awoke to calls for morning prayer, the Turkish officer in charge of the garrison was handed the reply - a single sheet of paper, held by a nail driven through a fez into a signpost just outside the town, it's messenger slipping back to his own lines as easily as the fresh morning sentries went to relieve their tired comrades who had held watch throughout the night. It made no mention of Sultans, nor did it contain some of the more fanciful prosaic flourishes that had been contained in a Cossack reply rendered to the Turks centuries prior, but it outlined, laden with expletives, the intentions of these pernicious outsiders, and ended with the statement and affirmation: ''You shall not, you sons whores, make subjects of Christian sons.''

The Gambit

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Forming the rear-guard of the ambitious maneuver the Legion now undertakes to turn the tables on encircling Turkish troops, Legion troops near Kesan hold non-fixed positions to avoid providing Turkish artillery spotters solid targets - with the majority of their artillery being moved to the West, to take part in a counter-encirclement on Turkish troops moving along the Maritsa, they are relying on their extensive experience in defensive operations, and their limited aircraft support, to provide the rest of the Legion to time and breathing room necessary to pull off an audacious counter-attack.

Outnumbered, outflanked, potentially out-gunned - in a situation like this, choosing the fight was foolhardy - choosing to split their forces and to counter-attack seemed like madness. But the Polish commanders of the Legion knew that such an extreme action would be one that would take the local Turkish forces off-guard after they had spent the last hundred miles in a nearly uncontested push forward. This was coupled with knowledge of several crucial factors that the Legion's commanders hoped to exploit to the absolute extreme, namely;

I) The Turkish troops in the area had arrived only recently and had been on a constant advance for the last hundred miles, and along the Maritsa were still advancing, and it was a foregone conclusion that any defensive preparations on their part would be hastily thrown up - aerial sweeps by the limited aircraft available to them painted a picture of dense concentration of Turkish forces advancing along the Maritsa, a division waiting immediately in Halic to the East, and a nearly 40km gap between the Turkish forces immediately threatening their positions, and the nearest potential source of Turkish reinforcement garrisoned to the North in Uzunkopru.

II) Turkish forces, at least on paper, had voluntarily walked themselves into a corner, and would not voluntarily cross the Maritsa River - where they would find waiting the only local hostile force that could present force parity with them, in the form of some ~10,000 Greek troops only a stone's throw away in Alexandroupoli. If the Maritsa would not in itself be an anvil, then these Greek troops would be.

It was with this in mind then, that Turkish forces, only a night after issuing their ultimatum and offer to the Polish-led volunteers now presenting a weeping sore to their efforts to take Eastern Thrace, would be greeted at dawn by the fiercest attacks they had yet faced in that campaign, as the bulk of the Legion of St. George would move West/North-West of Kesan, with a Polish cavalry contingent of some ~600 riding North to Begendik, and then onwards to Haci and Ibriktepe, threatening to completely encircle the nearly 8,000 Turkish troops now moving to secure the length of the Maritsa. At the same time, after a night-time march covering the 15km between Kesan and the village of Sarpdere, the bulk of the Legion, some ~3,000 men, accompanied by the majority of its artillery, would begin to hammer the Turkish 3rd Thracian Division, with heavy shelling immediately being followed by aggressive infiltration attacks akin to the tactics of Brusilov, so familiar to many of the troops of the Legion who had once served in the Imperial Russian Army. The purpose of these attacks was not to destroy the Turkish formations outright, but to hold them in place, and to push them uncomfortably closer to the river, and towards the Greek Army.

This strategy, which is more akin to a gamble, is carried by the hopes and prayers of the Legion, who have at most an estimated ten to fifteen days of fighting potential in the posture they have now adopted, that the Greek Army will seize upon it to retake the initiative in the Eastern Thracian Front, and to serve to the Turks what would be their first major, bitter taste of defeat in what has, it would seem to the Legion's commanders and to the world, been a war that the Turks have seized victory after victory.

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Battered and Bruised - The Greeks have so-far handed away territory as quickly as it was handed to them in the wake of the Great War. But as the Turks have seen success in a war in which they have had to fight for their territory, they are now facing an enemy that has the very same military tradition, and the Polish experience in fighting for every inch of ground they've taken at home and abroad has, for now, shocked and rattled the Turkish troops they have faced so far, disproportionate to the relatively small size of the Polish force.
Last edited by Nowa Polonie on Thu Aug 05, 2021 9:14 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Fregantes Empire » Mon Aug 16, 2021 6:32 am

Ships? In the dead of the night?

-"Are you sure my boy? Ships moving past and not entering the strait?

-"Yes, yes! Look over there, under the moonlight. You might see some of them"

-"Dear God, where are they going?"

-"They are sailing towards the North but without entering the strait..."

-"If this is what I think it is, may God protect them and our people"

The inhabitants of Seddülbahir, a small settlement at the tip of Gallipoli, saw something strange. Ships, cargo and passanger ships, appearing to be moving towards the North, but not entering the strait. That could mean only one thing, that these ships were bound for Thrace.

During the infamous Gallipoli Campaign, the British had used a medical ship as a disguise to land troops. The wartime conventions not allowing belligerents to fire upon medical ships, the British troops easliy made landfall. The Turkish commanders in Gallipoli never forgot this one move, this one cunning move. And now with third party passanger and cargo ships free from belligerent harassment, the Turkish commanders chose to employ a similar tactic.

The use of mercenaries and foreign volunteers was an option that was alyways kept either as a special move or as a last resort. The Syrian offer was first made two years ago, and the negotiations had been going on ever since. Not used during the Eastern Front, the subjugation of the arch-traitor Ethem the Circassiah and the subsequent liberation of Western Anatolia, the mercenaries and volunteers are now needed to deal with a very particular problem. A very Polish problem. The answer the Poles gave was the undesired one, yet also the expected one.

The Polish Legion was an expert in the matters of war, that much was shown. The bitter men had shown their grief and anger when they charged the Turkish units in Thrace. The tactical prowess of the Legion was noteworthy indeed, but it did nothing to negate the strategic catastrophe the Legion was in.

- The Legion broke ranks with the Greek Command, that itself was obvious. While the courage and the valour of the Legion as it disobeyed orders and charged across the River Maritsa might have been applaudable; this move made them into a third party force in the region. The reason the Turks were in Eastern Thrace was already known, and same was the case with the Greeks. The Caucasians might have a burning rage against the Turks alright, yet what were Poles were doing in Thrace? Legally speaking, the Legion was a third party band of trespassers in sovereign Turkish territory, not covered by the Turkish promise of non-violence. So, from a legal standpoint, the Turks could butcher these delinquents to last man if they wished to do so.

- The Legion's supplies lines were effectively non-existent. If they broke ranks with the Greeks, why would the Greeks take the risk of supply them? Most probably the Greeks saw the Legion for what it was: An expendable wall of meat between them and the mass retreat of Greek forces and militias. Plus, those supplies were needed elsewhere, for the situation in Smyrna was becoming untenable by the day. Even if the Greeks were to supply them, could they? The main road from Greece to Keşan was blocked by the 3rd Thracian Division. As long as the division remained there, any supplies sent for the Legion would be filling the Turkish warehouses. The gamble, as it seemed, was a doomed one.

- The 2500 men strong regular force in Uzunköprü was moving south to prevent the counter encirclement. There was no guarantee that they would catch the Legion's cavalry and pin it down, but they didn't need to do that anyway. They would reach Balaban just before the spotting of the ships.

And uther these circumstances, 5500 mercenary-volunteer force, pre-arranged to be shipped to Western Anatolia, was ordered to change course and arrive at the Gulf of Saros at dawn. With the Legion being occupied with its manouvers to the North along with its airplanes, they would not be aware of the landing until it would be too late stop it. The 4200 Syrian mercenaries were the veterans of the Great War, especially the Syrian-Palestinian Front while 1300 of them Turkish volunteers, not veterans, but they were able to survive on their own with arms in the post-war turmoil until emergence of the Syrian state.

The mercenaries and the volunteers were tasked to maintain a route from Gallipoli to the Turkish forces near Maritsa. If the worst case scenario were to occur and the Turkish forces were to be nearly counter-encircled, then these mercenaries-volunteers would make sure they would have an escape route. While bringing the coast of the Gulf of Saros into secure handsi they would also be contributing to the general encirclement of the Legion.

As the landing was completed, the 2nd Thracian Division could not help but recognize the opportunity before them. With the bulk of the Legion trying to push the Turks to the Maritsa, their HQ in Keşan was manned by a feeble 800 men strong garrison. The commanders of the 2nd Thracian Division were not underestşmating the firepower of the enemy though, and even if the Turks had some aircraft, they would be more useful in Anatolia. Still, they had a shot at dislodging the Legion from its HQ. It would cost what it would cost. Given the positions of the Legionary rearguard, the newly landed volunteer force was ordered to move North towards Keşan as soon as possible. While the order was relayed, the 2nd Thracian Division started its covert operation. The intelligence officers of the Division, many fluent in Greek with a Thracian accent, would attempt to sneak into the town and organize militias. These militias would then rise up when the 2nd Thracian Division would launch an assult on the the town. Under the circumstances in the city, only some 500 or so militias would be estimated to rise up instead of the desired 1000. With the confrimation that the militia was ready to storm out of the tabernas, the 2nd Division started the attack on Keşan.

Meanwhile, the 3rd Thracian division was shocked by the sudden appearence of the bulk of the Legionnaires. Under the attack and the artillery fire, the division would retreat and take a defensive posture in the village of İpsala and the surrounding hills. They would hold their ground, to ensure the supply lines across the river would remain under Turkish control. Turkish militias to the south of the Division were ordered to stop their march along the river and immediately move to Esetçe by passing Yenikarpuzlu and Kocahıdır. They would certainly be spotted by the Legion's reconnaissance planes, but the Turks would hope that the Legionnaires would be too occupied with the 3rd Thracian Division to effectively counter this manouver, and partially be sandwiched between the Turkish forces.

With 21,500 Turks gooing against 6,000 Legionnaires, the fate of the Legion seemed sealed. A telegram from Ankara to Keşan, directly from Mustafa Kemal Pasha to the leaders of the Legion read as such:

"...We are amazed by your courage and determination. Your blood will mix with ours as it waters this soil, much like the ANZAC troops in Gallipoli. Just like I intend to commission a memorial for them, I shall commission a memorial for you as well. If you don't take this last offer of honorable surrender and perish in your totality, that is..."
"Long live the legacy of the Roman Empire!"

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Lendenburgh
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Postby Lendenburgh » Wed Aug 18, 2021 3:52 pm

Eastern Thrace
The arrival of the Polish legion to Eastern Thrace was as much a surprise to the Greek Command as it was to the Turkish command, however, the commander of the newly conscripted 9th infantry in Alexandropoli simply assumed that the Greek government had made political arrangements with the Polish. As the transport ships passed close enough to the Greek coast to be visible, the 9th infantry set out on the road to Thrace, disregarding Greek Command's orders not to cross the Maritsa. Within the day, the division had reached the river crossing at Kipoi, and as dusk fell, an all out assault was launched on the Turkish position at Ipsala. The 5,000 man force were like sitting ducks for the force armed with 155mm and 65mm French guns, seized mostly in the Balkan Wars.

The first priority for the unit was to pin down the Turkish 3rd Thracian division and establish contact with the Polish forces on the other side of the city. This would isolate the militia forces to the South which could be dealt with in cooperation with the Polish.

As Greek high command became aware of these events, fleeing militia units to the North were ordered to hold the river and keep Turkish forces in Edirne, with one unit of militia standing guard to the South.

Near Izmir
Nearly half of the 4th infantry was destroyed on their rout, with guns being left behind to keep the pace of the retreat high. However, a small trickle of forces was able to make it to Izmir. Upon learning of the formidable Turkish force coming directly towards Smyrna, the remnants of the 4th infantry were charged with guarding the Greek portions of the city and the port, while the unit previously charged with these duties, the 1st Infantry, was ordered to the East in order to prepare defenses for the upcoming attacks.

The first infantry took up a position on the strategic passes of Kavaklidere, positioning their guns on a high hill in between the two passes, while infantry built up defences along the road passages. With any luck, these preparations would sufficiently delay the Turkish arrival in Smyrna

Near Soma
The 8th infantry had been held into the town of Soma by two units of Turkish cavalry, but with the news that an attack on Smyrna was imminent, the decision was made to abandon the town. There was little hope of recapturing supply lines between Smyrna and the Northern front in Anatolia. The troops stationed near Balikesir would simply have to be supplied through Kydonies/Ayvalik.

The infantry decided to engage the cavalry unit to the East, not with the goal of a drawn out, pitched battle, but with the goal of breaking through to the South and reaching Smyrna to reinforce the city.

Near Balikesir
According to plan, the 3rd infantry was able to pass through the mountains to the North of Balikesir, securing the village of Aktarma, and pinning Turkish forces in the hills to the South of the village. Their 100 guns would be set up, though their effectiveness against infantry in the mountains would mainly be shock and control, rather than actual destruction. The 2nd infantry on the other hand had isolated the other Turkish force by taking the villages of Naipli and Bakacak. With the Turkish position on a steep hill, and with very little foliage for cover, the Greek artillery advantage could be used to great effect, and the Turkish forces could be isolated on the hilltop, forcing them to either starve or engage in a hasty offensive. The Turkish artillery could only be used to limited effectiveness pointed directly down the slope, and with not enough guns to fend off the Greeks from all directions, it would only be a matter of time until their surrender.

The Turkish reinforcements coming from the East would not be completely stopped by the battered 6th infantry. However, with a large quantity of guns, and the valley along which the Turks would have to advance to get to Balikesir, the mountains from Sarakcoy to Yeni could be utilized to great effect in staging harassing attacks and bombarding the advancing Turks, slowing them down as much as possibly, and hopefully preventing their arrival before the defeat of Turkish forces to the North of the town.

Near Kusadasi
With the landing of soldiers complete and the city all but secure, the Battleship Lemnos was ordered to head North and assist with the defense of Smyrna. The 10th infantry was ordered to the South to engage one of the main Turkish forces approaching the South. A small contingent was detatched, without any artillery, to hold the pass near the village of Kirazli, while the main force would approach from the high ground to the North of the Turkish position. Once again holding a massive artillery advantage, the Greek forces would not engage in an outright assault, but would shell the Turks to pin them in place, launching harassing attacks from their flanks with the control of the hills.

The 5th infantry would support their flank by occupying the pass at Havutculu. Despite being outnumbered more than two-to-one the artillery advantage and extremely narrow mountain pass should allow the unit to halt the Turkish advance from Aydin.

The 8th infantry would travel even further North to attack the cavalry occupying the road to Smyrna. The goal would be to surround the calvalry in the town of Belevi where the Greek infantry would have a solid advantage over the mountain troops, but if the cavalry were to flee into the mountains surrounding the town, they were given strict orders not to pursue, but instead continue on to the pass at Selatin to prevent Turkish forces from advancing to Smyrna.

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Postby Fregantes Empire » Mon Aug 30, 2021 11:04 am

(I will wait for Poland's RoR to write about Eastern Thrace)

Soma

The Greeks recently abandoned Soma and engaged the Turkish irregular cavalry units to the East. The Kuva-yi Milliye units were ordered to refrain from a pitched engagements as much as possible, thus would retreat immediately, their numbers only a fraction of the Greek division. Instead of a "fair fight" the Turkish cavalry would kindly let the Greeks proceed towards Smyrna. In exchange for this kindness however, the cavalry would continue its hit-and-run tactics periodically so that the Greek division would slow down significantly.

Çaygören

After emerging triumphant from the engagement in Çaygören, the 3rd and the 8th Division received orders to move Northwest towards Balıkesir immediately. The grim news of an entire division being helplessly surrounded atop a hill would send shockwaves across the Turkish units, who have thus far remained optimistic with the general advance across the whole front. The encircled division had to be saved, yet many doubted the actual possibility of a successful rescue. Mere hours before their departure, the 8th Division received an update to their orders. Unlike the 3rd, they would move towards Akhisar with haste. The two divisions would reach Paşaköy and Muştullar respectively.

Balıkesir

With the main Greek force fighting the Turkish forces in the hills to the West of the city, Balıkesir itself was lightly defended at best. The 2nd Infantry Division was ordered to shell the remains of the Greek 6th as much as possible, hopefully silencing their artillery in an exchange of volleys. What would follow after the bombardment was an all out assult on the Greeks in Saraçköy. The division was ordered to pursue the Greeks if they fled towards Balıkesir, but if they were to retreat anywhere else, then the division were supposed to let them do so.

To the west of the city, the situation was not going as initially hoped. Unbeknownst to them, the Turkish units in the theatre were performing their real objectives, baiting out the Greeks from the city, perfectly. What was not expected however, was a total encirclement of the 1st Division. The commander of the 1st Division would recieve and order that day, starting with the phrase "You are ordered to die for the Motherland", instructing them to carry out a suicidal night attack. A desperate attempt to break the encirclement, just like their predecessors had tried in Plevne years and years ago, the division would have a last drink and wait for the dead of the night. When the Greek sentries would decrease in number, the would move downhill as silenty as possible, following a path devoid of moonlight under the shadow of the mountain. Even then, they would most probably be spotted by the Greek sentries. They would definitely be spotted once they started using whatever artillery that was left to whatever effectivenes they could hope to achieve.

Again, unbeknownst to the desperate men of the 1st Division, the HQ in Ankara had no intention to send an entire division to their certain death. On the same day, the 9th Infantry Division, thus far pinned down by the Greek 3rd yet protected from most of the shelling thanks to the hill between the two, received orders to march south in the dead of the night to carry out a simultaneous attack on the Greek 2nd as the 1st Infantry charged downhill. The reason why the 1st infantry was not given this infromation was to brew the desperation of the men into rage. The whole operation's aim was not the destuction of the Greek 2nd, that was not possible, but to create enough chaos and confusion as to force the Greeks to retrat in panic, thus saving the 1st and cutting the connection between the two Greek divisions.

The 9th Infantry would put some precautionary diversions as to make sure the Greek 3rd believed that the Turks hadn't moved for a metre. The had light all the lights in their camp as to creae an aura of light behind the hill, and placed sentries on the hillside overlooking the hill, as to make the Greeks think that the Turks were still there, perhaps even planning an assault on their position. Then, an hour before the planned beginning of the suicidal charge, the 9th Infantry advanced south, and clashed with the Greeks as the 1st Infantry was already descending to the main Greek camp. The artillery soared, not for destruction but for confusion, and between the villages of Bakacak and Naipli, a gruesome melee started claiming lives.

Towards Izmir

Chaos would be the order of the day in Izmir. The primary mission of the Turkish militias aside from defending their strongholds and spying on the Greek force in Kavaklidere was in fact to create a series of explosions around the shoreline of the city. Most of these explosions were designed to be mostly harmless, their purpose being creating smoke rather than destruction. The destructive bombs however, were reserved for the port. The port of Izmir had to, even temporarily, be rendered incapable of hosting ships. That was the only way to deny the Greeks supplies from their mainland. The smoke bombs were mostly used for confusion and screening. They would make it seem as if the entire shoreline wass burning, and would make it hard for the recently arrived battleship to observe the mainland and aim correctly. It would either force them to decide between possibily firing on the city or not being able to fire at all.

At 11 am, the operatives of Turkish intelligence, aided by local Turkish militias and sympathetic Ionian Greeks carried out the shoreline mission. While the casualities were minimal, many Greek supplies in the port would become unusable and some ships would end up damaged. More importantly, a wall of black smoke would rise from the shoreline after the sound of an explosion, alerting the whole city. The Turks would also set some abonded buildings on fire for extra effect, and harrass local Greek forces amidst the confusion.

The Greek forces overlooking the city from Kavaklıdere would probably hear the blast and could definitely see the smoke. This would be the moment when the irregular cavalry would move out and enter a mountain pass near Çınarköy heading south, while a nearby regular cavalry division and the 4th Infantry Division would occupy the position the irregulars had left. The irregular cavalry would emerge near Gökdere, immediately to the south of the city.

Meanwhile, the 5th Infantry would move to Arıkbaşı with the ultimate destination of Torbalı to eliminate any hope of the Greeks in Kuşadası marching towards Izmir.

Kuşadası

The irregular cavalry in Belevi was surrounded by a Greek force more than ten times its size. It's defences would not hold much, and when the 2nd Cavalry Division would arrive from Tire as previously instructed, they would find out that the irregular cavalry was completely wiped out except for a few POWs. The valiant last stand would not be in vain however, as the Greek forces would not have the time to occupy the vital pass at Selatin, and instead the would now see a Turkish cavalry force of 10,000 charging at them.

As the events near Belevi took place, the Militias from Aydın moved from Germencik towards the pass at Selatin to ultimately aid the skirmish there. The 6th infantry would be ordered to cover for them with an advance towards the village of Ortaklar. The 6th Infantry would also finally receive its own artillery pieces (50 guns like the other divisions) sent from Ankara, and they would use them to shell the pass at Havutçulu as much as possible to deny the Greeks the ability to intercept the militias.

The 7th Infantry, meanwhile, would retreat to the hills near Gökçealan, and setting their artillery there. The artillery would be used, not against the main Greek force, but against the small contingent in Kirazlı. The battle for supremacy in the hills would last a little longer than imagined, but the 7th Infantry was granted permission to retreat towards Gümüşköy should their position become untenable.
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Postby Nowa Polonie » Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:08 pm

Image

The Turk took a long drink - he was one of those men who had taken up arms against the Greeks, the French; for Islam, and for the Turks. He had taken a shot through the thigh, and for an hour now he had lain on the ground, and his bleeding had not stopped.

The Bulgarian - who had taken up arms for the Poles to fight first and foremost against the Bolsheviks, leant next to him. He would fight, and was fighting against the Turks, who were, like the Bolsheviks, a threat to Christendom. But a Musliman, be he Turk, Arab or Berber, was at least a godly man. That he could respect, and that made the difference. In Georgia, he had fought the Bolsheviks, and sent those atheist Marx-worshippers that he could to their punishment in Hell. But there had been many a Turk who had met his fate, and yet who had not yet left this Earth, and who had done so with their final words being addressed to God. [i]That
at least, he could respect. He had been ordered, today at least, to help escort supplies that had been bought, borrowed and stolen from the locals to supply the troops fighting locally in Kesan - the Turk sitting before him had probably been shot by one of his other comrades some time before as he did the same duty. He leant down and offered him a drink - he had evidently been bleeding for some time, in the mid-day sun, thirsty work.

The Bulgarian [in poor Turkish] - ''I've been here before, you know..'', he would watch the Turk take a drink, and that his eyes would follow him with new attention now that he had heard this Bulgar speak in, admittedly poor, Turkish, ''In 1912 - we were here before..'', he would see that the Turk had taken his drink, and would take back his flask.

The Turk - ''Do you plan on staying this time?''

The Bulgarian - ''Probably not, but I don't think you do either-'', with a look to the Turk's thigh, ''That won't get better. Do you want..'', he would cough, ''I mean to say - Do you wish to make it 'clean' ''.

The Turk - ''I-'', he would look to his leg, and to the wound, which though it was now covered by a great glob of congealed blood, still steadily trickled a stream of fresh lifeblood. He would take a breath, ''A minute, arkadaş.. Do you..'', he would look towards the sun, ''Do you have a compass.. do you know where-''

The Bulgarian would take a compass from his pocket, handing it wordlessly to the Turk laying on the ground. After a few moments, the Turk would shuffle on the ground, orientating himself towards Mecca, and almost silently, he would close his eyes and begin to mutter his final prayers. Behind him, observing for a few moments, the Bulgarian would stand, his rifle at the ready, and after a beat, and with a clean shot through the heart, he would end the suffering of the man, who through no other means that circumstance, had been his 'enemy'.

As in the East, trapped between the oncoming Greek 9th Division, and the bulk of the Legion of St. George, saw confused, but decisive fighting - though the presence of Turkish militias in the nearby country had seen a great deal of the efforts of the Polish Legion drawn away to the protection of their own flanks from potentially dangerous raids by Turkish irregular forces, and doubtless a good deal of Turkish forces would successfully be able to melt away, rather than being decisively encircled and destroyed, but all the same, with local superiority of forces for the first time in its theatre operations in Eastern Thrace, along the Maritsa, at least, though the Turks were determined fighters, they were in an unenviable position, as the nous of Polish officers had drawn, once again, the Greeks into the local theatre, and with the likely dissipation of a large Turkish unit in Eastern Thrace for the first time, potentially irrevocably so.

If the Turks along the Maritsa felt that their position was difficult though, in Kesan, their comrades were fighting a Polish force that was outnumbered, at least, by eight to one. The town of Kesan, which rested on a stretch of Thracian plains, had come under attack almost as quickly as their counter-offensive to the Maritsa had, and despite their determined resistance, it had not relented, and unlike the Russians, the Turks were discerning, careful opponents - in Georgia, an enemy attack came at once, as a grand wave of attackers against the lines. In Kesan, Polish forward positions regularly had to defend themselves against sly foes, in the form of both concentrated attack, and infiltration parties. Sleepless nights and counter-battery stretch nerves thin.

In the South however, in the village of Bahcekoy, perhaps unnoticed, perhaps ignored by Turkish planners, a secondary garrison of 400 troops, begin to march North-East, into the hills directly overlooking Kesan from the South-East - with guns towed by horses and oxen, and with the entire force on the move to counter-attack the Turks approaching the town from the Tekirdag Road; with little more than a dozen guns, well-positioned, and supported by machine-gun posts overlooking the flats surrounding the town from all other directions, they have committed themselves to extend the defense of the town, and should all else fail, to provide the chance of a fighting withdrawal to regroup to the West. Casualties however, are high, and while the Legion may rightly claim excellence in defensive and tactical operations, with supplies and reinforcements in Kesan all but cut off until a true Greek breakthrough to the West, there is little real hope for a true victory for the Poles in this beleagured Thracian town.
Last edited by Nowa Polonie on Tue Aug 31, 2021 3:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Postby Fregantes Empire » Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:36 am


- "Do you think father is proud, Serdar?"

- "No, Ahmet, he isn't."

- "Really? I thought fighting for the Motherland and Allah would mean something in his eyes."

- "Perhaps, but getting eroded by the Greeks, who were running from us a couple of weeks ago, and these Poles who came out of nowhere wouldn't make him proud."

- "He really has high standards, doesn't he?"

- "No, not really."

- "Then for the sake of Allah, why do you think he wouldn't be proud except for the situation we are in?"

- "Simple: He thinks the Grand National Assembly is defying the will of His Majesty the Padishah and therefore the Caliph of Islam. He sees us as traitors to the religion, even though we are willing to become martyrs for the Motherland. For him, we are on an express train heading towards Hell."

- "That's... an interesting way to put it."

- "That's not important though. He would certainly not proud if we came back home in a coffin, or not at all. So focus on surviving in this hell."

- "I have a feeling that the real Hell is, in fact, a better place than here. Hey, you know the saying 'The martyrs don't die', do you think that's true?"

- "No. It would either mean that we are immortal or that we are destined to be in Heaven. The first one is obviously wrong, as the corpse of Mustafa next to you can tell, and there other one is definitely wrong since we are definitely bound to go to Hell".

- "Definitely? Why do you think that?"

- "Allah is immesurably merciful, yet there is one sin Allah doesn't forgive: Cheating someone out of something that is their right, being unfair. Tell me Ahmet, is there anything more unfair than cheating a man out of his life? Out of his family, his wife and kids? Cheating him out of the chance to provide for his family, eventually driving them into poverty and forcing them to become beggars? What honour, virtue and good deed can we find in this? Make no mistake, every soldier here be they a Turk, a Greek, a Pole, a Bulgarian, a Georgian or someone from whichever cursed nation is interested in here, are all sinners of the highest order and we will all be welcomed into Hell by the Devil himself."

- "...Well then, at least we can do a good job by taking some infidels with us to make the reception better."

- "Well said."


As the situation in Eastern Thrace developed further, the Turkish High-Command would deem it necessary to send additional reinforcements in case the Greek forces in the northern banks of the River Maritsa would make a move. Another division was dispatched to Lüleburgaz, with orders to immediately move West if there was any action by the Greek forces in Didymoteicho or outside Edirne.

In the region that was now being called as "the Polish Pocket" by the Turks, the Turks were suffering tactical defeats, one of them being the gradual erosion of the 3rd Division in Ipsala. This was a sacrifice the Turkish commanders were willing to make to maintain their strategic objectives. The 3rd Division was succesful in achieving the mission it was tasked with when it was dispacthed to Ipsala:

1) Delay the Greeks and prevent them from uniting with the Poles.

2) Draw as many Poles as possible from Keşan as possible and pin them down.

And even if the cost was the division itself, the deed was done. Now all that was left to do for the survivors to go down with a suicidal charge towards the Legionnaires in Sarpdere, aided by the Militias moving from Esetçe. For the Turks, all possible outcomes from this engagement were acceptible, for these forces were being sent to their death. What was important was to keep the Legionnaires pinned as long as possible while the remaining Turkish forces carried out their orders.

From the South, forces commissioned from Syria would make their entry into battle. Moving from Karahisar, Barağı and Türkmen, the Mercenary force would occupy and settle down in the road between Keşan and Ipsala, to the immediate south of the village of Korucu. They would leave a small force of 200 men to prepare defensive works while the rest moved to Sarpdere to make sure the pinned down Poles could be routed or forced to surrender before the Greeks could do anything about it.

Meanwhile, the volunteer force would move to aid the Turkish forces attacking Keşan. Their mission was to silence the Legionnary artillery and to wipe out the 400 men strong garrison. Outnumbered more than 5-to-1, the fall of Keşan was a matter of a few days if not hours. Then, the beleaguered Thracian city would become the center of a future Turkish counter-offensive. With the liberation of nearby villages by the mercenaries and the volunteers, the villagers around the Gulf of Saroz would take up arms, not to join the fight directly, but to block and harrass any possible path to supply Keşan. With this done, while not a complete encirclement, the Polish forces in Eastern Thrace were effectively cut off from the outer world supply-wise. A scortched-earth policy would be on the table if the worst came to pass.

To support the main activities in Keşan, the elements of the 1st Thracian Division in Balaban would finally move to engage the Legionnary cavalry detachment in Sultanköy. With the cavarly pinned down, the Poles would temporarily lose their most precious tool to break the militia-attrition circle fast enough to make a difference. If the Polish horsemen were to retreat however, they would pursue and try to inflict as much casualties as possible.

In the meantime the Turks would, naively at this point, engage in diplomacy yet again. The Government of the GNA would send a formal note of protest to Polish Government for the illegal and hostile presence of the Legion of Saint George. Even though the Legion is not formally a part of the Polish Military, the Polish Government is known to be their biggest creditor, and has made diplomatic arrangements in the past to facilitate the Legion's activities in the region. Ankara would urge Warsaw to reconsider its position in the region, for the Legion is delaying the formation of a regional order in the international community's favour, and one that has the partial blessing of the League of Nations through the Straits Commission.

In addition to the international effort, the Turkish forces in Edirne would send a note to the Greek forces on the other side of the river. The Turks would promise to not to attack the Greeks as long as they don't cross the river. The 4th Thracian Division in Lüleburgaz would also send a similar note to Didymoteicho. The Turkish commanders would send a message to the Greeks in Ipsala and the Northern Command of the Greek Army through the wire. The Turks would propose a ceasefire if the Greek forces in Ipsala were to slowly retreat back across the river. "No need to spill unnecessary blood for some fantasies from Warsaw, dear brothers".
Last edited by Fregantes Empire on Tue Sep 14, 2021 11:45 am, edited 1 time in total.
"Long live the legacy of the Roman Empire!"


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