18 March 1915 – Air service failures scupper operation in the Dardanelles

airwar19141918

The Navy began its operation to force the Darndanelles Narrows today by bombarding the forts. As part of the plan, the Ark Royal had agreed to send up a seaplane every hour to report the effect of the bombardment. Luckily the day was fine and cloudless, ideal for air observation. At around 11.30 everything was in place and the bombardment started.

An hour later, Flight Lieutenant R. Whitehead with Lieutenant L. H. Strain went up in their Wight Seaplane to ascertain the progress of the ships’ fire.

Wight Seaplane

They reported that the forts at Medjidieh, Hamidieh II, Namazieh, and Hamidieh I were all manned and firing rapidly, but that Chemenlik (20) was not manned. They saw also that Medjidieh, Namazieh and Hamidieh I were being repeatedly hit, although owing to the thick smoke, they found it impossible to estimate the damage. The forts at Mount Dardanos and at Kephez Point were…

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