Çesme, Battle of 1770

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Çeşme, Battle of (1770)


a sea battle that took place on June 26 (July 7), 1770, during the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–74, in Çeşme Bay in the Khios Channel of the Aegean Sea.

Operating in the Aegean Islands with nine ships of the line, three frigates, and one bombardier and under the nominal command of Count A. G. Orlov, the Russian fleet attacked the Turkish fleet on June 24 (July 5) in the Khios Channel northwest of Çeşme. The Russian fleet was under the immediate command of Admiral G. A. Spiridov. The Turkish fleet was commanded by Grand Admiral Gazi Hasan Paşa and consisted of 16 ships of the line, six frigates, six xebecs, 13 galleys, and 32 galliots. The Turkish flagship was sunk in the fighting. When the Russian ship of the line Evstafii exploded, the Turkish fleet, under covering fire from shore batteries, fled in panic and took shelter in Çeşme Bay, which was then blockaded by the Russian fleet.

On the night of June 25 (July 6), Spiridov sent advance units commanded by Rear Admiral S. K. Greig to the entrance of the bay. The units—four ships of the line, two frigates, and one bombardier—opened fire and, using incendiary shells, set fire to a number of Turkish ships. Four fire ships were then committed to the attack, one of which, commanded by Lieutenant D. S. II’-in, set fire to a Turkish ship of the line. The fire spread to other Turkish ships. Except for one ship of the line and five galleys, which were captured by the Russians, the entire Turkish fleet was destroyed by fire. The Turks lost more than 10,000 men, and the Russians, 11 men. As a result of the battle, the Russian fleet gained supremacy in the Aegean Sea.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.