About Turkey


Ariburnu Battles, Gallipoli / Turkey

Gallipoli landings in 1915The area chosen by the Anzac Corps as a landing area was the coast to the north of Kabatepe. However, the Anzacs had landed in the steep, inaccessible area of Ariburnu (later it was called as Anzac Cove) due to their boats having been carried by the strong current. First landing group consisted of 1500 men with the same number again in a following wave. The first target to be captured after the landing was the "Karacimen Bloc".

One of the battalions of the 27th regiment of the 9th Turkish Division in Ariburnu was guarding the coasts of the area. One company of the battalion had spread from the Ariburnu hills to Agildere. This company consisted squads; one on the Ariburnu hilltops, one in Balikcidamlari and one other in reserve on Haintepe.

The Anzac attack began at 4.30 on 25th April. They landed at Ariburnu in the form of a surprise attack. The defending squad opened fire on the invading forces, but the Anzacs advanced. The Turkish company defending the coast immediately reported the situation to 27 regimental Command to the west of Eceabat.

While the Regimental Commander was giving his report to the 9th Division, at the same time he informed the 19th Division. The 8th Company Commander brought up reinforcements to counter the first wave of attacks, however, the heavy losses caused by the intense cannon fire from the ships and the lack of ammunition led him to retreat.

Although Staff Lieutenant-Colonel Mustafa Kemal had sent reports to the army and the Corps Command at Gallipoli, he received no reply. Using his initiative he attacked the Anzacs. Reinforcing the 57th Regiment with a hill-top cannon battery, he advanced towards Ariburnu via Kocacimen. In a critical moment Mustafa Kemal gave the order for a company to rapidly reach the area and for the forward battalion to immediately enter the fray. With their arrival, the Turkish forces attained the initiative. The 57th Regiment completed their battle preparations by noon and moved southwards from Conkbayiri to the Anzac forces. This strike could not advance any further than Duztepe because of the effective cannon fire from the ships. He arrived at Korucakoy and reported the situation to the Army Headquarters. He met the commander of the 3rd corps at Maltepe from whom he received permission to deploy the entire 19th Division after explaining to him the situation. He moved those forces forward. Mustafa Kemal's decision, on the night of 25-26th April was to take the command of the 27th Regiment and to attack the Anzacs with two regiments from the south and two regiments from the north and to drive them that night at whatever cost into the sea. Same night the attack was deployed. Since the majority of the 27th Regiment which arrived from Aleppo (Halep) was composed of aged soldiers, the action on the southern flank did not develop as hoped. The 57th and 72nd Regiments forced the Anzacs to retreat further south from the Cesarettepe hill-top. The Anzacs were in great difficulty to defend their positions with this latest assault. The allied commander decided to evacuate his forces into

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