17/10/1915 Hamilton recalled from Gallipoli

Since the failure of the August Offensive, Allied success at Gallipoli has looked increasingly unlikely. There seems to be very little prospect of the Allies breaking out of their confined positions to clear access through the Straits for British warships. Meanwhile disease is cutting through the Allied troops, with the unsanitary conditions and baking heat seeing many men struck down with dysentery.

General Hamilton, the Allied commander at Gallipoli, has called for more troops to be sent to him, so that he can try another offensive against the Turks. Political opinion back home has however turned against the Gallipoli campaign. Uncensored reports by journalists have slipped past Hamilton’s watchers. Combined with the casualty rolls of the past offensives these have convinced many of Britain’s leaders that the Gallipoli campaign is a shambles that needs to brought to halt before it needlessly claims more British lives.

This morning Hamilton personally decodes a message from Lord Kitchener that arrived for him last night. He is being recalled to London to give a personal report to the Government on the situation in Gallipoli and to present his opinions on the possible evacuation of the Allied forces there. General Birdwood, the British commander of the Australians and New Zealanders, is to command until a permanent replacement is appointed.

image source:

a trench at Lone Pine (Australian War Memorial, London)

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