|Goeben Docked in İstinye Bay, on the Bosphorus, Istanbul|
Meanwhile, Britain and France first protested that the ships must be disarmed, and once he "sale" was announced demanded that the German crews be replaced/. Hast was not done and over the next two months, Turkey's neutrality would be further eroded until its formal entry into the war in late October, a story we will follow in the coming months. We'll tell those tales at the appropriate time.
|Yavuz Raises Her New Flag|
On the same day SMS Breslau was recommissioned as Medilli; she would serve the Ottoman fleet until January 20, 1918, when she was sunk in battle off the island of Imbros.
|German Adm. Souchon|
|Turkish Adm. Souchon|
|The Goeben crew|
|Souchon and his staff in Fezzes|
|German postcard of crewmen in Fezzes|
Just as the Young Turks had entrusted the training and modernization of the Army to a German Military Mission under Liman von Sanders, they had turned for their Navy to the premier naval power, Britain. Since 1912, the British Naval Mission had been under Admiral Sir Arthur Limpus. He took command just as Turkey lost the Dodecanese to Italy, and had headed to England to receive the two dreadnoughts just as Churchill seized them for Britain. Djemal Pasha's previously-cited memoirs explain what happened next:
The most delicate part of the business, however, was to get the Commander-in-Chief of the Fleet, Admiral Limpus, and all the English officers out of the fleet without causing excitement The very next day I had a report from the Admiral in question. . He congratulated the Ottoman Government on having secured possession of two such vessels, and assured me that as the two ships came under his direct command, he would have the selected officers and men ready within a month to manoeuvre with these most modem units. I asked the Admiral to call on me, and began to discuss the matter with him. I asked him that, in view of the fact that the German Admiral and ships' companies were very exhausted, so that the date on which they would leave the ship was still uncertain, he would occupy himself in making out the list of officers and men who were to be employed on them.
By a stroke of luck it happened that four or five days later I received a short letter from the Admiral in which he told me that he was enclosing a copy of a report in English which he had submitted direct to the Grand Vizier. I had the report translated. In view of the condition of our fleet and army, he recommended the Government to preserve the strictest neutrality, and expressed his opinion that the Turkish officers and men needed at least four or five years' training instruction before they would be efficient enough to handle the recently-acquired units. I immediately replied to the Admiral that he was there solely to reorganise the fleet, that he was directly responsible to the Ministry, and must therefore present his reports to that Ministry alone. As those reports were to concern themselves with the reorganisation of the fleet and nothing else, he had no authority to recommend any political course to the Ottoman Government when dealing with the situation in the navy.
The next day I received a very short reply from the Admiral. "Your letter shows me the true position. For the future I will be extremely careful not to exceed the limits you have imposed for my activities. In any case, I am feeling very tired, and I should be very grateful to you if you would allow me to spend some time with my daughter, who is living in Therapia."
I told him that his wish was granted, but also. pointed out that during his absence there might be many misunderstandings in the fleet between the English officers, mechanics, &c., and the Turkish crews, and asked him to prevent such occurrences by sending the officers to the Ministry, so that they could be distributed among the different sections of the arsenal. The day after this order was carried not a single English officer remained on service with our fleet. Thereupon an Imperial irade was issued, wherein Admiral Souchon was appointed to the service of the Ottoman Government with the title of Commander- in-Chief of the Imperial Fleet. The next day the Goeben and Breslau, which were now called Jawus and Midilli, hoisted the Turkish ensign, entered Stambul harbour, and anchored in the roads of Moda.
A few days later His Majesty the Sultan, who had gone on board the yacht Erthogrul, reviewed the Turkish Fleet, which now definitely included the Jawus and Midilli, during the regatta which was in progress at the Princes Islands. It is utterly impossible to describe the enthusiasm and pleasure which seized on the people of Constantinople in those days.In September, Limpus was transferred to Malta.
|British cartoon in Punch|