military transportation as part of mediterranean maritime trade

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military transportation as part of mediterranean maritime trade

Journal of Mediterranean Studies, 2010 ISSN: 1016-3476 Vol. 19, No. 2: 389–406Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 389MILITARY TRANSPORTATION AS PART OFMEDITERRANEAN MARITIME TRADE:OTTOMAN FREIGHT PAYMENTS DURING THEWAR OF THE SECOND COALITION (1798–1802)*KAHRAMAN ȘAKULI . stanbul ȘEHI . R UniversityThis article focuses on Ottoman freight payments during the War of the Second Coalition(1798-1802). It regards military transportation as a part of maritime trade in an era whenMediterranean maritime trade was experiencing a sharp decline. It sheds light on thevirtually unknown Ottoman freight and transportation policies of the period in questionwhich are crucial to an understanding of the maritime history of the Eastern Mediterranean.A special emphasis will be placed on the victualling of the Ottoman-Russian joint fleetsent to the Adriatic, in order to discuss the changing nature of naval provisioning; i.e. theever-increasing presence of non-Ottoman ships in Ottoman military transportation. Aftera brief description of the organization of naval provisioning, we will analyze Ottomanfreight policies which became an international matter as most of the vessels hired formilitary transportation flew foreign flags. This article contends that the Mediterraneanmaritime history of this period cannot be understood without due regard being paid tomilitary logistics and the victualling of the navies operating in this theatre of war, andthis requires in-depth research at the Ottoman archives in Istanbul.In times of war and depredation in the modern period, military transportationand the resulting freight payments became a critical component of trade.The time of the Revolutionary and Napoleonic Wars was one such period,especially in a Mediterranean where hostilities had led to a sharp decline in‘normal’ trade. The Inner Sea was awash with naval units in the aftermathof Napoleon’s invasion of Egypt in 1798, with even the Ottomans puttingmore than fifty war-ships to sea manned by tens of thousands of men forseveral years, even though it was not considered to be a naval power ofconsequence at that time. 1With the Egyptian Expedition of 1798, the Ottoman Empire found itselfinvolved in hostilities against its traditional ally, France. Commonly knownas the War of the Second Coalition, this war saw the formation of anCopyright © 2010 Mediterranean Institute, University of Malta.(13) Kahraman Sakul 38907/04/2011, 11:21 AM


390 Kahraman ȘakulOttoman-Russian alliance against France for the first time in history. Thisrequired the dispatch of a joint Ottoman-Russian fleet against the Frenchforces who had occupied the Ionian Islands in 1797.Transportation of ammunition, supplies and troops required a greatdeal of organizational capability especially in a naval expedition of suchmagnitude: the combined fleet was composed of more than thirty warshipsand 12,000 troops who were to be supplied for almost a year from September1798 through July 1799. In the end, the two powers expelled the Frenchfrom the Ionian Islands, promulgated the Republic of Seven United Islandsand put the nascent Republic under the joint protection of the Tsar and theSultan. The Ottomans were responsible for the supply and provisioning ofthe Russian fleet operating in the Mediterranean as well. While St. Petersburgdid not leave the victualling of its Mediterranean fleet exclusively in thehands of the Sublime Porte, as the Ottoman government was commonlycalled, Ottoman supplies were essential for the maintenance of Russiannaval operations in this theatre of war. The Ottomans kept supplying theRussian fleet until the outbreak of the Ottoman-Russian War of 1807.Victualling the Russo-Ottoman Fleet operating in the Mediterranean 2My research on the Ottoman documents concerning the provisioning of theRussian navy has shown that military transportation came to constitute acritically important economic activity for hundreds of ship-owners andthousands of seamen. 3Regular provisions supplied to the Russian fleet consisted of hardtackbiscuit, olive oil, salt, vinegar, arak/rakı—the Turkish vodka, wine, andfirewood with occasional shipments of clarified/purified butter, crushedwheat, chickpeas and beans. The lists of provisions for the Ottoman fleetincluded those supplied to the Russians, with the notable exception ofalcoholic beverages, but also featured olives, rice, lentils and onions. Whilethe Russian fleet was to be supplied three times a year, the Ottoman fleetreceived its provisions every six months.The Morea and Istanbul were the main sources of supply for the combinedfleet. There were three Ottoman agents in charge of provisioning the combinedfleet. The agent in Istanbul was responsible for the procurement of firewood,arak from Tekfurdağı (on the northern shore of the Sea of Marmara), thehardtack biscuit from the state hardtack bakery and other items from themarkets of Istanbul. These provisions were transported to Anavarin (Navarino)or Değirmenlik (the island of Milos)—defined as the harbour of Argos indocuments—in the Morea, mostly by foreign vessels with an Ottoman inspector(13) Kahraman Sakul 39007/04/2011, 11:21 AM


Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 391(mübas,ir) on board. In addition to the agent in Istanbul, two commissaries(nüzl emini) were appointed to the Morea. They supplied the other provisionsfrom the Morea and delivered them to the combined fleet along with thoseitems sent from Istanbul. The port of Ottoman Balye Badra (Patras) wasthe main port for the deliveries made to the fleet. Occasionally, provisionswere delivered to the Russian consul in Balye Badra and stocked on boarda Russian warship sent for that purpose in return for a receipt. The provinceof the Morea had to supply wine, olive oil, and hardtack in substantialquantities especially in the period September 1798–September 1799 whenthe Russo-Ottoman fleet was in full mobilization for continuous operationsagainst the French.While Istanbul and the Morea were the main bases of supply, otherregions were also drawn into the system of logistics. For instance, KaraOsmanzade, the local strongman of Western Anatolia, organized the deliveryof the chickpeas to the Russian navy. Some of the wine was sent from theAegean islands, whereas Tekfurdağ was the main supplier of arak—as isstill the case in present-day Turkey. Places such as Selanik (Thessalonica),Bursa, and Silivri also contributed in the delivery of the hardtack biscuit.The supplies were never ready on time during the expedition. The combinedfleet was particularly pressed by supply shortages in the summer of 1799.What accounted for long delays was the paradoxical situation that had beencreated as a consequence of the Russo-Ottoman fleet having becomingoperational many months before an agreement over the terms of the intendedalliance had been agreed. Nevertheless, the Sublime Porte took certainmeasures to speed up the carriage of the supplies. After delivering theirinitial loads to the combined fleet, the cargo ships were to be re-loaded atthe appointed harbours without first having to report to Istanbul empty toreceive the remainder of the freight payment. 4Large quantities of provisions had also had to be procured and deliveredto the joint-fleet in wintertime at very short notice. By November 1798, theRussian admiral Ushakov was complaining to Tomara—the Russianambassador to Istanbul—that ‘in all history he could not find an exampleof a fleet reduced to such extremity’, and constantly harassed the Ottomanadmiral Abdülkadir Beg on the issue. 5 The winter of 1798–1799 was unusuallysevere in southern Europe, while the Sublime Porte also had to take care ofthe expedition to Egypt. The combined fleet was overwhelmed by the acutesupply shortages, particularly in the first months of 1799 as the cargo shipswhich had sailed from Istanbul in November 1798 were only able to reachAnavarin by the end of February 1799 due to severe winter weather. 6Because of these long delays in delivery, the Russian navy demanded(13) Kahraman Sakul 39107/04/2011, 11:21 AM


392 Kahraman Șakulcash in lieu of the last two shipments of olive oil and wine due for 1799.The long distances also impeded adequate communications between thefleet and Istanbul and St Petersburg, which often did not know the whereaboutsof the combined force. Dispatches from the fleet usually caused confusionon the matter of provisioning as the dates referred to had already passed.While the Ottoman fleet was operating in the vicinity of Sicily, Abdülkadirsent a report complaining from the lack of provisions. However, his signedreceipt of a later date proving the delivery of the cargo—albeit, 3 monthslate—had reached Istanbul long before his complaints, causing great confusionin the relevant correspondence to the frustration of Sultan Selim III. 7The Magnitude of the Supply OperationIt is not an easy task to obtain exact figures concerning the deliveries made tothe joint fleet. Delayed deliveries, cancelled orders, and cash payments in lieumake it harder to come up with precise information. Keeping this in mind, theSublime Porte seems to have supplied the Russians with 2,199 tonnes of wine(1798–1806) and 581 tonnes of arak (1798–1800). The Ottoman fleet, on theother hand, received 66 tonnes of olive oil (1799) while the Russian allieswere entitled to 173 tonnes of olive oil (1799–1800). The two allies reachedan agreement to allocate 1,875 tonnes of hardtack to the Russian fleet annuallyin three installments. An account book suggests that at least 1,693 tonnes ofhardtack was produced just in the Morea (15 June 1798–24 May 1800) and1,335 tonnes of this was sent to the combined fleet in 21 shipments. While theRussian fleet received 971 tonnes of it, the Ottoman fleet got the remaining364 tonnes. Obviously, these figures do not include deliveries of hardtack sentfrom regions other than the Morea. My calculations show that the total quantityof the hardtack sent for the consumption of the Ottoman troops during thecampaign could not have been less than 1,627 tonnes. The Russians alsoreceived quantities of cracked wheat (336 tonnes in 1799), chickpeas (135tonnes until September 1800; to be replaced by beans afterwards). The Ottomanfleet, on the other hand, received 66 tonnes of clarified butter, 370 tonnes oflentils and 740 tonnes of rice (1798–1799).One intriguing aspect of the provisioning of the combined fleet remainsto be explained. Provisions for the Russian fleet—except for the hardtack—were almost twice and sometimes three times as much those given to theOttoman fleet. Documents suggest that official rations allowed for the Russiansailors were much larger than the official rations handed out in the Ottomannavy. It would seem, therefore, that the notoriously meager rations of theRussian army did not apply to the Russian navy. 8(13) Kahraman Sakul 39207/04/2011, 11:21 AM


Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 393Table 1. Rations of an Ottoman and Russian Seaman for Six Months(In kgs unless otherwise specified)Provisions Ottoman fleet Russian fleet* Sv Pavel(Russian flagship)Biscuit 112.8 115.2–117.6 122.3Rice 48.4 – –Lentil 24.2 – –Peas – – 27.1Beans – 4 –Clarified butter 4.4–4.8 19.2–19.8 16.3Olive oil 3.8 10.2 –Olives 19.2 – –Onions 9.6 – –Vinegar 4.8 8.3–40.9 252 glasses (?)Salt 2.4 3.8–4 4Arak – 3.5–3.8 20.66 litresWine – 7.11–10.6 57 glasses or336 glasses of beerSalted beef – – 38Notes and Sources: All the data used for calculations are tabulated in Șakul, ‘AnOttoman Global Moment’, Appendices A and B, 474–493. For the data in the lastcolumn, see Mordvinov (ed.), Admiral Ushakov, v. 2, doc. No. 97.(*) these figures were retrieved from the Ottoman documents. When there is a hyphenbetween figures, the first figure specifically refers to the list of provisions given tothe frigate Navarșin, and the figure after the hyphen represents the rations of theRussian reinforcements in Corfu sent from the Baltic in 1802. Figures of rations duefor the expedition (1798–1799) sometimes differed radically from these figuresabove. For all the figures see, Șakul, ‘An Ottoman Global Moment’, 255–309.By way of comparison we can see that the renowned HMS Tiger,commanded by Commodore Sydney Smith, was lavishly supplied withprovisions before departing from Istanbul for Kudüs (Jerusalem) duringNapoleon’s march on Syria: the items taken on board included honey,sesame oil, grapes, candles, milk, coffee, eggs, nuts, quince, plums,pomegranates, kadayıf, fish, and soap, 9 although it must be noted that recentresearch on the victualling of the British navy during the Revolutionaryand Napoleonic wars has indicated that these items were not habituallysupplied to Royal Navy vessels. 10(13) Kahraman Sakul 39307/04/2011, 11:21 AM


394 Kahraman ȘakulChanging Nature of Ottoman Military Transportation in theEighteenth CenturyThe transportation of such large quantities of victuals obviously requiredthe chartering of hundreds of vessels. In the case of the Ottomans, thematter of the transportation of supplies for the military is particularly interestingsince most of the merchants involved in this sector in this period were notOttomans. This meant that any dispute over freight payments could easilybecome an international matter.A comparison of the Ottoman re-conquest of the Morea (1714–1716)with the Ionian Expedition serves as a good example to illustrate the changesunder way in the Ottoman military supply system in the course of theeighteenth century.Table 2. Freight Changes over TimeOttoman Re-conquest Russo-Ottomanof the MoreaConquest of the(1714–1716) Ionian Islands(1798–1799)[24 months] [10 months]Cost of provisions 2,760,292 guruș 650,384 guruș[minimum cost(min.)]Freight payments 370,742 guruș 181,735 guruș [min.]Freight as a % of thecost of provisons c. 15% c. 30%Ship owners c. 75–80% Ottoman GreeksMuslim(Ottoman/non-Ottoman)Although there is a tendency to gloss over such a mundane matter asthe cost of transportation in warfare, freight payments, in fact, claimed asubstantial portion of the war budget. As we can see in Table 2, freightpayments during the second Ottoman conquest of the Morea amounted toalmost 15% of the total cost of provisions. 11 During this expedition, 75–80% of the merchant vessels used in military transportation belonged toOttoman Muslims. 12 Somewhat less than a century later, on the other hand,freight charges had doubled as a proportion of the amount spent on provisions,while almost all of the merchant vessels used in the Ionian expeditionbelonged to non-Muslims of foreign nationality that were usually Greekssailing under the Russian flag.Due to the peculiarities of Ottoman financial documents, it is probablethat the sums set down in the right-hand column of Table 2 are an underestimateof costs actually incurred in the provisioning of the Russo-Ottoman expedition(13) Kahraman Sakul 39407/04/2011, 11:21 AM


Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 395to the Ionian Islands, but in view of the fact that the annual revenues ofIstanbul at this time did not exceed 18 million gurus, it must still be considereda considerable sum even if it falls short of the real expenditure. 13As regards the shift from overwhelmingly Ottoman Muslim carriers toGreeks, Ottoman or otherwise, it is a commonplace that the increase intrade privileges, commonly referred to as ‘Capitulations’, granted by theOttomans to the ‘most favoured nations’, in the eighteenth century, resultedin many Ottoman non-Muslim merchants adopting French nationality inorder to counterbalance the disastrous effects of the disadvantages they hadto cope with vis-à-vis foreigners in foreign trade and coastal shipping.While it is difficult to trace when exactly the Sublime Porte allowed thefull-fledged involvement of foreign ships in coastal shipping, by the mideighteenthcentury French shipping dominated coastal shipping in Ottomanwaters. 14 In addition, it is probable that the Porte opted for foreign ships inmilitary transportation as a precaution against the possibility of harassmentby Russian warships patrolling the Aegean islands during her wars with theOttoman Empire (1768–1774 and 1787–1792). 15While it seemed like a perfect solution to use French ships to transportmilitary supplies so as to avoid enemy depredation during the Russo-Ottomanwars, the situation was exactly the other way around in the period underdiscussion as the old friend—France—had now become the new foe andvice versa for Russia. The research project entitled ‘Greek Maritime Historyin the Eighteenth Century’, led by Gelina Harlaftis and KaterinaPapakonstantinou, has revealed that the Ottoman Empire had a large coastalshipping fleet and that more than 80% of the Greek-owned ships that tradedto the Western Mediterranean in 1780–1810 used the Ottoman flag. 16 Thus,we need to find out why it is ships with foreign flags which dominatedmilitary transportation during the expedition. One reason may be that thedocuments at our disposal are mainly concerned with the problems thatarose between the captains of foreign nationality—rather than Ottomancaptains—and the Sublime Porte, over the transportation of military supplies.This may have misled us into concluding that foreign vessels overwhelminglyoutnumbered Ottoman vessels in this sector.Organization of Naval ProvisioningA brief description of the organization of the transportation of supplies aswell as troops is necessary to understand the kind of diplomatic problemsthat occurred during the Ionian expedition and afterwards.To start off with, the Sublime Porte would make a contract prior to the(13) Kahraman Sakul 39507/04/2011, 11:21 AM


396 Kahraman Șakulhiring of the ship specifying the quantity and the type of the cargo as wellas the freight and the demurrage payable. The duration required for theloading of the cargo was not included in the demurrage, while the Porteundertook to pay 1% of the freight for each extra day of waiting time byway of demurrage. In some cases, an Ottoman inspector might be sent withthe ship to the final destination, especially if the load was considered to beof strategic importance. 17 Upon the signing of the contract, the captainwould receive two-thirds of the freight and had to return to Istanbul afterthe delivery in order to get the remaining one-third. In our case, the cost offreight depended on the type and weight of the load. By way of contrast,during the re-conquest of the Morea (1715), the freight was decided on thebasis of the distance rather than the load, while only half the freight waspaid in advance. More studies are needed as to why such changes happenedand what they really meant for the Mediterranean trade. 18Table 3. Freight PaymentsJourney: Istanbul/Tekirdağ to the Morea (Navarin [Pilos/Navarino], Golos, Argos)Item Unit of Weight Official Price of Item Freight Equivalencies:Wine 1.282 kg 7 para 5 para Guruș= 40 paraArak (1 kıyye) 7 para 5 para = 120 akçe(Turkish vodka)1 franc = 1.66gurușHardtack 56,44 kg 56–115 para 45–100 para 1 pound sterling =biscuit (1 kantar) 13–17 gurușAmmunition 1.282 kg ? 15 para 1 sequin(1 kıyye) (Venetian) = 7–8Other 25.66 kg ? 15 paraguruș(grain, beans (1 kile) 1 Spanish real = 3and etc.)gurus, 30 paraA merchant ship could be chartered for one voyage, in which case thefreight was calculated on the basis of the weight of the load. A series ofdocuments I have examined suggest that different measures of weight wereused in the calculation of the freight: kıyye (1.282 kg) for wine and arak(rakı in modern Turkish), kantar (56.44 kg) for the hardtack biscuit, andkile (25.66 kg) for other provisions. The Porte paid freight at 5 para for akıyye of arak which cost just 7 para. A kile of a given provision except forthe hardtack had a higher freight of 15 para. The freight of a kantar ofhardtack biscuit cost 45–100 para whereas the official price of hardtack(13) Kahraman Sakul 39607/04/2011, 11:21 AM


Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 397was 170 akçe (56 para 2 akçe) a kantar. 19 Apparently, the freight chargesfor arak and wine were the highest. The transportation of ammunition andmilitary equipment was more costly than foodstuff; the Porte paid 15 paraa kıyye for the freight of ships’ cables (gomena) sent to the Ottoman fleeton a Cretan vessel. 20As an alternative to chartering for one voyage, the Sublime Porte couldhire a merchant ship for a specified period of time; this way, it did not haveto pay freight for each and every voyage. For instance, the Porte contractedCaptain Dimitri Albiretdil (?), of Russian nationality, for an initial periodof three months in the summer of 1801 at the monthly price of 1,100 gurus,with the first three months’ charter given in advance in Istanbul. Amongother tasks, this ship carried the French troops back to France from Egypt,in accordance with the terms agreed with the French prior to the evacuationof Egypt. Upon its return to Alexandria, this same ship transported adetachment of the Artillery Corps back to Istanbul together with theirequipment. For a total period of nine months and three weeks, the Portepaid 10,706.5 gurus,. When the ship finally returned to Istanbul, the captainrequested the payment of the remaining 806.5 gurus, in a petition sentthrough the Russian embassy. 21Another Russian merchant ship chartered by the Porte for the transportationof the French troops belonged to a certain Michel Sacardanna, or MikelIskardana. In the petition he sent through the Russian Embassy, he relatedthat he was commissioned to transport General Menou and his troops toMarseilles from Egypt, but he had had to lie at anchor off Cephalonia dueto the stormy weather, and there he had had to replenish his provisions.Referring to the contract, he claimed that the Porte had undertaken to meetall the expenses during the voyage and presented the list of provisions thatfeatured Menou’s signature. The Porte accepted the petition and paid therequested 1,219 gurus, from the Campaign Treasury. 22Diplomatic Problems concerning the Freight PaymentsDelayed departures due to late loading/unloading were commonplace andprompted the captains to demand demurrage. In both cases, ambassadorswere involved in the proceedings. Captain Konstantin Milisi (?) had beenawarded a contract to carry hardtack biscuit (2,000 kantar) from Golos toCorfu (freight: 2 kuruș 80 para a kantar). He had received two-thirds of thefreight in advance. On arrival in Corfu, a negligible quantity of the loadwas missing. The captain submitted his petition through the Russian Embassyand refused to bear any responsibility for the missing quantity since there(13) Kahraman Sakul 39707/04/2011, 11:21 AM


398 Kahraman Șakulhad been an Ottoman inspector on board the vessel to keep an eye on theload during the voyage. Thus, the Sublime Porte had to pay the total freightwithout any reduction. 23Even when no apparent problem occurred concerning the delivery, latepayment of the freight was quite common and in these cases the captainssought the assistance of their respective embassies. 24 It is worth noting thateven when the Sublime Porte found the claim of a certain captain unfounded,it usually accepted his claim if he was of Russian nationality. The justificationadduced for this policy was to prevent Russians from making a fuss (zırıltı).Tekfurdağ was one of the towns that failed to meet its quota of hardtack(5,500 kantar). This quantity was to be sent in two shipments. Hasan Agha,the Intendant of the Customs (Gümrük Emini), hired Captain Banali Bina (?)of Corfu in mid-October 1803 to transport 2,500 kantar of hardtack at theusual freight rate of 2 gurus, a kantar. After delivering his load with 45kantar missing on 18 January 1804, he arrived at Istanbul on 29 February1804. According to his petition presented by the consul of the Ionian Republic,he had been detained in Tekfurdağ for 45 days until the hardtack was madeready and kept for another 41 days in Corfu for unloading. He demandedextra payment for having been detained in Corfu on the basis of 1% of thefreight per day for the additional time. As a sign of goodwill he renouncedany claims for demurrage in Tekfurdağ, which he calculated as 14 days,and considered the remaining 31 days as the acceptable waiting time (istalya). 25Nevertheless, the Porte refused the request, for no contract had been signedwith the captain. In addition, the imperial order in his possession did notmake mention of demurrage. After all, the delivery had been made to theRussians and, as a consequence, the Ottomans felt that it was the Russianswho should be held responsible for the delay in unloading the ship. Accordingto the consul, the Porte had assured the captain that the load was ready inTekfurdağ, which had caused the captain to assume that the loading wouldtake place on time and, as a consequence, he had considered signing acontract a waste of time. In an attempt to strengthen the captain’s argument,the consul also claimed that even if the Porte had regarded the detainmentin Corfu as part of the regular waiting time, it should still pay demurragefor 45 days spent unnecessarily in Tekfurdağ. He also wanted the Porte topay the remaining one-third of the freight in full, disregarding the missinghardtack. The Russian dragoman, Miran (?), was also involved in theproceedings and tried to find the middle ground by suggesting a discountof one-fifth on the requested sum of 3,750 gurus,. Unfortunately, the outcomeis not clear, but the captain had still not received any payment five monthsafter his arrival at Istanbul. 26(13) Kahraman Sakul 39807/04/2011, 11:21 AM


Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 399The second shipment from Tekfurdağ fared no better. Captain NikolaKalika (?) had a contract to carry 3,000 kantar of hardtack to Corfu, but hissmall ship could accommodate only 2,300 kantar. Most of the problemsactually arose over the missing quantities in the delivery for which thecaptains had to pay compensation. According to Mustafa Res,id, the Ottomanagent in Corfu, the captain came to Corfu with 36 kantar spoiled and 66kantar missing. The Russian consul in Tekfurdağ wrote down an explanationregarding the missing 700 kantar on the back of the contract. MustafaRes,id doubted the sincerity of the consul, as his note was not accompaniedwith an explanatory note from the kadı (the judge) and the official purchaser(mubayaacı) in Tekfurdağ. Count Mocenigo and Benakis, the Russiancommander and Russian consul in Corfu respectively—both of Greek origin,convinced Mustafa Res,id to give up his insistence on the payment of thepenalty for the large amount missing by signing the back of the contract inconfirmation of the integrity of their colleague in Tekfurdağ. In his turn,Mustafa Res,id demanded 600 gurus, in compensation for the 66 kantar ofhardtack missing from the actual shipment, calculating the price accordingto the market value in Corfu (9 gurus, a kantar of hardtack). The captaincould leave the island only after accepting its deduction from the unpaidportion of the freight upon his return to Istanbul. He had already been paid4,000 gurus,, representing the two-thirds of the freight of 3,000 kantar ofhardtack, but the freight of the actual shipment (2,234 kantar) was 4,468gurus,, decreasing the unpaid portion of the freight to 468 gurus,. So thecaptain was, in fact, indebted to the Porte because of the missing quantity.The Consul of the Ionian Republic claimed an exemption from the penaltysince the missing portion only constituted 3% of the shipment and requestedthe payment of 468 gurus,. The Chief Accountant (Defterdar) proposed twooptions to solve the problem: the Porte could either accept the deal reachedin Corfu, or demand the recalculation of the missing portion at the officialrate of 170 akçe (56 para). In the latter case, the Porte would have to pay374.5 gurus, to the captain. The office of the Grand Vizier instructed theadoption of the second option on the grounds that the first option woulddefinitely lead to a fuss (zırıldı). 27When the merchant vessel flew another nation’s flag such as that ofAustria, things were quite different in the case of missing quantities at thepoint of delivery. 28 The acceptable period of waiting anchored in the portmay have been decided by negotiation during the drawing up of the contract.For instance, Captain Yerasimo Kalupar (?) of Cephalonia was contractedto transport barley to el-Aris, (15 para a kile.) His contract ruled out anyright to demurrage if the vessel was unloaded in five days after the arrival(13) Kahraman Sakul 39907/04/2011, 11:21 AM


400 Kahraman Șakulat the port of al-Aris,. He was, however, detained for 46 days and demanded2,300 gurus, for demurrage on the calculation of 1% of the freight per dayafter the fifth day. Added to the unpaid portion of the freight, the total sumthe Porte owed added up to 3,863.5 gurus, . The Porte, nevertheless, roundedit down to 3,500 gurus, and ordered its payment from the Campaign Treasuryin the spring of 1802, despite the protestations of the consul of the IonianRepublic. In this case, the Porte’s justification of its policy was somewhatarbitrary. The consul was told that the discount was negligible so he hadbetter accept it. 29In the summer of 1800, three Russian vessels and an Austrian vesselwere hired for the transportation of the troops of Tayyar Pas,a and theOttoman artillery to Jaffa at the usual freight rate of 15 para a kile. Theduration of the charter was 41 days and on its completion the Porte acceptedto pay the demurrage in the usual manner. Two of the ships were detainedfor 29 extra days whereas the others had to wait at anchor for 24 more daysin the ports. After long negotiations, the captains agreed to renounce demurragefor the first 13 days starting after the expiration of the contract. As usualwith the freights, the account was not settled before the end of the year. 30After the surrender of the French garrison at Corfu in March 1799, theOttomans undertook the transportation of 2,300 French troops to Toulonand Ancona on ten ships hired from Ionian merchants. The cost of thecharter, 24,055 reales (78,178.5 gurus, 30 para), was borrowed from theIonian merchants through the mediation of Admiral Ushakov, in commandof the Russian Mediterranean fleet. The Ottoman authorities in Istanbulsent 23,000 gurus, to Ushakov immediately after learning about the deal. 31An additional 30,000 gurus, could only be paid in three instalments inFebruary 1801, February 1802 and in February 1803. As a consequence,four years after the enterprise, in 1804, the Sublime Porte still had 44,000gurus, to pay. The Ionian envoy extraordinary to Istanbul never failed tosend petitions to the Ottoman authorities. He finally agreed to receive10,000 gurus, instead of 44,000 as a compromise but the Porte could noteven deliver this reduced sum of money. Embarrassed by the complaints ofthe envoy, it decided to solve the matter once and for all and paid themoney from the treasury revenues, later to be compensated from the tributethe Republic would pay. 32If the captain was not of Russian nationality, he could expect to receivefairly short shrift in the event of an incomplete delivery as happened in thecase of an Austrian captain who delivered his load of hardtack in Corfuwith an amount missing. The Ottoman superintendent, Mustafa Res,id, whowas in charge of the provisions sent to Corfu for Ottomans and Russians,(13) Kahraman Sakul 40007/04/2011, 11:21 AM


Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 401immediately called upon the Austrian and Russian consuls to investigatethe matter. These three officials interrogated the Austrian captain about thefate of the missing hardtack. The captain’s log book did not record anystormy weather that might have spoilt the load and the captain did not haveany idea why the shipment was short. In the end, the captain had to bearthe responsibility for the missing hardtack. He could not substitute themissing hardtack in kind due to the constant shortage of hardtack in Corfuand he had to pay compensation in cash. The commercial court in Corfuassessed the value of the hardtack at 11 gurus, 25 para a kantar afterexamining the sample provided by Mustafa Res,id. In the end, the poorcaptain could only pay 3,000 gurus, of the required 4,638 gurus, 15 para,and the remaining had to be deducted from the freight still due after returningto Istanbul. 33ConclusionsThe subject of the provisioning of the Ottoman navy has not received theattention it deserves but the particular circumstances of the Russo-Ottomanalliance renders the study of the topic even more worthwhile. 34 These selectedcases taken from the Ottoman Archives in Istanbul reflect the kind ofproblems encountered in Ottoman supply operations, especially when thecaptain was not an Ottoman subject. Although the same set of seeminglyunimportant problems relating to disagreements over freight seem to recurtime and again, they required the attention of the highest Ottoman authoritiesand were closely monitored by the foreign embassies. As a consequencethey had an impact on areas beyond the matter of supply itself and spilledinto aspects of diplomatic history. In any event, we certainly need to domore research on freight payments particularly in the Eastern Mediterraneanduring the Napoleonic wars.Research in connection with this area has served to highlight the needfor a much greater exploitation of the material in the Ottoman archives inorder to come up with a fuller picture of the Mediterranean economy. Bythe end of the Napoleonic wars, the number of Greek ships had doubledand most of them used the Ottoman flag. 35 We still need to study Ottomanstate procurement and transportation policies in greater detail in order toestablish what role they may have had in bringing about the expansion ofGreek and other merchant fleets given the very large amounts of provisionsthat had to be carried and the hundreds of merchant ships required for thisenterprise.(13) Kahraman Sakul 40107/04/2011, 11:21 AM


402 Kahraman ȘakulThis paper also brings to the fore the matter of the victualling of the navalvessels which were present in such numbers in this epoch, be they British,French, Russian, Turkish, or other. This aspect of the story of the Napoleonicwars is also neglected. ‘An army marches on its stomach’ is a proverb that hasbeen variously attributed to both Napoleon and Fredrick the Great. They hadland forces in mind but the proverb applies equally to naval forces. Themaritime history of this period cannot be understood without due regard beingpaid to military logistics and the victualling of these navies.Notes* I am very grateful to Professor Carmel Vassallo for his encouragement in thewriting of this essay and the editorial support he has generously offered. Iwould also like to thank the anonymous assessor for his/her comments andadvice on an early version of this article. Needless to say, all errors are mine.1. After the destruction of the French navy by Nelson, the Ottoman navy becamethe second largest and most powerful navy in the Mediterranean and it wasable to wage war on two fronts, Egypt and the Adriatic, simultaneously.2. The data provided here and used in the preparation of the tables is takenfrom Kahraman Șakul, ‘An Ottoman Global Moment: War of Second Coalitionin the Levant’ (Georgetown University, unpublished dissertation thesis, 2009);see especially chp. V: ‘Logistics’, 255–310, Appendix A: ‘The Provisioningof the Russian Fleet’, 474–486 and Appendix B: ‘The Provisioning of theOttoman Fleet’, 486–494.3. Norman Saul, Russia and the Mediterranean 1797–1807 (Chicago, 1970).4. Bașbakanlık Osmanlı Arșivi (BOA), Cevdet Bahriye [C.BH] 9364 (19C1213/29Oct1798), firman handed to Captain Bürdam carrying crushed wheat andhardtack to Anavarin for the Russian fleet.5. Mordvinov’s compilation contains various correspondences of Ushakov andTomara attesting to supply shortages at this period: Ushakov’s letter (26November 1798 [new style]) to the Governor of Morea with a request todeliver foodstuffs to the Russian squadron (doc. 183); Ushakov’s order toLieutenant Mavro Mikhaili to go to the Governor of Morea to speed up thedelivery of food (doc. 184); Ushakov’s letter (dated 2 December 1798) toAbdülkadir Beg with a request to speed up delivery of food to Russiansquadron (doc. 209); Ushakov’s request on delivery of 700 kantar of biscuitsfrom Morea (repeated several times in December: docs. 211, 234), see R.N.Mordvinov (ed.) Admiral Ushakov, v. 2–3 ‘Voenno-Morskoe Izfatel’stvo’(Moscow, 1952–1956). I would like to thank Eduard Sozaev for bringingthis work to my attention; J. L. McKnight, Admiral Ushakov and the IonianRepublic. The Genesis of Russia’s First Balkan Satellite (Unpublished dissertationthesis, University of Wisconsin, 1965), 122.(13) Kahraman Sakul 40207/04/2011, 11:21 AM


Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 4036. BOA, Hatt-ı Humayun [HAT] 153/6429 (1N1213/6Feb1799) from AbdülkadirBeg to the Porte.7. HAT, 266/15490 (nd.), deputy Grand Vizier to Selim III. It should be datedto the summer 1799. Selim’s frustration is reflected in his hand-note on themargin of the memorandum: ‘Subhanallah! Herifler zahiresizlikten ve askersizliktenferyad ideyorlar. ‘Șuradan gitdi’ dimenin faidesi nedir? Hem bu kağıtlarıntarihleri atik! Bu kadar vakitdir nerede imiș? Elbette asakir ve zehair erișdirsün.Donanmamızı biz ifna idüb düșmenlere rezil ideyoruz. Böyle dikkat ve ikdamolmaz.’ [For God’s sake! Chaps are crying out for the lack of provisions andtroops. What is the use of saying ‘already sent’? Dates on these papers areold, also! Where have they been till now? Send troops and provisions in anycase. We ruin our navy and embarrass it in front of the enemies. This is notwhat careful attention and perseverance is supposed to mean.]; Selim III:‘Bu adamların zehairi içün kaç defadır yazdım. Șimdiden mülahaza ve tedarükdürolunsun. Sonra sıklet çekilmesün’ [I have written to you so many times forthe provisions of these men. Take precautions and make them ready in advance.No scarcity should be suffered.], HAT 34/1665 (nd.).8. C. Duffy, Russia’s Military Way to the West. Origins and Nature of RussianMilitary Power 1700–1800 (London, 1981), 130. J. Keep, Soldiers of theTsar. Army and Society in Russia 1462–1874 (Oxford, 1985), 175–192; PhilipJ. Haythornthwaite, Weapons & Equipment of the Napoleonic Wars (London,1996), 110–115.9. C.HRC 6152 (7C1215/26Oct1800); kadayıf is a kind of sweet pastry. ThePorte paid 46 para for a kıyye of sesame oil. It is obviously more expensivethan purified butter, and çerviș butter. A kıyye of honey cost 59 para whichfavorably compares to 30 para given in Dodwell for Athens in 1806, see,Dodwell, A Classical and Topographical Tour, v. II, 498. In total, the Portepaid 6,793 guruș for one month’s provisions for the British warship.10. For more on this seminal research consult http://www.nmm.ac.uk/researchers/research-areas-and-projects/sustaining-the-empire/. I am indebted to KaterinaGalani for letting me know about the project.11. Mehmet Yașar Ertaș, Sultanın Ordusu (Mora Fethi Örneği 1714–1716) (Istanbul,2007), 287, 290.12. Ertaș, Sultanın Ordusu, p. 116. He relates that the Sublime Porte was notwilling to hire non-Muslim Ottoman captains, although it also hired Venetianvessels on some occasions, 242.13. This calculation is based on BOA, Kamil Kepeci (KK) 2383, fol. 2a–7b.14. Edhem Eldem, ‘Capitulations and the Western Trade’, in S. Faroqhi (ed.)The Cambridge History of Turkey, v. 3 (Cambridge, 2006), 322. For earlyexamples of carrying the provisions of official purchase to Istanbul aboardthe French ships see, Salih Aynural, İstanbul Değirmenleri ve Fırınları. ZahireTicareti (1740–1840) (Istanbul, 2001), 18–25.15. S. Soucek, ‘The Strait of Chios and the Kaptanpașa’s Navy’, in ElizabethZachariadou (ed.), The Kapudan Pasha: his office and his domain (Rethymnon,(13) Kahraman Sakul 40307/04/2011, 11:21 AM


404 Kahraman Șakul2000), 160; Ottoman grain merchants frequently asked for permission fromthe Porte to hire foreign ships, see, Aynural, I . stanbul Değirmenleri, 20. Mostof the charterers of the French caravans were Muslims, see D. Panzac, ‘Internationaland Domestic Maritime Trade in the Ottoman Empire during the 18 th Century’,International Journal of Middle Eastern Studies (IJMES) 24/2 (1992): 186–206; Eldem, French Trade in the Eighteenth Century (Leiden, 1999), 59,108, 111, 291; Ottoman merchants had to pay the internal customs (5%) inaddition to a number of taxes and dues, whereas foreign merchants paid only3% under the capitulations and sought to avoid the internal customs whenengaged in coastal shipping, see Bağıș, Osmanlı Ticaretinde Gayrimüslimler(Ankara, 1998), 65–67; For a comparative analysis of Ottoman ships withWestern ships see, D. Panzac, Commerce et navigation dans l’Empire Ottomanau XVIIIe siècle (Istanbul, 1996); Murat Çizakça, A Comparative Evolutionof Business Partnerships. The Islamic World and Europe, with Specific Referenceto the Ottoman Archives (Leiden, 1996), 123–131.16. Gelina Harlaftis and Sophia Laiou, ‘Ottoman state policy in MediterraneanTrade and Shipping, c.1780–c.1820: The Rise of the Greek-Owned OttomanMerchant Fleet’, in Mark Mazower (ed.), Networks of Power in ModernGreece (London, 2008), 1–46.17. Aynural points out that captains of foreign nationalities generally wanted aninspector to accompany the voyage as an overseer so that they would avoidthe usual charges of stealing or adulterating the cargo by the authorities, see,İstanbul Değirmenleri, 18.18. Ertaș, Sultanın Ordusu, 107–116. He points out that the rate of freight changedaccording to distance; i.e., 14 akçe a kile (Eğriboz [Euboia]-Istanbul), 30akçe a kantar of hardtack (Eğriboz-Istanbul), 113; Aynural also contendsthat the rate of freight depended on the distance rather than the kind of grain.He gives the freight in 1799 as 15 para a kile for wheat (Eğriboz to Istanbul),8 para a kile for barley (Balçık [Varna, Bulgaria] to Istanbul) and in 1795–1796 as 30–35 para a kile for unspecified type of grain (Jaffa-Istanbul), seeAynural, 25-26. His conclusions are based on the examples of the transportationof the state grain to Istanbul. The destination in the documents I consultedis Istanbul/Tekirdağ-Morea (Golos, Argos, Navarin), which may explain thesame rate of freight as given for Eğriboz-Istanbul, see Aynural, I . stanbulDeğirmenleri, 26–27.19. When hardtack was carried together with other grains its freight was calculatedin terms of kile and decreased to 33 para a kile at least in one case, see,C.BH 5071 (23L1218/5Feb1804). Murphey suggests that the freight paymentcost 15% to 25% of the intrinsic value of the goods shipped, freight chargesbeing assessed as a fixed percentage of the value of the goods subject toadjustment to the distance. Ship’s overall length was also taken into considerationin calculating the cost of leasing, Rhoads Murphey, ‘ProvisioningIstanbul: The State and Subsistence in the Early Modern Middle East’ Foodand Foodways 2 (1988): 217–263.(13) Kahraman Sakul 40407/04/2011, 11:21 AM


Military Transportation as Part of Mediterranean Maritime Trade 40520. Among many examples see C.BH 1182; BOA, Cevdet Hariciye [C.HRC]5848 (23RA1217/24July1802). The reason for different rates of freight is notclear.21. C.BH 11328 (4L1216/7Feb1802). Yusuf Agah Efendi, who had served as thefirst permanent Ottoman ambassador to London in the 1790s, was in chargeof chartering the ship. His name is frequently mentioned in such documents.The Grand Admiral (Kapudan Pașa) Hüseyin Pasha paid 6,600 guruș of thetotal sum.22. C.HRC 3365 (17Z1216/20Apr1802). The cost of provisions was 2,011 livreand 6 solid. Freights were paid from the revenues of the Central Treasuryuntil the 1790s after which time it was shouldered by the Imperial Mint,Aynural, İstanbul Değirmenleri, 19.23. C.HRC 3581 (5S1215/28Jun1801). In this case, lack of standard measuresmay have accounted for the missing. Captain Panayi Kalika Anizov (?) ofRussian nationality carried 1,700 kantar of hardtack from Gemlik to theRussian fleet. He delivered his load to Doroșenko (A Russian officer?) with6,483.5 kıyye missing and spoiled. The Porte was to choose between payingthe remaining one-third of the freight in full as demanded by the captain, anddeducting the value of the missing and spoiled hardtacks from the unpaidfreight. Unfortunately, the decision is not clear, but the Russian Embassywas involved in the dispute in any case, see C.HRC 5265 (6M1215/30May1800).24. A contract signed with a British captain stipulated the unloading of the cargoin eleven days and the delivery of the payment in seven days, Aynural,İstanbul Değirmenleri , 19.25. C.HRC 230 (11R1219/20July1804).26. C.HRC 230 (11R1219/20July1804). The total freight was 5,000 guruș andtwo-thirds of it, 3,333 guruș, was paid in advance. But the freight decreasedto 4,910 guruș in proportion to the reduction in the load due to the missingquantity. A further deduction of 63 guruș was made as a penalty for theincomplete delivery. The Porte calculated a kantar of hardtack at the officialprice of 56 para. The Porte, thus, calculated the debt as 1,512.5 guruș, notincluding 2,050 guruș of demurrage. The captain, on the contrary, demanded3,715 guruș, for he refused any responsibility for the missing quantity.27. C.HRC 5827 (15CA1219/22Aug1804). There was no regulation that exemptedthe missing load up to 3% of the shipment from fine to the best of myknowledge.28. C.HRC 5827 (15CA1219/22Aug1804).29. C.HRC 8141 (27S1217/29Apr1802).30. BOA, C.Maliye 478/19489 (28B1215/15Dec1800). Yusuf Agah Efendi andHalil Efendi, the superintendant of the Customs were in charge of hiringthese ships. 375 troops were transported with 14,000 kile of ammunition and27,000 kile of barley and hardtack. Total freight was 15,375 guruș with ademurrage of 1,961 guruș. Captains of Russian nationality: Marko Vitali (?),Konstantin Milisi (?), Ispiro Kalsiko (?) and the Austrian captain is Antonyo (?).(13) Kahraman Sakul 40507/04/2011, 11:21 AM


406 Kahraman Șakul31. C. HRC 1277 (27Nov1800); 1 real is equal to 3 guruș and 10 para in thedocument. C. HRC 3365 (10 April 1802) gives the value of 2,011 livres and6 sols as 1,219 guruș. Antonio Tomaso Lefcochilo was appointed officiallyas Inviato Estraordinario presso la Sublima Porta (Extraordinary Envoy tothe Sublime Porte) with the duties of Ambassador but without the officialtitle as the Treaty of 1800 did not allow the Republic to appoint ambassadors.It could only have consuls charged with overseeing commercial activitiesof the Ionians.32. C. HRC 2052 (27Nov1804).33. C.HRC 9196 (1M1219/12Apr1804) from Mustafa Reșid Efendi to the Porte.34. Provisioning of a foreign navy was not unprecedented in Ottoman history. Inthe heyday of the Ottoman-French alliance against the Habsburgs, navies ofboth powers undertook joint operations with the French warships suppliedby the Ottomans on several occasions. The French Admiral St. Blancard metthe Ottoman fleet off Corfu in 1537, and received biscuit, wine and otherprovisions. After wintering in Ottoman waters, he sailed to Istanbul to replenishhis stores and receive fresh funds, Ernest Charrière, Négociations de la Francedans le Levant, ou, Correspondances, mémoires et actes diplomatiques desambassadeurs de France à Constantinople et des ambassadeurs, envoyés ourésidents à divers titres à Venise, Raguse, Rome, Malte et Jérusalem, enTurquie, Perse, Géorgie, Crimée, Syrie, Egypte, etc., et dans les états deTunis, d’Alger et de Maroc (Paris: Impr. Nationale: 1848–1860), v. I, 340 ff.and 371 ff. In 1552, Paulin de la Garde had orders from Henry to join theOttoman navy under Sinan Pașa at the gulf of Naples. Although he could notmake the rendezvous, he found the Ottoman navy with his 24 ships offChios, see Charrière, Négociations de la France dans le Levant, v. II, 232;Camillo Manfroni, Storia della Marina Italiana (Roma, 1917), v. III, 380–382. I would like to thank Emrah Gürkan for bringing this early example andthe source to my attention.35. Harlaftis and Sophia Laiou, ‘Ottoman state policy’, 4.(13) Kahraman Sakul 40607/04/2011, 11:21 AM

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