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The Turkey / Iraq Crises - Overview

Towards the end of 1925 Turkey became hostile towards Iraq following a border award made by the Council of the League of Nations. If Turkey was to invade Iraq it was Britains job to reestablish the border & in this the Mediterranean Fleet would play a major part.
In November Malta was extremely busy in a build up for an expedition to Turkey. The strategy was to occupy the Turkish Islands, move into the Sea of Marmora & blockade Constantinople. It was considered mines would be laid by the Turkish in the Dardanelles so the reservist minesweepers in Malta were recommissioned. The 1st Minesweeping Flotilla based in England was moved to Malta in readiness.
The 3rd Destroyer Flotilla based in Malta at this time were fitted with paravanes.
The fleet was made up of -

Force A Queen Elizabeth (flagship), 2 Iron Duke class battleships, Eagle (aircraft carrier), 3 cruisers, one flotilla of destroyers & 4 minesweepers.
This force would steam directly to Constantinople & use Eagle's aircraft to fly over the city.
Force B 2 Iron Duke class battleships, Hermes (aircraft carrier), 1 flotilla of destroyers & 5 minesweepers.
This force was to gather intelligence & blackade 2 naval ports.
Force C 1 cruiser, 1 flotilla of destroyers, 2 tankers & 1 collier (coal).
This force would patrol the Turkish Islands & not get involved in fighting. Their role was to refuel the combating vessels.
Force D 1Queen Elizabeth class battleship, Furious (aircraft carrier), the 1st cruiser squadron & 1 flotilla of destroyers.
This force was to patrol the Dardanelles & attack any Turkish warships which approached the operation.

The Turkish attack never materialised so the fleet was not called into action.

Possibly HMS Hermes which may have been photographed around this time.


The Cross & the Ensign - A Naval History of Malta 1798 - 1979 Book by Peter Elliott