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

Saturday, January 9, 2016

100 Years Ago: Allied Evacuation of Gallipoli Ends, 9 January 1916

I hope our poor pals who lie all around us sleep soundly, and do not stir in discontent as we go filing away from them forever.
New Zealand soldier at the evacuation of Gallipoli

Preparations for Evacuation, North Beach, Anzac Sector

After August, the British mounted no further major attacks at Gallipoli. The British Government grew alarmed at the failure to break through to the Dardanelles and there was mounting criticism of the whole venture. In November, when winter arrived, there were men who froze at their posts, and over 16,000 troops suffering from frostbite and exposure had to be evacuated. 

Eventually it was decided that the campaign could not meet its objectives and that the British and Dominion force on Gallipoli should withdraw. Many thought a withdrawal would result in heavy casualties. However, elaborate precautions were taken to deceive the Turks into thinking nothing unusual was happening.

Between 8 and 20 December 1915, 90,000 men were secretly embarked from Suvla and Anzac. On 8 and 9 January 1916 a similar evacuation was conducted at Helles to withdraw the remaining 35,000 Allied troops. Only a handful of casualties was suffered in these well-executed operations.

Source:  Australian  Government

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