Berk-i Satvet

Type Torpedo cruiser Hull Steel
Displacement 775 tonnes Engines 2xVTE, 5100ihp, Germania
Length 115.7 m Machinery Steam turbine, 2 shafts
Beam 80 m Speed 18 kts
Draught 2.5 m Complement 145
Armament 2x105mm QF L/40 K, 6x57mm SA L/40 K, 2x37mm QF K, 2xMG H, 3xTT 450mm SK
Berk-i Satvet in 1914 • Turkish Navy

Berk-i Satvet, which translates to "Lightning of the Almighty” in Ottoman Turkish, was commissioned in January 1903 and construction began at the Germaniawerft shipyard in Kiel, Germany, in February 1906. She was completed in 1907 and following successful sea trials, she was transferred to the Ottoman Navy, arriving in Istanbul on 13 November, where she was officially inducted into the Ottoman fleet.

During the Italo-Turkish War of 1911–1912, Berk-i Satvet was assigned to the Reserve Division, alongside the aging ironclads Mesudiye and Asar-ı Tevfik. However, she didn't engage in any combat as most of the Ottoman fleet remained docked throughout the conflict.

After the Balkan Wars erupted, Berk-i Satvet was dispatched to reinforce the Black Sea fleet before proceeding to the Aegean for operations against Greek forces. On 20 December 1912, accompanied by the cruiser Mecidiye and torpedo boats, it set out for Imbros to intercept Greek destroyers. A brief skirmish ensued with six Greek destroyers, resulting in their retreat. Near Bozcaada, they encountered the Greek destroyer Aspis, which managed to escape. Following this encounter, the Ottoman Army planned to reclaim Bozcaada, with Berk-i Satvet, Mecidiye, and cruiser Hamidiye providing fire support. Departing on 4 January 1913, they encountered a Greek squadron but no significant engagement occurred. Threatened by Greek forces, they returned to Çanakkale. Another attempt to support an amphibious assault on Şarköy occurred on 4 February, with Berk-i Satvet bombarding Bulgarian positions. Despite naval gunfire support, Bulgarian resistance led to a Turkish retreat four days later.

Berk-i Satvet during a visit to Izmir in 1927 • Turkish Navy

On 9 March 1913, Berk-i Satvet participated in a sweep near Imbros, engaging Greek destroyers and capturing a steamer supplying Bulgarian forces. Later that month, she escorted battleships in the Black Sea, bombarding Bulgarian troops. On 13 April, she joined a fleet engagement with Greek forces, resulting in both sides withdrawing to their respective bases.

As the First World War broke out in Europe during the summer of 1914, Berk-i Satvet started patrolling the Dardanelles on 14 August, as tensions rose between the Turks and a British fleet there. In November, Berk-i Satvet moved to the Black Sea and participated in attacks on Russian ports alongside other ships, which led to Ottoman Empire’s official entry into the war.

On 5 December 1914, Berk-i Satvet, along with her sister ship Peyk-i Şevket and Yavuz, supported a troop convoy bound for the Black Sea port of Rize. Then, on 2 January 1915, she, along with Midilli and Hamidiye, escorted a transport to Zonguldak before patrolling the port. However, during the voyage, a Russian mine exploded, causing significant damage to Berk-i Satvet. She was towed to Istanbul for repairs, which kept her out of action for most of the war. After extensive repairs, she resumed service in April 1918, patrolling between Istanbul and Batumi until the end of the conflict.

After the Turkish War of Independence in 1923, the ship was renamed Berk and modernized at the Gölcük Naval Shipyard from 1924 to 1925. It was recommissioned in 1925 and further upgrades took place from 1937 to 1939. In 1950, it was decommissioned and converted into a stationary structure before being dismantled for scrap between 1953 and 1955.

Berk-i Satvet in Istanbul • Şehbal, 14 March 1909
Berk-i Satvet during trials in the Kieler Förde in 1907 • "Peyk-i Şevket Berk-i Satvet: Torpido kruvazör-ü hümayunları", 1907, Caliph Abdülmecid Efendi collection
Berk-i Satvet • "Ottoman Warships 1914-1918", R.K. Noppen, 2015