Saturday, January 26, 2013

Seeing Red: Military Intel in Early Republican Turkey and the Soviet Union

Russian Military Schools: for a full-sized version click here   

Just as the Russian and Ottoman Empires had been rivals for centuries, World War I saw the fall of these empires and their replacement with new states represented by the national Republic of Turkey and the Soviet Union. Entitled "Red Army Military Schools (Kızıl ordu harbiye mektepleri)," this map printed by the Turkish military in 1927 displays the locations of military schools and establishments of the new Red Army in Russia and the other Soviet republics such as Azerbaijan and Armenia.

One of the interesting facts about this map is that it was found in the records of the Ottoman/Turkish embassy in Tehran. While the Safavid and Qajars were generally rivals of the Ottomans, relations between these neighbors improved during the late nineteenth century, and under the new government of the Pahlavi dynasty and Reza Shah, Turkey led by Mustafa Kemal Atatürk entered into a new period of friendship and cooperation between the two states in 1926. This early alliance may have included coordination on matters of intelligence such as those found in this map.

Map Key
Soviet Central Asia
Sea of Japan
Baltic Region