Fourth Army (Ottoman Empire)

The Fourth Army of the Ottoman Empire (Turkish: Dördüncü Ordu) was one of the field armies of the Ottoman Army. It was formed in the middle nineteenth century, during Ottoman military reforms.

Fourth Army
Djemal Pasha and Fuad Bey (April 1917)
7 September 1914 – 26 September 1918
Country Ottoman Empire
TypeField Army
Garrison/HQBaghdad, Damascus
PatronSultans of the Ottoman Empire
EngagementsSinai and Palestine Campaign (World War I)
Zeki Pasha (September – 18 November 1914)
Djemal Pasha (18 November 1914 – September 1917)
Mersinli Djemal Pasha (September 1917 – October 1918)

The army did not survive the WWI battles in Palestine and Syria.[1][2]


Order of Battle, 1877

In 1877, it was stationed in Anatolia. It was composed of:[3]

  • Infantry: Five line regiments and six rifle battalions
  • Cavalry: Three line regiments
  • Artillery: One line regiment (12 batteries)
  • Engineer: One sapper company

Order of Battle, 1908

After the Young Turk Revolution and the establishment of the Second Constitutional Era on 3 July 1908, the new government initiated a major military reform. Army headquarters were modernized. The Fourth Army's new operational area was Caucasia and its many troops were scattered along the frontier to keep an eye on the Russian Empire. It commanded the following active divisions and other units:[4]

  • 7th Infantry Division (Yedinci Fırka)
  • 8th Infantry Division (Sekicinci Fırka)
  • 19th Infantry Division (On Dokuzuncu Fırka)
  • 4th Artillery Division (Dördüncü Topçu Fırkası)
  • Erzurum Fortress Artillery Regiment

The Fourth Army also had inspectorate functions for four Redif (reserve) divisions:[5][6]

  • 13th Erzincan Reserve Infantry Division (On Üçüncü Erzincan Redif Fırkası)
  • 14th Trabzon Reserve Infantry Division (On Dördüncü Trabzon Redif Fırkası)
  • 15th Diyarbekir Reserve Infantry Division (On Beşinci Diyarbekir Redif Fırkası)
  • 16th Sivas Reserve Infantry Division (On Altıncı Sivas Redif Fırkası)

Order of Battle, 1911

With further reorganizations of the Ottoman Army, to include the creation of corps level headquarters, by 1911 the Army's headquarters were Baghdad. Before the First Balkan War in 1911, the Army was structured as:[7]

World War I

Order of Battle, November 1914

In November 1914, the army was structured as:[8]

Order of Battle, Late April 1915

In April 1915, the army was structured as:[9]

Order of Battle, Late Summer 1915, January 1916

In late Summer 1915, January 1916, the army was structured as:[10]

  • Fourth Army (Syria-Palestine)
    • VIII Corps
      • 23rd Division
      • 24th Division
      • 27th Division
    • XII Corps
      • 41st Division
      • 42nd Division
      • 46th Division

Order of Battle, August, December 1916

Between August and December 1916, the army was structured as:[11]

  • Fourth Army (Syria-Palestine)
    • VIII Corps
      • 3rd Division
      • 23rd Division
      • 24th Division
      • 27th Division
    • XII Corps
      • 41st Division
      • 42nd Division
      • 43rd Division
      • 46th Division

Order of Battle, August 1917

In August 1917, the army was structured as:[12]

On 26 September the Fourth Army headquarters moved to Damascus, dividing its area of responsibility in half, leaving Cemal Pasha answerable for Syria and western Arabia.[13]

Order of Battle, January, June 1918

Between January and June 1918, the army was structured as follows:[14]

  • Fourth Army (commanded by Jemal) (Syria-West Arabia)
    • VIII Corps (commanded by Ali Fuad Bey)[15]
      • 43rd Division
      • 48th Division
    • XII Corps
      • 23rd Division
      • 41st Division
      • 44th Division
    • Hejaz Corps
      • 58th Division
      • Provisional Infantry Divisions x 3

Order of Battle, September 1918

In September 1918, the army was structured as:[16]


  1. Lawrence, T.E. (1935). Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Garden City: Doubleday, Doran & Company, Inc. p. 640.
  2. Faulkner, Neil (2016). Lawrence of Arabia's War: The Arabs, the British and the Remaking of the Middle East in WWI. New Haven: Yale University Press. p. 449. ISBN 9780300226393.
  3. Ian Drury, Illustrated by Raffaele Ruggeri, The Russo-Turkish War 1877, Men-at-Arms 277, Ospray Publishing Ltd., Reprinted 1999, ISBN 1-85532-371-0, p. 35.
  4. Erickson (2003), p. 17.
  5. Erickson (2003), p.19
  6. T.C. Genelkurmay Başkanlığı, Balkan Harbi, 1912–1913: Harbin Sebepleri, Askerî Hazırlıklar ve Osmanlı Devletinin Harbe Girişi, Genelkurmay Basımevi, 1970, pp. 87–90. (in Turkish)
  7. Erickson (2001), pp.382–383
  8. Erickson (2001), p.43
  9. Erickson (2001), p.86
  10. Erickson (2001), pp. 109, 126
  11. Erickson (2001), pp.134, 154
  12. Erickson (2001), p.170
  13. Erickson 2001 p. 171
  14. Erickson (2001), pp.181, 188
  15. Falls 1930 Volume 2 Part 2 p.657
  16. Erickson (2001), p.197


  • Erickson, Edward J. (2001). Order to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War. Greenwood Press. ISBN 0-313-31516-7.
  • Erickson, Edward J. (2003). Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912–1913. Westport, CT: Praeger.
  • Falls, Cyril (1930). Military Operations Egypt & Palestine from June 1917 to the End of the War. History of the Great War Based on Official Documents by Direction of the Historical Section of the Committee of Imperial Defence. 2 Part II. A. F. Becke (maps). London: HM Stationery Office.

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