18 Oct.1912: Greek torpedo boat sinks Ottoman ironclad in Thessaloniki harbor

On 18 October 1912 in Thessaloniki the Ottoman conquerors felt the hot breath of the approaching Greek Army.

The Greek Navy torpedo boat 11, under Captain Nikolaos Votsis, entered the port of Thessaloniki and sent two torpedoes against the Turkish ironclad Feth-i Bülend and sunk it.

Votsis’ torpedo boat came into the harbor at night passing through the mines with which it had been blocked, taking advantage of its small displacement and having first moved into the shallow waters of the mouth of the Axios river and left after fulfilling its objective without any hindrance. Seven of the crew were killed.

How did Captain Votsis himself describe the incident in his reference to the then Ministry of the Navy, the actions of Torpedo Boat 11 and the sinking of an enemy corvette in the port of Thessaloniki:

“I set sail from Litochoro the next morning and sailed to Skala Eleftherochori, where I remained until 9 pm, when I set sail for the attack. Karambournou was constantly illuminating the sea through its searchlights, but i sailed unnoticed between Karavofanarou and Vardaris. Then I arrived at the port of Thessaloniki and at 11.20 I saw with no doubt the Turkish warship anchored with the bow towards the NE at the western end of the breakwater. On the opposite right-hand side, there was a Russian warship, I guess more. I left calmly, always unnoticed, and headed straight into the middle of the Turkish warship. I first hit the right front torpedo at 11.35  from a distance of 150 meters. I turned a little to the left and slammed the left. Then I reversed as fast as possible to get away from the explosion … “.

In the photos the then Captain of the Hellenic Navy Nikolaos Votsis and the torpedo boat 11.

And the sunk Feth-i Bülend.