Giorgos Adalis: REVEALED: How the naval battle between the frigates “Lemnos” and “Kemal Reis” took place – All the details

How the naval battle between the frigates Lemnos and Kemal Reis took place, Giorgos Adalis

The story of how the frigate “Lemnos” “touched” the Turkish frigate “Kemal Reis” is completely different from what was presented in Turkey, but also in Greece. And it has nothing to do with the “Oruc Reis”. The story begins much earlier, when the Greek frigate was patrolling Libya and was the one that caused the Turks to provoke the French warship, infuriating President Macron. “Lemnos” in those waters had received a lot of provocations, which did not become known. Due to some damage, the frigate returned to Greece for repairs, but quickly returned to active service.

Two days before the naval battle that we will describe below, events took place, which were kept out of the public eye. The Greek fleet has seaworthy ships in its ranks, with the oldest being “Admiral Votsis” which is almost half a century old. It has frequent damage and the fact that it is still active is due to the seamanship of his crew. The previous day, the Turks, after the “Votsis” had been repaired, tried to sink it. And for this reason they used much newer ships with much more modern engines.

“Votsis” managed with mastery but also with a lot of effort to avoid the aggressive actions of the Turks. And it immediately signaled an alarm, due to the intention of the Turks to record a “victory” at sea! One should remind readers that during the Tsipras government, they had tried to raid the unarmed Coast Guard vessel “Gavdos” in Imia, and in fact at night. Also, a week ago they had tried unsuccessfully to ram a Greek gunboat. The Hellenic Coast Guard boat, which does not even have a cannon, escaped the worst, because the Greek captain reacted and although the Turk hit it, the damage was small.

The Turks had concluded that the Greeks had orders not to respond to their provocations, meaning, not to retaliate according to the provisions of the military code and their training. Outraged by their failure to prevent the equipping of Cyprus with French coastal defense systems, they sought an easy “victory” against a Greek ship.

“Lemnos” changes course

Last Wednesday, the Turkish provocations had peaked, with the “Oruc Reis” located 100 miles south of Kastellorizo. It was accompanied by Turkish warships. That morning, “Lemnos” was patrolling near Kastellorizo which the Turks once again had under naval blockade with five of their warships conducting virtual bombardment of the island and dangerously harassing “Votsis”.

When the Turks found out that “Lemnos” from Kastellorizo was heading south, the flagship and pride of the Turkish fleet, the frigate “Kemal Reis”, which was located near the Greek frigate, carried out a ramming attack. It should be noted that the Turkish frigate is newer, the last one Turkey built in its shipyards. Before sunrise, “Kemal Reis” approached “Lemnos” about 40 nautical miles from Kastellorizo. “Oruc Reis” was 80 miles to the south.
According to reliable sources, “Lemnos” was heading to replace the frigate “Nikiforos Fokas”, which was monitoring the Turkish research vessel. What has been written about an attempt to break up the Turkish fleet so the “Lemnos” could see if the Turks had laid cables, is not true. “Lemnos” was traveling alone that morning.

The two frigates battle it out

The Turkish captain, who is considered the best in the Turkish navy, was convinced that he could bully the captain of “Lemnos”. At first she sailed very close to him, but without provoking him. The captain of the Greek frigate was continuing his course at a speed of 12 miles, when “Kemal Reis” turned left and, developing maximum speed, tried to ram “Lemnos”.

The Greek captain had suspected the Turkish intention and was on alert. He slowed down and shortly before the collision signalled full reverse at full speed, avoiding the ramming. But the Turk did not stop there. Seeing the Greek in full reverse, he attempted a maneuver coming from the right with the aim always of ramming the Greek vessel.

The Greek lieutenant commander, captain of the “Lemnos” reacted catalytically. And from reverse at full speed he gave the command for full forward at full speed. Something which is not so easy for a 1980s ship. However, good maintenance allowed “Lemnos” to respond and to ram the “Kemal Reis” along its side, as a result of which it almost severely damaged its right side. This is a masterful maneuver that few captains in the world can attempt with boats of this age.

How the naval battle between the frigates Lemnos and Kemal Reis took place 1, Giorgos Adalis
The most capable captain of the frigate "Lemnos" Lieutenant Commander Ioannis Saliaris.

The Turk believed that the Greek would not dare

The Turkish captain probably believed that the Greek would not dare, due to the relevant prehistory in similar Turkish provocations. The Greek frigate managed to strike an overwhelming blow to the Turkish frigate on its right side. This is what the Turks are hiding. “Lemnos” suffered almost no damage, because the strongest part of a ship is the so-called “stem”.

How the naval battle between the frigates Lemnos and Kemal Reis took place 2, Giorgos Adalis
The frigate "Lemnos" after the incident.

The Turkish frigate received a huge gash amidships, more than one meter long and at least 4 meters high. And while the Turks claimed for so many days that “Lemnos” was damaged and had injuries, in a photo published by the Hellenic Armed Forces general Staff it is clear that it did suffered no damage. On the contrary, the Turkish frigate has been virtually taken out of combat service.

The strange thing was that no one posted a photo of “Kemal Reis”. Only President Macron had warned Ankara that he had the video and that there would be consequences from its piracy. The attempted ramming was purely military in nature and if we do not mourn victims today, it is due first to the seamanship of the captain of the “Lemnos” and to Hellenic Navy engineers who maintain it.

Kemal Reis’ damage

Erdogan’s psychological warfare and defense minister Akar’s threats have been canceled. In the photo of “Kemal Reis” it is clear that it has been rendered practically useless. According to Greek and American shipbuilders, whom we asked for an assessment, “Kemal Reis” would normally have to be listed as a Total Loss, commonly to be sold for scrap metal, since it seems that the hole has advanced at least 2.5-3 meters inside the ship, which seems to be listing since it took in a lot of water.

The balancing act of the Turkish captain allowed him not to sink and to sail. Those who know, however, believe that “Kemal Reis” is now straddled with structural stability problems. And a yard is needed immediately to put in new steel blocks. It is almost a given that one or all of its electric motors need to be replaced and the ship may probably require a new shaft which will be difficult to install.

How the naval battle between the frigates Lemnos and Kemal Reis took place 3, Giorgos Adalis
The rift caused by "Lemnos" in the Turkish frigate "Kemal Reis". took place 3, Giorgos Adalis

In order for his ship not to sink, the Turkish captain took on water on the left side of the ship to level it and sail. But with the force that strained the hull after cruising so many miles full of water in the ballast, it is a given that the hull has tilted. The total damage may well exceed $ 10 million, according to experts.

If one or more electric motors have been damaged then the cost will increase by 4.5 million for each electric motor if they decide to use a refurbished one. If they use a new one, each one costs about 6-7 million. And of course the electric motors are enclosed in the hull before it is “built”, which means that it has to be opened completely from the sides, so there will be an additional cost in man-hours.

A painful lesson for the Turks

If “Kemal Reis” has also suffered damage in the shaft, which is very likely, then there will be an additional cost of another 2 million. If small oil spills were observed in the area, then it would indicate that the “Kemal Reis” means that it has been hit below the waterline. If the inner bottom plating of the steamer was punctured, the total cost of the damage will jump to 50 million.

However, we do not know this with the information available so far. Anyway, if it was another ship, the Turks would scrap it. However, because it is their pride and their prestige has been damaged, they will try to repair it by any means and at any cost. After all, that’s why they went to a private shipyard and not to a state-owned one.

“Lemnos” taught a lesson to the Turks. And its chief officers, must be immediately awarded medals. Because the Turks only know the language of power, they realized that in another naval battle they might lose another ship. Rather, they will seek revenge by ramming an old Greek warship, as they did by shooting down the old Russian bomber in Syria from afar. Unless they choose to escalate by using a missile.

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