21/8/1915 Gallipoli: another break out attempt fails

In Gallipoli the Turkish recapture of Chunuk Bair has effectively killed the Allies’ August Offensive. There is now no realistic prospect that the Allies can secure a victory in this campaign. However their commanders cannot quite bring themselves to accept this, hoping desperately that if they throw some more men at the enemy then maybe they will finally crack. So it is that today British troops from Suvla Bay attack from the Turkish position known as Scimitar Hill while Australian and New Zealand troops attack Hill 60 (not to be confused with the Hill 60 outside Ypres). The Allies are committing three divisions to the attacks, making this their largest single-day offensive thus far.

Somewhat predictably, the attacks are a bloody failure. Any minor gains are mostly lost to Turkish counter-attacks. Both sides suffer terrible losses but the failure to break through means that for the Allies the losses are completely in vain.

Of the 14,300 Allied troops who attacked Scimitar Hill today, some 5,300 are now casualties. A halt is called to attacks there. The Australians and New Zealanders attacking Hill 60 have also suffered greatly, but more attacks there are ordered for tomorrow, to maintain the offensive spirit of the Allied soldiers.

image source (Royal Dublin Fusiliers)

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