An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Discussions on the final era of the Ottoman Empire, from the Young Turk Revolution of 1908 until the Treaty of Lausanne in 1923.
Tosun Saral
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An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Post by Tosun Saral » 13 Nov 2005 11:53

Sait was one of the artillary soldiers of Mecidiye Fortification on Asian part of Dardanelles. The Mecidiye Fortification was build during the reign of Sultan Mecit some 100 years ago. The guns of the forticication were all Krupp. On the morning of March 18th 1915 the Turkish fortifications both on European and Asian side was bombed by 38 cm shells of the battleship Queen Elizabeth from 14000 kms distance at 11:30 O'clock. Queen Elizabeth bombed in every mimute 500 kg shells and damaged Turkish forticications. Mecidiye battary was also heavily damaged. Almost every soldier was killed or wounded. The Krupp Gun was also damaged. After this bombardement the allied fleet sailed to the Dardanelles to cross the Strait to Istanbul. Sait was one of few who stayed alive. The lift which was used to carry the heavy shell into the canone was dameged.
Sait lifted a heavy shell and inserted it into the canone and fired. The shell hit directly the battleship Ocean. In a few minutes Ocean was history. Sait promoted to corporal for his bravery in battlefield. Corporal Sait served under the command of Mustafa Kemal during the war of independance. (1919-1922) He died in 1939 in his village Havran. His children are still living in Havran.
http://members.virtualtourist.com/m/tt/6413c/#TL

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AQUILIFER
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Shelling or mines?

Post by AQUILIFER » 15 Nov 2005 19:36

Hi Tosun Saral

Though I have no doubts about Saits heroism, I recall from books I've read years ago, that the sinking of Ocean was caused by a mine. Do you have other sources giving shelling as the cause? :)

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AQUILIFER

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Mehmet Fatih
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Re: Shelling or mines?

Post by Mehmet Fatih » 15 Nov 2005 19:54

AQUILIFER wrote:Hi Tosun Saral

Though I have no doubts about Saits heroism, I recall from books I've read years ago, that the sinking of Ocean was caused by a mine. Do you have other sources giving shelling as the cause? :)

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AQUILIFER
You are right AQUILIFIER.
Ocean was sunk by a mine.But Sait's part in this event was hitting the navigation system of Ocean.So they couldnt escape the mine.

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bob lembke
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Corporal Sait

Post by bob lembke » 15 Nov 2005 23:11

Tosun;

You are wrong about one thing. Corporal Sait is not an unknown hero, even I, a foreigner, know of his heroism. I believe that the shells from his gun weighted about 562 pounds. His gun, now named after him, is positioned right outside the front door of the Askeri Müze in Istanbul. Not only did the shells weigh that much, it looks like that, without a lift, anyone loading the gun would have to go up a ladder about 6-8 feet high (ca. 2 meters) made of small-diameter steel tubing to reach the breech. Possibly he put a wooden plank or something up to assist him, but it is clear that his feat was not simply carrying such a heavy shell, but getting to the breech with the shell. An amazing feat!

The shells for the 15 inch main guns of the Queen Elisabeth probably weighted 850-900 kilos. The shells for US 16" battleship guns weighed 2300 lbs. (1040 kilos).

Bob Lembke

Tosun Saral
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Re: An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Post by Tosun Saral » 28 Dec 2008 20:19

I thank to Mr. Ekrem Şama and his personel web page that he printed the last photos of Corporal Seyit in his civilian life. What Mr Şama publishes is a great duty. I thank him dearly.
http://www.ekremsama.com/tr/?p=673
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Simon K
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Re: An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Post by Simon K » 28 Dec 2008 21:48

Is that photograph a pic of Clp Sait re- enacting moving the shell?

Tosun Saral
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Re: An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Post by Tosun Saral » 29 Dec 2008 16:17

Yes That's right Simon.

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Simon K
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Re: An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Post by Simon K » 29 Dec 2008 18:25

A man of iron.

the plummed goose
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Re: An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Post by the plummed goose » 31 Dec 2008 11:40

Another mythe. It is normal that during such a heroic fight myths are born. Nothing wrong with that but nearly 95 years we should be able to stick to the facts and interpret them correctly.
To me Cop Seyit is a hero by the sole fact that he lifted a heavy shell and loaded in onto the gun. The weight is secondary. The fact that it hit the Ocean or its navigation system is also secondary ... there is no clear prouve of both and personally I thing they were added to enhence the story. (I stand to be contradicted on that one)
The facts are that there were 2 types of guns in Mecidiye (Europe) : 280 mm and 240 mm guns. The battery records state very clearly that none of the 280 guns fired a single round on the 18th. The 240 mm did. Hence the famous Koca Seyit couldn't have lifted shells of the approximate weight of 276 kilograms - as is claimed in the official Turkish history - because such heavy ammunition was used for the 280 mm. canons, which, as is stated above, didn't fire a single round on the 18th March. On that day Koca Seyit would have carried only shells to the 240 mm. cannon, and those weighed "only" around 150 kilograms.

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Re: An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Post by Tosun Saral » 31 Dec 2008 12:33

His famous photo was first published in Harb Mecmuası (War Magazine) Number: 15
Under the picture the following sentence is written:
" Çanakkale istihkamında 215 kıyye ağırlığındaki mermiyi sırtında taşıyan güçlü bir kahraman nefer: Mehmet oğlu Seyid. Ordumuzda harb aşkından bir örnek"

Translation:
A Soldier from the Çanakkale Fortifications who is strong and heroic, carries a bomb which is 215 kiyye in weight. Seyid son of Mehmet is an example of love to fight.

TS's Nota: 215 kıyye is 275 kg. Please remember that "Naim Süleymanoğlu", "Halil Mutlu" and other Turks won in olimpic plays and world Champ gold medals in weight lifting. Both were nicknamed as "Pocket Hercules" :D :D
Happy New year

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Stellan Bojerud
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Re: An Unknown Hero: Corporal Sait, Turkish Artillary

Post by Stellan Bojerud » 31 Dec 2008 13:27

According to my notes that of course could be wrong, Fort Mecidiye had two Btys. One with 2 x 280 mm L/22 and one with 4 x 240 mm L/35.

On 18th March 1915 the 280 mm Bty did not fire. The 240 mm Bty fired 47 shells of new type and 46 shells of old type.

The achievment of Corporal Sait is very impressing regardless of which type of shell the used. The most impressing is not loding the gun, but the will to fight on under those conditions.

Nappy New Year!

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