The Sinking of the ex-US Battleship at Salamis

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The Sinking of the ex-US Battleship at Salamis

Post by Andy H » 26 Oct 2002 18:33

The ex US Battleship was called Kilkis, and it met it's end at Salamis harbour (In shallow water) due to Stuka attacks.

Does anyone the unit involved in the attack and who was credited with sinking the Battleship?

What happend to the ship during/after the war?

:? Andy from the Shire
Last edited by Andy H on 19 Apr 2005 15:36, edited 1 time in total.

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Post by USAF1986 » 27 Oct 2002 00:04

Andy,

Here's some info that, unfortuantely, provides only a partial answer to your questions.

Greek Naval Losses, April 1941:

22 April 1941: Destroyers “Thyella” and “Ydra” sunk by German air attack off Piraues. The destroyer “Leon” damaged in same attack (bows blown off) and towed to Crete where beached on north coast, near Suda Bay. Hulk destroyed by further air attacks on 14 May 1941.

23 April 1941: Greek pre-dreadnought battleships “Lemnos” and “Kilkis” sunk at Salamis by German air attack (neither ship was in service as an operational unit). These ships were the ex-U.S. Navy “Mississippi” (BB 23) and “Idaho” (BB 24) respectively and were sold to Greece in 1914.

27 April 1941: Destroyer “Vasilevs Georgios I” (damaged on the 13th) captured in floating dock at Salamis; dock damaged by German air attack on the 20th. Salvaged and repaired as German “Hermes” (ZG 3).

Besides the major losses, the Greek Navy also lost eight smaller torpedo boats, four minelayers and all but one of its auxiliary vessels to air attacks.

Per the below cited website, the Germans stripped the armor off the “Lemnos” and “Kilkis,” but otherwise seemed to have left them where they laid. The "Lemnos" was slavaged and scrapped in 1948 while the “Kilkis” was raised in October 1949 and scrapped in Italy in 1951.

http://www.warships1.com/

Regards,
Shawn

SOURCES:
Siegfried Breyer, "Battleships and Battlecruisers, 1905-1970," Alfred Kurti, translator, Doubleday & Company Inc., Garden City, New York, 1978 printing.

David Brown, "Warship Losses of World War II (Revised Edition," Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, Maryland, 1995 printing.

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Post by Andy H » 27 Oct 2002 10:50

Thank you as ever Shawn,

You mentioned that the armour was stripped from the hulks-Do we know for what purpose and what about the arnaments, were they used for coastal emplacements or left?

:D Andy from the Shire

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Post by USAF1986 » 27 Oct 2002 17:54

Andy,

Glad to help! That’s a very good question, but I can only guess at an answer. It seems the Germans always made good use of what could be salvaged from wrecked enemy ships that fell into their hands. Presumably, the armor (and possibly the guns) taken from these ships would have been put to local utilization. Check out these great U.S. Navy photo archive sites:

http://www.history.navy.mil/photos/sh-f ... lemnos.htm

http://www.navsource.org/archives/01/23.htm

On the first site, there is a great photo showing BOTH of the ships in the same view! I’ve also attached a U.S. Navy archival photo showing another view of the sunken “Lemnos.” This was taken by a German aircraft and one can see the ship’s main armament visible under the water while the starboard secondary armament is just clearing the water. The harbor breakwater adjacent to the ship has also clearly taken a bomb hit.

I think that at the time of her sinking, the “Kilkis” had already been stripped of her weapons.

Regards,
Shawn
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Post by USAF1986 » 28 Oct 2002 01:11

Andy,

Here's the complete Stuka Order of Battle, both German and Italian, for the Balkans as of 5 April 1941. I still couldn't find exactly which unit sank those two ships, but it's on this roster someplace!

Regards,
Shawn

Luftwaffe

Luftflotte 4 (Vienna)

VIII. Fliegerkorps (Gorn Djumaja/Bulgaria)

Stab StG 2 (Ju 87B) (Based at Belica-North) – Major Oskar Dinort
I./StG 2 (Ju 87B/Ju 87R) (Based at Belica-North) – Hauptmann Hubertus Mitschhold
III./StG 2 (Ju 87B) (Based at Belica-North) – Hauptmann Ernst-Siegfried Steen
I./StG 1 (Ju 87R) (Based at Krainici) – Major Paul-Werner Hozzel
I./StG 3 (Ju 87B/Ju 87R) (Based at Belica-North) – Major Walter Sigel

Fliegerführer Graz (Austria)

Stab StG 3 (Ju 87B) (Based at Graz-Thalerhof) – Oberleutnant Karl Christ
II./StG 77 (Ju 87B) (Based at Graz-Thalerhof) – Hauptmann Alfons Orthofer

Fliegerführer Arad (Romania)

Stab StG 77 (Ju 87B) (Based at Arad) – Oberstleutnant Clemens Graf von Schönborn-Wiesentheid
I./StG 77 (Ju 87B) (Based at Arad) – Hauptmann Helmut Bruck
III./StG 77 (Ju 87B) (Based at Arad) – Major Helmuth Bode

Regia Aeronautica

4a Squadra Aerea (Bari/Italy)

97° Gruppo Autonomio B.a.T. with 209a and 239a Squadriglia (Ju 87B) (Based at Lecce/Italy) – Tenente Colonello Antonio Moscatelli

101° Gruppo Autonomio B.a.T. with 208a and 238a Squadriglia (Ju 87) (Based at Tirana/Albania) – Maggiore Giuseppe Donadio

SOURCE: John Weal, “Junkers Ju 87 Stukageschwader of North Africa and the Mediterranean (Osprey Combat Aircraft #6),” Osprey Publishing, London, UK, 1998.

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Post by USAF1986 » 28 Oct 2002 01:19

My ommission...101° Gruppo Autonomio B.a.T. with 208a and 238a Squadriglia should be listed as equipped with Ju 87B.

Shawn

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Post by Andy H » 19 Apr 2005 15:12

Well it seems that the guns and turrets may well have been utilized along the north Aegean coast

Two fortified groups were built. The 1st Group, was east at Cape Karabournu whilst the 2nd Group was built at the mouth of the Vardar River.

The following were used from the Kilkis & Lemnos

8x12" (305mm)
18x8" (203mm)
16x7" (178mm)

a further 40 guns ranging from 76mm-273mm were used from other ships

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Post by Stephan » 25 Apr 2005 06:50

Many sunk ships, although some very old and not longer in active service. Some ships must survived?

I mean, here in a flash we do see Greece must have had a relatively powerfull fleet.

Why? The ever possible threat from Turkey??

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Post by Michael Emrys » 25 Apr 2005 11:32

Also, in the six decades following 1880, having a pre-Dreadnought or Dreadnought class battleship or two around was regarded as an essential status symbol for many nations, even when they had no realistic operational use for one. I have never attempted an exhaustive survey all all the countries so armed, but I have run into a number that surprised me, like Korea and several in South America. (This should not be taken to mean that Korea had no realistic use for them. It did get into a war with Japan, after all.)

In the case of Greece vs. Turkey, yes there was a real rivalry there, one that hasn't completely cooled down yet even though both countries are NATO members. And Turkey had two relatively modern battleships given to it by Germany during the First World war (assuming both were still afloat by the outbreak of WW II?).

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Post by Andy H » 25 Apr 2005 14:49

The Turkish Navy had the ex German Battle-Cruiser Goeben, renamed Yavuz. The ship had completed a overhaul and refit in France in 1930. The ship itself was completed in 1911.

Its main arnament was 10x11" guns in 5 turrets. 1forward, 2 rear and 2 midships.

Though the Turkish ship would have been faster, any slugging match would have favoured the Greeks. However one of the Greek BB's was already disarmed before the outbreak of WW2

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Re: The Sinking of the ex-US Battleship at Salamis

Post by Tiornu » 02 May 2005 10:36

Just from memory, I believe the purchase of the Mississippis followed the Turkish acquisition of two German Brandenburgs. They probably got a good price from the US because they weren't very good ships to start with. It seems to me that they ceded their role as the navy's premier units well before the war--Averof was the ship showing the flag in the 1930's--and neither was in service at the time of the German attack. The removal of armor and guns had already begun.

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Post by Andy H » 02 May 2005 12:45

Georgios Averoff is an Italian Pisa Class Armored Cruiser, was purchased in October 1909 with funds left to the Greek Navy for warship purchases by the Greek millionaire G.Averoff. The cruiser was named after the navy's benefactor.

She was the flagship of the Greek Fleet during the Balkan Wars 1912-1913. The fleet under the command of Rear Admiral Paul Kondouriotis, successfully stopped the Turkish Navy from issuing from the Dardanelles and helped the army seize territory. On January 18, 1913 Averoff engaged the Turkish cruiser Medjidieh, four armored ships and 13 torpedo craft. Averoff met the Turkish squadron 12 miles from Lemnos and after two hours of gunnery exchange, the Turks retired.

Averoff was refitted 1925-1927. On April 25, 1941 she escaped to Alexandria as Greece was invaded by the German Army. During the war she was a convoy escort in the Indian Ocean. The armored cruiser, Georgios Averoff is still in existence as a memorial at Poros Island, 40 miles south of Athens
.

Source: Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1906-1921

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Post by Windward » 27 Dec 2005 14:43

Michael Emrys wrote:Also, in the six decades following 1880, having a pre-Dreadnought or Dreadnought class battleship or two around was regarded as an essential status symbol for many nations, even when they had no realistic operational use for one. I have never attempted an exhaustive survey all all the countries so armed, but I have run into a number that surprised me, like Korea and several in South America. (This should not be taken to mean that Korea had no realistic use for them. It did get into a war with Japan, after all.)

In the case of Greece vs. Turkey, yes there was a real rivalry there, one that hasn't completely cooled down yet even though both countries are NATO members. And Turkey had two relatively modern battleships given to it by Germany during the First World war (assuming both were still afloat by the outbreak of WW II?).
Excuse me, but Korea once had a pre-dreadnaught? 8O Maybe you mean China? AFAIK Korean never build its modern naval force before the Japanese annextion in 1910, it's China which bought two irnoclads from Germany in the 1880s.

In fact the naval powers which have had coastal battleships, pre-dreadnaughts, or dreadnaughts are countable, they were:
UK
France
Russia
USA
Germany
Austro-Hungarian Empire
Italy
Ottoman Empire
Greece
Netherland
Norway
Denmark
Sweden
Spain
Portugal
China
Japan
Argentina
Brazil
Chile
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Post by Kim Sung » 27 Dec 2005 15:06

Michael Emrys wrote:Also, in the six decades following 1880, having a pre-Dreadnought or Dreadnought class battleship or two around was regarded as an essential status symbol for many nations, even when they had no realistic operational use for one. I have never attempted an exhaustive survey all all the countries so armed, but I have run into a number that surprised me, like Korea and several in South America. (This should not be taken to mean that Korea had no realistic use for them. It did get into a war with Japan, after all.)
8O 8O 8O?????? What are you talking about?????

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Post by Michael Emrys » 27 Dec 2005 18:38

Uh, let me check my books again, since you two fine gents have raised serious doubts. I'll get back to you on this with either a source or an apology.

Michael

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