November 18 This Day During World War l

November 18, 1914 – The Battle of Cape Sarych was a naval engagement fought off the coast of Cape Sarych during the First World War. In November 1914, two modern Ottoman warships, a light cruiser and a battlecruiser, under the German Admiral Wilhelm Souchon engaged a Russian fleet including 5 obsolescent pre-dreadnought battleships in a short action. On November 18, around 12:00 am, the Ottoman battlecruiser Yavuz Sultan Selim under Souchon and the light cruiser Midilli sighted the Russian fleet off Cape Sarych. Both of these vessels had a crew of Germans and Ottomans. The Russian ships were steaming in line with the Evstafi as Vice Admiral Andrei Eberhardt’s flagship. Russian naval forces had began a bombing campaign against the Ottoman coast in November 1914, forcing Admiral Souchon to sortie from Bosporus. The four other Russian vessels were the Ioann Zlatoust, the Panteleimon, the Tri Sviatitelya and the Rostislav. A few Russian cruisers and twelve destroyers were with the fleet but they were out of the range of Ottoman fire and did not engage in battle. When the Yavuz Sultan Selim came within range of Evstafi, the two opened fire on each other and for fourteen minutes the duel lasted. Evstafi’s first shot was a hit which struck one of the Ottoman battlecruiser’s 11-inch guns at a range of about 4,000 yards (3,700 m). The 11-incher blew up and killed the crew, the only Ottoman casualties of the battle. When the Ioann Zlatoust came into effective range she fired six shells with her bow gun as it was the only weapon capable of bearing on the battlecruiser, none of these shots met their target. The Ottomans and their German allies hit the Evstafi twice, one shell hit the portside of her hull and another hit just next to one of the 12-inch turrets. Outnumbered, Souchon’s ships withdrew and a heavy fog set in so the two navies disengaged and steamed back to friendly waters. Eleven Germans and one Turk were killed or wounded in the action.

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