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Gallipoli

Discussion in 'World War One Forum' started by Jim, Oct 27, 2007.

  1. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The Gallipoli operation cost Australia 26,111 casualties, 8,141 dead, New Zealand 7,571 casualties, 2,431 dead, Britain 120,000 casualties, 21,255 dead, France 27,000 casualties, 10,000 dead, India 1,350 dead, Newfoundland 49 dead.

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    At 3.30 a.m., April 25, 1915, battleships anchored about 3,500 yards off the coast of the Gallipoli Peninsula. The order was given to land, but as the troops approached the shoreline, it became obvious the tows had bunched together lost direction in the dark and veered to the left. The landing ended up about a mile to the north of the designated beaches in a place later known as Anzac Cove. It was a disaster, as the troops found themsleves confronted by steeply rising ground, with units bunched and intermixed. The 3rd Brigade had failed to achieve it`s objective of the capture of Gun Ridge. On the beaches chaos reigned. At first, the officers time was consumed sorting the men into their original units. By 10.30 a.m. the right of the small Anzac perimeter was driven in and by evening the left of the position was assaulted and the line driven back from Baby 700 and the Nek.

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    The situation was serious. Counter-attacks by the enemy were under way. Confussion reigned, and under such difficult conditions General William Throsby Bridges recommended evacuation, with Lieutenant General William Birdwood, agreeing. General Ian Hamilton, who was on the battleship "Queen Elizabeth", under naval advice, overruled his commanders and ordered the troops to dig in their positions, approx 2.25 square miles of Turkish territory. Both the Anzac and the 29th Division was stalled. Hamilton decided to concentrate his efforts in the south. Australian and New Zealand troops were sent to Helles to spearhead a new attack on 8 May, But the Anzac force suffered 1800 casualties. Little progress was made. With the Anzac advance stalled, on May 19, the Turks attacked with about 42, 000 men. At the end of the day 10,000 Turkish troops lay dead and wounded. By the end of July, many of the troops had died through illness. The major problem was dysentery.

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    Sanitary conditions were poor. The main attack was launched from Anzac on the night of 6 August. A diversionary attack at Lone Pine by the lst Brigade began on the 6th, to draw Turkish reserves away from the main battle, but turned into a disaster. Over 2000 men killed. The main attack also eventually failed. However, one action of the August attack has burnt itself into Australian history. In the morning of August 7, the 10th and 8th Light Horse, who acted as infantry, assembled for the attack. A bombardment of Turkish positions commenced, but seven minutes before the attack was to begin, the bombardment stopped. The operation was ordered by the local commander to go ahead anyway. Three lines of Light Horsemen went over the top only to be shot down immediately. 234 died. Their sacrifice was useless. There was a fighting around Hill 60 at the end of August, but this caused high casualties. By now, London debated the possibility of evacuation. In October, Hamilton was replaced with General Sir Charles Monro. It was decided in December to withdraw the troops. The evacuation, was largely planned by Birdwood's Chief of Staff, Brigadier-General C.B.B. White. Troops were removed over a period of several weeks. Ruses were employed to fool the Turks. Eventually, on 19 and 20 December, the evacuation was complete.

    General William Throsby Bridges​


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    Offensive against Baby 700 Hill

    Dominating the beach on which the Anzacs landed are two hills. British naval gunners estimated the smaller of the two to be some 700 feet high and named it Baby 700. Maps provided to the troops failed to show the strategic importance of Baby 700 or to reveal the nature of its terrain. The Anzacs sought to take Baby 700 within hours of landing. Caught in the treacherous ravines and steep gullies and on an unmapped open ridge, with the Turks firing down on them, line after line of Australians and New Zealanders were killed and wounded. Each side made ground and then lost it, until dusk when the Anzacs retreated to hold the lower spurs of the escarpment. The Turks held the heights. On 27 April 1915, the Turks launched a determined attack to push the Anzacs back to the beach but failed. A second Anzac attack on Baby 700 was ordered on the night of 2 May. The attack was poorly prepared and coordinated. A New Zealand battalion had been delayed and the Australian brigade leader, John Monash was not informed, with costly results. Turkish forces held off the attack; the Anzacs suffered heavily for no gain.

    Lieutenant General William Birdwood​


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    The Nek
    A series of smaller feints were launched on the morning of 7 August 1915, including the battle of the Nek, in which well over half of the Australian attacking forces became casualties. This battle featured in the 1981 film Gallipoli with Mel Gibson. Two regiments of the Australian Light Horse mounted an attack on Baby 700. The Nek is a narrow strip leading to Baby 700 Hill. At the time, the Anzac trenches were at its base. The Light Horsemen had left their horses in Egypt and fought as infantrymen. They were to be backed as they made their assault on the Turks by a naval bombardment and by New Zealanders attacking from the rear. Those who conceived the strategy had not taken account of the impenetrable terrain that would confront the New Zealanders, who were delayed by a day in taking up position. A failure to synchronise watches meant the naval bombardment stopped seven minutes before the first wave of soldiers went over the top of their trenches and they were slaughtered. Further confusion meant the attack was not aborted until four more groups of soldiers had gone to their deaths. Other August assaults at Anzac were more successful, although they, too, incurred high casualties. In spite of difficulties that severely slowed the progress of the attack, the New Zealanders held the hill of Chunuk Bair above Anzac Cove for two days from 8 August before succumbing to a counterattack led by the Turkish leader Mustafa Kemal Bey. This action helped establish Kemal's reputation and contributed to him becoming the first leader of modern Turkey after the war.
     
  2. Buford

    Buford New Member

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    What were the numbers lost to dysentry compared to actual battle wounds?
     
  3. james War44

    james War44 New Member

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    Australians are obsessed by Gallipoli and it has taken on the same sort of sinificance that a war of independence would for other nations.
     
  4. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    The Australians lost quite a number at Gallipoli and is remembered rigorously each year, probably this is one of the main reasons they are obsessed with the place. Good point James.. :thumb:
     
  5. RoxyMoron

    RoxyMoron New Member

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    I was browsing an antique shop near me that was going out of business and bought the Anzac Book that contained actual submissions from the soldiers. I didn't know anything about it but I loved it because it was like a scrapbook and I bought it. I flipped through the pages, it was in immaculate condition for being made in 1915 and found it to be very interesting.
    I have it for sale on Amazon even though I don't really want to part with it!
    Here's a link, if anyone is interested...and if interested in buying I'm ok with a good haggle on the price! It's in excellent condition...

    Amazon.com: The Anzac Book. Written and Illustrated in Gallipoli by The Men of Anzac: Books: C E W [Editor] Bean

    I tried to submit a photo, not sure why it isn't up!
     
  6. Jim

    Jim New Member

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    Roxy, when adding a post if you look to the right, below the Smilies you can see [Quick Upload] click on this and browse to where your photo is on your computer then upload it and it will automatically be added to your post.. :wink:

    Would like to see this book.. :thumb:
     
  7. RoxyMoron

    RoxyMoron New Member

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    Oh! I meant I couldn't get a photo to upload to Amazon.com, I guess I did word that funny! Here is a photo of the book...
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    It's a pretty good sized book, I'd say about 8 x 10.
     

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