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Third Army (Turkey)
Country Turkey
Service history
Active October 1923-present
Size Field Army
Part of Turkish Army
Patron Citizens of the Republic of Turkey
Battles Sheikh Said rebellion
Ararat rebellion
Commanders Yalçın AtamanCevat Çobanlı (1923-1924)
Kâzım İnanç (1925)
İzzettin Çalışlar (1925-1933)
Ali Sait Akbaytoğan (1933-1935)
Kâzım Orbay (1935-1943)
Mustafa Muğlalı (1943-1945)
Sabit Noyan (1945-1946)
Kurtcebe Noyan (1946-1948)

The Turkish Third Army is a field army of the Turkish Army and is the country's largest army[citation needed].

It traces its origins to 1923, but further back, the Ninth Army Troops Inspectorate was redesignated the Third Army Troops Inspectorate on 15 June 1919. Modern Turkish corps are referred to in TGS literature in Arabic (1st) numerals. It is not clear when the change occurred. An arbitrary date of 1945 has been chosen as the point at which to start referring to corps in Arabic numerals.

In the days of the Soviet Union the Third Army was stationed on the Caucasus border to counter any Soviet attack by the Transcaucasus Military District. In 1973 the Army, with headquarters at Erzincan, had the 8th Corps at Elâzığ (including the 12th Infantry Division, today 12th Mechanised Infantry Brigade at Ağrı[1]), the 9th Corps at Erzurum (including 9th Infantry Division at Sarıkamış (which was active to at least 1996), and the 11th Corps at Trabzon. 11th Corps has now been moved to North Cyprus.

When the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union broke up the General Staff decided to send 120,000 men of the Third Army to the border with Iraq. This was done in order to increase readiness against any possible crisis in the area (such as during Persian Gulf War and Iraqi War). Most of the armored, mechanized, and commando brigades are located in the central region in order to act rapidly into any scenario around Turkey's borders.[2]

Today the Army patrols the borders with Armenia and Georgia. Some 300 men from the Third Army were sent to serve alongside the United Nations troops in Somalia (UNITAF/UNOSOM II).

A Russian source in 2007 gave the following details on the army:[3]

'..the 3rd Field Army, consist[s] of 8th and 9th Army Corps, 48th Separate Infantry Brigade, 4th Separate Armoured Brigade.

'..9th Army Corps, which has in its composition: the 3rd infantry division, 7th, 14th, 25th separate mechanized brigade, separate mechanized infantry battalion, a separate tank battalion, deployed in the area Argadan, Kagysman, Erzurum, along the Turkish-Georgian and Armenian-Turkish border. 8th Army Corps has in its composition: 10th separate infantry brigade, 1st, 12th (Agridisambiguation needed), 34th, 42nd Mechanized Brigades, 9th Separate Armored Brigade and 151st Artillery Regiment IRGC (Iranian Revolutionary Guard), located along the Turkish-Iranian border.'

Order of Battle, 1941Edit

In June 1941, the Third Army was organized as follows:[4]

External linksEdit

  1. HQ ARRC - Journal - December 2002
  2. [1]
  3. Балансируя между войной и миром (Russian)
  4. Mete Tunçay, "İkinci Dünya Savaşı'nın Başlarında (1939-1941) Türk Ordusu", Tarih ve Toplum, S. 35, Kasım 1986, p. 41. (Turkish)

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