List of ironclad warships of the Ottoman Empire

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In the 1860s and 1870s, the Ottoman Navy ordered or acquired a series of ironclad warships, built almost entirely in foreign shipyards. The first class, the four Osmaniye-classironclads, were ordered from British shipyards in the early 1860s, and a fifth ship, Fatih, was ordered in 1864; this vessel was purchased by the Prussian Navy in 1867. That year the Ottomans ordered the ironclad Feth-i Bülend and the two-ship Avnillahclass, all from Britain. In the meantime, the Eyalet of Egypt, a province of the Ottoman Empire, placed orders for several ironclads from French shipyards; these included Asar-i Tevfik and the Asar-i Şevket and Lüft-ü Celilclasses. They also awarded the contract for Iclaliye to an Austro-Hungarian firm. Egyptian efforts to assert their independence angered Sultan Abdülaziz, who demanded Egypt surrender all of the ironclads it had ordered, which it did in 1868. By this time, a second Feth-i Bülend-classironclad had been ordered; this ship, Mukaddeme-i Hayir, was the first ironclad built in the Ottoman Imperial Arsenal. In 1871, the Ottomans ordered two Mesudiye-classironclads from Britain, the second of which was purchased by the Royal Navy in 1878 in the midst of a war scare with Russia, and laid down a third vessel, Hamidiye, at the Imperial Arsenal. Two final ships, the Peyk-i Şerefclass, were ordered from Britain in 1874, but the Royal Navy bought both vessels during the 1878 war scare.

Ottoman Navy navy of the Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Navy, also known as the Ottoman Fleet, was established in the early 14th century after the Ottoman Empire first expanded to reach the sea in 1323 by capturing Karamürsel, the site of the first Ottoman naval shipyard and the nucleus of the future Navy. During its long existence, it was involved in many conflicts and signed a number of maritime treaties. At its height, the Navy extended to the Indian Ocean, sending an expedition to Indonesia in 1565.

Ironclad warship Steam-propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates

An ironclad is a steam-propelled warship protected by iron or steel armor plates used in the early part of the second half of the 19th century. The ironclad was developed as a result of the vulnerability of wooden warships to explosive or incendiary shells. The first ironclad battleship, Gloire, was launched by the French Navy in November 1859. The British Admiralty had been considering armored warships since 1856 and prepared a draft design for an armored corvette in 1857; in early 1859 the Royal Navy started building two iron-hulled armored frigates, and by 1861 had made the decision to move to an all-armored battle fleet. After the first clashes of ironclads took place in 1862 during the American Civil War, it became clear that the ironclad had replaced the unarmored ship of the line as the most powerful warship afloat. This type of ship would come to be very successful in the American Civil War.

Ship class group of ships of a similar design

A ship class is a group of ships of a similar design. This is distinct from a ship type, which might reflect a similarity of tonnage or intended use. For example, USS Carl Vinson is a nuclear aircraft carrier of the Nimitz class.

Contents

Most of the Ottoman ironclads saw action during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, with the exception of the four Osmaniyes, which the Ottoman command considered too large and too valuable to risk. The rest of the ships served in the Black Sea, where they supported Ottoman forces in the Caucasus and in the eastern Balkans. One vessel, Lüft-ü Celil, was sunk by Russian artillery while patrolling the Danube. The Ottoman fleet was laid up from the end of the war until 1897, when the government attempted to mobilize the ships during the Greco-Turkish War. After two decades of neglect, most of the ships were found to be unseaworthy, and those vessels that could put to sea were manned by untrained crews who could not effectively operate them. The navy embarked on a major reconstruction program aimed at modernizing the ironclads over the following decade, and many of the vessels were rebuilt or broken up.

Black Sea Marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between Europe and Asia

The Black Sea is a body of water and marginal sea of the Atlantic Ocean between the Balkans, Eastern Europe, the Caucasus, and Western Asia. It is supplied by a number of major rivers, such as the Danube, Dnieper, Southern Bug, Dniester, Don, and the Rioni. Many countries drain into the Black Sea, including Austria, Belarus, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Turkey and Ukraine.

Caucasus region in Eurasia bordered on the south by Iran, on the southwest by Turkey, on the west by the Black Sea, on the east by the Caspian Sea, and on the north by Russia

The Caucasus or Caucasia is an area situated between the Black Sea and the Caspian Sea and occupied by Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Armenia. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, including the Greater Caucasus mountain range, which has historically been considered a natural barrier between Eastern Europe and Western Asia.

Ottoman ironclad <i>Lüft-ü Celil</i>

Lüft-ü Celil was an ironclad warship of the Ottoman Navy, the lead ship of the Lüft-ü Celil class. Originally ordered by the Khedivate of Egypt, an autonomous vassal state of the Ottoman Empire, the central Ottoman government forced Egypt to surrender Lüft-ü Celil while she was still under construction at the French Forges et Chantiers de la Gironde shipyard. Lüft-ü Celil saw action during the Russo-Turkish War in 1877, where she operated on the Danube to try to prevent Russian forces from crossing the river. While on patrol on 11 May, she engaged a Russian artillery battery that scored a hit on the ship's boiler room, causing an explosion that destroyed the ship and killed most of her crew.

Despite having been recently modernized, the Ottoman fleet was in no condition to challenge the powerful Italian fleet during the Italo-Turkish War of 1911–1912, and the bulk of the Ottoman fleet remained in port. Italian cruisers sank one rebuilt ironclad, Avnillah, in the Battle of Beirut. In the First Balkan War, which broke out before the war with Italy ended, a Greek torpedo boat sank Feth-i Bülend in Salonika. In 1913, Asar-i Tevfik ran aground off the coast of Bulgaria; wave action coupled with Bulgarian artillery fire destroyed the ship. Mesudiye took part in two major naval actions against the Greek fleet, the Battle of Elli in December 1912 and the Battle of Lemnos in January 1913, both of which were Ottoman defeats. By the outbreak of World War I in 1914, only Mesudiye served in an active capacity; the other surviving vessels had been reduced to secondary roles like training ships and floating barracks. In December 1914, Mesudiye was sunk by a British submarine in the Dardanelles. After the chaos of the Greco-Turkish War of 1919–1922 subsided, the fleet discarded the ironclads remaining in inventory. The last vessel, Muin-i Zafer, which had been converted into a depot ship for submarines, was scrapped in 1932.

Italo-Turkish War 1911–12 war between the Ottoman Empire and the Kingdom of Italy

The Italo-Turkish or Turco-Italian War was fought between the Kingdom of Italy and the Ottoman Empire from September 29, 1911, to October 18, 1912. As a result of this conflict, Italy captured the Ottoman Tripolitania Vilayet (province), of which the main sub-provinces (sanjaks) were Fezzan, Cyrenaica, and Tripoli itself. These territories together formed what became known as Italian Libya.

Cruiser Type of large warships

A cruiser is a type of warship. Modern cruisers are generally the largest ships in a fleet after aircraft carriers and amphibious assault ships, and can usually perform several roles.

Ottoman ironclad <i>Avnillah</i>

Avnillah was an ironclad warship built for the Ottoman Navy in the late 1860s. The lead ship of the Avnillah class, she was built by the Thames Iron Works in Britain. The ship was laid down in 1868, launched in 1869, and she was commissioned into the fleet the following year. A central battery ship, she was armed with a battery of four 228 mm (9.0 in) guns in a central casemate, and was capable of a top speed of 12 knots.

Key
ArmamentThe number and type of the primary armament
ArmorThe maximum thickness of the armored belt
Displacement Ship displacement at full combat load
PropulsionNumber of shafts, type of propulsion system, and top speed and horsepower generated
ServiceThe dates work began and finished on the ship and its ultimate fate
Laid downThe date the keel assembly commenced
CommissionedThe date the ship was commissioned into service

Osmaniye class

Line-drawing of the Osmaniye class Orkanieh (1865).jpg
Line-drawing of the Osmaniye class

The Osmaniye class was the first group of ironclads ordered by the Ottoman government, part of a naval construction program to replace the heavy losses sustained during the Crimean War of 1853–1856. The contracts were placed with British and French shipyards, with the four Osmaniye-class ships being ordered from Britain. They were broadside ironclads, mounting their battery of guns in traditional gun decks along the sides of the hull, which was typical for the first generation of ironclads built in the early 1860s. They were the largest ironclads of the Ottoman fleet until Mesudiye was completed a decade later in 1875. [1] As the largest and most valuable members of the Ottoman fleet, the Osmaniye class was kept safely in the Mediterranean Sea during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, because the Ottoman command did not want to risk them in coastal operations in the Black Sea. [2] [3]

Crimean War 1850s military conflict

The Crimean War was a military conflict fought from October 1853 to February 1856 in which the Russian Empire lost to an alliance of the Ottoman Empire, France, Britain and Sardinia. The immediate cause involved the rights of Christian minorities in the Holy Land, which was a part of the Ottoman Empire. The French promoted the rights of Roman Catholics, while Russia promoted those of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The longer-term causes involved the decline of the Ottoman Empire and the unwillingness of Britain and France to allow Russia to gain territory and power at Ottoman expense. It has widely been noted that the causes, in one case involving an argument over a key, have never revealed a "greater confusion of purpose", yet they led to a war noted for its "notoriously incompetent international butchery".

Gun deck

The term gun deck used to refer to a deck aboard a ship that was primarily used for the mounting of cannon to be fired in broadsides. The term is generally applied to decks enclosed under a roof; smaller and unrated vessels carried their guns on the upper deck, forecastle and quarterdeck, and these were not described as gun decks.

Hull (watercraft) watertight body of a ship or boat

A hull is the watertight body of a ship or boat. The hull may open at the top, or it may be fully or partially covered with a deck. Atop the deck may be a deckhouse and other superstructures, such as a funnel, derrick, or mast. The line where the hull meets the water surface is called the waterline.

The four ships were reduced to reserve status in Constantinople after the war, with the rest of the Ottoman fleet. The four ships were heavily rebuilt in the early 1890s, being converted into more modern barbette ships. Nevertheless, they were in poor condition by the outbreak of the Greco-Turkish War in February 1897, with many of their guns damaged or incomplete. Training exercises conducted in May highlighted the very low standard of training of their crews, and reinforced the decision not to confront the Greek Navy at sea. All four ships were disarmed after the war and laid up, before being decommissioned in 1909. Aziziye, Orhaniye, and Mahmudiye were briefly used as barracks ships; the latter two were sold for scrap in 1913, and Aziziye and Osmaniye followed them to the ship breakers in 1923. [4]

Constantinople capital city of the Eastern Roman or Byzantine Empire, the Latin and the Ottoman Empire

Constantinople was the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), of the Byzantine Empire, and also of the brief Crusader state known as the Latin Empire (1204–1261), until finally falling to the Ottoman Empire (1453–1923). It was reinaugurated in 324 from ancient Byzantium as the new capital of the Roman Empire by Emperor Constantine the Great, after whom it was named, and dedicated on 11 May 330. The city was located in what is now the European side and the core of modern Istanbul.

Greco-Turkish War (1897) war between the Kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman Empire

The Greco-Turkish War of 1897, also called the Thirty Days' War and known in Greece as the Black '97 or the Unfortunate War, was a war fought between the Kingdom of Greece and the Ottoman Empire. Its immediate cause was the question over the status of the Ottoman province of Crete, whose Greek majority long desired union with Greece. Despite the Ottoman victory on the field, an autonomous Cretan State under Ottoman suzerainty was established the following year, with Prince George of Greece and Denmark as its first High Commissioner.

Barracks ship ship type serving as berthing for personnel

A barracks ship or barracks barge, or in civilian use accommodation vessel or accommodation ship, is a ship or a non-self-propelled barge containing a superstructure of a type suitable for use as a temporary barracks for sailors or other military personnel. A barracks ship, a military form of a dormitory ship, may also be used as a receiving unit for sailors who need temporary residence prior to being assigned to their ship.

ShipArmament [5] Armor [5] Displacement [5] Propulsion [5] Service [5]
Laid down [5] Commissioned [5] Fate [5]
Osmaniye 1 × 229 mm (9.0 in) Armstrong gun
14 × 203 mm (8.0 in) Armstrong guns
10 × 36-pounder guns
140 mm (5.5 in)6,400 t (6,300 long tons; 7,100 short tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
13.5 knots (25.0 km/h; 15.5 mph)
March 1863November 1865 Broken up, 1923
Aziziye May 1863August 1865
Orhaniye 18631866Broken up, 1913
Mahmudiye 18641866

Fatih

Fatih, in Prussian service as Konig Wilhelm SMS Konig Wilhelm at Gravesend.jpg
Fatih, in Prussian service as König Wilhelm

Fatih was laid down at the Thames Ironworks shipyard in London, England, in 1865, originally ordered by the Ottoman Empire. The ship was built to a design created by the British naval architect Edward Reed. [6] Before the ship's launch, the Ottomans determined they could not afford the large and expensive ironclad, and so they sold the unfinished vessel to the Prussian Navy on 6 February 1867; she was initially renamed Wilhelm I, and on 14 December 1867, the ship was renamed again, as König Wilhelm. [7] The ship had an uneventful career in the Prussian and Imperial Navies, seeing little action during the Franco-Prussian War in 1870–1871. [8] She was involved in an accidental collision with the ironclad Grosser Kurfürst in 1878, which saw the sinking of the latter vessel. [9] König Wilhelm was rebuilt as an armored cruiser in the mid-1890s, [10] and continued to serve with the fleet until 1904, when she was withdrawn for subsidiary duties, including serving as a barracks ship and a training ship. She continued as a training vessel until after World War I, ultimately being stricken from the naval register on 4 January 1921 and broken up thereafter. [7]

Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company

The Thames Ironworks and Shipbuilding Company, Limited was a shipyard and iron works straddling the mouth of Bow Creek at its confluence with the River Thames, at Leamouth Wharf on the west side and at Canning Town on the east side. Its main activity was shipbuilding, but it also diversified into civil engineering, marine engines, cranes, electrical engineering and motor cars.

Ottoman Empire Former empire in Asia, Europe and Africa

The Ottoman Empire, historically known in Western Europe as the Turkish Empire or simply Turkey, was a state that controlled much of Southeast Europe, Western Asia and North Africa between the 14th and early 20th centuries. It was founded at the end of the 13th century in northwestern Anatolia in the town of Söğüt by the Oghuz Turkish tribal leader Osman I. After 1354, the Ottomans crossed into Europe, and with the conquest of the Balkans, the Ottoman beylik was transformed into a transcontinental empire. The Ottomans ended the Byzantine Empire with the 1453 conquest of Constantinople by Mehmed the Conqueror.

Prussian Navy naval force of the Kingdom of Prussia

The Prussian Navy was the naval force of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1701 to 1867.

ShipArmament [7] Armor [11] Displacement [11] Propulsion [7] Service
Laid down [6] Commissioned [7] Fate [7]
Fatih33 × 72-pounder rifled guns305 mm (12.0 in)10,761 t (10,591 long tons; 11,862 short tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
14.7 knots (27.2 km/h; 16.9 mph)
186520 February 1869, as SMS König Wilhelm Broken up, 1921

Fettah

Fettah was ordered from the Imperial Arsenal in 1864, to be built along the same lines as the Osmaniye class. The ship was to have been the same size, with the same armament, though she would have incorporated Ottoman-built machinery, which would have reduced her top speed by a knot and a half. Work never began on the ship, and she was formally cancelled on 24 April 1865. [12]

ShipArmamentArmorDisplacementPropulsionService
Laid downCommissionedFate
Fettah1 × 229 mm Armstrong gun
14 × 203 mm Armstrong guns
10 × 36-pounder guns [12]
Unknown [12] 6,400 metric tons [12] 1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph) [12]

Asar-i Tevfik

Asar-i Tevfik as originally built Asar-i Tewfik big.jpg
Asar-i Tevfik as originally built

In the early 1860s, the Eyalet of Egypt, a province of the Ottoman Empire, ordered several ironclad warships for its fleet as part of a rearmament program to challenge the power of the central government for the first time since the Second Egyptian–Ottoman War, twenty years earlier. The first of these ships was the casemate ship Asar-i Tevfik. [2] [13] Built by the Société Nouvelle des Forges et Chantiers de la Méditerranée shipyard in La Seyne, Asar-i Tevfik was based on the contemporary French ironclads of the Colbertclass, though significantly reduced in size. She was the first Ottoman ironclad to discard the traditional broadside arrangement for her main battery. Instead, she carried her main armament amidships, with six guns in a central, armored casemate and two atop the casemate in revolving barbette mounts side by side in sponsons. [14]

Like the rest of the Ottoman ironclad fleet, Asar-i Tevfik had a long and largely uneventful career. She saw limited action during the Russo-Turkish War, during which she was attacked but only slightly damaged by a Russian torpedo boat. She was laid up for the next two decades, and was in poor condition by the outbreak of the Greco-Turkish War in 1897, which prompted a radical reconstruction of the vessel in Germany after the war. Her battery of old muzzle-loading guns was replaced with new, medium-caliber breech-loaders, and she received additional armor protection and an entirely new propulsion system. During the Italo-Turkish War of 1911–1912, the Ottoman fleet was kept in port to protect it from the powerful Italian fleet. Asar-i Tevfik saw action during the First Balkan War in 1912 and 1913, including the inconclusive Battle of Elli in December 1912. Starting in early 1913, Asar-i Tevfik transferred to the Black Sea to support Ottoman forces fighting the Bulgarian Army, and on 8 February she ran aground while conducting a bombardment. A combination of Bulgarian artillery fire and heavy seas destroyed the stranded vessel. [15]

ShipArmament [16] Armor [14] Displacement [17] Propulsion [17] Service
Laid down [18] Commissioned [18] Fate [19]
Asar-i Tevfik8 × 220 mm (9 in) guns200 mm (7.9 in)4,687 t (4,613 long tons; 5,167 short tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
13 knots (24 km/h; 15 mph)
18671870Wrecked off Çernes, 11 February 1913

Asar-i Şevket class

Line-drawing of the Asar-i Sevket class Asar-i Sevket-class linedrawing.png
Line-drawing of the Asar-i Şevket class

The Asar-i Şevket class was also ordered by Egypt, and the design was based on the preceding Asar-i Tevfik, albeit significantly reduced in size. They displaced less than half as much as the earlier vessel and carried a significantly lighter armament of four guns in the casemate and a single barbette gun, though this was on the centerline, affording it nearly the same firing arc as the two sponsoned guns aboard Asar-i Tevfik. Like the rest of the ironclads that Egypt attempted to purchase in the 1860s, both vessels were seized by the central government in 1868, before either vessel had been completed. [2] [20]

The two ships saw action during the Russo-Turkish War, supporting Ottoman army operations in the Caucasus, before being laid up from the late 1870s until 1897. [21] [22] Like the rest of the Ottoman fleet, both ships were in poor condition and were unable to be used offensively. Asar-i Şevket was decommissioned and sold for scrap in the 1900s but Necm-i Şevket lingered on in service, primarily as a barracks ship until 1929. During this period, she briefly saw action again during the First Balkan War, when she provided fire support to beleaguered Ottoman defenders protecting Constantinople from the Bulgarian Army. She was finally decommissioned in 1929 and broken up. [23]

ShipArmament [16] Armor [14] Displacement [16] Propulsion [16] Service
Laid down [16] Commissioned [16] Fate [16]
Asar-i Şevket 1 × 229 mm (9 in) Armstrong gun
4 × 178 mm (7 in) Armstrong guns
152 mm (6 in)2,047 metric tons (2,015 long tons; 2,256 short tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
12 knots (22 km/h; 14 mph)
18673 March 1870Broken up, 1909
Necm-i Şevket Broken up, 1929

Lüft-ü Celil class

Illustration of Luft-u Celil The Turkish Gun-Boat Lufti Djelil, sunk by the Russian batteries near Braila.jpg
Illustration of Lüft-ü Celil

Egypt also ordered a pair of sea-going monitors, the Lüft-ü Celil class, the only vessels of that type built for the Ottoman Navy. They carried their main battery in a pair of revolving gun turrets, which were mounted on the centerline. Their firing arcs were restricted by large forecastles and sterncastles that were necessary to provide the freeboard required to operate at sea. Though they had one fewer gun than the Asar-i Şevket-class casemate ships, their turrets allowed them to fire all four guns to either side, compared to only three per broadside for the casemate ships. [16] [24]

Both vessels saw action during the Russo-Turkish War of 1877–1878, in which Lüft-ü Celil was sunk by a Russian artillery battery on the Danube. Hifz-ur Rahman engaged Russian minelayers at the mouth of the Danube but otherwise saw little action. [25] [26] She survived the war and was laid up for the following twenty years, like the rest of the ironclad fleet. She was mobilized at the outbreak of the Greco-Turkish War in 1897 but was in poor condition, and she saw no action as a result. The ship was eventually sold in 1909 and broken up. [27]

ShipArmament [16] Armor [24] Displacement [16] Propulsion [16] Service
Laid down [16] Commissioned [16] Fate [16]
Lüft-ü Celil 2 × 225 mm (8.9 in) Armstrong guns
2 × 178 mm Armstrong guns
140 mm (5.5 in)2,540 t (2,500 long tons; 2,800 short tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
12 knots
1868March 1870Sunk by Russian artillery, 11 May 1877
Hifz-ur Rahman Broken up, 1909

Avnillah class

Avnillah, c. 1885 Ottoman ironclad Avnillah NH 94225.tiff
Avnillah, c. 1885

Unlike most of the ironclads that served in the Ottoman fleet, the two Avnillah-class ships were actually ordered by the central government as part of its own reconstruction program. They were casemate ships, and the casemates were arranged in such a way as to permit the forward pair to fire directly ahead and the aft pair to fire directly astern. Each casemate also had a second firing port for each gun, greatly enhancing their fields of fire. [16] [24] The two ships had early careers similar to the rest of the fleet, seeing limited action against Russia in 1877–1878 and no substantial activity until 1897, when the navy discovered that neither ship was fit for wartime service. [28]

The two ships were rebuilt by Gio. Ansaldo & C. between 1903 and 1906 at the Ottoman Imperial Arsenal, which was in part leased to Ansaldo to cover the cost of their reconstruction. [29] Now armed with a battery of four quick-firing 150 mm (5.9 in) Krupp 40-caliber guns, they were employed as guard ships. It was in this capacity that Avnillah was attacked and sunk at the Battle of Beirut in 1912 by a pair of Italian armored cruisers. Muin-i Zafer was disarmed to reinforce the defenses of Port Said during the Italo-Turkish War. She served in a variety of subsidiary roles after 1913, including as a training vessel, a barracks ship, and ultimately as a depot ship for submarines. In 1932, she was finally decommissioned and broken up for scrap. [30] [31]

ShipArmament [16] Armor [24] Displacement [16] Propulsion [16] Service
Laid down [32] Commissioned [32] Fate [32]
Avnillah 4 × 228 mm (9.0 in) guns152 mm2,362 metric tons (2,325 long tons; 2,604 short tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
12 knots
18681870Sunk in the Battle of Beirut, 24 February 1912
Muin-i Zafer Broken up, 1932

Feth-i Bülend class

Line-drawing of the Feth-i Bulend class Feth-i Bulend (1869).jpg
Line-drawing of the Feth-i Bülend class

The Ottoman government ordered Feth-i Bülend from Britain in 1867, with a design based on the Avnillah-class ironclads, though with a simplified casemate to house the main battery. An octagonal casemate with a single firing port per gun was adopted, which still allowed for two guns ahead or astern. In addition, the simpler casemate design permitted the use of heavier armor with a modest increase in displacement. In 1868, the Ottomans ordered a second vessel, Mukaddeme-i Hayir, to be built by the Imperial Arsenal. The ships were completed in 1870 and 1874, respectively, [24] [32] and were rapidly made obsolescent by developments in naval artillery and armor plate. [33]

The two ships saw service during the Russo-Turkish War, primarily in the Caucasus campaign, though Feth-i Bülend engaged a Russian armed steamer in an inconclusive engagement. [21] Mukaddeme-i Hayir also saw action off the Danube against Russian minelayers. [34] Like the rest of the Ottoman fleet, the two ships were laid up until 1897; Feth-i Bülend was reconstructed after the Greco-Turkish War but Mukaddeme-i Hayir was in too poor a condition to merit rebuilding. Feth-i Bülend served as a guard ship in Salonika during the Italo-Turkish War and saw no action, but at the outbreak of the First Balkan War in October 1912, a Greek torpedo boat entered the harbor and torpedoed the ship, sinking her. Mukaddeme-i Hayir, meanwhile, served as a training ship and later as a barracks ship until 1923, when she was discarded. [35]

ShipArmament [32] Armor [24] Displacement [32] Propulsion [32] Service
Laid down [32] Commissioned [32] Fate
Feth-i Bülend 4 × 229 mm guns229 mm2,762 tonnes (2,718 long tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
13 knots
May 18681870Sunk by Greek torpedo boat, 31 October 1912 [36]
Mukaddeme-i Hayir 18701874Broken up, 1923 [32]

Iclaliye

Iclaliye was the last vessel ordered by the Egyptian Eyalet; unlike the rest of the ships Egypt attempted to acquire, she was ordered from an Austro-Hungarian shipyard. Her design was based on the Asar-i Şevket class, with a slightly more powerful gun armament, trading one of the 178 mm guns for an additional 228 mm gun. [37] Along with the rest of the smaller Ottoman ironclads, Iclaliye saw action in the Black Sea during the Russo-Turkish War, supporting the Ottoman army in the Caucasus. She remained inactive for the next two decades, though she was modernized in 1885, receiving a new armament of Krupp guns. Iclaliye was not rebuilt after the Greco-Turkish War and she was instead placed in reserve. During the First Balkan War, she was reactivated to provide gunfire support to the beleaguered Ottoman defenders at Çatalca, though she remained in service only briefly. She served as a barracks ship from 1914 to 1919, then as a training ship until 1923, when she again became a barracks ship. Iclaliye was ultimately discarded in 1928. [38]

ShipArmament [32] Armor [24] Displacement [32] Propulsion [32] Service
Laid down [32] Commissioned [32] Fate [32]
Iclaliye2 × 228 mm Armstrong guns
3 × 178 mm Armstrong guns
152 mm2,228 t (2,193 long tons; 2,456 short tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
12 knots
May 1868February 1871Broken up, 1928

Mesudiye class

Mesudiye sometime before 1894 Ottoman ironclad Mesudiye2.jpg
Mesudiye sometime before 1894

Mesudiye and Hamidiye were ordered in the 1870s from Britain; the design for the ships was prepared by Edward Reed, who based the design for the ships on the recently-built HMS Hercules. The Mesudiye-class ships carried their armament in a central casemate, with two guns firing forward, four guns per broadside, and two firing astern. While Hamidiye was still under construction, the Royal Navy purchased the ship as a result of a war scare with Russia and renamed her HMS Superb. [39] The two ships were the largest casemate-type ironclads ever built, [40] and Mesudiye was the largest vessel of the Ottoman fleet for much of her career. [39]

Mesudiye became the flagship of the Ottoman naval forces in the Black Sea during the Russo-Turkish War, but she saw no action. Like the rest of the fleet, she was in poor condition by the outbreak of the Greco-Turkish War, and she was accordingly modernized in the aftermath. [41] Gio. Ansaldo & C. rebuilt the vessel into a pre-dreadnought type vessel, [42] though she never received her intended new main battery of two 230 mm (9.1 in) guns. [39] During the Italo-Turkish War, she remained inactive with the rest of the fleet, safely behind the fortifications of the Dardanelles, but she saw action during the First Balkan War at the battles of Elli and Lemnos. During the latter engagement, damage sustained forced her to retreat. She continued on in service during World War I, acting as a guard ship to protect the minefields laid to block the entrances to the Dardanelles, and it was in this role that she was torpedoed and sunk by the British submarine B11 on 13 December 1914. [43] [44]

ShipArmamentArmorDisplacementPropulsionService
Laid downCommissionedFate
Mesudiye 12 × RML 254 mm (10 in) 18-ton guns
3 × RML 178 mm (7 in) guns [45]
305 mm [39] 8,938 t (8,797 long tons; 9,852 short tons) [12] 1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
13.7 knots (25.4 km/h; 15.8 mph) [45]
1872 [39] December 1875 [39] Sunk by British submarine, 13 December 1914 [46]
Hamidiye16 × RML 10 in 18-ton guns [47] 1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
13.2 knots (24.4 km/h; 15.2 mph) [47]
1873 [47] 15 November 1880, as HMS Superb [47] Broken up, 1906 [47]

Hamidiye

Hamidiye was the last ironclad warship to be completed for the Ottoman Navy, and one of the few such vessels to be built at the Imperial Arsenal in Constantinople. Her design was based on the British-built Mesudiye, though on a reduced scale. She proved to be an unsatisfactory ship, the result of her very lengthy construction period—some twenty years long—that left her hopelessly obsolete by the time she entered service. The ship had significant design faults, including low-quality armor and poor handling characteristics. She accordingly spent much of her career as a stationary training ship. Just three years after entering service, she was determined to be completely unfit for combat during the Greco-Turkish War. The Ottoman government considered rebuilding the ship as part of its reconstruction program that modernized several of the other ironclads in the early 1900s, but the proposal was abandoned in 1903 owing to Hamidiye's poor condition. She was ultimately stricken in 1909 and broken up for scrap in 1913. [39] [48] [49]

ShipArmament [17] Armor [24] Displacement [17] Propulsion [17] Service
Laid down [17] Commissioned [17] Fate [17]
Hamidiye4 × 228 mm Armstrong guns
4 × 150 mm (5.9 in) Krupp guns
229 mm6,594 metric tons (6,490 long tons; 7,269 short tons)1 shaft
1 compound steam engine
13 knots
December 18741894Broken up, 1913

Peyk-i Şeref class

Illustration of Peyk-i Seref, had she been completed for the Ottoman Navy Peyk-i Seref - Illustrated London News - 1877.jpg
Illustration of Peyk-i Şeref, had she been completed for the Ottoman Navy

Though Hamidiye was the last Ottoman ironclad to be built, she was not the last vessel of the type to be ordered; the Ottoman government placed an order for a pair of armored rams from the British shipbuilder Samuda Brothers in 1874. The ships carried a battery of four 305 mm guns in an armored casemate atop the main deck, though their primary offensive weapon was their ram bow. These two ships, intended to be used in the eastern Mediterranean, were purchased by the Royal Navy in 1878 while still under construction; Peyk-i Şeref and Büruç-u Zafer were renamed Belleisle and Orion, respectively. Since they had been designed to operate in the relatively calm Mediterranean, they were unsuitable for use on the high seas, and so they were employed as coastal defense ships in British service. Belleisle was ultimately scrapped in 1904 and Orion was broken up in 1913. [17] [47]

ShipArmament [47] Armor [47] Displacement [47] Propulsion [47] Service
Laid down [47] Commissioned [47] Fate [47]
Peyk-i Şeref4 × RML 300 mm (12 in) 25-ton guns 305 mm4,870 t (4,790 long tons; 5,370 short tons)2 shafts
1 compound steam engine
12.99 knots (24.06 km/h; 14.95 mph)
187419 July 1878, as HMS Belleisle Broken up, 1904
Büruç-u ZaferUnknown3 July 1882, as HMS Orion Broken up, 1913

See also

Notes

  1. Gardiner, pp. 388389
  2. 1 2 3 Sondhaus, p. 90
  3. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 67, 194
  4. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 810, 133
  5. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 133
  6. 1 2 Gardiner, p. 243
  7. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Gröner, p. 4
  8. Wilson, pp. 273–278
  9. Sondhaus, p. 109
  10. Gröner, pp. 3–4
  11. 1 2 Gröner, p. 3
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 134
  13. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 3, 136–137
  14. 1 2 3 Gardiner, p. 389
  15. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 8–12, 21–22, 137
  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 137
  17. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 136
  18. 1 2 Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 136–137
  19. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 21
  20. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 3, 137
  21. 1 2 Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 6
  22. Greene & Massignani, p. 360
  23. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 8–10, 20, 25, 137
  24. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Gardiner, p. 390
  25. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 6, 194
  26. Wilson, pp. 289, 296–297
  27. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 8–9, 137
  28. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 6, 8–10
  29. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 11
  30. Beehler, pp. 25–26, 56–58
  31. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 16, 138
  32. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 138
  33. Sondhaus, p. 108
  34. Wilson, pp. 296–297
  35. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 10–11, 20, 138
  36. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 20
  37. Gardiner, pp. 389–390
  38. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 6, 20, 25 138–139
  39. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 Gardiner, p. 391
  40. Sondhaus, p. 123
  41. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 5–9
  42. Sondhaus, p. 218
  43. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 22–24, 34
  44. Halpern, p. 119
  45. 1 2 Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 135
  46. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, p. 34
  47. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 Gardiner, p. 18
  48. Langensiepen & Güleryüz, pp. 9–10, 136
  49. Willmott, p. 35

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References