Ottoman Uniforms
Ottoman Uniforms

WW1 OTTOMAN ARMY OFFICERS UNIFORMS AND FIELD EQUIPMENT

WW1 Turkish Officers' Uniforms

Above - A high quality 1909 general officer's uniform (Turkish National Military Museum), pictured alongside a corrected (the pockets on the original were accidentally miss-aligned and drawn further down the side of the uniform - which is not correct) Turkish army illustration of the officer's jacket pattern. The pockets on these tunics are not standardised, as these could be:

  • Strait edged.
  • Pointed.
  • Tri-pointed.

Above - Displayed in the Turkish National Army Museum, high quality army 1909 general officer's and infantry officer's uniforms. Whereas the red general officer's collar is easy to identify, the dark green collars at this period for the infantry, tended to vary between dark grey, and dark brown colours, which can make it difficult to distinguish these from the Machine Guns Branch of Service (bottle green). 

Turkish 1909 Officer's Equipment Kit

Right - Turkish officer’s personnel equipment kit underwent considerable change in 1909, with the adoption of a brocade belt, or a brown leader version with an officer’s buckle (below).

Right - Represented as well, in this 1916 Ottoman Army dress manual the officer is shown wearing, the following:

  • A pistol holster. This is a Turkish army soft leather version for the Smith & Wesson revolver (a US weapon still very popular in the WW1 Turkish Army).
  • A map case, suspended from the trousers belt (under the jacket), on sabretache straps.
  • The ‘D’-Guard officers’ short sword and its special brown leather frog with a folding attachment loop completed the gear.

Right - Additionally, officers after 1909 adopted a brown leather set of cross-straps (passing diagonally over the right, and left shoulders), not unlike British Sam-Browne equipment or that worn by Russian officers at the same time [1] [2].

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[1] Currently, most model soldiers, such as ‘King&Country’ toy WW1 Turkish soldiers represent the infantry as wearing German –style ‘Y’ harness. This equipment was never worn by Turkish WW1 Soldiers.

[2] In 1920, Turkish officers emulating the British Army, adopted a direct copy of the Sam-Browne supported by a single strap passing diagonally over the right shoulder.

Right - A WW1-wartime officer's buckle.

Right - A WW1-wartime variation of the officer's buckle. Seen in the photograph (above).

1909 Rodenstock Binoculars

Right - Details from a 1909-1914 Rodenstock Binoculars made for the Ottoman Imperial Army.

  • Historically, with the outbreak of war in 1914, Rodenstock's export business collapsed.
  • As can be seen from the maker's details, the Ottoman number '1928' is displayed. This is not a date, but a individual binoculars number, which shows this as binoculars number # 1,928; indicating this was part of a very large order made prior to the outbreak of war in 1914.

1917 Carl Zeiss Jena Binoculars' Case

Above - A contract binoculars case, likely made in Autumn 1917: the DF 8 X 24 (ser. no 801.111), made for the Turkish army in WWI, by CARL ZEISS JENA (with arabic inscriptions on the right bottom plate) [1]. The late (August 1917) order of Turkish army binoculars saw far greater numbers of cases than binoculars being made, as these needed to be modified to use Ottoman numerals etc (as was typical for an military optical equipment made in German for the Turkish army) [2].

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[1] Thomas Mix, Nov. 2005 'Production changes in Zeiss binoculars from 1907 to 1917'.

[2] The picture is correct for a WW1 CARL ZEISS JENA case. However, currently collectors are trading 1930s Turkish binocular cases, as WW1. These typically bear an identical large star crescent (in outline) imprinted on the case top.

Whistles

Turkish Army field whistle: These were issued to officers, and junior officers to signal and issue commands.

Turkish Army field whistle. This shows a makers' stamp:

MNK 2/487

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