Naval Warfare: Crimea Edition
Patrick Harris -
The Turkey Shoot of Sinope
The Ottoman Empire and the Russian Empire went to war in 1853. The war was caused by many different geo-political events, with the primary sticking point being the fate of the Church of the Nativity. The Ottomans had allowed under French Monk's control, which Russia objected to. Russia then occupied the Danube provinces, which was seen as an attempt to extend Russian power into the Mediterranean by Britain and France, so they joined the fun after the "massacre of Sinope" as it was termed.
A month after declaring war, a powerful Russian Squadron sailed down the Black Sea to attack an Ottoman force at Sinope. The Ottomans were severely outgunned, the Russian Fleet totalled eleven ships, six of them battleships, carrying 720 guns. The Ottomans had only a small force of seven frigates and fix smaller ships against this mighty Russian Bear.
The battle was over in an hour. Eleven Ottoman ships had been destroyed by the Russian high explosive shells and Paixhan guns. Only one, a fast steam powered auxiliary,had escaped. The opinion in the Western world was that Sinope had been a massacre, when in fact it was a legitimate act of war. This "massacre" offered the pretext for the entry of France and Britain into the war.