Edward J. Erickson is Professor of Military History at the Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University, USA. He retired from the US army as a lieutenant colonel and served in artillery and general staff assignments in the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. He is widely recognized as one of the foremost experts on the Ottoman Army during the First World War. Some of his publications include Ordered To Die, A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War; Defeat in Detail, The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912-1913; Ottoman Army Effectiveness in WW1, A Comparative Study; Gallipoli and the Middle East 1914-1918; and Gallipoli, The Ottoman Campaign, and A Military History of the Ottomans, from Osman to Ataturk (co-authored).
Written at the strategic and operational levels, this study frames the Turkish military contributions in a unitary manner by establishing linkages between campaigns and theaters. It also contains the first detailed discussion of Ottoman operations in Galicia, Romania, and Macedonia. Erickson provides a wealth of information on Ottoman Army organization, deployments, strategy, and staff procedures. He examines with particular attention the army's role in the Armenian deportations and the intelligence available to the Turks in 1914 and 1915. Appendixes include biographies of important commanders, the efforts of the Ottoman Air Force, Ottoman casualties, as well as a wartime chronology.
The Ottoman Empire fought the Balkan Wars of 1912-1913 against the joint forces of Bulgaria, Greece, Montenegro, and Serbia--and was decisively defeated. The Ottoman Army is frequently depicted as a mob of poorly clad, faceless Turks inept in their attempts to fight a modern war. Yet by 1912, the Ottoman Army, which was constructed on the German model, was in many ways more advanced than certain European armies.