Asia Korps
The Asia Corps or Asia Korps (German
German language
German is a West Germanic language, related to and classified alongside English and Dutch. With an estimated 90 – 98 million native speakers, German is one of the world's major languages and is the most widely-spoken first language in the European Union....

: Asien-Korps or Levantekorps) was a detachment of the German Army
German Army (German Empire)
The German Army was the name given the combined land forces of the German Empire, also known as the National Army , Imperial Army or Imperial German Army. The term "Deutsches Heer" is also used for the modern German Army, the land component of the German Bundeswehr...

, sent to assist the Ottoman Army
Military of the Ottoman Empire
The history of military of the Ottoman Empire can be divided in five main periods. The foundation era covers the years between 1300 and 1453 , the classical period covers the years between 1451 and 1606 , the reformation period covers the years between 1606 and 1826 ,...

 during World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...


Pasha I

The first German troops despatched to assist the Ottoman Army in 1914 and 1915 were Pioneers, who assisted in the construction of roads in Sinai. In December 1914, a Tropical Medical expedition was sent to work with Ottoman sanitary units in Palestine to combat epidemics of typhoid, typhus
Epidemic typhus is a form of typhus so named because the disease often causes epidemics following wars and natural disasters...

, dysentery
Dysentery is an inflammatory disorder of the intestine, especially of the colon, that results in severe diarrhea containing mucus and/or blood in the faeces with fever and abdominal pain. If left untreated, dysentery can be fatal.There are differences between dysentery and normal bloody diarrhoea...

 and cholera
Cholera is an infection of the small intestine that is caused by the bacterium Vibrio cholerae. The main symptoms are profuse watery diarrhea and vomiting. Transmission occurs primarily by drinking or eating water or food that has been contaminated by the diarrhea of an infected person or the feces...


Once Serbia
Serbia , officially the Republic of Serbia , is a landlocked country located at the crossroads of Central and Southeast Europe, covering the southern part of the Carpathian basin and the central part of the Balkans...

 had been conquered, it became possible to send large quantities of equipment and munitions to the Ottoman Armies via the Danube River and Balkan railways. A detachment of specialist troops and officers, the Asia Korps, was assembled to increase the Ottoman Army's effectiveness in the use of equipment they hitherto lacked. In March 1916, the "Pasha I Expedition" set out for Palestine. The various units of the expedition included:
  • Infantry Battalion 701
  • Infantry support gun
    Infantry support gun
    Infantry support guns are artillery weapons designed and used to increase fire power of infantry units they are intrinsic to, offering immediate tactical response to the needs of the unit's commanding officer. The designs are typically with short low velocity barrels, and light construction...

     sections 701, 702, 703
  • Machine gun
    Machine gun
    A machine gun is a fully automatic mounted or portable firearm, usually designed to fire rounds in quick succession from an ammunition belt or large-capacity magazine, typically at a rate of several hundred rounds per minute....

     company 701
  • Asia Korps Cavalry squadron
  • Pioneer detachment 701
  • Pioneer company 205 (from the Hessian 11th Pioneer Battalion)
  • Flying detachment (Fliegerabteilung) 300 ("Pasha")
  • Mountain Signal detachment 27
  • Survey section 27
  • Medical section

Fortress Railway Construction Company No. 11 and Railway Operating Companies Nos. 44 and 48 were also deployed to assist the Ottoman railway authorities on the lines of communication.

In April, the 300th Flying Detachment ("Pasha") was stationed in Beersheba
Beersheba is the largest city in the Negev desert of southern Israel. Often referred to as the "Capital of the Negev", it is the seventh-largest city in Israel with a population of 194,300....

 with 14 Rumpler C.I
Rumpler C.I
-See also:- References :* Munson, Kenneth - Bombers, Patrol and Reconnaissance Aircraft 1914 - 1919 ISBN 0 7537 0918 X* Munson, Kenneth - Fighters, Attack and Training Aircraft 1914 - 1919 ISBN 0 7537 0916 3...

 aircraft. The other troops of the expedition joined them there in April. The Flying Detachment was subsequently stationed in El Arish and Bir El 'Abd. After Turkish defeats in the First Suez Offensive
First Suez Offensive
The First Suez Offensive took place between the Ottoman Empire and the British Empire in the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I...

 and Battle of Romani
Battle of Romani
The Battle of Romani was fought east of the Suez Canal, near the Egyptian town of Romani and the site of ancient Pelusium on the Sinai Peninsula during the First World War...

, they subsequently fell back to Beersheba and Ramallah
Ramallah is a Palestinian city in the central West Bank located 10 kilometers north of Jerusalem, adjacent to al-Bireh. It currently serves as the de facto administrative capital of the Palestinian National Authority...


Pasha II

On 11 March 1917, after the Fall of Baghdad
Fall of Baghdad (1917)
The British Indian Army fought the Ottoman Empire in the First World War. On 11 March 1917, after a series of defeats, it captured Baghdad after a two-year campaign.-Arrival of General Sir Frederick Stanley Maude:...

 to the British Army, the Ottoman Army assembled an Army Group
Army group
An army group is a military organization consisting of several field armies, which is self-sufficient for indefinite periods. It is usually responsible for a particular geographic area...

 codenamed Yildirim
Yildirim Army Group
The Yildirim Army Group or Thunderbolt Army Group of the Ottoman Empire or Army Group F was one of the army groups of the Ottoman Army...

to recover Baghdad. The German Army increased the strength of the detachments with the Ottoman troops by despatching a second expedition, "Pasha II" under Major General Werner von Frankenberg zu Proschlitz, in August. Following Ottoman defeats in the Battle of Beersheba and Third Battle of Gaza
Third Battle of Gaza
The Third Battle of Gaza was fought in 1917 in southern Palestine during the First World War. The British Empire forces under the command of General Edmund Allenby successfully broke the Ottoman defensive Gaza-Beersheba line...

 in late October, the Yildirim Army Group was diverted to prevent further collapse in Palestine. After the capture of Jerusalem
Battle of Jerusalem (1917)
The Battle of Jerusalem developed from 17 November with fighting continuing until 30 December 1917 during the Sinai and Palestine Campaign of World War I...

 by the British in December, further reinforcements were despatched, including substantial fighting ground formations.

The German troops forming Pasha II, and subsequent reinforcements were under the administrative control of the 201st Infantry Brigade commanded by Major General Werner von Frankenberg zu Proschlitz, and included:
  • Infantry Regiment No. 146 (Masurian)
  • Infantry Battalions 702 and 703. (Together with Infantry Battalion 701 and the machine-gun and other detachments of Pasha I, this gave Pasha II the strength of another regiment)
  • A Jäger
    Jäger (military)
    Jäger is a term that was adopted in the Enlightenment era in German-speaking states and others influenced by German military practice to describe a kind of light infantry, and it has continued in that use since then....

     battalion, subsequently withdrawn to Germany.
  • Flying detachments 301, 302, 303, 304 (Bavarian), 305
  • A fighter squadron - Jagdstaffel 55
  • Mountain Signal detachment 28
  • Pasha II Intelligence detachment (Nachrichtenabteilung)

German staff officers with signal and other personnel formed a Corps headquarters within the Ottoman Eighth Army in Palestine, which was also termed the "Asia Corps", although it is also referred to in Turkish histories as the "Left Wing Group", commanded by Colonel Gustav von Oppen.

Austro-Hungarian troops in the Middle East

Austria–Hungary also sent detachments of specialists and supporting arms to Palestine. The first units were sent to Gallipoli:
  • Motor Mortar Battery No. 9
  • Howitzer Battery No. 36

Between the summer of 1916 and the end of the war, they were followed by:
  • Mountain Artillery Regiment No. 4
  • Mountain Artillery regiment No. 6

Major Adolf Wilhelm Marno von Eichenhorst commanded this artillery group until 1917, after which it was commanded by Captain Wladislaw Ritter von Truszkowski. The overall commander of Austro-Hungarian troops in Turkey was Feldmarschall-Leutnant Joseph Ritter von Pomiankowski. It was planned in 1917 and 1918 to send an "Orient-Korps" to Turkey, but this was abandoned.

Final actions

In the Battle of Megiddo
Battle of Megiddo (1918)
The Battle of Megiddo took place between 19 September and 1 October 1918, in what was then the northern part of Ottoman Palestine and parts of present-day Syria and Jordan...

, the Ottoman forces west of the Jordan River were engulfed by the Allied offensive. The surviving German and Austrian detachments fought their way northward towards Damascus amid the routed Turkish armies. They drew the admiration of T. E. Lawrence
T. E. Lawrence
Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Edward Lawrence, CB, DSO , known professionally as T. E. Lawrence, was a British Army officer renowned especially for his liaison role during the Arab Revolt against Ottoman Turkish rule of 1916–18...

, but few if any ultimately escaped death or capture.
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