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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

17th-18th May 1915


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“Flight Commander R. L. G. Marix, whilst patroling on the look-out for enemy aircraft on the morning of the 17th of May, had been struck by unusual activity at the port of Ak Bashi Liman, where four transports and several smaller craft were unloading stores and troops, and by a large camp, inland from the port, already filled with soldiers. When Flight Commander Marix came back with this information which pointed to the arrival of a fresh division, [the 2nd Division from Constantinople] a bomb raid on the camps was planned for the afternoon. Marix loaded one 100-lb. and fourteen 20-lb. bombs on the Breguet and went up with Commander Samson in the observer’s seat. This was the first bombing raid on the port and it was highly successful, creating something like panic amongst the dock hands and killing or wounding fifty-seven soldiers. The officers then made a reconnaissance of the shipping in the straits and of the eastern coast of the peninsula, and their observations confirmed the strength of the new reinforcements. When these air reports were received at General Head-quarters it was concluded that an early attack on the Anzac position was likely, and General Birdwood was so informed. In the afternoon of the 18th of May he warned all his subordinate commanders that the attack would probably come during the night. His warning was received in the trenches at 10.0 p.m………….”

From ‘The War in the Air,’ Vol.II, by H. A. Jones

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On the 17 May, following a report that one German U boat was now operating in the Argean Sea, the warships off Helles were reduced from 7 to 4 and those off Anzac from 4 to 2, and the majority of large transports anchored off the peninsula were ordered to Mudros Harbour. No more large transports were allowed proceed north of Lemnos; future supplies and troops would have to transfer from large transports at Mudros and proceed to the Peninsula aboard smaller ferry steamers that ran each night to Helles and Anzac.

Bloody Gallipoli- Richard Stowers

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