DIARY OF MAIN EVENTS IN CONNECTION WITH THE GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN
4th August 1914
Gt Britain declares war on Germany due to the Germans violation of Belgian neutrality. British Government appropriate two Turkish battleships being buit in British shipyards.
10th August 1914
The German warships Geoben and Breslau are allowed passage through the Dardanelles Straits after avoidding British warships in the Mediterranean.
End August/Early September 1914
Discussions in London as to the possibility of the Royal Navy forcing the Dardanelles Channel with Greek military assistance on the Gallipoli Peninsula-(overshadowed by the clash of arms in France/Belgium)
27th September 1914
British Naval Squadron turn back Turkish torpedo-boat at the entrance to the Dardanelles.
End September 1914
Dardanelles passage closed cutting off important supply route to Russia.
Germans capitalise on:-their influence in Constantinople: the presence of the Geoben and Breslau: the torpedo boat incident (Turkey sliding into the war on Germany's side). Families of British, French and Russian officials and business-men begin to leave the Turkish Capital.
German/Turkish fleet bombards Odessa, Sebastopol and Theodosia. This act of aggression finally commints Turkey to the war-Great Britain at war with Turkey.
British fleet successfully bombards Sedd-El-Bahr fort at the entrance to the Dardanelles on the Gallipoli Peninsula.
5th November 1914
British annexe Cyprus.
November 1914-March 1915
Turks reorganise the Dardanelles defences with German assistance. Mines laid in the Straits. Howitzers arranged into mobile land batteries
13th December 1914
British submarine B11 sinks the Turkish battleship 'Messudieh' in Sari Sighlar Bay.
18th December 1914
British declare a protectorate over Egypt.
End December 1914
Stalemate on the Western Front. Neither side to achieve a quick victory. Beginnings of trench warfare. Interest re-kindled in the Dardanelles question.
End December 1914 -Early January 1915
Turkish army defeated by the Russians in the Caucasus (Battle of Sarikamish).
2nd January 1915
Appeals from Russia to the Allies for assistance in the from of a demonstration against Turkey.
Turkish build up of troops in the Sinai Desert.
Mid January 1915
Plan basically approved for a Naval attempt to force a passage through the Dardanelles, preceded by a bombardment of the forts and a minesweeping operation. Fleet ordered to assemble in February at Lemnos.
3rd-10th February 1915
Turkish attack on the Suez Canal repulsed by the British. Apprehension in Egypt abaut further possible attacks.
Early February 1915
Talk in London as whether the Dardanelles venture would need Military assistance.
Mid February 1915
Decision made that the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzacs) should bedespatched to Lemnos.
19th February-25th February 1915
Naval bombardment of the Dardanelles entrance forts.
End February 1915
confusion as to the possible role of the Military in what was to be strictly a Naval operation.
End February-Early March 1915
Parties of Marines land on Gallipoli to attempt to destroy shore batteries. Mineweepers unsuccessful in attempts to clear mines inside the Straits.
10th-12th March 1915
British attack at Neuve Chapelle on the Western Front fails, despite early success.
10th March 1915
Lord Kitchener commits 29th Division to the Aegean.
11th March 1915
General Sir Ian Hamilton appointed C in C, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force.
18th March 1915
Large Allied fleet enters the Straits in an attempt to destroy forts and shore defences before minesweeping operations. Several ships damaged. Three battleships sunk by mines, three crippled. Attack callled off.
22nd March 1915
Joint Naval/Military operations decided upon.
End March-April 1915
Allied landings effected on the Gallipoli Peninsula whilst the Royal Naval Division create a diversionary attack at Bulair Anzacs land north of Gaba Tepe:-although landed in the wrong place small parties make their way rapidly inland until held up by the difficult terrain, enemy snipers and the impossibility of keeping in touch with each other. As the day wore on and the main force landed, enemy activity insreased and desperate fighting ensued particularly on 400 Plateau and Baby 700. (Capt. J.P. Lalor)
The 29th Division land at five beaches (Y, X, W, V & S) around Cape Helles.Y, X & S forces land with little or no resistance but fail to penetrate inland.
W beach force land with great difficulty against determined opposition. (Maj. C. Bromley.)
V beach forcedecimated on landing. Heavy casualties. (Maj. J.H.D. Costeker, Maj. C.H.B. Jarrett, Sub. Lt. A. W. St.C. Tisdall.)
The French land at Kum Kale with little opposition in a diversionary action.
25th April 1915-Evening
Anzacs, after being heavily counter-attacked, cling to detached positions along the edge of 400 Plateau and at the head of Monash Valley. (Lt. Col. G.F. Braund)
Y beach force, after landing unopposed, under siege by Turkish attacks.
X & W beach forces linked up.
No progress from V beach.
The French meet stiff resistance and entrench.
26th April 1915
Anzacs dig in and try to secure their vulnerable position.
Y beach force evacuated (unauthorised).(Lt. Col. A.S. Koe).
British strom and capture the fort and village of Sedd-el-Bahr above V beach (Lt. Col. C.H.M. Doyghty-Wylie) but the main force is in no condition to advance inland due to the disastrous landing on the 25th.
The French are ordered to evacuate at Kum Kale.
27th April 1915
Anzacs establish defensive positions and repel undisciplined Turkish attacks.
British and French prepare for an advance on Krithia.
28th April 1915
Detachments of Marines and Royal Naval Division land at Anzac as reinforcements.
First Battle of Krithia:-Allies advance on Krithia but attack peters out due to disorganisation, lack of communication and insufficient artillery support. (Maj. G.C. Brooke) Allies suffer approx. 3.000 casualties.
29th-30th April 1915
Build up of Turkish reinforcements.
End April-Early May 1915
Incessant activity at Anzac. Close quarter fighting at Quinn's Post (Maj. H. Quinn). The legend of 'Anzac' is born as a small 'city' is created amidst the gullies, ravines and precipitous slopes of the tenuous Anzac position.
No attempts by theFleet to renew the original intention of forcing the Dardanelles Straits.
Allied submarine successes in the Sea of Marmara disrupting the transport of Turkish troops and supplies.
1st May 1915
Turkish attack at Anzac beaten off by Marines.
1st-2nd May 1915
Turks launch furious night attack on the British and French in the Helles Sector. After desperate close combat fighting the attack is repulsed.
2nd-3rd May 1915
Ambitious Anzac night attack on Baby 700 fails. (Lt. E.O.A. Bruns)
Early May 1915
2nd Australian Brigade and New Zealand Brigade transferred from Anzac to Helles. 29th Indian Brigade and 42nd Division arrive at Helles.
6th-8th May 1915
The second Battle of Krithia. The allied offensive on Krithia and Achi Baba fails despite an heroic advance by the Australians on the 8th May 1915. (Lt. Col. R. Gartside)
Total of 6.000 Allied casualties in a gain of less than 1/2 mile.
9th May 1915
British attack at Aubers Ridge on the Western Front fails with heavy casualties. Heavy fighting at Quinn's Post. (Lt. F.L. Armstrong)
13th May 1915
HMS Goliath torpedoed and sunk by a Turkish torpedo-boat.
14th May 1915
The war Council meet and decide to ask Hamilton to state his requirements for victory.
15th May 1915
Lord Fisher resigns precipitating a reorganisation in the Admiralty and a Governmental reconstruction (coalition).
17th May 1915
Reports received of a German submarine approaching the Gallipoli area.
Mid-End May 1915
New Zealanders scout the northern flank of Anzac and find a possible route for an advance on Chunuk Bair and the Sari Bair heights. Basic plan agreed for a futýre offensive in that area.
19th May 1915
Turks launch a massive suicidal attack at Anzac which is beaten off with 10.000 Turkish casualties.
24th May 1915
9 hour armistice at Anzac to bury the dead. (The smell of the rotting corpses after the attack on the 19th making Anzac positions almost unberable.)
25th May 1915
HMS Triumph torpedoed and sunk off Anzac by U21. As a consequence, all larger warships moved to Imbros, which has a demoralising effect on the troops on land.
HMS Majestic sent to Helles.
27th May 1915
HMS Majestic torpedoed and sunk off Helles by U21.
End May 1915
More heavy fighting at Quinn's.
Turks establish important position in the foothills north of Anzac (No.3 Outpost)(Lt. N.D. Cameron)
A soldier'slot in Gallipoli:-Flies, heat, dysentery, smell of rotting corpses, fatigues, trench raids, lice, digging, mining, being sniped and shelled.
Early June 1915
Lt. Col. Malone reorganises and improves the conditions and defence of Quinn's Post. (2 Lt. T.M.P. grace)
4th June 1915
Thirt Battle of Krithia:-Further Allied offensive on Krithia and Achi Baba. After initial success on the Left and Centre of the line the attack gets held up on the Right flank. Gains are not exploited and the battle dies away after heavy casualties (particularly in the R. Naval Division and the 42th Division)(Sub. Lt. O. Freyberg)
6th June 1915
52nd Division begins to arrive at Helles.
7th June 1915
First meeting in London of the new Dardanelles Committee.
9th June 1915
Three more divisions promised for Gallipoli plus more practical ships. (10th, 11th and 13th Divisions).
End June 1915
Plan for an offensive north of Anzac postponed and expanded to cater for the use of the new divisions.
End June-Early July 1915
Needless, futile Allied attacks launched at Helles frittering away valuable manpower. (21st June-Attack by the French on the right flank fails. 28th June-British attack on the left flank fails (Gully Ravine) 12/13th July-Further Allied attacks repulsed with heavy losses (Achi Baba Nullah)
5th July 1915
Two more divisions promised (53rd and 54th)
The original plan for a breakout north of Anzac and the capture of Chunuk Bair is now developed into an elaborate and ambitious major offensive to be launched in Early Aug 1915
1. The 13th Division to land secretly at Anzac.
2. An offensive at Helles to tie down Turkish troops in that area.
3. A vigorous assault at Lone Pine.
4. Anzacs in two columns to march out at night, north of Anzac, clear the foothills and seize the summit of Chunuk Bair and the Sari Bair heights.
5. Anzacs and British troops to attack at the Nek, Pope's and Quinn's.
6. 10th and 11th Divisions to land at Sulva Bay, advance across the plain and capture Kiretch Tepe, Chocolate Hill and the 'W' Hills.
3rd-6th August 1915
The 13th Division, 29th Brigade (of the 10th Div) and the 29th Indian Brigade are smuggled ashore at Anzac.
6th August 1915 (p.m.)
Allies launch attack at Helles against strong Turkish defensive positions. Fierce fighting but no progress made. High casualties particularly in the 29th Division. (Capt. F. Falcon). Australians spring out of underground tunnels (dug into no-mans land) at Lone Pine continues for 3 days.
6th August 1915 (Evening)
New Zealanders creep out of northern Anzac and successfully capture and clear the foothills to make way for the main advance. (Lt. Col. A. Bauchop)
6th-7th August 1915
The Right Assaulting Column (N.Z.), as planned, splits into a northern and southern advance and makes good progress until at dawn the northern column halts, 1.000 yds from Chunuk Bair, to wait for the southern column.
The left assaulting column (Australians and Gurkhas) march out in the dark and their progress is badly hampered by taking a wrong turn and enemy snipers. (Maj. P.J. Overton)
The 11th Division begin to land in the dark at Sulva Bay with no opposition at first. Lala Baba is captured, (Lt. Col. E.H.Chapman) but the casualtties suffered in the process has an unnerving effect on the New Army troops.
The 34th Brigade is landed in the wrong place.
7th August 1915
Attack renewed at Helles by the 42nd Division but to no avail.
The northerly advance of the Right Assaulting column, after a fatal 4 hour delay, pushes on toward Chunuk Bair only to be held up 500 yds short by a handful of Turks on the summit. Turkish reinforcements begin to arrive. New Zealanders dig in.
The left Assaulting column are strugging in the foothills still over a mile from their objective. The Gurkhas, however, are with in 1.000 yds of Hill Q.
Fully alerted Turks destroy a tragic attack at the Nek. (Lt. Col. A.H. White) 4 waves of Australian Light Horsemen are decimated.
Attack at Quinn's and Pope's are called off after ineffectual charges. At Sulva the casualties are mounting due to effective sniper fire and most of the force have not advanced beyond the beaches hen the 10th Division begin to land and add to the confusion. Delay and muddle reing at Sulva during the 7th. A determined push inland by aggressive leadership would have secured the objectives. By evening, tired and confused British troops capture the Chocolate Hill and Green Hill.
8th August 1915
Severe fighting continues at Lone Pine (8th and 9th Aug.)(Capt. A.J. Shout)
The New Zealanders of the Right Assaulting column capture the summit of Chunuk Bair where they attempt to dig in. The position is very difficult to maintain and reinforce. Gradually, as enemy activity increases, the Wellington Rgt. become virtually surrounded. Supported by isolated British units desperate fighting develops as they cling to their shallow trenches just below the summit (Lt. Col. W.G. Malone). After an heroic struggle the survivors, in bad shape, are relieved when reinforcements are brought up in the evening.
The left Assaulting Column still making no progress and now begin heaviky attacked. The Gurkhas advance under fire to with in 100 yds of the crest line between Hill Q and Chunuk Bair. No determined advance and little opposition at Sulva.
9th August 1915
New Army battalions, given the task of advancing on Chunuk Bair, are hopelessly lost in a night march. By midday, and coming under heavy fire, they dig in on the edge of 'The Farm' plateau. (Gen A.H. Baldwin)
The Gurkhas, supported by Warwicks and S.Lancs troops assault the crest line near the summit of Hill Q. The Turks retire,and the Gurkhas follow, onlly to be hit by our own shells. The Gurkhas withdraw and take up their previous position below the summit.(Lt. J.W.J. LeMarchand.)
Turkish reinforcements building up in the area.
The left column makes no headway despite repulsing a Turkish attack. A belated advance is ordered from Sulva to seize Tekke Tepe but meets a simultaneously mounted attack by the Turks. The British, caught in the open, are beaten back and retreat across the plain. An attack on Scimitar Hill fails, the dry scrub catches fire and burns many of the wounded.The hard pressed New Zealanders on Chunuk Bair (Maj. J. Mc.Elmslie) are relieved at nightfall by New Army Battalions.
53rd Division land at Sulva.
10th August 1915
The Turks risk everything in a massive surprise attack over Chunuk Bair. The British in the area are annihilated. The Turks swarm down to 'The Farm' plateau and the British, tired and surprised, are overwhelmed or scatter down the many gullies and ravines. The Turks withdraw back over the summit. (Lt. Col. M.H. Nunn)
The Gurkhas (not attacked by Turks) are so isolated they are ordered to withdraw.
The fighting at Helles and Lone Pine fades away. Enormous casualties suffered in dead, wounded, missing or sick in 5 days fighting.
54th Division begin to land at Sulva.
More Allied submarine successes in the Sea of Marmara
12th August 1915
Attack by part of the 54th Division on Tekke Tepe fails. (2 Lt. R. Burroughes.)
13th August 1915
The transport ship 'Royal Edward' torpedoed and sunk with the loss of over 800 lives.
15th-16th August 1915
Further attacks from Sulva by the 10th Division on the Kiretch Tepe ridge repulsed with heavy loss. (Lt. Col. A.S. Vanrenen)
Mid August 1915
29th Division transferred from Helles to Sulva. 2nd Mounted Division begin to arrive at Sulva.
21st August 1915
Major Allied offensive launched: From Sulva the 29th Div. on Scimitar Hill, 11th Div. on the 'W' Hills: From Northern Anzac on Hill 60 (Indians, Anzacs and British). Attack fails in the face of strong Turkish resistance. The Yeomanry are pushed in late in the day but to no avail. (Brig. Gen. Lord Longford.)
Over 5.000 Allied casualties suffered.
21st-End August 1915
More futile attacks on Hill 60 fail with heavy loss. (Part of Hill 60 was gained but the Turks were never ejected from the northern part of the hill.)
Disenchantment in the future of the Gallipoli enterprise; recriminations and criticism of GHQ andtheir conduct of operations. News filters back to London about the reality of the situation.
Stalemate on the Peninsula in all sectors (Anzac and Sulva linked in August) as both sides recover from the exertions of August. Trench warfare ensues. Mining activity increases.
25th September 1915
Allied offensive at Loos in France fails.
Early October 1915
Dardanelles Committee seeks Hamilton's opinion about evacuation. He states that half the troops could be lost in such an operation.
10th Division sent to Salonika.
14th October 1915
Dardanelles Committee insist on Hamilton's regisnation.
16th October 1915
Hamilton leaves Gallipoli and is succeeded by Gen. Sir Charles Monro who is ordered to go out and assess the situation.
31st October 1915
Monro advocates evacuation.
Early November 1915
Kitchener goes out to see for himself.
15th November 1915
Churchill leaves Goverment.
19th November 1915
Two more divisions to be sent to Salonika
22nd November 1915
Kitchener advises Cabinet to evacuate the Gallipoli Peninsula (not confirmed by Cabinet until 7th Dec.). Gen. Birdwood to be in charge of evacuation. (Sulva and Anzac to be evacuated. Helles to be retained for the present).
27th November 1915
Peninsula lashed by violent strom. Water rushes dowm the gullies swamping the men in the trenches.
28th-29th November 1915
The storm is followed by a severe blizzard. Rifles are frozen. Men suffer from frostbite and exposure. Sentries on duty are found frozen to death. 15.000 cases of frostbite and exposure at Sulva and Anzac.
Early December 1915
Anxieties over the difficulties of evacuating an army with equipment, stores and guns without alerting the enemy's attention. Plans laid down for a gradual and secret evacuation from Sulva and Anzac, leaving a small detachment to be taken off on one night.
Mid December 1915
The evacuation goes well, the weather is good and many ruses are invented to deceive the Turks and keep them guessing.
18th-20th December 1915
Sulva and Anzac successfully evacuated. The Turks are completely deceived.
End December 1915
Turks reinforce the Helles sector. Allies prepare for evacuation.
Early January 1916
Same policy adopted for Helles, as that for Sulva and Anzac.
7th January 1916
Turks launch attack against the remmants of the 13th Division who were holding the trenches at Gully Ravine. Attack easily repulsed with assistance from the guns of the Fleet. Heavy Turkish casualties.
8th-9th January 1916 (Night)
The successful evacuation of Helles is completed. Only one man killed in the superbly organised and executed evacuation of the Gallipoli Peninsula.