24 April 1915

The 23rd and 24th April were days of matchless beauty, and the glistening splendour of the sea and sky was a picture such as can only be found in the Aegean, and there only in days of early spring. To all who watched, amid those exquisite surroundings, the crowded ships of the covering force steam slowly out of Mudros, that unforgettable pageant of British manhood moving into battle is engraved on heart and mind as a proud and poignant memory. The task in front of the troops was one that no other army had ever been called upon to face; and they were facing it as a long-expected holiday. As each transport passed through the waiting fleet, cheer upon cheer broke out from her crowded decks and the watching blue jackets cheered and cheered again. The die was now cast. With the issue shrouded in uncertainty, one fact alone was clear. If the capture of the beaches was humanly possible, those gallant troops would do it.

                         Military Operations: Gallipoli (1929), vol. 1, p. 151

Next entry: 25 April 1915: The bloodbath begins

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About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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