Sinop, Battle of 1853

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Sinop, Battle of (1853)


a naval battle fought during the Crimean War between Russian and Turkish squadrons on Nov. 18(30), 1853, in the bay of Sinop.

The Turkish squadron, commanded by Osman Pasha, had arrived at the port of Sinop from Istanbul and was preparing to land troops in the vicinity of Sukhum-Kale (Sukhumi). A Russian squadron of the Black Sea Fleet under the command of Vice Admiral P. S. Nakhimov (three ships of the line) was assigned the task of impeding major enemy movements.

On November 8 (20), the Russian squadron, while cruising in the southeastern part of the Black Sea, happened upon Osman Pasha’s squadron and blocked it in the bay of Sinop. After the arrival of reinforcements, Nakhimov, with six ships of the line and two frigates (720 guns) now under his command, decided to attack the Turkish squadron, which consisted of seven frigates, three corvettes, two steam frigates, two brigs, and two transports, a total of 510 guns. On November 18, the Russian ships, after overcoming a dense barrage from Turkish shore batteries (38 guns), advanced in a column and broke through into the bay. They then dropped anchor and opened fire on the enemy’s ships and batteries. In the course of four hours the Russians destroyed all the Turkish ships, except the steamer Taif under the command of the British adviser A. Slade, which escaped, and almost all the batteries. The Turks lost more than 3,000 men; approximately 200 men, including the wounded Osman Pasha, were captured. Russian losses numbered 37 killed and 235 wounded.

With victory in the battle of Sinop, the Russian fleet gained supremacy in the Black Sea and foiled Turkish plans of landing a force in the Caucasus. Responding to the defeat of their ally, Great Britain and France moved their squadrons into the Black Sea in December 1853. The battle of Sinop was the last battle of the age of sailing fleets.


P. S. Nakhimov: Dokumenty i materialy. Moscow, 1954.
Bogdanovich, E. V. Sinop: ISnoiabria 1853. [St. Petersburg, 1878.]
Zverev, B. I. Sinopskoe srazhenie. Moscow, 1953.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.