Of lost monkeys and broken vehicles

I'd bet on republic honestly but maybe a rump Sultan could be useful to the allies like with Japan?
If it came down to this the British would likely prefer a monarchy for what it may be worth.

I doubt there are enough Assyrians for an Assyria that big, i will give kirkuk and Erbil to Kurdistan but I doubt that Assyrian state would be very viable without significant support from a superpower, surrounded by enemies in all sides.
If an Assyria came to being it would need to come to some short accommodation with someone at least, given that it would be entirely unlikely it would have access to the sea on its own. Which is an issue an independent Kurdistan would need to deal with as well one way or another.
That is if the Arabs (Iraq could shrink even more with Kuwait expanding taking Iraq coastline) are on a united front regarding the matter and Iran/Soviets aren’t meddling to keep the states on their borders weak and divided. Assyria state would be pretty useful in counterbalancing the Kurds and Arabs.
The Israelis and Greeks would be likely sympathetic for what little or lot it mught be worth...
I think this timeline has a brighter future for Spain. I am under the impression that the Monarchists will beast the Fascists.
Which monarchists? There are Carlists and Alfonsists the latter group loyal to Alfonso XIII, who has died in February. His son Juan the count of Barcelona, Juan Carlos I father is a "practical" man in OTL at this time he was negotiating with the Germans his return to power in Spain. When the tides of war turned of course he remembered his spport of constitutional rule and how he had server with the Royal Navy...

Thing is that Rize doesn't have any Armenians or Greeks left. However, a great percentage of the region's population - perhaps a majority- are georgian-spaking muslims, the Laz or Lazi. Therefore, I think Rize will be part of the Georgian SSR. Come 2000, we might see a certain mr Erdogandze getting elected as President of Georgia.

The Armenian SSR might find an outlet to the sea at Trabzon. I think in the internal soviet politics the Armenians will be considered as a loyal socialist people that produced the first victories against the invaders. Stalin might want to reward their wartime behavior.
It's Stalin not something to be taken for granted. Then again its Stalin. "Peaceful relocation" is alway in the cards.

I wonder what the goal of the Soviet offensive is here (unless it has been mentioned and I missed it). They must appreciate that they cannot defeat Turkey in one campaign. So is it just a matter of inflicting a heavy defeat on the Turks and pushing them away from the border, thus securing the Soviet Caucuses for the campaign season? Ideally they would want to link up with the Allies but those are either too far away (Greeks) or in retreat and too far away (Everyone else). And when do we get the invasion of Iran that is absolutely bound to happen. Anyway, this TL continues to be one of the most interesting and plausible ones I have ever read.
Per Soviet doctrine to disrupt the enemy for a start. For a more immediate goal Erzurum is an obvious strategic goal and relatively close to the front.

Very, just look at the problems Georgia has with its own minorities ( admittly the Russians are fanning the flames but the embers had to be present ), As for the coast some areas did have Armenian populations pre 1914 , unfortuatly they got purged during the Armenian Genicide. OTL this is what was proposed in 1920 ( image via google )
View attachment 703420
The Armenians were never a very strong presence in the coast there were between 65,000 (64,607 per Karpat) and 73,000 (73,395 according to Armenian patriarchate statistics) Armenians in a population of about 1.2 million. I'm inclined to believe the second number but we are still talking about a pretty low number.

There’s another option for the Russian Pontic coast post-war, one that seems fairly likely to me: ethnic Russians get shipped in and it becomes a southern Kaliningrad. There aren’t all that many Armenians left—not enough to fully repopulate a huge swath of empty, valuable Black Sea land, especially if they have to repopulate the Lake Van area instead. I suppose Stalin being Georgian might be open to making the coast an expansion of the Georgian SSR instead, but given the Kaliningrad parallels I think Russian imports to ensure loyalty is likely.
That would be certainly a possibility. What are the other options the Soviets have? Proclaim Laz, Hemshin and Rum speakers as Georgian, Armenian and Greek respectively, a number on which I'm not inclined to speculate upon will genuinely believe it, after all Islamisation took place as late as 1915-22 and if the Soviet army takes the area and the choice is between becoming refugees, ending up in Kazakhstan or remembering their Greek/Armenian/Georgian roots even more I suspect will remembering said roots. Then you have a few hundred thousand Pontic Greeks in the Soviet Union as well as Armenians outside the SSR and that's about it before resorting to Great Russians...
 
If an Assyria came to being it would need to come to some short accommodation with someone at least, given that it would be entirely unlikely it would have access to the sea on its own. Which is an issue an independent Kurdistan would need to deal with as well one way or another.
The Israelis and Greeks would be likely sympathetic for what little or lot it mught be worth...
The more I think about it the more I think Assyria might be in a relatively good position for being a counterweight for surrounding powers. Weirdly enough their relative best ally might be Iran as a check against a Kurdish state. Plus whatever Greek/Israeli/great power support they could get.

It's Stalin not something to be taken for granted. Then again its Stalin. "Peaceful relocation" is alway in the cards.
Then again why would Armenia need sea access? They are all members of the Glorious Soviet Union yes? This will never change no?
That would be certainly a possibility. What are the other options the Soviets have? Proclaim Laz, Hemshin and Rum speakers as Georgian, Armenian and Greek respectively, a number on which I'm not inclined to speculate upon will genuinely believe it, after all Islamisation took place as late as 1915-22 and if the Soviet army takes the area and the choice is between becoming refugees, ending up in Kazakhstan or remembering their Greek/Armenian/Georgian roots even more I suspect will remembering said roots. Then you have a few hundred thousand Pontic Greeks in the Soviet Union as well as Armenians outside the SSR and that's about it before resorting to Great Russians...
I thought I remembered reading that the Russian Pontic Greeks were 'relocated' to Greece proper back in the twenties?

Maybe an incredibly stable state of Pontic Greeks, 'Pontic Greeks', Russians, Armenians and Georgians end up as a 'Pontus SSR' based out of Trebizond?

What did you think of the map by the way Lascaris? I had fun with it.
 
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It's Stalin not something to be taken for granted. Then again its Stalin. "Peaceful relocation" is alway in the cards.
They cleared out Prussia to make Kaliningrad. I don't think Stalin won't do it if it helps him and his goals.
The Armenians were never a very strong presence in the coast there were between 65,000 (64,607 per Karpat) and 73,000 (73,395 according to Armenian patriarchate statistics) Armenians in a population of about 1.2 million. I'm inclined to believe the second number but we are still talking about a pretty low number.
Is restoring part of the treaty of Sevres' borders a somewhat viable reason? Like the USSR needs any scrap of legitimacy, and them using the treaty of sevres borders as a reason for the SSR's annexations would make sense. Also the fact that the treaty of Sevres is much more important as the Greeks hold Ionia.

I think I'd rather have a united Kurdistan than an additional Assyria as adding Kurdistan will change quite a lot and actual Assyrians are thin on the ground so a lot of population transfers need to occur if the Assyrians want a viable nation, which will make everyone else quite uncomfortable if they want to ally with them. A strong, stable Kurdistan in the veritable chaos in the Middle East would also be nice and they would take over the position of the Turks otl: somewhat secular, quite nationalistic and the most stable Islamic state. A stronger and more secular Iran would also be quite interesting.
 
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I'm thinking that particularly the British on one hand would thanks to the Turkish leaders' foolishness to jump in the Nazi German wagon and decided to attack the Soviet colossus. Which, even if opens a second front and divert part of their enemies' resources and attention from them...
OTOH, the British government back in London (and in a lesser degree the Americans and French, too), I think that they, too, should be worried and cursing this same foolishness that'd have near to unpredictable consequences on the middle to long term...
But, it have allowed to the Soviet Armies to 'come there to stay' in Eastern-Central Anatolia and in Kurdistan... With the unforeseeable geopolitical consequences for the future of TTL Near East and that probably would affect greatly to the traditional British political influence on the region...
Due to the Soviet expansion of their borders or indirectly, due to the more than probable that their political/military influence may be so important that most, if not all of the new nations that might be born as Soviet puppets.
Also, aside from the future/eventual territorial changes in all Anatolia, but specifically in Central Eastern Anatolia and/or in the South Caucasus. Seems, certain that the Greeks and the Western powers plus Iran, would have to be dealt with the prospect of a permanent Soviet presence and stronger political/military influence in Anatolia and the rest of TTL NE...
 
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I'm thinking that particularly the British on one hand would thanks to the Turkish leaders' foolishness to jump in the Nazi German wagon and decided to attack the Soviet colossus. Which, even if opens a second front and divert part of their enemies' resources and attention from them...
OTOH, the British government back in London (and in a lesser degree the Americans and French, too), I think that they, too, should be worried and cursing this same foolishness that'd have near to unpredictable consequences on the middle to long term...
But, it have allowed to the Soviet Armies to 'come there to stay' in Eastern-Central Anatolia and in Kurdistan... With the unforeseeable geopolitical consequences for the future of TTL Near East and that probably would affect greatly to the traditional British political influence on the region...
Due to the Soviet expansion of their borders or indirectly, due to the more than probable that their political/military influence may be so important that most, if not all of the new nations that might be born as Soviet puppets.
Also, aside from the future/eventual territorial changes in all Anatolia, but specifically in Central Eastern Anatolia and/or in the South Caucasus. Seems, certain that the Greeks and the Western powers plus Iran, would have to be dealt with the prospect of a permanent Soviet presence and stronger political/military influence in Anatolia and the rest of TTL NE...
I’d think that Kurdistan is created as a buffer state against the USSR (that fails to work). Kurdistan would more likely be a ‘neutral’ state than a soviet/communist one.
 
I’d think that Kurdistan is created as a buffer state against the USSR (that fails to work). Kurdistan would more likely be a ‘neutral’ state than a soviet/communist one.
Well, I think that it very well could depend on the resistance that might be able to put Turkey and their allied Germans... But, mainly on where will finally came to a stop, ITTL, the advance of the Soviet Armies.
And, as well, aside of the exact limits of the Soviet occupation zone, it, which on IMO, they would depend from the Stalin's possible ambitions/designs for Eastern Anatolia and the rest of the NE. Or, if eventually depending on the military situation, development if would prove to be feasible to reach and either directly or indirectly) to keep some warm water port in southern Anatolia/Lebanon.
And, finally, from whatever agreements that would be done, in relation to the postwar delimitation of the future spheres of influence/occupation zones, ITTL inter-allied summits/conferences.
 
Well, I think that it very well could depend on the resistance that might be able to put Turkey and their allied Germans... But, mainly on where will finally came to a stop, ITTL, the advance of the Soviet Armies.
And, as well, aside of the exact limits of the Soviet occupation zone, it, which on IMO, they would depend from the Stalin's possible ambitions/designs for Eastern Anatolia and the rest of the NE. Or, if eventually depending on the military situation, development if would prove to be feasible to reach and either directly or indirectly) to keep some warm water port in southern Anatolia/Lebanon.
And, finally, from whatever agreements that would be done, in relation to the postwar delimitation of the future spheres of influence/occupation zones, ITTL inter-allied summits/conferences.
We already have T. E. Lawrence landing in Batman so Kurdistan being British/WAllies is more plausible than you think. Since Kurdistan is right above Syria (which is French) they shouldn’t have huge problems with keeping the Kurds fighting against the Turks too. Since the Soviets won’t fight the allies on ally-occupied lands for obvious reasons I think its plausible Kurdistan is allied to the allies after WWII.

T. E. Lawrence landing in Batman to enact vengeance against the Turks? Lol.
 
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For me the biggest loss for Turkey I see isn't the men or even the land; though that may change depending on how far the USSR gets; its the loss of equipment that is going to be hardest to make good. Turkey has spent the last 2 decades or so slowly rebuilding their stockpile of war materiel and it was already being used up faster than it could be replaced. With these losses against the USSR now there is going to be a reckoning sooner rather than later.

Artillery inventory

8 K39 210mm guns
20 K39 150mm guns
8 Skoda M14 150mm howirzer
16 sFH 13 150mm howitzer
21 sFHb 98 150mm howitzer
44 M1910 152mm howitzer
8 150mm Krup mortars
50 Krupp 120mm guns
70 Krupp 120mm howitzers
16 Type 38 107mm guns
56 SK18 105mm guns
6 K14 105mm guns
16 4.5in howitzer
132 Skoda M1916 100mm howitzer
136 leFH 18 105mm howitzer
115 FH 98 & leFH 16 105mm howitzer
8 Krupp 105mm mountain guns
128 GebG 36 75mm mountain guns
232 Bofors M1928 75mm mountain guns
187 Skoda & Krupp 75mm field and mountain guns

Infantry weapons

287,000 Vz24 7.92mm rifles
188,207 Mauser 7.92mm rifles
100,000 Mauser 7.65mm rifles
20,000 Mosin Nagant 7.62mm rifles
3,258 ZB50 & ZB53 MG
600 MG08 MG
17,800 ZB26 LMG
336 MG15 LMG
200 8cm GrW 34 mortars

Anti-Tank guns

124 Pak 36 37mm

AA guns

39 Flak 18 88mm
66 Flak 36 37mm
108 Flak 38 20mm

Tanks

79 Panzer 38(t)
26 LT vz36

Here's the list of equipment available to Turkey as of Feb 1941 per @Lascaris in a previous appendix. Ignoring just wear and tear on the equipment how many of those mountain guns, AT guns, mortars, light AA and Tanks were facing the USSR and are now sitting in a Soviet Depot in Armenia or Georgia. The Turks didn't have a large surplus to begin with to equip their army and their ability to replace even wartime wear and tear is probably barely sufficient if we are being optimistic. I had mentioned before that I expect Turkey to more or less be an infantry only force within a year or two just due to an inability to replace their artillery or armor once Germany starts sucking up everything for the Eastern Front. If this Soviet offensive continues outside of the siege works of Smyrna they may be an infantry only force by the end of 1941.
 
Ignoring just wear and tear on the equipment how many of those mountain guns, AT guns, mortars, light AA and Tanks were facing the USSR and are now sitting in a Soviet Depot in Armenia or Georgia. The Turks didn't have a large surplus to begin with to equip their army and their ability to replace even wartime wear and tear is probably barely sufficient if we are being optimistic. I had mentioned before that I expect Turkey to more or less be an infantry only force within a year or two just due to an inability to replace their artillery or armor once Germany starts sucking up everything for the Eastern Front. If this Soviet offensive continues outside of the siege works of Smyrna they may be an infantry only force by the end of 1941.
And the Greeks and Soviets will have the armour to make the taking of Anatolia a slaughter after 1941. Ittl are the allies more optimistic? Like the whole of Europe was never under German/German allies’ occupation, and Thermopylae is a gold mine of propaganda for the allies. They also have a great base to take back their allies’ lands and be able to attack Italy and deny the sea from the Germans.
 
Speaking of Lawrence, the Kurds and the Assyrians, I wonder what he will say or write.

The thing is that today, the ethnogenesis of the Kurdish people is still unclear, while that of the Assyrians is quite prestigious. As I understand, the prevalent opinon among scholars, archeologists, anthropologists and other kinds of historians, is that the Assyrian of today are indeed descending in continuity from that ancient people that survived the Bronze Age collapse and once ruled an empire over the Middle East from the Nile to the Zagros mountains.

If as a matter of military practicality the Kurds are the ones relevant here ITTL, the Assyrians are the ones with the most potential for the lyrical and romantical tones that once flourished in Greece when people across Europe ran to liberate the home of Pericles, Leonidas, Aristotle... And there, we have Lawrence of Arabia...
I'm probably carried away by his legend, but still, that's a question I'm curious to see answered.
 
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This hypothetical State would resemble more to an Black Sea Soviet Yugoslavia rather than Switzerland...
This simultaneously feels like a terrible disaster in the making and precisely the sort of harebrained scheme I can see Moscow agreeing to. Stalin and his clique would probably see it as a useful way to both establish a very reliant client state (small, surrounded by neighbors with land claims, comprised of many factions to influence, etc) and deport minorities from areas targeted for Russification, while for more humanist elements it might be seen as a noble cause for creating a new state of diverse peoples united in socialism. One wonders what Greece would think of it - both as a concept, in execution, and when/if things fall apart.

That said, I think it is more probable that Trabzon/Pontus gets divided between Georgian and Armenian ASSRs; the claims are after all historical, and the notion of Stalin acting to enlarge Georgia has some merit in my eyes. At the very least I see the Georgians picking up Lazistan; the rest of Pontus could become Armenian or something else, or even to a degree both depending on how one wants to draw lines. Sinope was a Pontic city from ancient times until quite recently...

Regarding Assyria, I can't see it being affixed to Kurdistan postwar unless there is no longer any major Assyrian population to speak of. During the Seyfo, Kurdish militias were one of the most prominent tools of the Ottomans in exterminating the Assyrians. Their record with the (Iraqi) Arabs may not be exceptionally better, but both sets of circumstances have happened in barely twenty years. Really, to me they seem like an ideal candidate for a buffer state between Kurdistan and Iraq, though territorially I assume any Assyria would be little bigger than the Assyrian Triangle centered on Mosul and Nineveh (unless the French feel like giving up part of Syria, which would only further enflame the Kurds living there).

There's always the chance the U.K. simply repeats what they did last time, and promise a state before simply putting them under Iraqi rule, but one would hope they'd learn from such a recent lesson in why that isn't the best idea.
 
This simultaneously feels like a terrible disaster in the making and precisely the sort of harebrained scheme I can see Moscow agreeing to. Stalin and his clique would probably see it as a useful way to both establish a very reliant client state (small, surrounded by neighbors with land claims, comprised of many factions to influence, etc) and deport minorities from areas targeted for Russification, while for more humanist elements it might be seen as a noble cause for creating a new state of diverse peoples united in socialism. One wonders what Greece would think of it - both as a concept, in execution, and when/if things fall apart.

That said, I think it is more probable that Trabzon/Pontus gets divided between Georgian and Armenian ASSRs; the claims are after all historical, and the notion of Stalin acting to enlarge Georgia has some merit in my eyes. At the very least I see the Georgians picking up Lazistan; the rest of Pontus could become Armenian or something else, or even to a degree both depending on how one wants to draw lines. Sinope was a Pontic city from ancient times until quite recently...
I don’t think Georgia would get all of Lazistan. I’d think the Armenians get Trabzon and the coastline east of Trabzon since Armenia really needs the coast. Making the Pontic region a clusterfuck is in no one’s interests, not even Stalin’s. How would gaining Erzurum and Trabzon change Armenia?
Regarding Assyria, I can't see it being affixed to Kurdistan postwar unless there is no longer any major Assyrian population to speak of. During the Seyfo, Kurdish militias were one of the most prominent tools of the Ottomans in exterminating the Assyrians. Their record with the (Iraqi) Arabs may not be exceptionally better, but both sets of circumstances have happened in barely twenty years. Really, to me they seem like an ideal candidate for a buffer state between Kurdistan and Iraq, though territorially I assume any Assyria would be little bigger than the Assyrian Triangle centered on Mosul and Nineveh (unless the French feel like giving up part of Syria, which would only further enflame the Kurds living there).

There's always the chance the U.K. simply repeats what they did last time, and promise a state before simply putting them under Iraqi rule, but one would hope they'd learn from such a recent lesson in why that isn't the best idea.
I’d think having the Assyrians being an autonomous region of Kurdistan would be the best since it would create a stronger Kurdistan. Also I don’t think Assyria would last long due to Kurdistan being an official state in the first place. I’d think that Syria and Iraq would lose land to make a greater Kurdistan as a ‘neutral state’ since Turkey would already be partitioned, with periodic wars breaking out there. Also the fact that Kurdistan would be liberated by the WAllies.
 
I don’t think Georgia would get all of Lazistan. I’d think the Armenians get Trabzon and the coastline east of Trabzon since Armenia really needs the coast. Making the Pontic region a clusterfuck is in no one’s interests, not even Stalin’s. How would gaining Erzurum and Trabzon change Armenia?
I doubt that what's good for Armenia will truly enter the soviet calculus. Why would they buff their puppet state rather than keep them reliant on the Soviet Union for coastal access? Georgia has the relatively better claim anyway, and Stalin might have some fondness for his birth country? The Soviets/Russians are old hands at playing ethnicity's and cultures off against each other to maintain control and this would be right up their alley. The Armenians have better claims southward anyway.

I’d think having the Assyrians being an autonomous region of Kurdistan would be the best since it would create a stronger Kurdistan. Also I don’t think Assyria would last long due to Kurdistan being an official state in the first place. I’d think that Syria and Iraq would lose land to make a greater Kurdistan as a ‘neutral state’ since Turkey would already be partitioned, with periodic wars breaking out there. Also the fact that Kurdistan would be liberated by the WAllies.
I don't see a world where the Assyrians would be content with being subjects to their former executioners. They'd have just revolted from Iraq after all. I also don't see a world where the western allies would make them. Also, unless I've missed something Kurdistan isn't anymore an official state than Assyria is at this point. More, the Assrian revolt has done more so far than the Kurds unless I've misread the story so far. Further, I think your underestimating Assyria's potential position, you really seems to want a strong Kurdistan, and fair enough, but many other players besides Assyria in the region would have quite the problem with that. Namely Syria and Iran, who would be the next target of a Kurdish state if they absorbed/ conquered part/all of a potential Assyria. They'd want something to prop up against a new Kurdistan and Assyria is the optimal choice to do that.

There's probably a few wars in the middle east in the pipeline in any case...

As an aside, I had a thought. Would D-day play out/happen at all like in our timeline with a beachhead already secured in Greece? Would the invasion of Italy launch off from the east instead of the south for that matter?
 
I doubt that what's good for Armenia will truly enter the soviet calculus. Why would they buff their puppet state rather than keep them reliant on the Soviet Union for coastal access? Georgia has the relatively better claim anyway, and Stalin might have some fondness for his birth country? The Soviets/Russians are old hands at playing ethnicity's and cultures off against each other to maintain control and this would be right up their alley. The Armenians have better claims southward anyway.
I’m using the older claims of the treaty of Sevres to make the claim that Armenia should get Trabzon and bits of the coast? I’d think the Soviets will like the extr legitimacy.
I don't see a world where the Assyrians would be content with being subjects to their former executioners. They'd have just revolted from Iraq after all. I also don't see a world where the western allies would make them. Also, unless I've missed something Kurdistan isn't anymore an official state than Assyria is at this point. More, the Assrian revolt has done more so far than the Kurds unless I've misread the story so far. Further, I think your underestimating Assyria's potential position, you really seems to want a strong Kurdistan, and fair enough, but many other players besides Assyria in the region would have quite the problem with that. Namely Syria and Iran, who would be the next target of a Kurdish state if they absorbed/ conquered part/all of a potential Assyria. They'd want something to prop up against a new Kurdistan and Assyria is the optimal choice to do that.

There's probably a few wars in the middle east in the pipeline in any case...

As an aside, I had a thought. Would D-day play out/happen at all like in our timeline with a beachhead already secured in Greece? Would the invasion of Italy launch off from the east instead of the south for that matter?
I favour a bigger more stable Kurdistan since its more interesting and the Kurds otl really got shafted. You can say the same for the Assyrians except that they form an even smaller nation ittl. They'll be subsumed into one of the blocs that represent us/USSR interests and due to the volatile nature of middle East politics. What I'm saying is that it's really hard to be neutral in the middle East.

I'm not sure about the Assyrian revolt? Maybe it's earlier but I only remember the Kurdish rebellion's start? Gotta ask Lascaris for that.

D-Day will be different but I think the endpoint will be largely the same. Maybe d day starts earlier? Also with the axis having a much smaller navy I'd think they would be more cautious, although the Germans didnt deploy the navy otl due to the Wallies decieving the Germans.
 
So, how do you see the non-Turk Muslims of the Pontus (basically the Muslim Greeks, the Hemshin, and the Laz) factor into how the USSR divided the Pontus post-war? I imagine that the Laz-majority areas are part of the Georgian SSR as they're basically Muslim Georgians.
 
So, how do you see the non-Turk Muslims of the Pontus (basically the Muslim Greeks, the Hemshin, and the Laz) factor into how the USSR divided the Pontus post-war? I imagine that the Laz-majority areas are part of the Georgian SSR as they're basically Muslim Georgians.
They'll be kicked out most likely. Otl they slowly assimilated into Turkey, and I think they won't be treated well if they stay in Pontus anyways. So more refugees for Turkey.

PS: the Pontus region will be dominated by the Soviets. There's no way in hell population movements won't occur to create ethnostates.
 
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