Cemalettin Taşkıran

Abstract

The naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign of the First World War were mainly realised by the Royal Navy with substantial support from the French and minor contributions from Russia and Australia. The Ottomans closed the Dardanelles to Allied shipping. On October 28, the Ottoman fleet began raiding Russian assets in the Black Sea. Odessa and Sevastopol were bombarded, a minelayer and gunboat were sunk. Churchill had entertained plans of capturing the Dardanelles by the end of 1914. An attack on the Dardanelles, would give Russia a supply route and might encourage Bulgaria and Romania to join the allied side. After some essays the event that decided the battle took place on the night of March 8 when the Ottoman minelayer Nusret laid a line of mines in Eren Köy Bay, just inside the entrance to the straits. The Ottomans had noticed the British ships turned to starboard into the bay when withdrawing. The new line of between 20 and 26 mines ran parallel to the shore, were moored. The British plan for March 18 was to silence the defences guarding the first five minefields, they would be cleared overnight by the minesweepers. The next day the remaining defences around the Narrows would be defeated and the last five minefields would be cleared. The operation went ahead without the British or French becoming aware of the recent additions to the Ottoman minefields.The battleships were arranged in three lines, two British and one French, with supporting ships on the flanks and two ships in reserve. This study focuses on the details of the Battle of the Dardanelles on March 18.