Prelude to Chesme

By Captain William C. Chapman U.S.N., published February 1966

Abstract

Russian Mediterranean naval adventures in the 18th century may illuminate 20th century Russian naval activities. In 1769, three squadrons left Kronstadt to raise Mediterranean dissidents against the Ottomans. The ships were poor; the command structure weak.   France and Spain posed the greatest threat but England provided resources and expertise. On commencing operations in Greece, the dissidents’ inexperience confirmed that land operations would fail. The main Ottoman fleet was attacked at Chios but retreated to the protection of Chesme.   The Russians then used fireships and destroyed the fleet. Unfortunately, the limited Russian Mediterranean fleet achieved little after Chesme.

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Filed under: Atlantic | Baltic | North Sea | Other (Eighteenth C) | Other (Nineteenth C) | Mediterranean
Subjects include: Battles & Tactics | Navies | Strategy & Diplomacy | Weapons

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