HMS Odin was one of the first RN ships active in southern mesopotamia in 1914. The Official History says that in August 1914....
"The Odin and the Lawrence were then the only two British Government vessels in the Persian Gulf and though the Lawrence was awooden paddle vessel with few small guns, the Odin was quite capable of dealing with the Marmariss"
The Marmariss was a turkish gunboat. The Odin was armed with 6 x 4" breech loaders and 4 x 3pdr quick firing guns.
On 10th Sept 1914 the Odin was ordered to patrol the Shatt-al-Arab (arriving 16th)with orders to stop the Turks attacking the British oil refinery at Abadan. She was joined there by sister ship Espiegle amid rumours that the Emden was en route.
Odin was still in the region when Indian Expeditionary Force D arrived in November, and provided naval cover to the landings and early operations in the Basra / Abadan area, including the action at Saihan on 17.11.14
She damaged her rudder on 25th Nov in shallow water at Qurna
After damaging her rudder the Odin was apparently withdrawn to India for repairs, but she was back very quickly.
In March 1915 the Odin was again in action near Qurna. According to MacMunn and Falls:
“The Turks were holding most or all of the sandhill islands to the north [of Qurna] and on some of them were mounting guns. On the 19th March their artillery opened fire from Gun Hill, and the gunboat Marmariss was seen to be underway near Peardrop Bend. HMS Odin at once moved up the river to engage her, but the Marmariss did not come down below the Ruta obstruction. The Turkish action was so suspicious that the Odin advanced with caution, until a large observation mine exploding just ahead of her showed clearly that the Marmariss was only trying to draw the Odin over a minefield”
A month later the ship was again in action near the same point, again acting in company with sister ship Espiegle and other vessels forming the “Euphrates Blockade Flotilla”. On the 14th they pursued escaping Turkish boats, destroying eight and capturing four vessels the official history calls “mahailas”. The main danger facing the vessel seems to have been floating mines which the Turks sent down river.
After this, she provided support to Townsend’s soldiers at the second action of Qurna on 31st May, shelling Turkish positions and then …
“preceded by the mine-sweeping armed launches Shaitan and Sumana, the Espiegle and Clio now moved up and anchored off Norfolk Hill to join in the bombardment of One Tower hill, and the Odin, Lawrence and Miner also moved up in support. These warships continued to be the main target for the Turkish guns and both the Espiegle and Odin were hit by shells, without, however, sustaining much damage or loss”
On the first of June the Odin, along with other vessels of the flotilla, engaged Turkish gunboats, firing on the Mosul and the Marmariss. The Turkish vessels cast off some smaller vessels that were being towed, and these were picked up by the Odin.
The Marmariss was captured (or sunk) the next day, by other vessels of the Flotilla, including the Espiegle which, being the flagship of the flotilla, seems to have always got the plum jobs whilst the Odin got the less glamourous ones!
The Official History then reads: “General Nixon pointed out…that he could not speak too highly of the part played by the officers and men of the royal navy under the command of captain Nunn”
After accompanying the troops to Amara the flotilla withdrew downstream and there is no further mention of the Odin...