Ottoman Labour Battalions in World War I

TitleOttoman Labour Battalions in World War I
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2002
AuthorsZurcher, Erik Jan
EditorKieser, Hans-Lukas, and Dominik J. Schaller
Book TitleDer Völkermord an den Armeniern und die Shoah
PublisherChronos Verlag

This book chapter explores the Ottoman Labor Battalions during World War I. In this conflict the Ottoman Empire relied on labor battalions for the logistical organization of its army. One challenge of the Empire was that it still had a scarce railway infrastructure and street network. The laborers were mainly assigned to perform construction works on the roads and railways and to transport the supplies the army needed to the battle front. In total a estimated number of 25.000 to 50.000 men were recruited for the Ottoman Labor Battalions. Most of them were Christians, amongst which the Armenians were the largest contingent besides the Greeks and Syrians.

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