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The Fortifications of

the Dardanelles

Baron Ferenc Tóth or François Baron de Toth (1733-1793) was a French consul and military advisor in the Ottoman Empire, born from a Hungarian father and French mother. His father, László Tóth was an immigrant rebel, colonel of the Bercsényi regiment founded in France in 1722. His son visited multiple times to Istanbul and Tekirdağ during his youth, and was sent as a French consul in 1767 to the Crimean Khanate. During the Russo-Turkish War (1768-1774) he became military advisor and consul in Istanbul. He was the engineer of the fortifications built against the Russian fleet at the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles, and also played a major role in the modernization of the Ottoman army. The fortifications built by him were reconstructed during the Balkan Wars (1912-13) and at the beginning of the First World War, as the Entente wanted to make the final offensive against the Ottoman Empire from this side. However, a number of parts of the works by Ferenc Tóth still remains. His book about the Ottoman Empire was published in 1785 in French and Hungarian and in Turkish in 2008 with the editorship of Ferenc Tóth. During the First World War, Austro-Hungarian artillery forces joined the Turkish who were heroically defending the Dardanelles. Our howitzer forces sunk many Entente ships and forced the disembarked enemy to repel. Later they participated in chasing them as well. In the meantime, Austro-Hungarian submarine forces tricked the defence line of the Entente and delivered supplies multiple times to the heroically fighting Ottoman-Turkish army.

E-mail:macarkulturmerkezi@mfa.gov.hu