Now all roads lead to France and heavy is the tread
Of the living; but the dead returning lightly dance.
Edward Thomas, Roads

Thursday, April 24, 2014

25 April, ANZAC Day: The Forgotten French Contribution

Here is a series of photos of the French forces sent to the Dardanelles from Tony Langley's collection:

French Troops En Route to the Dardanelles

Colonial Troops Shortly After Arrival

It is often forgotten that the French made a major contribution at Gallipoli. On the first day of the landings their forces sent to capture Kumkale on the Asian side were the only troops to accomplish their objective on 25 April 1915. When moved across the straits they held down a good part of the Allied right flank at Helles (approximately one-fourth of the Helles line) through the fall of 1915. They were, however, considered something of a weak link until placed under the command of General Henri Gouraud, a future "Western Front star," who arrived in May. It was Gouraud who organized the limited, but impressive, advance by French units on 21 June.

Artillery Position at Helles

Wounded Men Moving to the Rear

The sacrifice of the 42,000 metropolitan and colonial French soldiers who served at Gallipoli is honored at a cemetery and memorial above S Beach where there are over 2,000 graves and four ossuaries, each with the skeletal remains of 3,000 men.

French Memorial and Cemetery Above S Beach, Helles

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