Alemdar (ship)

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This article is about the historical salvage tug. For the submarine rescue ship, see TCG Alemdar (A-601).
Career
Name:
  • 1899-1915: Danmark
  • 1915-1982: Alemdar
Owner:
  • 1899-1914: Danmark Em 2 Sviter Bjerg Enterprise, Copenhagen
  • 1914-1921: Ottoman Navy
  • 1921-1929: Turkish Navy
  • 1929-1959: Turkish Maritime Lines
  • 1960-1964: A Turkish maritime company
  • 1964-1980: Isikurt Maritime
  • 1980-1982: Garzan Aksoy Maritime
Port of registry:
Builder: Helsingörs Jemsk & Maka Helsingör
Launched: 1898
Out of service: 1982
Fate: Scrapped
General characteristics
Tonnage: 363 gross register tons (GRT)
Length: 49.5 m (162 ft)
Beam: 8.0 m (26.2 ft)
Draught: 4.0 m (13.1 ft)
Speed: 10 knots (19 km/h; 12 mph)
Crew: 28
Gazi Alemdar is located in Turkey
Gazi Alemdar
Gazi Alemdar
Location of museum ship Gazi Alemdar in Turkey.

Alemdar, aka Gazi Alemdar, was a former Turkish salvage tug, which is best known for her victorious engagement with a French navy warship during the Turkish War of Independence. Built in 1898 in Denmark, the Danish-flagged vessel was seized by the Ottoman Empire during World War I. She served under Turkish flag until her scrapping in 1982. Since 2008, a replica of her serves as a museum ship at the port of Karadeniz Ereğli, Turkey.

History[edit]

Built by Helsingörs Jemsk & Maka in Denmark, she was launched on 4 June 1898,[1][2][3] and christened Danmark. On 21 May 1899, she began her service life in the company Danmark Em 2 Sviter Bjerg Enterprise Copenhagen.[4] In accordance with the Capitulations of the Ottoman Empire, foreign-flagged ships were allowed to serve in Ottoman territorial waters, and Danmark was one of the ships serving in the Otoman territorial waters. However, during World War I, the Ottoman Empire abolished the capitulations and took hold of the ship. In May 1915, she was renamed Alemdar, and continued its service in the Ottoman Empire.[3][5] Her home port became Istanbul, the capital of the Ottoman Empire.

Alemdar’s escape to nationalists[edit]

During a salvage operation in the mouth of Kızılırmak River (Hallys of the antiquity) the ship crew came together with the Turkish nationalists, who were fighting against the Allies as well as the Ottoman government. Inspired by the nationalists, the chief engineer Osman decided to join the nationalists. On 5 February 1921, Alemdar with a crew of 7, sailed to Karadeniz Ereğli to join the nationalists under the pretext of a salvage operation. They consigned the ship to the nationalists. The number of the crew was now 21 excluding Osman who fell ill in Karadeniz Ereğli. The nationalists decided to send the ship to a port in eastern Black Sea, where Allied control was less severe.

Alemdar’s legendary operation[edit]

The Allies high commander gave strict orders to arrest the crew and bring the ship back. On the night of 8 February 1921 when Alemdar was trying to sail to east, the French gunboat C-27 waiting in ambush out of Karadeniz Ereğli harbor, caught Alemdar. The French navy was especially active in western Black Sea because of the coal mines in Zonguldak, which is situated to the east of Karadeniz Ereğli. French commander Tilli and a small platoon embarked the ship, and the ship was directed to İstanbul with the gunboat in rear. After a short voyage, however, the crew overtook the French soldiers by surprise, and redirected the ship back to Karadeniz Ereğli. The gunboat opened fire, but fearing to wound the French soldiers, they didn’t use their heavy guns. In Karadeniz Ereğli harbor, the French gunboat maneuvered sailing between Alemdar and the pier. But this was not a wise choice; because the nationalists in Karadeniz Ereğli opened fire from the pier. According to Erol Mütercimler while the casualty of Alemdar was one death (Recep Kahya) and three wounded soldiers, the casualty of C-27 was two deaths and three wounded soldiers. The gunboat retreated.[6] According to the agreement reached on 2 March, the French military personnel who were held captive were released and the French navy promised not to interfere Alemdar’s voyage. This was a relatively small clash. But the news of arresting an allied commander brought a big morale for the nationalists.

Later years[edit]

On 25 September, Alemdar sailed to Trabzon. In 1922, four cannons were mounted on board, and Alemdar bagan serving as one of the few warships of the nationalists. In 1929, she was sold to Turkish Maritime Lines returning to her civilian service. After several handovers, she was finally scrapped in 1982.[1][2][3]

Museum ship[edit]

In 2008, a replica of Alemdar moored at the port of the Karadeniz Ereğli (41°17′N 31°25′E / 41.283°N 31.417°E / 41.283; 31.417), and opened to public on August 8 as a museum ship named Turkish: Gazi Alemdar Müze Gemisi.[1][2][3][4][5] It was reported that 145,000 tourists from all over the world, more than the city's population of 102,000, visited the museum ship in 2013.[1]

Technical details[edit]

The technical details were[4]

Length 49.47 metres (162.3 ft)
Width 7.95 metres (26.1 ft)
Draft (hull) 4.01 metres (13.2 ft)
Displacement (ship) 363 GRT 192 Nt.
Speed 10 knots
Fuel coal
Crew 28

Trivia[edit]

The above dates are in Gregorian calendar. In some sources the dates are given in Rumi calendar which was the official Turkish calendar in 1921. There is a difference of 13 days between the two. (i.e. February 5 in Gregorian calendar is January 23 in Rumi calendar.)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Alemdar Gemisi efsanesi, turizmle sürüyor". Sabah (in Turkish). 2014-01-10. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  2. ^ a b c "Gazi Alemdar müze gemisini 600 bin kişi ziyaret etti". Zaman (in Turkish). 2013-10-26. Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  3. ^ a b c d Aksel, Serol (2013-10-08). "Kurtuluş Savaşının kahraman gemisi: Alemdar". Radikal (in Turkish). Retrieved 2014-07-19. 
  4. ^ a b c "Alemdar Gemisi Olayı" (in Turkish). Ereğli Kömür Tarihi. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  5. ^ a b Demiroğlu, Atılay Durmaz. "Alemdar Destanı" (in Turkish). Karadeniz Ereğli Belediyesi. Retrieved 2014-07-18. 
  6. ^ Mütercimler, Erol (2005). Bu Vatan Böyle Kurtuldu. İstanbul: Alfa Kitap. p. 405-416. ISBN 975-297-460-0. 

Map[edit]