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Nusret Minelayer and Victory of 18 March

For the Turkish side, Nusret is the symbol of the Wars of Dardanelles. With its twenty-six mines, it stopped the Allied Fleet, puzzled the allied commanders, boosted the morels of the Turkish soldiers, and brought joy to the Turkish nation.

After the wars have ended, the heroic story of Nusret became a legend. Today, it took its place in books of legends. "The night of 17 March" in the most of the records, the venture of Nusret begins. Although the date is incorrect, to emphasise the dramatic sides the mission it achieved, this date is commonly mentioned. In fact, venture of Nusret begins beforehand, with its arrival to the strait on 3 September 1914.
t was constructed in Germany and it was able to manoeuvre in the narrows skilfully. Thus, it was able to pass the minefields safely.


Identification of Nusret is as follows:

Type

: Minelayer

Built in

: Germany

Tonnage

: 360T

Date of Arrival

: 1912

Length

: 40 m.

Width

: 7,4 m.

Guns

: 7,5/40-battery (1), 4,7-battery (2), and 2 mk. 5b.

Speed

: 15 miles

Taken out of Service

: 16.06.1957

Consequence:

From February 1915 until March, the strongest fleet of the world came to the Dardanelles and began to bombard the forts positioned on both sides of the strait. Reconnaissance planes determined the mines and minesweepers neutralised the strait for a safe passage through the strait. The mines that Nusret has previously laid were cleaned as well.

All these preparations have shown that the most powerful armada of the world would be forcing the Dardanelles in a short period. Thereupon, with a German officer's advice, Turkish headquarters have decided to lay last twenty-six mines of Nusret, parallel to the Asiatic shore.

Commander of the Fortified Area Selahattin Adil in his memories says:


"It was obvious, the enemy would be attacking within few days. Therefore, German Admiral Menter Pasha advised that to lay the last spared mines. He was responsible of Navigation. He was an experienced soldier and a nice person. We assigned Nusret to lay those mines."

Henceforth, Commander of the Fortified Area Cevat Pasha assigned Captain Hakki Bey in command of Nusret. On the night of 7 March, he sailed for this significant task. Captain Hafiz Nazmi (Akpinar) was also in Nusret, that night for the pilotage.

On the night of 7 March few minutes after midnight, Nusret left Canakkale. In a complete silence and darkness, it slipped down through the previously laid mines. With the help of pilot Captain Nazmi, it advanced through Karanlik Liman and laid its only twenty-six mines parallel to the Asiatic shore. After it has completed the mission, with in same silence and darkness, returned to Canakkale. That night, Nusret drew the fate of the war.

The next day, the ally planes reconnoitred the strait, but somehow, they did not see the mines. They have reported that the strait is neutral. The pilot who gave that report had been executed by shooting on the day after The Naval Attack.

March 18 is one of the most significant victory days of the Turkish history. The success of Nusret Minelayer in this victory is evident. Winston Churchill defines those twenty-six mines as the reason for the prolonging of the war and the enormous casualties, in the interview he made with "Revue de Paris," in 1930.

By the year 2000, Nusret is anchored in Mersin. Many volunteers and societies are trying to save it from sinking. It desperately needs any donation, to be saved from the destinies of Yavuz and Midilli.

 

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What Other Says
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