JesseM88, on 22 February 2012 - 04:23 PM, said:
Did this situation with the artillery ever get any better? I'm pretty sure the only active combat duty Ataturk had during the War of Independence (other than official C in C) was commanding an artillery unit. The Nationalist leaders had stock-piled massive amounts of arms and ammunition throughout 1918-1920 (roughly), so it would be a shame to think that most of the shells were effectively useless.
In 1915 the Germans took over Turkish armamemts production, which was then managed by a German naval captain who was headed for military prison for the manner in which he lost his ship in the North Sea, but was instead sent to Turkey as a naval gunnery expert. (Capt. Peiper, I believe.) The Germans also sent about 1500 military and civilian experts, tool-makers, skilled workers, etc. But there was almost no physical connection to Austria and German, due to the Balkans situation. They could not make fuzes that would reliably explode, and several desperate measures were considered. (Do you know that a great deal of UK shell in WW I used a Krupp fuze design, licensed before the war, and about 1925 Krupp was able to convince the Brits to pay the license fees, but I have to add that they badly cheated Krupp, claiming a rediculously low number of shells fired. What I am getting at is that shell fuze design is very tricky.
In November 1915 two Austrian batteries appeared at Gallipoli (the rail lines were not fully restored, but the guns and good shell were able to get thru with a difficult rail - Danube shipping - Bulgarian rail - Turkish rail - 100 mile road trip route.) Serb rail sabotage was corrected by about March 1916, and thru traffic was restored. Germany planned to pull out about six Turkish divisions and equip and train them as shock divisions, and bring in 20 heavy batteries and a lot of shell, and would probably have pushed the Allies off Gallipoli in Spring 1916, so it is just as well that the Allies left when they did.
So starting in Spring 1916 the Turkish artillery situation must have been better. The Turks ordered 50 batteries of artillery in 1916, some heavy, including some batteries of the famed Skoda 30.5 cm Motor Mortar, but the latter were not delivered, but there were a few batteries of the Austrian 24 cm Motor Mortars and possibly the 30.5 cm also detailed to the Turks for the rest of the war. One battery of motorized 24 cm reached Gallipoli, and my father saw it in action at ANZAC, he thought that it was fine, indeed. There is an example of the 30.5 cm gun at Fortress Kalamagden at Belgrade, but I don't know its history and how it got there.
I don't know how the Turks would have stockpiled massive amounts of weapons in 1918-1920. (But I am not expert on this period, but somewhat knowledgable.) They must have been broke, and no one would tell them the time of day, never mind sell them arms. My father did a bit of gun-running to Turkey in 1922, but just a bit of small arms; he was happy to help them.