At the bottom of the Dardanelles Strait in Turkey lie the wrecks of the British and French ships sunk during the Battle of Gallipoli in 1915.

Until now the area has been largely closed to divers owing to unexploded mines and other ordnance. Now though you can dive the wrecks which are away from the dangerous artillery including those in the newly created Gallipoli Historical Underwater Park.

There are 14 ships in the area, including HMS Majestic, Lundy and HMS Triumph.

The Gallipoli campaign used mostly old warships, thought unfit to face the German fleet in open water and therefore expendable. As well as heavy losses among the ships, there were around 250000 casualties on both sides. A futile loss of life.

HMS Majestic

The Majestic was a British war ship built in 1895. The ship was anchored at Cape Helles when she was torpedoed by the U-21 submarine. 44 Lives were lost The wreck lies at 29 m and reaches up to 18 m. You can’t penetrate the interior. It is 119 m long.

The HMS Majestic sinking
HMS Majestic sinking

HMT Lundy

In August 1915 Her Majesty’s Troopship Lundy collided with the steamer Kalyan and sank in Suvla Bay. It lies between 20 and 30 m and is mostly intact. Look out for lobsters and large conger eels. 30 m long the wreck is covered in sponges and very colourful. It lies at 30 m.

HMS Triumph

Like the Majestic, HMS Triumph was torpedoed and sunk by the U-21 submarine, with the loss of 73 men. She was built in 1903 and is 146 m long. A deeper wreck, it lies between 56 and 72 m.

HMS Irresistible

Built in 1898, the Irresistible was sunk by a mine in March 1915. 150 lives were lost. Located from 39 to 61 metres – scattered around the seafloor.

Joule Submarine

Hit a Turkish mine and sank with all thirty-one hands. Lies between 35 and 44 minutes.

HMS Louis

Ran aground in Suvla Bay in October 2015

Photo credits: The National Archives UK, Gallipoli Wrecks – Diving Expeditions.


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