On This Day September 15, 1922: The Suffering in Smyrna Worsens


September 15, 1922: The fire continues to burn at Smyrna — and more fires are lit. U.S. Secretary of State Charles Evans Hughes gets a warning: Britain is close to war with the Turkish nationalists. It has reinforced its fleet and given its Mediterranean commander orders to sink Turkish shipping if it attempts to cross the Dardanelles.

Facing demands from America’s religious leaders, the State Department begins to pressure its stubborn and spiteful admiral at Constantinople to assist in refugee relief and a possible evacuation.

He resists. He has made it clear — he doesn’t like Greeks, Armenians or Jews, and he wants no part of a rescue. Hundreds of thousands are stranded on the Quay at Smyrna, hungry, thirsty and tormented by the Turkish army.

These historic details are covered with great detail in Lou Ureneck’s book The Great Fire. Get the book here.


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