Naval Battle of Elli

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The naval Battle of Elli was fought in the First Balkan War between Greece and Ottoman Turkey just outside the Aegean entrance to the Dardanelles (Hellespont), on December 16, 1912.

The Greek Navy was led by Rear Admiral Pavlos Kountouriotis on board the flagship Averoff. Other ships included the battleships Hydra, Spetsai and Psara and destroyers Aetos, Ierax and Panthir.

The Turkish fleet consisted of flagship Barbaros Hayreddin, battleships Asar-i Tevfik and Turgut Reis, the cruiser Mesudiye and several destroyers under the command of Captain Ramiz Bey.

The battle was won by the Greek Navy after the Averof took independent action and, thanks to its superior speed, managed to cross the Ottoman navy, placing it under fire from two different directions. The Turkish Navy was forced to retreat. Casualties numbered 58 dead, 40 wounded for the Turks; 2 dead, 5 wounded for the Greeks.

This victory was quite significant in that the Turkish navy retreated beyond the Straights and left the Aegean Sea to the Greeks who were now free to liberate the islands of Lesbos, Chios and Samos