|Turcowaz Battle Squadron exiting the Dardanelles|
Turcowaz Battle Squadron: Admiral Basmati ReisHayreddin Barbarossa - Pre-dreadnought Battleship, Admiral's Flagship
Muhtesem - Ironclad Coastal Battleship
S167 Numune - Destroyer/ Torpedo Boat
S168 Gayret - Destroyer/ Torpedo Boat
Temporarily under command:-
Hamidiye - Protected (Light) Cruiser
|Hellenic Inshore 'Squadron': Ironclad battleship|
Spetsai, and destroyer Leon.
Embarking in the early hours of 31 October, the Battle Squadron, led by Muhtesem with Hamidiye bringing up the rear, and flanked by the destroyers to port, began to exit the Straits into the open sea. At once the whole force altered course to due west, the plan being, once well clear of the Gelibolu Peninsula, to turn nor'west by north, and escort Hamidiye through the strait between Gokceada Island and the Gelibolu shore. Once the cruiser was through and well on its way, the main body would return to the Dardanelles, and thence to their Sea of Marmara anchorage. Of course, it was unlikely that this could be achieved without a fight, but the Admiralty's attitude, shared by the Turcowaz crews, was that a fight would be so much the better.
|Fleets approaching, still well out of gunnery range.|
Following the setback of the Battle of Imbros, the Hellenic Navy kept more a watch over, than a blockade, of the Dardanelles. HNS Hydra under extensive repair, and HNS Psara sunk, Rear Admiral Pavlos Poliomyelitis appeared inclined to favour that class of vessel for maintaining an inshore watch. On this occasion, the coastal battleship HNS Spetsai had a single destroyer, HNS Leon, in attendance. So exiguous had Hellenic naval resources become, that the offshore watch comprised just the lone battleship HNS Lemnos, also accompanied by just the one destroyer, HNS Aetos. The orders to Spetsai were to engage at once any enemy force they came down the Dardanelles. The Offshore Watch squadron would come up the moment they heard the guns.
|Opening salvos, the far greater Turcowaz firepower|
scores but one hit - and that critical!
|Spetsai loses its forward 10.8-inch gun.|
In the following, I switched to using white dice for Hellenic Navy gunnery; green for the Turcowaz, and red for both sides' torpedoes. Larger dice represented primary armament; smaller dice the secondary. Instead of placing the card for a critical hit beside the critical hit die (as in the above picture), I placed it beside the vessel affected.
|Further exchanges as Hellenic vessels steer towards|
|The arrival of the Hellenic 'off-shore watch'.|
Note: The rules state that no ship may fire its primary armament at more than one target per turn. I felt that in the circumstance in which two targets were available, but one could not be engaged by both turrets, there was a case for splitting the fire. In this instance, both turrets could have engaged Spetsai, and maybe that's the way I ought to have played it. Yet I also felt that, Lemnos being such a powerful unit, it was in Mehtesem's interest to engage early, even with limited available firepower. There seemed to be no reason to lift altogether the primary gunfire against Spetsai, if that were available. Now, I accept that if both turrets could fire at Lemnos and at Spetsai, then it's an 'one or the other' thing. I'm still not sure whether or not I was right to take the line I did.
|'Engage the enemy more closely!'|
|Leon's torpedoes all miss.|
|HNS Lemnos loses a primary gun!|
To be continued.