WESTERN FRONT AIRCRAFT SQUADRONS IN THE TURKISH WAR OF INDEPENDENCE
Keywords: Aircraft Divisions, Eagle Detachment, Fazil Bey, National Struggle, Western Front.
After the “Battles of Kütahya-Eskişehir”, the Turkish Army gathered all its troops on a 100-kilometer-wide front line to the east of the Sakarya River as of 25 July 1921, for a pitched battle that could have a definitive result by the order of Mustafa Kemal Pasha. Altough this order was a strategic decision for a pitched battle with a decisive result, the withdrawal of the army caused a great morale collapse in the country and in the parliament. The Turkish Grand National Assembly accepted the Commander-in-Chief Law on 5 August 1921 and gave the duty of “Commander-in-Chief” to Mustafa Kemal. During the Sakarya Battle, the Front Aircraft Company deployed in Malıköy under the command of Pilot Captain Fazıl Bey (Martyr Major), the Commander of the Kartal Detachment, from the beginning to the end of the war, provided information on the enemy’s approach/withdrawal directions, concentrations, and assembly areas during the flights it made with its two existing aircraft, provided important support to the commanders and troops carrying out the land operation by transporting them to the front, and provided important services with the casualties they caused by bombing the Greek forces as much as possible during their flights.
The activities of the Front Aircraft Company, which moved according to the situation of the ground troops during the period until the victory, had an important place in the Western Front. In this article; it is aimed to reveal the unknown aspects of Turkish aviation activities, which provided aerial support to the ground troops on the Western Front during the National Struggle and had a significant impact on the great victory, and to reveal the sacrifies of our heroic aviators. It has been tried to be explained in the light of existing sources especially ATASE Archive documents.