Jump to content
Great War Forum

Remembered Today:

Sign in to follow this  
Chris_Baker

Where was SMS Goeben on 27 August 1915?

Recommended Posts

Chris_Baker

The war diary of the 1st Battalion of the Border Regiment reports that a platoon was almost wiped out by a heavy shell landing at Suvla Bay, Gallipoli shortly before 4pm on 27 August 1915. The excellent published history of the battalion, "Glory is no compensation" suggests that he shell came from the SMS Goeben. She was presumably in the Dardanelles, firing across the peninsula. Is anyone able to pinpoint her position at the time?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
seaJane

There are a good few references to GOEBEN in E. Keble Chatterton's Dardanelles dilemma (London: Rich & Cowan, 1935), searchable online at   https://archive.org/details/in.ernet.dli.2015.59017/page/n5. A possibility that he goes into sufficient detail?

 

sJ

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

Chris,

 

I do not recall seeing any evidence that the Goeben/Yavuz was in the Dardanelles in August 1915 and involved in bombarding the British at Suvla

My impression is that the Turks and the Germans thought her too valuable to be put in harm's way in that narrow waterway, where she could easily have been subjected to allied bombardment from their sea, land and air forces and would have had difficulty in manoeuvring.

I think that I am right in saying that after her August 1914 transit of the Dardanelles, the next time that she appeared there was October 1917 when the Kaiser visited the Gallipoli battlefield and she anchored at Akbaş

The details which I have seen for her activity in 1915 involve only the Bosphorus and the Black Sea

I'm sorry that I cannot be more specific regarding the date which you quote

 

regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

I am unable to find any reference to this in the Naval OH Vol.III

What that work does remind me of however (p.101) is that after 21st May 1915, no Turkish battleship had appeared in the Dardanelles to bombard allied forces.

That changed with the new landings at Suvla when the Turkish reaction was to send down the Barbarousse Haireddine. On 8th August however she was torpedoed by E.11 at 05:00 and sank after a second explosion twenty minutes later.

I suspect that following this loss the Turks thought it unwise to risk further important assets in those waters. During August 1915 British submarines (often together) were active in the Dardanelles, the Sea of Marmara and even off Istanbul itself; reason enough to keep the Yavuz away

Edited by michaeldr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris_Baker

Thank you. Most interesting. I wonder where the authors of "Glory is no compensation" got their information? I might try to track them down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
b3rn

Wikipedia, citing Halpern, has Goeben in the Black Sea on 10 August 1915.

 

Reading first-hand accounts, it's not unusual to see shelling attributed to Goeben. I guess she was the bête noire!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr

I take it that this is the incident described in Westlake's 'British Regiments at Gallipoli' as 
"Working party to A Beach and shelled on the way. No.11 Platoon, 'C' Company loosing 6 killed, 11 wounded by a single shell"
By this time the Turks had plenty of artillery in the area as seen on the map below

EDIT to add: Erickson gives the Turkish guns as numbering 99 for this battle (Second Anafarta 21-28 Aug)

r-plate-66.jpg.d6f26bc02f91a52cabcce57bb042262c.jpg

It's only a guess, but what springs to mind if you are looking for something which might have been mistaken for a battleship's shell, are the two Krupp guns still to be seen today near Küçük Anafarta.
Michael Forrest in his 'The Defence of the Dardanelles – from Bombards to Battleships'

identifies them as 240mm* and he also indicates that they were in place and used at this time**

*Turkish sourses give the size of these guns as 210mm

** caveat - I cannot find any confirmation of exactly when these guns became active here

P1040101.JPG.4efa7277cab670b622d0b5b89162f2c2.JPG

Edited by michaeldr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr


Two snippets from The Michell Report (1919, then published [Confidential] by the Admiralty Naval Staff in 1921) which may be of interest here:-
"The period of greatest activity was from the landing until the end of May, during which at least 15 bombardments [by Ottoman naval units] took place,

but later the firings became less frequent and practically ceased after the loss of the “ Barbarossa " by torpedo on 8th August."

 

and regarding Turkish guns able to bombard the beaches:-

"Suvla.—At Suvla the beaches used after the first landing were more concealed, but the ground close round was plainly visible to the Turks.
At the time of the landing, a few mountain and field guns were employed to shell the beaches. The Turks soon brought up artillery to this front and by August 21st had the following guns capable of shelling the beaches :—
Two 12-cm. guns.
Two 8'8 cm. guns.
One 10’5-cm. gun and a few field guns.
In October this number of guns had increased to :—
Four 24-cm. guns.
Four 15-cm. guns.
One 12-cm. gun.
Two 10’5-cm. Q.F. guns.
Two 8’8-cm. Q.F. guns
."

 

NB:

i - This would appear to suggest that it is unlikely (though not impossible) that the Küçük Anafarta guns were involved in the 27th August shelling of a party on the way to the beach

ii- emphasis not in original

Edited by michaeldr

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Chris_Baker

Thank you, michaeldr. This is all fascinating stuff. It is particularly interesting to see how few guns the Turks had covering the Suvla area.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
michaeldr
1 hour ago, Chris_Baker said:

It is particularly interesting to see how few guns the Turks had covering the Suvla area.

 

Chris re-check posts 7 & 8

Erickson gives 99 for all guns including field artillery (he also says the British OH mistakenly gives a lower number)

The Mitchell Report quote refers only to the heavy artillery which fired on the beach (I mention this because of the calibre and because it sounds as though that was the area of the hit)

 

If you get any further with this research, then please come back and let us know

regards

Michael

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
James A Pratt III

This is from the book "The Ottoman Steam navy 1828-1923"

Goeben in Black sea 10 August 1915 no Gallipoli operations

 

The two older battleships operated off Gallipoli 5 days on and 5 off on 25 April 1915 both were at Gallipoli Barbaros Hayreddin had a mid ships turret explosion  while conducting naval gunfire but the other ship Torgud Reis was allowed to depart for Constanaople. The two ships operated until 5 June when the Torgud Reis had a forward turret explosion and operations ended do to a shortage of ammunition and the fact the navy felt they weren't doing that much good. The Ottoman army insisted that operations continue for morale purposes so the Barbaros Hayreddin was ordered back and on 8 August 1915 it was torpedoed and sunk by HM S/M E11

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...