The Turkish counter-attack

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?

Next entry: Another eminent Calderon


About Patrick Miles

I am a writer who specialises in Anton Chekhov and is writing a biography of George Calderon.
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1 Response to The Turkish counter-attack


    The new dawn lights the eastern sky;
    Night shades are lifted from the sea,
    The Third Brigade with courage storm
    Thy wooded heights, Gallipoli
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    Australians tread Gallipoli.

    Thunderous bursts from iron mouths –
    Myriad messengers of death,
    Warships ply their deadly fire
    Watching comrades hold their breath
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    There’s hell upon Gallipoli.

    Serried ranks upon the beach,
    Courage beams in every eye
    These Australian lads can face
    Giant Death, though e’er so nigh,
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    There’s death upon Gallipoli.

    On they press in endless stream,
    Up the heights they shouting go;
    Comrades fall; but still press on
    They press the now retreating foe
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    The Turks flee on Gallipoli.

    One by one the brave lie low,
    Machine Guns, shrapnel do their work;
    Brave Australians know no fear,
    Never have been known to shirk,
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    Their names carved on Gallipoli.

    Reduced, cut up, there numbers show
    The murderous fire that swept thy field;
    But still victorious they stand,
    Who never have been known to yield
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    Thick dead lie on Gallipoli.

    For days they hold with grim set grip,
    Their feet firm planted on the shore,
    Repelling every fierce attack
    And cheerfully they seek for more
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    Their trenches line Gallipoli.

    For thirty weary days they fight,
    For Britain’s sake they give their best;
    With uncomplaining voice they stand
    And neither look nor ask for rest
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    They’ve conquered thee, Gallipoli.

    The waves break on thy wave swept shores,
    The breeze still blows across thy hills;
    But crosses near and far abound,
    A sight that deepest grief instils
    Gallipoli! Gallipoli !
    Their graves lie on Gallipoli.

    For those brave hearts that died to show
    Australia’s worth in this dread war,
    The far off tears and sighs for those
    Who sleep beneath the cannons roar
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    Thou still, shalt pay, Gallipoli.

    The few that valiant still remain,
    War worn but grim and anger yet
    To hurl full vengeance on the foe.
    Because they never can forget
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    They ask the price, Gallipoli.

    Gallipoli I warn you now,
    Australia’s sons and Turks shall meet
    Once more, and then our onslaught yet
    Shall sweep the ground beneath your feet
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    Thy end’s in sight, Gallipoli.

    Upon the Graves of those that sleep,
    Upon thy wooded slope and vale,
    We shall avenge. Remember then,
    Australians cannot, will not fail,
    Gallipoli ! Gallipoli !
    Thy doom is sealed, Gallipoli.

    Staff Sergeant Sydney Bolitho
    6th Battalion A.I.F

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