Naval Battle of Elli

Naval Battle of Elli
Naval Battle of Elli
Part of First Balkan War
Battle Elli.jpg
Date 16 December [O.S. 3 December] 1912
Location off the Dardanelles
Result Greek victory
Greece Greece  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Rear Adm Pavlos Kountouriotis Cpt Ramiz Bey
1 armoured cruiser (Averof)
3 coastal defence battleships (Hydra, Spetsai and Psara)
4 destroyers (Aetos, Ierax, Panthir and Leon)
2 battleships (Barbaros Hayreddin and Turgut Reis)
2 old battleships (Mesudiye and Âsâr-ı Tevfik)
1 protected cruiser (Mecidiye)
4 destroyers (Muavenet-i Milliye, First Balkan War

The Battle of Elli (Greek: Ναυμαχία της Έλλης, Turkish: İmroz Deniz Muharebesi), also known as the Battle of the Dardanelles[2], took place near the mouth of the Dardanelles on 16 December [O.S. 3 December] 1912 as part of the First Balkan War between the fleets of Greece and the Ottoman Empire. It was the largest sea battle of the Balkan Wars.[3]

The Royal Hellenic Navy, led by Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis on board the flagship Averof, defeated the Ottoman Navy, just outside the entrance to the Dardanelles (Hellespont). During the battle, Kountouriotis, frustrated by the slow speed of the three older Greek battleships Hydra, Spetsai and Psara, hoisted the Flag Signal for the letter Z which stood for "Independent Action", and sailed forward alone at a speed of 20 knots, against the Ottoman fleet. Taking full advantage in her superior speed, guns and armour, Averof succeeded in crossing the Ottoman fleet's "T" and concentrated her fire against the Ottoman flagship Barbaros Hayreddin, thus forcing the Ottoman fleet to retreat in disorder. The Greek fleet, including the destroyers Aetos, Ierax and Panthir continued to pursue the Ottoman fleet off-and-on between the dates of December 13 and December 26, 1912.

The Ottomans suffered 7 killed and 14 wounded on the Barbaros Hayreddin, 8 killed and 20 wounded on the Turgut Reis, and 3 dead and 7 wounded on the Mesudiye.[1]

This victory was quite significant in that the Ottoman navy retreated within the Straits and left the Aegean Sea to the Greeks who were now free to liberate the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Lemnos and Samos. It also prevented any transfer of Ottoman troop reinforcements by sea and effectively secured Ottoman defeat on land.

See Also


  1. ^ a b Langensiepe & Güleryüz (1995), p. 196
  2. ^ Stewart (2009), p. 195, 311.
  3. ^ Hall (2000), p. 64.


  • Erickson, Edward J.; Bush, Brighton C. (2003). Defeat in Detail: The Ottoman Army in the Balkans, 1912–1913. Greenwood Publishing Group. ISBN 0275978885. 
  • Fotakis, Zisis (2005). Greek naval strategy and policy, 1910–1919. Routledge. ISBN 978-0-415-35014-3. 
  • Langensiepen, Bernd; Güleryüz, Ahmet (1995). The Ottoman Steam Navy, 1828–1923. Conway Maritime Press. ISBN 0-85177-610-8. 
  • Hall, Richard C. (2000). The Balkan Wars, 1912-1913: Prelude to the First World War. Routledge. ISBN 9780415229463. 
  • Stewart, William (2009). Admirals of The World: A Biographical Dictionary, 1500 to The Present. McFarland. ISBN 9780786438099. 

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Naval Battle of Lemnos — Part of the First Balkan War …   Wikipedia

  • Naval Battle of Kaliakra — This article is about the events of 1912. For the events of 1791, see Battle of Cape Kaliakra. Battle of Kaliakra Part of First Balkan War …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of the Dardanelles — may refer to: During the Ottoman Venetian War of 1645–1669: Battle of the Dardanelles (1654) Battle of the Dardanelles (1655) Battle of the Dardanelles (1656) Battle of the Dardanelles (1657) During other conflicts: Battle of the Dardanelles… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Gerontas — Part of Greek War of Independence Date August 29, 1824 Location Southeast Aegean Result Greek v …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Samos (1824) — Battle of Samos Part of the Greek War of Independence Date August 5, 1824 (julian calendar) Location Off Samos Result …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Greece — Part of the Balkans Campaign during World War II …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Maritsa — Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe Serbian Ottoman Wars The Ottoman advance after the battle of Chernomen …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Nicopolis — For other uses, see Battle of Nicopolis (disambiguation). Last Crusade redirects here. For the 1989 movie, see Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Battle of Nicopolis Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe Ottoman–Hungarian Wars …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Vienna — This article is about the 1683 battle. For the earlier Ottoman siege of 1529, see Siege of Vienna. For the 1485 Hungarian siege, see Siege of Vienna (1485). For 1945 battle, see Vienna Offensive. Battle of Vienna Part of the Great Turkish War,… …   Wikipedia

  • Battle of Kosovo — This page is about the Battle of Kosovo of 1389. For other battles, see Battle of Kosovo (disambiguation); for the 1989 film depicting the battle, see Battle of Kosovo (film) Battle of Kosovo Part of the Ottoman wars in Europe Serbian Ottoman… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.