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Title: Gallipoli
Author: Masefield, John
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Gallipoli" ***

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Transcriber's Note.

Apparent typographical errors have been corrected. The use of hyphens
and of accents has been rationalised.

Italics are indicated by _underscores_. Small capitals have been
replaced by full capitals. "oe" ligatures have been removed.
Superscripted characters have been replaced by ordinary font and
preceded by an apostrophe.

Section headings in chapter II, which are in italics, are preceded by
two blank lines. Elsewhere two blank lines between paragraphs indicate
that they were widely separated in the original text.



 GALLIPOLI


 [Illustration: Publisher's Mark]

 THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
 NEW YORK · BOSTON · CHICAGO · DALLAS
 ATLANTA · SAN FRANCISCO

 MACMILLAN & CO., LIMITED
 LONDON · BOMBAY · CALCUTTA
 MELBOURNE

 THE MACMILLAN CO. OF CANADA, LTD.
 TORONTO


 GALLIPOLI

 BY
 JOHN MASEFIELD

 Author of "The Everlasting Mercy," "The
 Story of a Round House," etc.

 _ILLUSTRATED_

 New York
 THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
 1916
 _All rights reserved_


 COPYRIGHT, 1916,
 BY JOHN MASEFIELD

 Set up and electrotyped. Published October, 1916.
 Reprinted November, twice, December, 1916.


 DEDICATED
 WITH DEEP RESPECT AND ADMIRATION TO
 _General Sir Ian Hamilton, G.C.B., D.S.O._
 AND
 _The Officers and Men under his Command_,
 March to October, 1915.



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

                                                                   FACING
                                                                     PAGE

 Map No. 1                                                              4

 Map No. 2                                                             38

 A view showing Morte Bay, De Tott's Battery,
   and the Asiatic Coast                                               46

 A remarkable view of V Beach                                          48

 The S.S. _River Clyde_                                                52

 Some of the barbed wire entanglements near Sedd-el-Bahr               56

 Exercising mules                                                      92

 Anzac from the Sea                                                   116

 View of Anzac, looking towards Suvla                                 134

 Map No. 3                                                            136

 A "long focus" view taken over the top of our trenches at Anzac      144

 Australians at work at Anzac two days before the
   evacuation took place                                              146

 A boatload of British troops leaving the S.S. _Nile_
   for one of the landing beaches                                     148

 Inside an Australian trench                                          162

 An Australian bringing in a wounded comrade to
   hospital                                                           224



 GALLIPOLI



I

Oliver said ... "I have seen the Saracens: the valley and the mountains
are covered with them; and the lowlands and all the plains; great are
the hosts of that strange people; we have here a very little company."

Roland answered ... "My heart is the bigger for that. Please God and His
holiest angels, France shall never lose her name through me."

 _The Song of Roland._


A little while ago, during a short visit to America, I was often
questioned about the Dardanelles Campaign. People asked me why that
attempt had been made, why it had been made in that particular manner,
why other courses had not been taken, why this had been done and that
either neglected or forgotten, and whether a little more persistence,
here or there, would not have given us the victory.

These questions were often followed by criticism of various kinds, some
of it plainly suggested by our enemies, some of it shrewd, and some the
honest opinion of men and women happily ignorant of modern war. I
answered questions and criticism as best I could, but in the next town
they were repeated to me, and in the town beyond reiterated, until I
felt the need of a leaflet printed for distribution, giving my views of
the matter.

Later, when there was leisure, I began to consider the Dardanelles
Campaign, not as a tragedy, nor as a mistake, but as a great human
effort, which came, more than once, very near to triumph, achieved the
impossible many times, and failed, in the end, as many great deeds of
arms have failed, from something which had nothing to do with arms nor
with the men who bore them. That the effort failed is not against it;
much that is most splendid in military history failed, many great things
and noble men have failed. To myself, this failure is the second grand
event of the war; the first was Belgium's answer to the German ultimatum.

 [Illustration: Map No. 1
 _Stanford's Geog'l Estab't London._]

The Peninsula of Gallipoli, or Thracian Chersonese, from its beginning
in the Gulf of Xeros to its extremity at Cape Helles, is a tongue of
hilly land about fifty-three miles long, between the Ægean Sea and the
Straits of the Dardanelles. At its northeastern, Gulf of Xeros or
European end it is four or five miles broad, then a little to the south
of the town of Bulair, it narrows to three miles, in a contraction or
neck which was fortified during the Crimean War by French and English
soldiers. This fortification is known as the Lines of Bulair. Beyond
these lines, to the southwest, the peninsula broadens in a westward
direction, and attains its maximum breadth, of about twelve miles, some
twenty-four miles from Bulair, between the two points of Cape Suvla, on
the sea, and Cape Uzun, within the Straits. Beyond this broad part is a
second contraction or neck, less than five miles across, and beyond
this, pointing roughly west-southwesterly, is the final tongue or finger
of the Peninsula, an isosceles triangle of land with a base of some
seven miles, and two sides of thirteen miles each, converging in the
blunt tip (perhaps a mile and a half across) between Cape Helles and
Cape Tekke. There is no railway within the peninsula, but bad roads,
possible for wheeled traffic, wind in the valleys, skirting the hills
and linking up the principal villages. Most of the travelling and
commerce of the peninsula is done by boat, along the Straits, between
the little port of Maidos, near the Narrows, and the town of Gallipoli
(the chief town) near the Sea of Marmora. From Gallipoli there is a fair
road to Bulair and beyond. Some twenty other small towns or hamlets are
scattered here and there in the well-watered valleys in the central
broad portion of the Peninsula. The inhabitants are mostly small
cultivators with olive and currant orchards, a few vineyards and patches
of beans and grains; but not a hundredth part of the land is under
cultivation.

The sea shore, like the Straits shore, is mainly steep-to, with abrupt
sandy cliffs rising from the sea to a height of from one hundred to
three hundred feet. At irregular and rare intervals these cliffs are
broken by the ravines or gullies down which the autumnal and winter
rains escape; at the sea mouth of these gullies are sometimes narrow
strips of stony or sandy beach.

Viewed from the sea, the Peninsula is singularly beautiful. It rises and
falls in gentle and stately hills between four hundred and eleven
hundred feet high, the highest being at about the centre. In its colour
(after the brief spring) in its gentle beauty, and the grace and
austerity of its line, it resembles those parts of Cornwall to the north
of Padstow from which one can see Brown Willie. Some Irish hills recall
it. I know no American landscape like it.

In the brief spring the open ground is covered with flowers, but there
is not much open ground; in the Cape Helles district it is mainly poor
land growing heather and thyme; further north there is abundant scrub,
low shrubs and brushwood, from two to four feet high, frequently very
thick. The trees are mostly stunted firs, and very numerous in the
south, where the fighting was, but more frequently north of Suvla. In
one or two of the villages there are fruit trees; on some of the hills
there are small clumps of pine. Viewed from the sea the Peninsula looks
waterless and sun-smitten; the few water-courses are deep ravines
showing no water. Outwardly, from a distance, it is a stately land of
beautiful graceful hills rolling in suave yet austere lines and covered
with a fleece of brushwood. In reality the suave and graceful hills are
exceedingly steep, much broken and roughly indented with gullies, clefts
and narrow irregular valleys. The soil is something between a sand and a
marl, loose and apt to blow about in dry weather when not bound down by
the roots of brushwood, but sticky when wet.

Those who look at the southwestern end of the Peninsula, between Cape
Suvla and Cape Helles, will see three heights greater than the rolling
wold or downland around them. Seven miles southeast from Cape Suvla is
the great and beautiful peaked hill of Sari Bair, 970 feet high, very
steep on its sea side and thickly fleeced with scrub. This hill commands
the landing place at Suvla. Seven miles south from Sari Bair is the long
dominating plateau of Kilid Bahr, which runs inland from the Straits, at
heights varying between five and seven hundred feet, to within two miles
of the sea. This plateau commands the Narrows of the Hellespont. Five
miles further to the southwest and less than six miles from Cape Helles
is the bare and lonely lump of Achi Baba, 590 feet high. This hill
commands the landing place at Cape Helles. These hills and the ground
commanded by them were the scenes of some of the noblest heroism which
ever went far to atone for the infamy of war. Here the efforts of our
men were made.


Those who wish to imagine the scenes must think of twenty miles of any
rough and steep sea coast known to them, picturing it as roadless,
waterless, much broken with gullies, covered with scrub, sandy, loose
and difficult to walk on, and without more than two miles of accessible
landing throughout its length. Let them picture this familiar twenty
miles as dominated at intervals by three hills bigger than the hills
about them, the north hill a peak, the centre a ridge or plateau, and
the south hill a lump. Then let them imagine the hills entrenched, the
landing mined, the beaches tangled with barbed wire, ranged by howitzers
and swept by machine guns, and themselves three thousand miles from
home, going out before dawn, with rifles, packs, and water bottles, to
pass the mines under shell fire, cut through the wire under machine gun
fire, clamber up the hills under the fire of all arms, by the glare of
shell-bursts in the withering and crashing tumult of modern war, and
then to dig themselves in in a waterless and burning hill while a more
numerous enemy charge them with the bayonet. And let them imagine
themselves enduring this night after night, day after day, without rest
or solace, nor respite from the peril of death, seeing their friends
killed, and their position imperilled, getting their food, their
munitions, even their drink, from the jaws of death, and their breath
from the taint of death, and their brief sleep upon the dust of death.
Let them imagine themselves driven mad by heat and toil and thirst by
day, shaken by frost at midnight, weakened by disease and broken by
pestilence, yet rising on the word with a shout and going forward to die
in exultation in a cause foredoomed and almost hopeless. Only then will
they begin, even dimly, to understand what our seizing and holding of
the landings meant.

All down the southeastern coast of this Peninsula or outlier from Europe
is a channel of sea, known, anciently, as the Hellespont, but in modern
times more generally as the Dardanelles, from old fortifications of that
name near the southwestern end of the Strait. This channel, two or three
miles across at its southwestern end, broadens rapidly to four or five,
then narrows to two, then, for a short reach, to one mile or less, after
which (with one more contraction) it maintains a steady breadth of two
or three miles till it opens into the great salt lake of the Sea of
Marmora, and thence by another narrow reach into the Black Sea, or
Euxine.

It is a deep water channel, with from 25 to 50 fathoms of water in it
throughout its length. The Gallipoli, or European, shore is steep-to,
with a couple of fathoms of water close inshore, save in one or two
beaches, where it shoals. On the Asian shore, where the ground is lower
and the coast more shelving, the water is shallower. A swift current of
from two to three knots an hour runs always down the channel from the
Sea of Marmora; and this with a southwesterly gale against it makes a
nasty sea.

This water of the Hellespont is the most important channel of water in
the world. It is the one entrance and exit to the Black Sea, the mouths
of the Danube, Dniester, Dnieper and Don and the great ports of
Constantinople, Odessa and Sebastopol. He who controls the channel
controls those ports, with their wealth and their power to affect great
conflicts. The most famous war of all times was fought not for any human
Helen but to control that channel. Our Dardanelles campaign was
undertaken to win through it a free passage for the ships of the Allied
Powers.

While the war was still young it became necessary to attempt this
passage for five reasons: 1. To break the link by which Turkey keeps her
hold as a European Power. 2. To divert a large part of the Turkish army
from operations against our Russian Allies in the Caucasus and
elsewhere. 3. To pass into Russia, at a time when her northern ports
were closed by ice, the rifles and munitions of war of which her armies
were in need. 4. To bring out of Southern Russia the great stores of
wheat lying there waiting shipment. 5. If possible, to prevent, by a
successful deed of arms in the Near East, any new alliance against us
among the Balkan peoples.

In its simplest form the problem was to force a passage through the
defended channel of the Dardanelles into the Sea of Marmora, to attack
the capital of Turkey in Europe, to win through the Bosphorus into the
Black Sea, securing each step in the advance against reconquest by the
Turks, so that ships might pass from the Ægean to the Russian ports in
the Black Sea, bringing to the Russians arms for their unequipped troops
and taking from them the corn of the harvests of Southern Russia. The
main problem was to force a passage through the defended channel of the
Hellespont.

This passage had been forced in the past by a British naval squadron. In
February, 1807, Sir John Duckworth sailed through with seven ships of
the line and some smaller vessels, silenced the forts at Sestos and
Abydos and destroyed some Turkish ships; and then, fearing that the
Turks, helped by French engineers, would so improve the fortifications
that he would never be able to get back, he returned. On his return, one
of his ships, the _Endymion_ frigate, 40 guns, received in her hull two
stone shot each 26 inches in diameter.

The permanent fortifications guarding the Channel were added to and
improved during the nineteenth century. At the outbreak of the war with
Italy, four years ago, they were equipped (perhaps by German officers)
with modern weapons. An attempt made by Italian torpedo boats to rush
the Straits by night was discovered by searchlights and checked by a
heavy fire from quick-firing and other guns. All the torpedo boats
engaged in the operations were hit and compelled to return.

When Turkey entered the war against the Allied Powers, her officers had
every reason to expect that the British or French fleets would attempt
to force the Channel. The military prize, Constantinople and the control
of the Black Sea (whether for peace or for offence), was too great a
temptation to be resisted. Helped by their German allies they prepared
for this attack with skill, knowledge and imagination. The Turks had no
effective battle fleet, as in the sixteenth century, when they sought
their enemies upon their own coasts; and had they had one they could not
have passed the British fleet blockading the Dardanelles; but they
prepared the channel and its shores so that no enemy ship might pass to
seek them.

More than the two great wars, in South Africa and Manchuria, the present
war has shown:

 (a) that in modern war, defence is easier and less costly in men and
     munitions, however much less decisive, than attack;

 (b) that the ancient type of permanent fortress, built of steel,
     concrete and heavy masonry is much less easy to defend against the
     fire of heavy modern howitzers and high explosives than temporary
     field works, dug into the earth and protected by earth and sandbags;

 (c) that the fire of modern long range guns is wasteful and ineffective
     unless the object fired at can be accurately ranged, and the fire
     controlled by officers who can watch the bursting of the shells on
     or near the target;

 (d) that in restricted waters the fixed or floating mine, filled with
     high explosive, is a sure defence against enemy ships.

Beginning with proposition (a), the Turks argued that (unlike most
defences) a defence of the passage of the Dardanelles against naval
attack might well be decisive (i.e., that it might well cause the attack
to be abandoned or even destroy the attacking ships) since ships engaged
in the attack would be under every disadvantage, since:

(b) Their guns, however heavy, would not be overwhelmingly successful
against temporary field works and gun emplacements.

(c) Their officers, unable in the first place to locate the guns hidden
on the shore, would be unable to observe the effect of their fire, and
therefore unable to direct it, and this disadvantage would become
greater as the ships advanced within the channel and became shut in by
the banks.

(d) They would be unable to enter the channel until the waters had been
dragged for mines by mine sweepers. The batteries of field guns hidden
on the coast would perhaps be sufficient to stop the progress of the
mine sweepers. If not, floating mines, alongshore torpedo tubes, and the
accurately ranged and directed fire of heavy howitzers would perhaps
sink the ships of war as they advanced.

(e) A ship, if damaged, would be five hundred miles from any friendly
dock and seven hundred miles from any friendly arsenal. Replenishments
of ammunition, fuel, food and water would have to be brought to the
attacking fleet across these distances of sea, past many islands and
through one or two channels well suited to be the lurking grounds for
enemy submarines.

On the other hand, there was the possibility that the heavy naval guns
would make the field works untenable, that observers in aeroplanes and
seaplanes would locate, range and observe the fire upon the hidden
batteries, that thus the mine sweepers would be able to clear a passage
up the Straits without undue interruption, and complete the task
demanded of them without military assistance.

Before operations could be begun by the Allied fleets it was necessary
to secure some harbour, as close as possible to the Straits, to serve as
what is called an advanced or subsidiary base, where large stores of
necessaries, such as fuel and munitions, could be accumulated for future
use by the ships engaged.

The port of Mudros, in Lemnos, was selected as this subsidiary base.
This great natural harbour, measuring some two by three miles across,
provides good holding ground in from five to seven fathoms of water for
half the ships in the world. Two islands in the fairway divide the
entrance into three passages, and make it more easy for the naval
officers to defend the approaches. It is a safe harbour for ocean-going
ships in all weathers, but with northerly or southerly gales, such as
spring up very rapidly there in the changeable seasons of the year and
blow with great violence for some hours at a time, the port is much
wind-swept and the sea makes it dangerous for boats to lie alongside
ships. Mudros itself, the town from which the port is named, is a small
collection of wretched houses inhabited by Levantines, who live by
fishery, petty commerce, and a few olive gardens and vineyards. It has a
cathedral or largish church, and a small wooden pier, without
appliances, for the use of the native boatmen. The town lies to the east
of the harbour, on some rising ground or sand which stands up a little
higher than the surrounding country. Behind it, rather more than a mile
away, are barren hills of some 800 or 900 feet. The port is ringed in
with these hills; it looks like a great extinct crater flooded by the
sea. Over the hills in fair weather the peaks of Samothrace can be seen.
When the spring flowers have withered the island is of the colour of a
lion's skin. Its only beauty then is that of changing light.

Mudros in itself offered nothing to the Allied fleets but a safe
anchorage. It could not even supply the ships with fresh water, let
alone meat, bread and vegetables. The island produces little for its few
inhabitants; its wealth of a few goats, fish, olives and currants could
be bought up in a week by the crew of one battleship. Everything
necessary for the operations had therefore to be brought by sea and
stored in Mudros till wanted. When this is grasped, the difficulties of
the undertaking will be understood. There was no dock, wharf nor crane
in Mudros, nor any place in the harbour where a dock or wharf could be
built without an immense labour of dredging. Ships could not be repaired
nor dry-docked there, nor could they discharge and receive heavy stores
save by their own winches and derricks. Throughout the operations, ships
had to serve as wharves, and ships' derricks as cranes, and goods were
shipped, re-shipped and trans-shipped by that incessant manual labour
which is the larger half of war.

On the 18th February and following days, the Allied Fleets attacked the
forts at the entrance to the Straits and soon silenced them. These were
old-fashioned stone structures of great strength, they were knocked
about and made untenable by the fire from the ships, but not destroyed.
After this first easy success came delay, for the real obstacles lay
within the Straits, between Cape Helles and the Narrows. Here, at
intervals, very skilfully laid, commanded by many guns, ranged to the
inch, were eight big mine fields, stretching almost across the navigable
channel in different directions. No ships could pass this part of the
Straits until the mines had been groped for and removed. In thick and
violent weather, under heavy fire, and troubled by the strong current,
the mine-sweepers began to remove them, helped by the guns of the fleet.
But the fleet's fire could not destroy the mobile field guns and
howitzers hidden in the gullies and nullahs (invisible from the ships)
on the Asian shore and to the east of Achi Baba. The Boers, and later,
the Japanese, had shown how difficult it is to locate well-concealed
guns. Even when sea- and aero-planes had seen and signalled the
whereabouts of the hidden guns, the ships could only fire at the flashes
and at most hit some of the gunners; if their fire became too accurate
the gunners would retire to their shelters, or withdraw their guns to
new hidden emplacements. These hidden guns, firing continually upon the
mine-sweepers, made the clearing of the mine fields towards the Narrows
a slow and bloody task.

On the 18th March, the ships developed a fierce fire upon the shore
defences, and in the midst of the engagement the Turks floated some
large mines upon the attacking ships and by these means sank three
battleships, one French, two English, the French ship with all her crew.

Heavy and unsettled weather which made mine-sweeping impossible broke
off serious operations for some days. During these days it was decided,
though with grave misgivings among the counsellors, that an army should
be landed on the Peninsula to second the next naval attack.

It was now a month since the operations had begun, and the original
decision, to leave the issue solely to the ships, had delayed the
concentration of the troops needed for the task. The army, under the
supreme command of General Sir Ian Hamilton, was assembling, but not yet
concentrated nor on the scene. Some of it was in Egypt, some in
transports at sea. When it was decided to use the army in the venture,
much necessary work had still to be done. The Turks had now been given
so much time to defend the landing places that to get our troops ashore
at all called for the most elaborate preparation and the working out of
careful schemes with the naval officers. The Germans boasted that our
troops would never be able to land; possibly at first thought, many
soldiers would have agreed with them, but English soldiers and sailors
are not Germans; they are, as Carlyle says, "far other"; our Admirals
and General felt that with courage and a brave face our troops could
land. It was true that the well-armed Turks were amply ready and could
easily concentrate against any army which we could land and supply, a
far larger force, more easily supplied and supported. But in the narrow
Peninsula they could not move their larger forces so as to out-flank us.
Our flanks could be protected always by the fleet. And besides, in war,
fortune plays a large part, and skill, courage and resolution, and that
fine blending of all three in the uncommon sense called genius, have
often triumphed even where common sense has failed. It was necessary
that we should divert large armies of Turks from our Russian Allies in
the Caucasus; it was desirable to strike the imaginations of the Balkan
States by some daring feat of arms close to them; it was vital to our
enterprise in Mesopotamia and to the safety of Egypt that we should
alarm the Turks for their capital and make them withdraw their armies
from their frontiers. This operation, striking at the heart of the
Turkish Empire, was the readiest way to do all these things.

The army designated for this honourable and dangerous task consisted of
the following:

A division of French soldiers, the Corps Expeditionnaire de l'Orient,
under M. le General d'Amade. This division was made up of French
Territorial soldiers and Senegalese.

The 29th Division of British regular troops.

The Royal Naval Division.

The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

The French Division and the 29th Division of British Regular soldiers
were men who had been fully trained in time of peace, but the Australian
and New Zealand Army Corps and the Royal Naval Division, who together
made up more than half the army, were almost all men who had enlisted
since the declaration of war, and had had not more than six months'
active training. They were, however, the finest body of young men ever
brought together in modern times. For physical beauty and nobility of
bearing they surpassed any men I have ever seen; they walked and looked
like the kings in old poems, and reminded me of the line in Shakespeare:

  "Baited like eagles having lately bathed."

As their officers put it, "they were in the pink of condition and didn't
care a damn for anybody." Most of these new and irregular formations
were going into action for the first time, to receive their baptism of
fire in "a feat of arms only possible to the flower of a very fine army."


Having decided to use the army, the question how to use it was left to
the Commanding General, whose task was to help the British fleet through
the Narrows. Those who have criticised the operations to me, even those
who know, or pretended to know the country and military matters (but who
were, for the most part, the gulls or agents of German propaganda)
raised, nearly always, one or both of the following alternatives to the
attack used by Sir Ian Hamilton. They have asked:

 (1) Why did he not attack at or to the north of Bulair in the Gulf of
     Xeros, or

 (2) Why did he not attack along the Asiatic coast, instead of where he
     did, at Cape Helles and Anzac?

Those who have asked these questions have always insisted to me that had
he chosen either alternative his efforts must have been successful. It
may be well to set down here the final and sufficient reasons against
either folly.

Firstly, then, the reasons against landing the army at or to the north
of Bulair in the Gulf of Xeros.

1. The task demanded of the army was, to second the naval attack in the
Straits, i.e., by seizing and occupying, if possible, the high ground in
the Peninsula from which the Turkish guns molested the mine-sweepers. As
this high ground commanded the Asiatic shore, its occupation by the
British troops would have made possible the passage of the Straits. This
and this alone was the task demanded of the army, no adventure upon
Constantinople was designed or possible with the numbers of men
available. How the army could have seconded the naval attack by landing
three or four days' march from the Narrows within easy reach of the
large Turkish armies in European Turkey is not clear.

Nevertheless, our task was to land the army and all landing places had
to be examined. Pass now to:

(a) Bulair was carefully reconnoitred and found to be a natural
stronghold, so fortified with earthworks that there was no chance of
taking it. Ten thousand Turks had been digging there for a month, and
had made it impregnable. There are only two landing places near Bulair,
one (a very bad one) in a swamp or salt-marsh to the east, the other in
a kind of death-trap ravine to the west, both dominated by high ground
in front, and one (the eastward) commanded also from the rear. Had the
army, or any large part of it, landed at either beach, it would have
been decimated in the act and then held up by the fortress.

(b) Had the army landed to the north of Bulair on the coast of European
Turkey it would have been in grave danger of destruction. Large Turkish
armies could have marched upon its left and front from Adrianople and
Rodosto, while, as it advanced, the large army in Gallipoli, reinforced
from Asia across the Straits, could have marched from Bulair and fallen
upon its right flank and rear.

(c) But even had it beaten these armies, some four times its own
strength, it would none the less have perished, through failure of
supplies, since no European army could hope to live upon a Turkish
province in the spring, and European supplies could have been brought to
it only with the utmost difficulty and danger. There is no port upon
that part of the Turkish coast; no shelter from the violent southerly
gales, and no depth of water near the shore. In consequence, no
transports of any size could approach within some miles of the coast to
land either troops or stores. Even had there been depth of water for
them, transports could not have discharged upon the coast because of the
danger from submarines. They would have been compelled to discharge in
the safe harbour of the subsidiary base at Mudros in Lemnos, and (as
happened with the fighting where it was) their freight, whether men or
stores, re-shipped into small ships of too light draught to be in danger
from submarines, and by them conveyed to the landing places. But this
system, which never quite failed at Anzac and Cape Helles, would have
failed on the Xeros coast. Anzac is some forty miles from Mudros, the
Xeros coast is eighty, or twice the distance. Had the army landed at
Xeros, it would have been upon an unproductive enemy territory in an
unsettled season of the year, from eighty to twenty hours' steam from
their own safe subsidiary base. A stormy week might have cut them off at
any time from all possibility of obtaining a man, a biscuit, a cartridge
or even a drink of water, and this upon ground where they could with
little trouble be outnumbered by armies four times their strength with
sound communications.

Secondly, for the reasons against attacking along the Asiatic coast:

(a) The coast is commanded from the Gallipoli coast and therefore less
important to those trying to second a naval attack upon the Narrows.

(b) An army advancing from Kum Kale along the Asiatic shore would be
forced to draw its supplies from overseas. As it advanced, its
communications could be cut with great ease at any point by the hordes
of armed Turks in Asia Minor.

(c) The Turkish armies in Asia Minor would have attacked it in the right
and rear, those from Bulair and Rodosto would have ferried over and
attacked it in front, the guns in Gallipoli would have shelled its left,
and the task made impracticable.

Some of those who raised these alternatives raised a third; when the
first two had been disposed of, they asked, "Even if the army could not
have landed at Bulair or on the Asian coast, why did it land where it
did land, on those suicidal beaches?" The answer to this criticism is as
follows: It landed on those beaches because there were no others on the
Peninsula, because the only landing places at which troops could be got
ashore with any prospect of success however slight were just those three
or four small beaches near Cape Helles, at the southwest end of the
Peninsula, and the one rather longer beach to the north of Gaba or Kaba
Tepe. All these beaches were seen to be strongly defended, with barbed
wire entanglements on the shore and under the water, with sea and land
mines, with strongly entrenched riflemen, many machine guns, and an
ample artillery. In addition, the beaches close to Cape Helles were
within range of big guns mounted near Troy on the Asian shore, and the
beach near Gaba Tepe was ranged by the guns in the olive groves to the
south and on the hills to the north of it. A strong Turkish army held
the Peninsula, and very powerful reserves were at Bulair, all well
supplied (chiefly by boat from the Asian shore) with food and munitions.
German officers had organised the defence of the Peninsula with great
professional skill. They had made it a fortress of great strength,
differing from all other fortresses in this, that besides being almost
impregnable it was almost unapproachable. But our army had its task to
do, there was no other means of doing it, and our men had to do what
they could. Any one trying to land, to besiege that fortress, had to do
so by boat or lighter under every gun in the Turkish army. The Turks and
the Germans knew, better than we, what few and narrow landing places
were possible to our men, they had more than two months of time in which
to make those landing places fatal to any enemy within a mile of them,
yet our men came from three thousand miles away, passed that mile of
massacre, landed and held on with all their guns, stores, animals and
appliances, in spite of the Turk and his ally, who outnumbered them at
every point.

No army in history has made a more heroic attack; no army in history has
been set such a task. No other body of men in any modern war has been
called upon to land over mined and wired waters under the cross fire of
machine guns. The Japanese at Chinampo and Chemulpho were not opposed,
the Russians at Pitezwo were not prepared, the Spaniards at Daiquiri
made no fight. Our men achieved a feat without parallel in war and no
other troops in the world (not even Japanese or Gurkhas or Ghazis in the
hope of heaven) would have made good those beaches on the 25th of April.



II

Then said Roland: "Oliver, companion, brother ... we shall have a strong
and tough battle, such as man never saw fought. But I shall strike with
my sword, and you, comrade, will strike with yours; we have borne our
swords in so many lands, we have ended so many battles with them, that
no evil song shall be sung of them." ... At these words the Franks went
forward gladly.

 _The Song of Roland._


Let the reader now try to imagine the nature of the landing. In order to
puzzle the Turkish commander, to make him hesitate and divide his
forces, it was necessary to land or pretend to land, in some force,
simultaneously at various places. A feint of landing was to be made near
Bulair, the French Corps Expeditionnaire was to land at Kum Kale, to
attack and silence the Asiatic fortifications and batteries, the
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was to land at or near Gaba Tepe,
while men of the 29th and Royal Naval Divisions landed at or near Cape
Helles, some towards Krithia on the north, others nearer Sedd-el-Bahr on
the southwest and south. The main attacks were to be those near Gaba
Tepe and Cape Helles.

 [Illustration: Map No. 2
 _Stanford's Geog'l Estab't London._]

At Cape Helles three principal landings were to be made at the following
places:

1. At Beach V, a small semi-circular sandy bay, 300 yards across, just
west of the ruins of Sedd-el-Bahr castle. The ground rises steeply round
the half circle of the bay exactly as the seats rise in an amphitheatre.
Modern defence could not ask for a more perfect site.

2. At Beach W (to the west of V), where a small sandy bay under Cape
Tekke offered a landing upon a strip of sand about the size of Beach V.
The slope upward from this beach is more gentle than at V, through a
succession of sand dunes, above which the ground was strongly
entrenched. The cliffs north and south are precipitous, and make the
beach a kind of gully or ravine. The Turks had placed machine guns in
holes in the cliff, had wired and mined both beach and bay, and thrown
up strong redoubts to flank them. Beach W was a death trap.

3. At Beach X (north of W, on the other or northern side of Cape Tekke),
a narrow strip of sand, 200 yards long, at the foot of a low cliff.
This, though too small to serve for the quick passage ashore of many men
at a time, was a slightly easier landing place than the other two, owing
to the lie of the ground.

Besides these main landings, two minor landings were to be made as
follows:

4. At Beach S, a small beach, within the Straits, beyond Sedd-el-Bahr.

5. At Beach Y (on the Ægean, to the west of Krithia), a strip of sand
below a precipitous cliff, gashed with steep, crumbling, and
scrub-covered gullies.

These two minor landings were to protect the flanks of the main landing
parties, "to disseminate the forces of the enemy and to interrupt the
arrival of his reinforcements." They were to take place at dawn (at
about 5 A.M. or half an hour before the main attacks), without any
preliminary bombardment from the fleet upon the landing places.

Near Gaba Tepe only one landing was to be made, upon a small beach, 200
yards across, a mile to the north of Gaba Tepe promontory. The ground
beyond this beach is abrupt sandy cliff, covered with scrub, flanked by
Gaba Tepe, and commanded by the land to shoreward.

For some days before the landing, the Army lay at Mudros, in Lemnos,
aboard its transports, or engaged in tactical exercises ashore and in
the harbour. Much bitter and ignorant criticism has been passed upon
this delay, which was, unfortunately, very necessary. The month of
April, 1915, in the Ægean, was a month of unusually unsettled weather;
it was quite impossible to attempt the landing without calm water and
the likelihood of fine weather for some days. In rough weather it would
have been impossible to land laden soldiers with their stores through
the surf of open beaches, under heavy fire, and those who maintain, that
"other soldiers" (i.e. themselves) would have made the attempt, can have
no knowledge of what wading ashore from a boat, in bad weather, in the
Ægean or any other sea, even without a pack and with no enemy ahead, is
like. But in unsettled weather the Gallipoli coast is not only difficult
but exceedingly dangerous for small vessels. The currents are fierce,
and a short and ugly sea gets up quickly and makes towing hazardous. Had
the attempt been made in foul weather a great many men would have been
drowned, some few would have reached the shore, and then the ships would
have been forced off the coast. The few men left on the shore would have
had to fight there with neither supplies nor supports till the enemy
overwhelmed them.

Another reason for delay was the need for the most minute preparation.
Many armies have been landed from boats from the time of Pharaoh's
invasion of Punt until the present, but no men, not even Cæsar's army of
invasion in Britain, have had to land in an enemy's country with such a
prospect of difficulty before them. They were going to land on a
foodless cliff, five hundred miles from a store, in a place and at a
season in which the sea's rising might cut them from supply. They had to
take with them all things, munitions, guns, entrenching tools, sandbags,
provisions, clothing, medical stores, hospital equipment, mules, horses,
fodder, even water to drink, for the land produced not even that. These
military supplies had to be arranged in boats and lighters in such a way
that they might be thrust ashore with many thousands of men in all haste
but without confusion. All this world of preparation, which made each
unit landed a self-supporting army, took time and labour, how much can
only be judged by those who have done similar work.

On Friday, the 23rd of April, the weather cleared so that the work could
be begun. In fine weather in Mudros a haze of beauty comes upon the
hills and water till their loveliness is unearthly it is so rare. Then
the bay is like a blue jewel, and the hills lose their savagery, and
glow, and are gentle, and the sun comes up from Troy, and the peaks of
Samothrace change colour, and all the marvellous ships in the harbour
are transfigured. The land of Lemnos was beautiful with flowers at that
season, in the brief Ægean spring, and to seawards always, in the bay,
were the ships, more ships, perhaps, than any port of modern times has
known; they seemed like half the ships of the world. In this crowd of
shipping, strange beautiful Greek vessels passed, under rigs of old
time, with sheep and goats and fish, for sale, and the tugs of the
Thames and Mersey met again the ships they had towed of old, bearing a
new freight, of human courage. The transports (all painted black) lay in
tiers, well within the harbour, the men of war nearer Mudros and the
entrance. Now in all that city of ships, so busy with passing
picket-boats, and noisy with the labour of men, the getting of the
anchors began. Ship after ship, crammed with soldiers, moved slowly out
of harbour, in the lovely day, and felt again the heave of the sea. No
such gathering of fine ships has ever been seen upon this earth, and the
beauty and the exaltation of the youth upon them made them like sacred
things as they moved away. All the thousands of men aboard them,
gathered on deck to see, till each rail was thronged. These men had come
from all parts of the British world, from Africa, Australia, Canada,
India, the Mother Country, New Zealand and remote islands in the sea.
They had said good-bye to home that they might offer their lives in the
cause we stand for. In a few hours at most, as they well knew, perhaps a
tenth of them would have looked their last on the sun, and be a part of
foreign earth or dumb things that the tides push. Many of them would
have disappeared forever from the knowledge of man, blotted from the
book of life none would know how, by a fall or chance shot in the
darkness, in the blast of a shell, or alone, like a hurt beast, in some
scrub or gully, far from comrades and the English speech and the English
singing. And perhaps a third of them would be mangled, blinded or
broken, lamed, made imbecile or disfigured, with the colour and the
taste of life taken from them, so that they would never more move with
comrades nor exult in the sun. And those not taken thus would be under
the ground, sweating in the trench, carrying sandbags up the sap,
dodging death and danger, without rest or food or drink, in the blazing
sun or the frost of the Gallipoli night, till death seemed relaxation
and a wound a luxury. But as they moved out these things were but the
end they asked, the reward they had come for, the unseen cross upon the
breast. All that they felt was a gladness of exultation that their young
courage was to be used. They went like kings in a pageant to the
imminent death.

As they passed from moorings to the man-of-war anchorage on their way to
the sea, their feeling that they had done with life and were going out
to something new, welled up in those battalions; they cheered and
cheered till the harbour rang with cheering. As each ship crammed with
soldiers drew near the battleships, the men swung their caps and cheered
again, and the sailors answered, and the noise of cheering swelled, and
the men in the ships not yet moving joined in, and the men ashore, till
all the life in the harbour was giving thanks that it could go to death
rejoicing. All was beautiful in that gladness of men about to die, but
the most moving thing was the greatness of their generous hearts. As
they passed the French ships, the memory of old quarrels healed, and the
sense of what sacred France has done and endured, in this great war, and
the pride of having such men as the French for comrades, rose up in
their warm souls, and they cheered the French ships more, even, than
their own.

They left the harbour very, very slowly; this tumult of cheering lasted
a long time; no one who heard it will ever forget it, or think of it
unshaken. It broke the hearts of all there with pity and pride: it went
beyond the guard of the English heart. Presently all were out, and the
fleet stood across for Tenedos, and the sun went down with marvellous
colour, lighting island after island and the Asian peaks, and those left
behind in Mudros trimmed their lamps knowing that they had been for a
little brought near to the heart of things.


The next day, the 24th April, the troops of the landing parties went on
board the warships and mine-sweepers which were to take them ashore. At
midnight the fleet got under way from Tenedos and stood out for the
Peninsula. Dawn was to be at five, the landings on the flanks were to
take place then, the others at half-past five, after the fleet had
bombarded the beaches. Very few of the soldiers of the landing parties
slept that night; the excitement of the morrow kept them awake, as
happened to Nelson's sailors before Trafalgar. It was a very still fine
night, slightly hazy, with a sea so still that the ships had no trouble
with their long tows of boats and launches. As it began to grow light
the men went down into the boats, and the two flanking parties started
for the outer beaches S and Y. The guns of the fleet now opened a heavy
fire upon the Turkish positions and the big guns on the Asian shore sent
over a few shell in answer; but the Turks near the landing places
reserved their fire. During the intense bombardment by the fleet, when
the ships were trembling like animals with the blasts of the explosions,
the picket-boats towing the lighters went ahead and the tow-loads of
crowded men started for the main landings on beaches V, W and X.

 [Illustration: A view showing Morto Bay, De Lott's Battery and the
 Asiatic Coast]

It was now light, and the haze on Sedd-el-Bahr was clearing away so that
those in charge of the boats could see what they were doing. Had they
attempted an attack in the dark on those unsurveyed beaches among the
fierce and dangerous tide rips the loss of life would have been very
great. As it was, the exceeding fierceness of the currents added much to
the difficulty and danger of the task. We will take the landings in
succession.


_The Landing at V Beach, near Sedd-el-Bahr._

The men told off for this landing were: The Dublin Fusiliers, the
Munster Fusiliers, half a battalion of the Hampshire Regiment, and the
West Riding Field Company.

Three companies of the Dublin Fusiliers were to land from towed
lighters, the rest of the party from a tramp steamer, the collier _River
Clyde_. This ship, a conspicuous sea mark at Cape Helles throughout the
rest of the campaign, had been altered to carry and land troops. Great
gangways or entry ports had been cut in her sides on the level of her
between decks, and platforms had been built out upon her sides below
these, so that men might run from her in a hurry. The plan was to beach
her as near the shore as possible, and then drag or sweep the lighters,
which she towed, into position between her and the shore, so as to make
a kind of boat bridge from her to the beach. When the lighters were so
moored as to make this bridge, the entry ports were to be opened, the
waiting troops were to rush out on to the external platforms, run from
them on to the lighters and so to the shore. The ship's upper deck and
bridge were protected with boiler plate and sandbags, and a casement for
machine guns was built upon her fo'c'sle, so that she might reply to the
enemy's fire.

 [Illustration: A remarkable view of V Beach, taken from S.S. _River
 Clyde_]

Five picket-boats, each towing five boats or launches full of men,
steamed alongside the _River Clyde_ and went ahead when she grounded.
She took the ground rather to the right of the little beach, some 400
yards from the ruins of Sedd-el-Bahr castle, before the Turks had opened
fire, but almost as she grounded, when the picket-boats with their tows
were ahead of her, only twenty or thirty yards from the beach, every
rifle and machine gun in the castle, the town above it, and in the
curved low strongly trenched hill along the bay, began a murderous fire
upon ship and boats. There was no question of their missing. They had
their target on the front and both flanks at ranges between 100 and 300
yards in clear daylight, thirty boats bunched together and crammed with
men and a good big ship. The first outbreak of fire made the bay as
white as a rapid, for the Turks fired not less than ten thousand shots a
minute for the first few minutes of that attack. Those not killed in the
boats at the first discharge jumped overboard to wade or swim ashore,
many were killed in the water, many, who were wounded, were swept away
and drowned, others, trying to swim in the fierce current, were drowned
by the weight of their equipment; but some reached the shore, and these
instantly doubled out to cut the wire entanglements, and were killed, or
dashed for the cover of a bank of sand or raised beach which runs along
the curve of the bay. Those very few who reached this cover were out of
immediate danger, but they were only a handful. The boats were destroyed
where they grounded.

Meanwhile, the men of the _River Clyde_ tried to make their bridge of
boats, by sweeping the lighters into position and mooring them between
the ship and the shore. They were killed as they worked, but others took
their places, the bridge was made, and some of the Munsters dashed along
it from the ship and fell in heaps as they ran. As a second company
followed, the moorings of the lighters broke or were shot, the men
leaped into the water and were drowned or killed, or reached the beach
and were killed, or fell wounded there, and lay under fire getting wound
after wound till they died; very, very few reached the sandbank. More
brave men jumped aboard the lighters to remake the bridge. They were
swept away or shot to pieces; the average life on those boats was some
three minutes long, but they remade the bridge, and the third company of
the Munsters doubled down to death along it under a storm of shrapnel
which scarcely a man survived. The big guns in Asia were now shelling
the _River Clyde_, and the hell of rapid fire never paused. More men
tried to land, headed by Brigadier General Napier, who was instantly
killed, with nearly all his followers. Then for long hours the remainder
stayed on board, down below in the grounded steamer, while the shots
beat on her plates with a rattling clang which never stopped. Her twelve
machine guns fired back, killing any Turk who showed, but nothing could
be done to support the few survivors of the landing, who now lay under
cover of the sandbank on the other side of the beach. It was almost
certain death to try to leave the ship, but all through the day men
leaped from her (with leave or without it) to bring water or succour to
the wounded on the boats or beach. A hundred brave men gave their lives
thus: every man there earned the Cross that day: a boy earned it by one
of the bravest deeds of the war, leaping into the sea with a rope in his
teeth to try to secure a drifting lighter.

 [Illustration: The S.S. _River Clyde_, which, loaded with troops, was
 run ashore on the beach, Sedd-el-Bahr. She is known familiarly as "The
 Wooden Horse," in allusion to the famous and somewhat similar expedient
 of the Greeks at Troy.]

The day passed thus, but at nightfall the Turks' fire paused, and the
men came ashore from the _River Clyde_, almost unharmed. They joined the
survivors on the beach and at once attacked the old fort and the village
above it. These works were strongly held by the enemy. All had been
ruined by the fire from the fleet, but in the rubble and ruin of old
masonry there were thousands of hidden riflemen backed by machine guns.
Again and again they beat off our attacks, for there was a bright moon
and they knew the ground, and our men had to attack uphill over wire and
broken earth and heaped stones in all the wreck and confusion and
strangeness of war at night in a new place. Some of the Dublins and
Munsters went astray in the ruins, and were wounded far from their
fellows and so lost. The Turks became more daring after dark; while the
light lasted they were checked by the _River Clyde's_ machine guns, but
at midnight they gathered unobserved and charged. They came right down
onto the beach, and in the darkness and moonlight much terrible and
confused fighting followed. Many were bayoneted, many shot, there was
wild firing and crying, and then the Turk attack melted away, and their
machine guns began again. When day dawned, the survivors of the landing
party were crouched under the shelter of the sandbank; they had had no
rest; most of them had been fighting all night, all had landed across
the corpses of their friends. No retreat was possible, nor was it
dreamed of, but to stay there was hopeless. Lieutenant Colonel
Doughty-Wylie gathered them together for an attack: the fleet opened a
terrific fire upon the ruins of the fort and village, and the landing
party went forward again, fighting from bush to bush and from stone to
stone, till the ruins were in their hands. Shells still fell among them,
single Turks, lurking under cover, sniped them and shot them, but the
landing had been made good, and V beach was secured to us.

This was the worst and the bloodiest of all the landings.


_The Landing at W Beach, under Cape Tekke._

The men told off for this landing were the 1st Battalion Lancashire
Fusiliers, supported (later) by the Worcester Regiment.

The men were landed at six in the morning from ships' boats run ashore
by picket-boats. On landing, they rushed the wire entanglements, broke
through them, with heavy loss, and won to the dead ground under the
cliffs. The ships drew nearer to the beach and opened heavy fire upon
the Turks, and the landing party stormed the cliffs and won the trenches.

The Worcester Regiment having landed, attempts were made to break a way
to the right, so as to join hands with the men on V Beach. All the land
between the two beaches was heavily wired and so broken that it gave
much cover to the enemy. Many brave Worcesters went out to cut the wires
and were killed; the fire was intense, there was no getting further. The
trenches already won were secured and improved, the few available
reserves were hurried up, and by dark, when the Turks attacked, again
and again, in great force, our men were able to beat them off, and hold
on to what they had won.


_The Landing at X Beach (Sometimes called Implacable Landing), towards
Krithia._

The men told off for this landing were the 1st Royal Fusiliers, with a
working party of the Anson Battalion, R.N.D.

These men were towed ashore from H.M.S. _Implacable_ about an hour after
dawn. The ship stood close in to the beach and opened rapid fire on the
enemy trenches: under cover of this fire the men got ashore fairly
easily. On moving inland they were attacked by a great force of Turks
and checked; but they made good the ground won, and opened up
communications with the Lancashires who had landed at W Beach. This
landing was the least bloody of all.

 [Illustration: Some of the barbed wire entanglements near Sedd-el-Bahr]

Of the two flank landings, that on the right, within the Straits, to the
right of Sedd-el-Bahr, got ashore without great loss and held on; that
on the left, to the left of X Beach, got ashore, fought a desperate and
bloody battle against five times its strength, and finally had to
re-embark. The men got ashore upon a cliff so steep that the Turks had
not troubled to defend it, but on landing they were unable to link up
with the men on X Beach as had been planned. They were attacked in great
force by an ever-growing Turkish army, fought all day and all through
the night in such trenches as they had been able to dig under fire, and
at last in the morning of the next day went down the cliffs and
re-embarked, most nobly covered to the end by a party from the King's
Own Scottish Borderers and the Plymouth Battalion.

During the forenoon of the 25th, a regiment of the French Corps landed
at Kum Kale, under cover of the guns of the French warships, and engaged
the enemy throughout the day and night. Their progress was held up by a
strongly entrenched force during the afternoon, and after sharp fighting
all through the night they re-embarked in the forenoon of the 26th with
some 400 Turkish prisoners. This landing of the French diverted from us
on the 25th the fire of the howitzers emplaced on the Asiatic shore. Had
these been free to fire upon us, the landings near Sedd-el-Bahr would
have been made even more hazardous than they were.

At Bulair one man, Lieutenant Freyberg, swam ashore from a Destroyer,
towing a little raft of flares. Near the shore he lit two of these
flares, then, wading onto the land, he lit others at intervals along the
coast, then he wandered inland, naked, on a personal reconnaissance, and
soon found a large Turkish army strongly entrenched. Modesty forbade
further intrusion. He went back to the beach and swam off to his
Destroyer, could not find her in the dark, and swam for several miles,
was exhausted and cramped, and was at last picked up, nearly dead. This
magnificent act of courage and endurance, done by one unarmed man, kept
a large Turkish army at Bulair during the critical hours of the landing.
"The Constantinople papers were filled with accounts of the repulse of
the great attack at Bulair." The flares deceived the Turks even more
completely than had been hoped.

While these operations were securing our hold upon the extreme end of
the Peninsula, the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps were making
good their landing on the Ægean coast, to the north of Gaba Tepe. They
sailed from Mudros on the 24th, arrived off the coast of the Peninsula
at about half-past one on the morning of the 25th, and there under a
setting moon, in calm weather, they went on board the boats which were
to take them ashore. At about half-past three the tows left the ships
and proceeded in darkness to the coast.

Gaba or Kaba Tepe is a steep cliff or promontory about 70 feet high with
a whitish nose and something the look of a blunt-nosed torpedo or
porpoise. It is a forbidding-looking snout of land, covered with scrub
where it is not too steep for roots to hold, and washed by deep water.
About a mile to the north of it there is a possible landing place, and
north of that again a long and narrow strip of beach between two little
headlands. This latter beach cannot be seen from Gaba Tepe. The ground
above these beaches is exceedingly steep sandy cliff, broken by two
great gulleys or ravines, which run inland. All the ground, except in
one patch in the southern ravine, where there is a sort of meadow of
grass, is densely covered with scrub, mostly between two and three feet
high. Inland from the beach, the land of the Peninsula rises in steep,
broken hills and spurs, with clumps of pine upon them, and dense
undergrowths of scrub. The men selected for this landing were the 3rd
Brigade of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, followed and
supported by the 1st and 2nd Brigades.

The place selected for the landing was the southern beach and nearer of
the two to Gaba Tepe. This, like the other landing places near Cape
Helles, was strongly defended, and most difficult of approach. Large
forces of Turks were entrenched there, well prepared. But in the
darkness of the early morning after the moon had set the tows stood a
little further to the north than they should have done, perhaps because
some high ground to their left made a convenient steering mark against
the stars. They headed in towards the northern beach between the two
little headlands, where the Turks were not expecting them. However, they
were soon seen and very heavy independent rifle fire was concentrated on
them. As they neared the beach "about one battalion of Turks" doubled
along the land to intercept them. These men came from nearer Gaba Tepe,
firing as they ran, into the mass of the boats at short range. A great
many men were killed in the boats, but the dead men's oars were taken by
survivors, and the boats forced into the shingle. The men jumped out,
waded ashore, charged the enemy with the bayonet, and broke the Turk
attack to pieces. The Turks scattered and were pursued, and now the
steep scrub-covered cliffs became the scene of the most desperate
fighting.

The scattered Turks dropped into the scrub and disappeared. Hidden all
over the rough cliffs, under every kind of cover, they sniped the beach
or ambushed the little parties of the 3rd Brigade who had rushed the
landing. All over the broken hills there were isolated fights to the
death, men falling into gullies and being bayoneted, sudden duels, point
blank, where men crawling through the scrub met each other and life went
to the quicker finger, heroic deaths, where some half section which had
lost touch were caught by ten times their strength and charged and died.
No man of our side knew that cracked and fissured jungle. Men broke
through it on to machine guns, or showed up on a crest and were blown to
pieces, or leaped down from it into some sap or trench, to catch the
bombs flung at them and hurl them at the thrower. Going as they did, up
cliffs, through scrub, over ground which would have broken the alignment
of the Tenth Legion, they passed many hidden Turks, who were thus left
to shoot them in the back or to fire down at the boats, from perhaps
only fifty yards away. It was only just light, theirs was the first
British survey of that wild country; only now, as it showed up clear,
could they realise its difficulty. They pressed on up the hill. They
dropped and fired and died; they drove the Turks back, they flung their
packs away, wormed through the bush and stalked the snipers from the
flash. As they went, the words of their song supported them, the ribald
and proud chorus of "Australia will be there," which the men on the
torpedoed _Southland_ sang, as they fell in, expecting death. Presently,
as it grew lighter, the Turks' big howitzers began shelling the beach,
and their field guns, well-hidden, opened on the transports now busy
disembarking the 1st and 2nd Brigades. They forced the transports to
stand further out to sea, and shelled the tows, as they came in, with
shrapnel and high explosive. As the boats drew near the shore every gun
on Gaba Tepe took them in flank and the snipers concentrated on them
from the shore. More and more Turks were coming up at the double to stop
the attack up the hill. The fighting in the scrub grew fiercer; shells
burst continually upon the beach, boats were sunk, men were killed in
the water. The boatmen and beach working-parties were the unsung heroes
of that landing. The boatmen came in with the tows, under fire, waited
with them under intense and concentrated fire of every kind, until they
were unloaded, and then shoved off, and put slowly back for more, and
then came back again. The beach parties were wading to and from that
shell-smitten beach all day, unloading, carrying ashore and sorting the
munitions and necessaries for many thousands of men. They worked in a
strip of beach and sea from 500 yards long by 40 broad, and the fire
directed on that strip was such that every box brought ashore had one or
more shells and not less than fifty bullets directed at it before it was
flung upon the sand. More men came in and went on up the hill in
support; but as yet there were no guns ashore, and the Turks' fire
became intenser. By ten o'clock the Turks had had time to bring up
enough men from their prepared positions to hold up the advance.
Scattered parties of our men who had gone too far in the scrub, were cut
off and killed, for there was no thought of surrender in those
marvellous young men; they were the flower of this world's manhood, and
died as they had lived, owning no master on this earth. More and more
Turks came up with big and field artillery, and now our attack had to
hold on to what it had won, against more than twice its numbers. We had
won a rough bow of ground, in which the beach represented the bow
string, the beach near Gaba Tepe the south end, and the hovel known as
Fisherman's Hut the north. Against this position, held by at most 8,000
of our men, who had had no rest and had fought hard since dawn, under
every kind of fire in a savage rough country unknown to them, came an
overwhelming army of Turks to drive them into the sea. For four hours
the Turks attacked and again attacked, with a terrific fire of artillery
and waves of men in succession. They came fresh, from superior
positions, with many guns, to break a disorganised line of breathless
men not yet dug in. The guns of the ships opened on them, and the
scattered units in the scrub rolled them back again and again by rifle
and machine gun fire, and by charge after counter charge. More of the
Army Corps landed to meet the Turks, the fire upon the beach never
slackened, and they came ashore across corpses and wrecked boats and a
path like a road in hell with ruin and blasts and burning. They went up
the cliff to their fellows under an ever-growing fire, that lit the
scrub and burned the wounded and the dead. Darkness came, but there was
no rest nor lull. Wave after wave of Turks came out of the night, crying
the proclamation of their faith; others stole up in the dark through the
scrub and shot or stabbed and crept back, or were seen and stalked and
killed. Flares went up, to light with their blue and ghastly glare the
wild glens peopled by the enemy. Men worked at the digging-in till they
dropped asleep upon the soil, and more Turks charged and they woke and
fired and again dug. It was cruelly cold after the sun had gone, but
there was no chance of warmth or proper food; to dig-in and beat back
the Turk or die was all that men could think of. In the darkness, among
the blasts of the shells, men scrambled up and down the pathless cliffs
bringing up tins of water and boxes of cartridges, hauling up guns and
shells, and bringing down the wounded. The beach was heaped with
wounded, placed as close under the cliff as might be, in such yard or so
of dead ground as the cliffs gave. The doctors worked among them and
shells fell among them and doctors and wounded were blown to pieces, and
the survivors sang their song of "Australia will be there," and cheered
the newcomers still landing on the beach. Sometimes our fire seemed to
cease and then the Turk shells filled the night with their scream and
blast and the pattering of their fragments. With all the fury and the
crying of the shells, and the shouts and cries and cursing on the beach,
the rattle of the small arms and the cheers and defiance up the hill,
and the roar of the great guns far away, at sea, or in the olive groves,
the night seemed in travail of a new age. All the blackness was shot
with little spurts of fire, and streaks of fire, and malignant bursts of
fire, and arcs and glows and crawling snakes of fire, and the moon rose,
and looked down upon it all. In the fiercer hours of that night shells
fell in that contested mile of ground and on the beach beyond it at the
rate of one a second, and the air whimpered with passing bullets, or
fluttered with the rush of the big shells, or struck the head of the
passer like a moving wall with the shock of the explosion. All through
the night, the Turks attacked, and in the early hours their fire of
shrapnel became so hellish that the Australians soon had not men enough
left to hold the line. Orders were given to fall back to a shorter line,
but in the darkness, uproar and confusion, with many sections refusing
to fall back, others falling back and losing touch, others losing their
way in gully or precipice, and shrapnel hailing on all, as it had hailed
for hours, the falling back was mistaken by some for an order to
re-embark. Many men who had lost their officers and non-commissioned
officers fell back to the beach, where the confusion of wounded men,
boxes of stores, field dressing stations, corpses and the litter and the
waste of battle, had already blocked the going. The shells bursting in
this clutter made the beach, in the words of an eye-witness, "like
bloody hell and nothing else." But at this breaking of the wave of
victory, this panting moment in the race, when some of the runners had
lost their first wind, encouragement reached our men: a message came to
the beach from Sir Ian Hamilton, to say that help was coming, and that
an Australian submarine had entered the Narrows and had sunk a Turkish
transport off Chanak.

This word of victory, coming to men who thought for the moment that
their efforts had been made in vain, had the effect of a fresh brigade.
The men rallied back up the hill; bearing the news to the firing-line,
the new, constricted line was made good, and the rest of the night was
never anything but continued victory to those weary ones in the scrub.
But 24 hours of continual battle exhausts men, and by dawn the Turks,
knowing the weariness of our men, resolved to beat them down into the
sea. When the sun was well in our men's eyes they attacked again, with
not less than twice our entire strength of fresh men, and with an
overwhelming superiority in field artillery. Something in the Turk
commander and the knowledge that a success there would bring our men
across the peninsula within a day, made the Turks more desperate enemies
there than elsewhere. They came at us with a determination which might
have triumphed against other troops. As they came on they opened a
terrific fire of shrapnel upon our position, pouring in such a hail that
months afterwards one could see their round shrapnel bullets stuck in
bare patches of ground, or in earth thrown up from the trenches, as
thickly as plums in a pudding. Their multitudes of men pressed through
the scrub as skirmishers, and sniped at every moving thing; for they
were on higher ground and could see over most of our position, and every
man we had was under direct fire for hours of each day. As the attack
developed, the promised help arrived, our warships stood in and opened
on the Turks with every gun that would bear. Some kept down the guns of
Gaba Tepe, others searched the line of the Turk advance, till the hills
over which they came were swathed with yellow smoke and dust, the white
clouds of shrapnel, and the drifting darkness of conflagration. All the
scrub was in a blaze before them, but they pressed on, falling in heaps
and lines; and their guns dropped a never-ceasing rain of shells on
trenches, beach and shipping. The landing of stores and ammunition never
ceased during the battle. The work of the beach-parties in that scene of
burning and massacre was beyond all praise: so was the work of the
fatigue parties who passed up and down the hill with water, ammunition
and food, or dug sheltered roads to the trenches; so was the work of the
Medical Service, who got the wounded out of cuts in the earth, so narrow
and so twisted that there was no using a stretcher and men had to be
carried on stretcher bearers' backs or on improvised chairs made out of
packing cases.

At a little before noon the Turk attack reached its height in a blaze
and uproar of fire, and the swaying forward of their multitudes. The
guns of the warships swept them from flank to flank with every engine of
death: they died by hundreds, and the attack withered as it came. Our
men saw the enemy fade and slacken and halt; then with their cheer they
charged him and beat him home, seized new ground from him, and dug
themselves in in front of him. All through the day there was fighting up
and down the line, partial attacks, and never-ceasing shell-fire, but no
other great attack, the Turks had suffered too much. At night their
snipers came out in the scrub and shot at anything they could see, and
all night long their men dragged up field guns and piles of shrapnel,
and worked at the trenches which were to contain ours. When day dawned,
they opened with shrapnel upon the beach, with a _feu de barrage_
designed to stop all landing of men and stores. They whipped the bay
with shrapnel bullets. Where their fire was concentrated, the water was
lashed as with hail all day long; but the boats passed through it, and
men worked in it, building jetties for the boats to land at, using a big
Turk shell as a pile driver: when they got too hot they bathed in it,
for no fire shook those men. It was said, that when a big shell was
coming, men of other races would go into their dugouts, but that these
men paused only to call it a bastard and then went on with their work.

By the night of the second day, the Australian and New Zealand Army
Corps had won and fortified their position. Men writing or reporting on
service about them referred to them as the A.N.Z.A.C., and these letters
soon came to mean the place in which they were, un-named till then,
probably, save by some rough Turkish place-name, but now likely to be
printed on all English maps, with the other names, of Brighton Beach and
Hell Spit, which mark a great passage of arms.



III

King Marsilies parted his army: ten columns he kept by him, and the
other ten rode in to fight. The Franks said: "God, what ruin we shall
have here. What will become of the twelve Peers?" The Archbishop Turpin
answered first: "Good knights, you are the friends of God; to-day you
will be crowned and flowered, resting in the holy flowers of Paradise,
where no coward will ever come."

The Franks answered: "We will not fail. If it be God's will, we will not
murmur. We will fight against our enemies: we are few men, but
well-hardened."

They spurred forward to fight the pagans. The Franks and Saracens are
mingled.

 _The Song of Roland._


This early fighting, which lasted from dawn on the 25th April till noon
on the following day, won us a footing, not more than that, on the
Peninsula; it settled the German brag that we should never be able to
land. We had landed upon, had taken, and were holding the whole of the
southwestern extremity of the Peninsula and a strip of the Ægean coast,
in the face of an army never less than twice our strength, strongly
entrenched and well supplied. We had lost very heavily in the attack,
our men were weary from the exceedingly severe service of the landing,
but the morrow began the second passage in the campaign, the advance
from the sea, before the Turks should have recovered.

Many have said to me, with a naïveté that would be touching if it were
not so plainly inspired by our enemies: "Why did not the troops press on
at once, the day they landed? The Japanese pressed on the day they
landed, so did the Americans in Cuba. If you had pressed on at once, you
would have won the whole Peninsula. The Turks were at their last
cartridge, and would have surrendered."

It is quite true that the Japanese moved inland immediately from their
transports at Chemulpho and Chinampo. Those ports were seized before the
Russians knew that war was declared: they were not defended by Russian
soldiers, and the two small Russian cruisers caught there by the
Japanese fleet were put out of action before the transports discharged.
The Japanese were free to land as they chose on beaches prepared, not
with machine guns and mines, but with cranes, gangways and good roads.
Even so, they did not press on. The Japanese do not press on unless they
are attacking: they are as prudent as they are brave: they waited till
they were ready and then marched on. The Americans landed at Daiquiri
and at Guanica unopposed and in neither case engaged the enemy till next
day.

In the preceding chapter I have tried to show why we did not press on at
once, after landing. We did not, because we could not, because two fresh
men strongly entrenched, with machine guns, will stop one tired man with
a rifle in nine cases out of ten. Our men had done the unimaginable in
getting ashore at all, they could not do the impossible on the same day.
I used to say this, to draw the answer, "Well, other troops would have
done it," so that I might say, what I know to be the truth, that no
other men on this earth either would have or could have made good the
landing; and that the men have not yet been born who could have advanced
after such a feat of arms. The efforts of men are limited by their
strength: the strength of men, always easily exhausted, is the only
strength at the disposal of a general, it is the money to be spent by
him in the purchase of victory, whether by hours of marching in the mud,
digging in the field, or in attack. Losses in attack are great, though
occasional, losses from other causes are great and constant. All armies
in the field have to be supplied constantly with fresh drafts to make
good the losses from attack and exhaustion. No armies can move without
these replenishments, just as no individual men can go on working, after
excessive labour, without rest and food. Our losses in the landings were
severe, even for modern war, even for the Dardanelles. The bloodiest
battle of modern times is said to have been Antietam or Sharpsburg, in
the American Civil War, where the losses were perhaps nearly one-third
of the men engaged. At V Beach the Munsters lost more than one-third,
and the Dublins more than three-fifths of their total strength. The
Lancashires at W Beach lost nearly as heavily as the Dublins. At Anzac,
one Australian battalion lost 422 out of 900. At X Beach, the Royals
lost 487 out of 979. All these battalions had lost more than half their
officers, indeed by the 28th April the Dublins had only one officer
left. How could these dwindled battalions press on?

Then for the individual exhaustion. Those engaged in the first landing
were clambering and fighting in great heat, without proper food, and in
many cases without water, for the first 24 or 36 hours, varying the
fighting with hurried but deep digging in marl or clay, getting no
sleep, nor any moment's respite from the peril of death. Then, at the
end of the first phase, when the fact that they had won the landing was
plain, some of these same men, unrested, improperly fed, and wet through
with rain, sweat and the sea, had to hold what they had won, while the
others went down to the beach to make piers, quarry roads, dig shelters,
and wade out to carry or drag on shore food, drink, munitions and heavy
guns, and to do this without appliances, by the strength of their arms.
Then when these things had been done almost to the limit of human
endurance, they carried water, food and ammunition to the trenches, not
in carts but on their backs, and then relieved their fellows in the
trenches and withstood the Turk attacks and replied to the Turks' fire
for hours on end. At Anzac the A.N.Z. Army Corps had "96 hours'
continuous fighting in the trenches with little or no sleep" and "at no
time during the 96 hours did the Turks' firing cease, although it varied
in volume; at times the fusillade was simply deafening." Men worked like
this, to the limit of physical endurance, under every possible exposure
to wet, heat, cold, death, hunger, thirst and want of rest, become
exhausted, and their nerves shattered, not from fear, which was a thing
those men did not understand, but because the machine breaks. On the top
of the misery, exhaustion and nerve-ceasing peril, is "the dreadful
anxiety of not knowing how the battle is progressing," and the still
worse anxiety of vigilance. To the strain of keeping awake, when
dead-beat, is added the strain of watching men, peering for spies,
stalking for snipers and listening for bombing-parties. Under all these
strains the minds of strong men give way. They are the intensest strains
ever put upon intelligences. Men subjected to them for many hours at a
time cannot at once "press on," however brave their hearts may be. Those
who are unjust enough to think that they can, or could, should work for
a summer's day, without food or drink, at digging, then work for a night
in the rain carrying heavy boxes, then dig for some hours longer, and at
the end ask me to fire a machine gun at them while they "press on,"
across barbed wire, in what they presume to be the proper manner.

Our men could not "press on" at once. They had not enough unwounded men
to do more than hold the hordes of fresh Turks continually brought up
against them. They had no guns ashore to prepare an advance, nor enough
rifle ammunition to stand a siege. They had the rations in their packs
and the water in their bottles, and no other supplies but the seven
days' food, water and rifle ammunition put into each boat at the
landing. To get men, stores, water and guns ashore, under fire, on
beaches without wharves, cranes or derricks of any kind, takes time, and
until men and goods were landed no advance was possible. Until then, our
task was not to press on, but to hang on, like grim death. It was for
the enemy to press on, to beat our tired troops before their supports
could be landed, and this the Turks very well understood, as their
captured orders show, and as their behaviour showed only too clearly.
During the days which followed the landing, the Turks, far from being at
their last cartridge, and eager to surrender, prevented our pressing on,
by pressing on themselves, in immense force and with a great artillery,
till our men were dying of fatigue in driving back their attacks.

One point more may be discussed, before resuming the story. The legend,
"that the Turks were at their last cartridge and would have surrendered
had we advanced," is very widely spread abroad by German emissaries. It
appears in many forms, in print, in the lecture and in conversation.
Sometimes place and date are given, sometimes the authority, all
confidently, but always differently. It is well to state here the truth
so that the lie may be known. The Turks were never at the end of their
supplies. They were always better and more certainly supplied with
shells and cartridges than we were. If they were ever (as perhaps they
sometimes were) rather short of big gun ammunition, so were we. If they
were sometimes rather short of rifles and rifle ammunition, so were we.
If they were often short of food and all-precious water, so were we, and
more so, and doubly more so. For all our supplies came over hundreds of
miles of stormy water infested by submarines and were landed on open
beaches under shell fire, and their supplies came along the Asiatic
coast and by ferry across the Hellespont, and thence, in comparative
safety, by road to the trenches. The Turkish army was well supplied,
well equipped, more numerous and in better positions than our own. There
was neither talk nor thought among them at any time of surrender, nor
could there have been, in an army so placed and so valiant. There was
some little disaffection among them. They hated their German officers
and the German methods of discipline so much that many prisoners when
taken expressed pleasure at being taken, spat at the name of German, and
said "English good, German bad." Some of this, however, may have been
Levantine tact.

Late on the 26th April, the French corps landed men at V Beach and took
the trenches on the right of the ground won, i.e., towards the Straits.
At noon the next day the whole force advanced inland without much
opposition, for rather more than a mile. At nightfall on the 27th, they
held a line across the Peninsula from the mouth of the Sighir
watercourse (on the Ægean) to Eski Hissarlik (on the Straits). The men
were very weary from the incessant digging of trenches, fighting, and
dragging up of stores from the beach. They dug themselves in under shell
and rifle fire, stood to their arms to repel Turk attacks for most of
the night, and at eight next morning began the battle of the 28th of
April. The French corps was on the right. The 29th Division (with one
battalion of the R.N. Division), on the left. They advanced across rough
moorland and little cultivated patches to attack the Turk town of
Krithia. All the ground over which they advanced gave cover of the best
kind to the defence. All through the morning, at odd times, the creeping
companies going over that broken country came suddenly under the fire of
machine guns, and lost men before they could fling themselves down. In
the heather and torrent-beds of the Scotch-looking moorland the Turk had
only to wait in cover till his targets appeared, climbing a wall or
getting out of a gulley, then he could turn on his machine guns, at six
hundred shots a minute each, and hold up the advance. From time to time
the Turks attacked in great numbers. Early in the afternoon our advance
reached its furthest point, about three quarters of a mile from Krithia.
Our artillery, short of ammunition at the best of times, and in these
early days short of guns, too, did what it could, though it had only
shrapnel, which is of small service against an entrenched enemy. Those
who were there have said that nothing depressed them more than the
occasional shells from our guns in answer to the continual fire from the
Turk artillery. They felt themselves out-gunned and without support.
Rifle cartridges were running short, for, in spite of desperate efforts,
in that roadless wild land with the beaches jammed with dead, wounded,
stores, the wrecks of boats, and parties trying to build piers under
shell-fire, it was not possible to land or to send up cartridges in the
quantity needed. There were not yet enough mules ashore to take the
cartridge-boxes and men could not be spared; there were too few men to
hold the line. Gradually our men fell back a little from the ground they
had won. The Turks brought up more men, charged us, and drove us back a
little more, and were then themselves held. Our men dug themselves in as
best they could and passed another anxious night, in bitter cold and
driving rain, staving off a Turk attack, which was pressed with resolute
courage against our centre and the French corps to the right of it.
There were very heavy losses on both sides, but the Turks were killed in
companies at every point of attack and failed to drive us further.

The next two days were passed in comparative quiet, in strengthening the
lines, landing men, guns and stores and preparing for the next advance.
This war has shown what an immense reserve of shell is needed to prepare
a modern advance. Our men never had that immense reserve, nor, indeed a
large reserve, and in those early days they had no reserve at all, but a
day to day allowance, and before a reserve was formed the Turks came
down upon us with every man and gun they had, in the desperate night
attack of the 1st of May. This began with shell-fire at ten P.M., and
was followed half-an-hour later by a succession of charges in close
order. The Turk front ranks crept up on hands and knees without firing
(their cartridges had been taken from them) and charged our trenches
with the bayonet. They got into our trenches in the dark, bayoneted the
men in them, broke our line, got through to the second line and were
there mixed up in the night in a welter of killing and firing beyond
description. The moon had not risen when the attack came home. The
fighting took place in the dark: men fired and stabbed in all
directions, at flashes, at shouts, by the burning of the flares, by the
coloured lights of the Turk officers, and by the gleams of the shells on
our right. There were 9,000 Turks in the first line, 12,000 more behind
them. They advanced yelling for God and Enver Pasha, amid the roar of
every gun and rifle in range. They broke through the French, were held,
then driven back, then came again, bore everything before them, and then
met the British supports and went no further. Our supports charged the
Turks and beat them back; at dawn our entire line advanced and beat them
back in a rout, till their machine guns stopped us.

Upon many of the dead Turks in front of the French and English trenches
were copies of an address issued by a German officer, one Von
Zowenstern, calling on the Turks to destroy the enemy, since their only
hope of salvation was to win the battle or die in the attempt. On some
bodies were other orders, for the Mahometan priests to encourage the men
to advance, for officers to shoot those soldiers who hung back, and for
prisoners to be left with the reserves, not taken to the rear. In this
early part of the campaign there were many German officers in the
Turkish army. In these early night attacks they endeavoured to confuse
our men by shouting orders to them in English. One, on the day of the
landing, walked up to one of the trenches of the 29th Division and cried
out, "Surrender, you English, we ten to one." "He was thereupon hit on
the head with a spade by a man who was improving his trench with it."

This battle never ceased for five days. The artillery was never silent.
Our men were shelled, sniped and shrapnelled every day and all day long,
and at night the Turks attacked with the bayonet. By the evening of the
5th May the 29th Division, which had won the end of the Peninsula, had
been reduced by one-half and its officers by two-thirds. The proportion
of officers to men in a British battalion is as one to thirty-seven, but
in the list of killed the proportion was as one to eleven. The officers
of that wonderful company poured out their lives like water; they
brought their weary men forward hour after hour in all that sleepless
ten days, and at the end led them on once more in the great attack of
the 6th-8th of May.

This attack was designed to push the Allied lines further forward into
the Peninsula, so as to win a little more ground, and ease the growing
congestion on the beaches near Cape Helles. The main Turkish position
lay on and about the hump of Achi Baba, and on the high ground
stretching down from it. It was hoped that even if Achi Baba could not
be carried, the ground below him, including the village of Krithia,
might be taken. The movement was to be a general advance, with the
French on the right attacking the high ground nearer to the Straits, the
29th Division on the left, between the French and the sea, attacking the
slowly sloping ground which leads past Krithia up to Achi Baba. Krithia
stands high upon the slope, among orchards and gardens, and makes a good
artillery target, but the slope on which it stands, being much broken,
covered with dense scrub (some of it thorny) and with clumps of trees,
is excellent for defence. The Turks had protected that square mile of
ground with many machine guns and trenches so skilfully concealed that
they could not be seen either from close in front or from aeroplanes.
The French line of attack was over ground equally difficult, but
steeper, and therefore giving more "dead ground," or patches upon which
no direct fire can be turned by the defence. The line of battle from the
French right to the English left stretched right across the Peninsula
with a front (owing to bends and salients) of about five miles. It was
nearly everywhere commanded by the guns of Achi Baba, and in certain
places the enemy batteries on the Turk left, near the Straits, could
enfilade it. Our men were weary but the Turks were expecting strong
reinforcements; the attack could not be delayed.

 [Illustration: Exercising mules. A photograph taken late in the
 evening. A shell is seen bursting in the background. The highest point
 on the horizon is Achi Baba.]

Few people who have not seen modern war can understand what it is like.
They look at a map, which is a small flat surface, and find it difficult
to believe that a body of men could have had difficulty in passing from
one point upon it to another. They think that they themselves would have
found no difficulty, that they would not have been weary nor thirsty,
the distance demanded of them being only a mile, possibly a mile and a
quarter, and the reward a very great one. They think that troops who
failed to pass across that mile must have been in some way wanting, and
that had they been there, either in command or in the attack, the
results would have been different.

One can only answer, that in modern war it is not easy to carry a
well-defended site by direct attack. In modern war, you may not know,
till fire breaks out upon you, where the defence, which you have to
attack, is hidden. You may not know (in darkness, in a strange land)
more than vaguely which is your "front," and you may pass by your enemy,
or over him, or under him without seeing him. You may not see your enemy
at all. You may fight for days and never see an enemy. In modern war
troops see no enemy till he attacks them; then, in most cases if they
are well entrenched with many guns behind them, they can destroy him.

The Allied officers, looking through their field glasses at the ground
to be attacked, could see only rough, sloping ground, much gullied, much
overgrown, with a few clumps of trees, a few walls, orchards and houses,
but no guns, no trenches, no enemy. Aeroplanes scouting over the Turks
could see men but not the trenches nor the guns, they could only report
that they suspected them to be in such a place. Sometimes in the
mornings men would notice that the earth was turned newly on some bare
patch on the hill, but none could be sure that this digging was not a
ruse to draw fire. The trenches were hidden cunningly, often with a
head-cover of planks so strewn with earth and planted with scrub as to
be indistinguishable from the ground about. The big guns were coloured
cunningly, like a bird or snake upon the ground. From above in an
aeroplane an observer could not pick them out so as to be certain, if
they were not in action at the time. Brave men scouting forward at night
to reconnoitre brought back some information, but not more than enough
to show that the Turks were there in force. No man in the Allied Army
expected less than a desperate battle; no officer in the world could
have made it anything but that, with all the odds against us. Nothing
could be done but cover the Turk position with the fire of every gun on
shore or in the ships and then send the men forward, to creep or dash as
far as they could, and then dig themselves in.

Let the reader imagine himself to be facing three miles of any very
rough broken sloping ground known to him, ground for the most part
gorse-thyme-and-scrub-covered, being poor soil, but in some places
beautiful with flowers (especially "a spiked yellow flower with a
whitish leaf") and on others green from cultivation. Let him say to
himself that he and an army of his friends are about to advance up the
slope towards the top, and that as they will be advancing in a line,
along the whole length of the three miles, he will only see the advance
of those comparatively near to him, since folds or dips in the ground
will hide the others. Let him, before he advances, look earnestly along
the line of the hill, as it shows up clear, in blazing sunlight only a
mile from him, to see his tactical objective, one little clump of pines,
three hundred yards away, across what seem to be fields. Let him see in
the whole length of the hill no single human being, nothing but scrub,
earth, a few scattered buildings, of the Levantine type (dirty white
with roofs of dirty red) and some patches of dark Scotch pine, growing
as the pine loves, on bleak crests. Let him imagine himself to be more
weary than he has ever been in his life before, and dirtier than he has
ever believed it possible to be, and parched with thirst, nervous,
wild-eyed and rather lousy. Let him think that he has not slept for more
than a few minutes together for eleven days and nights, and that in all
his waking hours he has been fighting for his life, often hand to hand
in the dark with a fierce enemy, and that after each fight he has had to
dig himself a hole in the ground, often with his hands, and then walk
three or four roadless miles to bring up heavy boxes under fire. Let him
think, too, that in all those eleven days he has never for an instant
been out of the thunder of cannon, that waking or sleeping their
devastating crash has been blasting the air across within a mile or two,
and this from an artillery so terrible that each discharge beats as it
were a wedge of shock between the skull-bone and the brain. Let him
think too that never, for an instant, in all that time, has he been free
or even partly free from the peril of death in its most sudden and
savage forms, and that hourly in all that time he has seen his friends
blown to pieces at his side, or dismembered, or drowned, or driven mad,
or stabbed, or sniped by some unseen stalker, or bombed in the dark sap
with a handful of dynamite in a beef-tin, till their blood is caked upon
his clothes and thick upon his face, and that he knows, as he stares at
the hill, that in a few moments, more of that dwindling band, already
too few, God knows how many too few, for the task to be done, will be
gone the same way, and that he himself may reckon that he has done with
life, tasted and spoken and loved his last, and that in a few minutes
more may be blasted dead, or lying bleeding in the scrub, with perhaps
his face gone and a leg and an arm broken, unable to move but still
alive, unable to drive away the flies or screen the ever-dropping rain,
in a place where none will find him, or be able to help him, a place
where he will die and rot and shrivel, till nothing is left of him but a
few rags and a few remnants and a little identification-disc flapping on
his bones in the wind. Then let him hear the intermittent crash and
rattle of the fire augment suddenly and awfully in a roaring, blasting
roll, unspeakable and unthinkable, while the air above, that has long
been whining and whistling, becomes filled with the scream of shells
passing like great cats of death in the air; let him see the slope of
the hill vanish in a few moments into the white, yellow and black smokes
of great explosions shot with fire, and watch the lines of white puffs
marking the hill in streaks where the shrapnel searches a suspected
trench; and then, in the height of the tumult, when his brain is shaking
in his head, let him pull himself together with his friends, and clamber
up out of the trench, to go forward against an invisible enemy, safe in
some unseen trench expecting him.

The Twenty-ninth Division went forward under these conditions on the 6th
of May. They dashed on, or crawled, for a few yards at a time, then
dropped for a few instants before squirming on again. In such an advance
men do not see the battlefield. They see the world as the rabbit sees
it, crouching on the ground, just their own little patch. On broken
ground like that, full of dips and rises, men may be able to see nothing
but perhaps the ridge of a bank ten feet ahead, with the dust flying in
spouts all along it, as bullets hit it, some thousand a minute, and
looking back or to their flanks they may see no one but perhaps a few
men of their own platoon lying tense but expectant, ready for the sign
to advance while the bullets pipe over them in a never-ending birdlike
croon. They may be shut off by some all-important foot of ground from
seeing how they are fronting, from all knowledge of what the next
platoon is doing or suffering. It may be quite certain death to peep
over that foot of ground in order to find out, and while they wait for a
few instants shells may burst in their midst and destroy a half of them.
Then the rest, nerving themselves, rush up the ridge, and fall in a line
dead under machine-gun fire. The supports come up, creeping over their
corpses, get past the ridge, into scrub which some shell has set on
fire. Men fall wounded in the fire, and the cartridges in their
bandoliers explode and slowly kill them. The survivors crawl through the
scrub, half-choked, and come out on a field full of flowers tangled
three feet high with strong barbed wire. They wait for a while, to try
to make out where the enemy is. They may see nothing but the slope of
the field running up to a sky line, and a flash of distant sea on a
flank, but no sign of any enemy, only the crash of guns and the pipe and
croon and spurt of bullets. Gathering themselves together their brave
men dash out to cut the wire and are killed; others take their places
and are killed; others step out with too great a pride even to stoop,
and pull up the supports of the wires and fling them down, and fall dead
on top of them, having perhaps cleared a couple of yards. Then a couple
of machine guns open on the survivors and kill them all in thirty
seconds, with the concentrated fire of a battalion.

The supports come up, and hear about the wire from some wounded man who
has crawled back through the scrub. They send back word, "Held up by
wire," and in time the message comes to the telephone which has just
been blown to pieces by a shell. Presently when the telephone is
repaired, the message reaches the gunners, who fire high explosive
shells on to the wire, and on to the slopes where the machine guns may
be hidden. Then the supports go on over the flowers and are met midway
by a concentrated fire of shells, shrapnel, machine guns and rifles.
Those who are not killed lie down among the flowers and begin to scrape
little heaps of earth with their hands to give protection to their
heads. In the light sandy marl this does not take long, though many are
blown to pieces or hit in the back as they scrape. As before, they
cannot see how the rest of the attack is faring, nor even where the
other platoons of the battalion are; they lie scraping in the roots of
daffodils and lilies, while bullets sing and shriek a foot or two over
their heads. A man peering from his place in the flowers may make out
that the man next to him, some three yards away, is dead, and that the
man beyond is praying, the man beyond him cursing, and the man beyond
him out of his mind from nerves or thirst.

Long hours pass, but the air above them never ceases to cry like a live
thing with bullets flying. Men are killed or maimed, and the wounded cry
for water. Men get up to give them water and are killed. Shells fall at
regular intervals along the field. The waiting men count the seconds
between the shells to check the precision of the battery's fire. Some of
the bursts fling the blossoms and bulbs of flowers into the bodies of
men, where they are found long afterwards by the X-rays. Bursts and
roars of fire on either flank tell of some intense moment in other parts
of the line. Every feeling of terror and mental anguish and anxiety goes
through the mind of each man there, and is put down by resolve.

The supports come up, they rise with a cheer, and get out of the
accursed flowers, into a gulley where some men of their regiment are
already lying dead. There is a little wood to their front; they make for
that, and suddenly come upon a deep and narrow Turk trench full of men.
This is their first sight of the enemy. They leap down into the trench
and fight hand to hand, kill and are killed, in the long grave already
dug. They take the trench, but opening from the trench are saps, which
the Turks still hold. Men are shot dead at these saps by Turk
sharpshooters cunningly screened within them. Bullets fall in particular
places in the trench from snipers hidden in the trees of the wood. The
men send back for bombs, others try to find out where the rest of the
battalion lies, or send word that from the noise of the fire there must
be a battery of machine guns beyond the wood, if the guns would shell it.

Presently, before the bombs come, bombs begin to drop among them from
the Turks. Creeping up, the men catch them in their hands before they
explode and fling them back so that they burst among the Turks. Some
have their hands blown off, other their heads, in doing this, but the
bloody game of catch goes on till no Turks are left in the sap, only a
few wounded groaning men who slowly bleed to death there. After long
hours, the supports come up and a storm of high explosives searches the
little wood, and then with a cheer the remnant goes forward out of the
trench into the darkness of the pines. Fire opens on them from snipers
in the trees and from machine guns everywhere; they drop and die, and
the survivors see no enemy, only their friends falling and a place where
no living thing can pass. Men find themselves suddenly alone, with all
their friends dead, and no enemy in sight, but the rush of bullets
filling the air. They go back to the trench, not afraid, but in a kind
of maze, and as they take stock and count their strength there comes the
roar of the Turkish war cry, the drum-like proclamation of the faith,
and the Turks come at them with the bayonet. Then that lonely remnant of
a platoon stands to it with rapid fire, and the machine gun rattles like
a motor bicycle, and some ribald or silly song goes up, and the Turks
fail to get home, but die or waver and retreat and are themselves
charged as they turn. It is evening now; the day has passed in long
hours of deep experience, and the men have made two hundred yards. They
send back for supports and orders, link up, if they are lucky, with some
other part of their battalion, whose adventures, fifty yards away, have
been as intense, but wholly different, and prepare the Turk trench for
the night. Presently word reaches them from some faraway H.Q. (some
dug-out five hundred yards back, in what seems, by comparison, like
peaceful England) that there are no supports, and that the orders are to
hold the line at all costs and prepare for a fresh advance on the
morrow. Darkness falls, and ammunition and water come up, and the
stretcher-bearers hunt for the wounded by the groans, while the Turks
search the entire field with shell to kill the supports which are not
there. Some of the men in the trench creep out to their front, and are
killed there as they fix a wire entanglement. The survivors make ready
for the Turk attack, certain soon to come. There is no thought of sleep;
it is too cold for sleep; the men shiver as they stare into the night;
they take the coats of the dead, and try to get a little warmth. There
is no moon and the rain begins. The marl at the bottom of the trench is
soon a sticky mud, and the one dry patch is continually being sniped. A
few exhausted ones fall not into sleep but into nervous dreams, full of
twitches and cries, like dogs' nightmares, and away at sea some ship
opens with her great guns at an unseen target up the hill. The terrific
crashes shake the air; some one sees a movement in the grass and fires;
others start up and fire. The whole irregular line starts up and fires,
the machine guns rattle, the officers curse, and the guns behind,
expecting an attack, send shells into the woods. Then slowly the fire
drops and dies, and stray Turks, creeping up, fling bombs into the
trench.


This kind of fighting, between isolated bodies of men advancing in a
great concerted tactical movement stretching right across the Peninsula,
went on throughout the 6th, the 7th and the 8th of May, and ended on the
evening of the 8th in a terrific onslaught of the whole line, covered by
a great artillery. The final stage of the battle was a sight of stirring
and awful beauty. The Allied line went forward steadily behind the
moving barrier of the explosions of their shells. Every gun on both
sides opened and maintained a fire dreadful to hear and see. Our men
were fighting for a little patch of ground vital not so much to the
success of the undertaking, the clearing of the Narrows, as to their
existence on the Peninsula. In such a battle, each platoon, each
section, each private soldier influences the result, and "pays as
current coin in that red purchase" as the brigadier. The working parties
on the beaches left their work (it is said) to watch and cheer that last
advance. It was a day of the unmatchable clear Ægean spring; Samothrace
and Euboea were stretched out in the sunset like giants watching the
chess, waiting, it seemed, almost like human things, as they had waited
for the fall of Troy and the bale-fires of Agamemnon. Those watchers saw
the dotted order of our advance stretching across the Peninsula, moving
slowly forward, and halting and withering away, among fields of flowers
of spring and the young corn that would never come to harvest. They saw
the hump of Achi Baba flicker and burn and roll up to heaven in a swathe
of blackness, and multitudinous brightness changing the face of the
earth, and the dots of our line still coming, still moving forward, and
halting and withering away, but still moving up among the flashes and
the darkness, more men, and yet more men, from the fields of sacred
France, from the darkness of Senegal, from sheep-runs at the ends of the
earth, from blue-gum-forests, and sunny islands, places of horses and
good fellows, from Irish pastures and glens, and from many a Scotch and
English city and village and quiet farm; they went on and they went on,
up ridges blazing with explosion into the darkness of death. Sometimes,
as the light failed, and peak after peak that had been burning against
the sky, grew rigid as the colour faded, the darkness of the great
blasts hid sections of the line, but when the darkness cleared they were
still there, line after line of dots, still more, still moving forward
and halting and withering away, and others coming, and halting and
withering away, and others following, as though those lines were not
flesh and blood and breaking nerve but some tide of the sea coming in
waves that fell yet advanced, that broke a little further, and gained
some yard in breaking, and were then followed, and slowly grew, that
halted and seemed to wither, and then gathered and went on, till night
covered those moving dots, and the great slope was nothing but a
blackness spangled with the flashes of awful fire.

What can be said of that advance? The French were on the right, the
Twenty-ninth Division on the left, some Australians and New Zealanders
(brought down from Anzac) in support. It was their thirteenth day of
continual battle, and who will ever write the story of even one
half-hour of that thirteenth day? Who will ever know one hundredth part
of the deeds of heroism done in them, by platoons and sections and
private soldiers, who offered their lives without a thought to help some
other part of the line, who went out to cut wire, or brought up water
and ammunition, or cheered on some bleeding remnant of a regiment,
halting on that hill of death, and kept their faces to the shrapnel and
the never-ceasing pelt of bullets, as long as they had strength to go
and light to see? They brought the line forward from a quarter of a mile
to six hundred yards further into the Peninsula; they dug in after dark
on the line they had won, and for the next thirty-six hours they stood
to arms to beat back the charges of the Turks who felt themselves
threatened at the heart.

Our army had won their hold upon the Peninsula. On the body of a dead
Turk officer was a letter written the night before to his wife, a tender
letter, filled mostly with personal matters. In it was the phrase,
"These British are the finest fighters in the world. We have chosen the
wrong friends."



IV

So great is the heat that the dust rises.

 _The Song of Roland._


During the next three weeks, the Allied troops made small advances in
parts of the lines held by them at Anzac and Cape Helles. Fighting was
continuous in both zones, there was always much (and sometimes intense)
artillery fire. The Turks frequently attacked in force, sometimes in
very great force, but were repulsed. Our efforts were usually
concentrated on some redoubt, stronghold, or salient, in the nearer
Turkish lines, the fire from which galled our trenches, or threatened
any possible advance. These posts were either heavily bombarded and then
rushed under the cover of a _feu de barrage_, or carried by surprise
attack. Great skill and much dashing courage were shown in these
assaults. The emplacements of machine guns were seized and the guns
destroyed, dangerous trenches or parts of trenches were carried and
filled in, and many roosts or hiding places of snipers were made
untenable. These operations were on a small scale, and were designed to
improve the position then held by us, rather than to carry the whole
line further up the Peninsula. Sometimes they failed, but by far the
greater number succeeded, so that by these methods, eked out by ruses,
mines, clever invention and the most dare-devil bravery, parts of our
lines were advanced by more than a hundred yards.

 [Illustration: Anzac from the Sea]

On the 4th of June, a second great attack was made by the Allied troops
near Cape Helles. Like the attack of the 6th-8th May, it was an advance
of the whole line, from the Straits to the sea, against the enemy's
front line trenches. As before, the French were on the right and the
29th Division on the left, but between them, in this advance, were the
R.N. Division and the newly arrived 42nd Division. Our men advanced
after a prolonged and terrible bombardment, which so broke down the Turk
defence that the works were carried all along the line, except in one
place, on the left of the French sector and in one other place, on our
own left, near the sea. Our advance, as before, varied in depth from a
quarter of a mile to six hundred yards; all of it carried by a rush, in
a short time, owing to the violence of the artillery preparation, though
with heavy losses from shrapnel and machine-gun fire. In this attack,
the 42nd or East Lancashire Division received its baptism of fire. Even
those who had seen the men of the 29th Division in the battles for the
landing admitted that "nothing could have been finer" than the extreme
gallantry of these newly landed men. The Manchester Brigade and two
companies of the 5th Lancashire Fusiliers advanced with the most
glorious and dashing courage, routed the Turks, carried both their lines
of trenches; and one battalion, the 6th, very nearly carried the village
of Krithia; there was, in fact, no entrenched line between them and the
top of Achi Baba.

But in this campaign we were to taste, and be upon the brink of victory
in every battle, yet have the prize dashed from us, by some failure
elsewhere, each time. So, in this first rush, when, for the first time,
our men felt that they, not the Turks, were the real attackers, the
victory was not to remain with us. We had no high explosive shell and
not enough shrapnel shell to deny to the Turks the use of their superior
numbers and to hold them in a beaten state. They rallied and made strong
counter attacks especially upon a redoubt or earthwork-fortress called
the "Haricot," on the left of the French sector, which the French had
stormed an hour before and garrisoned with Senegalese troops. The Turks
heavily shelled this work and then rushed it; the Senegalese could not
hold it; the French could not support it; and the Turks won it.
Unfortunately, the Haricot enfiladed the lines we had won. In a little
while the Turks developed from it a deadly enfilade fire upon the R.N.
Division which had won the Turk trenches to the west of it. The R.N.
Division was forced to fall back and in doing so uncovered the right of
the Brigade of Manchesters beyond it to the westward. The Manchesters
were forced to give ground, the French were unable to make a new attack
upon the Haricot, so that by nightfall our position was less good than
it had been at half-past twelve.

But for the fall of the Haricot the day would have been a notable
victory for ourselves. Still, over three miles of the Allied front, our
lines had been pushed forward from 200 to 400 yards. This, in modern war
is a big advance, but it brings upon the conquerors a very severe labor
of digging. The trenches won from the defence have to be converted to the
uses of the attack and linked up, by saps and communication-trenches,
with the works from which the attack advanced. All this labour had to be
done by our men in the midst of bitter fighting, for the Turks fought
hard to win back these trenches in many bloody counter attacks, and (as
always happened, after each advance) outlying works and trenches, from
which fire could be brought to bear upon the newly won ground, had to be
carried, filled in, or blown up before the new line was secure.

A little after dawn on the 21st June the French stormed and won the
Haricot redoubt, and advanced the right of the Allied position by 600
yards; the Turkish counter attacks were bloodily defeated.

In the forenoon of the 28th June, the English divisions advanced the
left of the Allied position by a full 1,000 yards. This attack, which
was one of the most successful of the campaign, was the first of which
it could be said that it was a victory. Of course our presence upon the
Peninsula was in itself a victory, but in this battle we were not trying
to land nor to secure ourselves, but (for the first time) to force a
decision. Three of our divisions challenged the greater part of the Turk
army and beat it. And here, for the first time in the operations, we
felt, what all our soldiers had expected, that want of fresh men in
reserve to make a success decisive, which afterwards lost us the
campaign.

Our enemies have often said, that the English cannot plan nor execute an
attack. In this battle of June 28th, the attack was a perfect piece of
planning and execution. Everything was exactly timed, everything worked
smoothly. Ten thousand soldiers, not one of whom had had more than six
months' training, advanced uphill after an artillery preparation and won
two lines of elaborately fortified trenches, by the bayonet alone. Then,
while these men consolidated and made good the ground which they had
won, the artillery lengthened their fuses and bombarded the ground
beyond them. When the artillery ceased, ten thousand fresh soldiers
climbed out of the English lines, ran forward, leaped across the two
lines of Turk trench already taken and took three more lines of trench,
each line a fortress in itself. Besides advancing our position a
thousand yards, this attack forced back the right of the Turks from the
sea, and won a strong position between the sea and Krithia, almost
turning Achi Baba. But much more than this was achieved. The great
triumph of the day was the certainty then acquired that the Turks were
beaten, that they were no longer the fierce and ardent fighters who had
rushed V beach in the dark, but a shaken company who had caught the
habit of defeat and might break at any moment. They were beaten; we had
beaten them at every point and they knew that they were beaten. Every
man in the French and British lines knew that the Turks were at the
breaking point. We had only to strike while the iron was hot to end them.

As happened afterwards, after the battle of August, we could not strike
while the iron was hot; we had not the men nor the munitions. Had the
fifty thousand men who came there in July and August but been there in
June, our men could have kept on striking. But they were not there in
June, and our victory of the 28th could not be followed up. More than a
month passed before it could be followed up. During that month the Turks
dug themselves new fortresses, brought up new guns, made new stores of
ammunition, and remade their army. Their beaten troops were withdrawn
and replaced by the very pick and flower of the Turkish Empire. When we
attacked again, we found a very different enemy; the iron was cold, we
had to begin again from the beginning.

Thirty-six hours after our June success, at midnight in the night of
June 29-30th, the Turks made a counter attack, not at Cape Helles, where
their men were shaken, but at Anzac, where perhaps they felt our menace
more acutely. A large army of Turks, about 30,000 strong, ordered by
Enver Pasha "to drive the foreigners into the sea or never to look upon
his face again," attacked the Anzac position under cover of the fire of
a great artillery. They were utterly defeated with the loss of about a
quarter of their strength, some 7-8,000 killed and wounded.

All this fighting proved clearly that the Turks, with all their power of
fresh men, their closeness to their reserves, and their superior
positions, could not beat us from what we had secured, nor keep us from
securing more. Our advance into the Peninsula, though slow and paid for
with much life, was sure and becoming less slow. What we had won we had
fought hard for and never ceased to fight hard for, but we had won it
and could hold it, and with increasing speed add to it, and the Turks
knew this as well as we did. But early in May something happened which
had a profound result upon the course of the operations. It is necessary
to write of it at length, if only to show the reader that this
Dardanelles Campaign was not a war in itself, but a part of a war
involving most of Europe and half of Asia, and that, that being so, it
was affected by events in other parts of the war, as deeply as it
affected those parts in turn by its own events.

No one, of the many who spoke to me about the campaign, knew or
understood that the campaign, as planned, was not to be, solely, a
French and English venture, but (in its later stages) a double attack
upon the Turkish power, by ourselves, on the Peninsula and the
Hellespont, and by the Russians, on the shores of the Black Sea. The
double attack, threatening Turkey at the heart, was designed to force
the Turks to divide their strength, and, by causing uneasiness among the
citizens, to keep in and about Constantinople a large army which might
otherwise wreck our Mesopotamian expedition, threaten India and Egypt
and prevent the Grand Duke Nicholas from advancing from the Caucasus on
Erzerum. But as the Polish campaign developed adversely to Russia, it
became clear that it would be impossible for her to give the assistance
she had hoped.

Early in May, Sir Ian Hamilton learned, that his advance, instead of
being a part of a concerted scheme, was to be the only attack upon the
Turks in that quarter, and that he would have to withstand the greater
part of the Turkish army. This did not mean that the Turks could mass an
overwhelming strength against any part of his positions, since in the
narrow Peninsula there is not room for great numbers to manoeuvre; but
it meant that the Turks would have always within easy distance great
reserves of fresh men to take the place of those exhausted, and that
without a correspondingly great reserve we had little chance of decisive
success.

This change in the strategical scheme was made after we were committed
to the venture: it made a profound difference to our position.
Unfortunately we were so deeply engaged in other theatres that it was
impossible to change our plans as swiftly and as profoundly as our
chances. The great reserve could not be sent when it became necessary,
early in May, nor for more than two months. Until it came, it happened,
time after time, that even when we fought and beat back the Turks they
could be reinforced before we could. All through the campaign we fought
them and beat them back, but always, on the day after the battle, they
had a division of fresh men to put in to the defence, while we, who had
suffered more, being the attackers, had but a handful with which to
follow up the success.

People have said, "But you could have kept fresh divisions in reserve as
easily as the Turks. Why did you not send more men, so as to have them
ready to follow up a success?" I could never answer this question. It is
the vital question. The cry for "fifty thousand more men and plenty of
high explosive" went up daily from every trench in Gallipoli, and we
lost the campaign through not sending them in time. On the spot of
course our generals knew that war (like life) consists of a struggle
with disadvantages, and their struggle with these was a memorable one.
Only, when all was done, their situation remained that of the Frank
rearguard in the Song of Roland. In that poem the Franks could and did
beat the Saracens, but the Saracens brought up another army before the
Franks were reinforced. The Franks could and did beat that army, too,
but the Saracens brought up another army before the Franks were
reinforced. The Franks could and did beat that army, too, but then they
were spent and Roland had to sound his horn and Charlemagne would not
come to the summons of the horn, and the heroes were abandoned in the
dolorous pass.


Summer came upon Gallipoli with a blinding heat only comparable to New
York in July. The flowers which had been so gay with beauty in the
Helles fields in April soon wilted to stalks. The great slope of Cape
Helles took on a savage and African look of desolation. The air quivered
over the cracking land. In the blueness of the heat haze the graceful
terrible hills looked even more gentle and beautiful than before; and
one who was there said that "there were little birds that droned, rather
like the English yellow-hammers." With the heat, which was a new
experience to all the young English soldiers there, came a plague of
flies beyond all record and belief. Men ate and drank flies, the filthy
insects were everywhere. The ground in places was so dark with them,
that one could not be sure whether the patches were ground or flies. Our
camps and trenches were kept clean; they were well scavenged daily; but
only a few yards away were the Turk trenches, which were invariably
filthy: there the flies bred undisturbed, perhaps encouraged. There is a
fine modern poem which speaks of the Indian sun in summer as "the
blazing death-star." Men in Gallipoli in the summer of 1915 learned to
curse the sun as an enemy more cruel than the Turk. With the sun and the
plague of flies came the torment of thirst, one of the greatest torments
which life has the power to inflict.

At Cape Helles, in the summer, there was a shortage but no great
scarcity of water, for the Turk wells supplied more than half the army
and less than half the water needed had to be brought from abroad. At
Anzac however there was always a scarcity, for even in the spring not
more than a third of the water needed could be drawn from wells. At
first, water could be found by digging shallow pans in the beach, but
this method failed when the heats began. Two-thirds (or more) of the
water needed at Anzac had always to be brought from abroad, and to bring
this two-thirds regularly and to land it and store it under shell fire
was a difficult task. "When operations were on," as in the August
battle, the difficulty of distribution was added to the other
difficulties, and then indeed want of water brought our troops to
death's door. At Anzac "when operations were on" even in the intensest
heat the average ration of water for all purposes was, perhaps, at most,
a pint and a half, sometimes only a pint. And though this extremity was
as a rule only reached "when operations were on," when there was heavy
fighting, it was then that the need was greatest.

In peace, in comfortable homes, in cool weather, civilised people need
or consume a little less than three pints of liquid in each day. In hot
weather and when doing severe bodily labour they need more; perhaps half
a gallon in the day. Thirst, which most of us know solely as a pleasant
zest to drinking, soon becomes a hardship, then, in an hour, an
obsession, and by high noon a madness, to those who toil in the sun with
nothing to drink. Possibly to most of the many thousands who were in the
Peninsula last summer, the real enemies were not the Turks, but the sun
in Heaven, shaking "the pestilence of his light," and thirst that
withered the heart and cracked the tongue.

Some have said to me, "Yes, but the Turks must have suffered, too, just
as much, in that waterless ground." It is not so. The Turks at Cape
Helles held the wells at Krithia; inland from Anzac they held the wells
near Lonesome Pine and Koja Dere. They had other wells at Maidos, and
Gallipoli. They had always more water than we, and (what is more) the
certainty of it. Most of them came from lands with little water and
great heat, ten (or more) degrees further to the south than any part of
England. Heat and thirst were old enemies to them, they were tempered to
them. Our men had to serve an apprenticeship to them, and pay for what
they learned in bodily hardship. Not that our men minded hardship; they
did not; they were volunteers who had chosen their fate and were there
of their own choice, and no army in the world has ever faced suffering
more cheerily. But this hardship of thirst was a weight upon them,
throughout the summer; like malaria it did not kill, but it lowered all
vitality. It halved the possible effort of men always too few for the
work in hand. Let it now double the honour paid to them.


In the sandy soil of the Peninsula were many minute amoebæ, which played
their part in the summer suffering. In the winds of the great droughts
of July and August the dust blew about our positions like smoke from
burning hills. It fell into food and water and was eaten and drunk (like
the flies) at each meal. Within the human body the amoebæ of the sand
set up symptoms like those of dysentery, as a rule slightly less severe
than the true dysentery of camps. After July, nearly every man in our
army in Gallipoli, suffered from this evil. Like the thirst, it lowered
more vitality than it destroyed; many died, it is true, but then nearly
all were ill: it was the universal sickness not the occasional death
that mattered.

Pass now to the position of affairs at the end of June. We were left to
our own strength in this struggle, the Turks were shaken: it was vital
to our chances to attack again before they recovered. We had not the men
to attack again, but they were coming and were due in a few weeks' time.
While they were on their way, the question, how to use them, was
considered.

As the army's task was to help the fleet through the Narrows it had to
operate in the southwestern portion of the Peninsula. Further progress
against Achi Baba in the Helles sector was hardly possible; for the
Turks had added too greatly to their trenches there since the attacks of
April and May. Operations on the Asian coast were hardly possible
without a second army; operations against Bulair were not likely to help
the fleet. Operations in the Anzac sector offered better chances of
success. It was hoped that a thrust southeastward from Anzac might bring
our men across to the Narrows or to the top of the ridges which command
the road to Constantinople. It was reasonable to think that such a
thrust, backed up by a new landing in force to the north, in Suvla Bay,
might turn the Turkish right and destroy it. If the men at Helles
attacked, to contain the Turks in the south, and the men on the right of
Anzac attacked, to hold the Turks at Anzac, it was possible that men on
the left of Anzac, backed up by a new force marching from Suvla, might
give a decisive blow. The Turk position on the Peninsula roughly formed
a letter L. The plan (as it shaped) was to attack the horizontal line at
Cape Helles, press the centre of the vertical line at Anzac, and bend
back, crumple and break the top of the vertical line between the Anzac
position and Suvla. At the same time, Suvla Bay was to be seized and
prepared as a harbour at which supplies might be landed, even in the
stormy season.

 [Illustration: View of Anzac, looking towards Suvla]

Some soldier has said, that "the simple thing is the difficult thing."
The idea seems simple to us, because the difficulty has been cleared
away for us by another person's hard thought. Such a scheme of battle,
difficult to think out in the strain of holding on and under the
temptation to go slowly, improving what was held, was also difficult to
execute. Very few of the great battles of history, not even those in
Russia, in Manchuria, and in the Virginian Wilderness have been fought
on such difficult ground, under such difficult conditions.

The chosen battlefield (the southwestern end of the Peninsula) has
already been described; the greater part of it consists of the Cape
Helles and Anzac positions, but the vital or decisive point, where, if
all went well, the Turk right was to be bent back, broken and routed,
lies to the north of Anzac on the spurs and outlying bastions of Sari
Bair.

Suvla Bay, where the new landing was to take place, lies three miles to
the north of Anzac. It is a broad, rather shallow semicircular bay (open
to the west and southwest) with a partly practicable beach, some of it
(the southern part) fairly flat and sandy, the rest steepish and rocky
though broken by creeks. Above it, one on the north, one on the south
horn of the bay, rise two small low knolls or hillocks known as Ghazi
Baba and Lala Baba, the latter a clearly marked tactical feature. To the
north, beyond the horn of the bay, the coast is high, steep-to sandy
cliff, broken with gullies and washed by deep water, but to the south,
all the way to Anzac the coast is a flat, narrow, almost straight sweep
of sandy shore shutting a salt marsh and a couple of miles of lowland
from the sea; it is a lagoon beach of the common type, with the usual
feature of shallow water in the sea that washes it. The northern half of
this beach is known as Beach C, the southern as Beach B.

 [Illustration: Map No. 3
 _Stanford's Geog'l Estb't London._]

Viewed from the sea, the coast chosen for the new landing seems
comparatively flat and gentle, seemingly, though not really, easy to
land upon, but with no good military position near it. It looks as
though once, long ago, the sea had thrust far inland there, in a big bay
or harbour stretching from the high ground to the north of Suvla to the
left of the Anzac position. This bay, if it ever existed, must have been
four miles long and four miles across, a very noble space of water,
ringed by big, broken, precipitous hills, into which it thrust in
innumerable creeks and combes. Then (possibly) in the course of ages,
silt brought down by the torrents choked the bay, and pushed the sea
further and further back, till nothing remained of the harbour but the
existing Suvla Bay and the salt marsh (dry in summer). The hills ringing
Suvla Bay and this flat or slightly rising expanse which may once have
been a part of it, stand (to the fancy) like a rank that has beaten back
an attack. They are high and proud to the north, they stand in groups in
the centre, but to the south, where they link on to the broken cliffs of
the Anzac position, they are heaped in tumbling precipitous disordered
bulges of hill, cut by every kind of cleft and crumpled into every kind
of fold, as though the dry land had there been put to it to keep out the
sea. These hills are the scene of the bitterest fighting of the battle.

Although these hills in the Suvla district stand in a rank, yet in the
centre of the rank there are two gaps where the ancient harbour of our
fancy thrust creeks far inland. These gaps or creeks open a little to
the south of the north and south limits of Suvla Bay. They are watered,
cultivated valleys with roads or tracks in them. In the northern valley
is a village of some sixty houses called Anafarta Sagir, or Little
Anafarta. In the southern valley is a rather larger village of some
ninety houses called Biyuk Anafarta, or Great Anafarta. The valleys are
called after these villages.

Between these valleys is a big blunt-headed jut or promontory of higher
ground, which thrusts out towards the bay. At the Suvla end of this jut,
about 1,000 yards from the bight of the Salt Marsh, it shoots up in
three peaks or top knots two of them united in the lump called Chocolate
Hill, the other known as Scimitar Hill or Hill 70; all, roughly, 150
feet high. About a mile directly inland from Chocolate Hill is a peak of
about twice the height, called Ismail Oglu Tepe, an abrupt and savage
heap of cliff, dented with chasms, harshly scarped at the top, and
covered with dense thorn scrub. This hill is the southernmost feature in
the northern half of the battlefield. The valley of Great Anafarta,
which runs east and west below it, cuts the battlefield in two.

The southern side of the Great Anafarta valley is just that
disarrangement of precipitous bulged hill which rises and falls in
crags, peaks and gulleys all the way from the valley to Anzac. Few parts
of the earth can be more broken and disjointed than this mass of
precipice, combes and ravines. A savage climate has dealt with it since
the beginning of time, with great heats, frosts and torrents. It is not
so much a ridge or chain of hills as the manifold outlying bastions and
buttresses of Sari Bair, from which they are built out in craggy bulges
parted by ravines. It may be said that Sari Bair begins at Gaba Tepe (to
the south of the Anzac position) and stretches thence northeasterly
towards Great Anafarta in a rolling and confused five miles of hill that
has all the features of a mountain. It is not high. Its peaks range from
about 250 to 600 feet; its chief peak (Koja Chemen Tepe) is a little
more than 900 feet. Nearly all of it is trackless, waterless and
confused, densely covered with scrub (sometimes with forest) littered
with rocks, an untamed savage country. The southwestern half of it made
the Anzac position, the northeastern and higher half was the prize to be
fought for.

It is the watershed of that part of the Peninsula. The gulleys on its
south side drain down to the Hellespont; those upon its north side drain
to the flat land which may once have been submerged as a part of Suvla
Bay. These northern gulleys are great savage irregular gashes or glens
running westerly or northwesterly from the hill bastions. Three of them,
the three nearest to the northern end of the Anzac position, may be
mentioned by name: Sazli Beit Dere, Chailak Dere, and Aghyl Dere. The
word Dere means watercourse; but all three were bone dry in August when
the battle was fought. It must be remembered that in the trackless
Peninsula a watercourse of this kind is the nearest approach to a road,
and (to a military force) the nearest approach to a covered way. All
these three Deres lead up the heart of the hills to those highlands of
Sari Bair where we wished to plant ourselves. From the top of Sari Bair
one can look down on the whole Turkish position facing Anzac, and see
that position not only dominated but turned and taken in reverse. One
can see (only three miles away) the only road to Constantinople, and
(five miles away) the little port of Maidos near the Narrows. To us the
taking of Sari Bair meant the closing of that road to the passing of
Turk reinforcements, and the opening of the Narrows to the fleet. It
meant victory, and the beginning of the end of this great war, with home
and leisure for life again, and all that peace means. Knowing this, our
soldiers made a great struggle for Sari Bair, but Fate turned the lot
against them. Sari was not to be an English hill, though the flowers on
her sides will grow out of English dust forever. Those who lie there
thought, as they fell, that over their bodies our race would pass to
victory. It may be that their spirits linger there at this moment,
waiting for the English bugles and the English singing, and the sound of
the English ships passing up the Hellespont.

Among her tumble of hills, from the Anzac position to Great Anafarta,
Sari Bair thrusts out several knolls, peaks and commanding heights.
Within the Anzac position, is the little plateau of Lone or Lonesome
Pine to be described later. Further to the northeast are the heights
known as Baby 700 and Battleship Hill, and beyond these, still further
to the northeast, the steep peak of Chunuk Bair. All of these before
this battle were held by the Turks, whose trenches defended them. Lone
Pine is about 400 feet high, the others rather more, slowly rising, as
they go northeast, but keeping to about the height of the English
Chilterns. Chunuk Bair, the highest of these, is about 750 feet. Beyond
Chunuk, half-a-mile further to the northeast, is Hill Q, and beyond Hill
Q a very steep deep gulley, above which rises the beautiful peak, the
summit of Sari, known as Koja Chemen Tepe. One or two Irish hills in the
wilder parts of Antrim are like this peak, though less fleeced with
brush. In height, as I have said, it is a little more than 900 feet, or
about the height of our Bredon Hill. One point about it may be noted. It
thrusts out a great spur or claw for rather more than a mile due north;
this spur, which is much gullied, is called Abd-el-Rahman Bair.

For the moment, Chunuk Bair is the most important point to remember,
because--

(a) It was the extreme right of the prepared Turk position.

(b) The three Deres mentioned a couple of pages back have their sources
at its foot and start there, like three roads starting from the walls of
a city on their way to the sea. They lead past the hills known as Table
Top and Rhododendron Spur. Close to their beginnings at the foot of
Chunuk is a building known as The Farm, round which the fighting was
very fierce.

The "idea" or purpose of the battle was "to endeavour to seize a
position across the Gallipoli Peninsular from Gaba Tep to Maidos, with a
protected line of supply from Suvla Bay."

The plan of the attack was, that a strong force in Anzac should
endeavour to throw back the right wing of the Turks, drive them south
towards Kilid Bahr and thus secure a position commanding the narrow part
of the Peninsula.

Meanwhile a large body of troops should secure Suvla, and another large
body, landing at Suvla, should clear away any Turkish forces on the
hills between the Anafarta valleys, and then help the attacking force
from Anzac by storming Sari Bair from the north and west.

The 6th of August was fixed for the first day of the attack from Anzac;
the landing at Suvla was to take place during the dark hours of the
night of the 6th-7th. "The 6th was both the earliest and the latest date
possible for the battle, the earliest, because it was the first by which
the main part of the reinforcements would be ready, the latest, because
of the moon." Both in the preparation and the surprise of this attack
dark nights were essential.

 [Illustration: A "long focus" view taken over the top of our trenches
 at Anzac]

Sir Ian Hamilton's Despatch (reprinted from the London _Gazette_ of
Tuesday, the 4th January, 1916) shows that this battle of the 6th-10th
August was perhaps the strangest and most difficult battle ever planned
by mortal general. It was to be a triple battle, fought by three
separated armies, not in direct communication with each other. There was
no place from which the battle, as a whole, could be controlled, nearer
than the island of Imbros, (fourteen miles from any part of the
Peninsula) to which telegraphic cables led from Anzac and Cape Helles.
The left wing of our army, designed for the landing at Suvla, was not
only not landed, when the battle began, but not concentrated. There was
no adjacent subsidiary base big enough (or nearly big enough) to hold
it. "On the day before the battle, part were at Imbros, part at Mudros,
and part at Mitylene ... separated respectively by 14, 60, and 120 miles
of sea from the arena into which they were simultaneously to appear."
The vital part of the fight was to be fought by troops from Anzac. The
Anzac position was an open book to every Turk aeroplane and every
observer on Sari Bair. The reinforcements for this part of the battle
had to be landed in the dark, some days before the battle, and kept
hidden underground, during daylight, so that the Turks should not see
them and suspect what was being planned.

In all wars, but especially in modern wars, great tactical combinations
have been betrayed by very little things. In war, as in life, the
unusual thing, however little, betrays the unusual thing, however great.
An odd bit of paper round some cigars betrayed the hopes of the American
Secession, some litter in the sea told Nelson where the French fleet
was, one man rising up in the grass by a roadside saved the wealth of
Peru from the hands of Drake. The Turks were always expecting an attack
from Anzac. It is not too much to say that they searched the Anzac
position hourly for the certain signs of an attack, reinforcements and
supplies. They had not even to search the whole position for these
signs, since there was only one place (towards Fisherman's Hut) where
they could be put. If they had suspected that men and stores were being
landed, they would have guessed at once, that a thrust was to be made,
and our attacks upon their flanks would have met with a prepared defence.

 [Illustration: Australians at work at Anzac two days before the
 evacuation took place]

It was vital to our chance of success that nothing unusual, however
little, should be visible in Anzac from the Turk positions during the
days before the battle. One man staring up at an aeroplane would have
been evidence enough to a quick observer that there was a new-comer on
the scene. One new water tank, one new gun, one mule not yet quiet from
the shock of landing, might have betrayed all the adventure. Very nearly
thirty thousand men, one whole Division and one Brigade of English
soldiers, and a Brigade of Gurkhas, with their guns and stores, had to
be landed unobserved and hidden.

There was only one place in which they could be hidden, and that was
under the ground. The Australians had to dig hiding places for them
before they came.

In this war of digging, the daily life in the trenches gives digging
enough to every soldier. Men dig daily even if they do not fight. At
Anzac in July the Australians had a double share of digging, their daily
share in the front lines, and, when that was finished, their nightly
share, preparing cover for the new troops. During the nights of the
latter half of July the Australians at Anzac dug, roofed and covered not
less than twenty miles of dugouts. All of this work was done in their
sleep time, after the normal day's work of fighting, digging and
carrying up stores. Besides digging these hiding places they carried up,
fixed, hid, and filled the water tanks which were to supply the
newcomers.

 [Illustration: A boatload of British troops leaving the S.S. _Nile_ for
 one of the landing beaches]

On the night of the 3rd of August when the landing of the new men began,
the work was doubled. Everybody who could be spared from the front
trenches went to the piers to help to land, carry inland and hide the
guns, stores, carts and animals coming ashore. The nights, though
lengthening, were still summer nights. There were seven hours of
semi-darkness in which to cover up all traces of what came ashore. The
newcomers landed at the rate of about 1,500 an hour, during the nights
of the 3rd, 4th and 5th of August. During those nights, the Australians
landed, carried inland and hid not less than one thousand tons of
shells, cartridges and food, some hundreds of horses and mules, many
guns, and two or three hundred water-carts and ammunition carts. All
night-long, for those three nights, the Australians worked like
schoolboys. Often, towards dawn, it was a race against time, but always
at dawn, the night's tally of new troops were in their billets, the new
stores were under ground and the new horses hidden. When the morning
aeroplanes came over, their observers saw nothing unusual in any part of
Anzac. The half-naked men were going up and down the gullies, the wholly
naked men were bathing in the sea, everything else was as it had always
been, nor were any transports on the coast. For those three nights
nearly all the Australians at Anzac gave up most of their sleep. They
had begun the work by digging the cover, they took a personal pride and
pleasure in playing the game of cache-cache to the end.

It is difficult to praise a feat of the kind and still more difficult to
make people understand what the work meant. Those smiling and glorious
young giants thought little of it. They loved their chiefs and they
liked the fun, and when praised for it looked away with a grin. The
labour of the task can only be felt by those who have done hard manual
work in hot climates. Digging is one of the hardest kinds of work, even
when done in a garden with a fork. When done in a trench with a pick and
shovel it is as hard work as threshing with a flail. Carrying heavy
weights over uneven ground is harder work still; and to do either of
these things on a salt-meat diet with a scanty allowance of water, is
very, very hard; but to do them at night after a hard day's work,
instead of sleeping, is hardest of all; even farm-labourers would
collapse and sailors mutiny when asked to do this last. It may be said
that no one could have done this labour, but splendid young men
splendidly encouraged to do their best. Many of these same young men who
had toiled thus almost without sleep for three days and nights, fell in
with the others and fought all through the battle.

But all this preparation was a setting of precedents and the doing of
something new to war. Never before have 25,000 men been kept buried
under an enemy's eye until the hour for the attack. Never before have
two Divisions of all arms been brought up punctually, by ship, over many
miles of sea, from different ports, to land under fire, at an appointed
time, to fulfil a great tactical scheme.

But all these difficulties were as nothing to the difficulty of making
sure that the men fighting in the blinding heat of a Gallipoli August
should have enough water to drink. Eighty tons of water a day does not
seem very much. It had only to be brought five hundred miles, which does
not seem very far, to those who in happy peace can telephone for 80 tons
of anything to be sent five hundred miles to anywhere. But in war,
weight, distance and time become terrible and tragic things, involving
the lives of armies. The water supply of that far battlefield,
indifferent as it was, at the best, was a triumph of resolve and skill
unequalled yet in war. It is said that Wellington boasted that, while
Napoleon could handle men, he, Wellington, could feed them. Our naval
officers can truly say that, while Sir Ian Hamilton can handle men, they
can give them drink.

As to the enemy before the battle, it was estimated that (apart from the
great strategical reserves within 30 or 40 miles) there were 30,000
Turks in the vital part of the battlefield, to the north of Kilid Bahr.
Twelve thousand of these were in the trenches opposite Anzac; most of
the rest in the villages two or three miles to the south and southeast
of Sari Bair. Three battalions were in the Anafarta villages, one
battalion was entrenched on Ismail Oglu Tepe; small outposts held the
two Baba hillocks on the bay, and the land north of the bay was
patrolled by mounted gendarmerie. These scattered troops on the Turk
right had guns with them; it was not known how many. The beach of Suvla
was known to be mined.

August began with calm weather. The scattered regiments of the Divisions
for Suvla, after some weeks of hard exercise ashore, were sent on board
their transports. At a little before four o'clock on the afternoon of
the 6th August, the 29th Division began the battle by an assault on the
Turk positions below Krithia.



V

Roland put the horn to his mouth, gripped it hard and with great heart
blew it. The hills were high and the sound went very far: thirty leagues
wide they heard it echo. Charles heard it and all his comrades; so the
King said, "Our men are fighting." Count Guenes answered: "If any other
said that, I should call him a liar."

Count Roland in pain and woe and great weakness blew his horn. The
bright blood was running from his mouth and the temples of his brains
were broken. But the noise of the horn was very great. Charles heard it
as he was passing at the ports; Naimes heard it, the Franks listened to
it. So the King said, "I hear the horn of Roland; he would never sound
it if he were not fighting." Guenes answered, "There is no fighting. You
are old and white and hoary. You are like a child when you say such
things."

Count Roland's mouth was bleeding; the temples of his brain were broken.
He blew his horn in weakness and pain. Charles heard it and his Franks
heard it. So the King said: "That horn has long breath." Duke Naimes
answered, "Roland is in trouble. He is fighting, on my conscience. Arm
yourself. Cry your war-cry. Help the men of your house. You hear plainly
that Roland is in trouble."

The Emperor made sound his horns.... All the barons of the army mounted
their chargers. But what use was that? They had delayed too long. What
use was that? It was worth nothing; they had stayed too long; they could
not be in time.

Then Roland said, "Here we shall receive martyrdom, and now I know well
that we have but a moment to live. But may all be thieves who do not
sell themselves dearly first. Strike, knights, with your bright swords;
so change your deaths and lives, that sweet France be not shamed by us.
When Charles comes into this field he shall see such discipline upon the
Saracens that he shall not fail to bless us."

 _The Song of Roland._


The Cape Helles attack, designed to keep the Turks to the south of Kilid
Bahr from reinforcing those near Anzac, became a very desperate
struggle. The Turk trenches there were full of men, for the Turks had
been preparing a strong attack upon ourselves, which we forestalled by a
few hours. The severe fighting lasted for a week along the whole Cape
Helles front, but it was especially bloody and terrible in the centre,
in a vineyard to the west of the Krithia road. It has often happened in
war, that some stubbornness in attack or defence has roused the same
quality in the opposer, till the honour of the armies seems pledged to
the taking or holding of one patch of ground, perhaps not vital to the
battle. It may be that in war one resolute soul can bind the excited
minds of multitudes in a kind of bloody mesmerism; but these strange
things are not studied as they should be. Near Krithia, the battle,
which began as a containing attack, a minor part of a great scheme,
became a furious week-long fight for this vineyard, a little patch of
ground "200 yards long by 100 yards broad."

From the 6th-13th of August, the fight for this vineyard never ceased.
Our Lancashire regiments won most of it at the first assault on the 6th.
For the rest of the week they held it against all that the Turks could
bring against them. It was not a battle in the military textbook sense:
it was a fight man to man, between two enemies whose blood was up. It
was a week-long cursing and killing scrimmage, the men lying down to
fire and rising up to fight with the bayonet, literally all day long,
day after day, the two sides within easy bombing distance all the time.
The Turks lost some thousands of men in their attacks upon this vineyard
after a week of fighting, they rushed it in a night attack, were soon
bombed out of it and then gave up the struggle for it. This bitter
fighting not only kept the Turks at Cape Helles from reinforcing those
at Anzac; it caused important Turk reinforcements to be sent to the
Helles sector.

Less than an hour after the 29th Division began the containing battle at
Krithia, the Australians at Anzac began theirs. This, the attack on the
Turk fort at Lone Pine, in the southern half of the Anzac front, was
designed to keep large bodies of Turks from reinforcing their right, on
Sari Bair, where the decisive blow was to be struck. It was a secondary
operation, not the main thrust, but it was in itself important, since to
those at Anzac, the hill of Lone Pine was the gate into the narrowest
part of the Peninsula, and through that gate, as the Turks very well
knew, a rush might be made from Anzac upon Maidos and the Narrows. Such
a thrust from Lone Pine, turning all the Turkish works on the range of
Sari Bair, was what the Turks expected and feared from us. They had
shewn us as much, quite plainly, all through the summer. Any movement,
feint, or demonstration against Lone Pine, brought up their reserves at
once. It was the sensitive spot on their not too strong left wing. If we
won through there, we had their main water supply as an immediate prize
and no other position in front of us from which we could be held. Any
strong attack there was therefore certain to contain fully half a
division of the enemy.

The hill of Lone or Lonesome Pine is a little plateau less than 400 feet
high running N.W. S.E. and measuring perhaps 250 yards long by 200
across. On its southwestern side it drops down in gullies to a col or
ridge, known as Pine Ridge, which gradually declines away to the low
ground near Gaba Tepe. On its northeastern side it joins the high ground
known as Johnston's Jolly, which was, alas, neither jolly nor
Johnston's, but a strong part of the Turk position.

We already held a little of the Lone Pine Plateau; our trenches bulged
out into it in a convexity or salient known as The Pimple, but the Turks
held the greater part, and their trenches curved out the other way, in a
mouth, concavity or trap opening towards The Pimple as though ready to
swallow it. The opposing lines of trenches ran from north to south
across the plateau, with from 50 to 100 yards between them. Both to the
north and south of the plateau are deep gullies. Just beyond these
gullies Turk trenches were so placed that the machine guns in them could
sweep the whole plateau. The space between the Australian and Turk lines
was fairly level hilltop, covered with thyme and short scrub.

For some days before the 6th August the warships had been shelling the
Turk position on Lone Pine to knock away the barbed wire in front of it.
On the 5th, the Australian brigade, told off for the attack, sharpened
bayonets and prepared their distinguishing marks of white bands for the
left arms and white patches for the backs of their right shoulders. In
the afternoon of the 6th the shelling by the ships became more intense;
at half-past four it quickened to a very heavy fire; at exactly
half-past five it stopped suddenly, "the three short whistle blasts
sounded and were taken up along the line, our men cleared the parapet,"
in two waves on a front of about 160 yards, "and attacked with vigour."
The hill top over which they charged was in a night of smoke and dust
from the explosions of the shells, and into that night, already singing
with enemy bullets, the Australians disappeared. They had not gone
twenty yards before all that dark and blazing hill top was filled with
explosion and flying missiles from every enemy gun. One speaks of a hail
of bullets, but no hail is like fire, no hail in a form of death crying
aloud a note of death, no hail screams as it strikes a stone, or stops a
strong man in his stride. Across that kind of hail the Australians
charged on Lone Pine. "It was a grim kind of steeplechase," said one,
"but we meant to get to Koja Dere." They reached the crumpled wire of
the entanglement, and got through it to the parapet of the Turk trench,
where they were held up. Those behind them at The Pimple, peering
through the darkness, to see if any had survived the rush, saw figures
on the parados of the enemy's trench, and wondered what was happening.
They sent forward the third wave, with one full company carrying picks
and shovels, to make good what was won. The men of this third wave found
what was happening.

The Turkish front line trench was not, like most trenches, an open ditch
into which men could jump, but covered over along nearly all its length
with blinders and beams of pinewood, heaped with sandbags, and in some
places with a couple of feet of earth. Under this cover the Turks fired
at our men through loopholes, often with their rifles touching their
victims. Most of the Australians, after heaving in vain to get these
blinders up, under a fire that grew hotter every instant, crossed them,
got into the open communication trenches in the rear of the Turk line,
and attacked through them; but some, working together, hove up a blinder
or two, and down the gaps so made those brave men dropped themselves, to
a bayonet fight like a rat fight in a sewer, with an enemy whom they
could hardly see, in a narrow dark gash in the earth where they were, at
first, as one to five or seven to ten.

More and more men dropped down or rushed in from the rear; the Turks so
penned in, fought hard, but could not beat back the attack. They
surrendered and were disarmed. The survivors were at least as many as
their captors, who had too much to do at that time to send them to the
rear, even if there had been a safe road by which to send them. They
were jammed up there in the trenches with the Australians, packed man to
man, suffering from their friends' fire and getting in the way.

 [Illustration: Inside an Australian trench, showing a man using a
 periscope rifle and another man keeping watch by means of a periscope]

The first thing to be done was to block up the communication trenches
against the Turkish counter attack. Every man carried a couple of
sandbags, and with these, breastworks and walls were built. Their work
was done in a narrow dark sweltering tunnel, heaped with corpses and
wounded and crowded with prisoners who might at any moment have risen.
Already the Turks had begun their counter attacks. At every other moment
a little rush of Turks came up the communication trenches, flung their
bombs in the workers' faces, and were bayoneted as they threw. The
trenches curved and zigzagged in the earth; the men in one section could
neither see nor hear what the men in the nearest sections were doing.
What went on under the ground there in the making good of those trenches
will never be known. From half-past five till midnight every section of
the line was searched by bombs and bullets, by stink pots, and sticks of
dynamite, by gas-bombs and a falling tumult of shell and shrapnel, which
only ceased to let some rush of Turks attack, with knives, grenades and
bayonets, hand to hand and body to body in a blackness like the darkness
of a mine. At midnight the wounded were lying all over the trenches, the
enemy dead were so thick that our men had to walk on them, and bombs
were falling in such numbers that every foot in those galleries was
stuck with human flesh. No man slept that night. At half-past seven next
morning (the 7th) a small quantity of bread and tea was rushed across
the plateau to the fighters, who had more than earned their breakfast.
Turk shell had by this time blown up some of the head-cover and some of
the new communication trenches were still only a few feet deep. A
Colonel passing along one of them told an officer that his section of
the trench was too shallow. Half-an-hour later, in passing back, he
found the officer and three men blown to pieces by a shell; in a few
minutes more he was himself killed. At noon the bombing became so severe
that some sections of the line were held only by one or two wounded men.
At one o'clock the enemy attacked furiously with bomb and bayonet, in
great force. They came on in a mass, in wave after wave, shoulder to
shoulder, heads down, shouting the name of God. They rushed across the
plateau, jumped into the trenches and were mixed up with our men in a
hand-to-hand fight, which lasted for five hours. Not many of them could
join in the fight at one time, and not many of them went back to the
Turk lines; but they killed many of our men, and when their last assault
failed our prize was very weakly held. At half-past seven the survivors
received a cheering (and truthful) message from the Brigadier "that no
fighters can surpass Australians," and almost with the message came
another Turk assault begun by bomb and shell and rifle fire, and
followed by savage rushes with the bayonet, one of which got in, and did
much slaughter. No man slept that night; the fight hardly slackened all
through the night; at dawn the dead were lying three deep in every part
of the line. Bombs fell every minute in some section of the line, and
where the wide Turk trenches had been blasted open they were very
destructive. The men were "extremely tired but determined to hold on."
They did hold on.

They held on for the next five days and nights, till Lone Pine was ours
past question. For those five days and nights the fight for Lone Pine
was one long personal scrimmage in the midst of explosion. For those
five days and nights the Australians lived and ate and slept in that
gallery of the mine of death, in a half darkness lit by great glares, in
filth, heat and corpses, among rotting and dying and mutilated men, with
death blasting at the doors only a few feet away, and intense and bloody
fighting, hand to hand, with bombs, bayonets and knives, for hours
together by night and day. When the Turks gave up the struggle the dead
were five to the yard in that line or works; they were heaped in a kind
of double wall all along the sides of the trench: most of them were
bodies of Turks, but among them were one quarter of the total force
which ran out from The Pimple on the evening of the 6th.

Like the fight for the vineyard near Krithia, this fight for Lone Pine
kept large numbers of Turks from the vital part of the battlefield.

When the sun set upon this battle at Lone Pine on that first evening of
the 6th of August, many thousands of brave men fell in for the main
battle, which was to strew their glorious bodies in the chasms of the
Sari Bair, where none but the crows would ever find them. They fell in
at the appointed places in four columns, two to guard the flanks, two to
attack. One attacking column, guarded and helped by the column on its
right, was to move up the Chailak and Sazli Beit Deres, to the storm of
Chunuk Bair, the other attacking column, guarded and helped by the
column on its left, was to move up the Aghyl Dere to the storm of Sari's
peak of Koja Chemen Tepe. The outermost, left, guarding column (though
it did not know it) was to link up with the force soon to land at Suvla.

They were going upon a night attack in a country known to be a
wilderness with neither water nor way in it. They had neither light nor
guide, nor any exact knowledge of where the darkness would burst into a
blaze from the Turk fire. Many armies have gone out into the darkness of
a night adventure, but what army has gone out like this, from the hiding
places on a beach to the heart of unknown hills, to wander up crags
under fire, to storm a fortress in the dawn? Even in Manchuria, there
were roads and the traces and the comforts of man. In this savagery,
there was nothing, but the certainty of desolation, where the wounded
would lie until they died and the dead be never buried.

Until this campaign, the storm of Badajos was the most desperate duty
ever given to British soldiers. The men in the forlorn hope of that
storm marched to their position to the sound of fifes "which filled the
heart with a melting sweetness" and tuned that rough company to a kind
of sacred devotion. No music played away the brave men from Anzac. They
answered to their names in the dark, and moved off to take position for
what they had to do. Men of many races were banded together there. There
were Australians, English, Indians, Maoris and New Zealanders, made one
by devotion to a cause, and all willing to die that so their comrades
might see the dawn make a steel streak of the Hellespont from the peaked
hill now black against the stars. Soon they had turned their back on
friendly little Anzac and the lights in the gullies and were stepping
out with the sea upon their left and the hills of their destiny upon
their right, and the shells, starlights and battle of Lone Pine far away
behind them. Before 9 A.M. the Right Covering Column (of New Zealanders)
was in position ready to open up the Sazli Beit and Chailak Deres, to
their brothers who were to storm Chunuk. Half an hour later, cunningly
backed by the guns of the destroyer _Colne_, they rushed the Turk
position, routed the garrison and its supports, and took the fort known
as Old No. 3 Post. It was an immensely strong position, protected by
barbed wire, shielded by shell-proof head cover, and mined in front
"with 28 mines electrically connected to a first-rate firing apparatus
within." Sed nisi Dominus.

This success opened up the Sazli Dere for nearly half of its length.

Inland from Old No. 3 Post, and some 700 yards from it is a crag or
precipice which looks like a round table, with a top projecting beyond
its legs. This crag, known to our men as Table Top, is a hill which few
would climb for pleasure. Nearly all the last 100 feet of the peak is
precipice, such as no mountaineer would willingly climb without clear
daylight and every possible precaution. It is a sort of skull of rock
fallen down upon its body of rock, and the great rocky ribs heave out
with gullies between them. The table-top, or plateau-summit, was
strongly entrenched and held by the Turks, whose communication trenches
ran down the back of the hill to Rhododendron Spur.

While their comrades were rushing Old No. 3 Post, a party of New
Zealanders marched to storm this natural fortress. The muscular part of
the feat may be likened to the climbing of the Welsh Glyddyrs, the Irish
Lurig, or the craggier parts of the American Palisades, in a moonless
midnight, under a load of not less than thirty pounds. But the muscular
effort was made much greater by the roughness of the unknown approaches,
which led over glidders of loose stones into the densest of short,
thick, intensely thorny scrub. The New Zealanders advanced under fire
through this scrub, went up the rocks in a spirit which no crag could
daunt, reached the Table-top, rushed the Turk trenches, killed some
Turks of the garrison and captured the rest with all their stores.

This success opened up the remainder of the Sazli Beit Dere.

While these attacks were progressing, the remainder of the Right
Covering Column marched north to the Chailak Dere. A large body crossed
this Dere and marched on, but the rest turned up the Dere and soon came
to a barbed wire entanglement which blocked the ravine. They had met the
Turks' barbed wire before, on Anzac Day, and had won through it, but
this wire in the Dere was new to their experience; it was meant rather
as a permanent work than as an obstruction. It was secured to great
balks or blinders of pine, six or eight feet high, which stood in a rank
twenty or thirty deep right across the ravine. The wire which crossed
and criss-crossed between these balks was as thick as a man's thumb and
profusely barbed. Beyond it lay a flanking trench, held by a strong
outpost of Turks, who at once opened fire. This, though not unexpected,
was a difficult barrier to come upon in the darkness of a summer night,
and here, as before, at the landing of the Worcester Regiment at W
beach, men went forward quietly, without weapons, to cut the wire for
the others. They were shot down, but others took their places, though
the Turks, thirty steps away on the other side of the gulley, had only
to hold their rifles steady and pull their triggers to destroy them.
This holding up in the darkness by an unseen hidden enemy and an
obstacle which needed high explosive shell in quantity caused heavy loss
and great delay. For a time there was no getting through; but then with
the most desperate courage and devotion, a party of engineers cleared
the obstacle, the Turks were routed, and a path made for the attackers.

This success opened up the mouth of the Chailak Dere.

Meanwhile those who had marched across this Dere and gone on towards
Suvla, swung round to the right to clear the Turks from Bauchop's Hill,
which overlooks the Chailak Dere from the north. Bauchop's Hill (a rough
country even for Gallipoli) is cleft by not less than twenty great
gullies, most of them forked, precipitous, overgrown and heaped with
rocks. The New Zealanders scrambled up it from the north, got into a
maze of trenches, not strongly held, beat the Turks out of them,
wandered south across the neck or ridge of the hill, discovering Turk
trenches by their fire, and at last secured the whole hill.

This success, besides securing the Chailak Dere from any assault from
the north, secured the south flank of the Aghyl Dere beyond it.

Meanwhile the Left Covering Column (mainly Welshmen) which for some time
had halted at Old No. 3 Post, waiting for the sound of battle to tell
them that the Turks on Bauchop's Hill were engaged, marched boldly on
the Aghyl Dere, crossed it in a rush, taking every Turk trench in the
way, then stormed the Turk outpost on Damakjelik Bair, going on from
trench to trench in the dark guided by the flashes of the rifles, till
the whole hill was theirs. This success opened up the Aghyl Dere to the
attacking column.

As the troops drew their breath in the still night on the little hill
which they had won, they heard about three miles away a noise of battle
on the seacoast to their left. This noise was not the nightly "hate" of
the monitors and destroyers but an irregular and growing rifle fire.
This, though they did not know it, was the beginning of the landing of
the new Divisions, with their 30,000 men, at Suvla Bay.

For the moment, Suvla was not the important point in the battle. The
three Deres were the important points, for up the three Deres, now
cleared of Turks, our Attacking Columns were advancing to the assault.

By this time however, the Turks were roused throughout their line. All
the Anzac position from Tasmania Post to Table Top was a blaze of battle
to contain them before our trenches, but they knew now that their right
was threatened and their reserves were hurrying out to meet us before we
had gained the crests. Our Right Attacking Column (of English and New
Zealand troops) went up the Sazli Beit and Chailak Deres, deployed
beyond Table Top and stormed Rhododendron Spur, fighting for their lives
every inch of the way. The Left Column (mainly Indians and Australians)
pressed up the Aghyl, into the stony clefts of its upper forks, and so,
by rock, jungle, heartbreaking cliff and fissure to the attack of Hill
Q, and the lower slopes of Sari. They, too, were fighting for their
lives. Their advance was across a scrub peopled now by little clumps of
marksmen firing from hiding. When they deployed out of the Deres, to
take up their line of battle, they linked up with the Right Assaulting
Column, and formed with them a front of about a mile, stretching from
the old Anzac position to within a mile of the crests which were the
prize. By this time the night was over, day was breaking, the Turks were
in force, and our attacking columns much exhausted, but there was still
breath for a last effort. Now, with the breath, came a quick
encouragement, for looking down from their hillsides they could see
Suvla Bay full of ships, the moving marks of boats, dotted specks of men
on the sandhills, and more ships on the sea marching like chariots to
the cannon. In a flash, as happens when many minds are tense together,
they realised the truth. A new landing was being made. All along the
coast by the Bay the crackle and the flash of firing was moving from the
sea, to shew them that the landing was made good, and that the Turks
were falling back. Hardening their hearts at this sight of help coming
from the sea the Australians and Sikhs with the last of their strength
went at Koja Chemen Tepe, and the New Zealanders upon their right rose
to the storm of Chunuk.

It was not to be. The guns behind them backed them. They did what mortal
men could do, but they were worn out by the night's advance, they could
not carry the two summits. They tried a second time to carry Chunuk; but
they were too weary and the Turks in too great strength; they could not
get to the top. But they held to what they had won; they entrenched
themselves on the new line, and there they stayed, making ready for the
next attack.

Two or three have said to me: "They ought not to have been exhausted;
none of them had marched five miles." It is difficult to answer such
critics patiently, doubly difficult to persuade them, without showing
them the five miles. There comes into my mind, as I write, the image of
some hills in the west of Ireland, a graceful and austere range, not
difficult to climb, seemingly, and not unlike these Gallipoli hills, in
their look of lying down at rest. The way to those hills is over some
miles of scattered limestone blocks, with gaps between them full of
scrub, gorse, heather, dwarf-ash and little hill-thorn, and the
traveller proceeds, as the Devil went through Athlone, "in standing
lepps." This journey to the hills is the likest journey (known to me) to
that of the assaulting columns. Like the Devil in Athlone the assaulting
columns had often to advance "in standing lepps," but to them the
standing lepp came as a solace, a rare, strange and blessed respite,
from forcing through scrub by main strength, or scaling a crag of rotten
sandstone, in pitch darkness, in the presence of an enemy. For an armed
force to advance a mile an hour by day over such a country is not only
good going, but a great achievement; to advance four miles in a night
over such a country, fighting literally all the way, often hand to hand,
and to feel the enemy's resistance stiffening and his reserves arriving,
as the strength fails and the ascent steepens, and yet to make an effort
at the end, is a thing unknown in the history of war. And this first
fourteen hours of exhausting physical labour was but the beginning. The
troops, as they very well knew, were to have two or three days more of
the same toil before the battle could be ended, one way or the other. So
after struggling for fourteen hours with every muscle in their bodies,
over crags and down gullies in the never-ceasing peril of death, they
halted in the blaze of noon and drew their breath. In the evening, as
they hoped, the men from Suvla would join hands and go on to victory
with them; they had fought the first stage of the battle, the next stage
was to be decisive.

The heat of this noon of August 7th on those sandy hills was a scarcely
bearable torment.


Meanwhile, at Suvla, the left of the battle, the 11th Division, had
landed in the pitch-darkness, by wading ashore, in five feet of water,
under rifle fire, on to beaches prepared with land mines. The first
boat-loads lost many men from the mines and from the fire of snipers,
who came right down to the beach in the darkness and fired from the
midst of our men. These snipers were soon bayoneted, our men formed for
the assault in the dark and stormed the Turk outpost on Lala Baba there
and then. While Lala Baba was being cleared other battalions moved north
to clear the Turk from the neighbourhood of the beach on that side. The
ground over which they had to move is a sand-dune-land, covered with
gorse and other scrub, most difficult to advance across in a wide
extension. About half a mile from the beach the ground rises in a roll
of whale-back, known on the battle plans as Hill 10. This hill is about
three hundred yards long and thirty feet high. At this whale-back (which
was entrenched) the Turks rallied on their supports; they had, perhaps,
a couple of thousand men and (some say) a gun or two, and the dawn broke
before they could be rushed. Their first shells upon our men set fire to
the gorse, so that our advance against them was through a blazing common
in which many men who fell wounded were burnt to death or suffocated.
The Turks, seeing the difficulties of the men in the fire, charged with
the bayonet, but were themselves charged and driven back in great
disorder; the fire spread to their hill and burned them out of it. Our
men then began to drive the Turks away from the high ridges to the north
of Suvla. The 10th Division began to land while this fight was still in
progress.

This early fighting had won for us a landing-place at Suvla and had
cleared the ground to the north of the bay for the deployment for the
next attack. This was to be a swinging round of two Brigades to the
storm of the hills directly to the east of the Salt Lake. These hills
are the island-like double-peaked Chocolate Hill (close to the lake) and
the much higher and more important hills of Scimitar Hill (or Hill 70)
and Ismail Oglu Tepe (Hill 100) behind it. The Brigade chosen for this
attack were the 31st (consisting of Irish Regiments) belonging to the
10th Division, and the 32nd (consisting of Yorkshire and North of
England Regiments) belonging to the 11th Division. The 32nd had been
hotly engaged since the very early morning, the 31st were only just on
shore. The storm was to be pushed from the north, and would, if
successful, clear the way for the final thrust, the storm of Koja-Chemen
Tepe from the northwest.

This thrust from Suvla against Koja Chemen was designed to complete and
make decisive the thrust already begun by the Right and Left Attacking
Columns. The attack on Chocolate Hill, Scimitar Hill and Ismail Oglu was
to make that thrust possible by destroying forever the power of the Turk
to parry it. The Turk could only parry it by firing from those hills on
the men making it. It was therefore necessary to seize those hills
before the Turk could stop us. If the Turks seized those hills before
us, or stopped us from seizing them, our troops could not march from
Suvla to take part in the storm of Koja Chemen. If we seized them before
the Turks, then the Turks could not stop us from crossing the valley to
that storm. The first problem at Suvla therefore was not so much to win
a battle as to win a race with the Turks for the possession of those
hills; the winning of the battle could be arranged later. Our failure to
win that race brought with it our loss of the battle. The next chapter
in the story of the battle is simply a description of the losing of a
race by loss of time.

Now the giving of praise or blame is always easy, but the understanding
of anything is difficult. The understanding of anything so vast, so
confused, so full of contradiction, so dependent on little things
(themselves changing from minute to minute, the coward of a moment ago
blazing out into a hero at the next turn) as a modern battle is more
than difficult. But some attempt must be made to understand how it came
about that time was lost at Suvla, between the landing, at midnight on
the 6th-7th August, and the arrival of the Turks upon the hills, at
midnight on the 8th-9th.

In the first place it should be said that the beaches of Suvla are not
the beaches of seaside resorts, all pleasant smooth sand and shingle.
They are called beaches because they cannot well be called cliffs. They
slope into the sea with some abruptness, in pentes of rock and tumbles
of sand-dune difficult to land upon from boats. From them, one climbs
onto sand-dune, into a sand-dune land, which is like nothing so much as
a sea-marsh from which the water has receded. Walking on this soft sand
is difficult, it is like walking in feathers; working, hauling and
carrying upon it is very difficult. Upon this coast and country,
roadless, wharfless, beachless and unimproved, nearly 30,000 men landed
in the first ten hours of August 7th. At 10 A.M., on that day, when the
sun was in his stride, the difficulty of those beaches began to tell on
those upon them. There had been sharp fighting on and near the beaches,
and shells were still falling here and there in all the ground which we
had won. On and near the beaches there was a congestion of a very
hindering kind. With men coming ashore, shells bursting among them,
mules landing, biting, kicking, shying and stampeding, guns limbering up
and trying to get out into position, more men coming ashore or seeking
for the rest of their battalion in a crowd where all battalions looked
alike, shouts, orders and counter-orders, ammunition boxes being passed
along, water carts and transport being started for the firing line,
wounded coming down or being helped down, or being loaded into lighters,
doctors trying to clear the way for field dressing stations, with every
now and then a shell from Ismail sending the sand in clouds over
corpses, wounded men and fatigue parties, and a blinding August sun over
all to exhaust and to madden, it was not possible to avoid congestion.
This congestion was the first, but not the most fatal cause of the loss
of time.

Though the congestion was an evil in itself, its first evil effect was
that it made it impossible to pass orders quickly from one part of the
beach to another. In this first matter of the attack on the hills, the
way had been opened for the assault by 10 A.M. at the latest but to get
through the confusion along the beaches (among battalions landing,
forming and defiling, and the waste of wounded momentarily increasing)
to arrange for the assault and to pass the orders to the battalions
named for the duty, took a great deal of time. It was nearly 1 P.M. when
the 31st moved north from Lala Baba on their march round the head of the
Salt Lake into position for the attack. The 32nd Brigade, having fought
since dawn at Hill 10, was already to the north of the Salt Lake, but
when (at about 3 P.M.) the 31st took position, facing southeast, with
its right on the northeast corner of the Salt Lake, the 32nd was not
upon its left ready to advance with it. Instead of that guard upon its
left the 31st found a vigorous attack of Turks. More time was lost,
waiting for support to reach the left, and before it arrived, word came
that the attack upon the hills was to be postponed till after 5 P.M.
Seeing the danger of delay and that Chocolate Hill at least should be
seized at once, the Brigadier General (Hill) telephoned for supports and
covering fire, held off the attack on his left with one battalion, and
with the rest of his Brigade started at once to take Chocolate Hill,
cost what it might. The men went forward and stormed Chocolate Hill, the
7th Royal Dublin Fusiliers bearing the brunt of the storm.

At some not specified time, perhaps after this storm, in a general
retirement of the Turks, Hill 70, or Scimitar Hill, was abandoned to us,
and occupied by an English battalion.

During all this day of the 7th of August all our men suffered acutely
from the great heat and from thirst. Several men went raving mad from
thirst, others assaulted the water guards, pierced the supply hoses, or
swam to the lighters to beg for water. Thirst in great heat is a cruel
pain, and this (afflicting some regiments more than others) demoralised
some and exhausted all. Efforts were made to send up and to find water;
but the distribution system, beginning on a cluttered beach and ending
in a rough, unknown country full of confused fighting and firing,
without anything like a road, and much of it blazing or smouldering from
the scrub fires, broke down, and most of the local wells, when
discovered, were filled with corpses put there by the Turk garrison.
Some unpolluted wells of drinkable, though brackish water, were found,
but most of these were guarded by snipers, who shot at men going to
them. Many men were killed thus and many more wounded, for the Turk
snipers were good shots, cleverly hidden.

All through the day in the Suvla area, thirst, due to the great heat,
was another cause of loss of time in the fulfilment of that part of the
tactical scheme; but it was not the final and fatal cause.

Chocolate Hill was taken by our men (now utterly exhausted by thirst and
heat) just as darkness fell. They were unable to go on against Ismail
Oglu Tepe. They made their dispositions for the night on the line they
had won, sent back to the beaches for ammunition, food and water, and
tried to forget their thirst. They were in bad case, and still two miles
from the Australians below Koja Chemen Tepe. Very late that night word
reached them that the Turks were massed in a gulley to their front, that
no other enemy reserves were anywhere visible, and that the Turks had
withdrawn their guns, fearing that they would be taken next morning.
Before dawn on the all-important day of the 8th August, our men at Suvla
after a night of thirst and sniping, stood to arms to help out the vital
thrust of the battle.

Had time not been lost on the 7th, their task on the 8th would have been
to cross the valley at dawn, join the Australians and go with them up
the spurs to victory, in a strength which the Turks could not oppose. At
dawn on the 8th their path to the valley was still barred by the
uncaptured Turk fort on Ismail; time had been lost; there could be no
crossing the valley till Ismail was taken. There was still time to take
it and cross the valley to the storm, but the sands were falling. Up on
Chunuk already the battle had begun without them; no time was lost on
Chunuk.

Up on Chunuk at that moment a very bitter battle was being fought. On
the right, on Chunuk itself, the Gloucester and New Zealand Regiments
were storming the hill, in the centre and on the left the Australians,
English, and Indians were trying for Hill Q and the south of Koja
Chemen. They had passed the night on the hillsides under a never-ceasing
fire of shells and bullets, now, before dawn, they were making a
terrible attempt. Those on Chunuk went up with a rush, pelted from in
front and from both flanks by every engine of death. The Gloucesters
were on the left and the New Zealanders on the right in this great
assault. They deployed past The Farm and then went on to the storm of a
hill which rises some four hundred feet in as many yards. They were on
the top by dawn; Chunuk Bair, the last step, but one, to victory, was
ours and remained ours all day, but at a cost which few successful
attacks have ever known. By four o'clock that afternoon the New
Zealanders had dwindled to three officers and fifty men, and
the Gloucester battalion, having lost every officer and senior
non-commissioned officer, was fighting under section-leaders and
privates. Still, their attack had succeeded; they were conquerors. In
the centre the attack on Hill Q was less successful. There the English
and Indian regiments, assaulting together, were held; the Turks were too
strong. Our men got up to the top of the lower spurs, and there had to
lie down and scrape cover, for there was no going further. On the left
of our attack the Australians tried to storm the Abd-el-Rahman Bair from
the big gulley of Asma Dere. They went up in the dark with Australian
dash to a venture pretty desperate even for Gallipoli. The Turks held
the high ground on both sides of the Asma gulley, and were there in
great force with many machine guns. The Australians were enfiladed, held
in front, and taken in reverse, and (as soon as it was light enough for
the Turks to see) they suffered heavily. As one of the Australians has
described it: "The 14th and 15th Battalions moved out in single file and
deployed to the storm and an advance was made under heavy rifle and
machine gun fire. After the 15th Battalion had practically withered
away, the 14th continued to advance, suffering heavily, and the Turks in
great force. As we drove them back, they counter attacked, several
times. The Battalion thus got very split up and it is impossible to say
exactly what happened."

It is now possible to say exactly that that 14th Battalion fought like
heroes in little bands of wounded and weary men, and at last, with great
reluctance, on repeated orders, fell back to the Asma Dere from which
they had come, beating off enemy attacks all the way down the hill, and
then held on, against all that the Turk could do.

By noon, this assault, which would have been decisive had the men from
Suvla been engaged with the Australians, was at an end. Its right had
won Chunuk, and could just hold on to what it had won, its centre was
held, and its left driven back. The fire upon all parts of the line was
terrific; our men were lying (for the most part) in scratchings of
cover, for they could not entrench under fire so terrible. Often in that
rough and tumble country, the snipers and bombers of both sides, were
within a few yards of each other, and in the roar and blast of the great
battle were countless little battles, or duels to the death, which made
the ground red and set the heather on fire. Half of the hills of that
accursed battlefield, too false of soil to be called crags and too
savage with desolation to be called hills, such as feed the sheep and
bees of England, were blazing in sweeps of flame, which cast up smoke to
heaven, and swept in great swathes across the gullies. Shells from our
ships were screaming and bursting among all that devil's playground; it
was an anxious time for the Turks. Many a time throughout that day the
Turkish officers must have looked down anxiously upon the Suvla plain to
see if our men there were masters of Ismail and on the way to Koja
Chemen. For the moment, as they saw, we were held; but not more than
held. With a push from Suvla to help us, we could not be held. Our men
on the hills, expecting that helping push, drew breath for a new assault.

It was now noon. The battle so far was in our favour. We had won ground,
some of it an all-important ground, and for once we had the Turks with
their backs against the wall and short of men. At Helles they were
pressed, at Lone Pine they were threatened at the heart, under Koja
Chemen the knife point was touching the heart, and at Suvla was the new
strength to drive the knife point home and begin the end of the war. And
the Turks could not stop that new strength. Their nearest important
reserve of men was at Eski Kevi, ten miles away by a road which could
scarcely be called a goat track, and these reserves had been called on
for the fight at Krithia, and still more for the two days of struggle at
Lone Pine. All through that day of the eighth of August Fate waited to
see what would happen between Suvla and Koja Chemen. She fingered with
her dice uncertain which side to favour; she waited to be courted by the
one who wanted her. Eight hours of daylight had gone by, but there was
still no moving forward from Suvla, to seize Ismail and pass from it
across the valley to the storm. Noon passed into the afternoon, but
there was still no movement. Four hours more went by, and now our
aeroplanes brought word that the Turks near Suvla were moving back their
guns by ox-teams, and that their foot were on the march, coming along
their breakneck road, making perhaps a mile an hour, but marching and
drawing steadily nearer to the threatened point. The living act of the
battle was due at Ismail: from Ismail the last act, the toppling down of
the Turk forever among the bones of his victims and the ruin of his
ally, would have been prepared and assured. There was a desultory fire
around Ismail, and the smoke of scrub fires which blazed and smouldered
everywhere as far as the eye could see, but no roar and blaze and outcry
of a meant attack. The battle hung fire on the left, the hours were
passing, the Turks were coming. It was only five o'clock still; we had
still seven hours or more. In the centre we had almost succeeded. We
could hang on there and try again, there was still time. The chance
which had been plainly ours, was still an even chance. It was for the
left to seize it for us, the battle waited for the left, the poor, dying
Gloucesters and Wellingtons hung on to Chunuk for it, the Gurkhas and
English in the trampled cornfields near The Farm died where they lay on
the chance of it, the Australians on Abd-el-Rahman held steady in the
hope of it, under a fire that filled the air.

If, as men say, the souls of a race, all the company of a nation's dead,
rally to the living of their people in a time of storm, those fields of
hell below Koja Chemen, won by the sweat and blood and dying agony of
our thousands, must have answered with a ghostly muster of English souls
in the afternoon of that eighth of August. There was the storm, there
was the crisis, the one picked hour, to which this death and mangling
and dying misery and exultation had led. Then was the hour for a casting
off of self, and a setting aside of every pain and longing and sweet
affection, a giving up of all that makes a man to be something which
makes a race, and a going forward to death resolvedly to help out their
brothers high up above in the shell bursts and the blazing gorse. Surely
all through the eighth of August our unseen dead were on that field,
blowing the horn of Roland, the unheard, unheeded horn, the horn of
heroes in the dolorous pass, asking for the little that heroes ask, but
asking in vain. If ever the great of England cried from beyond death to
the living they cried then. "De ço qui calt. Demuret i unt trop."

All through the morning of that day, the Commander-in-Chief, on watch at
his central station, had waited with growing anxiety for the advance
from the Suvla Beaches. Till the afternoon the critical thrust on Chunuk
and the great Turk pressure at Lone Pine made it impossible for him to
leave his post to intervene, but, in the afternoon, seeing that neither
wireless nor telephone messages could take the place of personal vision
and appeal, he took the risk of cutting himself adrift from the main
conflict, hurried to Suvla, landed, and found the great battle of the
war, that should have brought peace to all that Eastern world, being
lost by minutes before his eyes.

Only one question mattered then: "Was there still time?" Had the Turks
made good their march and crowned those hills, or could our men
forestall them? It was now doubtful, but the point was vital, not only
to the battle, but to half the world in travail. It had to be put to the
test. A hundred years ago, perhaps even fifty years ago, all could have
been saved. Often in those old days, a Commander-in-Chief could pull a
battle out of the fire and bring halted or broken troops to victory.
Then, by waving a sword, and shouting a personal appeal, the resolute
soul could pluck the hearts of his men forward in a rush that nothing
could stem. So Wolfe took Quebec, so Desaix won Marengo, so Bonaparte
swept the bridge at Lodi and won at Arcola; so Cæsar overcame the Nervii
in the terrible day, and wrecked the Republic at Pharsalia. So Sherman
held the landing at Shiloh and Farragut pitted his iron heart against
iron ships at Fort Jackson. So Sir Ian Hamilton himself snatched victory
from the hesitation at Elandslaagte. Then the individual's will could
take instant effect, but then the individual's front was not a five mile
front of wilderness, the men were under his hand, within sight and sound
of him and not committed by order to another tactical project. There, at
Suvla, there was no chance for these heroic methods. Suvla was the
modern battle field, where nothing can be done quickly except the firing
of a machine gun. On the modern field, especially on such a field as
Suvla, where the troops were scattered in the wilderness, it may take
several hours for an order to pass from one wing to the other. In this
case it was not an order that was to pass, but a counter-order; the
order had already gone, for an attack at dawn on the morrow.

All soldiers seem agreed, that even with authority to back it, a
counter-order, on a modern battlefield, to urge forward halted troops,
takes time to execute. Sir Ian Hamilton's determination to seize those
hills could not spare the time; too much time had already gone. He
ordered an advance at all costs with whatever troops were not scattered,
but only four battalions could be found in any way ready to move. It was
now 5 P.M.: there were perhaps three more hours of light. The four
battalions were ordered to advance at once to make good what they could
of the hills fronting the bay before the Turks forestalled them. At dawn
the general attack as already planned was to support them. Unfortunately
the four battalions were less ready than was thought; they were not able
to advance at once, nor for ten all-precious hours. They did not begin
to advance till 4 o'clock the next morning (the 9th of August) and even
then the rest of the Division which was to support them was not in
concert with them. They attacked the hills to the north of Anafarta
Sagir, but they were now too late, the Turks were there before them, in
great force, with their guns, and the thrust, which the day before could
have been met by (at most) five Turk battalions without artillery was
now parried and thwarted. Presently the Division attacked with great
gallantry, over burning scrub, seized Ismail and was then checked and
forced back to the Chocolate Hills. The left had failed. The main blow
of the battle on Sari Bair was to have no support from Suvla.

The main blow was given, none the less, by the troops near Chunuk. Three
columns were formed in the pitchy blackness of the very early morning of
the 9th, two to seize and clear Chunuk and Hill Q, the third to pass
from Hill Q on the wave of the assault to the peak of Koja Chemen. The
first two columns were on the lower slopes of Chunuk and in the fields
about The Farm, with orders to attack at dawn. The third column
consisting wholly of English troops was not yet on the ground, but
moving during the night up the Chailak Dere. The Dere was jammed with
pack-mules, ammunition and wounded men; it was pitch dark and the column
made bad going, and those leading it were doubtful of the way.
Brigadier-General Baldwin, who commanded, left his Brigade in the Dere,
went to the Headquarters of the 1st column, and brought back guides to
lead his Brigade into position. The guides led him on in the darkness,
till they realised that they were lost. The Brigadier marched his men
back to the Chailak, and then, still in pitch darkness, up a nullah into
the Aghyl Dere, and from there, in growing light, towards The Farm. This
wandering in the darkness had tragical results.

At half-past four the guns from the ships and the army opened on Chunuk,
and the columns moved to the assault. Soon the peaks of their objective
were burning like the hills of hell to light them on their climb to
death, and they went up in the half-darkness to the storm of a volcano
spouting fire, driving the Turks before them. Some of the Warwicks and
South Lancashires were the first upon the top of Chunuk; Major Allanson,
leading the 6th Gurkhas, was the first on the ridge between Chunuk and
Hill Q. Up on the crests came the crowding sections; the Turks were
breaking and falling back. Our men passed over the crests and drove the
Turks down on the other side. Victory was flooding up over Chunuk like
the Severn tide: our men had scaled the scarp, and there below them lay
the ditch, the long grey streak of the Hellespont, the victory and the
reward of victory. The battle lay like a field ripe to the harvest, our
men had but to put in the sickle. The Third Column was the sickle of
that field, that Third Column which had lost its way in the blackness of
the wilderness. Even now that Third Column was coming up the hill below;
in a few minutes it would have been over the crest, going on to victory
with the others. Then, at that moment of time, while our handful on the
hilltop waited for the weight of the Third Column to make its thrust a
death-blow, came the most tragical thing in all that tragical campaign.

It was barely daylight when our men won the hilltop. The story is that
our men moving on the crest were mistaken for Turks, or (as some think)
that there was some difference in officers' watches, some few minutes'
delay in beginning the fire of the guns, and therefore some few minutes'
delay in stopping the bombardment, which had been ordered to continue
upon the crest for three-quarters of an hour from 4.30 A.M. Whatever the
cause, whether accident, fate, mistake, or the daily waste and confusion
of battle, our own guns searched the hilltop for some minutes too long,
and thinned out our brave handful with a terrible fire. They were caught
in the open and destroyed there; the Turks charged back upon the remnant
and beat them off the greater part of the crest. Only a few minutes
after this the Third Column came into action in support: too late.

The Turks beat them down the hill to The Farm, but could not drive the
men of the First Column from the southwestern half of the top of the
Chunuk. All through the hard and bloody day of the 9th of August the
Turks tried to carry this peak, but never quite could, though the day
was one long succession of Turk attacks, the Turks fresh and in great
strength, our men weary from three terrible days and nights and only a
battalion strong, since the peak would not hold more. The New Zealanders
and some of the 13th Division held that end of Chunuk. They were in
trenches which had been dug under fire, partly by themselves, partly by
the Turks. In most places these trenches were only scratchings in the
ground, since neither side on that blazing and stricken hill could stand
to dig. Here and there, in sheltered patches, the trenches were three
feet deep, but whether three feet deep or three inches, all were badly
sited, and in some parts had only ten yards field of fire. In these pans
or scratchings our men fought all day, often hand to hand, usually under
a pelt of every kind of fire, often amid a shower of bombs since the
Turks could creep up under cover to within so few yards. Our men lost
very heavily during the day but at nightfall we still held the peak.
After dark the 6th Loyal North Lancashires relieved the garrison, took
over the trenches, did what they could to strengthen them, and advanced
them by some yards here and there. At four o'clock on the morning of the
10th, the 5th Wiltshires came up to support them and lay down behind the
trenches in the ashes, sand and scattered rubble of the hilltop. Both
battalions were exhausted from four days and nights of continual
fighting, but in very good heart. At this time, these two battalions
marked the extreme right of our new line; on their left, stretching down
to The Farm, were the 10th Hampshires, and near The Farm the remains of
the Third Column under General Baldwin. There may have been in all some
five thousand men on Chunuk and within a quarter of a mile of it round
The Farm.

In the darkness before dawn when our men on the hill were busy digging
themselves better cover for the day's battle, the Turks, now strongly
reinforced from Bulair and Asia, assaulted Chunuk with not less than
15,000 men. They came on in a monstrous mass, packed shoulder to
shoulder, in some places eight deep, in others three or four deep.
Practically all their first line were shot by our men, practically all
the second line were bayoneted, but the third line got into our trenches
and overwhelmed the garrison. Our men fell back to the second line of
trenches and rallied and fired, but the Turks overwhelmed that line too
and then with their packed multitude they paused and gathered like a
wave, burst down on the Wiltshire Regiment, and destroyed it almost to a
man. Even so, the survivors, outnumbered 40 to 1, formed and charged
with the bayonet, and formed and charged a second time, with a courage
which makes the charge of the Light Brigade seem like a dream. But it
was a hopeless position, the Turks came on like the sea, beat back all
before them, paused for a moment, set rolling down the hill upon our men
a number of enormous round bombs, which bounded into our lines and
burst, and then following up this artillery they fell on the men round
The Farm in the most bloody and desperate fight of the campaign.

Even as they topped Chunuk and swarmed down to engulf our right, our
guns opened upon them in a fire truly awful, but thousands came alive
over the crest and went down to the battle below. Stragglers running
from the first rush put a panic in the Aghyl Dere, where bearers,
doctors, mules and a multitude of wounded were jammed up with soldiers
trying to get up to the fight. Some of our men held up against this
thrust of the Turks, and in that first brave stand, General Baldwin was
killed. Then our line broke, the Turks got fairly in among our men with
a weight which bore all before it, and what followed was a long
succession of British rallies to a tussle body to body, with knives and
stones and teeth, a fight of wild beasts in the ruined cornfields of The
Farm. Nothing can be said of that fight, no words can describe nor any
mind imagine it, except as a roaring and blazing hour of killing. Our
last reserves came up to it, and the Turks were beaten back; very few of
their men reached their lines alive. The Turk dead lay in thousands all
down the slopes of the hill; but the crest of the hill, the prize,
remained in Turk hands, not in ours.

That ended the battle of the 6th-10th of August. We had beaten off the
Turks, but our men were too much exhausted to do more. They could not go
up the hill again. Our thrust at Sari Bair had failed. It had just
failed, by a few minutes, though unsupported from the left. Even then,
at the eleventh hour, two fresh battalions and a ton of water would have
made Chunuk ours, but we had neither the men nor the water; Sari was not
to be our hill. Our men fought for four days and nights in a wilderness
of gorse and precipice to make her ours. They fought in a blazing sun,
without rest, with little food and with almost no water, on hills on
fire and on crags rotting to the tread. They went, like all their
brothers in that Peninsula, on a forlorn hope, and by bloody pain they
won the image and the taste of victory, and then, when their reeling
bodies had burst the bars, so that our race might pass through, there
were none to pass, the door was open, but there were none to go through
it to triumph, and then, slowly, as strength failed, the door was shut
again, the bars were forged again, victory was hidden again, all was to
do again, and our brave men were but the fewer and the bitterer for all
their bloody sacrifice for the land they served. All was to do again
after the 10th of August, the great battle of the campaign was over. We
had made our fight, we had seen our enemy beaten and the prize
displayed, and then (as before at Helles) we had to stop for want of
men, till the enemy had remade his army and rebuilt his fort.



VI

The day passed, the night came, the King lay down in his vaulted room.
St. Gabriel came from God to call him. "Charles, summon the army of your
empire and go by forced marches into the land of Bire, to the city that
the pagans have besieged. The Christians call and cry for you." The
Emperor wished not to go. "God," he said, "how painful is my life." He
wept from his eyes, he tore his white beard.

 _The end of the Song of Roland._


That, in a way, was the end of the campaign, for no other attempt to win
through was made. The Turks were shaken to the heart. Another battle
following at once might well have broken them. But we had not the men
nor the shells for another battle. In the five days' battle on the front
of twelve miles we had lost very little less than a quarter of our
entire army, and we had shot away most of our always scanty supply of
ammunition. We could not attack again till fifty thousand more men were
landed and the store of shells replenished. Those men and shells were
not near Gallipoli, but in England, where the war as a whole had to be
considered. The question to be decided, by those directing the war as a
whole, was, "should those men and shells be sent?" It was decided by the
High Direction, that they should not be sent: the effort therefore could
not be made.

Since the effort could not be made, the campaign declined into a
secondary operation, to contain large reserves of Turks, with their guns
and munitions, from use elsewhere, in Mesopotamia or in the Caucasus.
But before it became this, a well-planned and well-fought effort was
made from Suvla to secure our position by seizing the hills to the east
of the Bay. This attack took place on the 21st August, in intense heat,
across an open plain without cover of any kind, blazing throughout
nearly all its length with scrub fires. The 29th Division (brought up
from Cape Helles) carried Scimitar Hill with great dash, and was then
held up. The attack on Ismail Oglu failed. Two thrusts made by the men
of Anzac in the latter days of August, secured an important well, and
the Turk stronghold of Hill 60. This last success made the line from
Anzac to Suvla impregnable.

After this, since no big attempt could be made by the Allied Troops and
no big attempt was made by the enemy, the fighting settled down into
trench warfare on both sides. There was some shelling every day and
night, some machine gun and rifle fire, much sniping, great vigilance,
and occasional bombing and mining. The dysentery, which had been present
ever since the heats began, increased beyond all measure; very few men
in all that army were not attacked and weakened by it. Many thousands
went down with it; Mudros, Alexandria and Malta were filled with cases;
many died.

Those who remained, besides carrying on the war by daily and nightly
fire, worked continually with pick and shovel to improve the lines. Long
after the war, the goatherd on Gallipoli will lose his way in the miles
of trenches which zigzag from Cape Helles to Achi Baba and from Gaba
Tepe to Ejelmer Bay. They run to and fro in all that expanse of land,
some of them shallow, others deep cuttings in the marl, many of them
paved with stone or faced with concrete, most of them sided with little
caverns, leading far down (in a few cases) to rooms twenty feet under
the ground. Long after we are all dust the goats of Gallipoli will break
their legs in those pits and ditches, and over their coffee round the
fire the elders will say that they were dug by devils and the sons of
devils, and antiquarians will come from the west to dig there, and will
bring away shards of iron, and empty tins and bones. Fifty years ago
some French staff officers traced out the works round Durazzo, where
Pompey the Great fought just such another campaign, two thousand years
ago. Two thousand years hence, when this war is forgotten, those lines
under the ground will draw the staff officers of whatever country is
then the most cried for brains.

Those lines were the homes of thousands of our soldiers for half a year
and more. There they lived and did their cooking and washing, made their
jokes and sang their songs. There they sweated under their burdens, and
slept, and fell in to die. There they marched up the burning hill, where
the sand devils flung by the shells were blackening heaven, there they
lay in their dirty rags awaiting death, and there by thousands up and
down they lie buried, in little lonely graves where they fell, or in the
pits of the great engagements.

Those lines at Cape Helles, Anzac and Suvla, were once busy towns,
thronged by thousands of citizens whose going and coming and daily
labour were cheerful with singing, as though those places were mining
camps during a gold rush, instead of a perilous front where the fire
never ceased and the risk of death was constant. But for the noise of
war, coming in an irregular rattle, with solitary big explosions, the
screams of shells or the wild whistling crying of ricochets, they seemed
busy but very peaceful places. At night, from the sea, the lamps of the
dugouts on the cliffs were like the lights of seacoast towns in summer,
and the places seemingly as peaceful, but for the pop and rattle of fire
and the streaks of glare from the shells. There was always singing,
sometimes very good, and always beautiful, coming in the crash of war;
and always one heard the noises of the work of men, the beat of
piledrivers, wheels going over stones, and the little solid pobbing
noises, from bullets dropping in the sea.

I have said that those positions were like mining camps during a gold
rush. Ballarat, the Sacramento, and the camps of the Transvaal must have
looked strangely like those camps at Suvla and Cape Helles. Anzac at
night was like those crags of old building over the Arno at Florence; by
day it was a city of cliff dwellers, stirring memories of the race's
past. An immense expanse was visible from all these places; at Cape
Helles there was the plain rising gradually to Achi Baba, at Anzac a
wilderness of hills, at Suvla the same hills seen from below. Over all
these places came a strangeness of light, unlike anything to be seen in
the west, a light which made the hills clear and unreal at the same
time, softening their savagery into peace, till they seemed not hills
but swellings of the land, as though the land there had breathed-in and
risen a little. All the places were dust-coloured as soon as the flowers
had withered, a dark dust-coloured where the scrub grew (often almost
wine-dark like our own hills where heather grows) a pale sand colour,
where the scrub gave out, and elsewhere a paleness and a greyness as of
moss and lichen and old stone. On this sandy and dusty land, where even
the trees were grey and ghostly (olive and Eastern currant) the camps
were scattered, a little and a little, never much in one place on
account of shelling, till the impression given was one of multitude.

The signs of the occupation began far out at sea where the hospital
ships lay waiting for their freight. There were always some there,
painted white and green, lying outside the range of the big guns. Nearer
to the shore were the wrecks of ships, some of them sunk by our men, to
make breakwaters, some sunk by the Turk shells, some knocked to pieces
or washed ashore by foul weather. Nearly all these wrecks were of small
size, trawlers, drifters and little coastwise vessels such as peddle and
bring home fish on the English coasts. Closer in, right on the beaches,
were the bones of still smaller boats, pinnaces, cutters and lighters,
whose crews had been the men of the first landings. Men could not see
those wrecks without a thrill. There were piers at all the beaches, all
built under shell fire, to stand both shell fire and the sea, and at the
piers there was always much busy life, men singing at their work, horses
and mules disembarking, food and munitions and water discharging,
wounded going home and drafts coming ashore. On the beaches were the
hieroglyphs of the whole bloody and splendid story; there were the marks
and signs, which no one could mistake nor see unmoved.

Even after months of our occupation the traces were there off the main
tracks. A man had but to step from one of the roads into the scrub, and
there they lay, relics of barbed wire, blown aside in tangles, round
shrapnel-bullets in the sand, empty cartridge-cases, clips of cartridge
cases bent double by a blow yet undischarged, pieces of flattened rifle
barrel, rags of leather, broken bayonets, jags and hacks of shell, and,
in little hollows, little heaps of cartridge-cases, where some man had
lain to fire for hour after hour, often until he died at his post, on
the 25th of April. Here, too, one came upon the graves of soldiers,
sometimes alone, sometimes three or four together, each with an
inscribed cross and border of stones from the beach. Privates, sergeants
and officers lay in those graves and by them, all day long, the work
which they had made possible by that sacrifice on the 25th, went on in a
stream, men and munitions going up to the front, and wounded and the
dying coming down, while the explosions of the cannon trembled through
the earth to them and the bullets piped and fell over their heads.

But the cities of those camps were not cities of the dead, they were
cities of intense life, cities of comradeship and resolve, unlike the
cities of peace. At Mudros, all things seemed little, for there men were
dwarfed by their setting; they were there in ships which made even a
full battalion seem only a cluster of heads. On the Peninsula they
seemed to have come for the first time to full stature. There they were
bigger than their surroundings. There they were naked manhood pitted
against death in the desert and more than holding their own.

All those sun-smitten hills and gullies, growing nothing but crackling
scrub, were peopled by crowds. On all the roads, on the plain, which lay
white like salt in the glare, and on the sides of the gullies, strange,
sunburned, half-naked men moved at their work with the bronze bodies of
gods. Like Egyptians building a city they passed and repassed with boxes
from the walls of stores built on the beach. Dust had toned their
uniforms even with the land. Their half-nakedness made them more grand
than clad men. Very few of them were less than beautiful; whole
battalions were magnificent, the very flower of the world's men. They
had a look in their eyes which those who saw them will never forget.

Sometimes as one watched, one heard a noise of cheering from the ships,
and this, the herald of good news, passed inland, till men would rise
from sleep in their dugouts, come to the door, blinking in the sun, to
pass on the cheer. In some strange way the news, the cause of the
cheering, passed inland with the cheer; a submarine had sunk a transport
off Constantinople, or an aeroplane had bombed a powder factory. One
heard the news pass on and on, till it rang from the front trenches ten
yards from the Turk line. Sometimes the cheering was very loud, mingled
with singing; then it was a new battalion, coming from England, giving
thanks that they were there, after their months of training, to help the
fleet through. Men who heard those battalions singing will never hear
those songs of "Tipperary," "Let's all go down the Strand," or "We'll
all go the same way home," without a quickening at the heart.

Everywhere in the three positions there were the homes of men. In gashes
or clefts of the earth were long lines of mules or horses with Indian
grooms. On the beaches were offices, with typewriters clicking and
telephone bells ringing. Stacked on one side were ammunition carts so
covered with bushes that they looked like the scrub they stood on. Here
and there were strangely painted guns, and everywhere the work of men,
armourer's forges, farrier's anvils, the noise and clink and bustle of a
multitude. Everywhere, too, but especially in the gullies were the
cave-dwellings of the dugouts, which so dotted the cliffs with their
doors, that one seemed put back to Cro-Magnon or Tampa, into some
swarming tribe of cave-dwellers. All the dugouts were different, though
all were built upon the same principle, first a scooping in the earth,
then a raised earth ledge for a bed, then (if one were lucky) a
corrugated-iron roof propped by balks, lastly a topping of sandbags
strewn with scrub. For doors, if one had a door or sunshade, men used
sacking, burlap, a bit of canvas, or a blanket. Then, when the work was
finished, the builder entered in, to bathe in his quarter of a pint of
water, smoke his pipe, greet his comrades, and think foul scorn of the
Turk, whose bullets piped and droned overhead, all day and night, like
the little finches of home. Looking out from the upper dugouts one saw
the dusty, swarming warren of men, going and coming, with a kind of
swift slouch, carrying boxes from the beach. Mules and men passed, songs
went up and down the gullies, and were taken up by those at rest, men
washed and mended clothes, or wandered naked and sun reddened along the
beach, bathing among dropping bullets. Wounded men came down on
stretchers, sick men babbled in pain or cursed the flies, the forges
clinked, the pile drivers beat in the balks of the piers, the bullets
droned and piped, or rushed savagely, or popped into a sandbag. Up in
the trenches the rifles made the irregular snaps of fire-crackers,
sometimes almost ceasing, then popping, then running along a section in
a rattle, then quickening down the line and drawing the enemy, then
pausing and slowly ceasing and beginning again. From time to time, with
a whistle and a wailing, some Asian shell came over and dropped and
seemed to multiply, and gathered to herself the shriek of all the devils
of hell, and burst like a devil and filled a great space with blackness
and dust and falling fragments. Then another and another came, almost in
the same place, till the gunners had had enough. Then the dust settled,
the ruin was made good, and all went on as before, men carrying and
toiling and singing, bullets piping, and the flies settling and swarming
on whatever was obscene in what the shell had scattered.

Everywhere in those positions there was gaiety and courage and devoted
brotherhood, but there was also another thing, which brooded over all,
and struck right home to the heart. It was a tragical feeling, a taint
or flavour in the mind, such as men often feel in hospitals when many
are dying, the sense that Death was at work there, that Death lived
there, that Death wandered up and down there and fed on Life.

 [Illustration: An Australian bringing in a wounded comrade to hospital]

Since the main object of the campaign, to help the fleet through the
Narrows, had been abandoned (in mid-August), and no further thrust was
to be made against the Turks, the questions "Were our 100,000 men in
Gallipoli containing a sufficiently large army of Turks to justify their
continuance on the Peninsula?" and "Could they be more profitably used
elsewhere?" arose in the minds of the High Direction from week to week
as the war changed.

In the early autumn, when the Central Powers combined with Bulgaria to
crush Serbia and open a road to Constantinople, these questions became
acute. During October owing to the radical change in the Balkan
situation which was produced by the treachery of Bulgaria and the
bewildering indecision of Greece the advantage of our continuing the
campaign became more and more doubtful and in November, after full
consideration, it was decided to evacuate the Peninsula. Preparations
were made and the work begun.

Late in November, something happened which had perhaps some influence in
hurrying on the date of the evacuation. This was the blizzard of the
26th-28th, which lost us about a tenth of our whole army from cold,
frostbite, exposure, and the sicknesses which follow them. The 26th
began as a cold, dour Gallipoli day with a bitter northeasterly wind,
which increased in the afternoon to a fresh gale, with sleet. Later, it
increased still more, and blew hard, with thunder; and with the thunder
came a rain more violent than any man of our army had ever seen. Water
pours off very quickly from that land of abrupt slopes. In a few minutes
every gully was a raging torrent, and every trench a river. By an
ill-chance this storm fell with cruel violence upon the ever famous 29th
Division then holding trenches at Suvla. The water poured down into
their trenches, as though it were a tidal wave. It came in with a rush,
with a head upon it like the tide advancing, so quickly that men were
one minute dry and the next moment drowned at their posts. They were
caught so suddenly that those who escaped had to leap from their
trenches for dear life, leaving coats, haversacks, food and sometimes
even their rifles, behind them.

Our trenches were in nearly every case below those of the Turks, who
therefore suffered from the water far less than our men did. The Turks
saw our men leaping from their trenches, and either guessing the reason
or fearing an attack, opened a very heavy rifle and shrapnel fire upon
them. Our men had to shelter behind the parados of their trenches, where
they scraped themselves shallow pans in the mud under a heavy fire. At
dark the sleet increased, the mud froze, and there our men lay, most of
them without overcoats, and many of them without food. In one trench
when the flood rose, a pony, a mule, a pig, and two dead Turks were
washed over a barricade together.

Before the night fell, many of our men were frost-bitten and started
limping to the ambulances, under continual shrapnel fire and in blinding
sleet. A good many fell down by the way and were frozen to death. The
gale increased slowly all through the night, blowing hard and steadily
from the north, making a great sea upon the coast, and driving the spray
far inland. At dawn it grew colder, and the sleet hardened into snow,
with an ever-increasing wind, which struck through our men to the
marrow. "They fell ill," said one who was there, "in heaps." The water
from the flood had fallen in the night, but it was still four feet deep
in many of the trenches, and our men passed the morning under fire in
their shelter pans, fishing for food and rifles in their drowned lines.
All through the day the wind gathered, till it was blowing a full gale,
vicious and bitter cold; and on the 28th it reached its worst. The 28th
was spoken of afterwards as "Frozen Foot Day;" it was a day more
terrible than any battle; but now it was taking toll of the Turks, and
the fire slackened. Probably either side could have had the other's
position for the taking on the 28th, had there been enough unfrosted
feet to advance. It was a day so blind with snow and driving storm that
neither side could see to fire, and this brought the advantage, that our
men hopping to the ambulances had not to go through a pelt of shrapnel
bullets. On the 29th, the limits of human strength were reached. Some of
those frozen three days before were able to return to duty, and "a great
number of officers and men who had done their best to stick it out were
forced to go to hospital." The water fell during this day, but it left
on an average 2-1/2 feet of thick, slushy mud, into which many trenches
collapsed. After this the weather was fine and warm.

At Helles and Anzac the fall of the ground gave some protection from
this gale, but at Suvla there was none. When the weather cleared, the
beaches were heaped with the wreck of piers, piles, boats and lighters,
all broken and jammed together. But great as this wreck was the wreck of
men was even greater. The 29th Division had lost two-thirds of its
strength. In the three sectors over 200 men were dead, over 10,000 were
unfit for further service and not less than 30,000 others were sickened
and made old by it.

The Turk loss was much more serious even than this, for though they
suffered less from the wet, they suffered more from the cold, through
being on the higher ground. The snow lay upon their trenches long after
it had gone from ours, and the Turk equipment though very good as far as
it went, was only good for the summer. Their men wore thin clothes, and
many of them had neither overcoat nor blanket. The blizzard which was a
discouragement to us, took nearly all the heart out of the Turks; and
this fact must be borne in mind in the reading of the next few pages.

The gale had one good effect. Either the cold or the rain destroyed or
removed the cause of the dysentery, which had taken nearly a thousand
victims a day for some months. The disease stopped at once and no more
fresh cases were reported.

This storm made any attempt to land or to leave the land impossible for
four days together. Coming, as it did, upon the decision to evacuate, it
gave the prompting, that the evacuation should be hurried, lest such
weather should prevent it. On the 8th of December, the evacuation of
Anzac and Suvla was ordered to begin.

It was not an easy task to remove large numbers of men, guns and animals
from positions commanded by the Turk observers and open to every
cruising aeroplane. But by ruse and skill, and the use of the dark,
favoured by fine weather, the work was done, almost without loss, and,
as far as one could judge, unsuspected.

German agents, eager to discredit those whom they could not defeat, have
said, "that we bribed the Turks to let us go;" next year perhaps they
will say "that the Turks bribed us to go;" the year after that perhaps,
they will invent something equally false and even sillier. But putting
aside the foulness and the folly of this bribery lie, it is interesting
to enquire how it happened that the Turks did not attack our men while
they were embarking.

The Turks were very good fighters, furious in attack and resolute in
defence, but among their qualities of mind were some which greatly
puzzled our commanders. Their minds would sometimes work in ways very
strange to Europeans. They did, or refrained from doing, certain things
in ways for which neither we nor our Allies could account. Some day,
long hence, when the war is over, the Turk story of our withdrawal will
be made known. Until then, we can only guess, why it was that the
embarkation, which many had thought would lose us half our army, was
made good from Anzac and Suvla with the loss of only four or five men
(or less than the normal loss of a night in the trenches). Only two
explanations are possible. Either (1) the Turks knew that we were going
and wanted to be rid of us, or (2) they did not know that we were going
and were entirely deceived by our ruses.

Had they known that we were going from Anzac and Suvla, it is at least
likely that they would have hastened our going, partly that they might
win some booty, which they much needed, or take a large number of
prisoners, whose appearance would have greatly cheered the citizens of
Constantinople. But nearly all those of our army who were there, felt,
both from observation and intelligence, that the Turks did not know that
we were going. As far as men on one side in a war can judge of their
enemies they felt that the Turks were deceived, completely deceived, by
the ruses employed by us, and that they believed that we were being
strongly reinforced for a new attack. Our soldiers took great pains to
make them believe this. Looking down upon us from their heights, the
Turks saw boats leaving the shore apparently empty, and returning,
apparently, full of soldiers. Looking up at them, from our position our
men saw how the sight affected them. For the twelve days during which
the evacuation was in progress at Anzac and Suvla, the Turks were
plainly to be seen, digging everywhere to secure themselves from the
feared attack. They dug new lines, they brought up new guns, they made
ready for us in every way. On the night of the 19th-20th December, in
hazy weather, at full moon, our men left Suvla and Anzac, unmolested.

It was said by Dr. Johnson that "no man does anything, consciously for
the last time, without a feeling of sadness." No man of all that force
passed down those trenches, the scenes of so much misery and pain and
joy and valour and devoted brotherhood, without a deep feeling of
sadness. Even those who had been loudest in their joy at going were sad.
Many there did not want to go; but felt that it was better to stay, and
that then, with another fifty thousand men, the task could be done, and
their bodies and their blood buy victory for us. This was the feeling
even at Suvla, where the men were shaken and sick still from the storm;
but at Anzac, the friendly little kindly city, which had been won at
such cost in the ever-glorious charge of the 28th, and held since with
such pain, and built with such sweat and toil and anguish, in thirst,
and weakness and bodily suffering, which had seen the thousands of the
13th Division land in the dark and hide, and had seen them fall in with
the others to go to Chunuk, and had known all the hope and fervour, all
the glorious resolve, and all the bitterness and disappointment of the
unhelped attempt, the feeling was far deeper. Officers and men went up
and down the well-known gullies moved almost to tears by the thought
that the next day those narrow acres so hardly won and all those graves
of our people so long defended would be in Turk hands.

For some weeks, our men had accustomed the Turks to sudden cessations of
fire for half-an-hour or more. At first, the Turks had been made
suspicious by these silences, but they were now used to them, and
perhaps glad of them. They were not made suspicious by the slackening of
the fire on the night of the withdrawal. The mules and guns had all gone
from Suvla. A few mules and a few destroyed guns were left at Anzac; in
both places a pile of stores was left, all soaked in oil and ready for
firing. The ships of war drew near to the coast, and trained their guns
on the hills. In the haze of the full moon the men filed off from the
trenches down to the beaches and passed away from Gallipoli, from the
unhelped attempt which they had given their bodies and their blood to
make. They had lost no honour. They were not to blame, that they were
creeping off in the dark, like thieves in the night. Had others (not of
their profession) many hundreds of miles away, but seen as they, as
generous, as wise, as forseeing, as full of sacrifice, those thinned
companies with the looks of pain in their faces, and the mud of the
hills thick upon their bodies, would have given thanks in Santa Sophia
three months before. They had failed to take Gallipoli, and the mine
fields still barred the Hellespont, but they had fought a battle such as
has never been seen upon this earth. What they had done will become a
glory forever, wherever the deeds of heroic unhelped men are honoured
and pitied and understood. They went up at the call of duty, with a
bright banner of a battle-cry, against an impregnable fort. Without
guns, without munitions, without help and without drink they climbed the
scarp and held it by their own glorious manhood, quickened by a word
from their chief. Now they were giving back the scarp and going out into
new adventures, wherever the war might turn.

Those going down to the beaches wondered in a kind of awe whether the
Turks would discover them and attack. The minutes passed, and boat after
boat left the shore, but no attack came. The arranged rifles fired
mechanically in the outer trenches at long intervals, and the crackle of
the Turk reply followed. At Anzac, a rearguard of honour had been
formed. The last two hundred men to leave Anzac were survivors of those
who had landed in the first charge, so glorious and so full of hope on
the 25th of April. They had fought through the whole campaign from the
very beginning; they had seen it all. It was only just that they should
be the last to leave. As they, too, moved down, one of their number saw
a solitary Turk, black against the sky, hard at work upon his trench.
That was the last enemy to be seen from Anzac.

At half-past five in the winter morning of the 20th December the last
boat pushed off; and the last of our men had gone from Suvla and Anzac.
Those who had been there from the first were deeply touched. There was a
longing that it might be to do again, with the same comrades, under the
same chiefs but with better luck and better backing. Some distance from
the shore the boats paused to watch the last act in the withdrawal. It
was dead calm weather, with just that ruffle of wind which comes before
the morning. The Turk fire crackled along the lines as usual, but the
withdrawal was still not suspected. Then from the beaches within the
stacks of abandoned stores came the noise of explosion, the charges had
been fired, and soon immense flames were licking up those boxes and
reddening the hills. As the flames grew, there came a stir in the Turk
lines, and then every Turk gun that could be brought to bear opened with
shrapnel and high explosive on the area of the bonfires. It was plain
that the Turks misread the signs. They thought that some lucky shell had
fired our stores and that they could stop us from putting out the
flames. Helped by the blasts of many shells the burning rose like
balefire, crowned by wreaths and streaks and spouts of flame. The stores
were either ashes, or in a blaze which none could quench before the
Turks guessed the meaning of that burning. Long before the fires had
died and before the Turks were wandering in joy among our trenches, our
men were aboard their ships standing over to Mudros.

Some have said, "Even if the Turks were deceived at Anzac and Suvla,
they must have known that you were leaving Cape Helles. Why did they not
attack you while you were embarking there?" I do not know the answer to
this question. But it is possible that they did not know that we were
leaving. It is possible that they believed that we should hold Cape
Helles like an Eastern Gibraltar. It is possible, on the other hand,
that they were deceived again by our ruses. It is however, certain that
they watched us far more narrowly at Cape Helles after the Anzac
evacuation. Aeroplanes cruised over our position frequently, and
shell-fire increased and became very heavy. Still, when the time came,
the burning of our stores, after our men had embarked, seemed to be the
first warning that the Turks had that we were going.

This was a mystery to our soldiers at the time and seems strange now. It
is possible that at Cape Helles, the Turks' shaken, frozen and
out-of-heart soldiers may have known that we were going yet had no life
left in them for an attack. Many things are possible in this world, and
the darkness is strange and the heart of a fellow-man is darkness to us.
There were things in the Turk heart very dark indeed to those who tried
to read it. The storm had dealt with them cruelly, that is all that we
know. Let us wait till we know their story.

The Cape Helles position was held for twenty days, after we had left
Anzac and Suvla. On the 8th-9th of January in the present year, it was
abandoned, with slight loss, though in breaking weather. By 4 o'clock on
the morning of the 9th of January, the last man had passed the graves of
those who had won the beaches. They climbed on board their boats and
pushed off. They had said good-bye to the English dead, whose blood had
given them those acres, now being given back. Some felt, as they passed
those graves, that the stones were living men, who cast a long look
after them when they had passed, and sighed, and turned landward as they
had turned of old. Then in a rising sea, whipped with spray, among the
noise of ships weltering to the rails, the battalions left Cape Helles;
the _River Clyde_ dimmed into the gale and became a memory, and the
Gallipoli campaign was over.


Many people have asked me, what the campaign achieved? It achieved much.
It destroyed and put out of action many more of the enemy than of our
own men. Our own losses in killed, wounded and missing were, roughly
speaking, one hundred and fifteen thousand men, and the sick about one
hundred thousand more, or (in all) more than two and one-half times as
many as the army which made the landing. The Turk losses from all causes
were far greater; they had men to waste and wasted them, like water, at
Cape Helles, Lone Pine and Chunuk. The real Turk losses will never be
tabled and published, but at the five battles of The Landings, the 6th
May, the 4th June, the 28th of June, and the 6th-10th August, they lost
in counted killed alone, very nearly as many as were killed on our side
in the whole campaign. Then, though we did not do what we hoped to do,
our presence in Gallipoli contained large armies of Turks in and near
the Peninsula. They had always from 15 to 20,000 more men than we had,
on the Peninsula itself, and at least as many more, ready to move, on
the Asian shore and at Rodosto. In all, we disabled, or held from action
elsewhere, not less than 400,000 Turks, that is, a very large army of
men who might have been used elsewhere, with disastrous advantage, in
the Caucasus, when Russia was hard pressed, or, as they were used later,
in Mesopotamia.

So much for the soldiers' side; but politically, the campaign achieved
much. In the beginning, it had a profound effect upon Italy; it was,
perhaps, one of the causes which brought Italy into her war with
Austria. In the beginning, too, it had a profound effect upon the Balkan
States. Bulgaria made no move against us until five months after our
landings. Had we not gone to Gallipoli she would have joined our enemies
in the late spring instead of in the middle autumn.

Some of our enemies have said that "the campaign was a defeat for the
British Navy." It is true that we lost two capital ships, from mines, in
the early part of the campaign, and I think, in all, two others, from
torpedoes, during the campaign. Such loss is not very serious in eleven
months of naval war. For the campaign was a naval war, it depended
utterly and solely upon the power of the Navy. By our Navy we went there
and were kept there, and by our Navy we came away. During the nine
months of our hold on the Peninsula over three hundred thousand men were
brought by the Navy from places three, four, or even six thousand miles
away. During the operations some half of these were removed by our Navy,
as sick and wounded, to ports from eight hundred to three thousand miles
away. Every day, for eleven months, ships of our Navy moved up and down
the Gallipoli coast bombarding the Turk positions. Every day during the
operations our Navy kept our armies in food, drink and supplies. Every
day, in all that time, if weather permitted, ships of our Navy cruised
in the Narrows and off Constantinople, and the seaplanes of our Navy
raided and scouted within the Turk lines. If there had been, I will not
say, any defeat of, but any check to the Navy, we could not have begun
the campaign or continued it. Every moment of those eleven months of war
was an illustration of the silent and unceasing victory of our Navy's
power. As Sir Ian Hamilton has put it "the Navy was our father and our
mother."

"Still," our enemies say, "you did not win the Peninsula." We did not;
and some day, when truth will walk clear-eyed, it will be known why we
did not. Until then, let our enemies say this: "They did not win, but
they came across three thousand miles of sea, a little army without
reserves and short of munitions, a band of brothers, not half of them
half-trained, and nearly all of them new to war. They came to what we
said was an impregnable fort on which our veterans of war and massacre
had laboured for two months, and by sheer naked manhood they beat us,
and drove us out of it. Then rallying, but without reserves, they beat
us again and drove us further. Then rallying once more, but still
without reserves, they beat us again, this time to our knees. Then, had
they had reserves, they would have conquered, but by God's pity they had
none. Then, after a lapse of time, when we were men again, they had
reserves, and they hit us a staggering blow, which needed but a push to
end us, but God again had pity. After that our God was indeed pitiful,
for England made no further thrust, and they went away."

  Even so was wisdom proven blind,
  So courage failed, so strength was chained,
  Even so the gods, whose seeing mind
  Is not as ours, ordained.

 Lollingdon,
 June 29, 1916.


THE END


PRINTED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA



The following pages contain advertisements of a few Macmillan books by
the same author

 _BY THE SAME AUTHOR_
 BY JOHN MASEFIELD


Salt Water Poems and Ballads

With plates in color and black and white illustrations by Charles Pears

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Multitude and Solitude

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with men at arms between decks goes the _Broken Heart_ following her
master's dream, and her thrilling voyage with its storms and battles is
strongly and stirringly told. When John Masefield writes of the sea, the
sea lives.

"Worthy to rank high among books of its class. The story has quality,
charm, and spirited narrative."--_Outlook._


Good Friday and Other Poems

 BY JOHN MASEFIELD
 Author of "The Everlasting Mercy" and "The Widow in the Bye Street,"
 etc.

 _Cloth, $1.25. Leather, $1.60_

The title piece in this volume is a dramatic poem of sixty pages the
action of which takes place in the time of Christ. The characters
introduced include Pontius Pilate, Joseph of Ramah and Herod. The play,
for it is really such, is written in rhyme and is one of Mr. Masefield's
most interesting and important contributions to literature. In addition
to this there are in the book many sonnets and short poems.

"Reveals an interesting development in poetic thought and expression ...
a new Masefield ... who has never written with more dignity, nor with
more artistry. Those who go in quest of Beauty will find her here....
Here is beauty of impression, beauty of expression, beauty of thought,
and beauty of phrase."--_The New York Times._


The Tragedy of Nan

 _New edition. Cloth, $1.25. Leather, $1.60_

"One of the most distinctive tragedies written by a dramatist of the
modern school."--_N.Y. Evening Post._


The Faithful: A Tragedy in Three Acts

 _Cloth, $1.25. Leather, $1.60_

Mr. Masefield's contributions to dramatic literature are held in quite
as high esteem by his admirers as his narrative poems. In "The
Faithful," his new play, he is at his best.

"A striking drama ... a notable work that will meet with the hearty
appreciation of discerning readers."--_The Nation._


Philip the King, and Other Poems

 BY JOHN MASEFIELD
 Author of "The Tragedy of Pompey," "The Everlasting Mercy," "The
 Daffodil Fields"

 _Cloth, 12mo, $1.25. Leather, $1.60_

"Mr. Masefield's new poetical drama is a piece of work such as only the
author of 'Nan' and 'The Tragedy of Pompey' could have written, tense in
situation and impressive in its poetry.... In addition to this important
play, the volume contains some new and powerful narrative poems of the
sea--the men who live on it and their ships. There are also some shorter
lyrics as well as an impressive poem on the present war in Europe which
expresses, perhaps, better than anything yet written, the true spirit of
England in the present struggle."

"Mr. Masefield has never done anything better than these
poems."--_Argonaut._

"The compelling strength of John Masefield's genius is revealed in the
memorable poem, 'August, 1914,' published in his latest volume of
poetry."--_Review of Reviews._


The Story of a Round-House, and Other Poems

 _New and revised edition, $1.30. Leather, $1.60_

"The story of that rounding of the Horn! Never in prose has the sea been
so tremendously described."--_Chicago Evening Post._

"A remarkable poem of the sea."--_San Francisco Chronicle._

"Vivid and thrillingly realistic."--_Current Literature._

"A genuine sailor and a genuine poet are a rare combination; they have
produced a rare poem of the sea, which has made Mr. Masefield's position
in literature secure beyond the reach of caviling."--_Everybody's
Magazine._

"Masefield has prisoned in verse the spirit of life at sea."--_N.Y. Sun._


The Everlasting Mercy and The Widow in the Bye Street

(Awarded the Royal Society of Literature's prize of $500)

 _New and revised edition, $1.25. Leather, $1.60_

"Mr. Masefield comes like a flash of light across contemporary English
poetry. The improbable has been accomplished; he has made poetry out of
the very material that has refused to yield it for almost a score of
years."--_Boston Evening Transcript._

"Originality, force, distinction, and deep knowledge of the human
heart."--_Chicago Record-Herald._

"They are truly great pieces."--_Kentucky Post._

"A vigor and sincerity rare in modern English literature."--_The
Independent._

"John Masefield is the man of the hour, and the man of to-morrow too, in
poetry and in the playwriting craft."--JOHN GALSWORTHY.

"--recreates a wholly new drama of existence."--WILLIAM STANLEY
BRAITHWAITE, _N.Y. Times_.


The Daffodil Fields

 _Cloth, 12mo, $1.25. Leather, $1.60_

"Neither in the design nor in the telling did or could 'Enoch Arden'
come near the artistic truth of 'The Daffodil Fields.'"--_Sir
Quiller-Couch_, _Cambridge University_.


A Mainsail Haul

 _Cloth, 12mo, $1.25. Leather, $1.60_

As a sailor before the mast Masefield has traveled the world over. Many
of the tales in this volume are his own experiences written with the
same dramatic fidelity displayed in "Dauber."


The Tragedy of Pompey

 _Cloth, 12mo, $1.25. Leather, $1.60_

A play such as only the author of "Nan" could have written. Tense in
situation and impressive in its poetry it conveys Masefield's genius in
the handling of the dramatic form.


 THE MACMILLAN COMPANY
 Publishers 64-66 Fifth Avenue New York





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