Book Review: The Greek Genocide in American Naval War Diaries

The Greek Genocide In American Naval War Diaries
Naval Commanders Report and Protest Death Marches and Massacres in Turkey’s Pontus Region. 1921-1922
Edited by Robert Shenk and Sam Koktzoglou
February 2020 404 pages Paperback
9781608011803

This book is a collection of American naval war diaries recently found in the National Archives about what was happening on the northern coast of Turkey in 1921-1922. At the time, a series of American destroyers were continuously stationed at the port of Samsun, and the destroyer captains describe here many of the atrocities then being perpetrated upon the Asia Minor Greek minority by the ruling Nationalist Turks, along with local Greek reactions.

As a big fan of Professor Shenk’s America’s Black Sea Fleet, which also studied this time period, this new work provides a superb addition to future researchers.

One feels for the officers, who wrote these diaries for submission to senior officers, trying to comprehend that they were witnesses to Genocide. The terrible conflict between their personal beliefs on right and wrong opposed to their requirement to follow orders from hight authorities.

 

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