Muavenet and Goliath

Muavenet-i Milliye is the Turkish torpedo boat, which sunk the British battleship Goliath. During the night of May 12, Muavenet-i Milliye had skilfully slipped down from Chanak and torpedoed Goliath. After this heroic success, General Hamilton noted on his diary that "The Turks deserve a medal."

The sinking of the Goliath was the most disastrous event the Allies faced during the Canakkale Wars. The Allies' causality was enormous. Five hundred and seventy sailors were drowned, only one hundred and eighty of its crew was survived.

The Allies have failed to achieve their expectations with the landings. Thus, the British have began to make plans for resumption of The Naval Attack. However, the torpedoing of the Goliath had proven that it was impossible to open the straits by a naval attack. Admiral Fisher the commander of the British Naval Forces and the most feverish opponent of another naval attack has resigned, two days after the sinking of the battleship, on 15 May 1915. The resignation of Churchill First Lord of Admiralty came next.

As seen, a small Turkish torpedo boat by sinking the Goliath raised a crisis in the British cabinet. The Turkish resources reveal the event as follow:

"In the history of the Canakkale Wars, sinking of the Goliath has a significant place.
The French had asked the assistance of the battleships against the Turkish counterattacks targeting to recapture Kerevizdere. Thus, every night two battleships began to bombard the Turkish positions. The Turkish side, to eliminate damages caused by these battleships, assigned the Muavent-i Milliye.

Captain Ahmet Saffet was commanding the boat and he immediately sailed through Canakkale from the Marmara Sea where he had been patrolling. On 10 May, at 13:30, the Muavenet-i Milliye arrived at the strait and the preparations for its new assignment had begun.

It was on 12 May, at 18:40, Muavenet had gone into action. Between 19:00 and 19:30, it passed the mines and on 19:40 it anchored in Soganlidere and waited until the midnight. The projectors of the allied battleships were closed down at 23:30.

Muavenet weighed anchor at 00:30 and skipped through the European side of the strait. The Allied destroyers have failed to notice its advance. At 01:00 on the line astern of the Muavenet, two destroyers were seen, on the forehead was the Goliath. Goliath had asked the password and the Muavenet without loosing time, signed three torpedoes. The first torpedo hit the bridge; the second hit the funnel and the third the stern. In a very short time, the huge battleship with its five hundred and seventy sailors including the captain had sunk.

Muavenet had returned to Canakkale at 05:00 and welcomed with joy. On the same day, it sailed to Istanbul where it was welcomed with a ceremony. Enver Pasha awarded the crew on 16 May. Most importantly, this successful operation boosted the morels of the Turkish soldiers. However, the news about the sinking of the Goliath created a crisis in the War Council, in London.


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