It was fought on a very small piece of land on and above the beaches of Gallipoli. The plan was to draw Turkish troops from other battlegrounds, therefore minimising the amount of troops on the other battlefronts. This would make it easier for the English soldiers to come up through the Dardanelle's and make their way through turkey without much of a challenge. The campaign is either referred to as the Gallipoli Campaign or the Dardanelles Campaign. The Gallipoli campaign began with the Allied bombardment of Turkish defences on 19 January , followed a few months later by the landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula early on 25 April.
The campaign lasted until January and was a costly failure for the Allies, with heavy losses 44, dead and no gains made. The campaign has proved to be historically significant in other ways. The extra troops landing at Anzac were hidden in hundreds of new caves and dug-outs set into the cliff face, and they were not allowed to venture out in the day time. They were all landed during the hours of darkness, as were all the extra supplies and ammunition, which were at once camouflaged once ashore.
In the afternoon of August 6th the troops embarked on the Beetles and other transports and as the sun set they set off. The men were under orders to remain quiet, and no lights showed in the convoy as secrecy was still of the utmost importance.
The men, fresh, untrained soldiers from Britain, set off into the gloom to face the unknown, the only sound being the boom boom coming from the batteries which had been firing all day at Anzac and Helles Point where the attacks had already begun. The guns the men could hear as they set out for Suvla Bay had been firing, in some instances, since 2. And it was not only the land based artillery; the naval monitors with their huge 14 inch guns lent a hand with the bombardment.
For the British in the south, these attacks were merely a continuation of the attacks and counter-attacks they had endured for the previous three months. This, however, didn't mean the attacks were any less determined. But even this, plus their reinforcements and immense cannonade couldn't break the Turkish lines. In some places the Turks had already been reinforced as they were planning an attack of their own.
They fought back and forth for almost a week, and in the end it was sheer exhaustion and the numbers of casualties which stopped the battle, totalling several thousand on each side. For these several thousand casualties and a weeks worth of fighting, not to mention the expenditure in ammunition, the front lines remained the same; no land at all had been gained by either side.
But, as far as the British commanders were concerned the attacks had been a success. The enemy had been heavily tied down in this area and had even had to commit reinforcements to it, troops which otherwise could have been used against the Anzacs at Chunuk Bair or the British at Suvla Bay. The British did not know it but they had almost achieved the breakthrough they had been vainly searching for for months.
The Turkish defences were pushed to the edge of their abilities and at one point the local German commander sent a message to von Sanders stressing the need for an immediate withdrawal of the entire Cape Helles area. Von Sanders would hear none of it, and, relieving the German commander of his command, instructing his successor that no land was to be given up. Soon after, the attacks let up and the Turks were able to hold the British at Helles.
The attacks at Anzac, as have been described, were in two parts; a diversionary holding attack at Lone Pine to the south and the main attack to seize Chunuk Bair, Hill Q and Koja Chemen Tepe to the north, securing the Allied position and linking up with the British at Suvla at the same time.
The attack at Lone Pine was a strange affair to say the least. The Anzacs, who had for so long suffered in their own trenches, constantly under the eye of the Turks overlooking their positions, suddenly had their chance for revenge. Everyone wanted a go in the attack and guards had to be posted to hold back men not authorised to take part in the first wave, and men were paying as much as five pounds for a place in the front line. The area to be attacked was around a hundred yards from trench to trench and only yards wide.
This meant a large amount of men concentrated under enemy gunfire in a very small area, in broad day-light. However, provisions had been made for this and tunnels going roughly 50 yards out into the middle of no-man's-land had been dug. In the late afternoon it was into these tunnels that the men committed themselves, waiting for the barrage overhead to finish and for the orders to attack.
It must have been quite a shock to the Turkish sentries when at 5. The first line was all but annihilated by the murderous Turkish machine-gun and rifle fire. However, the second and third waves carried on the attack with conviction, but upon reaching the Turkish trenches found them to be roofed with thick pine logs to protect them from shrapnel and artillery fire.
Some Australians, when faced with this dilemma as to how to access the Turkish trenches, just ignored them, and carried on to attack the communications trenches behind.
Some dropped their weapons and pulled up the logs with their bare hands jumping down among the Turks. Others just ran along the top looking for gaps in the logs through which to fire on the Turks below. The fighting was desperate; rifles lay forgotten as men used bayonets, shovels, logs and their bare hands to come to grips with the enemy.
Once the Australians had captured the trenches the Turks instantly counter-attacked, and then the Australians attacked again. For a week this uncoordinated, mad, almost riot-like fighting continued. As the fighting subsided, many thousands of dead Australians and Turks lay indiscriminately on top of and amongst each other in and around the trenches. Seven Victoria Crosses, the highest decoration for Bravery, were won there. At the end of the battle the Australians remained victorious, having at last captured the enemy trench.
But more importantly they had held down thousands of enemy troops and reinforcements and had put major strain on the Turkish positions. But this attack was only a subsidiary, a diversion, for the main Anzac attack to the north. Mustafa Kemal, the Turkish commander facing the Anzac area, had made no arrangements to face a night attack in this area, indeed one only has to see the greatly undulating landscape, beset with gullies, ravines and precipitous cliffs to recognise the immense difficulties of attacking in this sort of landscape during the day, let alone at night when visibility and navigation were greatly inhibited.
However, an enterprising young New Zealand major had been reconnoitring the land and had trained a party of expert guides to guide the troops into position. The plan was for a group of 20, men to attack up the Suri Bair Range to which the three hills belonged, secure their objectives and meet up with the British coming up from Suvla Bay.
In order to achieve this, the attacking force was divided into two columns. The right column, comprising chiefly of New Zealanders, was to attack up two ravines, one called Sazli Dere and another to the south which led up to what was later know as Rhododendron Spur, and seize Chunuk Bair.
The second, or left column, made up of British, Indian and Australians, was to march northwards, along the coast, bypassing the New Zealanders in the right column, then turn inland where it was to split up and take Hill Q and Koja Chemen Tepe slightly further north.
Both groups were to start out after nightfall in the hope of catching the Turks unawares. Just after dusk, an excellent rouse was initiated to capture the first line of trenches. For some nights previously a British destroyer had switched on her spot-light at precisely 9 o'clock, and, shining it on the Turkish trenches, proceeded to bombard them. So on the night of the 6th of August at 9.
The Turks, learning from experience that the bombardment would only last 30 minutes, and no harm would come of it, would abandon their trenches until the bombardment was over, then come back down the slope and reclaim them. But this night the New Zealanders followed closely behind the searchlight and as soon as it was switched off leapt into the trenches.
When the Turks came back they were surprised to discover their trenches had been occupied and fierce fighting ensued. But the Turks were not strong enough and were forced to fall back, closely followed by the advancing New Zealanders. But this is where things started to go wrong. The guides who were supposed to take the troops right up to the crest of Chunuk Bair had lost themselves in the darkness. Some groups of the column halted to try and take barings and work out where they were.
Others continued to march in the darkness and one group even managed to go full circle and ended up at its starting point. The few troops who did manage to make their way to the top sat down and waited for the rest of the force before trying to storm the summit of Chunuk Bair. As bad as this was, the left column had a much worse time of it. Moreover, instead of taking the easier and more gently sloping route to the summit in the north, the guides deciding to take a short cut, cut through a ravine at Aghyldere.
Here the Turks poured fire down on top of them. The commanding officer was soon wounded and the troops were starting to panic. Some men fell back and retreated, some pushed forwards regardless and some, so exhausted by the situation, lay down where they were and slept. The column had come to a standstill, unable to advance and unable to extract itself.
But the main tragedy of the campaign, one which is still remembered through Australia, was still to come: that of the futile attack by the Australian Light Horse on a position just below Kemal's headquarters on Battleship Hill, more famously known as the Nek. In the expectation that the 3 summits had already been captured by dawn, the Light Horse, dismounted and acting as infantry, were to advance and attack here to prevent the Turks from attacking the flank of the troops atop Chunuk Bair.
When dawn came and it was apparent that The hill was still in enemy hands, it was decided to attack regardless. The whistles sounded and the first wave was destroyed nearly before they left the trenches.
The machine guns cut great gaps in the attacking waves of troops, and the Turks were sitting on the parapet of their trenches to get a better view of the attacking Australian troops. It didn't take very long at all for the Turks to annihilate of the 1, who attacked. Successive waves had to pick their way through the bodies of those who had already fallen, only to be shot down before they could make any headway whatsoever. And all in an area the size of a tennis court.
The New Zealanders, perched high above the sea just under Chunuk Bair could see the attack taking place. Further south, they could see the movement of the attack at Lone Pine taking place. They could even see the British at Suvla Bay far to the north-west.
But of their own force or the left column somewhere below them in the gullies and ravines they could make out nothing. They were alone, and the attack was running dangerously behind schedule. However, in the middle of the morning two companies of Gurkhas joined them and so they attacked the summit at Chunuk Bair.
They were too late. The Turks were already on the hill-top and the attack was repulsed. That was the last attack of the day. The remainder was taken up in reorganising the lost columns and working out what had been gained and what hadn't. The next day, the 8th, the commanders conceived to try again.
The troops were organised into 5 columns, the objectives being the same 3 hills. The attacks were nearly successful; both Hill Q and Chunuk Biar were very nearly captured but the troops involved were too few in number.
It was decided to have one last attempt but this time Koja Chemen Tepe was excluded altogether and the attack focused on Chunuk Bair and the saddle of land linking it to Hill Q. This was eventually done after a terrible bombardment at dawn on August 9th. The troops attacked and fought hand to hand, using fists, rifles as clubs and bayonets. The enemy turned and fled and as the victorious troops followed them down the far side of the hill, they were caught by several artillery shells.
Whether these were British or Turkish it is not known but the troops were forced to retire back up to the summit. This was the only gained objective. It was an important height as it gave a good field of view of the surrounding area. The men on both sides were dispirited to say the least - both had been fighting non-stop for 3 days.
Behind them lay thousands of dead and wounded. They were short of water and food, many had not slept for days. Within 4 hours Chunuk Bair had been cleared. The British had been pushed off the only height they had gained and now had nothing. But it came at a price for the Turks. As they had advanced over the open ground the artillery and naval gunfire had torn them apart. The majority had been obliterated by the ships they could see below them. But the losses didn't matter, as the heights had been recaptured and the enemy defeated.
Both of the attacks at Cape Helles and Anzac came very close to breaking the Turkish lines. The Turks were so stretched that at certain times Liman found himself with no reserves at all; every single one of his units had been committed to battle and those coming from Bulair or from across the Narrows had not yet arrived. A breakthrough at this point would have been disastrous; with no reserves or reinforcements, Allied troops would have been able to push through the gap and right up the peninsula.
But while the Turks were being stretched almost to the point of breaking, the Allied had been in a similar position. It was not long after the German commander had been removed from his command for stressing the need to pull back and abandon the defence at Cape Helles that the British found that they too had committed all their troops into the battle, and, when the enemy were at breaking point, they had nothing else to throw in.
The same could be said for the Australians at Lone Pine. At the height of the battle both sides had committed all their reserves. The same in the failed attacks on the Sari Bair range. There were no troops left on either side to commit to the battle. Both sides were fighting with everything they had and all they could do was sit and wait to see who came out victorious.
But what of the 20, men at Suvla Bay? These were the men who were to land, secure the bay and surrounding area, then move inland. There was a sense of urgency about the plan; whilst the attacks at Helles Point and Anzac were to tie down the troops in their vicinity - there were still several divisions which von Sanders had been tricked into posting near Bulair as well as those across the Narrows in mainland Turkey. As soon as von Sanders realised he had been fooled and that there was to be no attack forthcoming at Bulair he would immediately order his divisions posted there to move south to meet the real threats.
Before they arrived it was imperative that the central hills had been secured. Apart from the hills, which were abundant with wells, there was no other water in the area; until those wells were secure the troops would have to rely on the Navy to supply them.
This was not a problem as Hamilton's plan was to have secured the low hills closest to the coast before dawn on the first day, and be well positioned in the Anafarta Range further inland long before reinforcements marching from the north had reached them. It all depended on speed; it was estimated it would take 36 hours for troops from Bulair to arrive once they started marching.
In this time the troops landing at Suvla would have needed to be secure in the Anafarta Range and on Tekke Tepe further north. By holding these two heights the British would have effectively cut off the Turkish forces in the south and also be in such a position as to be able to easily repeal all but the most heavy of attacks.
But, somewhere down the chain of command, the stress factor on speed which was the lifeline of the entire plan was lost. Divisional commanders were told to get to the hills by dawn "if possible". Brigade commanders thought there would be no real advance until later the next day. One commander was under the impression that he would be waiting by the coast for the Anzacs breaking out of the south before advancing.
It was this lack of coherency and instruction and leadership which was to beset the entire Suvla Campaign. The men were new, untried and untested. All were volunteers who had been civilians when the war started, and the patriotism and willingness with which they had joined up had slowly been melting away through the long months training in Britain. The commanders too were just as inexperienced; many had reached the positions they now held through length of service not through dazzling careers in the field.
Some had never even commanded large formations of men. But none of this really mattered. Archy, an eighteen-year old Australian athlete, is the main character in Gallipoli Firstly, to make sure that people on my side vote for my candidate I could use the peripheral route of persuasion, which is when people focus on superficial cues linked to the message, such as how long the message is or the attractiveness of the communicator. In order to get people to vote for the person I am working for, I could make a commercial with an attractive celebrity as the speaker Frank and Archy are brought to deliver a story of bravery that is fueled with the naivety of propaganda and ignorance.
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There was no concept of a front line; Australian troops had advanced as far as a mile inland while others were still fighting their way off the beach. The attacks were nearly successful; both Hill Q and Chunuk Biar were very nearly captured but the troops involved were too few in number. Hamilton was informed he was to receive 3 divisions sent out to him as soon as they were ready.