If the events at Helles on 28 April amount to the First Battle of Krithia, those of 1-4 May deserve to be called the Second. Liman von Sanders’s forces were now overwhelming. He was peremptorily ordered by his War Minister, Enver Pasha, to ‘drive the invaders into the sea’. On the night of 1 May Turkish troops armed only with bayonets crept up to the British trenches across the whole Helles front, attacked, and were mown down in their hundreds. A ferocious assault was mounted on the particularly difficult position of the French north of Morto Bay, which nearly collapsed in the hand-to-hand fighting. However, in daylight on 2 May the Royal Navy were able to halt the Turkish attack here with shells and shrapnel from offshore, and the French retook the ground they had lost. Heavy fire was exchanged all along the line again that night. On the night of 3 May another attack was launched on the French sector, eventually beaten off, and ‘at daybreak the retreating Turks, caught in the open by the French 75 mm’s, were literally blown to pieces’ (Official History). Turkish losses between 1 and 4 May were extreme. Hamilton and Hunter-Weston now prepared to launch their own Second Battle of Krithia.
I think I am pretty familiar with World War I poetry in several languages, but I’m not aware of any written at or about Gallipoli. Is this significant? Can anyone put me wise?
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