18 Temmuz 2018 Çarşamba

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

//Ed. Note: As the Second Battle of İnönü draws to a close,
Gen. Papoulas desperately requests reinforcements, while
at the same time praising the competence and organization of
the opposing Turks.  In the end, Gen. Papoulas pins the blame
for this "disastrous operation" squarely on the shoulders of 
Gen. Stratigos.//

battle of inönü ile ilgili görsel sonucu

At the same time, General Vlachopoulos informed me that the 10th Division’s retreat 
had left the 3rd and 7th Divisions, on either side the 10th Division, exposed.  He 
therefore wanted to order the other divisions to withdraw to the same area.  In 
response, I told General Vlachopoulos that this proposal (daytime retreat proposal) 
could not be accepted.  In order to avoid the anticipated dangers, I ordered that all 
divisions be withdrawn at night.  This retreat order was implemented in an orderly 
way; however, since the 3rd Division did not receive this order in time, it was 
subjected to an enemy attack in the morning and, forced to retreat under enemy 
pressure, this situation naturally caused some disruptions in the division.

                                        Arrival of the Reinforcement Detachments

          The same day, the long-awaited extra regiment arrived at Mudanya, but much 
later than had been expected. Moreover, the aforementioned regiment had been sent
 with many shortfalls.   Immediately, this regiment was ordered to move to reinforce
 our retreating forces and to support the retreat. 

         But the regiment was only able to leave from Bursa on 30 March.  All of our 
units were retreating and they encountered each other a few kilometers from the 
departure lines (first movement lines), where the retreating units were waiting.

          Late at night the army sent the following telegram to the government:

          Command of the Army of Asia Minor
          General Staff Office 1                                                                     19- 3 -21
                                              To the Ministry of War in Athens
                                               To the Army General Staff Office
          Extremely Urgent
          Because the extra force Y4T3 cadre was only one-third complete, I request 
that all reserve recruit soldiers belonging to this detachment be sent so that the 
entirety of the aforementioned detachment be completed and its homogeneity assured. 

          Commander of the Army of Asia Minor
          Papoulas                                                   Will be transmitted to the First Office

          At the same time, the army gave the order to the First Corps, which had 
occupied Afyonkarahisar, to retreat to the departure positions.   The First Corps 
implemented this movement very skillfully.  The aforementioned Corps repelled 
the enemy’s very severe counterattack at Dumlupınar.  During this attack, Second
Division Commander “Valetas” and Corps Commander “Kontoulis” distinguished
themselves.  In his articles, “Stratigos” used the phrase “brave but old officers”, 
when referring to the aforementioned individuals.  Actually, it is true that General
Kontoulis is as old as I am.  But he achieved his rank on the field of battle.   

general kontoulis ile ilgili görsel sonucu
General Alexandros Kontoulis

          After our retreat, which emboldened the enemy and suggested to it the idea 
of launching an attack against us, in order to reinforce the front, and even more 
importantly, to raise the morale of the detachments, the army did not hesitate to 
ask for reinforcements, as the following telegrams prove.

          Command of the Army of Asia Minor    
          General Staff Office 1                                                                        20 – 3 – 21
          Number                                                                                                  Secret

                                               To the Ministry of War in Athens     
                                                    To the General Staff Office

          As a supplement to my report number 4414 of 19 – 3 – 21, in order to 
complete the complement of the army extra regiments, I request that all reserves 
belonging to extra  Y43-5, Y33-1 be sent to Izmir and the reserve soldiers belonging
 to Y40-3 and Y39-2 be sent to Mudanya.

          Commander of the Army of Asia Minor
          Will be sent to Army Central Command Echelon/General Staff First and 
Fourth Offices.

          Command of the Army of Asia Minor
          General Staff Office 1
          Registry number: 4510                                                                      23 – 3 – 21
                                                                                                                     Top priority

          Of the reinforcement detachments whose movements have been reported since 
the 17th of the current month, so far only 1,454 soldiers have been sent via the ships 
“Argos” and “Tinus”.

          I request that the gravity of the situation be considered and that the concerned 
officials show more interest and attention to the matter.

          Until further notice, I request that all reinforcements be sent to Izmir.
          Army Commander

          As is seen by these telegrams, the army had begun to rebel against the 
Ministry’s  indifference, which had taken on a dangerous form vis-a-vis the army.
At the same time, the army, concerned about the gravity of the situation, sent the
 following report to the government:

          Command of the Army of Asia Minor
          General Staff Office 1                                                                              Bursa
          Secret registry number 139-4531                                                       25 – 3 – 21

                                                To the Ministry of War in Athens
                                                      To the General Staff Office
                                                                                                                     Top Priority

          Response to order number 2023:

          The experience obtained from the recent operation has given me the opinion 
that  within the past two months the enemy has progressed more than it had in the 
previous two years.

          The enemy army, whatever its amount, has organized well with many officers; 
these officers have established obedience in the enemy army and because of the recent
conference (London Conference) and French-Italian backing, their morale and hopes
have increased.

          There is a 25,000-man force made up mostly of infantry on the Bursa front and
a 15,000-man force on the Uşak front.  According to intelligence, within fifteen days
they will be reinforced with regular army soldiers from the Sivas Army Corps and 
perhaps other detachments that will be brought by sea from Cilicia and the Caucasus.
Consequently, we must initiate an attack within 15 days, before the enemy can 
strengthen significantly.

          However, in order to launch an attack with a strong possibility of success, at 
the first opportunity the army must be reinforced with approximately 52,000 soldiers,
in accordance with the contents of reports number 4062 of 8 – 3 -21 and 4107 of 
11 – 3 – 21; of our complement, more than 290 officers and 4,000 soldiers are away 
from the line of battle. Also, in order to reorganize the 3rd Army Corps, two 
complete  divisions, or at least one, must be sent.

          With regard to matters of supply, in the current situation I request that the 
shipment of fortification, telegraph and health equipment be sent immediately, not to 
mention the equipment and animals and transport automobiles we have been 
requesting  for three months but which has still not yet been sent.

          I will send a detailed report about requirements soon.  But above all, we 
require the transport of the reinforcement detachments and equipment that was 
requested, of which only a small portion has been sent so far.  It suffices to remind
you that up to now only a 2,000-man reinforcement contingent has been sent. 
           Each passing week serves to allow the enemy to increase its forces and 
provisions.  For this reason the army’s reinforcement is mandatory.  The government
must give this matter attention, gauge the country’s forces and make its decision 

battle of inönü ile ilgili görsel sonucu

          Up to now we have left matters up to official documents.

          Now, let there be a judgment as to who bears responsibility for this disastrous 
operation and, if possible, let us condemn him.

           If we had truly been the culprits behind this failure, then the government of
 that period would not have spared us. But perhaps at the same time we protected
 the command so that the responsibility would not be forgotten. 

          When it comes to Mr. Stratigos, who was the military advisor to all the 
governments of that period, we will always ask him why he did not discover and 
anticipate events ahead of time and why he did not prevent the defeat by using his 
influence to hasten the transport of reinforcements.


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