Thursday, 1 May 2014

More Ironclads: Russo-Turkish War 1877

In 1877 Russia invaded the Ottoman Empire to "liberate" what would become Bulgaria. This war ended in a Russian victory after famous incidents such as the siege of Plevna and the battle of the Shipka Pass. Incidentally I am trying to finish off a couple of hundred 54mm figures for the last battle!

The war at sea was largely unknown, mostly because there wasn't one. At the end of the Crimean War the Russians were not permitted a Black Sea fleet. In 1877, the Turks under Hobart Pasha, a British Admiral, had a large fleet of river gunboats, monitors and ironclads which covered the River Danube and could interfere with the Russian river crossings. To counter them the Russians turned to torpedo boats , many built on the Tyne and the Thames, and a furious conflict was fought.

The torpedo boats used towed torpedoes, spar torpedoes ( a bomb on the end of a long pole familiar to ACW gamers) and Whitehead self propelled torpedoes, predecessor of the modern weapon.The Turks employed nets hung from ships, cables (but not nets for some reason) slung between boats and guard boats and launches.

My ship models are 1/600th scale made from balsa wood and wire with a few ships boats and ventilator shafts in metal, as are the Turkish defence boats and launches. I've also written my own "Za Torpedirovat" rules.

Well, here some photos of my vessels.

1 comment:

  1. Good to see someone taking an interest in this bit of history - nice work on the boats - shame the ottomans kept their best vessels in port rusting away!