Ottoman Navy 1914-18

Published on
July 8, 2015
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Ryan K. Noppen; Illustrator: Paul Wright
Product / Stock #
NVG 227
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site


The website description of this title, “At the start of the 20th century the Ottoman Navy was a shadow of its former might, a reflection of the empire as a whole - the "Sick Man of Europe". Years of defeat, nepotism, and neglect had left the Ottoman Navy with a mix of obsolete vessels, whilst the list of prospective enemies was ever-growing. An increasing Russian naval presence in the Black Sea and the alarming emergence of Italy and Greece as regional Naval powers proved beyond all doubt that intensive modernization was essential, indeed, the fate of the Empire as a naval power depended on it. So the Ottoman Navy looked to the ultimate naval weapon of the age, the dreadnought, two of which were ordered from the British. But politics intervened, and a succession of events culminated in the Ottoman Navy fielding a modern German battlecruiser and state-of-the-art light cruiser instead - with dramatic consequences. In this meticulous study, Ryan Noppen presents a fresh appraisal of the technical aspects and operations of the warships of the Ottoman Navy in World War I. It is the first work of its kind in the English language - produced with a wealth of rare material with the co-operation of the Turkish Consulate and Navy. Packed with precise technical specifications, revealing illustrations and exhaustive research, this is an essential guide to a crucial chapter in the Aegean arms race.”


  • Introduction
  • Ships of the Ottoman Navy
  • The Ottoman Navy at the beginning of World War I
  • Operations in the Dardanelles, 1915-18
  • The end of the War, 1918
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Bottom Line Up Front

This volume from the New Vanguard series, number 227, changes Osprey’s pattern of covering the major navies by discussing the navy from a minor naval power. The author, Ryan Noppen, is a military author and aviation analyst. This is his third book for Osprey on dreadnought-era warships. Paul Wright specializes in painting sail and steam was ships from the mid-19th century through the present. He has provided illustrations for leading authors including Patrick O’Brian, Dudley and C.C. Forester. He was also the illustrator for Osprey’s book, “US standard-type battleships, 1941-45 (1).

What’s in the Book

Mr. Noppen starts the book with a background of the Ottoman’s ironclad navy. The Ottoman Navy’s heavy units were based on designs from the 1880s -1890s, with only some destroyers and torpedo boats being near state-of-the-art.

The British seizure at the start of World War I of two modern dreadnought-class warships being built in England was a contributing factor for the Ottoman Empire moving into the sphere of the German Empire. An additional factor was the “gift” by Germany of the battle cruiser Goeben and light cruiser Breslau, after their successful escape from the Royal Navy in the Mediterranean.

The author provides a synopsis of combat actions for all the elements of the Ottoman Empire during the war. I have read accounts of the “Goeben” incident and of the actions by the Allie navy in the Dardanelles Campaign. Mr. Noppen now provides information on the successes of the Ottoman Navy in the fighting on the Gallipoli peninsula and in action against the Royal Navy and the French navy. I found the operations between the Ottomans and Russians in the Black Sea to be of great interest.


I highly recommend this book first for history buffs of naval warfare, but also secondarily for modelers. The ten color drawings by Paul Wright will be very useful for model painting. The photos are clear and the illustrations are the usual high Osprey standard.

I would like to thank Osprey Publishing LTD for this review copy of “Ottoman Navy 1914-18.”


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