Topic: Tk - Bks - Air Force
The German Ottoman Air Force in the Sinai and Palestine
The following sections about the history of the Ottoman-German Airforce in the Sinai and Palestin has been obtained from the self published work by Ole Nikolajsen called Ottoman Aviation 1911 - 1919. The commentary in this thread is derived specifically from Chapter 8 of that work called: Pasha and Yildirim, the Palestine Front, 1915 to 1918. The text has been edited to remove errors and adjust the language to make it readable for an English speaking audience.
Ole Nikolajsen, Ottoman Aviation 1911 – 1919.
Chapter 8, Pasha and Yildirim, the Palestine Front, 1915 to 1918
Note regarding the text provided by Ole Nikolajsen.
In its original format, Nikolajsen is difficult to read. This is because the author has written in English, a language he understands well but his turn of phrase is at times more in keeping with his native tongue than English.
In addition to a language issue, there is also some historical commentary that needs to be taken with caution. When Nikolajsen strays from his core subject, the quality deteriorates drastically.
One example is found on p. 177 where the original text states:
"After stubborn fighting the oasis was taken on the 17th of August but at this crucial time a British encouraged Arab uprising took place. Most of the Arab regiments constituting the main force of the Turkish column defected to the British side."
My note follows with a qualifier:
[Editor’s note: This paragraph has been left as it was in the original manuscript. The Battle of Romani was fought from 4-6 August while the Battle of Bir el Abd occurred on 9 August after which the Canal invasion force retreated back to El Arish leaving a rear guard at Bir el Mazar.]
I did not pass comment on the note regarding the defection of the Arab Regiments. As a judgement it is most unfair. Members of the Arab Regiments within the Ottoman army fought well as a rule and died in great numbers for a cause in which they had little sympathy under Anatolian officers who despised them. At Romani, this judgement is not supported by the facts. However, the transcription of the book is not the place to debate that point. It is for another place altogether.
Again, Nikolajsen records two Pfalz's being downed on 24 August 1918 but I have credible eye witness accounts that say 30 August.
For the reader, caution is advised in accepting certain historical parts of the commentary without further study.
Ole Nikolajsen's "Ottoman Aviation 1911 - 1919" is self published. I am informed that the text was examined by a native English speaking journalist. The level of error within the text indicates that the editor possibly was a poor choice.
The information contained in it regarding the German and Ottoman issues is priceless as Ole Nikolajsen has undertaken much work with the Turkish scholar Bülent Yilmazer. While the current text is solely the work of Nikolajsen, the influence of Yilmazer is strong throughout the content.
To present Ole Nikolajsen's work in the best possible light, I have edited the text so that it reads reasonably well for a native English audience without altering the primary text too much. The balancing act is difficult as the temptation is to redraft whole swathes of paragraphs. However, I have avoided that for the sake of minimalist editing.
In spite of these qualifications, Nikolajsen's work is original and ground breaking and thus should be seriously studied by students of this arena of the Great War conflict. The presentation of this valuable work is done in an effort to ensure Nikolajsen is rightly acknowledged for his scholarship, labour in presenting such a body of knowledge and generosity of spirit to make it available.
An updated version of the complete and updated book "TURKISH MILITARY AIRCRAFT SINCE 1912" and other similar volumes may be obtained from Ole Nikolajsen through his website at:
Additional Files from Ole Nikolajsen
Citation: The German Ottoman Air Force