Saturday, May 16, 2009

They Died Upon Their Fur...........

There has been much in the news these days about our allies and countries of the mid east and how important it is to have friends in that part of the world. One country I see mentioned every now and then is Turkey. Most folks discount this country, but I think that it's friendship may come in handy in the future.

I was doing some reading on the Korean War this week and ran across some references to Turkish soldiers in combat. Based on what I have read some of the most effective and aggressive troops in Korea were the Turks. A brigade of 5000 Turks engaged 8 times their numbers of Chinese near Wawon in November 1950. Observers said that these tall, pale eyed men with dark faces in their heavy great coats, wielding their long bayonets refused to fall back. The Turkish officers would take off their hats, tossing them on the ground, marking a spot from which they would not retreat, and being surrounded by the Chinese died "upon their fur" There were others, who all else failing, threw cold steel at their enemies in bayonet charges. Very few of the Turks survived this engagement.

Later, representatives of the American government apologized to the Turkish government over the lost of their soldiers, which was by most accounts due to the incompetence of American officers commanding the forces in the area. The Turks almost couldn't understand what the Americans were talking about. After all, the Turks while perhaps badly used, had come to fight, and the Turks were proud of what their men had done.

Perhaps the Turk of 1950 is different from the Turk of today, but I doubt it. I would say that it might not be a bad idea to keep them as friends and allies of ours.

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