I am trying to understand what was the role of the port of Odessa during the war. It was my understanding it was shelled by the turks in 1914 but remained under Russian control through the entire war, acting as a distribution center for supplies to the army and was theatre of clashes in 1919 between white and reds with some international addition to the mix.
Can someone paint a more precise picture with a timeline?
The reason I am asking is I am trying to find out the presence of AH POW in the Odessa area and its role in the repatriation of AH soldiers through Italy in late 1918/early 1919. Any hint on diplomatic missions there?
Any help would be highly appreciated.!
A few things from memory.
I think that the Russians kept a weak army corps throughout the war at Odessa for possible use in a thrust to try to capture Constantanople.
As for repatriation, I know that German soldiers being repatriated from Turkey and the Mid-East at the end of the war by ship thru the Med and on to German ports. In a like vein a reasonable path for an A-H soldier from Odessa and Russian captivity would be by ship thru the Bosporous, and since A-H had lost their ports they might have gone into the Adriatic and to Trieste (now Italy) or Pola (then the new Jugoslavija). Jugoslavija might have been more complicated politically, so an Italian port might have been simpler/safer. Or another Italian Adriatic (Venice?) or West Coast port, like Genoa. Adtiatic would seem more direct.
What do you mean by "diplomatic missions"? Offices? Missions as in survey missions? I think Odessa was largely Russian, might have been an internal tourism spot, lately given to the Ukraine.
I have a general knowledge of matters in that area during the war; ask away if you have other questions. (My father served in the Turkish Army in 1915.)