The Destroyer Muavenet-i Milliye in 1915

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Tosun Saral
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The Destroyer Muavenet-i Milliye in 1915

Post by Tosun Saral » 16 Jun 2007 12:42

The destroyer Muavenet-i Milliye which means "National Charity" was bought from Germany in 1909 by the funds collected by "Donanma-yı Osmanî Muavenet-i Millîye Cemiyeti" the Ottoman National Charity Society of the Navy. Muavenet-i Milliye played an important role during the Gallipoli Battles and WW1. Captain of the ship was Navy Captain Ahmet Saffet Efendi. 2nd Capt. German Kapitaen zur See Firle, Chief Engeneer Lt. zur Sea Andrea.
The task of the ship was to protect the transport of men and material on the sea and destroy the enemy submarines operating in the Marmara Sea during the Gallipoli Battles.
Muavenet-i Milliye got an extra task to sink the Golliath. She left Kilitbahir on the night of May 12nd to sink Goliath. She sailed very near to the shore and reached to the Bay of Morto where Goliath was standing without any war measures. The Captain of Goliath never waited a naval attack to his ship. Captain Ahmet Saffet Efendi fired at O1:15 from 300 metres 3 torpedos in 10 second intervals. The first torpedo hit Goliath from the bridge, 2nd hit the middle and the 3rd hit at the back..

On May 13th Goliath was a history. She lost 570 of her 700 crew including his captain.
Capt. Ahmet Saffet Efendi was prometed to major and became the tittle Bey.

Sword of Major Ahmet Saffet Bey





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Post by Tosun Saral » 16 Jun 2007 12:44

Navy Major Ahmet Saffet Bey
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Post by Tosun Saral » 16 Jun 2007 12:47

The torpedo crew of Muavenet-i Milliye that sunk British Battleship Goliath
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Post by Tosun Saral » 16 Jun 2007 12:51

Officers of Muavenet-i Milliye
sitting Kapitaen zur See Firle 2nd captain, Navy Major Ahmet Saffet Bey
Standing: Navy capt. Riza Efendi Captain of Sultanhisar.
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Post by Tosun Saral » 16 Jun 2007 12:55

from right to left:
2nd Captain of Muavenet-i Milliye Kapitaen zur See Firle, Captain of Muavenet-i Milliye, Navy Maj. Ahmet Saffet Bey, Captain of the Sultanhisar, Navy captain Riza Efendi, Chief engeener of Muavenet Lt. zur See Andrea after getting medals from the Sultan personly.
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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 16 Jun 2007 14:12


Tosun Saral
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Post by Tosun Saral » 16 Jun 2007 14:33

This time Firle and Ahmet Saffet Bey (infront ) with their German crew.

The tall officer just at the back of Firle must be Lt. zur See Andrea?

May all their graves be in light!
So mote it be!

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Peter H
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Post by Peter H » 16 Jun 2007 15:10

Firle later wrote one of the Marine-Archiv Histories of WW1:

http://forum.axishistory.com/viewtopic. ... 80#1072480

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Post by Tosun Saral » 17 Jun 2007 12:53

The Results of the attack to Goliath:
1- British was preparing a new naval attack to Dardanelles. The plan delayed for ever.
2- Admiral Fisher resigned on May 15th 1915
3- Churchill resigned on May 17th 1915

About Navy Major Ahmet Saffet(Navy Col. and MP Ohkay) Bey:
- Borned in Istanbul in 1876
- Graduated from the "Heybeliada Bahriye Mektebi" the Naval War School at Heybeliada Insel on Marmara Sea/Istanbul .
-in 1912 commander of Muavenet-i Milliye
-Joined the Turkish War of Independance
-Navy Col. Ahmet Saffet Ohkay Minister of War and Commander of Turkish Naval Forces for a short time in 1924,
- MP of the province Elazig between the years 1927-35
-died in 1938

http://209.85.135.104/search?q=cache:yt ... cd=5&gl=tr

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Post by Tosun Saral » 17 Jun 2007 15:07

Crew of Goliath
http://www.savaskarakas.com/html/bpop.h ... nal&18.jpg

Crew of Muavenet-i Milliye. According to Mr. Savas Karakas she had 94 men including 12 Germans.
http://www.savaskarakas.com/html/bpop.h ... nal&19.jpg

All the crew got medals and pocket watches as present.One of these pocket watches is in the naval museum.
http://www.savaskarakas.com/html/bpop.h ... nal&22.jpg

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Post by Tosun Saral » 17 Jul 2007 07:46

Tosun Saral wrote:The torpedo crew of Muavenet-i Milliye that sunk British Battleship Goliath
Torpedo Officer Navy Lt. Ali Haydar
Born at Kasımpaşa/Istanbul.(Kasımpaşa is a town and naval base of Ottoman Turkish Navy on Goldern Horn) Graduated the Mekteb-i Bahriye the Naval War School. During the assoult on Goliath he was torpedo officer of the Muavenet-i Milliye. He also joined to raid to Odessa. with his ship.
2nd Capt. at destroyer Numune-i Hamiyet
Captain at Hamidabad and Musul torpedoboats,
Captain at Barika-i Zafer gunboat,
Retired on Dec. 10th 1923 as Navy Major.
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Post by Tosun Saral » 17 Jul 2007 08:55

Memories of Torpedo Officer Navy Lt. Ali Haydar told to journalist-historian Mr. Yekta Ragip Onen published by Yıllarboyu Tarih ( History Along Years) Nr:4, vol.8, April 1982, Year: 5, p.4


I sunk Goliath (1)

"Transportation of troops, material and ammunition to Gallipoli front from Istanbul by sea was deteriorated due to the enemy submarine operations in Marmara Sea in the months of March and April of 1915. In the mean time some of our war and cargo ships were sunk by enemy subs. It was almost impossible to forward material and troops by land.(2) On the other hand it took long time because of lack of roads.

For that reason the Grand Command of the Fleet prepared a desperate programm and a plan to watch, to follow and to sink the enemy subs.

The task to sink the enemy subs operating in Marmara Sea was given to our destroyer Muavenet-i Milliye. The torpedo boats Sultanhisar, Sivrihisar and SSs Iskenderun, Bahri Said and Aydın which the foreign Tabacco Company used for tabacco transport were attached to the order of Muavenet-i Milliye.

According to the order of Grand Command of the Fleet we sailed to Paşalimanı the Pasha Port (3) on Thursday April 23rd 1915. Paşalimanı was chosen as our HQ. The ships attached to us were patroling at Marmara. The 24th, 25th, 26th of April gone very quite. We received at the evening of April 26th 1915 a message from the commander of Canakkale Fortficarions.(4) stating that: "An enemy war ship which lays at Morto Bay couses heavy casualties to the left side of our defence lines at Kerevizdere the River Kereviz. If the bombardement by that ship continious it may be possible that the defence of Dardanelles will fail. If you are ready to sink that enemy ship please come to Canakkale.

later we learned that every night a battalion of volunteers sending to reinforce the trenches on Kerevizdere but only a few were able to survive the next day. Kerevizdere the River Kereviz poured not its waters to the sea but pure Turkish noble blood. For that reason it was renames as Kanlıdere the River of Blood.

As we received the massage we all remambered the historical quatation of old Ottoman Turkish Kaptan-ı Derya the Captain Of Seas Kara Mustafa Pasha (5) "There is no impossible mission for the army and Navy"

We sailed at 7:30 on April 27th from Paşalimanı. We reached to the port of town of Gelibolu/Gallipoli. We, all the officers and crew saluted on the deck according to old Turkish Naval tradition the tomb of Yazıcı Mehmet Efendi (6) and other mytres who fell during the occupation of Gallipoli by Turks in 1353. We prayed for the souls of them. On the other hand our soldiers on the land saluted us by firing artillary guns.

Death has never been a couse of consternation for us.


TS's notas:
1- Turks nicknamed Goliath as "Kocakarı" which means old lady or erone. Like a talking-too-much- old lady Goliath was bombarding Turkish trenches without a pause.
2-Koru mountains which is a natural barricade bewtween Gallipoli and Istanbul dont gave pass during that time.
3- is aport at Anatolian side of Marmara near Erdek just at Kapudag Peninsula.
4- Col. Cevat Bey ( Gen. of the Army Cevat Cobanlı)
Commander of Fortifications in Dardanelles Strait : Cevat Pasha (Gen.of the Army Cobanli)(1871-1938)
Army serial Number: P(Infantry)-1307(1891)-4
Major General:1914, Lt.Gen.:1918, General:1926
Retired:Sept.14th 1935
After the Gallipoli He commanded the 15th Army Corps in Galicia (July 1916-August 1917) After the Armistrace of Mondros he was made War Minister and Chief of Staff of the Ottoman Army. He made it easy for Mustafa Kemal Pasha's appointment to Anatolia as inspecting General. As the British occupied Istanbul on March 16th 1920 he was arrested and forwarded to Malta as war criminal.(!) After 2 years imprisonment he went Ankara and was made MP from Istanbul.
5- Kaptan-ı Derya the Captain of the Seas Kara Mustafa Pasha or well known as "Firari" the fugitive.(? - Basra 1671) He was educated at Enderun the School of Administration. He was made vezier the minister of the Palace on 1643.Governoor at Bagdad, Haleppo, Diyarbakır. Kaptan- ı Derya the Captain of Seas of Ottoman Turkish Navy. Governor of Egypt. Grand Vezier Koprulu Mehmet Pasha disliked thim. He escaped and hided for a long time. For that reason he was nicknamed as Firari the fugitive.
6- (Gelibolu ? - Gelibolu 1451) Turkish scolar who wrote Holy book of ıslam Kur'an into Turkish.


cover page of Yıllarboyu Tarih Magazine:
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Post by Tosun Saral » 17 Jul 2007 11:45

Death has never been a couse of consternation for us.


We reached to Canakkale on 13:30. The captain of our ship Ahmet Safvet Bey (7) and liaison officer German Navy Captain Firle visited the commander of the Fortifications Col.Cevat Bey. They later crossed the Dardanelles to Kilitbahir on the Gallipoli Peninsula to observe the movement, route and position of Goliath. For a better observation they went to Morto Bay.

Now I want to tell you about the moral of our crew. Death has never been a couse of consternation for us but not to accomplish the mission. Nobody in the ship considered the possibility of a safety return even in the wake of a succesful attack to Goliath. Instead we took into consideration the fact that in case of sinking of our ship we could manage to swim to the shore. But our crew mostly bachelors were frightened not finding dry and new cloths and uniforms on the shore. Because we withnesssed before how the crew of sunken ships walked along the gardens and corridors of Neval Ministry with their night gowns. It was the heedlessness of the ruling government at that time. Was it right to leave the men aside whom they wanted self secrifice? It was obvious that our vessel was exactly going to be sunk . We strongly believed that we would be rescue ourselves by swimming to the shore. We all wished to be sunk at least a succesful attack. Our 2nd captain and some men of our crew packed up his personal belongings and clothes and handled them over to the captain of SS Kütahya for to deliver to his family which was going to sail Enver Pasha to Istanbul. They also wriyte their last wills.
Our task was risky. For that reason we trained nights and days. The straits was closed by mines. There was no way out. Also it was hard to lift the mines to open a corridor for us. Such a work could take the notice of the enemy. There was a mine free corridor between mine lines and Anatolian shore for little tonaged vessels. The enemy knew about that corridor. They were ready sail from that corridor.

All days and nights the position of Goliath and her patrol security measurements was observed by us. At last taking all the possible considerationsb it was decided to sail along the Gallipoli shores. The main reason for that plan was that the shore waters were deep enough and the slopes were high. The high slopes could hide our vessel not to be seen by the enemy.


7- Some old writers write as Saffet

to be continued

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Post by Tosun Saral » 17 Jul 2007 16:50

The high slopes could easly hide the silhouette of our vessel in the darkness not to be seen by the enemy. We knew that 2 or 4 destroyers were patroling around Goliath.

The time of sudden attack was planned as midnight. The reason for that was that the turn of the duty inrelays on British ships was changing every 4 hours. (8) Midnight was the time of turn of duty. The personal who were on duty for a long time get exausted. The entchangements would be still sleepy.

As the order reached to our ship our captain Ahmet Safvet Bey asked me if we could ever be able to success?
"Efendim, (9) My Master" I answered him joking " There are 2 possibilities: We will run aground or we will burst a mine and fly to the heaven like Angels"

On April 28th we were ready to sail. We checked, (controlled) our only assould weapon the torpedoes again. We measured their pressure (controlled the air) On April 29th our Captain told us about a possibility to assoult in that night and ordered to ready the torpedos. The commander of mine units at Canakkale Fortifications who knew the mine fields map on the strait was taken into our ship to show us a safe way.

We sailed from Canakkale at 19:00. We trusted Allah the Almighty. At 19:15 we were at Kilitbahir on the other shore. To hide our vessel from the enemy and not fell into the mine field we sailed further along the very shore. We left all our extra heavy material, ammunition and guns ( two 7.5 and two 5.7) at Canakkale to lighten the ship.

Suddenly something happened that excited us: Starboardside propeller of our ship struck on a deep rock. "Alas!" For Allah's sake the demage was not great. It was only a broke of a wing of the propeller.

Through 19:50 we ancored 9 fathoms near to the shore of Soganlıdere in order to wait for the assault time to the enemy vessel. For the fact that this place was was not safe to wait for a long time, we moved our vessel to a safer place closer to the shore. The guide captain left our vessel there.

We moved from Soganlıdere on the night of thursday April 30th at 00:45. We aproached
Morto Bay. There we saw 2 patroling enemy destroyers and gigantic body of Goliath.

As we were approaching to Goliath they noticed us. They begun to send us some series of signals. They were asking us passwords. I knew English. I went immediately to the bridge and begun to send some meaningless series of counter signs. My purpose was to make the enemy hesitant and to gain time and to approach Goliath as closer as possible.

We could not lost time. We approached nearly 400-500 meters to Goliath. We should to reach to 300 meters for a deatly assault.

At 01:10 we charged the one ton heavy, 3 meters long, greased torpedo into its torpedo case within the twinkling of an eye in the mids of darkness. It was unbelievable. Normally we charged during our daily and nightly trainings within 10 minutes.(10)

We fired our 1st torpedo. We waited in excitement. We, then fired our 2nd torpedo. The 1st hit Goliath. In my opinion it was not necessary to fire the 3rd torpedo. But by excitement of the succsess of the first torpedo the crew of the back torpedo unit fired the 3rd one. We all noticed that 2nd and 3rd torpedos hit Goliath respectively. We saw that Goliath lay to her starboardside. The gigant was burning. Dence smoke covered all her body. her back mast was like a pillar of fire. Goliath sunk in a short time.

We have achieved our tusk without a casualty, not even a nose bleeded. All my men embraced me with great joy. My men kissed my hands. I kissed their cheecks and foreheads. (11) All the crew of our vessel were cheering happily. "Yaşa" ( Long Live, Hurrah). There were no time for cheering I ordered my men to charge the 4th tortedo in its case in order to be ready for an unwanted enemy assault.

We sailed back in full speed. We anchored at Soganlıdere at 02:00. We couldnt move more further because we were in the ultimate limit of mine fields. After 20 minutes we saw 2 enemy patrol ships coming. Our battaries on Dardanos and Soganlıdere fortifications lightened their projectors and begaun to fire on the enemy patrol ships. We were still in danger. We moved again taking all risks and entered into mine line. We passed safely and anchored at Ciftehavuzlar on Galipoli side. We waited there till day break. At 04:45 we crossed the Strait and came to Canakkale. All the men at the redoupts of Canakkale Fortification cheered us till day break by singing national tunes, playing drums and trompets.

While we were moving from Ciftehavuzlar we lied our glorious national flag at mast in the night unusually.

TS's nota:
8- Before WW1 British naval personal trained and reorganized Ottoman Turkish Marine such as
- Alexander Slade Pasha
- Charles Augustos Hobart-Hampden Pasha better known as Hobart Pasha, son of 6th Earl of Buckinghamshire (Walton, April 1st 1822- Milano/Italy, June 16th 1886, buried in Istanbul according to his will)
9- In Turkish Navy personal called their captain as "Efendi Kaptan" (Kaptan = Captain)
10- Muavenet had three 45 torpedo cases.
11- It is a custom of Turks to kiss the hands of older or commander. The older one kisses the forehead.

to be continued
Last edited by Tosun Saral on 18 Jul 2007 10:48, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by Tosun Saral » 17 Jul 2007 19:00

A photo of Muavenet-i Milliye
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