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Remembered Today:

August 7; the August Offensive

christine liava'a

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The irony of the attack was that one of its objectives-to draw Turkish troops to the location and away from Northern Anzac was not achieved. Essad Pasha, in command of the Turks at Lone Pine on the evening of 6 August was concerned about the scale of the Australian assault. He ordered 2 regiments of Colonel Kannengeisser's 9th Division from south of Gaba Tebe to Lone Pine... these troops happened to be near Chunuk Bair when the New Zealanders later took the summit.

...The route for the New Zealanders in the August Offensive resembled a clockwise half circle. The offensive started by heading north from No 2 Outpost and Bauchop's Hill, slowly swinging to the right and east towards Rhododendron Spur and Chunuk Bair, then turning further right and south towards Battleship Hill and Baby 700. Once the heights had been taken, the 2nd objective was to release the Turkish stranglehold along the NE perimeter of Anzac. Then the major thrust towards the Dardanelles would break out through the more accessible NE perimeter...

Chunuk Bair belonged to a system of hills known as the Sari Bair Ridge.The NZ attack was through 3 roughly converging deres or gullies, separated by adjacent ridges, that ran from the foreshore towards Chunuk Bair...

all deres and ridges roughly converged on Rhododendron Spur. The spur was central and vital to the New Zealanders' attack because it led to Chunuk Bair.

Reinforcing troops that were landed on Anzac on the nights of 4, 5, and 6 August included the 13th Division, the 29th Brigade, and the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade.

The 13th Division included the 38th Infantry Brigade, comprised of 6th Royal Lancashire, 6th East Lancashire, 6th South Lancashire Battalions;

39th Infantry Brigade comprised of 9th Royal Warwick, 7th Gloucestor, 9th Worcestor and 7th North Stafford Battalions;

40th Infantry Brigade comprised of 4th South Wales Borderers, 8th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, 8th Cheshire and 5th Wiltshire Battalions;

69th Howitzer Brigade of Royal Field Artillery;

8th Battalion Welsh Regiment (Divisional Pioneers)

72nd Field Company Royal Engineers;

The 29th Brigade included 10th Hampshires, 6th Royal Irish Rifles, 5th Connaught Rangers and 6th Leinster Battalions.

The 29th Indian Infantry Brigade included 14th Sikhs, 5th, 6th, and 10th Gurkha Rifle Battalions.

These reinforcements brought the total strength on Anzac up to 37,000 troops and 72 field guns..on 750 acres or so that made up the Anzac beachhead

Bloody Gallipoli; Richard Stowers

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No grass grew there, only stunted scrub. There was nothing to bind the steep clay swlopes that crumbled under foot in summer and slids into the deres with the torrential rains of winter. Deres could run into cliff faces and turn abruptly and ionclines were often more than 45 degrees steep. The Anzacs would have to advance over this unfamiliar and hostile terrain under darkness.

Late in the day the NZ and Australian attacking units moved out to different push off points along the northern perimeter. For many, including most of the NZ Mtd Rifles and Maori, this was their first offensive.

... The first target, Old No 3 Outpost, was allotted to the Auckland Mounted Rifles. The Aucklanders crept up the thorny slope when the sound of the first bombardment helped drown any noise, and the glare of the searchlight helped conceal them in the dark. Punctually at 9.30 pm the 2nd bombardment ceased and the searchlight switched off. Instantly the Aucklanders rushed up the remaining slope. 8 Turks in an outworks were bayonetted before they realised what was happening. Troopers dropped down into the trenches through openings on top of the redoubt and desperate hand to hand fighting took plasce in total darkness... The position was taken quickly, and troopers immediately set to work filling sandbags they had brought with them and building barriers at various placesalong the trenches, from which the Auckland bombers held off counter attacks during the night.

The Auckland Mounteds suffered 5 killed and 15 wounded compared with the 100 dead left behind by the Turks

While the Auckland Mounteds took Old No 3 Outpost, The Wellington Mounted Rifles ...with 2 platoons of Maori attached...moved onto their objective- the capture of Table Top.

The 6th Manawatu squadron captured Destryer Hill. The rfemaining 2 wellington squadrons advanced up Hughes Gully hoping to gain access to table Top, and climbed up and around the northern shoulder of Table Top. The Turks, not expecting an attack from the steep slopes at the rear, were quickly bayotted and their trenches captured.

The whole action was over by 11. 15pm. The Wellingtons lost 5 killed. Entrenching parties got to work on the eastern end of Table Top, the side that would face the Turks the coming morning...Over 150 prisoners were taken on Table Top and Destroyer Hill.

The Otago and Canterbury Mounted Rifles moved off from No 2 outpost at 9pm and traversed the flat land to the north. The 1st Canterbury Yeomanry and 10th Nelson Squiadrons advanced in line abreast, the Otagos advanced on the right, and the 8th South Canterbury Squadron were in support with machine guns and a platoon of Maori...

When Bauchop's Hill was taken, the Maori performed a haka that could be heard as far away as Table Top and each of the outposts, and everyone gave 3 cheers. The action was over by 1.10 am.

Many of the "Killed In action" are listed as killed on 6 August but in fact were killed in the early hours of 7 August... The night's efforts by the New Zealand Mounted Rifles and Maori would eventually prove to be the most successful Allied offensive operation of the Gallipoli campaign

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For Sgt (acting CSM) Tom Worthington, 1/6th Battalion, Manchester Regiment. Missing since 7/8/15.

Uncommemorated by CWGC, but still remembered in his native Cheadle.

On 6 August, the 5th Manchesters had taken part in an unsuccessful attack and it was now the turn of the 6th. This attack would become known as the Battle of the Vineyard. The troops were in position by 7am. The Turkish Army was obviously prepared for another assault and was shelling the British position. The Battalion War Diary notes that “even before the first assault, we had a good many casualties in the trenches”. Leading the attack would be “C” Company, which included Tom and his friend Capt. Alexander Milne. At 9.40, they left the trench and reached the Turkish front line, some 70 yards away. There were many casualties – some had got no more than 20 yards before being mown down by machine gun fire. Private F Ollerenshaw, “C” Company, described it in a letter published in the Stockport Advertiser “We were all ready on the ladders and steps and, when the word came, we went up together and ran as fast as we could”

Fierce fighting took place in the Turkish trench and the War Diary records that Tom was “badly wounded in trench – now missing”. It was also noted that “Lieut Milne fired 4 shots with his revolver into a redoubt where they were bombing our men and was then shot in the head”. Private Ollerenshaw wrote” We had only one officer left by this time and as we were being bombed from the sap on the left and the trench was being searched by shrapnel, it became imperative that we should move. The officer jumped up onto the top of the trench but was immediately hit and fell back. Then a few of us tried to get over but another burst of shrapnel came and about three were left standing. The man next to me was killed outright, shot in the head.”

By now, “B” and “D” Companies had also advanced but were subject to heavy fire and very few managed to join the men of “C” Company. By 11am, it was very clear that the Turkish positions were strongly held and were being re-enforced still further. A few minutes later, the troops were driven out of the trenches they had captured and were forced back to their starting point, by 11.15.

Over half the Battalion had become casualties – killed, missing or wounded.

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The first attack on Chunuk Bair

All 4 NZ Infantry battalions were late leaving their push off position (on 7 August am) from the end of the Big Sap at No 2 Outpost. The Auckland, Wellington, and Otago Infantry Battalions combined to form one force, while the Canterburys acted independently.

The combined Auckland, Wellington and Otago Infantry Battalions moved from No 2 Outpost towards Chailak Dere, arriving at the entrance about midnight. The Otagos led, next came the Wellingtons, followed by the Aucklanders in reserve, with a fild company of NZ Engineers and the 26th Indian Mountain Battery in the rear. It was the Otago's task to clear Chailak Dere, with the other 2 battalions to follow. Lt Bishop was "ordered to attack Table Top from the rear, a most hazardous opersation in the dark as it entailed a final assault up an almost vertical cliff. When we reached the top the Turks actually helped us up and some of the men were even kissed by them. We did not know at the time that we had cut off their retreat, as they had been driven back by the NZ Mtd Rifles. We took about 50 prisoners"

The Wellington Infantry Battalion entered Chailak Dere about midnight behind the Otagos. One of their tasks- to secure Cheshire Ridge. Lt Col Malone already knew that the chance of surprising the Turks on the summit of Chunuk Bair before dawn was gone. It was just before dawn when his leading 11th Taranaki and 17th Ruahine companies scrambled from the dere onto Rhododendron Spur.

The Auckland Infantry Battalion started its push up Chailak Dere immediately behind the Wellingtons. It took the Aucklanders 6 hours to walk the dere The last of the NZ Infantry came out of Chailak Dere in broad daylight.

... One of the worst tasks during the night was carrying the machine guns and all the equipment that accompanied them."we had 15 men per gun and the men's personal amminition was cut down to 120 rounds. 7 of the men carried the 14 boxes of ammunition(25 lb per box). One man the 2 gallons of water. 1 the spare parts. 1 the gun (67lb), 1 the tripod (46lb), Rangefinder helped with gun or carried their rifles. 1 carried the oil, cleaning gear, condenser etc, while another had the belt filler" the 15th man was the officer in command.

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The 3 Otago machine guns were set up on Rhododendron Spur. Further along and higher up was a point later christened the Apex by the Anzacs in recognition of the highest point or achievement reached by the NZers.

Turks were seen streaming towards them (the machine guns) up the gully between the spur and Battleship hill. Captain Wallingford, a champion marksman with several Bisley trophies to his name, grabbed a few rifles off nearby soldiers and had a turkey shoot! " It was now that I had the finest shooting with the rifle that I ever shall get. 200 yards for 20 minutes with 3 rifles. Turks running like rabbits. They could not pass over the skyline because it weas a steady slope of about 20 yards to it without any cover, so they simply bunched. This gave the machine guns an opportunity of which they immediately took advantage. Poor beggars, they suffered cruelly"

Slowly the Auckland and Wellington regiments gathered behind the Apex. The Otagos were there in small numbers, the rest scattered along Rhododendron Spur in pockets. The Canterburys were already positioned further along the spur. All the men kept loe because of the intense Turkish machine gun fire from Battleship Hill and from the heights north of Chunuk Bair. The unspoken order was to dig, but the men were tired and the digging difficult. Many of the picks and shovels had been discarded in the deres during the night. The log and strenuous journey up the deres and the long night without rest or sleep had told on the troops, who were already in low physical condition prior to the offensive..

Shortly after, about 6am on 7 August, one British officer and a section of the 10th Gurkhas arrived at the Apex from the NE.

General Godley wired at 9.30 am "attack at once". Brig -Gen Johnson planned for a charge from behind the Apex to the summit, a distance of about 500 yards.

The Aucklanders were drawn up with the 6th Haurakis in front. The section of the 10th Gurkhas that was present decided to help the Aucklanders.

At 11am the moment came. There was a slight hesitation, many of the men in this attack had survived the Daisy Patch and knew the grisly work of machine guns, but when Major Grant rushed to the front and called "come on" the men quickly responded.

They covered the 20 yards of dead ground before they were caught in a hail of bullets. They quickly learned there were machine guns positioned on Chunuk Bair, but there could be no stopping until they got to the Pinnacle, a distance of well over 100 yards. The Pinnacle was a slight promontory on Rhododendron Ridge, similar to the Apex, but still over 300 yards short of the summit on Chunuk Bair. Dozens of men fell, killed and wounded. The Gurkhas' rush drifted to the left of the Aucklanders and ended downhill in Aghyl Dere.

The luckiest Aucklanders reached an unused Turkish trench at the Pinnacle. Only 26 Haurakis reached the trench. Att4empting a rescue during the day was suicide, as the turkish snipers fired at any movement, so the wounded had to lie in the open all day and into the night before rescue came.

Despite the failure of the Auckland attack Brig- Gen Johnson still had not abandoned his attempt to take the summit. He ordered the Canterburys to get ready. All (that could be) managed to assemble were 4 officers and 50 men. The Canterburys pushed forward from the Apex, ... keeping low to the ground. But they were soon spotted and received shrapnel and machine gun fire.

But Johnson wanted yet another attempt. This time it was to be the Canterburys together with the Wellingtons. However, before the attackers could be assembled Johnson received orders fron Gen Godley by telephone that no further advance was to be attempted until the following morning.

Bloody Gallipoli; Richard Stowers

Walter Clarke, buried at No 2 Outpost Cemetery. Died 7 August 1915


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chunuk bair taken from little table top.

rhododendrom ridge taken from battleship hill




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