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Thread: Bayonet for Turkish Gew. 88?

  1. #1

    Question Bayonet for Turkish Gew. 88?

    Gents,

    I know that the Ottoman Empire was supplied with large numbers of Gew. 88/05s; does anyone know what bayonet was most commonly used on Gew. 88/05s in Turkish service?

    Thanks,

    Devo
    "Are We Not Men?"

  2. #2

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    They also received many ersatz bayonets but few, if any, Sg71 and Sg71/84 so my guess would be that they used the ersatz bayonets as their primary bayonet for the Gew88/05 rifles.

  3. #3
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    Has anyone ever seen photos of Ottoman troops using the Gew. 88? There are photos with Gew. 98s in Palestine, but I've never seen photos of them with the 88s.

  4. #4

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    As a matter of fact, no I haven't. There was a photo posted here once with Gew88/05 on issue to Turkish troops in the post-WW1 era but that is the only one that I recall seeing.

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    I don't think the Gew 88 was ever in general issue with the Turks. Of course there would have been some used here and there but not in any numbers.
    During the post-war period there would have been more procured as general surplus, but prior to the war they had the M1887/90/93/03 Mauser rifles.

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    Quote Originally Posted by shippingsteel View Post
    I don't think the Gew 88 was ever in general issue with the Turks. Of course there would have been some used here and there but not in any numbers.
    During the post-war period there would have been more procured as general surplus, but prior to the war they had the M1887/90/93/03 Mauser rifles.
    Possibly earlier, but certainly through 1917 and 1918, the Turks received large scale small arms aid from their allies. It's generally accepted that that's when most of the Gew. 88s & 88/05s reached Turkey. Many of the 88s had been seconded by Germany to Austria-Hungary, who in turn passed them on to the Turks. The Ottoman Army had been through the mill by then, fighting on at least five widely scattered fronts, and had lost great quantities of their pre-war rifles, which were no longer being manufactured to make up replacements. Through photos and accounts, it's evident that some units in Palestine, at least, were primarily armed with Gew. 98s from late 1917. It is unlikely, being on the losing side, that the Turks were able to pick up many arms in the immediate postwar years.

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    Its an interesting period with plenty of gaps in the knowledge base, which wasn't helped by the large-scale destruction of evidence during the rebuilds.
    Of course they received the rifles during the latter stages of the war, but I wonder just how many were actually used, given the options of the Gew 98.

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    Hello Gents,

    Somewhere in my myriad of photo files, I have several photos of Turkish troops armed with Gew 88 variants during WWI. Having read the comments below, I have a couple of comments regarding the direction of this thread.

    There is little question that Germany supplied hundreds of thousands of captured Russian M1891 Three-Line Rifles to Turkey early in the war. There were entire Turkish divisions armed with Russian rifles. When they became available, large numbers of Gew 88/05's were shipped to Turkey beginning in 1916. Somebody please explain to me why Gew 88/05 rifles that were shipped to Turkey in 1916 were not issued until after the war??? Please Gents. let's be serious about this!

    Look at page 147 in Dieter's great book, "German Military Rifles: 88 and 91 Firearms" and you will find confirmation of shipments to Turkey. As early as August 1916 all of the Landwehr had been rearmed with Gew 98s. It was at this point that Germany decided that they would ship ALL of the Gew 88/05 to Turkey. So in 1916 a large number of Gew 88/05s that had been withdrawn from service, had their rear sights remarked in Farsi prior to shipment to Turkey. Dr. Storz suggests that while there are recorded shipments in 1917, there were most likely other shipments that were made to Turkey before the end of 1916.

    As for photos, please note that compared to the soldiers in other armies, a tiny number of cameras existed within the Turkish Army during WWI. For every WWI era Turkish photo, there are probably 5,000 photos from the other theaters of the Great War. That Gew 88/05s were available for shipment to Turkey as early as 1916, a full year before there were any Gew 98s available, I am somewhat amazed that there is anyone who would suggest that the Gew 88/05s that were supplied to Turkey during WWI were not issued until after the war??? Does anyone really believe that with a severe weapons shortage, that the Turks would have placed Gew 88/05s in inventory until after the war???

    Just my $ .02 worth.

    Warmest regards,

    JPS

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    I understand that the Germans did ship the Gew 88 rifles to Turkey during the war, what I am questioning is the perceived level of usage amongst front line troops.
    If they were available in numbers and in widespread use then I would expect that entire units would have been armed with them similar to the Russian M1891 rifles.

    Given that the bulk of the Ottoman Army in Palestine was eventually rolled up in the battles towards the end of the war I am surprised that more haven't turned up.
    A lot of Turkish rifles and guns were captured during this time with some becoming 'bringbacks' and some being collected for museums like the IWM and the AWM.
    From what I have seen these examples are principally the standard Turkish Mausers. Are there any known examples with provenance that can be dated to early use.?

    Like others I have not seen much evidence in the way of photos and I have looked at quite a few along the way, but JPS if you say they exist than that's fine by me.
    What kind of numbers were recorded as being shipped from Germany, and what proportion of the overall Turkish inventory would they have made up at that time.?

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    Because I don't believe that the Turks were able to keep weapons 'in reserve' is precisely I find the lack of photos interesting. Yes, Turkish WWI period photos are pretty rare, but those that do exist generally show a variety of their units. I've even seen a photo of a unit on the march in Syria with M1887s. With the large number of 88s that survived to be converted in the 30s and/or to become surplus, it seems likely that most of them served in an area that didn't take great losses. My guess would be Eastern Anatolia. That is just a WAG, but with the timing of their shipment, would account for the relative lack of photos and the high survival rate.

  11. #11

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    Well said John.

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    I can't pretend to have an educated opinion on this but .....

    considering all the slab-sided ersatz I see converted for the FAL - I'd *guess* they had a ton of those. And a gadzillion other 'turked' ersatz bayos that made it to the US. I'd use an ersatz for a display.

    I'd also *guess* that arming or re-arming units had to be done on a large scale - just for ammo & parts.

    I've always liked this pic.


    Click image for larger version. 

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    (from the 1916 Colliers Book)

    Maybe someone should start a Turk photo thread.

    Neat thread, good info, thanx to all the RKI's!
    pure jebberish

    "You don't think you're perfect but you do think you're always right."
    -my wife

  13. #13

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    And keep in mind that to be correct for Turkish use during WW1, the blade should be its unaltered, full 12 inch length. Post-War mods shortened the blades and often altered the cross guard/grip as well.

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    Let's not forget that Turkey ordered a lot of gew88 bolts from the Czechs after WWI... Would that not indicate that quite a number of Gew88 were among the weapons that had their bolts removed by the british? I'd think that that would indicate that the weapons were indeed in use, otherwise they'd all have German imperial bolts...

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    Quote Originally Posted by shippingsteel View Post
    I understand that the Germans did ship the Gew 88 rifles to Turkey during the war, what I am questioning is the perceived level of usage amongst front line troops.
    If they were available in numbers and in widespread use then I would expect that entire units would have been armed with them similar to the Russian M1891 rifles.

    Given that the bulk of the Ottoman Army in Palestine was eventually rolled up in the battles towards the end of the war I am surprised that more haven't turned up.
    A lot of Turkish rifles and guns were captured during this time with some becoming 'bringbacks' and some being collected for museums like the IWM and the AWM.
    From what I have seen these examples are principally the standard Turkish Mausers. Are there any known examples with provenance that can be dated to early use.?

    Like others I have not seen much evidence in the way of photos and I have looked at quite a few along the way, but JPS if you say they exist than that's fine by me.
    What kind of numbers were recorded as being shipped from Germany, and what proportion of the overall Turkish inventory would they have made up at that time.?

    Hello Gents,

    Please know that I am not singling you out shippingsteel other than to respond to your specific comments. And I greatly enjoy analytical discussions. Storz mentions specific numbers which I will post later when I have more time. But as for photos, one has to be very careful in terms of proposing far reaching hypothesis regarding subjects like this based solely on photographic evidence.

    I've been at this for over 30 years. In that time I have found ONE photo of a Russian soldier armed with an Italian M1870/87 Vetterli-Vitali despite the fact that Italy supplied Russia with 400,000 rifles, ALL of which were issued for use at the front. Where are all of the photos of troops armed with 70/87s?

    Someone please show me a photo of a Russian with a French Mle1878, Mle1878/84 or Mle1885 Kropatcheks? They received a combined total of 150,000 of these French rifles during the war. I've never seen a photo of a single Russian that is armed with any of these rifles?

    I could go on, but there's no point in beating a dead horse. The other point that I believe is of great importance relative to this topic is the fact that American troops did not serve in any of these other fronts. This fact has reduced interest in our country in the campaigns in Palestine, Salonika, the Caucuses, the Eastern Front, etc. As a result, there is very little published in English covering these fronts.

    Both Russia and Turkey had some of the poorest soldiers that fought on any front during the war. The number of cameras that were in use by Turkish and Russian troops must have been lower per capita than most other armies that served during the war. Also, with Russia closed to a great degree for over 70 years under communism and Turkey being off the beaten track for most western travelers over the years, I would have to believe that none of us can say how rare or common WWI photos are IN these countries???

    Look at all of the Russian photos that have appeared on eBay since the break up of the Soviet Union! These were unknown in the west until eBay came along. There are still tens of thousands of photos in the Russian archives. Has anyone here performed any research in the photo archives in Istanbul? Who knows how many photos there may or may not be in Turkey that have survived over the years??? I would suggest that there are obviously fewer than there are in Russia, but I would imagine there are still many photos that have simply never been published in the west.

    Just my $ .02 worth. I'll post the specific numbers as provided by Dieter sometime in the next few days.

    Interesting discussion Gents!

    Warmest regards,

    JPS

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    For my 2 cents I can reference the ersatz I posted on our bayonet & edged weapons forum a couple weeks ago. The bayo came with a turked Gew 88, which proves nothing, but it has a German VIII Korps supply depot stamp on it. One can postulate that the bayo was issued to a reserve formation early in the war, and later went to Turkey with an 88 when all German units were supplied with 98's. I hope someday some photos from Turkey will turn up.

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