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Edward J. Erickson

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Title: Edward J. Erickson  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Military of the Ottoman Empire, Justin McCarthy (American historian), Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Edward J. Erickson

Edward J. Erickson is a retired regular U.S. Army officer at the Marine Corps University and is an eminent and leading authority on the Ottoman Army during World War I, a subject on which he has written widely.[1] Erickson is also an associate of International Research Associates, Seattle, Washington


He was born in Norwich, New York, USA. After military service as an infantry non-commissioned officer, he was commissioned in the Field Artillery in 1975. During his career, Erickson served with the 509th Airborne Infantry Battalion, the 8th Infantry Division (Mechanized), the 24th Infantry Division, the 528th Field Artillery Group, and the 42nd Field Artillery Brigade. During the Persian Gulf War, he served as the Operations Officer (S3) of the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Field Artillery in the 3rd Armored Division at the Battle of Wadi Al Batin. In the latter phase of his career, he served in NATO assignments in Izmir, Turkey and in Naples, Italy as a Foreign area officer specializing in Turkey and the Middle East. In 1995 he was assigned to the NATO Headquarters in Sarajevo, Bosnia-Herzegovina, where he served as a Military Assistant to Commander, Implementation Force (IFOR) (COMIFOR).

Erickson retired in October 1997 to teach world history at Norwich High School, but was recalled to active duty in March 2003 for Operation Iraqi Freedom and was assigned as the Political Advisor to Major General Ray Odierno, 4th Infantry Division. After six months in Tikrit, Iraq, Erickson returned to civilian life. During his military service Erickson won many awards, including the Legion of Merit and the Bronze Star Medal with Oak Leaf Cluster. In 2005 he received his Ph.D in history at the University of Leeds in United Kingdom. From 2007 to 2008, Erickson was professor of political science in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, Baghdad, Iraq.

Erickson is an associate professor of military history and teaches Operational Art at the Command and Staff College, Marine Corps University in Quantico, Virginia.


Erickson argues in his various publications that the relocations of Armenians in Eastern Anatolia in 1915 were the result of a military decision process. He asserts that the Armenian Revolutionary Committees conducted a violent insurgency in cooperation with the Russian army and that this insurgency was a genuine threat to the security of the Ottoman Empire.[2][3] In 21 September 2004, Vahakn Dadrian published an article criticizing Erickson's stand with reference to “Ordered to Die. A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War."[4] Erickson responded 2 years later due to being in Iraq, in which he labeled Dadrian's allegations as "deliberate obfuscations, misquotes, and slanderous comments."[5]


  • The Euphrates Triangle: Security Implications of the Southeast Anatolia Project, co-author with F.M. Lorenz, Natl Defense Univ Pr, (1999), ISBN 1-57906-021-8
  • Ordered to Die: A History of the Ottoman Army in the First World War, Greenwood Press (2000), ISBN 0-313-31516-7
  • Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912–1913, Praeger Publishers (2003), ISBN 0-275-97888-5
  • Ottoman Army Effectiveness in World War I: A Comparative Study, Routledge (2007), ISBN 978-0-415-77099-6
  • Gallipoli & The Middle East 1914–1918, London, Amber Books (2008), ISBN 978-1-906626-15-0
  • A Military History of the Ottomans, From Osman to Atatürk, co-author with Mesut Uyar, Westport, Connecticut, Praeger Publishers (2009), ISBN 978-0-275-98876-0
  • Gallipoli, The Ottoman Campaign, Barnsley, UK, Pen and Sword Books (2010), ISBN 978-1-84415-967-3

Military awards


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