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Photo question: A german-turkish soldier ?

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Got this photo this morning on a fleamarket.

I find it a bit strange.

The soldier in the middle is wearing a Fez, the order of the turkish-star, ribbon for IC ?? and a german belt-buckle.

And even more strange is, that the names on the back would tell us that he is german or austrian.

1 = Papa ( the daddy of somebody )

2 = Onkel Jogl ( uncle Jogl - Jogl is a nick-name for Jakob )

3 = Onkel Toni

Onkel Toni is wearing a badge on his cap.

Here are the pics:




The photo was taken at Penzberg - Bavaria.

As always - any comments are welcome.

Kind regards


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The German advisors, both officers and NCO wore Turkish uniforms. I also have a photo of four men dressed in Turk uniforms, who look very German to me. They also have the bursting bomb insignia on the collar. I am not sure if this is Turk insignia or something to identify the soldiers as Germans or advisors.

The "tinnie" on the Feldm?tze is not one of the normally found Bavarian divisional types. Chances are it is an Austrian badge or some currently unknown German badge. It is interesting to see the Bavarian Kennzeichenborte on the collar of a M10/15 tunic, considering that the braid did not appear until the introduction of the Bavarian Bluse in March of 1916.


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The flaming bomb is for fortress/coastal artillery. I've never seen a German NCO in a complete Turkish uniform like this-- usually they just swapped headgear.

He appears to be wearing the Turkish shoulder straps of a Chaoush-- the equivalent (I think) of the Imperial German army rank (I am not translating this into English) of "Sergeant."

It looks to me from the tone that his buttonhole ribbon is for the Turkish War Medal star and he is wearing BOTH at the same time improperly.

Here is a photo from Marine-Zahlmeister B?ning's album of an officer wearing the same Turkish uniform (2nd left in the back row, B?ning 3rd left next to him) aboard SMS Goeben 1915/16:

Although the detail on your photo is too blurry to identify the precise type of "TH," Robert-- what will immediately get us Endless Variety nuts' attention is the sight of the tip of the vertical pin projecting below the center of his star. That is NOT one of the Turkish issued pieces, or the usual BB&Co made one.

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Here is the photo that I was refering to. Seeing these men with rifles and infantry style ammunition pouches makes me wonder if they really are coastal artillery. Is there some reference that can be referenced to verify what the meaning of this collar insignia is?


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Thanks so far for the explanations. I didn't know about german military advisors for the turkish army.

The photo came with a couple of other photos, all from the same family. I think You should see the rest too.

This one shows Uncle Toni and Uncle Jogl, a few years before the war, they look a bit younger:


Next one shows "Papa" again, the soldier sitting far left:


Now another photo of Uncle Toni, he died after the war of cancer:


And yet another photo of Uncle Toni:


Now, there are several group photos, some I believe are made after the war, around 1919 ??


Most of these men are wearing Edelweiss on their caps, also note the MG-Gunners badge over the armband:




I also noticed, that the upper cocades were removed.

Papa is on that photo of a Machine-Gunners unit. I think that photo was made at Munich, the barracks in the back look very familiar to me


And the last one, Machine-Gunners at a railway station. These could be Freikorps soldiers, they are wearing armbands without any inscription, but maybe with a badge, the photo is on "structured" paper which makes the details almost disappear:


Kind regards


Edited by Robert Noss
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A few comments. No one seems to have mentioned that Onkel Jogl is not only wearing a curious uniform (probably not curious to a Turk) and a Turkish cap, but also the so-called "Gallipoli Star". While various German officers received these for service or situations outside of Turkey, an EM would usually get it for service in Turkey.

It is correct that many Germans serving in Turkey simply adopted a fez and retained their German uniforms; for example the crews of the Goeben and the Breslau. Billed caps have a bad connotation in the Turkey of the period, I believe that there is even a cultural association with desertion to the enemy, so it was not just a costume question. In fact Germany supplied the Turkish Army with a limited number of steel helmets, and they went to the trouble of making them without the slight front lip. A second opinion has it that the lack of a bill or rim allows proper Muslim prayer, but I suspect that the first explaination may be correct.

There were Austrians at Gallipoli as well as Germans; in November 1915 the Austrians sent a battery of 15 cm howitzers and a battery of 24 cm mortars to Gallipoli. My father, who served there as a German volunteer Pionier, saw the 24 cm guns in the area of the ANZAC bridgehead. Perhaps the uniform is Austro-Hungarian. The Germans, for reasons of secrecy, called their 30.5 cm mortar batteries (very similar to the 24 cm mortars) coastal defense batteries, while they really were designed to smash the Belgian, French, and Russian fortresses. My grand-father worked with these guns in Belgium and Russia as the Id of the Generalkommando of III. Reservekorps.

Bob Lembke

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Sorry, I ran my mouth before I saw the photos, which appeared later. People did notice the "Gallipoli star". It is possible that different members of the same south German family could have served in the Bavarian and A-H Armies. Note from the caps of the German troops, the lighter Bavarian cockade (white-light blue), lighter in overall color than the black-white Prussian cockade most German troops wore.

It would be key to precisely nail down the uniform worn by Onkel Jogl. I am neither expert in uniforms or the A-H Army. Can Glenn J. ride to the rescue?

Bob Lembke

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Good. We have nailed down something else. Chip knows a great deal about uniforms; I am fairly ignorant in the area. So Onkel Jogl almost certainly served in Turkey. I am currently reading a book by an A-H Feldmarshal-Leutnant (book is elsewhere, long name, sort of Polish, starting with Pom-------), who served in Turkey, and from thumbing thru the rest of the book and peering at the photos, quite a few A-H soldiers served in Turkey after Gallipoli, with truck columns, etc., as well as Germans. But the odds are that he was a German soldier. Did German or Austrian EM who served in Turkey but later than Gallipoli also get the "Gallipoli Star"? As I said, officers who never visited Turkey did, perhaps for interacting with high-ranking Turkish officers visiting Germany.

Bob Lembke

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Joseph Pomiankowski, Feldmarschallleutnant, from 1909 to 1918 in turkey, from 1914/15 on austrian-hungarian Milit?rbevollm?chtigter.

Yes EM, who served in imperial tureky got the Iron Crescent after 1915 aswell. quiet often BTW as the iron crescent was the lowest turkish decoration


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  • 4 weeks later...

Dear All,

Sorry I saw the threat a bit late. And here are some bids and pieces from my side.

The collar sign (brusting shell) was the branch insignia of the Ottoman fortress/heavy artillery branch.

The guy is cretainly wearing an Ottoman NCO summer outfit. According to rank tab I can say he is Onbaşı (literally corporal).

The Fez is not a military issue one but a civilian. As you know after 1913 Enveriyye (or Kabalak) replaced Fez.


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I suppose that it's too unlikey, but the visible part of that additional cap badge resembles the cap badge of the 5th Bn City of London Regiment - the London Rifle Brigade, as worn at that time.

For what it's worth, here's a link to an illustration (I'm not near my scanner at the moment & so can't scan an example of the badge) - 2nd one down:


Edited by leigh kitchen
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