28 April 1915: The First Battle of Krithia

Yesterday a general advance began at Helles, occupying the ground vacated by Turkish forces the day before. The Allied line now extended from coast to coast about two miles up from the tip of the Cape. Simultaneously, Turkish reserves streamed southwards to reinforce their line and dig in.

Today the commander of the 29th Division, Major General Aylmer Hunter-Weston, launched an over-sophisticated attack designed to take the village of Krithia, about two miles away, and Yazy Tepe (Hill 472) to its north, as the prelude to engulfing Achi Baba from the west and south on another day.

The battle began at 8.00 a.m. Many units had not received their orders in time to be fully prepared to attack. ‘An extreme fatigue had now overtaken the soldiers’ (Alan Moorehead). The French, in the most exposed position on the right of the line, were counter-attacked by fresh Turkish forces and had to fall back over ground captured in the morning. The 88th Brigade to their left had to follow suit or be outflanked. On the extreme left, the 87th Brigade were halted in Gully Ravine by machine gun fire near Y Beach.

At the end of a day in which the British line had been repeatedly breached, very little advance had been made anywhere and the Allies had sustained 3000 casualties. The Turkish defenders had lost about 2400 men.

Next entry: The biographer discombobulated

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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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