- HMS E11
HMS "E11" was an E-class submarine of the
Royal Navylaunched on 23 April 1914. "E11" was one of the most successful submarines in action during the 1915 naval operations in the Dardanelles Campaign, sinking over 80 vessels of all sizes in three tours of the Sea of Marmara.
In October 1914 "E11", under the command of
Lieutenant-CommanderMartin Nasmith, was dispatched to the Baltic Seaalong with two other submarines but was twice intercepted by German patrols and forced to return to Harwich. During the Scarborough Raidin December 1914, the "E11" attempted to intercept the German battlecruisers but failed due to faulty torpedoes.
"E11" took part in the
Cuxhaven Raid, which culminated on 25 December 1914 in the attack by seven seaplanes from the aircraft tenders HMS "Engadine", HMS "Riviera" and HMS "Empress" (escorted by three cruisersand several destroyersof the Harwich Force) on Zeppelinsheds and other military targets near Cuxhaven. Four of the aircraft failed to regain their ships; three of them landed at the rendezvous point where E11 was waiting and were scuttled, the crews being taken on board. [The rescued pilots were Flight Lieutenant Arnold John Miley (aircraft serial no. "120"), Flight Sub-Lieutenant Vivian Gaskell Blackburn (aircraft serial no. "814") and Flight Commander Douglas Austin Oliver (aircraft serial no. "815).]
In May 1915, still commanded by Nasmith, "E11" arrived at the
Dardanellesto join the submarine campaign in the Sea of Marmara. "E11" was the second submarine to undertake a successful tour, following the "E14" which had passed through the straits on 27 April.
The "E11" passed through the Dardanelles on the night of 18 May. Surfacing off the town of
Gallipoli, Nasmith captured a Turkish sailing vessel and lashed it to the conning towerto act as a disguise. However, this ruse failed to attract any targets, so after several days he abandoned it. Travelling up the Sea of Marmara, he sank a gunboatand several other small craft on 23 May. The following day, near the port of Rodosto(today Tekirdağ), "E11" encountered the Turkish transport "Nagara", laden with ammunition. Aboard the transport was an American journalistRaymond Swing, from the " Chicago Daily News". Nasmith sank the ship after it was abandoned by the crew and passengers. Nasmith sank another transport and forced one aground before being driven away from the shore by some Turkish cavalry.
On 25 May 1915 "E11" reached
Istanbul. Nasmith was searching for the German warships SMS "Goeben" and SMS "Breslau", but when he surfaced at 12:40, he sighted the elderly transport "Stamboul" lying alongside the Tophane Arsenal. Nasmith's first torpedo ran in a circle and nearly struck the "E11", however the second torpedo hit "Stamboul". Under fire from shore-based artillery, "E11" dived to make her escape. Caught in the strong Bosphoruscurrent, "E11" was out of control for 20 minutes until she settled on the bottom near the Maiden's tower. "Stamboul" failed to sink but was beached at Harem. "E11's" attack on Constantinople, the first by an enemy vessel in over 100 years, had an enormous impact on Turkish morale, causing a panic in the city and compelling "Goeben" to shift to a safer mooring.
"E11" returned to the
Bosphorusapproaches on 27 May and sank more ships but running short of torpedoes and with mounting mechanical problems, Nasmith headed home on 5 June. On his return passage through the Dardanelles he encountered another transport which, despite his vulnerable position and the poor state of the submarine, he attacked and sank with his final two torpedoes. Passing through the Narrows near Çanakkale, "E11" snagged a moored mine. Nasmith had to tow the mine out of the straits before he was able to disentangle the submarine.
On "E11's" first tour, eleven ships were sunk or disabled. For this successful tour Nasmith was awarded the
Victoria Cross, the third submarine commander to receive the award during the Dardanelles Campaign.
"E11" was on her second tour when, on 8 August 1915 as a new British landing was underway at
Suvla, "E11" torpedoed the antiquated Turkish battleship"Hayreddin Barbarossa" off Bulairat the northern entrance to the Dardanelles. "Hayreddin Barbarossa" was one of two Turkish battleships sunk during the campaign. Visiting Constantinople again, "E11" sank a Black Seacollier as it was preparing to unload — a significant blow as coalwas the main fuel source and supplies were scarce. Moving into the Gulf of Izmir, on the night of 20 August, "E11's" first officer, Lieutenant Guy D'Oyly-Hughes, swam ashore and blew up a section of the Constantinople-Baghdad railway line, a feat for which he was awarded the Distinguished Service Order.
"E11" made three tours of the Sea of Marmara and sank in total 27 steamers and 58 smaller vessels.Fact|date=November 2007
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