30: Gallipoli Pt. 6


The summer breakout attempts from Helles had been unsuccessful with the three battle of Krithia ending in failure for the British. The troops at ANZAC hadn’t been idle during this time, but the primary point of effort had been elsewhere, but that was about to change.



Hello everyone and welcome to History of the Great War episode 30 our sixth, and second to last, episode on the Gallipoli campaign of 1915. The summer breakout attempts from Helles had been unsuccessful with the three battle of Krithia ending in failure for the British. The troops at ANZAC hadn’t been idle during this time, but the primary point of effort had been elsewhere, but that was about to change. By the time the Krithia attacks were winding down Hamilton was already looking at what he could do at ANZAC and around the peninsula to finally breakthrough the Turkish lines. The attacks would happen in August and at ANZAC this would be the defining moment of the campaign, particularly with the attacks of the New Zealanders against Chunuk Bair, the 1st Australian Division’s attacks at Lone Pine and the ill fated attacked by the 3rd Light Horse Brigade at the Nek. To compliment these attacks there would also be British troops landed at Sulva bay, not too far up the coast from ANZAC where the new divisions fresh from Britain would be put into their first combat. This would be the climax of almost 7 months of British operations in the area and the last large attack on the peninsula.

To execute these August attacks Hamilton had several new divisions fresh on the scene. Remember those new divisions promised by the Dardanelles Committee last week? Well they have now arrived in the form of the 10th, 11th, 13th, 53rd, and 54th Divisions. The 10th, 11th, and 13th were Kitchener divisions, the first to see service in the war. These were troops had that signed up after the war had begun and they were extremely green, for reference, the first Kitchener divisions wouldn’t see action on the Western Front until the attacks on the Somme in the middle of 1916 so well trained they were not. So, Hamilton had more troops on hand than he had had since the beginning of the campaign, the question was how to use them. The first part of the plan was for an attack at ANZAC in two different parts. The first was diversionary attacks out of ANZAC by the Australian 1st Division at Lone Pine. This attack would be launched in broad daylight, to provide maximum visibility, in the late afternoon of August 6th the troops would attack on the south side of the line. On the night of the 6th there would be four columns of troops to march out of ANZAC and move to the north, shielded by the attacks of the 1st division on their right. Another of the new divisions was added to the attack and the key to the entire attack was an attack by the New Zealand Brigade against the Turkish positions on first Rhododendron Ridge and then on to their positions on Chunuk Bair. After these positions were captured they would then move against Battleship hill at the same time as Australian troops attacked across the nek against Baby 700. After these positions were taken all of the troops would continue on to Hill 971. At which point they would then meet up with the troops from Suvla. This was a solid plan, but it was complicated. It required very specific timing, especially from the New Zealanders, and there wasn’t really plan for what should happen if the New Zealanders failed. This all over terrain that most historians use words like “nightmare” to describe and I’m sure you can imagine what is going to go wrong. This danger was increased when you consider the troops were a combination of new troops, who didn’t really know the area and were prone to getting lost, and seasoned troops that by and large were exhausted and were weakened considerably by diseases, which didn’t exactly help their attacking capabilities.

Hamilton knew that to achieve his objectives he needed more troops than could be put into the line at ANZAC cove, it simply wasn’t large enough to hold the number of troops that were needed to break through the lines and get to the Sari Bair Ridge. So he decided that he needed to land more troops somewhere, and that somewhere was at Suvla bay. The bay was actually considered back in April for the initial landings and it was only rejected because it was thought to be too far away from the main point of effort at Helles. General Birdwood, the commander of the ANZAC would have this to say about Suvla “Soon after our landing I had made up my mind that we must eventually attack at Suvla, beyond my left. With this possibility in view I had given the strictest orders that no demonstration or attack of any kind should be made in that direction, though the country there was easier. I wanted to let the Turks think that we entirely ignored it, and that any breaking out we might contemplate would come from my right – in conjunction, perhaps, with the force at Helles.” The initial plan was to put the 10th and 11th divisions ashore on the night of August the 6th to capture Kiretch Tepe and Tekke Tepe at which point they would link up with the Australians pushing out of their own lines and move forward as a unit toward Sari Bair. After this initial blueprint was determined by Hamilton the commander of the troops at Suvla was chosen, General Sir Frederick Stopford. Stopford was the acting Governor of the Tower of London when he got called up and most of his military career, while lengthy, had been in staff work instead of active field command. Stopford gets a ton of heat from historians for how he handled the landings and subsequent fighting at Suvla, most pointing to his overcautiousness as the main cause for their failure. I’m not going to say he did a great job, but I will say that he was far out of his element, and given the troops that were at his disposal it was unlikely he would have succeeded regardless of how bold he actions were. The plan would slowly morph from a bold thrust by two divisions toward their objectives to a bunch of landings that were spread out both inside and outside the bay itself without a ton of urgency in their orders. Instead of a bold striking thrust toward Kiretch and Tekke Tepe as soon as possible the goals for the first day were pretty small. This isn’t unreasonable, I’m pretty sure I have spent a solid amount of the last 30 episodes of this podcast talking about generals whose objectives were far too grandiose compared to the men they had at their disposal. Unfortunately in this case, the cautiousness of the plans was unwarranted. There were very few defenders in the area, with just three battalions of men ready to defend against the landings of 2 divisions. Stopford and his subordinates were planning for a lot of resistance as they pushed inland so they believed that it was absolutely essential that they wait for the artillery to land on the morning of the 7th before moving into the higher hills. Again, a reasonable assumption given the course of the war. As usual Peter Hart is very critical of the British commanders “The whole process of command and control within IX Corps was a disaster; the intent of the landings was being submerged by conditional inanities that left no one responsible for the attainment of Hamilton’s defined objectives. But Hamilton and his staff also bear a great deal of blame for failing to properly direct and control their subordinates – indeed, Stopford subsequently claimed that he had never had even a one-minute conversation with Hamilton prior to the Suvla landings.” He would then go on to describe his thoughts on the entirety of the plan “Taken as a whole the scheme was utterly unrealistic. It demanded feats of endurance from the assaulting columns climbing to Sari Bair which would have made Hannibal think twice; it asked raw troops to perform like veterans and sickly veterans to put their illnesses behind them; it required leadership from incompetents; it sought to create diversions by attacks that bitter experience had already shown were bound to fail. And worst of all it assumed, despite all the evidence so far accumulated, that the Turks would fight badly.” As usual I think Hart skews a bit harsh in these opinions. When I look at the plan as it was laid out I think the biggest problem was that it put the greatest forces in the attack in a position to attack the best defenses. The ANZAC battle hardened and knowledgeable about the terrain were put in the position were most of this knowledge and skill counted the least. At Suvla, where a quick attack by top notch troops could have quickly marched inland and captured the hills and ridges assigned to them there were instead troops with no experience in combat and a commander who could not utilize them properly anyway.

Before the battles at ANZAC and Suvla got started it would be the VIII Corps at Helles that would launch the first attack of the campaign on August the 6th, 3,500 casualties later their diversionary attack was for the most part unsuccessful. It was designed to keep the defenders from moving troops from Helles to ANZAC, it didn’t work. At ANZAC the first stage in the attack was to launch an attack against the Turkish trenches at Lone Pine which would be carried out by the Australian 1st division. The attack was on a narrow front so there would be several waves of infantry sent in for the attack. Tunnels had been dug under no man’s land and filled with explosives that would be detonated right before the attack to create craters for protection. To go along with these tunnels were tunnels dug closer to the surface that were braced in such a way that could be removed at a moment’s notice. This created a trench instantly when desired. This would let at least some of the Australian troops get closer to the Turkish lines before being exposed to enemy fire. There would also be a three day bombardment before the attack. The artillery bombardment was designed to really draw the attention of the Turkish generals, making them believe that it was the main attack. At 2PM on August the 6th, the mines were blown and the artillery fire picked up its intensity. 2 and a half hours later the first waves of Australians went over the top. In just under 4 hours the first set of Turkish lines had been overrun, somehow they didn’t seem to expect the attack. General Kemal brought forward Turkish reinforcements and began to counterattack to retake the trenches. This began a 4 day battle where the Australians were under constant pressure. More and more troops were moved forward over this time by both sides. On August the 9th the area would finally settle down, probably from sheer exhaustion, even though the Turks suffered 5,000 casualties in their spirited counter attacks the Australians still held the trenches. Though they had suffered 2,000 casualties in the attack. Throughout the attacks the Australian 1st division would be awarded seven Victoria Crosses. The 150 yards or so of ground gained by the brave Australians actually put them in a worse position than where they started, the position would end up being one of the most dangerous on the entire peninsula for the rest of the campaign, such is the way of war.

At midnight on August the 6th there was another attack against a set of trenches known as the German Officer’s Trench and it was crucial to later attacks that would occur the next day. Here there were also several mines setup and ready to explode to provide some cover to the troops. At around midnight they were detonated….and nothing happened. They were designed to blow a large crater in front of the Turkish trenches and in no man’s land. Instead they were too small and buried too deep to have this effect. There was just a small rumble, and that was it, but the troops knew they had to go forward anyway. So at 12.30 the first attack was launched by the 6th Battalion of the 1st Australian division. They were under heavy fire the instant they got out of their trenches. The attack was hopeless. Major Bennett was the commander in the area and knew that further attacks were equally hopeless, but he also knew how important the attacks were. He knew the men had to try again “The tunnels were cleared of wounded; officers were given fresh orders for the attack and a commencement was made to reorganise the men ready for the charge. In the dark and crowded tunnels this took two hours to accomplish. But at last everything was ready. Everyone in those tunnels knew they were embarking on a forlorn hope. They knew the Turks were waiting to mow them down the moment they showed themselves. Still, they decided to give the best that was in them to make a success of the venture. The signal was given.” At 4AM the next attack was launched. When the failure of this attack filtered back to the rear another attack was ordered, this one even less likely to succeed given the state of the men. Thankfully this one would be called off before it was launched.

Before the attack on the German Officer’s Trench was launched the four columns moving off to make the main attacks were already in motion. They began moving off shortly after darkness fell, moving out from their staging areas. Lieutenant Hubert Ford of the 13th New South Wales Battalion would say of this excursion “Try to imagine that long column of silent men stealthily making its way through the black night, not knowing what was to happen next! Every bayonet was wrapped in hessian to obviate glint, every nerve was tense through the uncertainty. Overhead were the searchlights of the destroyer – the shafts of light did not appear to be more than 20 feet above our heads – and the illuminated heights were being subjected to a terrific fire from the Colne’s guns. Under this the brigade wriggled along like a huge snake until a right-wheel took us into the blackest of valleys, surrounded by steep, rugged hills covered with prickly bushes.” Many units quickly became lost or were much slower than expected in getting to their destinations. Part of this was because the difficulty of the routes was underestimated so it took longer than what was planned. Some of these caused delays in the attacks that would be disastrous later the next day, remember a lot of these attacks were timed at very specific times to support each other, if they didn’t happen like clockwork there would be consequences. One of these columns that had a very specific job to do, at a very specific time, was the New Zealand Brigade. The New Zealand brigade was commanded by Brigadier General Francis Johnston and they didn’t have too far to travel, what the terrain lacked in distance it made up for in confusion and difficulty. As the brigade attempted to move up to their destinations they inevitably got slowed, strung out, and separated. When the first troops did arrive at their jumping off points for the attack Johnston decided to wait for his entire unit to catch up instead of launching the attack with only part of his Brigade. The plan was for the brigade to attack before 4.30AM against Chunuk Bair so that they could attack Battleship Hill at 4.30 in conjunction with the Australian attacks across the Nek. Instead they wouldn’t really start their advance against Rhododendron Ridge, on their way to Chunuk Bair, until 6.30 AM. By this time Turkish reinforcements had arrived at Chunuk Bair and they would watch every step of the New Zealand advance. The attack on Chunuk Bair itself wouldn’t start until almost 10.30 by which point there were more than enough defenders on its summit to hold off the attacks. Instead of carrying the hill in a quick attack the New Zealanders found themselves hundreds of yards away from the top by mid-day.

All of the failures of the attacks throughout the night of the 6th of August had far reaching effects but in some areas these effects were concentrated to effect a single attack, no where was this more apparent than at The Nek. Here on August the 7th the 3rd Light Horse Brigade would become the centerpiece in one of, if not the, defining moment of the entire 9 month campaign for the Australians. Early in the morning on the 6th General Birdwood knew that the New Zealanders had not achieved their objective of capturing Chunuk Bair. He knew that if the Australians advanced it would be right into a prepared and ready enemy. But he decided to launch the attack anyway, he was hopefully that pressure by the Light Horse would help the New Zealanders in reaching their goal. The bombardment began at 4AM, and then ended at 4:23, exactly 7 minutes early. 7 minutes doesn’t seem like a long time in most situations you listen to me say about 750 words every 7 minutes, you probably don’t eat lunch in less than 7 minutes, but in this situation 7 minutes was an eternity. Those seven minutes provided a chance for the Turkish troops to come out of the shelters and fully setup for the attack. When the first wave of 150 men went over the top the Turkish troops would be perfectly ready for them. The first and second waves were made up of men of 8th Light horse and at 4.30 the first wave went over the top, and just a minute later they were stopped. They were all killed, wounded, or had somehow found some scrap of cover between the lines. The second wave went over just a few minutes later, to the same horrible result. The third and fourth waves would be made up of men from the 10th Light Horse, its commander frantically tried to get the attack cancelled, seeing how completely pointless it was. Regardless of his attempts the third wave would go over at 4.45. In the third wave was Trooper Charles Williams “I was in between the Sergeant and the Sergeant Major. The Sergeant said to me, being the youngest fellow in the regiment, ‘Now listen to me lad, there is no hope for us, so as soon as you get over the top lie down!’ I was pushed down – I wasn’t allowed to lie down! Fortunately we got into a groove in the land and we laid there all day until night came and we crawled back into the trench.” There are many reports of the men of the third wave hopping out of the trench and immediately diving for cover, smart move. The 10th commander did get the attack called off before the 4th wave went over, thankfully. Unfortunately not all of the units got the order in time and some went over anyway. Of the 600 men of the 3rd Light Horse Brigade, 372 would be confirmed casualties by the end of the day. The attack at The Nek is a tragedy, pure and simple, with no hope of any real gains.

Unfortunately for the ANZAC troops who had begun their attacks on August 7th there attacks would continue into the 8th. One of these was by the New Zealand troops, again trying to capture Chunuk Bair. The Wellington Battalion spearheaded the attack and would actually find themselves at the top, athough it was because it was mostly abandoned by the defenders. Major William Cunningham would be one of the men at the top “The two leading Companies swept in line in a final rush to the top, to find to their amazement the position was unoccupied. Certainly a small Turkish picquet was overwhelmed, without firing a shot, in a small trench on the seaward slope some distance from the top. But where were the Turks who had shattered the Auckland attack?” The troops frantically began to dig in, expecting a counter attack that they didn’t have to wait long for. When the attack began most of them hadn’t been able to dig in very far and their shallow trenches offered little protection. They barely hung on to their positions on a secondary reverse slope, let along the top. Of the 760 men who had been in the unit before the attack only 70 of the Wellington men were left unwounded when they were relieved. On the morning of August the 9th another attack was launched early in the morning, instead of gaining ground this attack actually ended up losing ground. On August the 10th the first large counter attack from Genearl Kemal, utilizing 3 regiments, not only pushed the New Zealanders off of any gains they had made on Chunuk Bair it was even in danger of breaking through the line. Over all, during the 4 days of fighting the ANZAC troops had 12,500 casualties which was just brutal casualty rates given the number of men involved. Worst of all, off of these casualties had been spent in return for…pretty much….nothing.

The attacks at ANZAC were not the only action occurring on the night of August the 6th and the next day, troops were also landing at Suvla Bay. This would be the first amphibious activity of the campaign since the April 25th landings. The men would better landing craft this time in the form of armored lighters that would take the men right up to the beaches. These lighters would offer far more protection to the troops as they approached the shore. This would also be the first attack by Kitchener’s new armies, the men weren’t well trained but they were all volunteers in high spirits. The defenders would not be well prepared to receive them, Sanders had some idea that there was a landing being planned but he wasn’t sure exactly where it would be. Because of this the beaches would be lightly defended. Just before 8PM on the 6th men of the 11th Division landed at B and C beaches and found their landings unopposed. They were able to quickly advance and capture Lala Baba, a hill that overlooked the other landing beaches. Once they were on Lala Baba they waited for the men landing inside the Bay to push forward to meet them before advancing further toward Hill 10, their ultimate objective. The men landing at A beach in the Bay were slowed down by the fact that their landing craft couldn’t reach the shore. The lighters had been towed too far south by their destroyers and therefore found themselves sailing into an area likely to have shoals that they wouldn’t be able to cross. Because of this mispositioning some of the lighters would run aground up to 200 yards from the shore. So there they were, stuck, stationary targets for Turkish fire. They tried everything to get the lighters off the shoals like moving all the men to the back of the boat or having them shift around. Nothing worked. The men also couldn’t be offloaded, they weren’t quite sure how deep the water was, but they knew it was somewhere between 5 and 15 feet, men loaded down with packs and weapons would have sank right to the bottom. Captain Geoffrey Meugens, one of the men in a stranded lighter describes what happened next “Finally it was decided for a few men to go over the end with a rope attached to the lighter and take this to shore and that the remainder should get to shore as best as they could hanging on to the rope and pulling themselves along by it. The CO called for tall men and I being about 5 feet 11 inches stepped forward. Our Second in Command, Major Sillery, was going over first. He turned to me and said, ‘I advise you to take off all your equipment like me!’ I did so and jumped in after him. I went clean under and could not touch bottom. However, I struck out and in about 5 yards I found my depth. The CO of the 9th Lancashire Fusiliers9 followed and when we three got to the shore Major Sillery, the Colonel and I hung on to the rope and kept it as taut as we could.” Facing the men as they were coming ashore were just 1500 Turkish defenders, as soon as the landings had begun the call went out for the 7th and 12th divisions to move to Suvla as fast as possible, but they were almost a days march away. The British found themselves, unknowingly, on the clock. The landings were mostly unopposed and they began to push inland, quickly taking the foothills and some troops pushed up to the bottom of Kiretch Tepe. The Turkish defenders were smart in that they retreated back to the stronger positions behind them to buy time to wait for reinforcements. The British stopped their advance about 2 miles from the shore to wait for the 10th Division, which was supposed to be right behind them, but they were unfortunately delayed for several hours. When the 10th did arrive it wasn’t all of them, some of the men were diverted to other beaches which ended up weakening the attacks against Kiretch Tepe. It was around this time that Stopford chose to wait for his artillery before pushing further inland. In the cases were attack orders were given, they were often changed before the attack began, this started a series of confusing situations for units that found themselves marching back and forth along the beachhead to position themselves for attacks that were then changed to be elsewhere at another time. The disorganization was bad enough, but it also critically prevented any kind of concerted movement inland. Hill 10, Chocolate Hill, Green Hill, W Hills, all were supposed to be taken in the initial assault and instead the day drug on without any British action, I’m sure the Turkish defenders thought they had been given a gift sent from heaven. At around 7PM a large attack was made, with the Turkish troops putting up what resistance they could before retreated inland. At the end of the day the troops found themselves in a line at the base of Kiretch Tepe and along the Suvla Plain. One thing that seems to pop up in several accounts is the lack of water for the troops that got worse as the day went on. In the heat of August water was extremely important, but most of the green troops seemed to have not practiced good water discipline and had quickly drank what they had taken ashore with them, and there wasn’t enough being moved in to replace what was drank. Some men ended up finding others with greater needs for their water than themselves like Corporal Daniel Burns “I parted with my last drop of water to a wounded comrade of the Munster Fusiliers and I’ll never forget how grateful he was for that drop of water – for being young soldiers they had drunk all their water earlier in the day whereas I, benefiting from other campaigns, had nursed my water, therefore not feeling the want as much as they did.” Regardless of the shortage of water the end of the first day of the landings can very easily be classified as a failure. Peter Hart says this about the results “The British performance at Suvla has often been pilloried yet the brilliance of the Turkish defence led by Major Willmer is often ignored. His original defensive positions had been well chosen and his men were well briefed, fighting hard then withdrawing at the last moment to the next defensible positions. All the time their accurate sniping drained the strength from the British troops floundering in front of them.”

So the objectives hadn’t been achieved on the 7th, so surely Stopford is going to launch an attack as soon as possible on the 8th right? Right? Wrong. Stopford didn’t actually plan to continue the attack until the 9th. He planned to use the 8th to get more men and artillery ashore and get his supply situation sorted out. When Hamilton learned of this you could say he was less than excited. He went to Suvla himself to impress upon Stopford the urgency of launching more attacks. Hamilton knew, from aerial reports, that Turkish reinforcements were closing in on the landings and he knew if they waited much longer they may never be able to push out of the bay. Hamilton, in his outrage ordered an immediate attack by the troops that were present, which was understandable, but not the best idea either. Something akin to chaos ensued, some units didn’t get the attack orders or got them late, and other units like the 32nd Brigade were sent in to attack Teke Tepe at night without enough time to properly brief the officers on the plan for the attack. Because of all the confusion the attack wouldn’t get started until the early hours of August the 9th and there were instantly problems. Turkish reinforcements had begun to arrive before the attack really got rolling so they ran into far more opposition than planned Lieutenant Eric Halse was in the 32nd Brigade as they moved into the attack “The Turks were strongly entrenched – we were [outnumbered] four to one. They also had a machine gun enfilading us from our left and a party of men enfilading us on our right. They had us in a trap pure and simple. The regiments that were supposed to be on our left and right flanks had gone somewhere else. We lost officers and 300 men in half an hour. Human nature could stand no more. One Company was captured all together and the rest turned and ran. I don’t blame the men for it was their first time under fire and really men could not be expected to endure it. I collected a few men and we made a bit of a stand further back, but eventually had to retire back to the reserves who were a mile and a quarter back instead of 400 yards. The staff work was damned rotten and nearly all the staff officers are incapable and inefficient. They take no interest in anything at all – if they are safe it doesn’t matter about the rest of us.” The attacks, obviously, would not end up succeeding.

This is when the attacks begin to take on that good old World War 1 futility everyone is so familiar with. I don’t usually talk to much about how I organize my information but for the last few months while creating these episodes I have just started calling this section “Continuing On” in my notes, which I think seems fitting enough. Anyway, instead of pulling back from the attacks Hamilton doubled down and started to feed in more divisions into the landings at Suvla. First the 53rd division would be sent in and used to attack W and Scimitar Hill at 6AM on the 10th. They were pretty much destroyed as a fighting force in the attempt. The next night the 54th Division came ashore. They would be use in an attack to prepare for a major assault on Tekke Tepe the next day. They advanced, in full view of the defenders, across the Suvla plain and were decimated by artillery. Their failure in achieving their objectives caused the attack on Tekke Tepe to be called off. On the 15th more attacks were launched against Kiretch Tepe by the 10th and 54th Divisions. There was actually some initial success but a counter attack late in the day wiped it all away. Hamilton, slowly, began to see the writing on the wall. He wrote to Kitchener on August the 17th with the following message, “Unfortunately the Turks have temporarily gained the moral ascendancy over some of our new troops. If, therefore, this campaign is to be brought to an early and successful conclusion large reinforcements will have to be sent to me – drafts for the formations already here, and new formations with considerably reduced proportion of artillery. It has become a question of who can slog longest and hardest. Owing to the difficulty of carrying on a winter campaign, and the lateness of the season, these troops should be sent immediately. My British Divisions are at present 45,000 under establishment, exclusive of about 9,000 promised or on the way. If this deficit were made up, and new formations totalling 50,000 rifles sent out as well, these, with the 60,000 rifles which I estimate I shall have at the time of their arrival, should give me the necessary superiority, unless the absence of other enemies allows the Turks to bring up large additional reinforcements.”

There would be one final attack made at Suvla, which took place on August the 21st. Stopford was replaced by General Sir Henry de Beauvoir de Lisle, the commander of the 29th Division. The men at Suvla would make the attack, reinforced by the remaining pieces of the 29th Division. Captain Guy Nightingale would also take part “At 3pm the battalion shoved off 700 strong. The furthest any got was 500 yards and none came back from there. They all got mown down by machine gun fire. We lost nine officers and nearly 400 men. The Turks shelled us very heavily and the whole country, which is covered with gorse, caught fire. This split up the attack and parties got cut up. Many of our wounded were burnt alive and it was as nasty a sight as I ever want to see.” Of the nearly 15,000 men used in the attack 5,000 were casualties. They would make some gains, but at this point it didn’t really matter. There was also an attempt to join up the ANZAC and Suvla beachheads by attacking Hill 60. Lieutenant Herbert Ford took part in this unsuccessful attack “A rush down the slope, over a dry gully and up the other slope, I found myself at the first objective, a ridge, with six men. I sent Sergeant Norman McDonald to the right and another to the left to see if any more had got over – one could not see for the scrub and broken ground. McDonald found ten on the right, and about 24 reported on the left – 40 of us out of 150 in about a 200 yards rush. The Turks kept up a very heavy fire, making it impossible to advance with so few.” Another attack was tried on the 27th by another set of New Zealand and Australian Troops, things got so bad that even the 10th Light Horse, you know the troops of the third and fourth waves from the Nek, just 200 strong, were called into action.

So, after 21 days or so of fighting at Suvla both sides were dug in, at ANZAC the troops had nothing left in the tank. All there was to show for all their efforts was massive casualties and gains that were difficult to hold or not enough. There was also a third beachhead to man on the Gallipoli peninsula. The Allied commanders and troops had committed their last throw of the dice, and they needed the hard six…and it had come up as a one. The only question now was, what to do next?