The enemy was close, but the General showed no fear as he inspected the gun emplacements. It was his nature to lead from the front. The General walked from nest to nest, happily chatting with his men but rarely smiling. Easy words and a warm hand on a shoulder got the message across: We will beat back the invaders. The General suspected, but could not reveal, that the British were preparing to withdraw from Gallipoli just as soon as the weather worsened enough to hide their movements. “We have won,” the General thought to himself. Just then, a random artillery shell exploded fifteen feet behind the line. General Mustafa Kemal, the Savior of Gallipoli, was dead.
In the world we know, Mustafa lived on to far greater glories than his victory at Gallipoli. Let me set the stage for you.
The Ottoman Empire’s surrender in 1918 was a pitiable event. The House of Osman’s fabled armies had lost everything almost everything to the Entente forces. Yet the Western Powers planned even more humilations. All of Thrace, bar Istanbul, was deeded to Greece. Armenia was to get almost all of northeastern Anatolia. Russia was moving to occupy the Straits, with Anglo-French concordance. Except for a rump state based around Ankara, the rest of Turkey was to be divvied up between Britain, France, and Italy.
Almost as soon as the Ottoman government signed the surrender instrument in Istanbul, it was repudiated by Mustafa Kemal in Ankara, where he’d established a new, republican government. Unlike the old regime, Mustafa’s government lasted long after the ink was dry on the Treaty of S