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Robert Dunlop

Evidence of artillery fire?

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Robert Dunlop

Is there any evidence that the landings at 'V' and 'W' Beaches came under Ottoman artillery fire? I have seen mention of 'shrapnel' in one account from 'V' Beach but it is not clear that this was from field guns firing on the beach. One account expresses relief that SS River Clyde was not targeted by artillery directly. 

 

The blue-on-blue incident with naval gunfire on 'W' Beach doesn't count ;-)

 

Robert

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Robert Dunlop

Peter Hart quoted the following in his book 'Gallipoli'. It relates to the separate landing on the far side of Sedd-el-Bahr fort from V Beach:

 

"About 50 or 100 yards from the shore the steamboats slowed down, the pulling boats were slipped, and the orders 'Oars down! Give way together!' were given and we were pulling like mad for the beach [below Sedd-el-Bahr town]. Whiz! A shrapnel burst overhead; everybody ducked. I looked around. Nobody was touched. But going in yet closer we were peppered with the stuff and a lot of balls fell into the boat."

 

Robert

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michaeldr
11 hours ago, Robert Dunlop said:

"About 50 or 100 yards from the shore the steamboats slowed down, the pulling boats were slipped, and the orders 'Oars down! Give way together!' were given and we were pulling like mad for the beach [below Sedd-el-Bahr town]. Whiz! A shrapnel burst overhead; everybody ducked. I looked around. Nobody was touched. But going in yet closer we were peppered with the stuff and a lot of balls fell into the boat."

Parts of this quote also appears in Philip Lecane's (Oak on this forum) book 'Beneath a Turkish Sky' and Philip's notes say it originally comes from 'Immortal Gamble'

It refers to the tow in the charge of Midshipman Haydon Forbes which was heading for the Camber

Forbes' boat was also 'sprayed with shrapnel' again when he left the Camber

The firing in this particular case came from Turkish batteries on the Asiatic shore

 

I recommend Philip's book as a very detailed account of what happened at Sedd el Bahr on the 25th & 26th

eg:

On 29/08/2018 at 20:35, Robert Dunlop said:

One account expresses relief that SS River Clyde was not targeted by artillery directly. 

 

Whereas Philip quotes a letter by Surgeon Peter Burrows Kelly (serving with the RNAS but) on the River Clyde

"a large shell had gone right through our after hold without exploding, but it killed several. Shortly after one got in the engine room. That ought to have finished us, but it did not."

 

regards

Michael

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michaeldr

Another book which should not be overlooked is Stephen Snelling's 'Voices from the past – The Wooden Horse of Gallipoli' where pages 181-184 give some details of the hits received by the River Clyde.

Lt-Col Williams is quoted mentioning two 4.7s firing from the Asiatic shore (as well as the well known pom-poms and maxims firing from the V Beach arena itself).

Williams thought that the 4.7s scored five direct hits on the River Clyde during the day

No.4 hold which took two shells held 1/1 West Riding Field Company, stretcher bearers from 89th Field Ambulance and some of the Anson Btn (RND) beach party

Edited by michaeldr

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michaeldr

It is also worth noting that the fire from the batteries on the Asiatic shore was anticipated

and for that reason an attempt was made to camouflage the starboard side of the River Clyde – see various photographs of the ship eg;- https://www.dublin-fusiliers.com/ships/clyde-vBeach-4.jpg

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Robert Dunlop

Thanks, Michael. Particularly for the information about the source of the artillery fire on the landing craft.

 

Robert

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

That's interesting that the fire came from the eastern side.

 

With the Kum kale area over run by the French that leaves the guns possibly around Intepe or around Orhaniye that could have possibly ranged to that area.

 

But these batteries are well away from the Seddulbahir area, but they contained the following guns

 

Intepe area 4x 15cm hows

 

Orhaniye area 2x 24cm L35 guns

 

Moblie gun batteries from the 8th Heavy Artillery Regt were around possibly that area between Kum Kale and Intepe, and possibly from the 3rd Infantry Div Artillery could have came into action but I am unsure if these could be the guns mentioned?

 

The problem with the moblie batteries these were all heavy guns 

 

8th Heavy (Agir) Artillery Regt (Fortress) - LtCol Mehmet Zekerriya - LtCol Werle (G)     3x Bn's with 1Bn - 3xBtys (12x 150/10.8 guns) + 1Bty (6x 120/11.6 guns) 2Bn - 3xBtys (12x 150/10.8 guns) + 10x 210/6.4 mortars) 
to Fortress Comand Gallipoli 2-15 at Erenköy on Anatolian part formed the moblie batteries to defend the straits

 

But what 4.7 guns were I am unsure what guns they refer to?

 

Any ideas here?

 

S.B

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michaeldr

Correct me if I'm mistaken here, but I think that 120mm roughly equates to 4.7-inch

and the Canakkale Fortified Area Command certainly had plenty of that size in the area on 18 March

Would the situation have been so different on 25th April? 

 

1686730522_CanakkaleFortifiedAreaArtillery18March1915crop.jpg.bbc4d992c52ee6a65abcf67a5fb8467b.jpg

 

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stevebecker

Mate,

 

Thanks, so the guns were possibly from a battery of the 4Bn/8th Heavy Artillery Regt around Intepe.

 

I show this as

 

4Bn (Siege Arty) - Capt. Hasbi

 

Cheers

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker

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