The Ottoman Army of Islam

Posted: August 5, 2012 in Uncategorized

The Ottoman Army of Islam will be included in the next release.

For more details, some details are available here

The OAOF will be AI driven, Dunsterforce will be part of the Southern Whites, and Reds will share the fight around Baku and Derban.

The OAOF could remain in play until november 1918, Dunsterforce will be removed too at the same time.

The capture of Baku and Derbent will grant players with 1 EPs by turn ( 60% chance). Using VPs would force to give 2 much importance to these 2 towns. A small EP gain will be incentive to fight without altering the real game.

If someone could give me a few more details about the subunits of the 2 Turkish Divisions, it would be a great help. I’ve a copy of a Perry Moore boardgame about the subject, but I don’t trust a lot this designer for historical accuracy ( even if I’m talking here of a designer of boardgames, and not of computer wargames, the former being as their customers well more creditable on the average than the latter).

  1. Baris says:

    It is one of the corps of the Ottoman east army group. But there are doubts they are officially under Ottoman authority at least the commanders.
    it is written as it is formed by 5 divisions and azeri,dagestani volunteer militia. I will dig in OOB if I find anything.

    I guess it will be under green flag. You mean white and red players will gain 1 ep per turn if they capture Baku? Will BAku an open theatre in GP start date?

    • Clovis says:

      1 EP at best (random chance to fire each turn).

      Whole Azerbaîdjan will be playable, after the first turn, until the removal of the Turkish forces between September and november 18, excepted if Red player is controlling Baku (it shouldn’t be often a fulfilled condition. If Southern Whites control Baku, their units will be moved outside the frozen again area. I consider a White victorious side would have had to relinquish effective Baku control to England, eager to master the oil fields.

      They will be under German AI leadership. German AI exists from the start of the game, without units to control. They will bear the Turkish flag.

      Baku will start in the hands of Red player. Southern Whites will have either to capture the city or wait for the putsch described in the Wikipedia article. Red player should have a hope the putsch to not fire, even if I’m yet thinking about the exact schem.

  2. Wargamer says:


    There seems to be a lot of info on the Army in this pdf, besides the text look in the appendices A and F. Baris perhaps can help with appendix F

    • Clovis says:


      Thanks.Exactly what I need, and yet more 244 pages to read 😉

    • Mike says:

      Looking at the PDF linked on p 191, it has info but not entirely clear regarding composition of troops sent August 27. “ On the same day, the 15th Division and a brigade from the 36th Division, moved towards Gence to reinforce the Caucasus-Islam Army. Upon Nuri Pasha’s request for reinforcement, Enver Pasha incrementally sent the 38th and 56th regiments of the 15th infantry division, the artillery units and the 106th and 107th regiments of the 36th Infantry Division to the Caucasus-Islam Army. The 15th and 5th divisions were composed of a total of 11.564 soldiers and 448 officers.” It mentioned the high quality and experience of the 15th.

      P 234ff has a list of staff and line officers down to regimental commanders (not clear as of what date, but the regiments probably are the same) and P 241 has a TOE table that unfortunately is not easily legible but should be invaluable if deciphered in conjunction with the list of commanders.

      ———————–Previously I looked at various things and collected the following

      There are a few articles and some google books access to excerpts from various works. Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War, by Edward J Erickson, seems a key source as is his comparative study of Ottoman Army Effectiveness.

      Erickson is cited for the structure of the Ottoman 9th Army in June 1918 and September 1918. In June the 15th Division was part of the 1st Caucasian Corps (Mirliva Yakup Şevki Pasha), there was an independent cavalry brigade, and the 5th Division (not referred to as 5th Caucasian, but might be the same?) was part of its IV Corps (Mirliva Ali İhsan Pasha).

      In September 1918 the 9th Army no longer had these two divisions, among some other units no longer present.

      Erickson is also cited as to the Ottoman III Corps Order of Battle in Nov 1918 and Jan 1919. At the first date is was the 11th and 24th Divs in Syria. In Jan 19191 it included the 15th Div (at Samsun) comprised of the 9th Inf Rgt, 13th Inf Rgt, and 15th Inf Rgt and the 5th Caucasion Division (at Trabzon) comprised of the 14th Inf Rgt, 45th Inf Rgt and 56th Inf Rgt. The 5th Caucasion and 15th Divisions also appear on the May 1919 OB of the III Corps.

      Assuming continuity of the regular components of these divisions when the irregulars and Azeris mostly joined the Azerbaijani army, even if not all the troops, my guess is these are the Rgt names to use for the two Divs while in Army of Islam service.

      Erickson notes that in August 1918 the Army of Islam staff considered they would need 5,000 fresh troops and several heavy artillery batteries to take Baku, which suggests that they lacked heavy guns. Nonetheless, the attack of the two divisions, 5th Caucasion and Ottoman 15th, took Baku against curmbling defences. The 15th Div later pushed up the Caspian coast successfully to take Derbent and then Petrovsk.

      The Muslim National COrps was formed in late 1917 with the Savage Division Cavalry Rgt from Petrograd as its nucleus. Officers were drawn from the Tsarist army and recruitment focused on Muslims. Arms were obtained by disarming Russian troops. In 1918 it joined with the Ottoman 5hth Div and and other irregulars to form the AOI.

      The Ottoman Army of Islam was under the command of Nuri Pasha. It was formed in Ganja. It included the Ottoman 5th Caucasian and 15th divisions, and the Azerbaijani Muslim Corps under general Ali-Agha Shikhlinski. [ERICKSON: It was two div plus an indep brigade and an indep regiment, which would be the most reliable source.]

      Strength info:
      There were roughly 14,000 Ottoman troops with 500 cavalrymen and 40 pieces of artillery.
      “Conflict and Conquest in the Islamic World” describes the AOI as an Ottoman-Azeri force eventually of 8000 Ottoman Regulars and about 10,000 Azeri and Daghestani irregulars. The Historical Dictionary of Azergbaian says the AOI was 7000 Azeri and Caucasian irregulars and 8000 Ottoman Regulars. When disbanded most Azeri irregulars and some Ottoman regulars joined the Azerbaijani army.
      30% of the newly formed army consisted of Ottoman soldiers, the rest being Azerbaijani forces and volunteers from Dagestan.

      On 27 June – 1 July 1918, in the battle near Goychay, the Army of Islam defeated the Red Army and captured an armored car and its British crew. Interesting.

      • Clovis says:

        Thanks again. 🙂

        ABout the British car captured, the political situation was typical of 1918. Bolsheviks weren’t yet seen by England as enemies ( the same sort of limited cooperation occured around Murmansk at the same period) and the Bolsheviks reacted accordingly, looking for any opportunty. Moreover, the local authorities had a great autonomy and in search of any help, they could pass agreement with Allied at this time. The Czech Legion affair is born in the same context, as Moscow and Allied were negociating about withdrawal of the Legion outside Russia.

        Moreover, even a Cossack leader was at this time working with Baku bolsheviks…

  3. Baris says:

    Thank you Wargamer it is very good document and reading.
    Mike’s comments is also good.

    BAku cammune or baku bolsheviks had Stepan Shahumyan as leader and as an ethnic Armenian, He had to have more sympathy for cossacks than Azeri and AOI:) But Armenians were also divided between Dashnak , mensheviks and I guess first priority of them should be independent Armenia which they used bolsheviks for this purpose. They didn’t coorporate with Musavat so Baku become easy to be captured and influenced by Bolsheviks.

    Capturing British crew and armored car can only be explained as in the wrong place at the wrong time. 🙂

  4. Baris says:

    Of course
    5th infantry divison:
    Total artilery: 33
    Sahra obüs: Field artilery: 5
    Dağ obüs: I think: QF 3.7 inch Mountain Howitzer :28

    Nuri Pasha: Commader in Chief:

    Main force is 5th infantry division under the command of Mürsel .
    Later 15th infantry division joined the battle from Batumi(Georgia) under the command of Süleyman İzzet.
    15th infantry division has field artillery and 10 mountain howitzer.

    I will try to read the notes under the page it is not clear to read.

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