11 Temmuz 2018 Çarşamba

TNT History Mini-Series: Greek Commander in Turkish War Rebukes Rival (1922)/Part I

anastasios papulas ile ilgili görsel sonucu

//Ed. Note: General Anastasios Papaulas was the Greek 
Commander-in-Chief for most of the Greek-Turkish War of 
1919-1922. Though inexperienced in combat, he was appointed 
commander of Greek forces in Asia Minor by King Constantine
in late 1920, replacing General Leonidas Paraskevopoulos. 

His offensive to establish Greek control over western Anatolia 
was halted at the First Battle of İnönü in January 1921. After 
being reinforced,  Papoulas resumed his offensive on March 23. 
However, his army, numbering 100,000 men, was again defeated 
at the Second Battle of İnönü on March 28-30.  He was relieved 
of command by Constantine, but continued to command forces 
at the Battle of Eskişehir (August 16-17) and Battle of Sakarya 
(August 24 - September 16) before taking command  of retreating 
Greek forces from Afyon Karahisar, from late August to 
September 9, 1921, narrowly preventing a rout by the Turkish army.

Following war's end in 1922, Papoulas became a strong opponent 
to the Monarchy, after the establishment of the Greek Republic, as
a supporter of the Eleftherios Venizelos government during the late
1920s to the early 1930s.  He led a coup in support of the 
Venizelos's Liberal Party on March 1, 1935  and its failure resulted
in his capture and eventual execution for treason on March 24 of 
that year.

Herewith TNT presents the English translation of the 1928 Ottoman
Turkish translation of Gen. Papoulas's 1922 publication in the 
original Greek.//

anastasios papulas ile ilgili görsel sonucu
                    Gen. Papoulas, right.

General Staff, Office 10
General Papoulas’s Memoir

Translated to Turkish by: Captain İbrahim Halil
Istanbul, 1928

General Papoulas’s Memoir
General Papoulas’s Revelations About the Asia Minor Operation

Fake Telegrams                                                                                                                                  
New Lies                                                                                                                                              
Council of War                                                                                                                                    
Report About the Army’s Operation Towards Ankara                                                                 
Constantine and the Ankara Operation                                                                                          
Meeting Between Gounaris, Theotokis and Kondylis                                                                   
Who is Responsible?                                                                                                                           
Mr. Stratigos’s Role at Sakarya                                                                                                        
Report of the Army of Asia Minor                                                                                                   
The Army Insists                                                                                                                                  
The Government Insists                                                                                                                       
The Army’s Thoughts                                                                                                                         
How Did I Conduct My Command                                                                                                   
1920 – Offensive Reconnaissance in December                                                                           
1921 -  March Operation                                                                                                                   
Retreat Order                                                                                                                                      
Arrival of the Reinforcement Detachments                                                                                  
Addendum (A)                                                                                                                                    
Addendum (B)                                                                                                                                             
Dosmanis’s Role                                                                                                                                 

General Papoulas’s Revelations About the Operations of the Army of Asia 
Minor (published in “Elefteros Typos” on 24 October 1922)

The former commander, despite the attacks he has suffered up until now, explains 
at length the reasons which  have made him break his silence.  These reasons were 
born of the historical need to refute the “lying and immoral” tales and commentaries
put out by various civilian and military writers. General Papoulas adds that the effort 
taken up by these writers is comprised of a series of lies and shameless slanders.

The aforementioned states that “In consequence, I must tell the entire truth so that the
nation can understand that I am in no way responsible for the Asia Minor incident.
Rather than beat around the bush, let me say that if I had not seen my former friend 
Xenofon Stratigos’s articles, which astonished me in the way that  they altered 
events and clouded them in the eyes of the nation, to the discredit of himself and with
just one aim in mind, I would never have resorted to publishing this book.”

Herewith General Papoulas's Account:

The entire aim of the aforementioned individual in this regard is made up of a lie 
which diminishes his own role with his own evidences.  The aforementioned 
individual wanted to misrepresent the truth for his own purposes and motives.  In 
order to portray his statements in the published reports as reasonable he has been 
caught over and over criminally altering official documents.  By contorting results
 in opposition to reality and in violation of basic military understanding, and by 
basing his stance on faulty hypotheses that are clearly impossible, he has
diminished his well-known military repute many times over. 

Actually, Mr. X. Stratigos tried to play an ugly role in the implementation and the 
story of Asia Minor that he inserted himself into.  Using some meaningless lies and 
slanders  that were quite unbecoming, the aforementioned individual wanted to 
contort the truth.

xenophon stratigos ile ilgili görsel sonucu
General Xenophon Stratigos

When the truth is known he will have to declare it in a loud voice and this truth 
cannot be corrupted, as Mr. Stratigos has been intent on doing for his own benefit. 
In order to expose the aforementioned individual to the Greek public, which has a 
right to know the truth, the discussion of the Asia Minor problem begins today and
for better or worse  we will answer the calumnies by ripping through the curtain 
of secrecy.”

Fake Telegrams

In the recent 22 July issue of Politika newspaper, Mr. X. Stratigos wrote that in July 
the Army of Asia Minor informed the late Prime Minister Gounaris that the Army of 
Asia Minor had completed the first portion of its duty and was awaiting instructions
about whether or not to advance toward Ankara.
As the then-Commander of the Army of Asia Minor, I can confirm that no such 
telegram was ever sent to the government.  Mr. Stratigos thinks it is to his benefit to 
talk about a nonexistant telegram in order to confirm his words.  Actually, as 
Chief Commander I sent a telegram to the Prime Minister via War Minister Theotokis; 
in the telegram I invited the Prime Minister to visit the army;  the date of this 
telegram was 23 August 1921, not July, as Mr. Stratigos has claimed.

It is certain that this telegram was sent not while the army was at Kütahya but, rather,
long after the army took up its position on the other side of the Sakarya. In order to 
prove this, below I present the text of the telegram sent to the Ministry of War, 
exactly as it is in the official documents that I have in my possession.

To the Ministry of War
Personal/Confidential Number 3-6101
Cipher telegram – to be sent first priority

With the successful conclusion of the first portion of the operation, there is
a need to investigate the matter of whether or not  it would be suitable for 
the army to continue the operation forward.   In this regard, it is appropriate
that the Prime Minister be requested to personally come to Bursa.  General 
Stratigos is leaving for Bursa today together with the related report.

Central Command 25 – 8 – 21
A.       Papoulas
Prepared with confidential registry number 55 cipher.
Sent on 25 – 8 – 21

This official telegram shows that the army invited the Prime Minister not in 
July 1921, as Mr. Stratigos blatantly lied about, but rather at the time the army was 
probably beyond the Sakarya and at the time when he was uncomfortable with the 
difficulties being experienced there.

In order to prove this matter better and, in particular, to remind Mr. Stratigos of the 
line of operations, we are presenting the Ministry of War’s response below; from this
telegram it is understood that Mr. Stratigos will be forced to remember the incidents
in question, rather than corrupting the telegram dates and altering the truth.

                  Number 514-165

To the Commander of the Army of Asia Minor Personal/Confidential

                In response to your telegram number 3-6101 of the 25th, the Prime Minister,
concerned that in the present circumstances his departure from Athens would be 
misconstrued both internally and abroad, confirmed with a decision of the Council
of Ministers that General Stratigos come to Athens.  In consequence, the 
aforementioned individual boarded a destroyer at 1800 hours Wednesday and 
departed from Mudanya.

                26 – 8 -21 Theotokis

It is quite clear that General Stratigos’s aim is to change the dates.  The 
aforementioned individual is trying to show that after the Kütahya – Eskişehir 
operation the army was continuing toward Ankara and invited the Prime Minister 
to concur in this regard; yet, the army never even considered advancing toward 
Ankara and, as will be proven subsequently, proposed this to the Cabinet.

  greek big idea ile ilgili görsel sonucu
Megali Idea - The Big Idea for reclaiming Greece's glory.

New Lies

By continuing his lies, Mr. Stratigos is trying to show that the army exhibited no 
opposition to the Ankara movement and that it accepted the Prime Minister’s 
proposal in this regard unconditionally.  According to the aforementioned 
individual, when the Prime Minister arrived at Kütahya he posed the following
question to the army:

 “Does the military situation extant in the aftermath of the victory lay the 
foundation for the government’s subsequent political initiatives?  Availing 
itself of this situation, can the government begin the gradual demobilizatin of 
the oldest reserve classes?  Otherwise, what should be done?”

Again, according to the aforementioned individual, the army gave this response:

“No, we must either destroy the enemy or, at least, we must continue to pursue the
 enemy toward Ankara so that he cannot regroup and attack us again and render us 

The aforementioned individual adds that this idea of the army was recorded and 
confirmed on a document signed by General Papoulas and that this document 
constituted the main discussion point at the Council of War meeting convened at 

Mr. Stratigos is trying to satisfy us with regard to him not now remembering the 
incidents.  Upon the arrival of the Prime Minister at Kütahya on 13 July, a conference 
was convened among the aformentioned Prime Minister, the Minister of War, 
Colonel Sarıyanis and General Stratigos regarding the possibility of advancing toward
Ankara.  General Stratigos was participating merely as an observer and not as the 
government’s advisor to the army as he had been since the beginning of the operation.

I had no knowledge whatsoever about the matter discussed (advancing toward Ankara) 
at this conference. 

Colonel Sarıyanis mentioned this conference to me the following day.  The same day 
the Minister of War officially told me about the topic of the discussion verbally and I 
related my fears and concerns on this matter to him.  Later I received General Stratigos
 – he must surely remember this himself – and he tried to assure and persuade me that 
the movement (toward Ankara) would result in success; in fact, I remember these 
words of his exactly: “Do not fear my General, we will be successful.”

Council of War

As soon as I learned about the conference and that the Minister of War had 
communicated that there would be a Council of War the following day, I invited
Deputy Chief of Staff Colonel Sarıyanis and Colonel Spiridonis, the director of the
General HQS’s 4th Office, and consulted with them about the possibility of a 
movement toward Ankara.

My chief of staff, General Pallis, participated in this meeting, as well, and at its 
conclusion I opined that such an initiative would be fruitless and dangerous.  In 
consequence, I ordered Mr. Pallis to write an advisory report reflecting the opinion of
 the army about the possiblity and impossibility of a movement toward Ankara.

I signed this report and ordered Cavalry Captain Statatos to type it so that it could be 
provided to the Council of War, which the Minister had summoned us to attend the 
following morning.   At 11 AM the Prime Minister, War Minister, General Dosmanis 
and General Stratigos gathered at the house where the King was staying; I went to the 
meeting with Mssrs. Pallis and Sarıyanis.

When the meeting convened, General Pallis rose and explained the army’s ideas and 
observations on this matter; he related the army’s observations, which reflected serious
 doubts about such an initiative resulting in success, and the prospect of difficulties 
posed by the initiative in question. 

The Prime Minister was clearly opposed to this idea and he then posed this question:

“Mr. Pallis, how is it that you judge this to be difficult when other officers consider 
this initiative to be easy?”  Mr. Pallis replied firmly: “This is the army’s opinion, 
Mr. Prime Minister.”  Hearing this, the Prime Minister said this initiative was 
mandatory because if we did not succeed in crushing the enemy then it would be
difficult for us to reap the fruits of the results we had already won from the 
Anatolian expedition.  

In reply to this, Mr. Pallis said this: “Mr. Prime Minister, do you not think that the
 goal should be for a diplomatic initiative to begin in parallel with the forward 
movement, while the army is en route?”  The Prime Minister, though, stated that 
absent a concrete result a diplomatic initiative would be impossible.  As the meeting
 was ending, Captain Statatos came and handed me the type-written report; I then
 provided the report to the Minister of War.  The report read as follows:

battle of sakarya map ile ilgili görsel sonucu

Report Concerning the Initiative for the Army’s Movement Toward Ankara

The first phase of the operation ended with the occupation of Eskişehir and the 
destruction of the enemy’s front (Eskişehir – Afyonkarahisar).

The aim of the second phase of the operation is to dissolve the Kemalist
forces and to make it impossible for these forces to re-assemble at the Eskişehir 
front or to distance these forces from the Eskişehir front by denying them access to
means and the populace and the time need to acquire these. 

In order to be successful in this the army would make a raid toward Ankara, 
crush the enemy forces if encountered, destroy all the provisions and ammunition
stored at Ankara and if, after the operation the enemy does not submit and since
it would be dangerous to remain in Ankara, completely destroy the rail line on the 
way back to Eskişehir. 

After this raid there would be no chance for Kemal to have a large force under his 
command.   In all likelihood, an army deprived of means of transport and powerless
to advance via railroad would be unable to move toward the Eskişehir front with 
meaningful forces.

The Ankara intiative presents difficulties because of the distance involved (Eskişehir 
– Ankara via Sivrihisar is 265 kilometers; via Çifteler and İnler more than 300 
kilometers), the roads and the position of the Sakarya and Porsuk rivers, which cannot 
be crossed without bridges, and the rains that begin in September. 

The main difficulty caused by the aforementioned dangers is reestablishing supply and 
food services.  With regard to this expedition, based on the research done so far, the 
army has reached the conclusion that if this initiative is attempted then it can only 
advance to the east bank of the Sarkarya - in other words, the (Beylikköprü – Kavak) 

If the army encounters the enemy on this route and crushes him then it would be less 
difficult for a portion of the army to follow the enemy toward Ankara.  If, on the other
hand, the enemy pulls back to the other side of the Sakarya then the army, based on
the situation, would either advance or stay put.

So, supposing that the railroad is destroyed and occupied, the roads and automobiles 
are useable and all other aspects remain the same, then the army would advance; 
otherwise, the army would return to Eskişehir from Beylikköprü, essentially destroying 
that 100-kilometer stretch of the rail line. 

                Kütahya 15 – July – 1921
                Army of Asia Minor, Commander
                Divisional General
                For presentation to:           His Majesty the King
                                                               Mr. Prime Minister

                                                               Minister of War


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