Battle of Sinop: Wikis


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Battle of Sinop
Part of the Crimean War
The Battle of Sinop, by Ivan Aivazovsky. Oil on Canvas XIX cent.
Date 30 November 1853
Location Sinop, northern Turkey
Result Decisive Russian victory
Russia Russian Empire Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire
Russia Pavel Nakhimov Ottoman Empire Osman Pasha #
6 battleships
2 frigates
3 steamers
7 frigates
5 corvettes
Casualties and losses
none 7 frigates sunk
4 corvettes sunk
3,000+ dead
Russian stamp, Battle of Sinop, 2003 (Michel № 1128, Scott № 6800)

The naval Battle of Sinop (or Sinope) took place on 30 November 1853 at Sinop, a sea port in northern Turkey, when Imperial Russian ships of the line struck and annihilated a patrol force of Ottoman frigates anchored in the harbor. It is often considered to be the last major skirmish in the age of sail.



Fighting at sea between Imperial Russia and the Ottoman Empire had been going on for weeks, and the Ottomans had sent several squadrons into the Black Sea for patrol. One of these, under Osman Pasha, ended up at Sinope, joining the frigate Kaid Zafer which had been part of an earlier patrol, and being joined by a steam frigate (probably Taif) from a smaller squadron. The Ottomans had wanted to send ships of the line to Sinope, but the British ambassador in Istanbul, Viscount Stratford de Redcliffe, had objected to this plan, and only frigates were sent.


The Russians, led by admiral Pavel Nakhimov, sailed into Sinop harbor in two lines of three battleships each and anchored alongside the Ottoman line. The battle itself took about an hour. The Russians used destructive Paixhans shell guns to destroy the Turkish fleet; several ships were blown up after lucky hits and others had been thrown on shore as a result of strong wind and heavy fire. Coastal batteries were also destroyed by Russian battleships.

Only Taif, pursued by the Russian steamers, managed to escape to Istanbul where she arrived on 2 December.


This attack provided France and the United Kingdom with the justification for declaring war on Russia in early 1854 in support of the Ottoman Empire.

Order of battle

Below is a listing of the fleets that participated in the Battle of Sinop on 30 November 1853:


Russian Empire


  • Veliky Knyaz Konstantin 120 guns
  • Tri Sviatitelia 120 guns
  • Parizh 120 guns (2nd flag)
  • Imperatriitsa Maria 84 guns (flag)
  • Chesma 84 guns
  • Rostislav 84 guns


  • Kulevtcha 54 guns
  • Kagul 44 guns


  • Odessa 4 guns
  • Krym 4 guns
  • Khersones 4 guns

Ottoman Empire

Drawing of Sinope by George Tryon onboard HMS Vengeance which visited the scene of the battle in January 1854

Sail frigates

  • Avni Illah 44 guns - Thrown on shore
  • Fazl Illah 44 guns (formerly Russian Rafail, captured 1829) - Engulfed in flames, thrown on shore
  • Nizamieh 62 guns - Thrown on shore after loss of two masts
  • Nessin Zafer 60 guns - Thrown on shore after damage of anchor chain
  • Navek Bahri 58 guns - Exploded
  • Damiat 56 guns (Egyptian) - Thrown on shore
  • Kaid Zafer 54 guns - Thrown on shore

Sail corvettes

  • Nejm Fishan 24 guns
  • Feyz Mabud 24 guns - Thrown on shore
  • Kel Safid 22 guns - Exploded

Steam frigates/corvettes

  • Taif 12 guns - Escaped to Istanbul
  • Erkelye 10 guns


  • Naval wars in the Levant 1559–1853 (1952) - R. C. Anderson ISBN 1-57898-538-2
  • BAŞ,Ersan:Çeşme, Navarin, Sinop Baskınları ve Sonuçları (Cesme, Navarin, Sinop Rates and Results) Türk Deniz Harp Tarihinde İz Bırakan Gemiler, Olaylar ve Şahıslar Sayı: 8, Piri Reis Araştırma Merkezi Yayını, Deniz Basımevi, 2007, İstanbul, ISBN: 975-409-452-7.

External links


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