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The History of Caliph Vathek By William Beckford Characters: 80090

Updated: 2017-12-04 00:03

At the outbreak of war, Germany was represented in the Mediterranean by two vessels, the Goeben and Breslau, more likely, perhaps, to become historical than any two that she will ever build. Both were modern vessels, the Goeben, a first-class battle-cruiser, carrying ten 11-inch guns and capable of 28 knots, and the Breslau, a light cruiser of about the same speed and with twelve 4.1-inch guns. Outside the Adriatic, these were the only hostile men-of-war with which the Allies in the Mediterranean had to reckon; and, though full allowance must be made for the responsibilities entailed in preventing a sortie of the Austrian Navy, in convoying troops from Algeria to France, and in avoiding the least infringement of neutral waters, the escape of the Goeben and Breslau must still be regarded as a disaster to our arms.

On August 4th, before the declaration of war between Germany and Great Britain, but after France and Germany had already begun hostilities, the Goeben and Breslau had shelled Phillippeville and Bona, two Algerian ports belonging to France, and had returned to Messina in Sicily on August 5th. Here they obtained coal from vessels in the harbour, the Italian authorities refusing, under the laws of neutrality, to allow them facilities for coaling ashore, and, by the same rule, they had to leave territorial waters within twenty-four hours. Their movements and whereabouts had, of course, been known throughout to Admiral Sir Berkeley Milne in command of the British Mediterranean Fleet; and now, being free to attack them, he was awaiting their departure, together with a subsidiary squadron under Rear-Admiral E. C. T. Troubridge. The German admiral and his officers had no illusions as to the destiny that awaited them when they put to sea; made their wills; and steamed out of harbour on the evening of August 6th. Their design, it was believed, was to rush the Straits of Otranto and join up with the Austrian Fleet in the Adriatic. The paramount importance of not affording Italy the least pretext of complaint seems to have weighed heavily on the British admirals. The Goeben and Breslau, heading apparently for the Straits, suddenly changed course for the southeast; and, though the light cruiser Gloucester, which had kept in touch with them, immediately notified this and went gallantly in pursuit, the superior power and speed of the two German cruisers enabled them to fight her off and make good their escape.

They passed through the Dardanelles on August 10th, and, three days later, were said to have been bought by the Turkish Government, by whose officers and crews they were in future to be manned. Sir Berkeley Milne was recalled for an inquiry, the senior French officer, Admiral Boué de Lapeyrère, taking his place as Commander of the combined British and French forces, on August 30th; and, on September 20th, Rear-Admiral Troubridge also returned home. At his own request, he was court-martialled on November 5th, Admirals Sir Hedworth Meux and Sir George Callaghan conducting the inquiry, and, on November 12th, it was announced that he had been acquitted of all blame. Sir Berkeley Milne was also exonerated as the result of an Admiralty investigation.

So ended an episode in which, from the strictly naval standpoint, and though our leaders in the Mediterranean were held free from blame, it must be admitted that the honours rested with the German admiral and the perspicacity of his advisers in Berlin. Whether or no the arrival at Constantinople of the Goeben and Breslau was the determining factor in the Turkish Government's policy; how, if they had been sunk by us, that Government might have acted; and the effect on the situation that they had created of a prompter and more drastic action on our own part-these matters can never probably be accurately determined. On the other hand, it is clear that, both in material and moral effect, their presence was an enormous asset to German diplomacy; and that, indirectly at any rate, our campaign in Gallipoli, with all its consequences, derived from them. On September 27th, Turkey closed the Dardanelles; on October 31st, she declared war; and, three days later, on instructions from the Admiralty, but without reference to the War Council, certain units of the Mediterranean Fleet shelled the outer forts of the Dardanelles. In the light of after events, this was undoubtedly an error, but it was undertaken at the time with the purpose of ascertaining the effective range of the protecting Turkish guns.

Now to obtain a fair picture of the operations at Gallipoli that were afterward undertaken-operations in the first place wholly naval, but finally predominantly military-it is necessary to return for a moment to London and to study the general background against which they must be viewed. Here, after all, were the two or three brains upon which, as a whole, our strategy depended; and it is interesting to note how the mechanism through which they acted had become moulded and modified by the stress of war. For it must be remembered that, after those admirable dispositions, long considered and provided for by the Committee of Imperial Defence, had been undertaken-after not only the navy and army, but every affected department had gone, as it were, to its war-stations-an era followed that is best to be described as the era of improvisation.

No such war had been fought upon the earth's surface, and each succeeding day opened a new prospect. With every branch of both services discovering strange and imperative needs; with no section of our national life that was failing to experience some fresh dislocation-it was little wonder that, in the various higher executives, changes and experiments in change should have been found necessary. Many, perhaps most of these, were proved to be inadequate, and replaced by others as the war went on. Others were doomed from the first and should never have been embarked upon. It had been so arranged, for example, at the War Office, that most of the General Staff officers should take commands in the field; and, when Lord Kitchener became Secretary for War, the General Staff practically ceased to exist.

Accustomed to self-reliance, to centralization even in the minutest details, Lord Kitchener assumed powers so various and important, as it was impossible for any one man to wield; and, to some extent, though not to such an extreme, a similar process had set in at the Admiralty. Instead of the Board of Admiralty, consisting of the First Lord, the four Sea Lords, the two Civil Lords, the Parliamentary and Permanent Secretaries, there had come into being a War Staff Group, including the First Lord and the First Sea Lordd (but none of the other Sea Lords), the Chief of Staff, the Permanent Secretary, a Naval Secretary, and Sir Arthur Wilson-the latter, "Tug" Wilson, as he was called, although retired, being regarded as one of our greatest naval strategists. That was the composition in November, 1914, of the real directorate of the navy, Lord Fisher, who succeeded Prince Louis of Battenburg, on October 30th, being First Sea Lord.

As in the War Office and Admiralty, a similar kind of change had become observable in the Cabinet. Theoretically the direction of the war rested, of course, in the hands of this body, assisted in their deliberations by the Committee of Imperial Defense. Practically both the Cabinet and the Committee of Imperial Defense fell more and more into abeyance, the conduct of the war passing into the hands of a new and smaller body, known as the War Council. This consisted of the Prime Minister, then Mr. Asquith, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Lloyd George, the Foreign Secretary, Sir Edward Grey, the Secretary of State for India, the Marquis of Crewe, the Secretary for War, Lord Kitchener, and the First Lord of the Admiralty, Mr. Winston Churchill. Of these, however, the main responsibility rested upon Mr. Asquith, Mr. Churchill, and Lord Kitchener. This was in practice the triumvirate then conducting the war, as far as the British Empire was concerned, and each of the three was a man of strong and outstanding personality. In Mr. Asquith the country was being served by a statesman of very typical English qualities, imperturbable, perhaps a little slow-moving, magnanimous, shrewd, and of great intellectual capacity. In Mr. Churchill the Admiralty had at its head a man of brilliant and impulsive mentality, complete physical and moral fearlessness, and a somewhat headstrong initiative. In Lord Kitchener there had come to the War Office the foremost soldier of the Empire, the man who had been recalled by an irresistible popular appeal from the governorship of Egypt, in whose name the new armies, voluntarily recruited from every social rank, had outrun equipment, ammunition, even places to be lodged in-a man who already, in his sixty-fourth year, had become an almost legendary figure, the liberator of the Sudan, Roberts' successor in South Africa, the administrator of India and Egypt, omnivorous of work, relentless, silent, and the public's beau-ideal of personal efficiency.

But, while of these three, it was little wonder that, politics apart, Lord Kitchener predominated, another figure, scarcely less powerful, and hardly second as a national idol, stood, as it were, at the elbow of this inner triumvirate in the person of Lord Fisher. The maker of the modern navy, and, in an even more vital sphere, as authoritative an influence as Lord Kitchener, at the age of seventy he had returned to the Admiralty with an almost equal popular approval. He had not, however, as had Lord Kitchener, an actual place in the War Council; and he was not, of course, present at many of its meetings.

This was the position at home, then, when, at a gathering of the War Council, held on November 25th, it was suggested by Mr. Churchill that the best way to defend Egypt was to attack some part of Turkey's Asiatic coast, and that an occupation of the Gallipoli Peninsula would give us the control of the Dardanelles and put Constantinople at our mercy-the idea in Mr. Churchill's mind being evidently that of a combined naval and military movement on a big scale. That some such attack on the Turkish lines of communication might eventually become desirable Lord Kitchener agreed. He did not consider, however, that the time had arrived for it; and when, a few days later, Mr. Churchill suggested to the War Office the advisability of collecting enough transport for 40,000 men-such transport to be assembled in Egypt-Lord Kitchener again replied that he did not think this was yet necessary, and that he would give the Admiralty full notice. The precaution was taken, however, in spite of this, to send horse-boats to Egypt whenever convenient, in view of the possible occasion of some such expedition as had already now become adumbrated.

Meanwhile the navy was playing its part in various operations already necessitated by the war with Turkey. Thus, on November 2nd, the Minerva, a sixteen-year-old protected cruiser, had shelled the forts and barracks of Akaba in the Red Sea; and, on November 8th, the town of Fao, at the head of the Persian Gulf, had been bombarded to cover the landing of troops from India, whence they captured Basra on November 21st. Simultaneously, of course, between Russia and Turkey, the struggle for the mastery of the Black Sea had been progressing. On November 10th, the Russians had sunk four Turkish transports; and, on November 18th, the Goeben, had been materially damaged in an engagement off Sebastopol. Two days later, the Turkish Hamidieh had bombarded Tuapse. On December 10th, the Goeben having been repaired, with the Berk-i-Satvet, shelled Batum; and, on December 12th, the Hamidieh was damaged by a mine in the Bosphorus. The first notable Turkish loss, however, was in the torpedoing of the battleship Messudiyeh in the Dardanelles, on December 13th, by the British submarine B11, under circumstances that will be referred to later. On December 17th, the Russian cruiser Askold sank a couple of Turkish steamers off Beyrout, and, on December 26th, the Goeben was again damaged, this time, like the Hamidieh, by a mine in the Bosphorus. Later, having been once more repaired, she was again to figure in desultory raiding actions on Black Sea ports; but, by the end of the year, it may be said that the Russian Navy was practically in unchallenged command of the Black Sea.

Russia's position in the land campaign against Turkey was not, however, quite so satisfactory, and it was on January 2nd that there was received in London a telegram from Sir George Buchanan, our ambassador in Petrograd, destined to have a profound effect upon our Near East policy. In this it was stated that the Russian armies were being rather severely pressed in the Caucasus, and that the Russian Government hoped it might be found possible for a demonstration to be made against Turkey elsewhere. On this same day, Lord Kitchener wrote to Mr. Churchill that he did not think we could do anything that would seriously help the Russians in the Caucasus; that we had no troops to land anywhere; that the only place where a demonstration might check the sending eastward of Turkey's reinforcements was the Dardanelles; but that we should not be ready for anything big for some months. A telegram was, however, sent to Russia the next day that some demonstration would be made, although it was unlikely, it was feared, that it would have any great effect in withdrawing enemy troops from the Caucasus. To an ally in a strait that was the only reply possible. But to the British Government it meant this-that by January 3d it had definitely pledged itself to make a demonstration against the Turks, and that the Dardanelles had again been mentioned as a possible arena of attack.

Let us consider for a moment, from the geographical standpoint, the sort of problem that was presented. A little under fifty miles in length, the channel of the Dardanelles-the Hellespont of the ancients-united the Sea of Marmora on the east with the ?gean Sea and Mediterranean on the west. Its general course was from northeast to southwest, but, at the point known as the Narrows, about fourteen miles from the ?gean entrance, there was a kink in it, lying north and south, a little over four miles long. In no part of its course between the ?gean Sea and the town of Gallipoli, where it began to broaden, was it more than 7,000 yards wide, and at the Narrows it was little more than three-quarters of a mile across. Its depth in mid-channel varied from 25 to 55 fathoms, and down it set a current from the Sea of Marmora of an average speed of 1-? knots, frequently increasing, and especially in the Narrows, after a northerly wind, to as much as 5 knots. In addition to this, cross-currents were continually met with, owing to the shallow bays on each side of the channel.

The boundaries of this channel were, on the north side, the Peninsula of Gallipoli which separated it from the Gulf of Saros, and, on the southern, the coast of Asia Minor, upon the westernmost portion of which had stood the old town of Troy. The Peninsula of Gallipoli was a narrow tongue of land, not more than three miles wide where it sprouted from the mainland, swelling to twelve just above the Narrows, but only five miles across at the Narrows themselves. It was almost wholly arid or brush-covered, with a central and irregular spine of hills, rising, in the plateau of Kilid Bahr and the heights of Krithia and Achi Baba, to 970, 700, and 600 feet respectively, and, except for a few small beaches and descending stream-beds, facing both north and south in low, precipitous cliffs.

The southern or Asiatic shores of the Dardanelles were somewhat lower and more broken, the hills inland rising to 3,000 feet, many of them being plentifully wooded. Of these the most famous was Kag Dagh, the Mount Ida of the Gods, whence, in the Homeric poems, they had looked down upon the twenty years' siege of Troy. Every yard of these shores, indeed, as of the waters between them, was instinct with real or legendary history. Across the Dardanelles, Leander had swum to Hero. Over the Narrows, Xerxes had built his bridge of boats. By the same road, a hundred and fifty years later, Alexander of Macedon had marched to the conquest of Asia; and it had been across the Narrows, in the middle of the fourteenth century, that the Turks from Asia had swarmed into Europe. Constantinople and all but a few miles around it had soon been encircled by their advance, and had been finally occupied by Sultan Mohamed II about a hundred years afterward.

That had been in 1453, and, nine years later, recognizing the vital importance of the Dardanelles, Mohamed II had built the first two forts of the many that were afterward designed to protect them. These were the Old Castles, the Castles of Europe and Asia, on either side of the Narrows; and it had not been till two hundred years later that the two New Castles had been built lower down, at the ?gean entrance. From that time onward, till 1864, the fortifications of the Dardanelles may be said to have remained medi?val; but, upon the advice of Great Britain, then Turkey's protector, new works had been undertaken, and, after the Peace of San Stefano in 1878, there had been a further strengthening of both coasts, the later fortifications having been German and the artillery provided by Krupps.

Since that date, the Dardanelles had never been forced against armed resistance, and only once before, in modern times, when the British admiral Duckworth in 1807 had made a plucky but not very long-lived demonstration before Constantinople-having had to retire, not without damage, owing to the precarious nature of his communications.

Such was the geographical aspect of the problem that the Admiralty was called upon to consider; and the fortifications protecting the Straits were arranged somewhat as follows. Commanding the entrance, on the European side, were forts at Cape Helles and Sedd-el-Bahr with two others on the Asiatic side, Fort Orkanieh and Kum Kale. These contained, between them, ten 10.2-inch guns, four 9.2-inch, and two 6-inch guns. A few miles higher up, about four below the Narrows, and just south of Point Kephez on the Asiatic coast, was Fort Dardanos, mounting five 6-inch guns in rectangular turrets, at a height of about 350 feet. Opposite this, on the European side, was Fort Soghandere. The mouth of the Narrows themselves was very strongly guarded both at Chanak in Asia and Kilid Bahr on the Peninsula; and a fleet approaching the Narrows would find itself confronted-apart from an unknown number of field-guns and howitzers-with ten 14-inch, eighteen 10.2-inch, eight 9.2-inch, and thirty-seven 6-inch guns, as well as twenty-one 8.3-inch howitzers. When it is remembered that, in addition, there were the channel minefields and land torpedo-stations to be reckoned with, and an area of manoeuvre less than four miles at the widest, it will be seen that the prospect, on paper at any rate, was a sufficiently formidable one from every standpoint. Could it reasonably be faced by the navy alone? Was an accompanying army absolutely essential? And, if so, of what numbers must the latter consist to ensure success?

These were the questions that now inevitably arose; and if, from a technical standpoint, the first could be answered satisfactorily, there would be many obvious advantages in the purely naval attack. If the navy, that was to say, could force itself unaided into the Sea of Marmora and shell Constantinople, troops that would be very valuable elsewhere need not be diverted to a new theatre of war; a great deal of tonnage would be saved at a time when the pressure on our mercantile marine was everywhere immense, while, if it were unsuccessful, such an attack could be abandoned, it was thought, without much damage to our prestige.

It was quite clear, of course, that, unless the Straits could be secured behind it, the Fleet would not remain there for very long. But, from evidence at the Government's disposal, it was believed that its arrival would have immediate and far-reaching results-that a revolution in Constantinople against the pro-German Young Turk Party would almost certainly ensue; and that Bulgaria, then neutral and undecided, might definitely ally herself with the Entente Powers. Further, the opening of the Dardanelles would at once facilitate the admission into Russia of much-needed munitions, and would release, for the benefit of the world at large, considerable supplies of cereals.

Moreover, there was another factor that forbade the question being summarily dismissed as technically impossible. For, while it was true that hitherto the bulk of naval opinion had been adverse to the use of ships in a duel with forts, and while the results of purely naval action against such defenses as those, for example, as Port Arthur, had not been encouraging, it was realized that in the present war-as regarded the land, at any rate-the value of fortresses had fallen very considerably. Hammered by modern artillery, the world had seen such strongholds as those of Liège, Namur, and Antwerp, crumbling to pieces in a few hours, and theories were once more in the melting-pot. Since the outbreak of war, too, there had been added to the navy, in the 15-inch guns of the Queen Elizabeth, the most powerful marine artillery that the world had yet seen. Could the navy then tackle the problem alone?

With all this in his mind, on January 3d, the day that we had pledged ourselves to do our best, Mr. Churchill telegraphed to Vice-Admiral Carden, then our senior officer in the Mediterranean, asking him if he thought it practicable to force the Dardanelles by the use of ships alone, assuming that only our older battleships would be employed, with a suitable escort of mine-sweepers and bumpers, and suggesting that the importance of a successful result would justify severe loss. Two days later, Vice-Admiral Carden replied that he did not think the Dardanelles could be rushed, but that they might be forced by extended operations with a large number of ships. On January 6th, Mr. Churchill invited Admiral Carden to forward detailed particulars as to the force required, the manner of its employment, and the results to be expected from it. Five days afterward, Admiral Carden replied that five operations were possible, namely, the destruction of the defenses at the entrance to the Dardanelles; action inside the Straits so as to clear the defenses up to and including Point Kephez Battery; the destruction of the defenses of the Narrows; the sweeping of a clear channel through the minefields and advance through the Narrows, followed by a reduction of the forts farther up, and an entrance into the Sea of Marmora. What Admiral Carden suggested, in fact, was a methodical invasion with a systematic demolition of the fortifications-an operation estimated to require at least a month for its performance.

This was Admiral Carden's plan, and it was of course discussed by the Admiralty War Group, though never officially by the Board of Admiralty; and it is interesting to discover the general attitude of its naval members toward the scheme. Of these by far the most influential was Lord Fisher, who seems from the first instinctively to have distrusted it, to have been occupied with preparing for other operations elsewhere, and to have left it, so long as it seemed to him likely to remain subsidiary and additional to these, in the admittedly capable hands of Admiral Sir Henry Jackson-not a regular member of the War Group, but frequently consulted-and the then Chief of the Staff, Admiral Henry Oliver. Sir Arthur Wilson seems on the whole to have taken up much the same attitude as that of Lord Fisher. Admiral Oliver believed in its possibilities, though these would largely depend, of course, upon factors, whose importance could only be determined by experiment. At the same time, he would apparently have preferred to wait until the army could co?perate on a big scale. Commodore Bartolomé, while agreeing in the preferability of a combined naval and military operation, believed that, at a push, in a purely naval attack, about half the forces could get through, though what they would do then was a matter upon which he felt himself in the dark. None of these sailors believed, since it could always be broken off, that the proposed naval attack could lead to disaster. All assumed the necessity, as seen by the War Council, from a political point of view, of immediate action; and all assumed it to be the case, on the authority of Lord Kitchener, that no troops were at the moment available.

Thus we come to the 13th of January, the very critical date when, at a meeting of the War Council, Mr. Churchill, with additional details, submitted Admiral Carden's plans. The outer forts having been destroyed, as could be done, it was believed, without the bombarding ships coming into range of their guns, the inner would be attacked both from the Straits and by indirect fire across the Gallipoli Peninsula. Three modern vessels and about a dozen old battleships would, it was thought, suffice for the operation; and these could be spared without sensibly depleting our naval strength elsewhere. Further, the Queen Elizabeth, now ready for her trials and about to carry these out at Gibraltar, could instead fledge her virgin guns upon the forts of the Dardanelles.

Such was the proposition laid before the War Council, and it was quite clear, of course, to every member of it that, with a minimum of effort, it opened a vista of very dazzling political possibilities. It was also obvious that Mr. Churchill himself believed whole-heartedly that the attempt should be made. What was the attitude of his colleagues on this most important occasion? Now, while in the end it was Mr. Asquith who would have to be responsible for any decision, it was undoubtedly Lord Kitchener, in such a matter as this, whose opinion would carry the greatest weight; but Lord Fisher and Sir Arthur Wilson were also present, though not as executive members. Lord Kitchener, after consideration, pronounced himself in favour of the plan, pointing out that, if it were to prove unsuccessful, the attack could be discontinued. Lord Fisher and Sir Arthur Wilson remained silent, and their silence was accepted as giving technical consent. Nor would it have been true to have interpreted it otherwise, although the minds of both of them were occupied with other plans. It was therefore decided to instruct the Admiralty to prepare for a naval expedition in February to bombard and take the Gallipoli Peninsula with Constantinople as its objective-a decision that was unhappily variously understood by the different members of the Council, the majority being under the impression that all they had done was to sanction the tentative preliminaries of a promising line of action.

Mr. Churchill, however, thought otherwise, and, with his characteristic energy and enterprise, now threw himself vigorously into a scheme that more and more fully absorbed his imagination. He put himself into touch with the French Minister of Marine, who visited London and approved of the plans, and, with the consent of his Government, promised the co?peration of French naval forces in the Mediterranean. The precise sphere in which each navy was to act was determined with great care, and it was understood that Admiral Carden was to be in command of both forces.

Meanwhile, however, from a condition of not very enthusiastic consent, Lord Fisher was slowly adopting an attitude of more or less active disapproval. Already he foresaw that the proposed adventure would almost inevitably assume dimensions that would seriously endanger the larger scheme, upon which he and Admiral Wilson were hard at work. He accordingly wrote direct to Mr. Asquith on January 28th, submitting a memorandum that did not actually condemn the suggested bombardment on its own merits, but made it clear to the Premier that Lord Fisher was not in such accord with it as he had assumed.

Hearing of this letter, Mr. Churchill also wrote to Mr. Asquith, and, as a result of this, on January 28th, before the next meeting of the War Council, Mr. Asquith invited both of them to his private room for half an hour. The drama of Gallipoli, with its throne-shaking prize time after time on the brink of capture, with its pitiless slaughters, its amazing achievements, its epic presentment of human courage-the drama of Gallipoli was still in the future; but, in that half-hour, the stage was committed to it; and there can have been few discussions, during the course of the war, more pregnant with the issues of life and death.

It would be tempting to linger for a moment over the historic picture of the three men in that little room-the old Admiral, pivot of so many controversies, but admittedly the greatest living seaman; the young statesman, who had already in his crowded life played so many parts, soldier, journalist, Cabinet Minister, and who had now been a brilliant First Lord for more than three years; and the silver-haired, ruddy-cheeked Yorkshireman, to whom this was but one of a thousand issues, for which, as for his country's entrance into the war, he must take the ultimate responsibility. In that half-hour, his was chiefly to listen while the two unfolded their separate schemes. Upon the attitude of his mind toward them at the subsequent War Council, its final decision would mainly depend. He entered it, inclining of the two toward Mr. Churchill's, on the ground of its general political advantages; and indeed the preparations for carrying out the latter were already far advanced.

This became clear when, at the Council Table, Mr. Churchill explained what had been done. The Grand Duke Nicholas, then Commander-in-Chief of the Russian Armies, had welcomed the idea with enthusiasm; the French Admiralty had promised co?peration; the admiral on the spot believed that it would succeed; the attack could be stopped if unsuccessful; and the necessary ships were already on the way. Further, the French were confident that the Austrian submarines could not get as far as the Dardanelles, while the Turks, as far as was known, had no submarines at all. Little loss was expected during the bombardment of the entrance, though some might result during the sweeping up of mines; the real difficulty would be the attack on the Narrows, of which Mr. Churchill submitted the plan.

Lord Fisher then said that he had understood that the question would not be raised to-day; but Mr. Asquith held that, in view of the steps that had been taken, it could not be left any longer in abeyance. Lord Kitchener considered the attack on the Dardanelles to be one of the utmost importance, and equivalent, if successful, to a victorious campaign fought by the new armies then training; and both Mr. Balfour and Sir Edward Grey dwelt on its political effect upon the Balkans. There then followed a dramatic incident. Lord Fisher, pushing his chair back, rose from the table as though about to leave the room. Lord Kitchener at once followed him, and asked him what he meant to do. He said that he would not return to the Council Table and meant to resign his position as First Sea Lord. For a few minutes the two men, each outstandingly first in his own profession, stood talking by the window, Lord Kitchener urging Lord Fisher to come back to the table. He was the only dissentient, as Lord Kitchener pointed out, everybody else being in favour of the plan; and, after a little fresh argument, Lord Fisher returned and resumed his place among the others.

Mr. Churchill had, however, noticed the incident and, after lunch, had a private talk with Lord Fisher, strongly urging him to undertake the operation, and obtaining his definite, if reluctant, consent to do so. At the afternoon meeting of the War Council, Mr. Churchill then announced that the Admiralty was willing to proceed, and, from that time onward, he never looked back. The matter, in his own words, had passed into the domain of action. By January 28th, therefore, the country was finally committed to a purely naval attack on the Dardanelles with Constantinople as its ultimate objective.

This was the decision, but almost immediately-almost insensibly in fact-the scope of the operations began to widen. From the outset it had been clear that the silencing of the forts would demand a certain number of landing-parties, although it was believed that these need only be small, consisting principally of Marines. Lord Kitchener himself was then of the opinion that, once the ships had completed their passage, the garrison of the Peninsula would evacuate it, and it would cease to have any military importance. He was also quite definite in his statement that there were no more British troops available for the purpose, an opinion which Mr. Churchill did not share, though he was, of course, overborne by Lord Kitchener's authority. Nevertheless the idea of military co?peration grew, as it were, unofficially in the minds of those responsible. Sir Henry Jackson, in a memorandum to be adopted or not, according to Admiral Carden's discretion-pointed out that the naval bombardment was not recommended as a sound operation, unless a strong military force was ready to assist, or at least to follow it up.

Meanwhile the Turkish attack upon Egypt had been defeated; certain of our plans in France and Flanders had been altered; and, on February 16th, at an informal meeting of Ministers, a very important decision was arrived at. This was to send the 29th Division, hitherto destined for service on the Western Front, to Lemnos, an island about sixty miles from the Gallipoli Peninsula-the Division sailing, it was hoped, within ten days. At the same time arrangements were to be made for a further force to be sent if necessary from Egypt; horse-boats were to accompany the 29th Division; arrangements were to be made to assemble a large number of lighters and tugs in the Levant; and the Admiralty was also to build special transports and lighters, suitable for the conveying and landing of 50,000 men where these might be wanted. The military effort was already in embryo, therefore, before the purely naval attack had been begun; and, with all this in mind, we can now transfer our attention to the actual scene of conflict.

It was on February 19, 1915, that Admiral Carden decided to open the bombardment of the entrance forts, namely those of Cape Helles and Sedd-el-Bahr on the northern and European side, and Kum Kale and Orkanieh on the southern or Asiatic. Admiral Carden himself, then fifty-eight, had had a varied and adventurous career; had taken part in the Egyptian campaign of 1882; receiving the medal and the Khedive's Bronze Star; had been present, two years later, at the Eastern Sudan campaign; and, as a commander in 1897, had been with the punitive expedition that followed the Benin massacres. He had reached flag-rank in 1908, and had been Rear-Admiral to the Atlantic Fleet for a year, being the Admiral Superintendent of Malta Dockyard at the outbreak of war.

Under his command, besides a flotilla of destroyers and the seaplane ship Ark Royal, were three old English battleships-the Vengeance, that had already been employed on the Belgian coast; the Cornwallis, that had been at the Nore, in the Third Fleet, christened the "Forlorn Hope"; and the Triumph, formerly the Chilian Libertad, that had been acting as Depot Ship at Hong Kong. With these were the Agememnon, a more modern battleship, though about to have been passed into the Second Fleet; and the Inflexible, which we have last heard of helping to sink the Scharnhorst and Gneisenau near the Antarctic Circle. In addition there were under his command the Suffren, Gaulois, and Bouvet, three old French battleships that, the summer before, had not even been in Commission. All these vessels, however, with the exception of the Triumph, carried 12-inch guns and therefore outranged the forts; and, between them, they mounted a secondary armament of fourteen 7.5-inch, ten 9.2-inch, ten 6.4-inch, twenty-four 6-inch, eighteen 5.5-inch, and sixteen 4-inch guns.

Beginning at eight in the morning, a long-distance shelling was continued till a quarter to three in the afternoon, when the Vengeance, Cornwallis, and Triumph, with the three French battleships-less valuable vessels that could justifiably be risked-drew in to shore and opened fire with their secondary armament of smaller guns. It then became clear that, in spite of the previous five hours' bombardment, the forts had not been silenced, for they immediately opened fire. They effected no damage, however. By nightfall, those on the European side had apparently been put out of action, but one of the Asiatic forts was still replying when the light failed and operations ceased.

Bad weather followed, and it was not till February 25th that the attack could be seriously taken up again, the Fleet having been strengthened in the interval, notably by the Queen Elizabeth with her 15-inch guns. Together with the Irresistible, the Agamemnon, and the French battleship Gaulois, she began a long-range bombardment early in the morning, and this was followed as before by an attack at close quarters-the Vengeance, Cornwallis, and Suffren again taking their part in this, with the Charlemagne and, later in the day, the Triumph and Albion. Even so it was not until evening that the last gun was silenced, and the trawlers, under cover of the fleet, were able to begin clearing away the mines.

Nor could the results of these two days' bombardments have been said to hold great promise for the future. So little damage had been done by the first day's firing that the batteries were all active again by the second; and, at the end of this, when the demolition-parties landed, they found seventy per cent. of the guns still in serviceable condition. Few more dangerous duties, under such circumstances, can be imagined than those undertaken by these little detachments; and, both in the courage with which they were faced and the coolness with which they were completed, the records of the navy and the Royal Marines were more than fully sustained. Particularly prominent was the act of Lieutenant-Commander E. G. Robinson, who on February 26th went alone, under heavy fire, into a hostile gun-position, that might well have been occupied, destroyed a 4-inch gun single-handed, and then returned to his landing-party for a further charge to destroy a second gun that he had found there. Owing to the fact that their white uniforms rendered them so conspicuous as targets, Lieutenant-Commander Robinson refused to allow his comrades to accompany him on either occasion. For this act he was very justly awarded the Victoria Cross.

Meanwhile at home, the lack of unanimity, of whole-hearted enthusiasm in the necessary team-work, and, more than this, of a detailed conception of what was actually intended were beginning to bear their fruits. Thus it had been decided, in the first place-and this had greatly influenced both Lord Fisher and Sir Arthur Wilson-that, if the naval attack were to become unpromising, it would be broken off and its losses cut. That had also been Lord Kitchener's view, but, on February 24th, he stated, at a meeting of the War Council, that if the Fleet could not get through without help, the army would have to come to its aid. By Mr. Churchill that had evidently long been accepted, and preparations, as we have seen, were well under way. Transports had been collected for the despatch of the 29th Division, and it was hoped that it would begin to sail on the 22nd. Two days before, however, Lord Kitchener had decided, for reasons doubtless important, but without consulting his colleagues, that this Division could not be spared, and he

had countermanded the transports.

Against this reversal of policy at a critical moment Mr. Churchill made the strongest protest, and said that he must disclaim all responsibility if disaster occurred in Turkey owing to the insufficiency of troops. Lord Kitchener for his part asserted that the forces in Egypt, on the spot, and on the way there were at present quite adequate, and that the 29th Division was not then essential to success-a view that the War Council supported, the 29th Division being detained in England.

While now determined that the affair should not be broken off, Lord Kitchener still believed that the navy would need but little military help, and, on February 24th, he wired to Sir John Maxwell, then commanding the forces in Egypt, and General Birdwood, who was to command the Australian and New Zealand contingent on the Peninsula, that it was not intended to land parties on Gallipoli, except under cover of the naval guns, to help in the total demolition of the forts, when the ships should get to close quarters.

Two days later, Sir John Maxwell replied that, in the opinion of a French officer, formerly military attaché at Constantinople, a military expedition was essential to the opening of the passage for the Allied Fleets; that a landing would be extremely hazardous; and that the Peninsula was very strongly organized for defence. Nevertheless Lord Kitchener retained his opinion and telegraphed the same evening to General Birdwood, that as far as could be seen, till the passage was actually secured, he would be limited to such minor operations as the final destruction of the batteries, though it was possible that he might have to organize expeditions to deal with inland concealed howitzers such as the ships could not destroy.

General Birdwood had not then sailed for the Dardanelles, and, at a meeting of the War Council on March 3d, Lord Kitchener announced that it might after all be possible to send the 29th Division, but that he proposed to leave the matter open till March 10th, when he hoped to have heard from General Birdwood. By this time, the entrance had been cleared, and for several days the ships had been operating in the Straits themselves, bombarding Forts Dardanos and Sogandhere, protecting the mine-sweepers, and landing Marines-the latter suffering a reverse at Kum Kale with about fifty casualties.

This was on March 4th, and the next day General Birdwood, who had arrived earlier than was expected, telegraphed to Lord Kitchener that he was very doubtful whether the navy could force the passage unaided; that the previous attacks had been comparatively easy, since the ships could stand off and shoot from anywhere; but that in the Straits they were being bothered by unknown fire. Twenty-four hours afterward, he sent another telegram maintaining the same point of view. On March 6th, a preliminary bombardment of the forts of the Narrows took place, the Queen Elizabeth and Agamemnon firing over the Peninsula from the Gulf of Saros, themselves being hit but not seriously damaged by concealed Turkish batteries on the Peninsula, yet without obtaining, as was afterward discovered, any appreciable results. The attack was renewed the next day, and it was believed that Fort Chanak had been silenced, several of our vessels having been hit but none of them placed out of action. In these operations, the Ocean, Majestic, Albion, Prince George, Lord Nelson, and Vengeance also participated, together with the French Suffren, Bouvet, Charlemagne, and Gaulois. So we come to March 10th, on which date Lord Kitchener finally released the 29th Division, the transports sailing on March 16th, three weeks later than had been intended, and three days after Sir Ian Hamilton, who had been given command of the Expeditionary Army, left England. The time was now approaching when, if it were to be made at all, the navy must attempt its decisive thrust; and telegrams concerning this were already being exchanged between Mr. Churchill and Admiral Carden. On March 11th, Mr. Churchill wired to the effect that, while Admiral Carden's skill and patience in avoiding casualties had been highly appreciated at the Admiralty, the results to be gained by success were deemed to be sufficiently important to justify a necessary loss in men and ships. The whole operation might be decided, and consequences of a decisive character be produced by the turning of the corner at Chanak. It was recognized that the Admiral would have to press hard, at a certain point of the action, to obtain such a decision; and it was desired to know whether, in his opinion, the suitable occasion had now arrived.

To this Admiral Carden replied two days later that he considered this stage to have been reached, and that, in order to ensure his communications immediately he entered the Sea of Marmora, military operations on a large scale should at once be commenced. On March 15th, Mr. Churchill replied that Sir Ian Hamilton would arrive on the 16th, and that Admiral Carden should consult with him as to the concerted steps to be taken. On March 16th, however, Admiral Carden, for reasons of health, had to resign his command, and, on the next day, Vice-Admiral Sir John Michael de Robeck was appointed by telegram to succeed him.

In this telegram, Mr. Churchill presumed that, in Admiral de Robeck's judgment, the proposed operations were practicable, but asked him not to hesitate to say so if he held a contrary opinion. Replying the same day, Admiral de Robeck made it clear that the suggested plan of campaign received his full concurrence; that the success of the undertaking would depend on his ability to clear the minefields before forcing the Narrows; and that to do this successfully the forts must be silenced while the mine-sweeping was in progress. He further stated that he had had an entirely satisfactory interview with Sir Ian Hamilton, General d'Amade, and Admiral Wemyss-afterward to become First Sea Lord.

On March 18th, therefore, under excellent weather conditions, the decisive attempt was begun, with an advance fringe of destroyers and trawlers to clear a channel for the bombarding squadrons. Work upon the minefields, indeed, had already been in progress since February 25th, in which these trawler mine-sweepers, under Commander W. Mellor, had persisted with unfailing gallantry. With the current always, and the wind frequently, opposed to them; with every minefield accurately ranged, and hotly contested by the enemy's guns, they had suffered the severest casualties both in men and material without for a moment desisting from their task. And, manned, as they were, largely by reservists and men hitherto unaccustomed to war, they had exhibited qualities of heroism and seamanship not even excelled by the destroyer patrols.

That is saying a good deal, since these latter, throughout the winter and under the worst circumstances, had maintained a standard of cheerful efficiency as high as any that the navy had ever reached. Long before the naval expedition had been decided upon and throughout the critical discussions in London, they had sentinelled the ?gean, the Syrian coast, and the mouth of the Dardanelles. With their decks never dry, with their galley-fires out, with all on board drenched to the skin, they had ridden out storm after storm in these notoriously treacherous seas. Servants of everybody, succourers of the wounded, and general suppliers of the landing-parties, none-not even the submarines presently to be considered-were to play a nobler part in the Gallipoli story.

It was at about a quarter to eleven in the morning that the great bombardment began, the Queen Elizabeth, Inflexible, Agamemnon, and Lord Nelson, stationed near the entrance, opening fire at about ten and a half miles range. These four battleships took for their targets the forts at Kilid Bahr and Chanak; while the Triumph and Prince George, at closer range, engaged the forts at Soghandere, Kephez, and Dardanos. This action was continued for an hour and a half, when a French squadron, magnificently handled, advanced up the Straits as far as Point Kephez, and, at close range, engaged the forts of the Narrows.

All the ships were hit, but, manoeuvring in circles, none was materially injured, the Suffren, Gaulois, Charlemagne, and Bouvet being the vessels employed. After an hour and a half of this inshore firing, the forts ceased to reply; and, at about the same time, the French vessels were relieved-the Vengeance, Irresistible, Albion, Majestic, Swiftsure, and Ocean taking their places. These vessels began their attack at half-past two, advancing in line and meeting a hot fire; and it was just as the French vessels were passing out that the first disaster of the day occurred in the sinking of the Bouvet by a floating mine. This was in an area previously swept clear, and it opened up a new and difficult problem, namely that of mines, loosed higher up the Straits, and drifting down with the current. Sinking in three minutes, practically the whole of the crew of the Bouvet was lost.

It was now becoming clear that the old axiom as to the inferiority of ships to forts still held the field; and to the observers on land it was even more obvious than to those who were directing the gunfire afloat. In the rear of one battery, for instance, within a space not more than three hundred feet deep, there fell no less than eighty-six shells, the battery itself remaining undamaged, while none of the 6-inch guns of the much-hammered Fort Dardanos suffered any injury from our fire. The assault was continued, however, till dark, with the utmost vigour, in spite of the growing list of casualties, both the Irresistible and Ocean being sunk by drifting mines, and the Gaulois and Inflexible seriously crippled by gunfire.

Struck soon after four, it was not until ten minutes to six that the Irresistible went down in deep water, most of her crew being saved, thanks, in a great measure, to the seamanship of Captain C. P. Metcalfe of the destroyer Wear, and Midshipman Hugh Dixon of one of Queen Elizabeth's picket-boats, who laid themselves alongside under a very heavy fire. A quarter of an hour after the Irresistible sank, the Ocean was struck, but most of her crew were also rescued. The damage to the Inflexible was sufficiently serious to make it very uncertain that she would reach port; her forward control position being badly smashed up, her shell room and magazine injured by a mine; and many of her compartments rendered untenable by poisonous fumes. That she happily did so was chiefly due to the valour and discipline of all on board, and perhaps particularly to the steadfastness of her engineer officers and engine-room staff. Working in semi-darkness, in stifling heat, and in momentary peril of death by drowning, the strain imposed upon them, and from which they emerged so well, was of the severest order.

So ended the great attempt of the unaided navy, never, as it turned out, to be repeated, although the first intention of all responsible, both at home and on the spot, was to renew it. Thus, Admiral de Robeck, wiring an account of it, stated that the squadron was ready again for immediate action, although it would be necessary to reconsider the plan of attack and to find a solution of the drifting-mine problem. Both Lord Fisher and Sir Arthur Wilson, on the morning of the 19th, as well as Mr. Churchill himself, shared this view; and Lord Fisher at once ordered two more battleships to reinforce Admiral de Robeck, the Queen and the Implacable being already on their way. With equal promptitude, the French Government had ordered the Henri IV to replace the Bouvet. This was also the attitude of the War Council, who, on February 19th, wired to Admiral de Robeck, instructing him formally, if he thought fit, to continue the operations against the Dardanelles.

On the other hand, Sir Ian Hamilton, telegraphing to Lord Kitchener, had expressed his opinion that, from what he had seen, the Dardanelles were less likely to be forced by battleships alone than at one time had seemed probable, and that the military operations to ensure success would not be of the secondary nature hitherto suggested. To this Lord Kitchener replied that the Dardanelles must be forced, and that, if large military operations were necessary, they must be undertaken. Meanwhile Admiral de Robeck was beginning to agree with Sir Ian Hamilton, and on March 23d wired to the Admiralty that the mine menace was greater than had been suspected; that time would be required to deal with it satisfactorily, but that the Fleet would be ready as soon as the army; and that a decisive operation about the middle of April seemed to offer better prospects than immediate action.

These views were the result of a conference, earlier in the day, between Admiral de Robeck, Sir Ian Hamilton, and General Birdwood, but both to Mr. Churchill and Lord Kitchener-and not without reason-this postponement seemed far too long. The latter at once telegraphed to Sir Ian Hamilton, pointing this out to him, and asking him how soon he could act on shore-a difficult question to answer in view of the facts that, only ten days before, Sir Ian had been in England; that he had been assisted by no previous staff preparation; that he had been given no preliminary scheme of action; that no arrangements had been made about water-supply; that the 29th Division had not yet even sailed; and that, when he had left, it had been under the assumption that the navy itself would force the Straits.

On March 26th, however, this last idea was finally abandoned as the result of a further telegram from Admiral de Robeck, in which he stated definitely that, in his opinion, and after consultation with General Hamilton, a combined operation was essential to secure the objects of the campaign. To Mr. Churchill, who still believed that the navy, with local military help, might win its way through, this decision was a great disappointment; and he was unwilling to accept it. He was anxious to order Admiral de Robeck to renew the naval attack according to his previous intention. But neither Lord Fisher, Sir Arthur Wilson, nor Sir Henry Jackson agreed to this. While the men on the spot were willing, they had been ready to back them up. Now that these had changed their minds, they refused to press them. Before such a weight of opinion Mr. Churchill could but bow, although Mr. Asquith and Mr. Balfour were inclined to agree with him.

Nor were there lacking experts, who held the same view, both at the Admiralty and the Dardanelles. On the military side also, General Birdwood was for an immediate action with the then available forces; and, in view of later knowledge, this, with a further naval effort, might very possibly have achieved the desired end. For it was not until April 25th that Sir Ian Hamilton was ready to land his whole military force; and, in that month, the Peninsula of Gallipoli was transformed into a well-nigh impregnable arsenal.

With the purely military side of the following campaign this is not the place fully to deal; but something of the ordeal that was now in preparation not only for the soldiers but for the sailors can be gathered from the memoranda, since become public, of German officers who were concerned in it, and who were fully aware, of course, of the military concentration on the islands of Lemnos, Tenedos, and Imbros. Thus, a week after the naval attack had failed, General Liman von Sanders took command of the Peninsula; began to build roads in post haste, bodies of Greek and Armenian workmen being brought up for the purpose; constructed barbed-wire defences at every possible landing-place, some of these being submerged in the shallow waters; built machine-gun emplacements amongst the surrounding cliffs, and imported heavy guns of all calibres-according to Enver Pasha, 200 Skoda guns were, in these four weeks, rushed down to the Peninsula.

Meanwhile, owing to the defective loading of the British transports, these all had to be sent back again to Alexandria, the nearest place where there were facilities for a rapid re-arrangement of the troops and material. While this was in process, the general plan of attack was being considered by the naval and military staffs, but could not be worked out in detail till April 10th, when the Army Headquarters returned from Egypt-Commodore Keyes, already familiar to us, acting as Chief of Staff to Admiral de Robeck.

Collected in the harbour of Mudros, there was now a veritable Armada of every kind of naval and mercantile craft-from Atlantic liners to Hull trawlers and from obsolete battleships to the latest marine inventions. Between these and the shore plied smaller motor-boats and pinnaces on innumerable errands, and, by the end of the third week in April, all had been organized for the proposed landing. In view of the long delay, the magnitude of the operations, and the neighbourhood of the assembling-places to their objectives, it had been wholly impossible, of course, to conceal from the enemy the nature and scope of the impending attack. Nothing but sheer artillery fire, rapidity of execution, and human heroism could be depended upon; and, at only one of the landings-that at Gaba Tepe on the north of the Peninsula-was a surprise to be hoped for.

Simultaneously with this landing, it was proposed to throw forces ashore at five other beaches scattered round the head of the Peninsula. Of these, following the coast westward from Gaba Tepe-about a dozen miles from the tip of the Peninsula-the next was Y beach, some ten miles away. South of this was X beach, three miles farther along and just north of Cape Tekeh; next came W beach round the corner, between Cape Tekeh and Cape Helles; then V beach, facing south, between Cape Helles and Sedd-el-Bahr; and finally S beach, round the corner again, in Morto Bay, just inside the entrance.

It had also been arranged, as a diversion, that there should be a landing of French forces at Kum Kale on the Asiatic shore. Each expedition was self-contained, the navy taking charge of the landing and supplying the beach-masters to superintend the arrangements; the covering forces were conveyed in battleships, from which they were to be landed in boats towed by naval pinnaces, the main body of the troops being afterward brought, up, when the landing-places had been secured, in allotted liners. In view of all the circumstances, it was an attempt without precedent, and as perilous an operation as could well be conceived. Nevertheless it was entered upon with the highest anticipations by every rank concerned. Let us consider the landings in the foregoing order, beginning with that at Gaba Tepe in what was afterward to be known as Anzac Cove.

In charge of this was Rear-Admiral C. F. Thursby, who had under his command the following five battleships, the Queen, London, and Prince of Wales, each carrying some 500 troops; and the Triumph and Majestic, which were to cover the landing with gunfire. With them were the cruisers Bacchante and eight destroyers, some of the latter also carrying troops, the seaplane ship Ark Royal, a balloon ship, and fifteen trawlers. All through the morning of the 24th, the transports had been getting into position, and the exodus from the harbour began in the afternoon, the skies being clear and the sea calm. Presently the various squadrons passed ahead of the transports, and these, with their attendant troop-ships, separated for their appointed stations-the cheers from the shore dying behind them as they moved out to the open sea.

Each had its rendezvous off the Peninsula coast, that of Admiral Thursby's squadron being about five miles distant from it; and this was reached in the first hour of Sunday morning under a bright but setting half-moon. Since the fall of dusk the night before, the squadron had been steaming with lights out, and the crowded troops had been doing their best to snatch a little sleep before they would be called upon. The boats and steam pinnaces had already been slung out, and now the signal was given for them to be lowered-each boat, in charge of a midshipman, and each pinnace towing three boats.

Twelve in all of these little processions were silently marshalled under the sides of the battleships, the moon having sunk now, and shore and sea living in the darkness before dawn. Battleships and pinnaces, with the boats streaming out behind them, then drew very slowly into shore, the battleships, cleared for action, stopping about a mile and a half out. There was to be no preliminary bombardment, since it was hoped-though none too confidently-to surprise the enemy; and, from this point, therefore, the pinnaces with the landing-parties crept toward the shore in absolute stillness. They had almost reached it, racing against the dawn, when the destroyers, with their additional troops, slid between the battleships; and it was then that a sudden alarm light-just before five o'clock-showed the Turks to have discovered their presence. Three minutes later, the boats being then in shallow water, a murderous rifle and machine-gun fire broke upon the beach, nothing being visible but the flashes from the guns above an entrenchment almost on the shore itself.

It was a critical moment, many men being hit at once, but the rest, tumbling out of the boats, dashed ashore, made for the enemy in true Australian style, and, within less than ten minutes, had taken the trench. Afterward it was discovered that the landing had taken place a little to the east of the chosen spot; and the troops, having rushed the beach, found themselves in consequence faced by a steep and shrub-covered line of cliffs. But there was more cover here, although the enemy was firing down on them from the second line of trenches half-way up; and, having paused for a moment to take breath, shed their packs, and charge their magazines, they went for the cliffs and carried them, and, an hour later, had established a definite line along the ridge.

Meanwhile the rest of the covering troops had been landed, the whole being ashore within half an hour; and already the wounded were being evacuated, the two services going on together. It was now growing light, and, though the battleships came into action, the casualties on the beach grew more numerous. The trenches had been cleared, but, in the thick brushwood, the enemy marksmen found an ideal cover; and, as the day broadened, a couple of batteries, admirably concealed, opened fire. For many hours the battleships failed to locate them, and, all that time, under a hail of shrapnel, beach-masters, midshipmen, and seamen had to carry out their duties. For the actual troops it was less of an ordeal, since they could bolt across to the cover of the cliffs, but for the navy, marshalling the boats and moving them to and fro, there was no such respite. Owing to the heavy fire, too, both from the howitzers inland and warships in the Narrows on the other side, the loaded transports had to stand farther from the shore, thus at once increasing and delaying the work. Without a moment's pause, however, it went forward, men, stores, and munitions being punctually landed; General Birdwood and his staff went ashore in the afternoon; and, before evening, roads were actually being built inland. All through the next day, the great movement went on, in spite of fierce counter-attacks by the reinforced Turks; and, by the nightfall of April 26th, the position at Gaba Tepe was secure.

Though five in number, the remaining landing-places were grouped within six miles round the point of the Peninsula; and the naval forces responsible for them were under the command of Rear-Admiral Rosslyn E. Wemyss. They consisted of the seven battleships, Lord Nelson, Prince George, Cornwallis, Implacable, Swiftsure, Albion, and Vengeance; of the four cruisers, Euryalus, Talbot, Minerva, and Dublin; of six sweepers and fourteen trawlers. Allotted to Y beach as the first covering troops were the King's Own Scottish Borderers, and they sailed from Mudros in the cruisers Amethyst and Sapphire. It had not been possible to effect a surprise here; and consequently, as the boats approached the beach, it was under a protective screen of fire from the battleship Goliath. So effective was this, and so promptly were the covering troops thrown ashore that they reached the top of the high surrounding cliffs practically without opposition.

Following a second detachment of the Borderers came the Plymouth Battalion of the Royal Naval Division, the troops establishing themselves on the top of the cliffs, and trying to join hands with those landing at X beach. Unfortunately, between them there were strong hostile forces. They themselves were heavily and ceaselessly attacked; and, after twenty-four hours' fighting, it was decided to withdraw them-or rather what was left of them-under the fire of the battleships, the Amethyst and Sapphire, Goliath, Talbot, and Dublin undertaking their re-embarkation, ably supervised by Lieutenant-Commander Adrian St. V. Keyes. Thus, by the evening of the 26th, while Gaba Tepe had been secured, beach Y had had to be abandoned.

The action at beach X, however, just north of Cape Tekeh, had met with better results. Here the troops detailed to make the first landing had been two companies and a machine-gun section of the Second Battalion of the Royal Fusiliers, and they had been embarked in the battleship Implacable. The beach before them was a narrow one, about two hundred yards long, but the cliffs beyond it were not high, and their ultimate objective was a hill that lay to the rear of the landing-places, round the corner, at W and V. Covered by the Implacable, who came close inshore, the troops landed with scarcely any casualties; and, though they did not succeed, owing to a very fierce counter-attack, in obtaining complete possession of the desired hill, they had, by the evening, with the aid of their supports, entrenched themselves for half a mile round their landing-place, besides having already joined hands, earlier in the day, with the Lancashire Fusiliers who had advanced from Beach W.

This lay between Cape Tekeh and Cape Helles at the extreme end of the Peninsula, and was some three hundred and fifty yards long and from fifteen to forty yards deep. Flanked on each side by precipitous cliffs, the land in front rose less steeply, climbing in a series of low sand-hills to the ridge that lay beyond. It had been an obvious landing-place, however, and had, in consequence, been fortified with the utmost care. Not only had the water in front of it been mined but also the shore itself. Submerged entanglements covered the approach to it, and a jungle of barbed wire protected the sea's edge. The surrounding cliffs were heavily trenched and honeycombed with nests of machine-guns. The ridge itself, even should it be gained, was commanded on both sides by higher ground still.

To take this position, than which nothing could well have been stronger, fell to the First Battalion of the Lancashire Fusiliers, who had been conveyed to their rendezvous by the Euryalus and Implacable, from which they had embarked, at four o'clock in the morning, into the small boats. An hour later, and while these were approaching the shore-there had been eight picket-boats, each towing four cutters-the Euryalus followed them up and poured a heavy fire into the trenches. Farther out at sea, other units of the squadron supported the bombardment with guns of all calibres, but without doing much damage to the well-designed trenches and scarcely any to the beach entanglements.

Hung up by the wire or staked under water, an easy mark for rifle and machine-gun, men fell so thickly that, for a few minutes, it seemed as if indeed their task were a hopeless one. But they were not to be denied; hacking at the wire, as one man fell, another succeeded him; while, upon the extreme left, where it was just possible to effect a landing upon some rocks a detachment climbed ashore, and, with great skill, put out of action some enfilading maxims. Thus supported, their comrades made a little headway; and, once having gained a footing, never stopped. By ten o'clock, three of the enemy's trenches had been taken; and, by half-past eleven, they were in touch with the X landing-party. The actual beach was now secured, although the general position was still hazardous, and remained so until the next afternoon, when the landing at beach V had been consolidated. Throughout the whole time, in a widening semi-circle, a fierce infantry action was in progress; but, though the shore was under fire, thanks to the expedition and coolness of the beach-masters, Captain Townsend and Commander Collard, and the courage of all concerned, the remaining troops were safely landed.

Terrible as were the conditions, however, at beach X, those at beach V were even more so; and it was here that the self-sacrifice demanded of navy and army alike reached its sublimest level. We have said that no stronger defensive position than that of beach W could well be imagined; but that of beach V presented a problem that, in certain respects, was even more difficult. Of about the same size and much the same formation, it was more strongly flanked on either side-by sheer cliffs on the west and by the village and Fort of Sedd-el-Bahr on the east; while brooding above it, in the centre, as above the amphitheatre of a circus, stood the battered ruins of the old barracks, a perfect cover for sharpshooters and maxims.

Here, as at beach W, there were dense wire barricades, and the high ground between had been similarly fortified. Nor was it possible here, as it had been for the Lancashire Fusiliers, to land even the smallest detachment on the flanks. A frontal assault was the only possible one, and accordingly special measures had been taken. As in all the other cases, the first landing-parties were to be towed ashore in small open boats, but the remainder of the covering troops, about 2,000 strong, was to be landed from a larger vessel designed for the purpose. This was the converted collier, the River Clyde, in charge of Commander Edward Unwin, and large doorways had been cut in her sides to enable the contained troops to pour out rapidly. As soon as the first boats had made good their landing, the River Clyde was to be run ashore, and a string of lighters pushed out from her side to form a bridge for the emerging soldiers. Mounted in her bows, and protected by sandbags, were several machine-guns to cover the operation.

The troops to whom had been assigned this, the most dangerous of all the day's undertakings, were the Dublin Fusiliers, of whom three companies were to land from the open boats, the remainder coming ashore from the River Clyde with the Munsters, Hampshires, and other forces. Here also, as the collier and boats drew in, the battleships in the rear maintained a tremendous bombardment, but here, too, the effect on the defences was so slight as to be negligible. Till the boats actually touched shore, the Turks reserved their fire and then opened simultaneously with devastating results. In several of the boats there was not a single man who escaped either death or disablement. One of the boats disappeared altogether; another contained only two survivors. Of the few who scrambled ashore alive, some were killed on the wire, others fell on the sands half-way up the beach; and but a small handful managed to reach a little ridge, some four feet high, under which they took shelter.

For the boats to return again was impossible; that any were beached at all was almost a miracle; and nothing has ever excelled the heroic determination of those responsible for navigating them. With dead and wounded men lying about them, themselves with but a moment or two to live, they plied their oars or gave their orders under that withering storm of lead and shrapnel. Such was Able Seaman Levi Jacobs of the Lord Nelson, who, after the whole of his comrades had been killed or wounded, took in his boat unaided and, when last seen, was standing up alone, trying to pole the cutter into shore.

Even more costly was the first attempt to land the troops from the River Clyde, though it justified its existence as a harbour of refuge and was the eventual means of carrying the beach. Commander Unwin had succeeded in grounding her almost simultaneously with the boats, and the lighters were run out through a tornado of fire, but failed unfortunately to reach the shore. This was chiefly due to the strong current and the almost instant slaughter of those at work on them. Time was the essence of the contract, however; every second counted; and already the first of the Munsters were pouring out of the ship. While willing hands fought with the lighters, they leapt, swam, and waded to the shore, some being drowned by the weight of their equipment, others shot to pieces by the enemy, and again but a handful reached the precarious cover of the same little parapet that was sheltering their comrades. Then the lighters were fastened up again; other troops began to rush them; and once more the pier broke down, the shoremost lighter swinging round with the current and shutting off the troops that stood behind it.

Now was the enemy's opportunity, and he made the most of it; the officers on the lighters shouted to their men to lie down, but, even so, half had already fallen, and many more were shot where they lay. It was in these circumstances that Commander Unwin himself set the most magnificent example of conduct. Leaving the River Clyde, he made for the lighters, and, standing waist-deep in the bullet-lashed water, he worked indefatigably to repair the bridge and secure the lighter against the thrust of the current. With him was Midshipman G. L. Drewry, who, after being wounded in the head, twice attempted to swim from lighter to lighter with a line. Failing to do so owing to exhaustion, Midshipman W. St. A. Malleson then took up the task, succeeded, and, when the line broke again, made two further, but this time unsuccessful, efforts to repair it. No less gallant were A. B. Williams and Seaman G. M'K. Samson, the latter working on a Lighter the whole day, until he was dangerously wounded, and the former, until he was killed, holding on to a line in the water, under the heaviest fire, for over an hour. Commander Unwin himself, almost frozen, had to return to the Clyde, where he was wrapped up in blankets, leaving the ship a second time to work at the lighters till he was injured in three places, and a third time, after he had been dressed, to save some wounded men lying at the water's edge.

It had become clear by this time, however, that on the present lines, at any rate, the disembarkation could not proceed. Of the thousand men who had left the collier, half were dead or wounded, but fortunately the remainder were comparatively safe. Meanwhile the machine-gunners in her bow, as well as the ships at sea, kept up an incessant fusillade, both to protect the survivors under the sandbank, and to prevent a counter-attack by the enemy. Earlier in the day, the Albion, seeing the River Clyde's predicament, had called for volunteers to go to her help, and a pinnace and launch had been manned to assist in completing the bridge of boats. Owing to the murderous fire, however, it had been impossible to get into position; and it was not till dark that the work was finally completed, when the rest of the troops were at last able, though not without many casualties, to go ashore.

It was now essential to occupy the village, or rather the ruins, of Sedd-el-Bahr on the right; and, all through the night, fierce but unsuccessful efforts were made to this end by the tired troops. On the morning of the 26th, however, thanks to the heavy fire of the Albion inshore and other vessels farther out, a determined onslaught, heroically organized by Lieutenant-Colonels Doughty-Wylie and Williams, gained possession of it; and, by half-past one, the old Castle and its surrounding heights had been secured.

Two subsidiary landings had also taken place, one at what was known as the Camber, a little to the east of V beach, and near the village of Sedd-el-Bahr. Here a half company of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers had been landed to make an attack on the village, but, owing to the narrowness of the approach, they were able to make no advance, and had to withdraw after heavy losses. Finally, at S beach in Morto Bay, covered by the Cornwallis and Lord Nelson, the 2nd South Wales Borderers and a detachment of the 2nd London Field Company of the Royal Engineers about 750 men in all-were successfully landed, largely due to the ability of Lieutenant-Commander Ralph B. Janvrin, who was in charge of the trawlers that brought them ashore. They suffered but few casualties, consolidated themselves in their assigned positions, and held these till April 27th, when they were joined by the general advance. Equally successful, in respect of its transport arrangements, was the French diversion at Kum Kale, the whole force being landed during the 25th. On the 26th, however, after they had beaten off many counter-attacks, and taken over 400 Turkish prisoners, it became clear that they could only advance at a heavy cost and after fresh reinforcements; and it was decided to re?mbark them, this being effected without serious opposition.

So was obtained that footing upon Gallipoli, never, alas, to ripen into a complete conquest, but yet an achievement without parallel in the naval and military records of the world. Of the second great landing at Suvla Bay, four miles north of Anzac Cove, on August 7th, all that can be said here is that, before breakfast-time, two divisions were firmly established, and that once again, in Sir Ian Hamilton's words, the navy played father and mother to the army. Let a few brief facts, therefore, complete the picture of all that the seamen stood for at Gallipoli.

Between its base at Alexandria, 600 miles distant, and its front-line trenches, the army had but two harbours-Kephalos Bay on the Island of Imbros, about fifteen miles from the Peninsula, and the Bay of Mudros on Lemnos some four times as distant. When the expedition started, in neither of these harbours were there any conveniences whatsoever. Wharves and breakwaters, piers and storehouses, all were totally lacking. On the Peninsula itself, as we have seen, each of the landing-places was an open beach. Each was exposed, throughout the whole occupation, to registered and observed artillery fire. At two of the most important of them-Suvla and Anzac-only lighters and tugs could be used for disembarkation; two trans-shipments were thus always necessitated; and nothing could be landed except by night. All were peculiarly exposed to the weather, as were also the harbours on Imbros and Lemnos; and, in addition to this, after the month of May, there was the ever-present menace of hostile submarines.

Nevertheless the army was well maintained in food, equipment, and munitions; it received its full supply of winter clothing at the beginning of December; the sick and wounded were punctually removed; and letters and mails were regularly delivered. So also in the final act, in the amazing evacuation, so swiftly and bloodlessly carried out, the navy received to its arms again and silently transferred the last man of those war-worn legions.

Of the statesmen and strategists responsible for the general campaign, judgments may well differ, though they should be lenient-every issue being so vitally involved with issues as large all the world over. But of the hewers of wood and drawers of water, of the human instruments of their policy, there can be no doubt in any man's mind, however unfamiliar with the tasks allotted to them. Not even the gods on Mount Ida ever looked down upon finer men.

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