The Bombardment of Samsun was a naval operation carried out by the Greek Navy and the United States Navy against the Turkish town of Samsun in 1922. The ships fired 400 rounds at the town, and in return the single Turkish cannon in the town fired back 25 rounds.[5] The bombardment lasted almost three hours (15:02–18:00).[7]

Bombardment of Samsun
Part of the Turkish War of Independence

Samsun view after the bombardment
Date7 June 1922

Tactical Allied victory

  • Samsun is brought under Allied control

Strategic Allied failure

  • No overall effect on the Turkish nationalists
Allied Powers
Kingdom of Greece Greece
 United States
Ankara Government
Commanders and leaders
Ioannis Ipitis
Charles Vriasco[1]
Mark Bristol
Robert L. Ghormley
Preston B. Haines
Cemil Cahit Bey
Units involved
Kingdom of Greece:[2]
Georgios Averof
destroyer Naxos[3]
2 cruisers
4 minesweepers[2]
USS Sands
USS McFarland
USS Sturtevant
1 battleship
3 cruisers
5 destroyers
4 minesweepers
1 cannon[5]
Casualties and losses
None None
4 civilians killed, 3 wounded[6]

Causes Edit

There were several reasons for the bombardment. One of them was to assist Pontic Greek rebels who were fighting Turkish forces in the area. Another reason was to disrupt the consignment of weapons and ammunition into inner Anatolia.[8] Moreover, Turkish sailing boats were seizing Greek ships in the Black Sea and putting them into Turkish service.[9] Recently a large Greek ship named Enosis had been taken over by one Turkish officer and five soldiers on 25 April 1922.[10]

Outcome Edit

In the end, the attack did not cause any damage to the Turkish logistical system or military material, though it caused damage to civilian properties and loss of civilian lives.[8] The ships stayed in Samsun until being recalled to Allied-controlled Constantinople. Around 8 pm, US Navy Admiral Robert L. Ghormley went ashore, accompanied by a pharmacist, to see if any Americans were injured or dead.[7]

The New York Times reported the incident on 11 June 1922, stating that the Greeks claimed the firing was directed against the ammunition dumps. The newspaper further mentioned that few people died and the warehouse of the American Tobacco Company was slightly damaged.[11] The Times published another article about the incident on 12 June. The article said that the commander of an American torpedo boat destroyer at Samsun reported, contrary to the Greek report, that there were 90 casualties as a result of the bombardment and a portion of the town was destroyed. The ammunition depots belonging to the Turks, which were situated three miles inland, were not damaged.[1]

Civilian properties damaged or destroyed by the bombardment included:[12][13]

  • the governor's office destroyed
  • the house of the Greek priest partially damaged
  • three houses belonging to local Greeks destroyed
  • one shop (Alston) partially damaged
  • one shop belonging to a Greek destroyed (worth 30,000 liras)
  • 25-26 houses belonging to Turks destroyed
  • 19 houses belonging to Turks damaged
  • 19 barges damaged (cost of repairs worth 1,500 liras)
  • Armenian church and its orphanage damaged
  • one sentry house destroyed
  • a depot belonging to the local merchants destroyed
  • gasoline and kerosene in the petroleum depot belonging to the municipality burned, with the following containers of fuel listed:
    • 9,496 tinplate containers of American kerosene
    • 19,800 tinplate containers of Russian kerosene
    • 41,700 tinplate containers of kerosene,
    • 6,000 kg of Russian gasoline
    • 33,000 kg of gasoline belonging to the municipality
    • 8,368 kg of mercantile gasoline

As a result of the bombardment, there were four dead and three wounded among the civilians.

External links Edit

Bibliography Edit

  • Hulki Cevizoğlu, 1919'un Şifresi (Gizli ABD İşgalinin Belge ve Fotoğrafları), Ceviz Kabuğu Yayınları, Aralık 2007, ISBN 9789756613238. (in Turkish)
  • Doğanay, Rahmi; İstiklal Harbinde Samsun’daki Amerikan Filosu, Geçmişten Geleceğe Samsun, Samsun 2006, (pages 163-174). (in Turkish)

References Edit

  1. ^ a b 90 Casualties in Samsun.; American Officer's Report Differs From Greek Account of Bombardment., The New York Times, article from 12 June 1922.
  2. ^ a b Mustafa Hergüner: Kurtuluş Savaşı'nda denizciliğimiz, Türkiye Denizciler Sendikası, 1992, page 188
  3. ^ Cevizoğlu, 2007, page 75
  4. ^ Cevizoğlu, 2007, page 66
  5. ^ a b Cevizoğlu, 2007, page 77.
  6. ^ Cevizoğlu, 2007, page 76
  7. ^ a b Doğanay, 2006, page 171.
  8. ^ a b Doğanay, 2006, page 173.
  9. ^ Doğanay, 2006, page 169.
  10. ^ Burak Artuner (3 May 2004). "Enosis'e çok şey borçluyuz". Akşam Newspaper. Archived from the original on 18 April 2013.
  11. ^ Greeks Explain Attack.; Say They Exploded Ammunition at Samsun--Damage to Americans, The New York Times, article from 11 June 1922.
  12. ^ Cevizoğlu, 2007, page 76.
  13. ^ Doğanay, 2006, pages 171–172

41°17′25″N 36°20′01″E / 41.29028°N 36.33361°E / 41.29028; 36.33361