9/8/1915 Gallipoli: the Allies attack from Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay

The August Offensive in Gallipoli continues. The Allies are trying to break out of the Anzac Cove enclave.

British troops landed to the north of Anzac Cove in Suvla Bay on the 6th. They were to support the offensive and threaten the Turkish flank but they are halted by organisational failures and the lethargy of their commander, General Stopford. After days spent landing supplies and fighting minor engagements, today the Suvla Bay forces finally begin to advance. In the early hours of the morning they launch a night attack on the Tekke Tepe ridge. However, by now Liman von Sanders, the German commander of the Turks in Gallipoli, has had time to rush in reinforcements. When the British reach the ridge, after a difficult march over rough terrain, they find it strongly defended. The Turks counter-attack, charging the exhausted enemy with fixed bayonets and putting them to flight.

Further south, the efforts of the ANZAC forces (supported by Nepalese Gurkhas and Indian troops) is centred on the Sari Bair ridge that dominates Anzac Cove. If the Allies can take the ridge then they might be able to push on to the far side of the peninsula, finally achieving victory in this bloody campaign. After some bloody failures the Allies have established themselves on the Chunuk Bair peak. British, New Zealand and Gurkha troops attempt to dig in on the heights, but the stony ground is hard and unyielding. They suffer greatly from artillery fire, both that of the Turks and the misdirected shells of their own side.

All of this is taking place in furnace-like heat.

There is one bright spot for the Allies. The Turks have given up their attempts to recapture the Lone Pine position (captured by the Australians on the 6th) after a series of bloody failures. This is however of no great consequence, as Lone Pine is some distance away from the Sair Bair ridge.

image sources:

New Zealand troops advancing on Chunuk Bair (Victoria University of Wellington Library)

Australian troops in Lone Pine (The Australian)

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