The Great World War A History, Part XI

A Tragic Disappointment 113 CHAPTER VI THE GREAT ADVENT U REIN GALL I POL I (August 1915) A Tragic Disappointment— Preparing for the Great Attempt— Why Anzac was chosen for the Main A ttack—Sir Ian Hamiltons Plan— His Head-quarters during the Operations— An Unlucky Friday— The Holding Attack Hat elles— Forestalling a Turkish Offensive— Gallant Lancastrians— Changes in the High Commands— Heroic Fight for the Vineyard— Results o f the H elles Attack— Subsidiary Operations at Anzac-—General Birdwoods Forces— Australian Glory at Lone Pine— How Seven V .C.s were Won—¦ The Frontal Assaults of the 2nd Australian Brigade and 8th Australian Light Horse— Heroes of Russell’s T op—The Main Advance on the Sari B air Ridge— Plan of Attack and Composition of the four Anzac Columns—The Night March— Immortal Exploits o f Russells M en—Johnstons Column within a quarter of a mile of Victory— Thirteenth Division of the New Army wins its Spurs— The Help from Suvla Bay that Failed —How Chunuk B air was Won— Heroic Stand of the 7th Gloucesters— Losses of the 4th Aus­tralian Brigade—The Renewed Attack on August 9— Gurkhas and New Army Troops crown the Heights— Their Fleeting Triumph— Baldwins Lost Column—The Crowning Disaster— Counting the Cost— The Suvla Bay Landing— Complete Surprise of the Turks—-Root of our Failure— Absence o f aReal Leader— Why Sir HamiltonIan went to Suvla— Story o f the Weeks Operations— General Stopford Superseded. I war”N wrote Lord Robertson one occasion “you cannot expect everything to come outright” but the tragic failure of the Homeric struggle for the Dardanelles the sue- cess of which would have solved most of our troubles in the Balkans in the summer of 1915 and thrown the capital of the Turkish Empire open to capture, was a cruel blow to the Allies cause. “In the whole course of the war with its ups ”and downs declared Mr. Asquith in the House of Commons, three months after the Suvla “Bay landing I have never sustained a keener disappointment than in the failure of this operation.” The highest hopes had been built upon the triumph of this decisive effort to win a do­minating position in the Peninsula. The chances of victory as it seemed both to the Government and those on the spot were in the Prime Minister’s words not only great but prepon­derant while the consequences of suc- VOL. IV. cess if success had been attained, were almost immeasurable. W e did not succeed and the disappointment was the more acute because we came so near in those fateful days of August 1915 to snatching a crowning triumph the fame of which would have resounded throughout the Eastern world as conclusive proof of the Allies’ superiority. Like so many episodes in the Great War— and not on the Allies side alone— this crucial opera­tion rightly conceived as it seems to us was marred in the execution. To pickup the threads of this tangled story it is necessary to hark back to Chapter X V in the last volume, where after the desperate assaults and counter-assaults of early July the campaign had again settled down into the murderous monotony of trench warfare while the new and supreme effort was being planned for the ensu­ing month from Anzac and Suvla Bay. In an earlier dispatch Sir Ian 141-142
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