WI: Turkey Joined the Allies earlier?

Discussion in 'Alternate History Discussion: After 1900' started by CountDVB, Jun 7, 2019.

  1. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    IOTL, Turkey would eventually join the Allies around the near end of the war back in 1945. However, there was one event I noticed that could've pushed Turkey into entering the war sooner and that was the Refah Tragedy. From what I heard, it was speculated to be originally from Vichy France, but now that is is potentially from Italy.

    Now, what if this was found out sooner? Like say soon after the 1941 attack or up to like 1943, Turkey learned about the truth of the tragedy? You think they would've joined the Allies sooner?

    What would the impact be?
     
  2. 297* Well-Known Member

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    While Turkey was allied to Britain and France prior to the war, they were weary of both Nazi Germany and the USSR. Turkey took the easy way out by signing a treaty with Nazi Germany and exporting chromite to them.

    So perhaps if Turkey joined the Allies, I imagine Turkey would support Britain and the Free French in the Mediterranean and Middle East. Nazi Germany, Italy, and Bulgaria probably attack Istanbul. When Nazi Germany invades the USSR, the Nazis, when moving south toward the Caucasus aim for Turkey as well.
     
    Last edited: Jun 7, 2019
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  3. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Yeah though it would be anywehre between say the US entering the wa and like 1943, to give a bit of time for them mobilizing to the Refah Tragedy. It would definitely take some weight off of the rest of the nations.

    Though if I was Turkey, my first target would be Romania, the Germans' gas supply. Take them out and the Germans are seriously f*cked.
     
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  4. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    Bluntly, the Refah's sinking was the kind of act you can ignore if you don't want to join the war, or use as a pretext if you do want to go to war.

    Turkey isn't going to join the Allies if they think the Soviets are going to be conquered, because then they are next.

    It's the same story if they think the British are going to get kicked out of Egypt.

    Therefore, I don't think anything earlier than late 1942 is credible.

    I don't know much about the Turkish army of 1943, but I'd be amazed if it was in any better shape than that of Rumania or Italy, and by 1943 neither of those armies were fit to fight enemy tank divisions.

    If the US has a year to rearm them, then like the Brazillians in Italy, they are ... but it takes a year.

    If Turkey joins in 1942, then an Allied campaign in the Balkans aimed at Rumania is possible. I think it gets bogged down very badly however. and has a chance of disaster if the Germans attack the Allies rather than doing Kursk.

    If Turkey joins in 1943, then a Balkans-from-Turkey campaign joins reinforcing Italy, invading southern France and invading northern France as strategic options. I don't think it's a worse option than Italy, but it probably will not be allowed to distract from Overlord.

    If Turkey joins in 1944, after Overlord, then it's a sideshow. Interesting political affects after the war, if the Turks help liberate the Greeks.
     
  5. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Granted, this is part of me exploring an earlier WI and while fleshing it out, I learned about the Refah Tragedy. I'm not going to give much details though I will say it will definitely push Turkey into the Allies' camp earlier and the Germans are already in not good conditions.

    While the Turk government was definitely not quite nice as I read, here, things are here to where the Turks are not going to be able to abide by neutrality. But yeah, I figure Rumanian would be Turkey's main target since it would cripple the Germans.
     
  6. GorillaTheater Well-Known Member

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    Turkish infantry is very tough and capable, but I don't think the Turks had much in the way of transport at the time, and it's a long walk to Bucharest.
     
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  7. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    The Germans also know this, so you are going to see several Panzer corps head into the Bulgaria. While I agree Turkish infantry is very tough and capable, either you have enough anti-tank and tank reserves to stop Panzers, or you don't. And if you don't then you last maybe 48 hours and are broken through.

    The other thing to think about is what US and British air units get moved into Turkey, and what ground units are moved from the Italian campaign (personally, I'd do the Siciliy, Corsica and Sardiania invasions and then switch everything else into Turkey).
     
  8. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    All right that's helpful! What could be the most impact Turkey could have on an earlier point in the war (assuming best case scenario for them, especially given the Germans are already in deep crud by the time they enter.)
     
  9. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Like, assume the Germans and Italians were not able to reinforce Bulgaria nor Romania.
     
  10. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    I don't know about the real world, but on the game board this opening can suck the Allied player into the mountains and less robust transportation structure of the Balkans.
     
  11. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    That's ASB. The Germans are going to defend Rumania.
     
  12. Ian_W Well-Known Member

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    That was a major reasons the Americans were extremely dubious about Churchill's Balkan adventures. They knew the mechanised Allied forces needed the good roads of France.
     
  13. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    The entire infrastructure in NW Europe favored the Allies, from the numerous modern ports, the canals, the railroads, the automotive roads, the industry that supported all that, and the skilled labor pool to run it. While some of the latter were grumpy anti semetic fascists, the bulk were pro Allied and ready assist in getting that transportation system running.
     
  14. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    Let's just say that their forces have taken a beating for other reasons and said reasons have lead to Barbarossa delayed for approx a year.
     
  15. CountDVB Dual Emperor of the Aztech and Maychanical Empires

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    All righty though how would that make an influence/impact.

    Just what could be the biggest impact Turkey could make? Could they take Bulgaria and or Romania or at least occupy it to keep it out of the Red Army? Would it be only partially?
     
  16. Carl Schwamberger Well-Known Member

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    Again it depends on exactly when this occurs. Best case in my view of combat operations, would be escorted bomber raids on the Rumanian industry, and the Danube river traffic. Economically there would a the cut off of Chromium and other minerals from Turkey. It also reduces Axis contact with Persia, Afganistan, ect... Turkish soldiers on the Danube or wherever requires building the necessary offensive capability in Thrace. Weather its Brit or uS soldiers, or sending the equipment to the Turks it takes time. OTL it took the better par tot a year to send the French in Algeria the equipment & other material for ten infantry and armored divisions, plus several fighter and bomber wings. It might take that long to reequip nd retrain a dozen Turkish divisions and corps/army support groups.
     
  17. Michele Well-Known Member

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    On the other hand, you seem to be proposing a Panzer offensive across multiple fortification lines and street fighting in Istanbul, with supply lines based on the Balkan infrastructures? If the Turks don't surrender, then across the sea and into the Anatolian road-poor hills?

    One also has to wonder from what front the Germans would withdraw

     
  18. Dementor Well-Known Member

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    Turkish participation on the side of the Allies would guarantee Bulgaria fighting with the Axis until the end. Considering the pitiful conditions of the Turkish army at the time, it's more than likely that Bulgaria is in the war until it manages to surrender to the Soviets.

    What multiple fortification lines? Eastern Thrace is an ideal route for a tank invasion and the Bosporus is not a significant obstacle. Istanbul is thus relatively easy to cut off. As for the bad roads in Anatolia, they would also hurt resupply efforts by the Allies.

    Turkey would not join the war in 1941 since their army was poorly armed and Allied support would be at best dubious. Even 1943 is unlikely, considering how the Allies could not even prevent the German capture of the Dodecanese islands.
     
  19. Minuteman Well-Known Member

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    It will be a great propaganda tool for the Nazis to use in the Balkans. They will say that the Allies are planning on rebuilding the Ottoman Empire, and it could dampen anti-fascist resistance efforts in that area.
     
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  20. wiking Well-Known Member

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    I highly doubt they would. They tried to stay out of the war as hard as possible because of how militarily weak they were and there was no way the Allies could have helped them enough to make it worth their while, especially when the greatest threat to them was the USSR, not Nazi Germany.

    Ultimately it would have required the Allies to ally with Turkey pre-WW2 and supply her with a lot of arms to make her able to actually be able to stand up to the Nazis in battle. By 1941 it was FAR too late for that, so Turkey decided to focus on self preservation.

    The sale of chromium was contingent on the sale of the latest German military equipment to Turkey, which actually materially deprived them of some of their best fighter planes at the critical moment in the war in 1943 and then they only got a small amount of chromium due to being unable to meet the full demands of Turkey. Meanwhile the Allies had really dropped the ball in their economic deals with Turkey, who resisted until 1943 selling Chromium to Germany.

    There is an entire thesis written on the subject of just Turkish Chromium sales during ww2, it is quite long considering the niche of the subject:
    https://d-nb.info/994443129/34