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Remembered Today:

Composition of Anafarta Detachment


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Can anybody tell me about the "three infantry battalions" that formed Willmer's Anafarta Detachment for the defense of Suvla on August 6, 1915? Were there one infantry and two gendarme battalions? And am I correct in defining a Turkish gendarme unit as "local defense" as opposed to regular army?

Many thanks!


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When Willmer's 'Anafarta Detachment' was set up in July 1915 it was described as follows; see the OH page 163

"Thenceforward the responsibilities of the Anafarta Detachment were confined to opposing a landing between Azmak Dere and Ejelmer Bay. The troops at first available for this task were four battalions of infantry, one pioneer company, a squadron of cavalry and 19 guns. In addition a labour battalion was available to dig trenches."

Also see the footnotes on same page describing

the four infantry battalions as "The Gallipoli and Broussa Gendarmerie Battalions, the 1/31st Regiment and the 2/32nd Regiment. The Gallipoli Gendarmerie was composed of very fine troops, but the Broussa Battalion was not so good. The efficiency of the 1/31st Regiment was regarded as 'fair'."

the cavalry as "After deducting despatch riders, this squadron provided a dismounted troop of 30 carbines. It belonged to the 12th Cavalry Regiment guarding the coast north-east of Ejelmer Bay."

and the guns as "Two batteries of field artillery, two batteries of antiquated mountain artillery, and three old-pattern field guns without teams. The total amount of ammunition available for these 19 guns was about 4,000 rounds (25 per cent common shell and 75 per cent shrapnel)."

I hope that this helps


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In his "Five Years in Turkey" General Liman von Sanders decribes: "...from Anafarta Sagir on the Azmak Dere to Suvla Bay the coast was guarded by a detachment of three battalions, one squadron and four batteries under command of the Bavarian Major Willmer. The infantry consisted of the gendarmery [sic] battalion Brussa, the gendarmery battalion Gallipoli and parts of the 33rd Infantry regiment. ...the Anafarta valley...was defended by a company of the gendarmery battalion Brussa and the 2d Battalion of the 33rd Regiment. ...The position of the gendarmery battalion Gallipoli, with two guns on the Kiretch Tepe, had been attacked lightly on August 8th ..."


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Reading on

page 164; Willmer's difficulties were many; ".... his infantry had no machine guns, and that no wire was available for making entanglements.....................................He was too weak numerically and his artillery was insufficient. The best he could hope to do was to delay the enemy once he got ashore, and with this object he placed three out of his four battalions in forward positions and the remainder of his force in a main position on and near the Anafarta spur................................The forward position consisted of three strong-points: one on the summit of Kiretch Tepe, one on Hill 10, and one on Chocolate Hill and Green Hill. The main position consisted of another chain of posts on the line Baka Baba - W Hills, astride the track which runs from Suvla Bay to Anafarta Sagir.

The Kiretch Tepe post was held by two companies of the Gallipoli Gendarmerie with one company pushed out in front towards Suvla Point. The Hill 10 post was held by one company of the Broussa Gendarmerie, with two companies in concealed shelters in rear, and a chain of sentry groups on the eastern beach of Suvla Bay. The Chocolate Hill and Green Hill post was held by three companies of the 1/31st Regiment with one company (about 70 rifles) on Lala Baba and sentry groups in the direction of Nibrunesi Point..........................................

In the main line of defense were the pioneer company and thirty dismounted cavalrymen. The reserve battalion, which lived in bivouacs south-east of Turshun Keui, would be used either to assist in holding this position or, in the case of necessity, to take up a position astride Azmak Dere to prevent a direct advance up the valley."

If you need more then please let me know



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