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Remembered Today:

TURKISH MACHINE GUNS AT GALLIPOLI


Chris Best

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48 minutes ago, emrezmen said:

Both Tur and Fr sources (including French COE war diary and Turkish OH) accepts presence of MGs near the mouth of Menderes River. Both mentions a "windmill."

Thank you for that

50 minutes ago, emrezmen said:

Presence of MGs at the mouth of Menderes River is almost certain.

and for that

....................

50 minutes ago, emrezmen said:

I think we will have exact location of MG(s) when we found the location of that/those windmill(s).  

So far I have not been able to find a map which would really help here

I look forward to others having more success

 

regards

Michael

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2 hours ago, emrezmen said:

Let's sum it up:

- I think we all agree on there were no MGs directly opposed French landing/No MGs deployed in Kumkale Fort or on the 1 km long beach south of it (as supposed to be, imo). Only indirect intervention. MGs probably disabled within a short time by a bombardment from Henri IV. 

 

- Both Tur and Fr sources (including French COE war diary and Turkish OH) accepts presence of MGs near the mouth of Menderes River. Both mentions a "windmill."

BUT interestingly, regarding to position of MGs, French COE war diary saying "left bank" (i.e. west of the river) while Turkish OH saying "east of the river." From Fr WD:

 

1.JPG.a26dd7a6f1d3c1276c09420df05455be.JPG

 

"Elles se trouvent immédiatement en butte (...) au tir des mitrailleuses installées dans un des moulins qui s'élèvent à l'embouchure du Mendere Chai (rive gauche)."

 

Presence of MGs at the mouth of Menderes River is almost certain. At this point, although it is necessary to examine the war diary of 31st Regt (a hard row to hoe), I think we will have exact location of MG(s) when we found the location of that/those windmill(s).  

 

 

 

I think left bank depends on where you're standing right. If you're coming down from Kum Kale village, and you're facing the mendere in front, and the Aegean Sea on your right, and the mouth of the Dardanelles in your back, then the left bank would also be east of the river. If you're looking at the map, then yes, left bank would be west, but they didn't come from that direction. So the machine gun is most likely east of the river.

 

I have another question regarding that, I've read that troops were defending the area around the cemetery, does anyone have an estimation how many there were? Also I read that a bridge was destroyed by a british warship, is that the bridge over the mendere or the other bridge? 

 

 

About windmills, I found this here: https://cdn.comu.edu.tr/cms/ckalearastirma/files/532-turan-takaoglu-mithat-atabay-canakkale-savasi-sira.pdf

 

image.png.11fa8d48a098ef71d6efbd6a18a7bdbb.png

 

But the location they mention seems a totally different one from those mentioned in the other sources (at the mouth of the mendere). This text doesn't mention machine guns though. 

Edited by Umeu
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Mate,

 

From the maps the 39th Regt (2xBns) attacked from Yenisehr, while the 31st Regt held the Yukar Kumkale area across the river.

 

Ottoman ORbat all show the 39th Regt had no MG company, while the 31st Regt had its MG company to help its defence, so thats confirmed that the MG fire must have been the 31st MG Company.

 

Did that company loss two of its MG's and another blown out by the Battleship, as the French report?

 

Since (part) of the 64th Regt backed up the 31st Regt, did its MG company get involved?

 

S.B

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Mate,

 

Thanks, I belived it was our pro MG men, who were claiming these lost by the Turks there.

 

Cheers


S.B

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Re-reading Erickson's Gallipoli – The Ottoman Campaign I am reminded that he states (p.82) that the initial French landing was met by Ottoman machine-gun fire:

"Shelling by the navy began early but unexpectedly strong currents kept the French from landing until 10 am. Nevertheless by 11:15 am, Kum Kale was in French hands. Ottoman resistance was feeble and was limited to some machine-gun firing."

 

He also (p.84/5) mentions the incident where the French officer Captain Rockel was killed “under a white flag” and confirms that the incident is covered by the modern Turkish official history which Erickson says gives the explanation that the

“tired and isolated (Ottoman) survivors were confused and dispirited and, while waiting the arrival of higher ranking French officers, renewed fighting broke out during which Rockel was killed.”

Erickson gives his ref for this as: TCGB, Çanakkale Cephesi Harekati (Amfibi Herekat) p.73

Erickson continues: "In any event, a large number of survivors surrendered to the French, who shot an Ottoman officers and eight soldiers in retaliation for the death of Rockel"

Erickson's ref for the latter statement is given as the British OH

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Mate,

 

In fact he said (Erickson) "Ottoman resistance was feeble and was limited to some MG fire"

 

Of cause he does not say what that means?

 

Were there MG's with the 2Bn/31st Regt or as the maps show with the 2xBns 31st Regt & MG Company around Yukar Kumkale area across the river.

 

Anyway "some MG Fire" does not sound like a heavy storm of MG fire most often stated by Allied writers.

 

S.B

 

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Steve Mate,

Perhaps Erickson can answer the feeble question. As for a storm of machine gun fire The book of the Machine Gun by Longstaff and Atteridge, p.68 states; "As to the question of the comparative fire effect of a single machine gun and a number of riflemen, he [Captain Vuilleumier, Swiss Army Staff 1904] estimates that the fire effect of a machine gun is equivalent to that from 100 to 150 rifles, and, as the range increases beyond 800 yards, the advantage of a machine gun will be greater'.

Therefore you choose the climate, 150 rifles, or one machine gun. Hmm, it's a tricky one, but isn't it a scenario we've discussed in the past.

LonerangerVC

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On 15/09/2018 at 10:44, michaeldr said:

Ottoman resistance was feeble and was limited to some machine-gun firing."

 

10 hours ago, stevebecker said:

In fact he said (Erickson) "Ottoman resistance was feeble and was limited to some MG fire"

 

Er.......No.

 

1075070069_Ericksonquote.jpg.9e79ad13578c4d6c59438d92f56e460c.jpg

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Apologies, I didn't read Steves post and Michaels reply correctly

Edited by green_acorn
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Mate,

 

Your right while Some MG fire could be one MG or possibly two, but not a full MG company of four guns.  The again Rock, could be right as Ottoman Rifle fire or any Rifle fire has been mistaken for MG fire more then once in this early period of the war.

 

Did the 2Bn 31st Regt put up a strong rifle fire as the 2Bn 27th Regt did at the landings at Anzac?

 

Or during the day did the MG Company 31st Regt around Yukar Kumkale bring there guns to bare?

 

But Rock is correct, we may never know what they are saying, as this question like that at Anzac can not be answered.

 

S.B

 

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Anzac answered many times over by our long since gone Anzacs😁

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  • 7 months later...

A recent article by James Hurst titled "Did anyone see a gun? The vexed question of Ottoman machine guns at the Gallipoli Landing, Z Beach, 4.30am, 25 April 1915", published in Sabretache Vol LX, no1-  March 2019, throws up some interesting info regarding the fighting at Pine Ridge and 400 Plateau that first day. It is all covered within this thread mostly, although one part that James Hurst highlights is the time that Sefik Aker mentions in his work that the Krupp guns near The Cup on 400 Plateau were re-captured, stating around 1600 hours (paragraph 141 in Aker). This totally conflicts with the time the Australians on nearby Pine Ridge, where there were other artillery pieces (Hotchkiss) and a Turkish machine gun. The witness accounts from numerous Aussies that fought there talk of retiring back to their main line around 11.30pm at night, clearly later than when Aker claims to have got back his Krupp guns. This adds to the strength of the argument put that there were other guns AND an Ottoman machine gun in another location.

The article is well worth a read whatever your views on this topic might be. If it is accurate what Aker is saying on the re capture time, then it certainly raises the importance of what men like Hooper, Derham MC (first day), Levy and Youd all had to say on their experiences that day. Unless of course the old chestnut of the Australians accounts are unreliable as they were raw troops is trotted out again. Murray Ewen's work is quoted and some research I had done, and of course Roberts, Broadbent, Uyar and Sefik Aker are prominent from the NO perspective. Nice work James. Good to see your approach put forward.

 

Ian

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Gilly,

 

Mate I am unsure here, are you saying because he is an Ottoman, his account is incorrect, but because our writers are Australian, they must always be regarded as correct?

 

As an Aussie I find your reference offensive, our accounts are no better then Ottoman accounts, they made mistakes as we did.

 

If you feel all aussie accounts are correct and all Ottoman are incorrect, how can you possibly believe any account weather they agree with your position or not?

 

You only allow those that fit your view and disregaurd all others.

 

Not good history

 

Aker's service record (clearly a well educated man and had many years service pre WWI

 

Mehmet Sefik (Aker)     27th Regt CO 1914/15 & CO 19th Div 8-15 to 10-17 & CofS - 14th Corps 5th Army & 59 Div 1917-1919 & 49th Div & 57th Div & deputy 21st Corps 1919?    LtCol to Col        (born 1877; Kesriye (Kastoria) died 6 February 1964 Istanbul) 1312-P.84 graduated 1896 Greco-Turkish War to Capt 1900 to Maj 1908 & to Turco-Italian War of 1911-12 & Balkan Wars to LtCol 1914 to Col 1916 & War of Independence 57th Div & 6th Div & 7th Div retired 1931
 

I'd put his record against any one you mentioned above for service

 

But as regimantal commander he was getting messangers back from his men, is that why the different hour of recapture?

 

Who knows but not that important as its Guns (artillery) not MG's

 

S.B

Edited by stevebecker
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Steve 

What I pointed out is that if Aker recaptured his Krupp guns at 4pm at the Cup or nearby, then it CANNOT be the location where Derham MC and others recorded artillery pieces in gun pits AND  an Ottoman mg. This then makes it clear, given they retreated at 11.30pm that it was ANOTHER GUN PIT LOCATION WITH AN MG IN SITU, unless of course, as I said, people don't accept these eye witness accounts of AUSTRALIANS.

Dunno where you bring in offensive Steve. You must be very thin skinned.

Very precious you have become. Read it again.

Interestingly, as an aside, the Turk History of Gallipoli  or whatever we are allowed to call it without offending anyone, states in footnotes that the Krupp guns on 400 Plateau got into action against the landing Australians before bolting. I reckon that is a possibility, don't you. Not offended by that are you?

Ian

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  • 2 months later...

The question of the capture and re-capture of the three Krupp 75mm QF Mountain Guns of the 7th Mountain Artillery Battery, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Mountain Artillery Battalion, at the Cup, Owen’s Gully, southern Lone Pine, along with the supposed two 10 pounder Hotchkiss (Screw) Mountain Guns, and their emplacement at the southern end of Lone Pine/Pine Ridge, as recorded by C.E.W. Bean in the Official History of Australia in the War of 1914 – 18 appear to open up a number of anomalies and contradictions to the those descriptions. This would also apply to the numerous recorded sightings of Turkish machine guns prior to 7.40 am, 25th April.

 

It has been suggested that the work of C.E.W, Bean, his official history, notes and diaries should be thoroughly examined to substantiate the accuracy of the reported, coming under fire, sightings, and capture of Turkish machine guns, as well as the five captured mountain guns. Having spent many months now going over Chapters XVI, XVII, XVIII, and XX with regard to mountain gun issue (pages 336 to 424. and page 445), plus aspects of Beans Gallipoli diaries for April 1915 relating to the same, as well as cross checking the information contained there within against that from the available Turkish sources known to me, I would contend that Charles Bean made a number of errors and drew conclusions from those errors, which I will hopefully highlight.

 

I have two copies of Volume One of the Australian Official History, a Second Edition, Revised – 1933, and Twelfth Edition – 1941. The latter is revealing as to Beans acknowledgment of additional data having become available both in documentary form and in published works, (the most important of which are the British Official History (Gallipoli, by Brigadier-General C. F. Aspinall-Oglander, Volume I) since the publication of Volume I in 1921. (Preface to the Third Edition, 31st March 1934, page V.) Although with that admission he still had errors of factual information and apparent wrongful assumptions pertaining to those errors within the Twelfth Edition that can be determined by information acquired from the translation of original Ottoman official documents, and as published in a number of books on the subject, most of which have been previously mentioned within this topic. To criticise Charles Bean from this distance in time is probably quite unfair when one takes into account the wealth, and ease of access, to the vast quantities of documentation and information very easily obtained in this digital age, a resource Charles Bean could possibly have never imagined, but in saying that, if these resources do lead to corrections of the archival historical record, so it must be!

 

To the question of the mountain guns!

The first reference to the Turkish battery under the command of Captain Sadik (4 x 75mm Krupp QF Mountain Guns [Gebirgskanone] L/14 M1904) appears at page 338 with Bean stating that as Major Brand and Lieutenant Loutit crested the northern edge of 400 Plateau they sighted the Turkish battery a few hundred yards to the South, possibly on the North East corner of the Daisy Patch. Page 339 Bean has the position of the mountain guns as to the South a few yards from the entrance to Owen’s Gully. After Loutit’s men had fired a few shots at the Turks the guns were rapidly removed down Owen’s Gully. On this page Bean has a sketch map with the Turkish battery indicated as ranging over the Razorback/Bridges’ Road. It is at page 340 mention of the mountain battery emplacement immediately in the rear of the inland lip of the Cup is given, approximately 50 to 60 yards east from the Lone Pine Cemetery. All of the maps in the Official History have the mountain guns apparently sighted out to the South, (page 355, Map No’s 16, 17 & 18). Beans assessment is counter to the Ottoman records which have the battery ranging upon Gaba Tepe and the beaches either side, (TGS Ataturk Archive, Maps 1000145.5, 1000145.11 and 1000145.20, also the maps from Kaymakam Mehmet Sefik Bey – “Canakkale- Ariburnu Savaslarive 27 Alay, 1935). Does Charles Bean also possibly agree with the Turkish targeting? His statement from page 340 of the Australian Official History would seem to suggest so – “For some reason – possibly in order to obtain a field of fire against the attack which was coming from a direction entirely unexpected – the Turks had at first run their guns forward onto the summit of the plateau. But before they could open fire, the leading Australians appeared in the scrub a few hundred yards away, and the guns seem to have been hurriedly run back towards their pits on the further edge of The Cup.”?  If as he has indicted in the various maps, the guns were ranged upon the South at The Cup emplacements, there would have been no need for the Turks to run the guns forward to fire upon ‘a direction entirely unexpected’. The guns therefore must have been ranged as the Ottoman records ascertain upon the Gaba Tepe area and then run up far too late to have been brought into action against the Australian advance.

 

Ian I have found it odd that you have on a number of occasions put forward from Beans Diary the statement of Sgt Connell (AWM 38 3DRL 606 31 1, page 61 & 62) as evidence of a machine gun emplacement across Owen’s Gully, when it is plainly obvious that Bean had dismissed Connell’s account with regard of the capture of the mountain gun battery, but not to his statement of trying to capture the machine gun, for use in the Official history; as Connell contradicts most of the other accounts with regard to him claiming that the three guns still having intact their breech blocks, the other breech block packed upon the shot Mule (not machine gun parts), and there having been no prepared gun emplacement at The Cup. But then again, seeing as how the Turkish 27th Infantry Regiment re-capture the three guns around 1600 hours, and Lt Col Sefik intimates that the guns were brought back into action, maybe Connell was correct about the breech blocks still being intact and not thrown into the bush as both Australian statements and Turkish records suggest, a possibility?

 

As to the existence of the Hotchkiss mountain guns first raised by Bean at page 389, Chapter, 2nd Brigade on “400 Plateau”, reported by Lt Hooper, much has been said in regard to these 10 pounder Hotchkiss guns. For one they were not a drop breech weapon, as can be seen by the photographs of the Indian 26th (Jacob’s) Mountain Battery, and all available information I have been able to find on the gun. They were a screw gun with the barrel being in two halves, and lastly they were not a quick fire weapon, having no recoil mechanism and having to be re-laid after each round was fired. It is inconceivable that the Turks would simply abandon such weapons, and that includes the reported machine gun and ammunition lying outside the gun emplacement; when there are no reports of the position being attacked by Australian forces that would lead to such a hasty retirement. It is even more astonishing that there are no reports from any Turkish records that I can find with regard to these mysterious guns and abandoned machine gun that they make no claim to having. Maybe the machine gun and ammunition were an Australian Maxim Gun, which would explain how the Sergeant Major, being familiar with the weapon, was able to get it to fire. Bean tells us at page 381 that Lt Costin of the 9th Machine gun section was killed by a shell which also destroyed one of the machine guns, and Sgt Steele carried the remaining gun down to Haymen’s gun pits; the trouble is that Bean’s maps give no indication as to where Haymen’s gun pits were, nor what happened to this gun. As to the existence of the gun emplacement as shown by Bean (Map No’s 17 &18) and within the text, I have no disagreement to its existence, only the questioning of the ranging direction indicated, and the stated existence of the two Hotchkiss mountain guns, plus Turkish machine gun. From Professor Mesut Uyar’s book. “The Ottoman Defencve Against the ANZAC Landing” it is found that the 3rd Mountain Artillery Battalion, under the command of Major Manastirli Nazif had been tasked with finding suitable gun emplacements to cover the Ari Burnu/Gaba Tepe area during the reorganisation of the land fortification at the beginning of March, and Captain Sadik had taken command of the 7th Battery around the middle of March to support the Kabatepe fortification. I would contend that the gun emplacement at Pine Ridge would have been one a number of alternative gun sites prepared at that time. Our Turkish scholars will correct me if that assumption is not the case.

 

C.E.W. Bean himself puts an end to the existence of these 10 pounder Hotchkiss guns at the gun emplacement at the head of Pine Ridge, at page 445, Chapter XX “Mustafa Kemal’s Counter Attack and the First Night”, he states - “The quick-firing battery of the 8th Artillery Regiment on Pine Ridge and the Krupp battery in Owen’ Gully were seized before they had time to withdraw; and parties from the broken garrison fled back by tracks towards Srubby Knowl and the Third Ridge.” Here Bean is quite wrong, the quick-firing battery and the Krupp Battery were one in the same. If he claims the guns at Pine Ridge were quick-firers (QF) they could not have been the reported 10 pounder Hotchkiss mountain gun due to the reasons I have outlined above. Obviously he now had no faith in the claimed captured guns being 10 pounder Hotchkiss guns. There was no 8th Artillery Regiment with the 27th Infantry Regiment, and for that matter, the only reference I can find to an 8th Artillery Regiment on the Gallipoli Peninsular is back in March 1915 as a part of the Dardanelles defences, being 150mm Howitzers under the command of a German officer, Colonel Werle. The Krupp battery at The Cup was Captain Sadik’s 7th Mountain Gun Battery, 9th Artillery Regiment, 3rd Artillery Battalion. The other Mountain Gun battery with the 27th was the 8th Mountain Gun Battery, 9th/3rd Artillery Battalion, positioned by Lt Col Sefik on Scrubby Knowl at 10.30 am. The five mountain guns were brought into action on Scrubby Knowl at 11.00am.

The answer as to how Charles Bean got that so wrong stems from the reply to his 111 questions to the Turkish General Staff, June 1919, (Source Australian Light Horse Studies Centre, “Desert Column”, BatzG – Anzac, Gallipoli Campaign – 1915, Questions to the Turkish General Staff, Part 1.”)

 

7. On April 25th what forces were between Ari Burnu and Gaba Tepe? And where?

8. How many troops did they amount to in all and what were the numbers in reserve, and where were the reserves?

 

From the reply to questions, 7 – 8. “On April 25th, between Anzac and Gaba Tepe – in other words between Anafarta Asmak and Kum Tepe – there was the 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment with its centre at Gaba Tepe. 1 Q.F. Mountain Battery of the 8th (?) Artillery Regiment was attached to this Battalion. The other two Battalions formed the reserve. They were under cover of the olive trees in Maidos. The 19th Regular Division was in the area Bighali – Mat Tepe. At Ari Burnu point there was a Coy of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment, and the whole of the above-mentioned Mountain Battery.”  From the original typed transcript reproduced on this site, it is difficult to make out the actual number of the Artillery Regiment from the type, it could be at a stretch the 9th Artillery Regiment, which would be correct, but Bean took it to be the 8th, which is wrong; Battery yes, Regiment no. All Turkish publications I have had access to have the two batteries assigned to the 27th Regiment as the 7th and 8th Mountain Artillery Batteries, 9th Field Artillery Regiment, 3rd Mountain Artillery Battalion.

 

There is much more one could go into for this debate of the Turkish machine gun question with relation to what C.E.W. Bean has recorded, but to do so would only be reiterating that which has already been put forward previously. I remain more than sceptic to the reports by Australian forces of Turkish machine gun being present at Anzac before 7.40 am, 25th April, but one who completely dismisses the possibility of that being a fact.

 

Jeff

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Nice War and Peace piece Jeff. Shame you pay no real consideration to the Australians who were there that day and made their comments, yet so quickly accept other evidence that counters them.

Hilarious that gem of an official Turkish history of Gallipoli (if we dare be allowed to call it that without upsetting the odd petal) that clearly mentions the battery firing away at the Landing. Never mind, it's just not possible the Ottoman accounts could be wrong or incomplete. Only those poor bloody first lander Aussies bullshitting away as usual. 

Perhaps you could have a crack at those bounders in the Indian Mountain Battery and what they thought about Turks having Hotchkiss guns. Careful, don't upset the Poms too!

 

Ian

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Ian,

 

I’m disappointed that that is the best you can come up with as a counter argument to my post.

Maybe now is as good as time as any to quote you -

 

Pffft!

 

All jocularity aside Mate, I had higher regard to your ability as an Historian than for you to not consider all possibilities to the truth behind what those men recorded of their experience of the landing, with regard to the machine gun question, in light of what the evidence seems to overwhelmingly suggest as to the negative of such claims. 

I am not the first to suspect that Charles Bean got a number of things wrong, for instance David McGarvie of the 8th Light Horse was quite critical of what Bean wrote of the the account of The Charge at The Nek he had given him.

 

Jeff

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  • Admin

Gentlemen

 

Please keep this pleasant and remember the rules require us all to respect other members and keep all discussions civil at all times.

 

It would be a shame to have to lock the thread.

 

David

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Jeff

I had already put up plenty on all this in my Pine Ridge article in The Gallipolian some time ago. I am quite aware, as are many dedicated researchers, that Bean got things wrong. I have said such many times before, and balanced it with my enormous respect for what he did both during and after the war. Certainly more than any Ottoman counterpart! No one comes close, period. Unfortunately, you are also one of many that seem incapable of considering that the Ottoman narrative might be missing some detail, as well as being wrong from time to time. The outright casting aside of Australian and Brit eye witness testimony, purely because one chooses to value more greatly other records (and lack thereof) from Ottoman sources, I find poor and myopic. The sheer volume and scale of accounts by our troops in exactly the locations Aker claim mg positions were located should have people digging more and more, and believe me there are plenty more accounts being found. Where are the DFC records and diaries? Our blokes could read and write and they did so prodigously. I'll  take your pfft and raise you another dozen  bullshitting first landers! I would have expected you might think outside the box a bit more. Murray Ewen uncovered some fantastic info on other mg crews that no one else has ever written about, including mgs of different variety and Turks carrying them and what? Silence, zero, zip. Roberts never found it,  Erickson never found it, Uyar never found it, Hart never found it, Wolf never found it. The best book on the Landing at Anzac has yet to be written Jeff, but it'll be out in a few more years i suspect.

The latest yarn is wrong.

There you go, War and Peace 2. Done.

Ian

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  • DavidOwen locked this topic
  • 5 weeks later...
  • Admin

A Part 2 thread has been opened. Please keep it friendly so we don't have to lock that one as well.

 


Craig

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