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 WORLD WAR 1 at SEA

ROYAL GREEK or HELLENIC NAVY

by Gordon Smith, Naval-History.Net

USS Idaho in 1909, bought in 1914 as the Greek Limnos  
 

 

With special thanks to Vice Admiral C Paizis-Paradelis (Rtd), President, Hellenic Maritime Museum

 

Photograph is Courtesy of
Maritime Quest 
(click for enlargement)

 


 

Contents

Naval War in Outline

Warship numbers & losses, 1914-18

Key to main characteristics including Greek torpedo and gun calibres

links to

Pre-dreadnought battleships

Coast defence ships

Armoured cruiser

Protected cruiser

Destroyers

Submarines

 


 

 

see also

 

 

Austro-Hungarian Navy

French Navy

Imperial Japanese Navy

Turkish or Ottoman Navy

United States Navy

 

 

     

NAVAL WAR IN OUTLINE

 
Greece remained neutral for much of the war. In October 1915 the Allies landed in Salonika, initially at the request of the Greek government to support the hard-pressed Serbians. An unpopular move, the government fell and Greece continued a policy of neutrality. The pro-German leanings of the King of Greece (the Queen was sister to the Kaiser) led to a major show of Allied naval strength off Salamis, near Athens in September 1916 and in October to the seizure of the Greek fleet.

The larger ships were demilitarised and the one cruiser and smaller ships incorporated into the French Navy. Greece declared war on the Central powers in July 1917 and after that date France returned the seized ships as Greece found the crews to man them. Allied naval bases had already long been established at Corfu in the Ionian Sea, Suda Bay in NW Crete, and Lemnos (Mudros Bay) and Imbros islands in the northern Aegean Sea.

 
 

WARSHIP NUMBERS and LOSSES - 1914-18

 
Type

August 1914 Strength

Wartime additions

1914-18 losses

Dreadnoughts

-

-

-

Battlecruisers

-

-

-

Pre-dreadnought battleships

2

-

-

Coast defence ships

3

-

-

Armoured cruisers

1

-

-

Protected cruisers

1

-

-

Light/scout cruisers

-

-

-

Aircraft and seaplane carriers

-

-

-

Destroyers

14

-

1

Submarines

2

-

-

TOTALS

22

-

1

 
 

Key to Main Characteristics

 

Tonnage - standard displacement; Speed - designed speed at standard displacement, rarely attained in service; Main armament - sometimes changed as the war progressed; secondary armament usually changed; Complement - normal peace time. Exceeded in war with consequent reduction in living space and higher battle casualties; Year - year or years class completed and normally entered service. Only includes ships completed up to war's end; Loss Positions - estimated from location unless available from reliable sources; Casualties - totals of men lost, or survivors plus saved, will often exceed peacetime complements.

 

Greek torpedo and gun calibres in inches

Torpedoes: 53.3cm - 21in; 50cm - 19.7in; 45.7cm - 18in; 45cm - 17.7in

Guns: 30.5cm - 12in; 23.4cm - 9.2in; 20.3cm - 8in; 19cm - 7.5in; 17.8cm - 7in; 15.2cm - 6in; 15cm - 5.9in; 10.2cm - 4in; 8.8cm - 3.4in; 7.6cm - 3in (12pdr); 5.7cm - 2.2in (6 pdr)

 
 

 
 

PRE-DREADNOUGHT BATTLESHIPS

 

August 1914 Strength (2)

1. KILKIS and LEMNOS, KILKIS (ex-US 'Mississippi'), LEMNOS (or 'Limnos', island and sea battle of the 1912-13 Greek-Turkish war, ex-US 'Idaho') - 13,000t, 17 knots, 4-30.5cm/8-20.3cm/8-17.8cm, 750 crew, 1908

Seized by the Allies and demilitarised in October 1916; after July 1917 used by the Greek Navy as depot and training ships

 

COAST DEFENCE SHIPS

 

August 1914 Strength (3)

2. HYDRA class, HYDRA, PSARA, SPETSAI (three Aegean islands prominent in early 19th century war of Independence), 3 ships - 4,890t, 5-15cm, launched 1889/90

 

ARMOURED CRUISER

 

August 1914 Strength (1)

3. GEORGIS AVEROF, (Named after a Greek patriot who donated quarter of the cruiser's cost) - 9,960t, 22 knots, 4-23.4cm/8-19cm, 670 crew, 1911

Seized by the Allies and demilitarised in October 1916; recommissioned into the Greek Navy and served with the British Aegean Squadron at Mudros in 1918.

'Georgios Averof' is still in existence as a memorial ship near Athens

 

PROTECTED CRUISER

 

August 1914 Strength (1)

4. HELLE (Cape and sea battle of the 1912-13 Greek-Turkish war) - 2,600t, 18 knots, 2-15.2cm/4-10.2cm, 230 crew, 1913

Served under the French flag 1916-17; returned to the Greek Navy by August 1917

 

DESTROYERS

 

August 1914 Strength (14)

5. NICKI class, ASPIS (shield), DOXA (glory), NIKI (victory), VELOS (arrow), 4 ships, 1 lost - 350t, 30 knots, 2-7.6cm/4-5.7cm/2-45.7cm tt, 58 crew, launched 1906-07

All four seized by the Allies in October 1916, taken over by the French in November and served in the French Navy 1917-18. By 1918, the three survivors were back under Greek colours on escort duty, mainly in the Aegean

DOXA, 17th June 1917, Central Mediterranean, Sicily near the Strait of Messina - torpedoed by German coastal submarine 'UB.47'. 'Doxa' was still serving with the French Navy on escort duty at the time of her sinking; 'UB.47 was about to be handed over to the Austrian Navy as 'U.47'. Another source gives her date of loss as the 27th June 1917.

6. THYELLA class, LONCHI (spear, lance), NAFKRATOUSA (name of an ancient ship), SPENDONI (sling),THYELLA (storm), 4 ships - 350t, 30 knots, 2-7.6cm/2-5.7cm/2-45.7cm tt, 70 crew, launched 1906-07

All four seized by the Allies in October 1916, taken over by the French in November and served in the French Navy 1917-18. By 1918, they were back on escort duty under Greek colours, mainly in the Aegean

7. AETOS class, AETOS, HIERAX (or 'Ierax'), LEON (lion), PANTHER (panther), 4 ships - 980t, 32 knots, 4-10.2cm/4-53.3cm tt, 90 crew, launched 1911

All four seized by the Allies in October 1916, three (excluding 'Panthir') taken over by the French in November and served in the French Navy 1917-18. By 1918, the four were back under Greek colours with the 'Georgis Averof' serving with the British Aegean Squadron

8. KERAVNOS class, KERAVNOS (thunder, ex-German 'V-5'), NEA GENEA (new generation, ex-German 'V-6') - 570t, 32 knots, 2-8.8cm/4-50cm tt, 74 crew, launched 1912

Both ships seized by the Allies in October 1916, taken over by the French in November and served in the French Navy 1917-18. By 1918, they were back under Greek colours on escort duty, mainly in the Aegean

 

SUBMARINES

 

August 1914 Strength (2)

9. DELFIN class, DELFIN, XIFIAS - 310/460t, 13/8 knots, 5-45cm tt, 24 crew, 1912

Both boats served in the French Navy 1917-18. After July 1917, they were returned to the Greek Navy

 

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revised  9/1/09