A Blog by the Editor of The Middle East Journal

Putting Middle Eastern Events in Cultural and Historical Context

Friday, April 4, 2014

A Quiz for Friday: What is this Vessel and Why is it Important in Middle Eastern History?

My attempts at trivia photo quizzes usually don't get much response, but let's try one anyway. The answer will appear in a historical blog post late today. This relatively small vessel, 40.2 meters (131 feet) in length, belonged to a Middle Eastern Navy. It managed to change the course of a major war, decide the outcome of a battle that had not yet begun, and derail the career of  major political figure. Please post only if you recognize it; Google Image Search really isn't playing fair, and there are no prizes other than a mention on the blog.  I deliberately chose a photo without a visible flag.


Amnon Lavidor said...

From your description I would guess the Goebben or Breslau, whose transfer from Imperial Germany to the Ottoman Empire triggered the latter's participation in WWI.

The Turk said...

It's the Ottoman Navy minelayer "Nusret."

The Nusret managed to sink and cripple several hapless Allied ships at the mouth of the Canakkale Straits (Dardanelles) in March 1915. As a result, Britain and France decided to land troops on Gelibolu (Gallipoli) peninsula, thus starting the bloody campaign of World War I. With Entente forces withdrawing from the Dardanelles in January 1916, the war ended in an Ottoman victory.

The disastrous result of the campaign significantly hurt the career of the then-First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill.

Although more debatable, some historians have argued that Britain and France's inability to find a supply route to Russia caused the collapse of the Romanov regime and the 1917 revolutions.

Michael Collins Dunn said...

"The Turk" gets it. Amnon Lavidor's was a reasonable guess, but Goeben was a battle cruiser and Breslau a cruiser, major warships. Nusret it is.