Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War

Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War

Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War

Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War


The first general history in English of the Ottoman Army in the First World War, Ordered to Die is based on newly available Turkish archival and official sources. Outnumbered and outgunned, the Ottoman Army performed astonishingly well in the field and managed to keep fighting until the end of the war, long after many other armies had quit the field. It fought a multi-front war against sophisticated and capable enemies, including Great Britain, France, and Russia. Erickson challenges conventional thinking about Ottoman war aims, Ottoman military effectiveness, and the influence of German assistance.

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.


Lieutenant Colonel Ed Erickson's Ordered to Die is the first complete history of the Ottoman Army in the First World War to be attempted outside of Turkey. He has done an admirable job in assembling the complex pieces of this important story.

While we in Turkey may disagree with some of his fine points in this book, especially with the parts of the book which contain some assessments made by some academicians on the Armenian Rebellion, we still think that his account is fairly balanced and objective. I would maintain that Ordered to Die will stand as the definitive work in English on the subject of the Ottoman Army in the First World War for a long time.

The story of the Ottoman Army at war with the allies during the First World War is an incredible story. It is remarkable that the officers and soldiers of the empire managed to win both glorious victories and also to endure savage defeats under such difficult conditions. As the senior officer of the Turkish Armed Forces, I am extremely pleased that balanced and objective discourse on the subject of my nation's military performance during the First World War is emerging. Turkey's performance in the war has not been very well understood outside of Turkey. I hope this book will shed light on a subject long hidden from western eyes.

The Turkish Armed Forces and I are grateful to Lieutenant Colonel Ed Erickson for his hard work and dedication in bringing this story to the English-speaking world.

General Hüseyin Kivrikoğlu Chief of the Turkish General Staff . . .

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.