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News from a wargamer with a special interest in the military history of the Balkans. It mainly covers my current reading and wargaming projects. For more detail you can visit the web sites I edit - Balkan Military History and Glasgow & District Wargaming Society. Or follow me on Twitter @Balkan_Dave
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Tuesday 29 August 2023

Turkey and the Second World War - A Wargamers Guide

In the first draft of my book, Chasing the Soft Underbelly: Turkey and the Second World War (Helion 2023), I wrote an appendix on wargaming the actual and potential campaigns in the book. However, space precluded its inclusion in the book; in any case, I felt it didn’t do the subject justice. For that reason, I have written a booklet to supplement the detailed history in the book.

This booklet offers a new army and campaigns for Second World War gamers looking for something different. We all love the Western Desert, the Steppes of Russia or the Normandy bocage, but there is another world out there to embrace!

It explains why and how Turkey was involved in the Second World War. How the armed forces were organised, and what you need to model them on the tabletop. The vehicles, tanks, artillery and aircraft come straight out of the lists for the main combatants. Infantry requires a little effort, but this can be done relatively cheaply, particularly in smaller scales. The Turks could have fought most belligerents, so opponents will already be in the collections of many gamers. Germans can invade Turkey during Operation Gertrud, and Russians can do the same from the north at Batumi. These are both actual plans, prepared but not delivered. However, I also indulge in a bit of alternative history, which is the wargamers licence.

The organisation and doctrine of the Turkish armed forces are outlined, along with army lists for some of the most popular WW2 rules. There are eleven scenarios to get you started, with maps and illustrations from my collection. Turkey’s strategic position offers battles in European Thrace, the Caucasus mountains, or the sands of the Middle East. Something for everyone. That includes naval and air warfare scenarios.

Each of the eleven scenarios gives the historical background, the orders of battle, objectives and a tabletop map. I conclude each scenario with an analysis of what might have happened.

This is from the Operation Hercules scenario - the invasion of Rhodes.

When writing history books, there are legitimate constraints when you stretch away from actual events. So, I enjoyed the freedom writing this booklet gives. It is a good value (just a fiver) PDF download because I accept this is a niche interest, and in full colour, it would be prohibitively expensive to do a print version. 

This is the contents page, and you can get a copy here.

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