Ottoman Machine Gunners in Gaza, 1917
Ottoman troops take up positions against the advancing British and their Arab allies in Gaza, 1917. Despite insurmountable short comings in logistics, supply and weaponry, the Ottoman Empire put up a good fight against the allied powers, even scoring some impressive victories.
Pictured below is a closeup of the machine gun crew. Note the heavy belt fed machine gun, which would have been extremely difficult to transport especially in the heat and terrain of the Middle East.
Close up pf the machine gun
The Ottomans were able to hold the front in Sinai and Palestine until near the end of the war, when their resistance collapsed and the British entered Jerusalem.
Ottoman Gun Crew
This photograph (taken circa 1914) shows an Ottoman gun crew loading a cannon, somewhere on the Caucasus front with Russia. The artillery piece is fairly small, probably a mountain gun, designed for transport over rough terrain.
The Ottoman Empire entered the war on the side of Germany and Austria and soon learned that it was a colossally stupid decision. Despite lacking lacking heavy industry and being without a modern transportation network, and ruling over a number of rebellious and discontented ethnic groups, the dying Ottoman Empire voluntarily went to war with all of the Super Powers of the day and was fighting on multiple fronts, a task which would have sapped the strength of even a major power.
Ottoman troops were fighting in Egypt (later pushed back into Palestine), in Gallipoli, against Romania and Greece, against Britain in Iraq, and against the Russian Empire in the Caucasus. Despite the heavy odds against it, the Ottomans actually took the offensive in many areas, including the Caucasus region. However even the otherwise hapless Imperial Russian Army was able to push back the Ottomans and to hold them at bay even until the Russian collapse following the Communist Revolution.
Canadian Cavalry advances on the Arras-Cambrai road. Advance East of Arras. Sept. 1918, during the Battle of Arras.
An American gunner sights his gun on the Western front. The gun is a 158 mm howitzer equipped with caterpillar like treads for transportation over the rough terrain that existed at the front. Normal wheeled artillery would get bogged down in the mud and the bomb craters.
World War 1 American Tank
American World War 1 Tank
The crew of an American World War 1 tank poses next to their machine somewhere in France. It’s interesting to see how big the tank was, which meant that it had a very high silhouette and center of gravity. These design flaws meant that the tank would be unstable and liable to tip over, and also meant that it would make an easier target for enemy gunners. Modern tanks, and even tanks from world war 2 adopted a low profile whihc made them more stable and harder to hit. It also allowed them to use the terrain for cover. This lumbering beast, on the other hand would have been visible from a great distance.
The configuration of the tank’s armament is also unconventional and represents an evolutionary dead end. Unlike modern tanks, this one has its guns mounted on side turrets which cannot be rotated 360 degrees, limiting its offensive capabilities.
In addition to the officers and men standing next to the tank, closeups of the picture reveal other men inside the tank peering out from port holes and hatches.
Note the smiling man peering out from the gun port. The gap which allowed the gun to swivel also allowed enemy bullets to potentially come through.
A closeup of the front of the tank. A soldier with a gun and bayonet is leaning out of the front hatch.