America's Black Sea Fleet: The U.S. Navy Amidst War and Revolution, 1919-1923

America s Black Sea Fleet The U S Navy Amidst War and Revolution In a high tempo series of operations throughout the Black Sea Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean a small American fleet of destroyers and other naval vessels responded ably to several major intern

  • Title: America's Black Sea Fleet: The U.S. Navy Amidst War and Revolution, 1919-1923
  • Author: Robert Shenk
  • ISBN: 9781612510538
  • Page: 281
  • Format: Hardcover
  • In a high tempo series of operations throughout the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean, a small American fleet of destroyers and other naval vessels responded ably to several major international crises including the last days of the Russian Revolution and the 1920 1922 Turkish Nationalist Revolution Officers and men of the navyOCOs four piperOCO destroyers bIn a high tempo series of operations throughout the Black Sea, Aegean Sea and eastern Mediterranean, a small American fleet of destroyers and other naval vessels responded ably to several major international crises including the last days of the Russian Revolution and the 1920 1922 Turkish Nationalist Revolution Officers and men of the navyOCOs four piperOCO destroyers began by investigating circumstances on the ground in mainland Turkey right after World War I, and by transporting American relief teams to ports throughout Turkey and Southern Russia to aid the tens of thousands of orphans and refugees who had survived the wartime Armenian genocide Then the destroyers assisted in the final evacuation of 150,000 White Russians from the Crimea to Constantinople one of the final acts of the Russian Revolution coordinated the visits of the Hoover grain ships to ports in Southern Russia where millions were enduring a horrendous famine witnessed and reported on the terrible dolorosa of the Greeks of the Pontus region of Turkey and, in September of 1922, conducted the evacuation of hundreds of thousands of Greek and Armenian refugees from burning Smyrna This latter event was the cataclysmic conclusion of the Turkish Nationalist Revolution, which had begun in early 1920 After Smyrna, the destroyers escorted Greek steamers in their rescue of ethnic Christian civilians being expelled from all the ports of Anatolian Turkey As the conclusion of a long war between Nationalist Turks and an invading Hellenic Greek army, these people were being forced out of their ancestral homes by the Turks Sometimes American destroyers carried hundreds of such refugees to friendly ports on their own weather decks.Upon the burning of Smyrna in September of 1922, Admiral Mark BristolOCOs small fleet had grown to some 26 naval vessels, most of them destroyers, although some cruisers, naval repair vessels and supply ships also came, and the battleships Arizona and Utah also appeared briefly It was during 1922 that the destroyer Bainbridge rescued 482 of 495 men, women and children from the burning French transport Vinh Long in the Sea of Marmora The destroyer accomplished this by the expedient of ramming the large French ship so the exploding ammunition could not continue to force the vessels apart For this action, Lieut Commander W Atlee Edwards was awarded the Medal of Honor by America, and the Legion of Honor by France Over four years, Admiral Bristol maintained a strong grip on American naval and diplomatic affairs throughout the region Headquartered at the American Embassy at Constantinople, Bristol also worked to further American business interests in Turkey, and tended to favor Turks over Greeks and Armenians in the process Many Americans were convinced that Bristol was biased on behalf of the Turks, and a couple of navy captains risked their careers by speaking out about impending Turkish massacres that Bristol wanted to hush up Several later famous admirals saw duty in BristolOCOs small navy, including William Leahy, Thomas Kinkaid, Julian Wheeler, Tip Merrill, Japy Hepburn and Dan Gallery, while statesman Allen Dulles was one of BristolOCOs key diplomats Most of these men and most of the sailors, too, enjoyed the terrific nightlife of Constantinople that existed right alongside all the refugee heartbreak When their duties kept them at sea or alongside grain ships in Russia or moored at the spartan Black Sea ports, the Americans kept their spirits up by racing shipsOCO boats, shooting game, sightseeing, and especially by playing baseball Captain Pratt Mannix even took advantage of his shipOCOs briefly anchoring near the Gallipoli battlefield to become the first American to swim the famous Hellespont

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      Published :2019-01-21T10:26:02+00:00

    1 thought on “America's Black Sea Fleet: The U.S. Navy Amidst War and Revolution, 1919-1923”

    1. Very enjoyable book for reading. The accounts about the White Russians refugees and the ethnic cleansing of the Greeks and Armenians in Turkey are depressing, but the author writing style is very good.

    2. Good history of the American mission based at Constantinople during the Allied occupation, dealing with the naval squadron's engagements with the famine in Russia, refugees from the Russian Civil War, and the Turkish genocide of the Greek and Armenian populations of Anatolia, as well as life for the naval personnel in Constantinople itself. Its only real problem is that Shenk, as a naval historian, apologises far too often for the book not being a purely naval history but a more generally diplom [...]

    3. A well-done cover of the American deployment of warships to an area that wasn't really a focus of American statecraft at the time. The constant comparison was of the fun-seeking of young men (and women) far from home in an exotic locale with the growing misery of refugee populations, driven by wars and genocide to within sight of the warships. Those crews were charged with upholding national prestige and protection of interests, while staying out of the wars and revolutions going on around them. [...]

    4. I found this book while doing family research. My grandfather was stationed on the USS Bulmer in 1923, the ship depicted on the cover. It gave me some insight into his life and how he met and married my grandmother there. Really enjoyed the history and appreciate the work and research that went into the book.

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