Balkan War

Battle of Cape Sinop

8 am, 19 May 1851


10 am, 19 May 1851


Cape Sinop, Ottoman Empire


Ottoman victory


Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Ottoman Empire

Flag of Russia.svg Russian Empire


Flag of the Ottoman Empire.svg Vice Admiral Patrona Osman Pasha

Flag of Russia.svg Admiral Vasily Zavoyko


2 ships of the line
6 frigates
4 corvettes
2 steamers

4 ships of the line
9 frigates
4 corvettes
3 steamers

Casualties and Losses

1 frigate sunk
1 corvette sunk
1 ship of the line, 2 frigates, 2 corvettes damaged
460 killed and wounded

1 ship of the line sunk
2 frigates sunk
1 corvette sunk
1 steamer sunk
1 ship of the line, 2 frigates, 1 corvette, 1 steamer damaged
1 frigate grounded and captured
At least 1,600 killed and wounded; 247 captured

The Battle of Cape Sinop was the first major battle of the Balkan War, and also its first naval battle. Just several weeks after the beginning of the conflict, a portion of the Russian Black Sea Fleet sortied from Sevastopol with the intent of seeking out and destroying the Ottoman fleet. On 19 May, however, Admiral Zavoyko's fleet met an even smaller portion of the Ottoman Navy and was surprisingly dealt a bloody defeat. Though hardly a decisive victory, the battle shook the morale of the Imperial Navy and proved the effectiveness of the military reforms first instituted by Sultan Mahmud II in 1831. The battle was the first major naval victory attributed to the Ottoman Empire in over a lifetime.