Little Mehmet

Mehmetçik- Little Mehmet was an affectionate nickname Turkish people used to refer to their soldiers during the first world war. Analogous to Digger for the Australian or New Zealand soldiers at the time. When the Soviet forces massed on the Georgian border in 1947 (at least, according to Clockwork Goblin in the world of Konflikt 47), Turkish citizens once again looked to Mehmetçik to defend their homeland.

Konflikt 47 and its close cousin Bolt Action is at heart a game of infantry combat. So representing Turkish soldiers will be key to making my home brew K-47 Turkish force a success.

My view is that elite units will have been trained and armed by German liaison units. Modelling wise, using Germans as the base will be the easiest way to reflect this, which is lucky because I have a K-47 starter box in the cupboard, so I think it is time to bust it out.

37500263_2114720725442388_4834906562701033472_nAn obvious thing to do would be to add fezzes. While this might be fun, I also think it could be quite anachronistic as fezzes became to be seen as a symbol of the Ottoman empire and in 1925 were even banned! However, the ban was for the iconic red hat, which the military never really wore. Fezzes were worn, but they tended to be khaki or black. They also came in a startling array of shapes, although this might be because of the ad hoc nature of the Republican army in the early 1920s.

Anyway, all of this gives me a lot of room for artistic license for my fictional  Turkish army, which is good because I friend gave me bag full of Handschar heads (from the Warlord SS plastic set) that I will be able to use. I think officers and maybe NCO can have the more formal fezzes.

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I also have some metal world war one Turks about somewhere. I think these older uniforms will be able to be put to use as second line, garrison troops.

Turkey was involved in the lend lease program. I see no reason in K-47 to overlook this, as both sides courted Turkey,. No British or US tanks were purchased under the scheme (there will be more on Turkish armour in a future post), but they did receive among other items British style helmets. A mix of tommy-dishes might be another way to distinguish the regular and in-experienced troops.

My last thought is that cavalry should be included somehow, and I reckon this box of Perry American civil war cavalry might be just the thing (along with some Warlord second world war bits yet to be determined).

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So, just a lot of ideas today. But I wanted to share some of my thinking.

D.

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7 thoughts on “Little Mehmet

  1. Sounds like you’re really getting into this! Brilliant! Good idea with the Handschar heads – I’d also thought WW2 Croatians, since some wore fezzes, but not sure if anyone does them in 28mm! Another option would be WW1 late-war German infantry or stormtroops wearing steel helmets and puttees, with or without gas masks (some Turkish troops in WW1 and the following war against Greece wore versions of the German steel helmet with or without the front brim modified). Even I’m excited about this project now!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Glad to hear it. There are so many possibilities, I think the challenge modelling wise will be to create a coherent force. My current thinking is that there are three basic types: regular (and some elite) units armed with modern weapons, the little bit of rift-tech available and wearing largely (modern) German uniforms; inexperienced (and regular) garrison and border units who have older equipment and look much more like the war of liberation/first world war (with panzerfausts); and irregulars (inspired by the war of liberation forces and will include the cavalry).

      Liked by 2 people

      • You’ve definitely got a handle on this! All sounds good to me! You’ve even got me thinking that I could add some German-helmeted types into my 20mm Balkan Wars Ottoman army to make an Alternative WW2 force!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Very cool, though based on my knowledge of the Turkish Army, I would expect them to be conscripted with a few (very few) good units. They did not improve much since the Ottoman Empire in WWI. But as it’s a fictional set up more or less, have fun with it!

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    • The Turkish military was indeed a mixed bag. My reading leads me to view the performance of mid-ranking officers and enlisted soldiers was vigorous and effective during the war of liberation (1919-23) and defending Gallipoli. That equipment of all types and the higher command was often lacking is also true (which was particularly evident in Syria and Palestine). I think leavened with German troops and with access to better equipment (as the narrative provides) that Turkish men and women would again rise to defend their homeland. I agree it is not worth getting too worked up about fictions like this, but it is fun to play a bit of what-if.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Hi Dave.

    Dave here. Love the idea.

    Suggest you have a look at some of the Pulp Fiction Range from War and Peace Games. Eureka also have some Russo-Turkish war figures to add in.

    There is also a great range of figures that I have purchased to add into my WW1 East African campaign army from Hinterland Miniatures if you want to add a unit or two of the fairer sex:

    https://hinterlandminiatures.weebly.com/

    Not sure if you are interested but I will post some figures of Turkish gyro copters from my Nokandoo African campaign (mythical scenarios set in late Victorian steam punk times). Also it was amazing how those old “egg” style Impy Guard sentinels fitted right in as well!!!

    Such vivid imaginations. We both really do have to get a life.

    PS The fez rides again.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks for the tips, especially the lead on some female miniatures. Women fought to defend their homeland in 1919-22 and I see no reason why 1947 should be any different. And gyro-copters, yes please!
      And yes, there is some nostalgia caught up in putting a fez or three on the table. Cheers.

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