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stevebecker

Ottoman U Boat Trap

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stevebecker

Mates,

 

Another strange one from Wolf's book?

 

Harbuval-Charmar (Charmare) Archibald Graf von    LtzS Marine    General auxiliary ship Ottoman Navy - shown Ottoman U boat Trap "Dere" to Naval Shore Det 1916    1915-16    (born 1882 at Stolz Frankenstein DoD 12-8-16) of dysentry in Beriut shown in Klaus Wolf's Book
 

Wolf gives us Ottoman U boat Trap "Dere"

 

I checked what Ottoman ships but could not find this ship?

 

Now it could be a spelling mistake?

 

Also U boat trap ships were known by the British, but I was not aware of any by the German/Ottomans?

 

Any ideas here

 

Cheers

 

S.B

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michaeldr
Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, stevebecker said:

U boat trap ships were known by the British, but I was not aware of any by the German/Ottomans?

 

Known by the British as Q Ships

and the Ottoman variety were encountered, and are mentioned, eg. by Usborne in his 'Smoke on the Horizon'; see chapter X

Edited by michaeldr

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stevebecker

Michael,

 

Yes Q Ships was the word I was looking for.

 

I was not aware that the Ottomans ran them, I can see them used in the Sea of Marmara, but why when most ships can be torpedoed?

 

The only other area is the Black Sea, but with Russian strength in that area and little known on the Russian sub fleet in the Black Sea was there a need?

 

Cheers

 

S.B

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michaeldr
10 hours ago, stevebecker said:

I can see them used in the Sea of Marmara,

 

An example from the Sea of Marmara, as found in

NAVAL OPERATIONS, Vol. III, BY SIR JULIAN S CORBETT

CHAPTER IV, E 12 AND E 14 IN THE MARMARA

June 25-July 10, 1915

"Then suddenly it was evident the lesson of our decoys had reached the Turks. As the board­ing party stepped over the side a bomb was thrown which hit the submarine forward. Luckily it did not explode, but it was followed by fire from rifles and a small masked gun. The fire was promptly returned, and an action began at ten yards during which the two sailing vessels which the steamer was towing also opened fire with rifles and tried to foul the submarine's propellers. They were soon silenced by her small arm men, and she slowly got clear. By this time E 12's gun, which, after dealing with the steamer's masked gun, had been holing her from forward aft, must have found the ammunition she was carrying, for she suddenly blew up and sank in fifteen minutes."

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Joe R

From the internet site  Deep Storm.ru 

The Russian submarine WALRUS  (morzh)  1.08.1915 old calender engaged the Turk "trap vessel" DERE.

An unsuccessful duel was interrupted by the fire from a coastal battery from Kefken which caused the Russian

sub to submerge. Both sides reported successful combat. The submarine reported 5 hits of 76mm on the Turk.

 

Hopes this adds to the history

Respectfully,

 

Joe R

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stevebecker

Joe,

 

Mate thanks for the confirmation.

 

I was not sure about the name of the Ship?

 

I known little of the Russian Sub fleet in the Black Sea, so the name is interesting.

 

Cheers

 

S.B

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stevebecker
Posted (edited)

Mate

 

Thanks for the clue, I notice it was the only ship used as a Q Ship by the Ottomans and decommision after that engagement.

Dere[edit]

Name
(Namesake)
Builder
Dimensions
Displacement, Hull
Speed
Complement
Machinery
Boiler, Bunkers
Engines
Armament
Ordered
Laid down
Launched
Trials
Commissioned
Decommissioned
Afterward
Dere[21] -
-
-, Wood
-
1 officer, 6 ratings, 4 ratings for gun (from Hamidiye)
None, 2 mast
-, -
-
-
-
-
23 Jun. 1915
24 Jun. 1915 action with a Russian submarine off Kefken Island
4-5 shells fired
Anchored at Kefken
27 Jun. 1915 towed by tug to Constantinople
29 Jun. 1915 decommissioned

 

I did notice they give a different date for the engagement?

 

Cheers

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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michaeldr
2 hours ago, stevebecker said:

 it was the only ship used as a Q Ship by the Ottomans and decommision after that engagement.

 

I doubt that, Steve,

as the action in post No.4 must I think refer to another vessel

23 hours ago, michaeldr said:

NAVAL OPERATIONS, Vol. III, BY SIR JULIAN S CORBETT

CHAPTER IV, E 12 AND E 14 IN THE MARMARA

June 25-July 10, 1915

"..... By this time E 12's gun, which, after dealing with the steamer's masked gun, had been holing her from forward aft, must have found the ammunition she was carrying, for she suddenly blew up and sank in fifteen minutes."

 

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michaeldr
Posted (edited)

Mention by Joe of the Black Sea and the Russian side of operations, provides me with an excuse to share three quotes describing the allied submarine campaign in this theatre, as seen from the Ottoman point of view

 

From

The impact of Allied submarine operations on Ottoman decision-making during the Gallipoli campaign by Evren Mercan, which appeared in Journal for Maritime Research [http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/21533369.2017.1357949  - NB: if I remember correctly, this is a very condensed version of a much longer article in the original Turkish]

 

 

The net effect of Allied submarine operations in the Sea of Marmara was to force Ottoman commanders to shift most logistical operations to the inconvenient land route. This provided significant relief for the hard-pressed Allied land forces at Gallipoli as it slowed the arrival of Turkish ammunition. Like the favourable underwater features of the Sea of Marmara, the geography of the Gallipoli Peninsula also held further potential advantages for the Allies. The peninsula narrows around the town of Bulair, which afforded the Allies the potential to keep this stretch of land under fire from warships in Saroz Bay and, thereby, create a bottleneck in the Ottoman supply chain........

 

The efforts of Allied submarines to disrupt Turkish supply operations in the Sea of Marmara had a serious impact upon Ottoman High Command’s approach to battlefield strategy. With the growing submarine threat, and the resulting switch of supplies to land routes, Ottoman commanders had to divert significant numbers of transport vehicles to the Gallipoli front. This, in turn, inevitably caused serious disruption to operations in other major theatres: Caucasus, Sinai and Palestine, and Mesopotamia. The impact on the Third Army provides an example of this problem. Supply vehicles and logistics companies were diverted from the Russian front during the spring offensive in 1915 to support the Fifth Army fighting at Gallipoli. (The Ottoman high command remained determined to prevent an Allied strike on Istanbul.) The Third Army in the Caucasus soon found it had very little means let to counter the Russian advance. As the interruption of seaborne supplies became more acute, additional transportation was requisitioned from the peripheral provinces of Mosul, Diyarbakir and Sivas. The squeeze on supplies allowed the Russians to occupy the Black Sea coast up to Trabzon with the Third Army in retreat for almost a year........

 

The impact of Allied submarine operations was not only limited to the loss of Ottoman vessels and the threat to supply lines, it also had a dramatic psychological impact on the lives of Ottoman citizens. The archives give a clear picture of the people of Istanbul, whose everyday lives depended on imports of food, worrying about famine. Similarly, within military circles, there was significant fear of a coup de main – a sudden Allied strike to capture Istanbul – as a result of submarine operations off the shores of the Ottoman capital....

Edited by michaeldr

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stevebecker

Michael,

 

Mate thanks the problem I see?

 

Joe gives this engagement as 1st Aug 1915 

 

You show no date only between 25 June to 10 July 1915?

 

Your dates are close to the date given in Ottoman records as 24 June 1915?

 

But they give this engagement with the Russian Sub off the Island?

 

So what was the date by E 12 in Sea of Marmara?

 

Mate I also agree with Mercan's article, Ottoman supply lines were the worst I ve seen.

 

The main supplies to the Third Army was by Sea (Black Sea) which the Russians sunk large numbers of ships doing this.

 

But all accounts I've read were by Russian surface ships not Russian subs?

 

Thanks again for the insight.

 

S.B

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michaeldr
Posted (edited)
14 hours ago, stevebecker said:

You show no date only between 25 June to 10 July 1915?

Incorrect Steve

The British Naval OH shows AN UNSPECIFIED DATE, SOMETIME BETWEEN 25th June & 10th July 1915, when the Ottoman Q Ship was SUNK

 

14 hours ago, stevebecker said:

Joe gives this engagement as 1st Aug 1915 

Therefore, the ship engaged by the Russians on that date must have been some other Ottoman vessel,

and not the one previously sunk with the British sub in the Sea of Marmara

 

Edited by michaeldr

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michaeldr
On 14/07/2020 at 09:06, michaeldr said:

By this time E 12's gun, which, after dealing with the steamer's masked gun, had been holing her from forward aft, must have found the ammunition she was carrying, for she suddenly blew up and sank in fifteen minutes."

 

There were instances when the Ottomans were able to salvage their sunken or beached vessels

However, as the sub's gun appears to have ignited the Ottoman Q ship's ammunition and the ship 'blew up'

then I do not think that this is one of those cases where they were able to reclaim and salvage their vessel.

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Joe R

I am compelled to correct an error I made in my previous post. It was NOT the Russian submarine WALRUS (Морж)  (morzh) that sank the DERE, it was the Morzh Class Tyulen (Тюлень) Seal. I  also checked the date of the engagement  and it is 1.8.15 In the old Julian Calendar. Sorry for the screw up.  Mea Culpa.

Respectfully,

Joe R

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michaeldr
Posted (edited)
On 16/07/2020 at 19:49, Joe R said:

I  also checked the date of the engagement  and it is 1.8.15 In the old Julian Calendar.

In the Gregorian Calendar that was 14th August 1915 (https://stevemorse.org/jcal/julian.html)

 

On 16/07/2020 at 19:49, Joe R said:

it was the Morzh Class Tyulen (Тюлень) Seal.

 

Jane's describes the Tyulen as an "Improved Bubnov type (Volk) class" (fellow class member: Nerpa)

As well as these two, at least a further four submarines are given by Jane's as operating in the Black Sea: Burevestnik, Utka, Lebed (1916) & Pelikan (1917)

 

The same page mentions 9 more submarines, but it is not clear to me whether or not they too served in the Black Sea

The note reads:

"The following were scuttled in 1919: Gagara, Orian, Morsh, Kaschalot, Kit, Marval, Krab, Karp and Karas"

Did these nine also serve in the Black Sea?

 

Edited by michaeldr
correct conversion mistake: oops

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Felix C

Any photo of the Turkish vessel?

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Matlock1418
Posted (edited)
On 13/07/2020 at 22:28, stevebecker said:

Q Ships was the word I was looking for.

........., but why when most ships can be torpedoed?

I think small vessels were quite likely to be used as Q ships in such theatres [not large ocean-going] so that instead of wasting a torpedo on 'small fry', or torpedo missing/failing because the target's too shallow draft, then the sub had to surface to try and use it's deck gun - whereby it could be early counter-engaged by the Q ship's gun(s) which was as was planned as the trap.

In post #7 it looks as though the Dere was a small sailing ship [two-masted wooden hull without machinery/engines and only a small crew of 11] so would seem to fit the concept.

:-) M

Edited by Matlock1418
typo corrected

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Joe R

Besides the two boats mentioned above,these boats also served in the Black Sea;

Kashalot,Kit,Narval, Nerpa and Krab. The Krab was the only minelaying sub in the Imperial

Russian Navy. The successess of these boats were modest or meager when compared to

german victories in the Med. or even in the Baltic or White Sea.

 

In the Russian site Deepstorm there is a foto of a captured brigantine by Morsh. 

One can learn quite a bit about russian naval history by visiting  deepstorm.ru

Respectfully,

 

Joe R

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michaeldr

From - The Ottoman Navy 1900-1918 by Karl Wilhelm Augustus Darr

[https://ir.library.louisville.edu/etd/2822/ ]

 

see CHAPTER VIII: BLACK SEA ACTION, 1914-1918

 

The author gives an indication that the Ottomans were using disguised ships from the very earliest stages of the war

quote:-

On 29 October 1914 Yavuz, along with escorts Tasoz and Samsun, arrived off Sebastopol, and at 0630 hours they opened fire. …......

...the Ottoman passenger liner Nilufer was painted to resemble a Russian steamboat with black hull and yellow funnel and was outfitted with mine rails and sixty mines. The Nilufer laid a mine barrage off Sebastopol, closing the channel and preventing the Russian Black Sea fleet from pursuing the Yavuz and her escorts. …......

The attack led to Russia's declaring war on the Ottomans on 2 November 1914 followed by Great Britain and France on 5 November.

 

The author also refers to the Russian submarine Tjulen being active around the time mentioned by Joe for the sinking of the Dere, but alas that particular action is not specifically referred to

quote:-

On 3 August (1915) the Ottomans organized a convoy consisting of the Muavent-i Milliye, Numune-i Hamiyet, Tasoz, and Hamidiye, and the large colliers Eresos, Jlliria, the Seyhun, and the Zonguldak. On the return leg of the convoy, the Russian submarine Tjulen torpedoed and sank the Zonguldak near Kefken Ada. From 29 August to 3 September, the Ottomans lost 319 sailing vessels along the eastern Anatolian coast. The destruction of the last (Ottoman) Black Sea large colliers occurred on 5 September.

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Joe R

Another engagement of a Turk trap ship against Russian sub TYULEN:

"On 14.6.1915 (old calendar) she destroyed the steamer ERDEK (660brt)  with a torpedo

near Kefken Island. On the same day she entered into battle with a trap ship under the 

command of Chief Lieutenant Ritschel (German?). As a result of the exchange of shots 

(the trap fired 9 47mm shells), neither side achieved hits although both reported the 

destruction of each other."   Could the German Officer be Oblt. Rucktesschell?

 

Respectfully,

Joe R

 

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stevebecker

Joe,

 

Thanks for checking.

 

I do show a German Naval officer by that name, but little details on what he did?

 

Ritschl  (Ritschel) T.    ObLtzS Marine    SMS Breslau     1915-18

 

The spelling in the sources differ but must be the same man.

 

I wonder what ship he was on?

 

As to Oblt. Rucktesschell?

 

I have no record of him as yet?

 

Cheers


S.B

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Joe R

Thanks Mate!

Ruckteschell was a wild guess. Thought it was a mangling of his name. Ruckteschell was a Uboat

commander in in WW1 and captained a German surface raider in WW2! Thanks again for checking.

Respectfully,

Joe R

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Michael Lowrey

There's no suggestion in the Ehrenrangliste der Kaiserlich Deutschen Marine, 1914-1918 that Oblt.z.S. Hellmuth von Ruckteschell served anywhere near the Black Sea. He started the war on SMS Von Der Tann, underwent submarine training, served as a watch officer on U 57, then commanded UB 34 and U 54. All three of those boats were assigned to the High Seas Fleet.

 

The person you're after is Harald Ritschl, born March 10, 1885, Crew 1904, promoted to Kapitänleutnant on October 17, 1915. He started the war as a watch officer on Breslau who doubled as her torpedo officer. The Ehrenrangliste notes that he commanded a Q-ship in the Black Sea in June 1915. He transfers off Beslau in September 1915, spending the rest of the war on Stralsund and then Großer Kürfurst.

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Michael Lowrey

And Archibald Graf von Harbuval gen. Chamaré was a Kapitänleutnant (promotion date March 22, 1913) who officially left active service on April 23, 1915. Soon thereafter, as a Kplt.a.D., he's a company commander at Gallipoli. He then serves on a special assignment and dies — non-combat death — on August 13, 1916.

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stevebecker

Mates,

 

Thanks mate for checking.

 

An interesting area for service totally new to me, U Boat Trap or Q Ships used by the Ottoman navy?

 

Still no idea on what ship Ritschl was on, possibly "Dere" was brought back into service or they used another ship for the same job?

 

Cheers

 

S.B

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James A Pratt III

The Book "The Ottoman Steam Navy 1828-1923" has the following:

Erdek 600 grt/1878 damaged loading birth Zouguldak by Russian destroyers Pronzitelniy and Bespokoyniy

 

25 jul 15 Erdek 660 grt/1879 sunk Russian destroyers Schaslivity and Bistriy

 

Other books that deal with the naval war in the Black sea in WW I:

"The Russian Fleet 1914-1917

North of galipoli

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