At this time the Greek Army had three divisions in the district of Brusa
At this time the Greek Army had three divisions in the district of Brusa, one in the district of Aidin and one each at Ushak and Godos.
The commander of the Western front was able to send two divisions of infantry and Edhem Bey s “Flying Columns” against the Greek force at Godos. He expected by this operation to achieve a brilliant success.
Nevertheless, the General Staff did not agree to this proposal, for the enemy s force combined was stronger than ours. We had not had time as yet to organise and transform our Army. In addition to this, our supply of ammunition necessitated our being very careful.
If we concentrated all our troops on the various fronts we might, perhaps, have been able to put together a superior force and have gained a quick success over the enemy. But the condition of our troops and our lack of preparation would not have enabled us to convert such a success as that ulitmately into a general and complete victory. We should have exhausted all our troops that were of any value and have wasted their strength with no other result than a temporary local success.
If the enemy on his part would have taken up a counter-offensive with all his troops, our defeat would have been certain all along the line of the front. Consequently, the essential duty of both the command at the front and the Government was limited for the moment to reinforcing the front and increasing the organisations of the Army. It was not regarded permissible to let ourselves be guided by con ceptions of a personal and narrow description regarding the Western front, whose fate was a question of life and death.
The Chief of the General Staff insisted on abandoning the idea of an offensive at Godos. As he could not come to an agreement by writing with the officer commanding at the front, he left Angora and went personally to the headquarters of the Western front at Eski-Sehr. As a result of this conversation between Ismet Pasha, Chief of the General Staff, and Ah Fued Pasha, commanding the forces, the departure of the latter with the intention of re-examining the situation on the spot had to be postponed.
A few days later a message from the front informed us that the offensive had been decided upon.
During this delay an enormous amount of propaganda was dis tributed hi the Assembly and everywhere else in favour of the offensive.
Such expressions as the following could be heard everywhere: “The enemy is isolated at Godos. We shall annihilate them there. We shall be very successful and our position will be improved. The Greek Army is ready to retreat.” By using this language it was in tended to show that the offensive was absolutely necessary.
In the end, the commander of the Western front attacked the enemy on the 24 ttL October at Godos with the 6i st and the II th Divi sions and the “Flying Columns.”
After some confused operations, which were carried on without any discipline, without any clear aim or order, we were, as you know, defeated at Godos.
The Greek Army opened an attack on the 25 th October, 1920, at Brusa
To counter this offensive, the Greek Army opened an attack on the 25 th October, 1920, at Brusa. They occupied Yeni Shehr and Ine Gol. They attacked our troops from Ushak in front of the heights of Dumlu Punar, and our troops retired.
Thus again we suffered a general defeat along the entire front.
Four days after the command of the Western front had begun the offensive, the following telegram received from there was read before the Council of Ministers:
Tshawdar Hissar, 27 th October, 1920.
To the Administration of the General Staff.
i. We must compensate for the losses incurred by the troops in
the battle. The battle of Godos, having proved that 300 men in a
battalion is not sufficient, we must raise the actual strength of a battalion to 400 men. As a result of the fighting that has been re ported to you when all the troops had been sent from the depots to the front, I beg you to send me urgently 1,000 men fully trained, armed and equipped, specially selected from the troops at Angora, or, if that is not possible, from the neighbouring localities.
2. The recent operations are responsible for all the clothing and boots of the men having been worn out; they are in rags and are walking barefooted in the snow which fell in the mountainous districts yesterday. As there is nothing to replace these necessaries here, I beg you earnestly to send greatcoats, boots, cotton underclothing, tunics, vests and belts in short, everything that will protect them, in this bad weather; 15,000 of each article.
3. I request that this be communicated to the Ministry of National Defence, to the Administration of the General Staff and the acting command of the front for their information.
Ali Fuad, Commanding on the Western front.
It is natural that we were very much astonished at the contents of this telegram from Ali Fuad, which we read at the moment when the battle of Godos was still going on, and especially the ideas that could have inspired it.
The state of the troops, the number of our forces, the extent of our preparations, the commissariat which was needed to supply the whole country were naturally all well known to the officer command ing at the front three days before this telegram was sent off. Every thing that he required was at his disposal, and yet all these things were supposed to be worn out and used up during the three or so days that the battle lasted! Was it the General Staff who, in spite of many obvious facts, had forced the Western forces to undertake this attack?
After the telegram I have referred to had been read at the Council of Ministers, the following words were written under it: “Read at a meeting of the Council of Ministers. The statements in it have been considered quite unreasonable. The necessary help will naturally be accorded. The reinforcing troops will be drawn from the 3 rd Regiment.”
If there should be a failure it was to be expected that a number of malicious stories would be spread, and this actually occurred when the general situation assumed a tragic appearance after the battle of Godos. Rumours and criticisms, some of them justified and others not, began to circulate. Some people, especially Edhem and his brothers, “the gentlemen of the Flying Columns/ 5 attributed disaster solely to the officer com manding the Western front and to the regular troops. They spread the rumour that they had been deserted in a difficult position, and said that the officer commanding the Army put the blame on them with the object of covering his own mistakes.
The Army maintained and proved that the “Flying Columns” had done nothing at all and that they were incapable of doing anything; that during the battle they had not obeyed orders and that they always kept as far as possible away from danger. Before returning to the point I have just been explaining
I hope you will allow me to refer to a little incident. You know that, follow ing the principle laid down when the Grand National Assembly was opened, the members of the Government who had been called the Executive Council had to be elected directly by the Assembly. This system was carried out until the 4 th November, 1920.
It was only on this day that the Act hitherto in force was amended to this effect:
“Ministers will be elected by a clear majority from among members of the Assembly proposed by the President.”