The Landing at Cape Helles




The Naval Attack







Gallipoli 1915

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As time passed both sides were gradually reinforced. The 16th Division was rushed from Thrace and the 2nd Division from Istanbul. Fierce Anzac assaults on Ariburnu continued steadily and the fighting went on until the end of May. Finally, from the end of May onwards it turned into a French warfare. The clashes of Seddulbahir and Ariburnu in June and July of 1915 were typical of stationary warfare. The opposing forces were extremely close to each other, indeed as close as eight meters on certain locations.

The Anafartalar Battles

General Hamilton, unable to achieve any success on the Seddulbahir and Ariburnu fronts in the past five months decided to open a third front in Anafartalar bay in order to encircle and destroy the Turkish Army from the rear. He assigned this task to the 9th British Corps.The aim was to immediately seize the Conkbayiri and KocaCimen blocs, advance from there and take control of the Straits. During this landing limited action was to be taken in order to keep the Turkish forces in the Seddulbahir and Ariburnu regions pinned down.British Army Corps began landing on the night of 6-7 August, to start the final attack against the Turkish troops aproximately on the 9th of August. They landed to the south of the Buyukkemikli and Kucukkemikli headlands. Due to the hot weather and exhaustion of the British soldiers, 9th corps spend a day on the beach front instead of moving to the target hills immediately. During this time two Ottoman divisions were transferred to the front with Mustafa Kemal as commander. One of these divisions pushed the 9th corps into the sea while the other one prevented the Anzacs to reach to the battle front.

The 12th Division attacked the 9th Corps front lines. The most critical point was over for the Turks. The 9th Corps, under the fire of the Turkish Forces, fell in great numbers on the beaches and were left totally ineffective. Eventhough the 9th Corps, that was later reinforced, attempted more flank attacks from Ismailoglu Hill to Anafartalar and from Mt. Karakol to Ece Harbour and Tekke Hill, they could not succeed.T he pinning-down and encircling action against the Northern Group was halted but some sections did come within 25 meters of the crest-line. The 9th Turkish Division, which had counter-attacked for two days in order to alleviate this dangerous situation was not able to achieve a success. Then, Liman Von Sanders, Commander of the 5th Ottoman Army reinforced the 8th Division with two regiments and put it under Mustafa Kemal's orders.Colonel Mustafa Kemal arrived at the headquarters of the 8th Division, the night of 9-10th August and ordered his soldiers to attack using only bayonets at down on the 10th of August. The attack succeeded and even the British Brigade Commander was among the dead. Upon the seizure of the land that would guarantee the security of the defense line, the order to dig-in and defend was given. The British operation that had been carried out with strong attack groups in high hopes on Ariburnu and the landings at Anafartalar were paralyzed and as in the other regions were brought to a standstill.Thus the allied forces clearly saw that no possibility remained either of breaking the Turkish defense in the Dardanelles or of achieving any result in the Gallipoli Campaign, above all of achieving their ambition of taking Istanbul. On 20th December 1915 they ordered the evacuation of Ariburnu-Anafartalar and on the 9th January 1916 Seddulbahir.Over 33000 allied and 86000 Turkish troops died in the eight-month Gallipoli campaign which achieved none of its objectives. A British royal commission later concluded that the operation had been ill-conceived. Gallipoli cost 8700 Australian dead and 19000 wounded. Large numbers of the dead have no known grave. The story of Anzac has had an enduring effect on the way Australians see themselves. Though the campaign was a failure, Anzac has come to stand, in the words of the official historian, C.E.W. Bean, "for reckless valour in a good cause, for enterprise, recourcefulness, fidelity, comradeship and endurance".

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