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Battle of Elli -December 3rd, 1912


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It was the largest Sea Battle of the Balkan Wars (1912-13).

Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis, on the famed armoured cruiser the Averof, led the Greek Fleet in a comprehensive Naval victory over the Turks.

The Greeks liberated: Imbros, Tenedos, Lemnos, Samos, Chios, Lesvos, Mount Athos, Thasos, Samothrace.

Greek battleships Hydra, Spetsai and Psara, hoisted the Flag Signal for the letter Z which stood for “Independent Action”, and sailed forward alone at a speed of 20 knots, against the Turkish fleet. Averof succeeded in crossing the Turkish fleet’s “T” and concentrated her fire against the Ottoman flagship, thus forcing the Ottoman fleet to retreat in disorder.

This victory was quite significant in that the Ottoman navy retreated within the Straits and left the Aegean Sea to the Greeks who were now free to liberate the islands of Lesbos, Chios, Lemnos and Samos. It also prevented any transfer of Ottoman troop reinforcements by sea and effectively secured Ottoman defeat on land.

It also prevented any transfer of Turkish troop reinforcements by sea during the Balkan Wars and effectively sealed their defeat.

The Greek fleet, including the ships Aetos, Lerax and Panthir continued to pursue the Turkish fleet off-and-on between the dates of December 13 and December 26, 1912.

The Ottomans suffered 7 killed and 14 wounded on the Barbaros Hayreddin, 8 killed and 20 wounded on the Turgut Reis, and 3 dead and 7 wounded on the Mesudiye.



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