36th howitzer battery in Turkey

The Monarchy tried to provide a limited amount of assistance to Turkey’s war effort. This help primarily meant the transfer of artillery batteries. The activities of the von Marno mountain howitzer division have already been discussed here. Another unit, the 36th Howitzer Battery, operated on the Aegean coast. First in the defense of the Gallipoli peninsula, in 1916 in the supervision of the sea bay in front of the city of Smyrna (Izmir). An important event belongs to the latter station, which was also depicted on a Kappenabzeichen.

The task of the battery was to seal off the bay from Allied ships and to prevent a potential landing. The Entente units operating in the region (mainly British forces) did not plan such a thing, but they also tried to keep the Turkish forces under pressure and keep them busy on this front as well. Therefore, one of the small islands in the bay, the island of Chustan, was occupied, where a radio station was installed. The supply of the island was carried by smaller patrol boats.

On the night of May 13, 1916, the guards of the battery discovered the British patrol boat M 30 passing by the island, which was taken under fire. The well-laid series achieved several hits on the ship. One of the grenades hit the boilers and caused a fire. The ship stopped and this made the job of the gunners easier. The stationary ship, burning in the dark, was an easy target. Additional hits severely damaged the boat, which the crew abandoned. later the British blew the stranded wreck.

The Austro-Hungarian gunners were naturally very proud of this success. That’s why the badge was made. Of course, the event and the activities of the gunners were more interesting because of the inspiring effect, it could not bring about a change even in this section of the front. However, the British then evacuated the island of Chustan, which the Turks immediately occupied. The 36th howitzer battery was later withdrawn from here and sent to the Romanian front. The battery was equipped with 15 cm heavy howitzers. The photo shows the sunken SMS M 30.

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