A Rare World War I Turkish Officer's 'Enveriye' Gallantry Honour Dagger, The WW1 Turkish 'Ottoman' Equivalent of the British Victoria Cross
Awarded for gallantry to German and Turkish officers serving in the Gallipoli Campaign and the Ottoman warfare region against the British, Russians and Australians in WW1. The 8" blade is impressed on one side with the shahada Islamic decoration of faith, and on the other side with the tughra mark of Sultan Mehmed V, star and crescent, Arabic date 1334 (1918), serial number 2039, etc, the hilt and sheath embossed with brass panel pattern retaining traces of red background, the sheath with flat pierced bar for suspension which is also stamped with the serial number. Very good condition: The Enveriye dagger was an honour award for military gallantry bestowed by the Turkish War Minister Enver Pasha on deserving Turkish and German officers serving with the Turkish army between 1914 and 1918, and fewer than 5000 were ever awarded. In British terms it would be the equivalent to the George Cross Medal, in America the Silver Star Medal. The Middle-Eastern theatre of World War I saw action between 29 October 1914 and 30 October 1918. The combatants were, on one side, the Ottoman Empire (including Kurds and some Arab tribes), with some assistance from the other Central Powers; and on the other side, the British (with the help of some Jewish volunteers, Greeks, Assyrians and the majority of the Arabs), the Russians (with the help of Armenians) and the French from among the Allies of World War I. There were five main campaigns: the Sinai and Palestine Campaign, the Mesopotamian Campaign, the Caucasus Campaign, the Persian Campaign, and the Gallipoli Campaign. There were also several minor campaigns: the Senussi Campaign, Arab Campaign, and South Arabia Campaign. The Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers through the secret Ottoman-German Alliance, which was signed on 2 August 1914. The main objective of the Ottoman Empire in the Caucasus was the recovery of its territories that had been lost during the Russo-Turkish War, 1877-78, in particular Artvin, Ardahan, Kars, and the port of Batum. Success in this region would force the Russians to divert troops from the Polish and Galician fronts.
German advisors with the Ottoman armies supported the campaign for this reason. From an economic perspective, the Ottoman, or rather German, strategic goal was to cut off Russian access to the hydrocarbon resources around the Caspian Sea.
Germany established an Intelligence Bureau for the East on the eve of World War I. The bureau was involved in intelligence-gathering and subversive missions to Persia and Egypt, and to Afghanistan, to dismantle the Anglo-Russian Entente. Ottoman War Minister Enver Pasha claimed that if the Russians could be beaten in the key cities of Persia, it could open the way to Azerbaijan, as well as the rest of the Middle East and the Caucasus.
If these nations were to be removed from Western influence, Enver envisioned a cooperation between these newly established Turkic states. Enver's project conflicted with European interests which played out as struggles between several key imperial powers. The Ottomans also threatened Britain's communications with India and the East via the Suez Canal. The Germans hoped to seize the Canal for the Central Powers, or at least to deny the Allies use of the vital shipping route.
We show in the gallery a picture of an officer wearing his [not included for information only]