The Gallipoli Campaign

'İngilizce Tercümeler' forumunda NeslisH tarafından 25 Mayıs 2009 tarihinde açılan konu

  1. NeslisH

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    The Gallipoli Campaign konusu (( Since - 1915 ))

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    The European Situation, Before the Campaign

    In the beginning of the 20th century, Europe was overflowing from its frontiers. Economical rivalry, imperialism and nationalist movements were dividing the continent into two blocs. The conflict was rising between Germany-France and Russia-Austria. The tension in Europe had reached its highest point on 28 June 1914 with assassination of Archduke Ferdinand heir of the Austro-Hungarian throne by a Serbian nationalist.

    On 28 July 1914, Austria had declared mobilisation then the Great War began. In Europe, two blocs had appeared, Central Powers (Germany, Austro-Hungary and Italy) and Triple Alliance (Britain, France and Russia). With the outbreak of the war, Italy had declared her neutrality but one year later she joined to the Triple Alliance.

    On the other hand, Ottoman Empire was losing her large territories in which many nations and beliefs had lived for over 600 years. Both internal and external conflicts and wars were weakening her strength. Finally, Ottoman Empire with series of military defeats in Tripoli and in the Balkans lost nearly all her territories in Europe except the Trace.

    Moreover, she lost her power and international prestige. From now on, the death of the empire was certain and European powers were planing to share the heritage. As seen, the Twentieth Century had compelled the Turks to grant zones of influence to European powers: Britain (Egypt-Palestine), France (Syria and the Lebanon), Austria-Hungary (Bosnia-Herzegovina), Italy (Libya). Russia was interested in the Mediterranean and Italy wanted parts of the eastern Mediterranean.

    Following the blow of the war, under threat from within and outside her borders, Turkey sought a protective agreement from one of the two European power blocs: the Triple Alliance or the Central Powers. At first, she intended to join the Triple Alliance but Russia's protests led her to make a defensive alliance with Germany. On 2 August 1914, Turkey and Germany had signed a secret agreement.

    Thereupon, the Turkish government had declared that it would remain neutral. However, to secure its borders, it introduced mobilisation. On 10 August 1914, Turkey allowed two German cruisers Goeben and Breslau, which were running from the Allied Navy, to enter the straits. Afterwards, she closed the straits to the foreign ships.

    The Allies became increasingly alarmed with the arrival of those German ships. The Turkish government had stated that, they bought these battleships from Germany in place of two dreadnought battleships, which had been built in Britain for the Turkish Navy, and were requisitioned by Britain although Turkey had purchased them. Thus, the German ships became a part of the Turkish Navy with Turkish names, Yavuz and Midilli.

    On 27 September 1914, Yavuz under the command of German Admiral Souchon bombarded Sivastopol and Novoroski, Russian shore establishments on the Black Sea. Thereupon, Russia passed the Caucasus border and declared war. This was the final act; the Ottoman Government was now at war.

    Turkey's geographical position was crucial, the Bosphorus and the Dardanelles were significant, as they were the only passages between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. Moreover, they were Russia's main contact with her allies, Britain and France.

    In the course of history, countless wars had been fought for the straits in the name of their strategic positions, economic and cultural heritages. Even today, they still preserve their importance.

    The Triple Alliance's attempt to pass the straits was certainly a direct result of their strategic positions. The allies' main target was to assist Russia. Likewise, it was believed that the capture of the straits would lead the British fleet to Istanbul and this might cause the downfall of the Turkish government. Further, it was hoped that the neutral European countries would join the Alliance against the Central Powers.

    If the straits would be openned, this victory would intimidate all the Muslim colonies. All the events, disturbing the British would disappear.

    Under these circumstances, Britain had decided to declare a war on 28 January 1915 and France offered a naval squadron to serve under British command in this great enterprise against Istanbul.
     
  2. NeslisH

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    "The NavaL Attack"

    The British acting with the concept "the one rules the seas, rules the world", believed that it was possible to open the Dardanelles "by ships only". Before The Naval Attack was instituted, First Lord of the Admiralty Churchill asked the officer commanding the Aegean, Vice-Admiral Sackville Carden.

    Carden stated that he believed the Dardanelles could be forced, given sufficient warships and minesweepers, in a three stage plan; first a neutralisation of the Turkish forts guarding the entrance, then a clearing of the Turkish minefields, and finally a drive into the Sea of Marmara. This plan persuaded the War Council despite Lord Fisher's doubts. The British Navy was proud of its ammunitions, technology, and surely, its victorious history, full of uncountable successes. It was impossible for the frayed, collapsing Ottoman Empire to withstand this invincible armada supported by French warships.

    Allied Armada's naval attack began on 19 February 1915. Until 13 March 1915, they continuously bombarded the Turkish forts and opened a way for the minesweepers. However, they had confronted with the Turks' tough resistance. The Turkish gunners did not bother to reply the Allies' bombardment. This showed that, to open the Dardanelles was not that easy and the Allies could have cleaned only the first five miles of the strait.

    Until 18 March the Allied Armada destroyed Seddulbahir and Ertugrul forts located on the European shore and Kumkale and Orhaniye forts located on the Asiatic shore. It seemed that the entrance was now clear but the future was still uncertain. Nobody guessed what was going to happen on 18 March 1915.

    On 17 March 1915, Admiral de Robeck was in charge to proceed the plan in place of Admiral Carden. In respect of Carden's plan, the Allied Fleet appeared in the entrance in the morning of 18 March. De Robeck himself commanded the Fleet's most powerful squadron.

    In bright sunshine and without the possibility of surprise, de Robeck in HMS Queen Elizabeth led the first wave up the channel at 10:30. Queen Elizabeth's target was Mecidiye fort, HMS Lord Nelson was going to bomb the Namazgah fort and HMS Inflexible's object was Hamidiye fort. This was called as "A Line" and it was begun to be proceeding at 11:30. De Robeck's most powerful ships commenced to bombard the central forts.

    Meanwhile, Allied Fleet had entered the fire line coming from Kumkale. Turkish hotwizers began to fire, but their guns could not cover the distance and the gunners failed to reach the ships. At midday, Allied Fleet had destroyed the Cimenlik and Hamidiye forts. De Robeck signalled his second wave to go in closer, Guepratte's French squadron, Bouvet, Charlemagne, Gaulois and Suffren with HMS Triumph and Prince George.

    This step of the plan was called as "B Line". Guepratte led his squadron through the British line and subjected the shore defences. Under Turkish gunners' heavy fire, the squadron had reached the B Line. After a mutual bombardment, the Allies had succeeded to stop the middle forts but the central forts continued to fire. Two British ships, HMS Triumph and HMS Prince George had taken their positions in A Line and they targeted Mesudiye and Yildiz forts.

    Turkish forts on the European shore were under a fierce fire. Most of the bombshells had hit them and destroyed the telephone lines. Moreover, Mecidiye fort stopped with the death of its gunners.

    If the allies could have succeeded the second step of the plan, second squadron commanded by Colonel Hayes Sadler would have moved and replaced the third squadron. De Robeck signalled the French to retire for his third wave of advance, Ocean, Irresistible, Albion, Vengeance, Swiftsun and Majestic.

    As the French ships led by Suffren had their return, wheeled away to make room for the second squadron, something unexpected had happened, around 14:00. French ship Bouvet following immediately Suffren hit a mine and within two minutes had disappeared entirely, with the loss of almost all her crew. As the steamboats immediately arrived to rescue the crew, they only could save 20 people's lives. At 12:30, Gaulois hit a mine but she could have left the strait with a serious stroke. At 15:30, Inflexible hit a mine not far from the grave of Bouvet.

    Despite severe damage, she could have arrived to the island of Imros. Shortly afterwards, Irresistible hit a mine; out of control she was near the Asiatic shore to attract the attention of Turkish gunners and her crew was taken off. On 8 March, Turkish minelayer Nusret had surreptitiously laid a line of mines parallel to the Asiatic shore, and now these mines were unexpectedly destroying the Allied Armada. As De Robeck had realised that the Turks had laid mines to the channel, he abandoned the attack. At 18:05, while the second squadron was withdrawing, HMS Ocean hit a mine and she exploded. Despite a heavy fire, her crew was evacuated.

    The events in 18 March confused the Allies. Churchill's opponents like Lord Fisher had turned out to be right, it was impossible to open the strait "by ships only". Nevertheless, de Robeck and Churchill were still insisting that a renewed push would succeed. They began to renovate the plans for another naval expedition to Istanbul.

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    The Allied Attempt to force a passage of the Narrows, 18 March 1915

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    HMS Ocean, sunk in the Naval Attack of 18 March

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    The French Battleship, Bouvet

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    HMS Inflexible bombarding Turkish positions

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    HMS Swiftsure bombarding Helles

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    HMS Queen Elizabeth

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    HMS Irresistible, sunk in the Naval Attack of 18 March​
     
  3. NeslisH

    NeslisH Özel Üye

    "The Landings"

    Mediterranean Expeditionary Force Is Making Preparations:

    On 1 March, Greece had offered three divisions for an expedition to Istanbul after a successful ally landing on Gallipoli Peninsula. Britain and France were eager to accept this offer but Russian Tsar impeded this project. He stated that, he would never accept any Greek participation in Istanbul.

    Meanwhile, in London the War Council was drafting another naval attack. Muddle and disagreements were going on. The main question was that "whether an army should support the navy, or not". Lord Fisher was the most adamant supporter of a combined attack. However, Lord Kitchener was the last decision-maker of the resumption. He was insisting on that, he did not have any sufficient force to send to Turkey.

    Nevertheless, the superb 29th Division was still in Britain without an assignment. At last, in March he was convinced to release 29th Division and declared that he will send it to the Aegean Sea to assist the navy. However, the British Generals in France had impetuously protested this decision and Kitchener assigned the Anzac Division in Egypt to the Dardanelles. He declared that, the Anzac Division would be dispatched on 18 February.

    On 5 March, General William Birdwood making a military exploration in the Aegean had sent a report to Kitchener notifying his doubts about a sole naval attack. In the same report, he stated that, the support of a powerful army was necessary for success. This report had swept all Kitchener's doubts away. He proclaimed that on 10 March, 29th Division would be set for the Aegean and a French division's arrival would be arranged. Thus, he assigned 70.000 soldiers including the Anzac forces for the second expedition.

    Despite Birdwood's report, there were still advocates of a sole naval attack. In this confusion, nobody thought to retire the navy until the army had completed the preparations for a combined attack.

    In this muddle and confusion the commander of the Expeditionary Forces had been designated. This commander was Sir Ian Hamilton a good friend of Lord Kitchener from the wars of the Southern Africa.

    The army's task was wait until the navy finished its mission. If the navy would fail, the army would land on the Peninsula. Hamilton by leaving a weak army to the Peninsula would leave for Istanbul and would unify with the Russian Division landed on the Bosphorus.

    On 17 March, Hamilton was looking to the Dardanelles from the deck of Phaeton. They were just on time. The next day on 18 March, he was watching his armada's attack to the Dardanelles. Thus, all the actors of this bloody play were in the arena now. After the attack, the Turks recovered their confidences because of the victories of their fortifications. Although, the British and French were highly disappointed their armada was still strong and they had a new commander watching the events. However, he did not have a proper plan or an army.

    After 18 March, the bad weather was continuing in Canakkale. Hamilton and his staff had gone to Egypt. From now on, silent was reigning; there were no ship passing the strait, no cannon bursting.
     
  4. NeslisH

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    "The Landings" 25 ApriL 1915

    After, 18 March 1915 blow, General Hamilton had informed Lord Kitchener that without a land operation it was impossible to defeat the strong Turkish defences. From the beginning, Kitchener and Churchill were insisting on that a naval attack was efficient to open the strait. However, after considering the failure of 18 March, they accepted Hamilton's suggestion.

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    Deployment of the Turkish 5th Army

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    Landing Plan of the Allies​

    General Ian Hamilton had planned to disembark two British divisions, one French division and one Indian division to Helles (Seddulbahir) and the Anzacs to Karatepe.

    Meanwhile, 3rd and 16th army corpses, six divisions, the cavalry unit and the independent battalions had styled the Turkish forces. Afterwards, with the necessary dispositions the number of the Turkish divisions had reached sixteen.

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    Shores of the Gallipoli Peninsula​

    Approximately a month before 25 April landings, German Marshall Liman von Sanders was appointed to command the Fifth Army Corps. He thought that the Ally Landing's initial point would be the Basica Gulf (Saros). Therefore, he immediately stationed most his forces on the Basica Gulf and on Suvla beach, a division on Seddulbahir and the 15th Corps on the Asiatic shore.

    In addition, he engaged observation and defensive units on the significant points of the Peninsula and he stationed his main forces at the rear. In fact, the Turkish commanders were against Sander's defence plan. They were advocating the plan, which had been designed before German Marshall's arrival. This plan's focus was to block the enemy in their weakest moment, the moment they embark. However, Sander's plan was put in practise. After, the landings had begun, the Turkish commanders' additional dispositions hindered the allies' advance and they were blocked in an area of 3-4 km long.
     
  5. NeslisH

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    "The Landings" 25 ApriL 1915 >> Anzac Cove

    The Anzac's main target was to land at the beach located between Kabatepe (Z Beach) and Ariburnu. Their initial subject was Conkbayiri-Kocacimentepe line and then Maltepe to cut the Turks' connection from north to south.


    In the morning of 25 April, instead of landing at Z Beach, the first troops had been deposited father north, at Ariburnu itself. The boats had been swept more than a mile north by an unexpected current. Although they could sweep the expected landing beaches, the area in which the Anzacs had actually landed was defended very weakly, and thus isolated parties were able to progress a little further.

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    Anzac Cove​

    In Bigali, there was manoeuvring 19th Division commanded by Mustafa Kemal. By the daylight, Mustafa Kemal heard the gunfire and he understood that the landings had begun. He immediately had informed the Army Commander but did not receive any further assignment. As soon as he was informed about the casualties of the 27th Brigade defending the shores, he comprehended the arduousness of the situation.

    Without an authority given by the commander, Mustafa Kemal took all the enterprise's responsibility and ordered the 57th Brigade to move to Kocacimentepe. He had gone to Conkbayiri to observe the counter-attack. There he saw some soldiers withdrawing. He himself told that moment to Rusen Esref Unaydin as below:

    "In that very moment, I saw the platoon responsible to observe and protect the Battleship Hill, running away. I had stopped them and asked:

    - Why are you running away?
    - Sir, the enemy! they said".
    - Where? I asked.
    - Here! they said by pointing the Battleship Hill

    It was true; the enemy's skirmishers were walking through the Battleship Hill. Imagine that, I have given the forces ten minutes break and the enemy has reached the hill. It means that the enemy was closer to me then my own army. In that moment, now I do not know consciously or by premonition I said:

    - Never run away from the enemy.
    - We do not have sufficient ammunitions, said they.
    - If you do not have ammunitions, you have your bayonets. I said.

    By yelling, I have had fixed them the bayonets. I have had lied them on the floor. Meanwhile, I have sent my adjutant back, to take infantry. In the moment, my soldiers fixed their bayonets and lied down and the enemy did the same. We won the war in that moment."

    That was true, when the Turks had stabilised their positions, the Anzacs stopped and did the same. Thus, Mustafa Kemal won the time to stabilise the 57th Brigade in Conkbayiri and enabled the Turks to prevent the capture of Saribayir. This success was most probably decided the Results. The creator of this success was no doubt Mustafa Kemal. Both Turkish and foreign experts always point and emphasise this reality.

    Same day, Mustafa Kemal turned to corps head quarters and by permission of Esad Pasha he took remains of the 27th Brigade under his command for a counter-attack. For this attack, his historical order to 57th Brigade was as follows:

    "I am not ordering you to attack, I am ordering you to die. Until we die, we could win the time for the arrival of new troops and commanders".

    On 25 April 1915, mid-afternoon, the initial landing was completed. Nevertheless, with Turkish counter-attacks and bayonet assaults, the Anzacs had lost many soldiers and they retreated to the shores. Despite these bitter and confused struggles, by the evening, a division of the Anzac corps could have managed to station on the cliffs of Ariburnu. From this day until August 1915, these bloody and bitter fights had continued. Both sides had attacked usually at nights and the soldiers fought man to man. With the August, the war had completely turned out to be a trench war. As in Helles, the Anzacs could not have reached the main subject and until the evacuation, they were blocked in a small land without any further progress.
     

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