About Turkey


Naval Battle, Gallipoli / Turkey

On 17th March they sent some boats into the straight and the military intelligence reports said that there were no sea-mines creating a risk for their attack. But the same night a small Turkish mine-layer Nusrat laid many sea-mines into the Dardanelles.

On 18th March 1915, at the beginning of the Dardanelles campaign, the commander of the Allied fleet, Admiral de Robeck divided the fleet into three sections. The first section entered the straits at 10.30 am. and penetrated as far as the row of mines. The Intepe batteries started a heavy fire.

The Intepe, Erenkoy and Tengertepe batteries intensified their fire and a fierce bombardment continued for three hours. In the afternoon Admiral de Robeck withdrew his ships in the third section and threw forward six warships waiting in the rear. During the withdrawal, one of the ships hit a mine and sunk after a terrible explosion.

The naval battle continued in all its intensity for seven hours. In the face of the dogged resistance of the Turkish Straits Defense, Admiral de Robeck decided that nothing further could be done that day. During this operation three ships from the Allied Fleet had been sunk and three badly damaged. It was under these circumstances that Admiral de Robeck, at 17.30 brought the days' operation to a close with the order, "All ships, general withdrawal

The Allied assault stalled, and the British withdrew to Egypt to prepare for another, bigger assault.

On 18th March eighteen battleships entered the straits. The fleet included Queen Elizabeth, Lord Nelson, Agamemnon, Inflexible, Ocean, Irresistible, Prince George and Majestic from Britain and the Gaulois, Bouvet and Suffren from France. At first they made good progress until the Bouvet struck a mine, heeled over, capsized and disappeared in a cloud of smoke. Soon afterwards two more ships, Irresistible and Ocean hit mines. Most of the men in these two ships were rescued but by the time the Allied fleet retreated, over 700 men had been killed. Overall, three ships had been sunk and three more had been severely damaged.

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