24/5/1915 Gallipoli: temporary peace on land, continuing war at sea

The Turks attacked ANZAC Cove on the 19th, hoping to drive the Australians and New Zealanders into the sea. The attack failed, with the Turks suffering some 10,000 casualties. Their dead continue to litter the ground in front of the ANZAC positions. In the hot weather the bodies rapidly began to decompose and now the stench of putrefying flesh assails soldiers on both sides of the line.

The situation is intolerable and it calls for desperate measures. Immediately after the assault there were some unofficial local truces to collect bodies and retrieve people who are still alive. Now things are put on a more formal footing. Turkish officers meet with their Allied equivalents. A truce is agreed.
The guns stop firing and Turkish and Allied soldiers go out into No Man’s Land between the lines and work together to collect the dead for burial. There is some fraternisation between the soldiers, with exchanges of cigarettes and cups of tea. Then the truce ends and they go back to trying to kill each other.

In the seas off Gallipoli the war continues. Commander Nasmith has led British submarine the E11 into the Sea of Marmara. Now he torpedoes a Turkish transport ship bringing supplies to the Turks on Gallipoli. The ease with which his submarine is able to operate in these waters makes Nasmith more ambitious. He sets a course for Constantinople, deciding to attack shipping in the harbours of the Ottoman capital.

image sources:

No Man’s Land during the truce (Wikipedia)

Sea of Marmara (Naval History Net)

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