Lest We Forget: The Gallipoli Campaign

Yesterday and today at dawn, many Turks, Australians and New Zealanders commemorated the 99th anniversary of the  Gallipoli wars and the death. This is post I have written 4 years ago. But I don’t think anything has changed.

It was clear to the Allied commanders, after their attempt to force the Dardanelles by the naval alone, failed dramatically in 18 March; ground troops were needed to silence the Turkish defenses along the Strait.

On the dawn of 25th April after more a month of preparation and planning British, French and ANZAC troops landed on the beach on Gallipoli and Anatolia. This was the beginning of the one of the gruesome campaigns of the First World War.

For the next 8 and half months over 200.000 soldiers of all participants were either killed, wounded, hospitalized by illness or went missing.

The Gallipoli wars were particularly important for Turks, Australians and New Zealanders. Although the ANZAC came to our home as invaders there is a special bond between these nations. Long forgotten are the atrocities of the war. Every year thousands of Aussies and Kiwis come to Çanakkale and visit the battleground and attend the dawn service in Anzac Cove (now this is the official name of the cove). I do not know any other commemoration where two former enemies join to remember their fallen soldiers.

Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, who personally fought against the ANZAC’s in Gallipoli, later wrote in 1934 for his former advisories the following words:

Those heroes that shed their blood and lost their lives… You are now lying in the soil of a friendly country. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmet’s to us where they lie side by side now here in this country of ours… you, the mothers, who sent their sons from faraway countries wipe away your tears; your sons are now lying in our bosom and are in peace. After having lost their lives on this land. They have become our sons as well.

Russia And Greece Signed An Agreement On Military Cooperation

Last week Russia and Greece signed an intergovernmental agreement on military cooperation, during the visit of Russian Defense minister Sergei Shoigu to Athens.

It is worth of mentioning that this visit was conducted just before Athens will take the Presidency of EU for the next 6 months staring in 1.1.2014. Greece is NATO’s only member country to pursue fruitful military technological cooperation with Russia.

We signed an agreement that opens new frameworks and new boundaries for our further work in the sphere of military-technical cooperation,” Sergei Shoigu told journalists after talks with his Greek counterpart Dimitrios Avramopoulos in Athens.

The deal concerns armaments supplied previously as well as military hardware, maintenance and new hardware supplies, Shoigu said.

A Russian deputy defense minister, Anatoly Antonov, said after the talks that Shoigu had proposed that Avramopoulos consider working out an agreement to streamline the procedure for Russian navy vessels calling at Greek ports.

Antonov said the two defense ministers had also discussed the possibility of holding personnel training events and exchanging experience in the fight against terrorism and piracy, as well as other areas of cooperation.

This new agreement will make it easier for Russian ships to dock at Greek port during their deployment in the Mediterranean thus making Greece a reliable alternative to the Syrian port Tartus.

According to Greek blog SManalysis, Russia will help Greek Navy to support the Zubr class hovercraft. Greek Navy has procured 4 of these air-cushioned landing craft. Three of them joined the Greek Navy in 2001 and the last one in 2005. They have a displacement of 550 tons and can carry up to 130 tons military material: 3 main battle tanks or 10 armored personnel carriers or 230 troops.

One of them was decommissioned in 2010 and the operational status of the remainder was dubious.

Turkish Coast Guard Boats Get New Sensors

SG24blg
SG55blg
SG255blg
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I regret any misunderstanding that my previous post may have caused. I was just away temporary for a week-long holiday. That was all.

The photos you see above are the Coast Guard boats I have encountered during the week in various coastal towns.

The last photo of the SG-80 TCSG-80 is the most interesting of them all for me. As you can see below enlarged, Turkish Coast Guard has started to install a thermal imaging system to its boats. This is long-due addition to these boats sensors. This particular sensor suite look very similar to Aselsan’s Falconeye electro-optical sensor system. If this is the case than the system has thermal imaging system, a high performance day TV, target acquisition system and a laser pointer. Four boats of various classes have received this new sensor already. Read more of this post

Lest We Forget: DM-357 TCG Muavenet

I have missed the anniversary of the incident of TCG Muavenet being hit. So I am reposting one of my earlier post about this incident:

DM-357 TCG Muavenet was a special ship for me. This picture of hers, which I have taken back in 29 October 1989, was my very first photo to be published in Jane’s Fighting Ships in 1991 edition.

On 2th October 1992, 11 minutes past midnight, during the NATO’s Display Determination ’92 naval exercise, two Sea Sparrow surface to air missiles fired accidentally from the aircraft carrier CV-60 USS Saratoga, hit the bridge of the Turkish destroyer DM-357 TCG Muavenet. 5 sailors including the commander of the ship were killed instantly and 15 badly hurt. A fire broke out on board. At the time of the incident two ships were 3 miles apart and were streaming north in the Aegean.

According the United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit the fateful events unfolded as follows:

“On October 1, 1992, the Combat Direction Center Officer aboard the Saratoga decided to launch a simulated attack on nearby opposition forces utilizing the Sea Sparrow missile system. After securing the approval of the Saratoga’s Commanding Officer and the Battle Group Commander, the Combat Direction Center Officer implemented the simulated assault plan. Without providing prior notice, officers on the Saratoga woke the enlisted Sea Sparrow missile team and directed them to conduct the simulated attack.

Certain members of the missile firing team were not told that the exercise was a drill, rather than an actual event. As the drill progressed, the missile system operator used language to indicate he was preparing to fire a live missile, but due to the absence of standard terminology, the responsible officers failed to appreciate the significance of the terms used and the requests made. Specifically, the Target Acquisition System operator issued the command “arm and tune,” terminology the console operators understood to require arming of the missiles in preparation for actual firing.

The officers supervising the drill did not realize that “arm and tune” signified a live firing. As a result, the Saratoga inadvertently fired two live Sea Sparrow missiles at the TCG Muavenet. Both missiles struck the TCG Muavenet, resulting in several deaths and numerous injuries.”

According to a report prepared by Turkish Naval Military Prosecutor’s Office on November 11, 1992 the Saratoga was with the visible horizon and the launch of the missiles were observed on TCG Muavenet.

One of the missiles hit the ship approximately after a flight of ten seconds. The first missile hit the front of the ships bridge and destroyed it. The second missile exploded in the air probably because the blast of the first missile and peppered the ship with shrapnel. Ships radar antenna, forward gun turrets, hedgehog launcher suffered from the shrapnel damage. The pieces of the second missile penetrated the forward gun turret, cabins of the supply officer and XO.

A fire started at the ammunition chamber of the Hedgehog system. The explosion of the Hedgehog rounds would have caused the loss of the ships. After the hits general quarters were sounded and the fire fighting teams started to tackle the fire. On the other hand the damage control teams were throwing the ready ammunition in the forward gun turrets and other explosives near the fire over the board as a safety measure.

When the situation was under control TCG Muavenet was towed to the Gölcük Naval Base. And the exercise continued as planned.

The damage to the old ship was extensive. She was not useable anymore therefore she was decommissioned right away. Later US gave Knox class FFG-1093 USS Capodanno as compensation.

The fire was under control in 10 minutes but the water caused damage in the decks that were not harmed in the initial blast.

These two photos were taken after TGC Muavenet was towed to Gölcük Naval Base.

The extend of the damage resulting both from missile impact and fire is obvious. It was quite a skill to bring the fire under control before reached to the gun turret in B position. If the fire has spread further to the turrets and ammunition chambers of the guns, the she would not have survived.

All the fire fighting and damage control efforts were done in the absence of the commander of the ship. This fact speaks for the professionalism of the officers and the bravery of the whole crew. They simply did not give up the ship.

Commander Kudret Güngör
Ensign Alertunga Akan
Petty Officer 3th Class Serkan Aktepe
Sergant Mustafa Kılınç
Private Recep Akan

Paid the ultimate price for the defence of their country.

For further reading:
US Navy Court of Inquiry

Turkish Navy Court of Inquiry

Wikipedia

An interesting but technical legal article about why USA did not paid indemnities to the Turkish sailors

Greek Submarine Ran Aground

Two tugs assits the grounded submarine Proteus. Photo: Flashnews.gr

Two tugs assits the grounded submarine Proteus. Photo: Flashnews.gr

According to Greek defence.point.gr, one Greek submarine has ran aground in Souda Bay, Crete.

As announced by the Navy General Staff, the Submarine PROTEUS during sailing in the bay of Souda Bay, Crete, and during evasive ship moved near shore and epakoumvise an ancient underwater pier.

No member of the crew was injured, the submarine is not a security problem and there has been no damage.

Perform actions for detachment of the ship and return to Naval Base Souda for scrutiny.

The 209 Type 1100 class submarine S-113 HS Proteus which ran aground was one of the four submarines which recevied and upgrade in Greek service. HS Proteus and her sisters were given a “weapons discharge and fire control update” as early as 1991‐1992, enabling them to fire Sub‐Harpoon anti‐ship missiles.

The modernisation package included Sub Harpoon, flank array sonar, Unisys FCS, Sperry Mk 29 Mod 3 inertial navigation system, GPS and Argos ESM.

More On Deniz Kurdu 13 Naval Exercise (Part 2)

DENİZKURDU-13 tatbikatı

F-511 TCG Heybeliada firing her main 76mm gun. Photo: samanyoluhaber.com

Yesterday the Deniz Kurdu 2013 naval exercise has ended.
This is the list of the participants as far as I can find:

 Number Name Type
A-573 TCG Bnb. Saadettin Gürcan Tanker
A-580 TCG Akar Tanker
A-595 TCG Yrb. Kudret Güngör Tanker
F-241 TCG Turgutreis Frigate
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate
F-244 TCG Barbaros Frigate
F-246 TCG Salihreis Frigate
F-247 TCG Kemalreis Frigate
F-494 TCG Gökçeada Frigate
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette
P-335 TCG İmbat Fast Attack Boat
P-336 TCG Zıpkın Fast Attack Boat
P-337 TCG Atak Fast Attack Boat
P-346 TCG Gurbet Fast Attack Boat
P-347 TCG Fırtına Fast Attack Boat
P-349 TCG Karayel Fast Attack Boat
M-26X TCG- X Mine Hunter
akar

Naval special forces fast roping to TCG Akar. Photo: dunya.com

The naval special forces demonstrated how to infiltrate into a ship and capture it on board of the replenishment tanker A-580 TCG Akar. This is a much needed exercise considering that there is always a special forces team on board of the Turkish frigates conducting anti piracy operations in Gulf Of Aden.

Click here for the full set of photos from the infiltration exercise.

Efes 2013 Exercise

Turkish naval and airborne units are moving towards the beachhead.

Turkish naval and airborne units are moving towards the beachhead. Photo:ntvmsnbc.com

Turkish Navy in cooperation with Turkish Army and Air Force conducted the Efes 2013 military exercise in annex to the Deniz Kurdu 2013 naval exercise.

The annual Efes exercise is always about making a forces entry to the enemy territory from the sea and from the air. This year the scenario was the same. Turkish naval units transported naval infantry units to the beaches while the air force conducted airstrikes and army helicopters provided lift and close air support.

As far as I can see, most of the new type LCT‘s of the navy which are among the fastest.

Click here for the photos.

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New LST’s with an old M-113. Photo: ntvmsnbc.com

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Photo: ntvmsnbc.com

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Photo: ntvmsnbc.com

More On Deniz Kurdu 13 Naval Exercise

The naval exercise Deniz Kurdu 13 is continuing.

This is the list of the participants as far as I can find:

 Number Name Type
A-573 TCG Bnb. Saadettin Gürcan Tanker
A-595 TCG Yrb. Kudret Güngör Tanker
F-243 TCG Yıldırım Frigate
F-246 TCG Salihreis Frigate
F-247 TCG Kemalreis Frigate
F-494 TCG Gökçeada Frigate
F-495 TCG Gediz Frigate
F-511 TCG Heybeliada Corvette
P-335 TCG İmbat Fast Attack Boat
P-336 TCG Zıpkın Fast Attack Boat
P-337 TCG Atak Fast Attack Boat
P-346 TCG Gurbet Fast Attack Boat
P-347 TCG Fırtına Fast Attack Boat
P-349 TCG Karayel Fast Attack Boat
M-26X TCG- X Mine Hunter

Some interesting photos from the exercise:

(1)

(4)

(6)

DENİZKURDU-13 Fiili Deniz Tatbikatı

DENİZKURDU-13 Fiili Deniz Tatbikatı

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denizkurdu6

For more photos click here and here.

Deniz Kurdu 2013 Naval Exercise Has Started

The largest annual exercise of the Turkish Navy Deniz Kurdu has started on 20 May 2013. Vice Admiral Bülent Bostanoğlu, Commander of the Fleet is in charge of the exercise.

The participating ships left their port in Gölcük, Foça and Aksaz. The exercise will be conducted in the Marmara, the Aegean and the Eastern Mediterranean. 

According to Akşam newspaper F-243 TCG Yıldırım, F-244 TCG BarbarosF-246 TCG Salihreis and F-511 TCG Heybeliada are taking part in the exercise.

The exercise will end on 3 June 2013.  Click here for the official announcement.

Greek Navy Performed Live Missile Shootings

8mOn the 16th February Greek Navy conducted an exercise with live missile shootings. The exercise was held in south east of Crete.

According to official website of Greek Navy:

One land based mobile battery fired an Exoet missile, one S-70B Seahawk helicopter fired a AGM-114 Hellifre missile, the fast attack craft P-26 Degiannis fired a Penguin Mk.2 missile. The special forces team on Degiannis even fired an AT-4 anti tank missile.

The Greek armed forces are conducting a lot live missile shooting during their exercises. I guess expending a missile that, has a very little shelf life left, is cheaper than reconditioning it. Missile shootings also boosts the morale.

According to the official website of Greek Navy the target of these munitions was the decommissioned corvette Elefthria.

By the way “elefthria” means “freedom” in English.

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