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

Monday, August 20, 2018

Failure at Gallipoli: Krithia and Achi Baba, Cape Helles Sector

A. View of Cape Helles from Achi Baba

Image A was taken near the peak of a 600-ft. hill known as Achi Baba. Six miles in the distance are the invasion beaches of Cape Helles. The troops landing on those beaches were supposed to advance to this point and capture the nearby village of Krithia within a day of landing. Image A gives the impression that the advance would be made up a gently sloping rise.

B. Typical Terrain of the Battles for Krithia

Image B gives an up-close view of the undulating ground. The sector is further complicated by four cuts or ravines crossing it. The most famous of these, Gully Ravine, will be visited at the next stop.

Allied forces never reached either Krithia or Achi Baba. There were six attempts between 28 April and 12 July, the largest of which are known as the three battles of Krithia. The earliest of these attacks was met with incredibly fierce Turkish resistance and shattered the wishful thinking of the invaders that their opposition would simply dissolve before a determined assault.

C. Turkish Monument and Memorial at Cape Helles

Key Dates for the Helles Sector:

Apr 25: Initial Landings on Five Helles Beaches

Apr 28: First Battle of Krithia

May 6–8: Second Battle of Krithia

June 4: 3rd Battle of Krithia

June 21: French advance on right flank

June 28: Successful British advance on left flank (image B of Gully Ravine)

July 2–5: Series of strong but unsuccessful Turkish attacks at Helles

July 12–13: Final major Allied attack at Helles over 2km front

August: Suvla sector becomes main focus of Gallipoli Campaign

Oct 3: 2nd French Division leaves for Salonika

Dec 7: British Government orders evacuation of Gallipoli

Jan 9: Helles evacuation completed, marking end of Dardanelles/Gallipoli Campaign

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of the multiple Battles of the Isonzo between 1915 and 1917.