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S. M. Battleship Goeben

Evading French and British warships, the German battleships Goeben and Breslau made their way from the Atlantic and across the Mediterranean to the Dardanelles in August, 1914. Goeben entered the Turkish navy as the Sultan Jawus Selim, and signaled Turkey's entry into the war on October 29, 1914 with the shelling of the Russian Black Sea port of Odessa.
Text:
S. M. Panzerkreuzer Goeben, türkischer Name: "Sultan Jawus Selim"
Reverse:
Photogr. u. Verlag Gebr. Lempe, Kiel. No. 127 Rö.

Evading French and British warships, the German battleships Goeben and Breslau made their way from the Atlantic and across the Mediterranean to the Dardanelles in August, 1914. Goeben entered the Turkish navy as the Sultan Jawus Selim, and signaled Turkey's entry into the war on October 29, 1914 with the shelling of the Russian Black Sea port of Odessa.

Image text

S. M. Panzerkreuzer Goeben, türkischer Name: "Sultan Jawus Selim"

Reverse:

Photogr. u. Verlag Gebr. Lempe, Kiel. No. 127 Rö.

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On August 4, the two German battleships of the German Mediterranean Squadron, Goeben and Breslau, which had been in the Mediterranean since the First Balkan War in 1912, fired on the French-Algerian ports of Bone and Phillipville. They attacked coaling ships further east off Messina, Italy, continued across the Mediterranean and Aegean Seas evading Allied warships, and, on August 8, entered Turkish waters in the Dardanelles Strait, one of the bodies of water separating Europe from Asia and leading to the Black Sea. The ships passed the forts that defended the strait along the northern and southern shores, crossed the Sea of Marmora, and, at the mouth of the Bosphorus leading to the Black Sea, anchored in Constantinople, capital of Turkey.

A neutral nation, Turkey was obligated to impound the vessel. Instead, Germany transferred the ships and their crews to Turkey, ostensibly as recompense for Britain's seizure of two ships being built for Turkey in Britain. Goeben became the Yavuz Sultan Selim, Breslau, the Midilli, and Rear Admiral Wilhelm Souchon, commander of the squadron, was given command of the Ottoman fleet.

Although both ships were superior to any Russian ship in the Black Sea, the battle cruiser Goeben, displacing five times the tonnage of the light cruiser Breslau, and with a crew three times as large, threatened British and French ships in the Mediterranean. With the two ships able to control the Black Sea, Russian exports of food and imports of war materiel was threatened. When Turkey joined the Central Powers, a critical sea lane was closed, and traffic between the western Allies and Russia was more heavily dependent on a land route through the neutral Balkan nations of Greece, Bulgaria, and Romania.

Goeben survived the war though it was heavily damaged in the Battle of Imbros on January 20, 1918.

Goeben is a battleship.

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Statistics for Goeben (2)

Type Statistic Source
Crew in Persons 1,107 men Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I
Displacement in Tons 23,000 tons Jane's Fighting Ships of World War I