I'm trying to figure out whether, if not for the July crisis, Russia could have tried an amphibious invasion of Turkey in 1914, and what the outcome would have been if so.

It seems to me the answer could depend at least somewhat on where Turkey's warships are located. In particular, if they are not already in the Black Sea, then the Russians could try laying mines at the exit from the Bosphorus, to prevent the Turkish Navy sailing out to interdict the Russian transports.

Where were the Ottoman warships based, in July 1914?

  • 1
    Constantinople, apparently. This seems relevant: "the appearance of Goeben [in August] could dramatically change the situation, so all activities, even shore bombardment, had to be conducted by almost the entire Russian Black Sea Fleet, since a smaller force could fall victim to Goeben's speed and guns."
    – Tomas By
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 15:23
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    You mean Istanbul, surely ;-)
    – user15620
    Commented Mar 3, 2021 at 17:32
  • "In 1930 the city's name was officially changed to Istanbul" (wiki)
    – Tomas By
    Commented Mar 4, 2021 at 3:43

1 Answer 1


When the German ships Goeben and Breslau fled the Allied navies, they were interned in Constantinople, whereupon they became part of the Turkish fleet. Presumably, they joined the rest of the Turkish fleet there.

The above move officially made them "neutral," until Turkey joined the war late in 1914 on the side of the Central Powers.

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