On this day in 1913, the Georgios Averof devastates Ottoman Navy in the Battle of Lemnos

Battle for Lemnos. Georgios Averof battleship

The Hellenic Navy, led by the Georgios Averof battleship, defeated the second and last attempt by the Ottoman Empire to break the Greek naval blockade against the Dardanelles to reclaim supremacy over the Aegean Sea.

The Greek fleet, led by Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis, was comprised of the 9,960-ton armoured cruiser flagship Georgios Averof, the three old coastal defence battleships Spetsai, Ydra and Psara, and eight destroyers

 cruiser flagship Averof
Georgios Averof

The Ottoman flotilla included the pre-dreadnought battleships Hayreddin Barbarossa, Turgut Reis and Mesudiye and the cruiser Medjidiye, thirteen destroyers and torpedo ships.

On this day in 1913, the Georgios Averof devastates Ottoman Navy in the Battle of Lemnos 1

At 08:20 on January 5, 1913, Greek patrols spotted the Ottoman fleet, and the Greek Fleet of Moudros received the signal.

The already prepared Kountouriotis sailed at 09:45 from Moudros Bay, and the two fleets met off Moudros about 12 miles southeast of Lemnos island.

The Turks had the advantage of firepower and protection.


Gunnery exchange started at 11:34, and the Greek column turned left and further closed the distance to allow its older ironclads to open a broadside fire.

The Mecidiye and Turkish destroyers turned northeast, heading back towards the Dardanelles

They were followed by the Mesûdiye, which also turned at 11:50, having been badly hit by both the Hydra and Psara.


Five minutes later, the Georgios Averof struck the lead ship Barbaros Hayreddin.

The central axial turret was blown off.

Georgios Averof broke off the formation and signalled “independent action”.

It sped up while maneuvering to engage the Turks with artillery on both sides.

Later, the Greek ship chased the retreating Ottoman ships and the rest of the fleet towards the Dardanelles.

The Ottoman Navy retreated beyond the Dardanelles for good; they never attempted another attack, leaving the Greek Navy the dominant power in the Aegean Sea.

Casualties and losses :

Hellenic Navy: 1 wounded

Ottoman Navy: 41 killed, 104 wounded, two battleships damaged, and one ironclad damaged.

Thanks to this victory, the Turks could not move more troops from Asia Minor to aid its army in the Balkans, allowing the Allies to liberate them.


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