Battle of Sinope

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Sinope is a port on the Turkish Black Sea coast where, on 30 November 1853, a Russian squadron of six ships of the line annihilated a Turkish squadron of 13 ships (7 frigates, 2 corvettes, 2 supply ships and a pair of wooden steamers.) The Russians used shellfire against the wooden ships which caught fire and were destroyed almost immediately.[1]

Though a minor engagement in itself, it had wider ramifications as the world’s navies realised the vulnerability of wooden ships against exploding shells and began replacing them with ironclads as fast as they could. This battle, more than any other single event, brought about the end of the wooden warship.[1]

The battle was an early engagement in the Crimean War and helped galvanise public opinion in Britain in favour of an increase in British participation in the war.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 "The Oxford Companion to Ships and the Sea" (1976) p. 805