Page 72 - The-History-of-the-Lancashire-Fusiliers-1914-1918-Volume-I

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EGYPT-GALLIPOLl-THE LANDING--ISt KRITHIA
55
About 2 p.m. on the 25th, Colonel O.
C.
Wolley-Dod, formerly
of the Regiment and at that time G.S.O.I of the 29th Division, who
had landed to take over the command at "W" Beach , organized an
attack on Hill I 38. After a bombardment , the 4th Worcestershire
Regiment advanced, cut the wire and by 4 p.m. captured the hill
and redoubt. Owing to the deadlock on "V" Beach it was not
possible to effect a junction, in spite of attempts by the 86th Brigade
to extend their right flank. As night fell the British positions in
front of "W" Beach extended from Cape Helles lighthouse through
Hill I38 to Hill II4, fonning a rough semi-circle. Trenches were dug
and were held by the weary troops, after such reorganization as
could be carried out. There was no reserve available except working
parties of the Anson battalion, and the enemy maintained touch at
various points, so that the men were kept on the alert throughout
the night.
The difficulty of collecting, collating and forwarding information
from troops at five landing places was enhanced by the heavy
casualties among higher commanders and staff officers; and the
fact that divisional headquarters were on board H.M.S.
Euryalus
made control more difficult.
During the night of the 25th April heavy firing was heard in the
north, in the direction of "Y" Beach, and some units at "W" Beach
kept up unnecessary fire , even to the extent of using all their
ammunition. This was not the case with the XX and the returns
show very little expenditure of ammunition-a-strong testimony to
the excellent discipline after such severe losses. The strength of
the battalion was returned as II officers and 399 other ranks,
so that the casualties were only exceeded by those of the Ist
Royal Dublin Fusiliers, who had I officer and 374 other ranks
left after the disastrous experiment of the
River Clyde
landing
at "V" Beach.
The losses in some regiments of the Division were, however,
trifling and the official historian lays stress on the fact that, with a
little more co-operation on the part of the units which met with
small opposition, a real success was quite possible. The value of
time was not realized and the Turks, under their Gennan com–
manders, were enabled to recover from their uncertainty and to
bring up reserves.
The Turks, however, had only five battalions south of Achi
Baba on the morning of the 27th April, and they occupied the night
of the 26th/27th April in organizing a new position in front of
Krithia, leaving a few posts only in touch with our troops. The
Turkish casualties averaged about four hundred per battalion at this
stage. Meanwhile the heavy task of landing the ordnance and
supplies was being carried on at top speed under the Royal Navy,
but as the beaches and anchorages were under continuous fire
(fortunately, mostly shrapnel), it was found impossible to keep to
scheduled time. Some ten days elapsed before the work was
completed.