Infomotions, Inc.Gallipoli Diary, Volume I / Hamilton, Ian, 1853-1947



Author: Hamilton, Ian, 1853-1947
Title: Gallipoli Diary, Volume I
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Title: Gallipoli Diary,  Volume I

Author: Ian Hamilton

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GALLIPOLI DIARY


BY GENERAL SIR IAN HAMILTON, G.C.B.

AUTHOR OF "A STAFF-OFFICER'S SCRAP-BOOK," ETC.

WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AND MAPS


IN TWO VOLUMES

VOL. I




NEW YORK GEORGE H. DORAN COMPANY 1920
PRINTED BY UNWIN BROTHERS, LTD.--WOKING--ENGLAND




PREFACE


On the heels of the South African War came the sleuth-hounds pursuing
the criminals, I mean the customary Royal Commissions. Ten thousand
words of mine stand embedded in their Blue Books, cold and dead as so
many mammoths in glaciers. But my long spun-out intercourse with the
Royal Commissioners did have living issue--my Manchurian and Gallipoli
notes. Only constant observation of civilian Judges and soldier
witnesses could have shown me how fallible is the unaided military
memory or have led me by three steps to a War Diary:--

(1) There is nothing certain about war except that one side won't win.

(2) The winner is asked no questions--the loser has to answer for
everything.

(3) Soldiers think of nothing so little as failure and yet, to the
extent of fixing intentions, orders, facts, dates firmly in their own
minds, they ought to be prepared.

Conclusion:--In war, keep your own counsel, preferably in a note-book.

The first test of the new resolve was the Manchurian Campaign, 1904-5;
and it was a hard test. Once that Manchurian Campaign was over I never
put pen to paper--in the diary sense[1]--until I was under orders for
Constantinople. Then I bought a note-book as well as a Colt's automatic
(in fact, these were the only two items of special outfit I did buy),
and here are the contents--not of the auto but of the book. Also, from
the moment I took up the command, I kept cables, letters and copies
(actions quite foreign to my natural disposition), having been taught in
my youth by Lord Roberts that nothing written to a Commander-in-Chief,
or his Military Secretary, can be private if it has a bearing on
operations. A letter which may influence the Chief Command of an Army
and, therefore, the life of a nation, may be "Secret" for reasons of
State; it cannot possibly be "Private" for personal reasons.[2]

At the time, I am sure my diary was a help to me in my work. The
crossings to and from the Peninsula gave me many chances of reckoning up
the day's business, sometimes in clear, sometimes in a queer cipher of
my own. Ink stands with me for an emblem of futurity, and the act of
writing seemed to set back the crisis of the moment into a calmer
perspective. Later on, the diary helped me again, for although the
Dardanelles Commission did not avail themselves of my formal offer to
submit what I had written to their scrutiny, there the records were.
Whenever an event, a date and a place were duly entered in their actual
coincidence, no argument to the contrary could prevent them from falling
into the picture: an advocate might just as well waste eloquence in
disputing the right of a piece to its own place in a jig-saw puzzle.
Where, on the other hand, incidents were not entered, anything might
happen and did happen; _vide_, for instance, the curious misapprehension
set forth in the footnotes to pages 59, 60, Vol. II.

So much for the past. Whether these entries have not served their turn
is now the question. They were written red-hot amidst tumult, but
faintly now, and as in some far echo, sounds the battle-cry that once
stopped the beating of thousands of human hearts as it was borne out
upon the night wind to the ships. Those dread shapes we saw through our
periscopes are dust: "the pestilence that walketh in darkness" and "the
destruction that wasteth at noonday" are already images of speech: only
the vastness of the stakes; the intensity of the effort and the grandeur
of the sacrifice still stand out clearly when we, in dreams, behold the
Dardanelles. Why not leave that shining impression as a martial cloak to
cover the errors and vicissitudes of all the poor mortals who, in the
words of Thucydides, "dared beyond their strength, hazarded against
their judgment, and in extremities were of an excellent hope?"

Why not? The tendency of every diary is towards self-justification and
complaint; yet, to-day, personally, I have "no complaints." Would it not
be wiser, then, as well as more dignified, to let the Dardanelles
R.I.P.? The public will not be starved. A Dardanelles library exists---
nothing less--from which three luminous works by Masefield, Nevinson and
Callwell stand out; works each written by a man who had the right to
write; each as distinct from its fellow as one primary colour from
another, each essentially true. On the top of these comes the Report of
the Dardanelles Commission and the Life of Lord Kitchener, where his
side of the story is so admirably set forth by his intimate friend, Sir
George Arthur. The tale has been told and retold. Every morsel of the
wreckage of our Armada seems to have been brought to the surface. There
are fifty reasons against publishing, reasons which I know by heart. On
the other side there are only three things to be said:--

(1) Though the bodies recovered from the tragedy have been stripped and
laid out in the Morgue, no hand has yet dared remove the masks from
their faces.

(2) I cannot destroy this diary. Before his death Cranmer thrust his own
hand into the flames: "his heart was found entire amidst the ashes."

(3) I will not leave my diary to be flung at posterity from behind the
cover of my coffin. In case anyone wishes to challenge anything I have
said, I must be above ground to give him satisfaction.

Therefore, I will publish and at once.

A man has only one life on earth. The rest is silence. Whether God will
approve of my actions at a moment when the destinies of hundreds of
millions of human beings hung upon them, God alone knows. But before I
go I want to have the verdict of my comrades of all ranks at the
Dardanelles, and until they know the truth, as it appeared to me at the
time, how can they give that verdict?
                                                         IAN HAMILTON.

LULLENDEN FARM,
   DORMANSLAND.
  _April_ 25, 1920.




LETTER FROM GENERAL D'AMADE TO THE AUTHOR


MON GENERAL,

Dans la guerre Sud Africaine, ensuite en Angleterre, j'avais en
spectateur vecu avec votre armee. Avec elle je souhaitais revivre en
frere d'armes, combattant pour la meme cause.

Les Dardanelles ont realise mon reve. Mais le lecteur ne doit pas
s'attarder avec moi. Lire le recit de celui meme qui a commande: quel
avantage! L'Histoire, comme un fleuve, se charge d'impuretes en
s'eloignent de ses sources. En en remontant le cours, dans votre
Journal, j'ai decouvert les causes de certains effets demeure, pour moi
des enigmes.

Au debut je n'avais pas cru a la possibilite de forcer les Dardanelles
sans l'intervention de l'armee. C'est pour cela que, si la decision
m'eut appartenus et avant d'avoir ete place sous vos ordres, j'avais
songe a debarquer a Adramit, dans les eaux calmes de Mithylene, a courir
ensuite a Brousse et Constantinople, pour y saisir les clefs du detroit.

En presence de l'opiniatre confiance de l'amiral de Robecq j'abaissai
mon pavillion de terrien et l'inclinai devant son autorite de marin
Anglais. Nous fumes conquis par cette confiance.

Notre theatre de guerre de Gallipoli etait tres borne sur le terrain. Ce
front restreint a permis a chacun de vos soldats de vous connaitre.
Autant qu'avec leurs armes, ils combattaient avec votre ardeur de grand
chef et votre inflexible volonte.

Dans le passe ce theatre qui etait la Troade, venait se souder aux
eternels recommencements de l'Histoire.

Dans l'avenir son domaine etait aussi vaste. "Si nos navires avaient pu
franchir les detroits, a dit le Premier Ministre Loyd Georges le 18
decembre 1919 aux Communes, la guerre aurait ete raccourcie de 2 ou 3
ans."

Il y a pire qu'une guerre, c'est une guerre qui se prolonge. Car les
devastations s'accumulent. Le vaincu qui a eu l'habilete de les eviter a
son pays, se donnera, sur les ruines, des manieres de vainqueur. Le
premier but de guerre n'est il pas d'infliger a l'adversaire plus de mal
qu'il ne vous en fait?

Si nous avions atteint Constantinople dans l'ete 1915 c'etait alors
terminer la guerre, eviter la tourmente russe et tous les obstacles
dresses par ce cataclysme devant le retablissement de la paix du monde.
C'etait epargner a nos Patries des milliards de depenses et des
centaines de milliers de deuils.

Que nous n'ayons pas atteint ce but ne saurait etablir qu'il n'ait ete
juste et sage de le poursuivre.

Voila pour quelle cause sont tombes les soldats des Dardanelles.
"Honneur a vous, soldats de France et soldats du Roi! ainsi que vous
les adjuriez en les lancant a l'attaque.

"Morts heroiques! il n'a rien manque a votre gloire, pas meme une
apparence d'oubli. Des triomphes des autres vous n'avez recueilli que
les rayons extremes: ceux qui ont franchi la cime des arcs de triomphe
pour aller au loin, coups egares de la grande gerbe, eclairer vos
tombes.

"Mais 'Ne jugez pas avant le temps.' Le crepuscule eteint, laissez
encore passer la nuit. Vous aurez pour vous le soleil Levant."

Vous, Mon General, vous aurez ete l'ouvrier de cette grande idee, et
l'annonciateur de cette aurore.
                                                      Gen. A. d'Amade.

  Fronsac,
     Gironde, France.
  22 decembre, 1919.



  CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE

  PREFACE                                                              v

  LETTER FROM GENERAL D'AMADE TO THE AUTHOR                            x

  CHAPTER

  I. THE START                                                         1

  II. THE STRAITS                                                     21

  III. EGYPT                                                          54

  IV. CLEARING FOR ACTION                                             86

  V. THE LANDING                                                     127

  VI. MAKING GOOD                                                    159

  VII. SHELLS                                                        196

  VIII. TWO CORPS OR AN ALLY?                                        219

  IX. SUBMARINES                                                     243

  X. A DECISION AND THE PLAN                                         283

  XI. BOMBS AND JOURNALISTS                                          314

  XII. A VICTORY AND AFTER                                           343




LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

SIR ROGER KEYES, VICE-ADMIRAL DE ROBECK, SIR IAN HAMILTON, GENERAL
BRAITHWAITE _Frontispiece_

LIEUT.-GEN. SIR J.G. MAXWELL, G.C.B., K.C.M.G                         58

REVIEW OF FRENCH TROOPS AT ALEXANDRIA                                 78

S.S. "RIVER CLYDE"                                                   132

"W" BEACH                                                            176

GENERAL D'AMADE                                                      222

VIEW OF "V" BEACH, TAKEN FROM S.S. "RIVER CLYDE"                     254

MEN BATHING AT HELLES                                                294

THE NARROWS FROM CHUNUK BAIR                                         330

GENERAL GOURAUD                                                      346


MAPS

KEY MAP _Inside front cover_

CAPE HELLES AND THE SOUTHERN AREA _At end of volume_




GALLIPOLI DIARY



CHAPTER I

THE START


_In the train between Paris and Marseilles, 14th March, 1915._

Neither the Asquith banquet, nor the talk at the Admiralty that midnight
had persuaded me I was going to do what I am actually doing at this
moment. K. had made no sign nor waved his magic baton. So I just kept as
cool as I could and had a sound sleep.

Next morning, that is the 12th instant, I was working at the Horse
Guards when, about 10 a.m., K. sent for me. I wondered! Opening the door
I bade him good morning and walked up to his desk where he went on
writing like a graven image. After a moment, he looked up and said in a
matter-of-fact tone, "We are sending a military force to support the
Fleet now at the Dardanelles, and you are to have Command."

Something in voice or words touched a chord in my memory. We were once
more standing, K. and I, in our workroom at Pretoria, having just
finished reading the night's crop of sixty or seventy wires. K. was
saying to me, "You had better go out to the Western Transvaal." I asked
no question, packed up my kit, ordered my train, started that night. Not
another syllable was said on the subject. Uninstructed and unaccredited
I left that night for the front; my outfit one A.D.C., two horses, two
mules and a buggy. Whether I inspected the columns and came back and
reported to K. in my capacity as his Chief Staff Officer; or, whether,
making use of my rank to assume command in the field, I beat up de la
Rey in his den--all this rested entirely with me.

So I made my choice and fought my fight at Roodewal, last strange battle
in the West. That is K.'s way. The envoy goes forth; does his best with
whatever forces he can muster and, if he loses;--well, unless he had
liked the job he should not have taken it on.

At that moment K. wished me to bow, leave the room and make a start as I
did some thirteen years ago. But the conditions were no longer the same.
In those old Pretoria days I had known the Transvaal by heart; the
number, value and disposition of the British forces; the characters of
the Boer leaders; the nature of the country. But my knowledge of the
Dardanelles was nil; of the Turk nil; of the strength of our own forces
next to nil. Although I have met K. almost every day during the past six
months, and although he has twice hinted I might be sent to Salonika;
never once, to the best of my recollection, had he mentioned the word
Dardanelles.

I had plenty of time for these reflections as K., after his one
tremendous remark had resumed his writing at the desk. At last, he
looked up and inquired, "Well?"

"We have done this sort of thing before, Lord K." I said; "we have run
this sort of show before and you know without saying I am most deeply
grateful and you know without saying I will do my best and that you can
trust my loyalty--but I must say something--I must ask you some
questions." Then I began.

K. frowned; shrugged his shoulders; I thought he was going to be
impatient, but although he gave curt answers at first he slowly
broadened out, until, at the end, no one else could get a word in
edgeways.[3]

My troops were to be Australians and New Zealanders under Birdwood (a
friend); strength, say, about 30,000. (A year ago I inspected them in
their own Antipodes and no finer material exists); the 29th Division,
strength, say 19,000 under Hunter-Weston--a slashing man of action; an
acute theorist; the Royal Naval Division, 11,000 strong (an excellent
type of Officer and man, under a solid Commander--Paris); a French
contingent, strength at present uncertain, say, about a Division, under
my old war comrade the chivalrous d'Amade, now at Tunis.

Say then grand total about 80,000--probably panning out at some 50,000
rifles in the firing line. Of these the 29th Division are
extras--_division de luxe._

K. went on; he was now fairly under weigh and got up and walked about
the room as he spoke. I knew, he said, his (K.'s) feelings as to the
political and strategic value of the Near East where one clever tactical
thrust delivered on the spot and at the spot might rally the wavering
Balkans. Rifle for rifle, _at that moment_, we could nowhere make as
good use of the 29th Division as by sending it to the Dardanelles, where
each of its 13,000 rifles might attract a hundred more to our side of
the war. Employed in France or Flanders the 29th would at best help to
push back the German line a few miles; at the Dardanelles the stakes
were enormous. He spoke, so it struck me, as if he was defending himself
in argument: he asked if I agreed. I said, "Yes." "Well," he rejoined,
"You may just as well realize at once that G.H.Q. in France do not
agree. They think they have only to drive the Germans back fifty miles
nearer to their base to win the war. Those are the same fellows who used
to write me saying they wanted no New Army; that they would be amply
content if only the old Old Army and the Territorials could be kept up
to strength. Now they've been down to Aldershot and seen the New Army
they are changing their tune, but I am by no means sure, _now_, that
I'll give it to them. French and his Staff believe firmly that the
British Imperial Armies can pitch their camp down in one corner of
Europe and there fight a world war to a finish. The thing is absurd but
French, plus France, are a strong combine and they are fighting tooth
and nail for the 29th Division. It must clearly be understood then:--"

(1) That the 29th Division are only to be a loan and are to be returned
the moment they can be spared.

(2) That all things ear-marked for the East are looked on by powerful
interests both at home and in France as having been stolen from the
West.

Did I take this in? I said, "I take it from you." Did I myself, speaking
as actual Commander of the Central Striking Force and executively
responsible for the land defence of England, think the 29th Division
could be spared at all? "Yes," I said, "and four more Territorial
Divisions as well." K. used two or three very bad words and added, with
his usual affability, that I would find myself walking about in civilian
costume instead of going to Constantinople if he found me making any
wild statements of that sort to the politicians. I laughed and reminded
him of my testimony before the Committee of Imperial Defence about my
Malta amphibious manoeuvres; about the Malta Submarines and the way
they had destroyed the battleships conveying my landing forces. If there
was any politician, I said, who cared a hang about my opinions he knew
quite well already my views on an invasion of England; namely, that it
would be like trying to hurt a monkey by throwing nuts at him. I didn't
want to steal what French wanted, but now that the rifles had come and
the troops had finished their musketry, there was no need to squabble
over a Division. Why not let French have two of my Central Force
Territorial Division at once,--they were jolly good and were wasting
their time over here. That would sweeten French and he and Joffre would
make no more trouble about the 29th.

K. glared at me. I don't know what he was going to say when Callwell
came into the room with some papers.

We moved to the map in the window and Callwell took us through a plan of
attack upon the Forts at the Dardanelles, worked out by the Greek
General Staff. The Greeks had meant to employ (as far as I can remember)
150,000 men. Their landing was to have taken place on the North-west
coast of the Southern part of the Peninsula, opposite Kilid Bahr. "But,"
said K., "half that number of men will do you handsomely; the Turks are
busy elsewhere; I hope you will not have to land at all; if you _do_
have to land, why then the powerful Fleet at your back will be the prime
factor in your choice of time and place."

I asked K. if he would not move the Admiralty to work a submarine or two
up the Straits at once so as to prevent reinforcements and supplies
coming down by sea from Constantinople. By now the Turks must be on the
alert and it was commonsense to suppose they would be sending some sort
of help to their Forts. However things might pan out we could not be
going wrong if we made the Marmora unhealthy for the Turkish ships. Lord
K. thereupon made the remark that if we could get one submarine into the
Marmora the defences of the Dardanelles would collapse. "Supposing," he
said, "one submarine pops up opposite the town of Gallipoli and waves a
Union Jack three times, the whole Turkish garrison on the Peninsula will
take to their heels and make a bee line for Bulair."

In reply to a question about Staff, Lord K., in the gruff voice he puts
on when he wants no argument, told me I could not take my own Chief of
Staff, Ellison, and that Braithwaite would go with me in his place.
Ellison and I have worked hand in glove for several years; our qualities
usefully complement one another; there was no earthly reason I could
think of why Ellison should _not_ have come with me, but; I like
Braithwaite; he had been on my General Staff for a time in the Southern
Command; he is cheery, popular and competent.

Wolfe Murray, the Chief of the Imperial General Staff, was then called
in, also Archie Murray, Inspector of Home Forces, and Braithwaite. This
was the first (apparently) either of the Murrays had heard of the
project!!! Both seemed to be quite taken aback, and I do not remember
that either of them made a remark.

Braithwaite was very nice and took a chance to whisper his hopes he
would not give me too much cause to regret Ellison. He only said one
thing to K. and that produced an explosion. He said it was vital that we
should have a better air service than the Turks in case it came to
fighting over a small area like the Gallipoli Peninsula: he begged,
therefore, that whatever else we got, or did not get, we might be fitted
out with a contingent of up-to-date aeroplanes, pilots and observers. K.
turned on him with flashing spectacles and rent him with the words,
_"Not one_!"

_15th March, 1915. H.M.S. "Phaeton." Toulon Harbour._ Embarked at
Marseilles last night at 6 p.m. and slept on board. Owing to some
mistake no oil fuel had been taken aboard so we have had to come round
here this morning to get it. Have just breakfasted with the Captain,
Cameron by name, and have let the Staff go ashore to see the town. We do
not sail till 2 p.m.: after special trains and everything a clean
chuck-away of 20 hours.

I left off in the S. of S.'s room at the War Office. After the bursting
of the aeroplane bomb K. did most of the talking. I find it hard to
remember all he said: here are the outstanding points:--

(1) We soldiers are to understand we are string Number 2. The sailors
are sure they can force the Dardanelles on their own and the whole
enterprise has been framed on that basis: we are to lie low and to bear
in mind the Cabinet does not want to hear anything of the Army till it
sails through the Straits. But if the Admiral fails, then we will have
to go in.

(2) If the Army has to be used, whether on the Bosphorus or at the
Dardanelles, I am to bear in mind his order that no serious operation is
to take place until the whole of my force is complete; ready;
concentrated and on the spot. No piecemeal attack is to be made.

(3) If we do start fighting, once we _have_ started we are to burn our
boats. Once landed the Government are resolved to see the enterprise
through.

(4) Asia is out of bounds. K. laid special stress on this. Our sea
command and the restricted area of Gallipoli would enable us to
undertake a landing on the Peninsula with clearly limited liabilities.
Once we began marching about continents, situations calling for heavy
reinforcements would probably be created. Although I, Hamilton, seemed
ready to run risks in the defence of London, he, K., was not, and as he
had already explained, big demands would make his position difficult
with France; difficult everywhere; and might end by putting him (K.) in
the cart. Besika Bay and Alexandretta were, therefore, taboo--not to be
touched! Even after we force the Narrows no troops are to be landed
along the Asian coastline. Nor are we to garrison any part of the
Gallipoli Peninsula excepting only the Bulair Lines which had best be
permanently held, K. thinks, by the Naval Division.

When we get into the Marmora I shall be faced by a series of big
problems. What would I do? From what quarter could I attack
Constantinople? How would I hold it when I had taken it? K. asked me
the questions.

With the mud of prosaic Whitehall drying upon my boots these remarks of
K.'s sounded to me odd. But, knowing Constantinople, and--what was more
to the point at the moment--knowing K.'s hatred of hesitation, I managed
to pull myself together so far as to suggest that if the city was weakly
held and if, as he had said, (I forgot to enter that) the bulk of the
Thracian troops were dispersed throughout the Provinces, or else moving
to re-occupy Adrianople, why then, possibly, by a _coup de main_, we
might pounce upon the Chatalja Lines from the South before the Turks
could climb back into them from the North. Lord K. made a grimace; he
thought this too chancy. The best would be if we did not land a man
until the Turks had come to terms. Once the Fleet got through the
Dardanelles, Constantinople could not hold out. Modern Constantinople
could not last a week if blockaded by sea and land. That was a sure
thing; a thing whereon he could speak with full confidence. The Fleet
could lie off out of sight and range of the Turks and with their guns
would dominate the railways and, if necessary, burn the place to ashes.
The bulk of the people were not Osmanli or even Mahomedan and there
would be a revolution at the mere sight of the smoke from the funnels of
our warships. But if, for some cause at present non-apparent, we were
forced to put troops ashore against organized Turkish opposition, then
he advocated a landing on the Asiatic side of the Bosphorus to hold out
a hand to the Russians, who would simultaneously land there from the
Black Sea. He only made the suggestion, for the man on the spot must be
the best judge. Several of the audience left us here, at Lord K.'s
suggestion, to get on with their work. K. went on:--

The moment the holding of Constantinople comes along the French and the
Russians will be very jealous and prickly. Luckily we British have an
easy part to play as the more we efface ourselves at that stage, the
better he, K., will be pleased. The Army in France have means of making
their views work in high places and pressure is sure to be put on by
them and by their friends for the return of the 29th and Naval Divisions
the moment we bring Turkey to book. Therefore, it will be best in any
case to "let the French and Russians garrison Constantinople and sing
their hymns in S. Sophia," whilst my own troops hold the railway line
and perhaps Adrianople. Thus they will be at a loose end and we shall be
free to bring them back to the West; to land them at Odessa or to push
them up the Danube, without weakening the Allied grip on the waterway
linking the Mediterranean with the Black Sea.

This was the essence of our talk: as it lasted about an hour and a half,
I can only have put down about one tenth of it.

At odd times I have been recipient of K.'s reveries but always,
_always_, he has rejected with a sort of horror the idea of being War
Minister or Commander-in-Chief. Now by an extreme exercise of its ironic
spirit, Providence has made him both.

In pre-war days, when we met in Egypt and at Malta, K. made no bones
about what he wanted. He wanted to be Viceroy of India or Ambasssador at
Constantinople.

I remember very well one conversation we had when I asked him why he
wanted to hang on to great place, and whether he had not done enough
already. He said he could not bear to see India being mismanaged by
nincompoops or our influence in Turkey being chucked out of the window
with both hands: I answered him, I remember, by saying there were only
two things worth doing as Viceroy and they would not take very long. One
was to put a huge import duty on aniline dyes and so bring back the
lovely vegetable dyes of old India, the saffrons, indigoes, madders,
etc.; the other was to build a black marble Taj at Agra opposite the
white and join the two by a silver bridge. I expected to get a rise, but
actually he took the ideas quite seriously and I am sure made a mental
note of them. Anyway, as Viceroy, K. would have flung the whole vast
weight of India into the scale of this war; he would have poured Army
after Army from East to West. Under K. India could have beaten Turkey
single-handed; aye, and with one arm tied behind her back. With K. as
Ambassador at Constantinople he would have prevented Turkey coming into
the war. There is no doubt of it. Neither Enver Pasha nor Talaat would
have dared to enrage K., and as for the idea of their deporting him, it
is grotesque. They might have shot him in the back; they could never
have faced him with a war declaration in their hands. As an impresser
of Orientals he is a nonesuch. So we put him into the War Office in the
ways of which he is something of an amateur, with a big prestige and a
big power of drive. Yes, we remove the best experts from the War Office
and pop in K. like a powerful engine from which we have removed all
controls, regulators and safety valves. Yet see what wonders he has
worked!

Still, he remains, in the War Office sense, an amateur. The Staff left
by French at the W.O. may not have been von Moltke's, but they were K.'s
only Councillors. An old War Office hand would have used them. But in no
case, even had they been the best, could K. have had truck or parley
with any system of decentralization of work--of semi-independent
specialists each running a show of his own. As late (so-called) Chief of
Staff to Lord K. in South Africa, I could have told them that whatever
work K. fancies at the moment he must swipe at it, that very moment, off
his own bat. The one-man show carried on royally in South Africa and all
the narrow squeaks we had have been completely swallowed up in the final
success; but how will his no-system system work now? Perhaps he may pull
it through; anyway he is starting with a beautifully cleaned slate. He
has surpassed himself, in fact, for I confess even with past experience
to guide me, I did not imagine our machinery could have been so
thoroughly smashed in so short a time. Ten long years of General Staff;
Lyttelton, Nicholson, French, Douglas; where are your well-thought-out
schemes for an amphibious attack on Constantinople? Not a sign!
Braithwaite set to work in the Intelligence Branch at once. But beyond
the ordinary text books those pigeon holes were drawn blank. The
Dardanelles and Bosphorus might be in the moon for all the military
information I have got to go upon. One text book and one book of
travellers' tales don't take long to master and I have not been so free
from work or preoccupation since the war started. There is no use trying
to make plans unless there is some sort of material, political, naval,
military or geographical to work upon.

Winston had been in a fever to get us off and had ordered a special
train for that very afternoon. My new Staff were doubtful if they could
get fixed up so quickly and K. settled the matter by saying there was no
need to hustle. For myself, I was very keen to get away. The best plan
to save slips between cup and lip is to swallow the liquor. But K.
thought it wisest to wait, so I 'phoned over to Eddie to let Winston
know we should not want his train that day.

Next morning, the 13th, I handed over the Central Force Command to
Rundle and then, at 10.30 went in with Braithwaite to say good-bye. K.
was standing by his desk splashing about with his pen at three different
drafts of instructions. One of them had been drafted by Fitz--I suppose
under somebody's guidance; the other was by young Buckley; the third K.
was working on himself. Braithwaite, Fitz and I were in the room; no one
else except Callwell who popped in and out. The instructions went over
most of the ground of yesterday's debate and were too vague. When I
asked the crucial question:--the enemy's strength? K. thought I had
better be prepared for 40,000. How many guns? No one knows. Who was in
command? Djavad Pasha, it is believed. But, K. says, I may take it that
the Kilid Bahr Plateau has been entrenched and is sufficiently held.
South of Kilid Bahr to the point at Cape Helles, I may take it that the
Peninsula is open to a landing on very easy terms. The cross fire from
the Fleet lying part in the Aegean and part in the mouth of the Straits
must sweep that flat and open stretch of country so as to render it
untenable by the enemy. Lord K. demonstrated this cross fire upon the
map. He toiled over the wording of his instructions. They were headed
"Constantinople Expeditionary Force." I begged him to alter this to
avert Fate's evil eye. He consented and both this corrected draft and
the copy as finally approved are now in Braithwaite's despatch box more
modestly headed "Mediterranean Expeditionary Force." None of the drafts
help us with facts about the enemy; the politics; the country and our
allies, the Russians. In sober fact these "instructions" leave me to my
own devices in the East, almost as much as K.'s laconic order "git" left
me to myself when I quitted Pretoria for the West thirteen years ago.

So I said good-bye to old K. as casually as if we were to meet together
at dinner. Actually my heart went out to my old Chief. He was giving me
the best thing in his gift and I hated to leave him amongst people who
were frightened of him. But there was no use saying a word. He did not
even wish me luck and I did not expect him to, but he did say, rather
unexpectedly, _after_ I had said good-bye and just as I was taking up my
cap from the table, "If the Fleet gets through, Constantinople will fall
of itself and you will have won, not a battle, but the war."

At 5 o'clock that afternoon we bade adieu to London. Winston was
disappointed we didn't dash away yesterday but we have not really let
much grass grow under our feet. He and some friends came down to Charing
Cross to see us off. I told Winston Lord K. would not think me loyal if
I wrote to another Secretary of State. He understood and said that if I
wanted him to be aware of some special request all I had to say was,
"You will agree perhaps that the First Lord should see." Then the S. of
S. for War would be bound to show him the letter:--which proves that
with all his cleverness Winston has yet some points to learn about his
K. of K.!

My Staff still bear the bewildered look of men who have hurriedly been
snatched from desks to do some extraordinary turn on some unheard of
theatre. One or two of them put on uniform for the first time in their
lives an hour ago. Leggings awry, spurs upside down, belts over shoulder
straps! I haven't a notion of who they all are: nine-tenths of my few
hours of warning has been taken up in winding up the affairs of the
Central Force.

At Dover embarked on H.M.S. _Foresight_,--a misnomer, for we ran into a
fog and had to lie-to for a devil of a time. Heard far-off guns on
French front,--which was cheering.

At 10.30 p.m. we left Calais for Marseilles and during the next day the
French authorities caused me to be met by Officers of their Railway
Mobilization Section. Had my first breathing space wherein to talk over
matters with Braithwaite, and he and I tried to piece together the
various scraps of views we had picked up at the War Office into a
pattern which should serve us for a doctrine. But we haven't got very
much to go upon. A diagram he had drawn up with half the spaces unfilled
showing the General Staff. Another diagram with its blank spaces only
showed that our Q. branch was not in being. Three queried names,
Woodward for A.G., Winter for Q.M.G. and Williams for Cipher Officer.
The first two had been left behind, the third was with us. The following
hurried jottings by Braithwaite:--"Only 1600 rounds for the 4.5
Howitzers!!! High Explosive essential. Who is to be C.R.E.? Engineer
Stores? French are to remain at Tunis until the day comes that they are
required. Egyptian troops also remain in Egypt till last moment.
Everything we want by 30th (it is hoped). Await arrival of 29th Division
before undertaking anything big. If Carden wants military help it is for
Sir Ian's consideration whether to give or to withhold it." These rough
notes; the text book on the Turkish Army, and two small guide books: not
a very luminous outfit. Braithwaite tells me our force are not to take
with them the usual 10 per cent. extra margin of reserves to fill
casualties. Wish I had realised this earlier. He had not time to tell
me he says. The General Staff thought we ought certainly to have these
and he and Wolfe Murray went in and made a personal appeal to the A.G.
But he was obdurate. This seems hard luck. Why should we not have our
losses quickly replaced--supposing we do lose men? I doubt though, if I
should have been able to do very much even if I had known. To press K.
would have been difficult. Like insisting on an extra half-crown when
you've just been given Fortunatus' purse. Still, fair play's a jewel,
and surely if formations destined for the French front cross the Channel
with 10 per cent. extra, over and above their establishment, troops
bound for Constantinople ought to have a 25 per cent. margin over
establishment?

_17th March, 1915. H.M.S. "Phaeton." At sea._ Last night we raced past
Corfu--my birthplace--at thirty knots an hour. My first baby breath was
drawn from these thyme scented breezes. This crimson in the Eastern sky,
these waves of liquid opal are natal, vital.

Thirty miles an hour through Paradise! Since the 16th January, 1853, we
have learnt to go the pace and as a result the world shrinks; the
horizons close in upon us; the spacious days are gone!

Thoughts of my Mother, who died when I was but three. Thoughts of her
refusal as she lay dying--gasping in mortal pain--her refusal to touch
an opiate, because the Minister, Norman Macleod, had told her she so
might dim the clearness of her spiritual insight--of her thoughts
ascending heavenwards. What pluck--what grit--what faith--what an
example to a soldier.

Exquisite, exquisite air; sea like an undulating carpet of blue velvet
outspread for Aphrodite. Have been in the Aegean since dawn. At noon
passed a cruiser taking back Admiral Carden invalided to Malta. One week
ago the thunder of his guns shook the firm foundations of the world. Now
a sheer hulk lies poor old Carden. _Vanitas vanitatum_.

Have got into touch with my staff. They are all General Staff: no
Administrative Staff. The Adjutant-General-to-be (I don't know him) and
the Chief Medico (I don't know who he is to be) could not get ready in
time to come off with us, and the Q.M.G., too, was undecided when I
left. There are nine of the General Staff. I like the looks of them.
Quite characteristic of K., though, that barring Braithwaite, not one of
the associates he has told off to work hand in glove with me in this
enterprise should ever have served with me before.

Only two sorts of Commanders-in-Chief could possibly find time to
scribble like this on their way to take up an enterprise in many ways
unprecedented--a German and a Britisher. The first, because every
possible contingency would have been worked out for him beforehand; the
second, because he has nothing--literally nothing--in his portfolio
except a blank cheque signed with those grand yet simple words--John
Bull. The German General is the product of an organising nation. The
British General is the product of an improvising nation. Each army would
be better commanded by the other army's General. Sounds fantastic but is
true.[4]




CHAPTER II

THE STRAITS


Cast anchor at Tenedos at 3 p.m., 17th March, 1915, having entered the
harbour at the very same instant as le general d'Amade.

Hurried over at once to a meeting aboard that lovely sea monster, H.M.S.
_Queen Elizabeth_.

Present:--

  Admiral de Robeck,
  Commodore Roger Keyes,
  Admiral Guepratte, cmdg. French Fleet,
  General d'Amade,
  General Braithwaite,
  Admiral Wemyss,
  Captain Pollen,
  Myself.

De Robeck greeted me in the friendliest fashion. He is a fine looking
man with great charm of manner. After a word or two to d'Amade and being
introduced to Wemyss, Guepratte and Keyes, we sat down round a table and
the Admiral began. His chief worry lies in the clever way the enemy are
now handling their mobile artillery. He can silence the big fortress
ordnance, but the howitzers and field guns fire from concealed
positions and make the clearing of the minefields something of a V.C.
sort of job for the smaller craft. Even when the Fleet gets through,
these moveable guns will make it very nasty for store ships or
transports which follow. The mine-sweepers are slow and bad with worn
out engines. Some of the civilian masters and crews of the trawlers have
to consider wives and kids as well as V.C.s. The problem of getting the
Fleet through or of getting submarines through is a problem of clearing
away the mines. With a more powerfully engined type of mine-sweeper and
regular naval commanders and crews to man them, the business would be
easy. But as things actually stand there is real cause for anxiety as to
mines.

The Peninsula itself is being fortified and many Turks work every night
on trenches, redoubts and entanglements. Not one single living soul has
been seen, since the engagement of our Marines at the end of February,
although each morning brings forth fresh evidences of nocturnal
activity, in patches of freshly turned up soil. All landing places are
now commanded by lines of trenches and are ranged by field guns and
howitzers, which, thus far, cannot be located as our naval seaplanes are
too heavy to rise out of rifle range. There has been a muddle about
these seaplanes. Nominally they possess very powerful Sunbeam engines;
actually the d----d things can barely rise off the water. The naval
guns do not seem able to knock the Turkish Infantry out of their deep
trenches although they can silence their fire for awhile. This was
proved at that last landing by Marines. The Turkish searchlights are
both fixed and mobile. They are of the latest pattern and are run by
skilled observers. He gave us, in fact, to understand that German
thoroughness and forethought have gripped the old go-as-you-please Turk
and are making him march to the _Parade-schritt_.

The Admiral would prefer to force a passage on his own, and is sure he
can do so. Setting Constantinople on one side for the moment, _if_ the
Fleet gets through and the Army _then_ attacks at Bulair, we would have
the Turkish Army on the Peninsula in a regular trap. Therefore, whether
from the local or the larger point of view, he has no wish to call us in
until he has had a real good try. He means straightway to put the whole
proposition to a practical test.

His views dovetail in to a hair's breadth with K.'s views. The Admiral's
"real good try" leads up towards K.'s "after every effort has been
exhausted."

That's a bit of luck for our kick-off, anyway. What we soldiers have to
do now is to hammer away at our band-o-bast[5] whilst the Navy pushes as
hard, as fast and as far as its horsepower, manpower and gunpower will
carry it.

The Admiral asked to see my instructions and Braithwaite read them out.
When he stopped, Roger Keyes, the Commodore, inquired, "Is that all?"
And when Braithwaite confessed that it was, everyone looked a little
blank.

Asked what I meant to do, I said I proposed to get ready for a landing,
as, whether the Fleet forces the passage and disembarked us on the
Bosphorus; or, whether the Fleet did not force the passage and we had to
"go for" the Peninsula, the _band-o-bast_ could be made to suit either
case.

The Admiral asked if I meant to land at Bulair? I replied my mind was
open on that point: that I was a believer in seeing things for myself
and that I would not come to any decision on the map if it were possible
to come to it on the ground. He then said he would send me up to look at
the place through my own glasses in the Phaeton to-morrow; that it would
not be possible to land large forces on the neck of Bulair itself as
there were no beaches, but that I should reconnoitre the coast at the
head of the Gulf as landing would be easier with every few miles we drew
away towards the North. I told him it would be useless to land at any
distance from my objective, for the simple reason that I had no
transport, mechanical or horse, wheeled or pack, to enable me to support
myself further than five or six miles from the Fleet and it would take
many weeks and many ships to get it together; however, I ended, I would
to-morrow see for myself.

The air of the Aegean hardly differs so much from the North Sea haze as
does the moral atmosphere of Tenedos differ from that of the War Office.
This is always the way. Until the plunge is taken, the man in the arm
chair clamps rose coloured spectacles on to his nose and the man on the
spot is anxious; _but_, once the men on the spot jump off they become
as jolly as sandboys, whilst the man in the arm chair sits searching for
a set-back with a blue lens telescope.

Here, the Peninsula looks a tougher nut to crack than it did on Lord K.'s
small and featureless map. I do not speak for myself for I have so far
only examined the terrain through a field glass. I refer to the tone of
the sailors, which strikes me as being graver and less irresponsible
than the tone of the War Office.

The Admiral believes that, at the time of the first bombardment, 5000
men could have marched from Cape Helles right up to the Bulair lines.
(Before leaving the ship I learnt that some of the sailors do not
agree). Now that phase has passed. Many more troops have come down,
German Staff Officers have grappled with the situation, and have got
their troops scientifically disposed and heavily entrenched. This
skilful siting of the Turkish trenches has been admired by all competent
British observers; the number of field guns on the Peninsula is now many
times greater than it was.

After this the discussion became informal. Referring again to my
instructions, I laid stress on the point that I was a waiting man and
that it was the Admiral's innings for so long as he could keep his
wicket up. Braithwaite asked a question or two about the trenches and
all of us deplored the lack of aeroplanes whereby we were blinded in our
attack upon an enemy who espied every boat's crew moving over the
water.

The more I revolve these matters in my mind, the more easy does it seem
to accept K.'s order not to be in too great a hurry to bring the Army to
the front. I devoutly hope indeed (and I think the fiercest of our
fellows agree) that the Navy will pull us out the chestnuts from the
fire.

At the close of the sitting I made these notes of what had happened and
drafted a first cable to Lord K., giving him an epitome of the Admiral's
opening statement about the enemy's clever use of field guns to hinder
the clearing of the minefields; his good entrenchments and the nightly
work thereon; our handicap in all these matters because the type of
seaplanes sent us "are too heavy to rise out of effective rifle
range"--(one has to put these things mildly). I add that the Admiral,
"while not making light of dangers was evidently determined to exhaust
every effort before calling upon the soldiers for their help on a large
scale"; and I wind up by telling him Lemnos seems a bad base and that I
am off to-morrow on an inspection of the coasts of the Peninsula. Having
got these matters off my chest on to the chest of K., was then taken
round the ship by the Flag Captain, G.P.W. Hope. By this time it was
nearly 7 so I stayed and dined with the Admiral--a charming host. After
dinner got back here.

_18th March, 1915._ _H.M.S. "Phaeton."_ Cleared Tenedos Harbour at 4
a.m. and reached Lemnos at 6 a.m. I never saw so many ships collected
together in my life; no, not even at Hong Kong, Bombay or New York.
Filled up with oil fuel and at 7 a.m. d'Amade and Major-General Paris,
commanding the Royal Naval Division, came on board with one or two Staff
Officers. After consulting these Officers as well as McLagan, the
Australian Brigadier, cabled Lord K. to say Alexandria _must_ be our
base as "the Naval Division transports have been loaded up as in peace
time and they must be completely discharged and every ship reloaded," in
war fashion. At Lemnos, where there are neither wharfs, piers, labour
nor water, the thing could not be done. Therefore, "the closeness of
Lemnos to the Dardanelles, as implying the rapid transport of troops, is
illusory."

The moment I got this done, namely, at 8.30 a.m., we worked our way out
of the long narrow neck of Mudros Harbour and sailed for the Gulf of
Saros. Spent the first half of the sixty mile run to the Dardanelles in
scribbling. Wrote my first epistle to K., using for the first time the
formal "Dear Lord Kitchener." My letters to him will have to be formal,
and dull also, as he may hand them around. I begin, "I have just sent
you off a cable giving my first impressions of the situation, and am now
steaming in company with Generals d'Amade and Paris to inspect the
North-western coast of the Gallipoli Peninsula." I tell him that the
real place "looks a much tougher nut to crack than it did over the
map,"--I say that his "impression that the ground between Cape Helles
and Krithia was clear of the enemy," was mistaken. "Not a bit of it." I
say, "The Admiral tells me that there is a large number of men tucked
away in the folds of the ground there, not to speak of several field
Batteries." Therefore, I conclude, "If it eventually becomes necessary
to take the Gallipoli Peninsula by military force, we shall have to
proceed bit by bit." This will vex him no doubt. He likes plans to move
as fast as his own wishes and is apt to forget, or to pretend he has
forgotten, that swiftness in war comes from slow preparations. It is
fairer to tell K. this now, when the question has not yet arisen, than
hereafter if it does then arise.

Passing the mouth of the Dardanelles we got a wonderful view of the
stage whereon the Great Showman has caused so many of his amusing
puppets to strut their tiny hour. For the purpose it stands matchless.
No other panorama can touch it. There, Hero trimmed her little lamp;
yonder the amorous breath of Leander changed to soft sea form. Far away
to the Eastwards, painted in dim and lovely hues, lies Mount Ida. Just
so, on the far horizon line she lay fair and still, when Hector fell and
smoke from burning Troy blackened the mid-day sun. Against this
enchanted background to deeds done by immortals and mortals as they
struggled for ten long years five thousand years ago,--stands forth
formidably the Peninsula. Glowing with bright, springtime colours it
sweeps upwards from the sea like the glacis of a giant's fortress.

So we sailed on Northwards, giving a wide berth to the shore. When we
got within a mile of the head of the Gulf of Saros, we turned, steering
a South-westerly course, parallel to, and one to two miles distant from,
the coastline. Then my first fears as to the outworks of the fortress
were strengthened. The head of the Gulf is filled in with a horrible
marsh. No landing there. Did we land far away to the Westward we must
still march round the marsh, or else we must cross it on one single road
whose long and easily destructible bridges we could see spanning the bog
holes some three miles inland. Opposite the fortified lines we stood in
to within easy field gun range, trusting that the Turks would not wish
prematurely to disclose their artillery positions. So we managed a peep
at close quarters, and were startled to see the ramifications and extent
of the spider's web of deep, narrow trenches along the coast and on
either front of the lines of Bulair. My Staff agree that they must have
taken ten thousand men a month's hard work from dark to dawn. In advance
of the trenches, Williams in the crow's nest reported that with his
strong glasses he could pick out the glitter of wire over a wide expanse
of ground. To the depth of a mile the whole Aegean slope of the neck of
the Peninsula was scarred with spade work and it is clear to a tiro that
to take these trenches would take from us a bigger toll of ammunition
and life than we can afford: especially so seeing that we can only see
one half of the theatre; the other half would have to be worked out of
sight and support of our own ships and in view of the Turkish Fleet.
Only one small dent in the rockbound coast offered a chance of landing
but that was also heavily dug in. In a word, if Bulair had been the only
way open to me and I had no alternative but to take it or wash my hands
of the whole business, I should have to go right about turn and cable
my master he had sent me on a fool's errand.

Between Bulair and Suvla Bay the coastline was precipitous; high cliffs
and no sort of creeks or beaches--impracticable. Suvla Bay itself seems
a fine harbour but too far North were the aim to combine a landing there
together with an attack on the Southern end of the Peninsula. Were we,
on the other hand, to try to work the whole force ashore from Suvla Bay,
the country is too big; it is the broadest part of the Peninsula; also,
we should be too far from its waist and from the Narrows we wish to
dominate. Merely to hold our line of Communications we should need a
couple of Divisions. All the coast between Suvla Bay and for a little
way South of Gaba Tepe seems feasible for landing. I mean we could get
ashore on a calm day if there was no enemy. Gaba Tepe itself would be
ideal, but, alas, the Turks are not blind; it is a mass of trenches and
wire. Further, it must be well under fire of guns from Kilid Bahr
plateau, and is entirely commanded by the high ridge to the North of it.
To land there would be to enter a defile without first crowning the
heights.

Between Gaba Tepe and Cape Helles, the point of the Peninsula, the
coastline consists of cliffs from 100 to 300 feet high. But there are,
in many places, sandy strips at their base. Opinions differ but I
believe myself the cliffs are not unclimbable. I thoroughly believe also
in going for at least one spot that _seems_ impracticable.

Sailing Southwards we are becoming more and more conscious of the
tremendous bombardment going on in the Straits. Now and then, too, we
can see a huge shell hit the top of Achi Baba and turn it into the
semblance of a volcano. Everyone excited and trying to look calm.

At 4 p.m., precisely, we rounded Cape Helles. I had promised de Robeck
not to take his fastest cruiser, fragile as an egg, into the actual
Straits, but the Captain and the Commander (Cameron and Rosomore), were
frightfully keen to see the fight, and I thought it fair to allow one
mile as being the _mouth_ of the Straits and not _the_ Straits. Before
we had covered that mile we found ourselves on the outskirts of--dream
of my life--a naval battle! Nor did the reality pan out short of my
hopes. Here it was; we had only to keep on at thirty knots; in one
minute we should be in the thick of it; and who would be brave enough to
cry halt!

The world had gone mad; common sense was only moonshine after all; the
elephant and the whale of Bismarckian parable were at it tooth and nail!
Shells of all sizes flew hissing through the skies. Before my very eyes,
the graves of those old Gods whom Christ had risen from the dead to
destroy were shaking to the shock of Messrs. Armstrong's patent thunder
bolts!

Ever since the far-away days of Afghanistan and Majuba Hill friends have
been fond of asking me what soldiers feel when death draws close up
beside them. Before he charged in at Edgehill, Astley (if my memory
serves me) exclaimed, "O, God, I've been too busy fixing up this battle
to think much about you, but, for Heaven's sake, don't you go and
forget about me," or words to that effect.

The Yankee's prayer for fair play just as he joined issue with the
grizzly bear gives another glimpse of these secrets between man and his
Maker. As for myself, there are two moments; one when I think I would
not miss the show for millions; another when I think "what an ass I am
to be here"; and between these two moments there _is_ a border land when
the mind runs all about Life's workshop and tries to do one last bit of
stock-taking.

But the process can no more be fixed in the memory than the sequence of
a dream when the dew is off the grass. All I remember is a sort of
wonder:--why these incredible pains to seek out an amphibious battle
ground whereon two sets of people who have no cause of quarrel can blow
one another to atoms? Why are these Straits the cockpit of the world?
What is it all about? What on earth has happened to sanity when the
whale and elephant are locked in mortal combat making between them a
picture which might be painted by one of H.M.'s Commissioners in Lunacy
to decorate an asylum for homicides.

Whizz--flop--bang--what an ass I am to be here. If we keep on another
thirty seconds we are in for a visit to Davy Jones's Locker.

Now above the _Queen Elizabeth_, making slowly backwards and forwards up
in the neck of the Narrows, were other men-o'-war spitting tons of hot
metal at the Turks. The Forts made no reply--or none that we could make
out, either with our ears or with glasses. Perhaps there was an attempt;
if so, it must have been very half-hearted. The enemy's fixed defences
were silenced but the concealed mobile guns from the Peninsula and from
Asia were far too busy and were having it all their own way.

Close to us were steam trawlers and mine-sweepers steaming along with
columns of spray spouting up close by them from falling field gun
shells, with here and there a biggish fellow amongst them, probably a
five or six inch field howitzer. One of them was in the act of catching
a great mine as we drew up level with her. Some 250 yards from us was
the _Inflexible_ slowly coming out of the Straits, her wireless cut away
and a number of shrapnel holes through her tops and crow's nest.
Suddenly, so quickly did we turn that, going at speed, the decks were at
an angle of 45 deg. and several of us (d'Amade for one) narrowly escaped
slipping down the railless decks into the sea. The _Inflexible_ had
signalled us she had struck a mine, and that we must stand by and see
her home to Tenedos. We spun round like a top (escaping thereby a salvo
of four from a field battery) and followed as close as we dared.

My blood ran cold--for sheer deliberate awfulness this beat everything.
We gazed spellbound: no one knew what moment the great ship might not
dive into the depths. The pumps were going hard. We fixed our eyes on
marks about the water line to see if the sea was gaining upon them or
not. She was very much down by the bows, that was a sure thing. Crew and
stokers were in a mass standing strictly at attention on the main deck.
A whole bevy of destroyers crowded round the wounded warrior. In the
sight of all those men standing still, silent, orderly in their ranks,
facing the imminence of death, I got my answer to the hasty moralizings
about war, drawn from me (really) by a regret that I would very soon be
drowned. On the deck of that battleship staggering along at a stone's
throw was a vindication of war in itself; of war, the state of being,
quite apart from war motives or gains. Ten thousand years of peace would
fail to produce a spectacle of so great virtue. Where, in peace,
passengers have also shown high constancy, it is because war and martial
discipline have lent them its standards. Once in a generation a
mysterious wish for war passes through the people. Their instinct tells
them that _there is no other way_ of progress and of escape from habits
that no longer fit them. Whole generations of statesmen will fumble over
reforms for a lifetime which are put into full-blooded execution within
a week of a declaration of war. There is _no other way_. Only by intense
sufferings can the nations grow, just as the snake once a year must with
anguish slough off the once beautiful coat which has now become a strait
jacket.

How was it going to end? How touching the devotion of all these small
satellites so anxiously forming escort? Onwards, at snail's pace, moved
our cortege which might at any moment be transformed into a funeral
affair, but slow as we went we yet went fast enough to give the go-by
to the French battleship _Gaulois_, also creeping out towards Tenedos in
a lamentable manner attended by another crowd of T.B.s and destroyers
eager to stand to and save.

The _Inflexible_ managed to crawl into Tenedos under her own steam but
we stood by until we saw the _Gaulois_ ground on some rocks called
Rabbit Island, when I decided to clear right out so as not to be in the
way of the Navy at a time of so much stress. After we had gone ten miles
or so, the _Phaeton_ intercepted a wireless from the _Queen Elizabeth_,
ordering the _Ocean_ to take the _Irresistible_ in tow, from which it
would appear that she (the _Irresistible_) has also met with some
misfortune.

Thank God we were in time! That is my dominant feeling. We have seen a
spectacle which would be purchased cheap by five years of life and, more
vital yet, I have caught a glimpse of the forces of the enemy and of
their Forts. What with my hurried scamper down the Aegean coast of the
Peninsula and the battle in the Straits, I begin to form some first-hand
notion of my problem. More by good luck than good guidance I have got
into personal touch with the outer fringes of the thing we are up
against and that is so much to the good. But oh, that we had been here
earlier! Winston in his hurry to push me out has shown a more soldierly
grip than those who said there was no hurry. It is up to me now to
revolve to-day's doings in my mind; to digest them and to turn myself
into the eyes and ears of the War Office whose own so far have
certainly not proved themselves very acute. How much better would I be
able to make them see and hear had I been out a week or two; did I know
the outside of the Peninsula by heart; had I made friends with the
Fleet! And why should I not have been?

Have added a P.S. to K.'s letter:--

"Between Tenedos and Lemnos. 6 p.m.--This has been a very bad day for us
judging by what has come under my own personal observation. After going
right up to Bulair and down again to the South-west point looking at the
network of trenches the Turks have dug commanding all possible landing
places, we turned into the Dardanelles themselves and went up about a
mile. The scene was what I believe Naval writers describe as 'lively.'"
(Then follows an account based on my Diary jottings). I end:

"I have not had time to reflect over these matters, nor can I yet
realise on my present slight information the extent of these losses.
Certainly it looks at present as if the Fleet would not be able to carry
on at this rate, and, if so, the soldiers will have to do the trick.":

"Later.

"The _Irresistible_, the _Ocean_ and the _Bouvet_ are gone! The
_Bouvet_, they say, just slithered down like a saucer slithers down in a
bath. The _Inflexible_ and the _Gaulois_ are badly mauled."

_19th March, 1915._ _H.M.S. "Franconia."_--Last night I left H.M.S.
_Phaeton_ and went on board the _Franconia_. To-day, we have been busy
fixing things up. The chance sailors, seen by the Staff, have been using
highly coloured expletives about the mines. Sheer bad luck they swear;
bad luck that would not happen once in a hundred tries. They had knocked
out the Forts, they claim, and one, three-word order, "Full steam
ahead," would have cut the Gordian Knot the diplomats have been fumbling
at for over a hundred years by slicing their old Turkey in two. Then
came the big delay owing to ships changing stations during which mines
set loose from up above had time to float down the current, when, by the
Devil's own fluke, they impinge upon our battleships, and blow de Robeck
and his plans into the middle of next week--or later! These are
ward-room yarns. De Robeck was working by stages and never meant, so far
as we know, to run through to the Marmora yesterday.

Cabled to Lord K. telling him of yesterday's reconnaissance by me and
the battle by de Robeck. Have said I have no official report to go upon
but from what I saw with my own eyes "I am being most reluctantly driven
to the conclusion that the Straits are not likely to be forced by
battleships as at one time seemed probable and that, if my troops are to
take part, it will not take the subsidiary form anticipated. The Army's
part will be more than mere landings of parties to destroy Forts, it
must be a deliberate and progressive military operation carried out at
full strength so as to open a passage for the Navy."

To be able, if necessary, to act up to my own words I sent another
message to the Admiral and told him, if he could spare the troops from
the vicinity of the Straits, I would like to take them right off to
Alexandria so as to shake them out there and reship them ready for
anything. He has wirelessed back asking me, on political grounds, to
delay removing the troops "until our attack is renewed in a few days'
time."

Bravo, the Admiral! Still; if there are to be even a few days' delay I
must land somewhere as mules and horses are dying. And, practically,
Alexandria is the only port possible.

Wemyss has just sent me over the following letter. It confirms
officially the loss of the three battleships:--

                                                              _Friday._

  "My Dear General,

"The enclosed is a copy of a Signal I have received from de Robeck. I
sincerely hope that the word disastrous is too hard. It depends upon
what results we have achieved I think. I gather from intercepted signals
that the _Ocean_ also is sunk, but of this I am not quite certain. I am
off in _Dublin_ immediately she comes in and expect I may be back
to-night. This of course depends a good deal upon what de Robeck wants.
Captain Boyle brings this and will be at your disposal. He is the Senior
Naval Officer here in my absence.

                "Believe me, Sir,
                   "Yours sincerely,
                       (_Sd._) "R. Wemyss."

           Copy of Telegram enclosed:--

  "_From_ V.A.E.M.S.
  "_To_ S.N.O. Mudros.
  "_Date, 18th March, 1915._

"Negative demonstration at Gaba Tepe, 19th. Will you come to Tenedos and
see me to-morrow. We have had disastrous day owing either to floating
mines or torpedoes from shore tubes fired at long range. H.M.S.
_Irresistible_ and _Bouvet_ sunk. H.M.S. _Ocean_ still afloat, but
probably lost. H.M.S. _Inflexible_ damaged by mine. _Gaulois_ badly
damaged by gunfire. Other ships all right, and we had much the best of
the Ports."

_20th March, 1915._ _H.M.S. "Franconia." Mudros Harbour._ Stormy
weather, and even here, inside Mudros harbour, touch with the shore is
cut off.

After I was asleep last night, an answer came in from K., straight,
strong and to the point. He says, "You know my view that the Dardanelles
passage must be forced, and that if large military operations on the
Gallipoli Peninsula by your troops are necessary to clear the way, those
operations must be undertaken after careful consideration of the local
defences and must be carried through."

Very well: all hinges on the Admiral.

_21st March, 1915._ _H.M.S. "Franconia."_ A talk with Admiral Wemyss and
General d'Amade. Wemyss is clear that the Navy must not admit a check
and must get to work again as quickly as they can. Wemyss is Senior
Naval Officer at the Dardanelles and is much liked by everyone. He has
put his seniority in his pocket and is under his junior--fighting first,
rank afterwards!

A letter from de Robeck, dated "Q.E. the 19th," has only just come to
hand:--

"Our men were splendid and thank heaven our loss of life was quite
small, though the French lost over 100 men when _Bouvet_ struck a mine.

"How our ships struck mines in an area that was reported clear and swept
the previous night I do not know, unless they were floating mines
started from the Narrows!

"I was sad to lose ships and my heart aches when one thinks of it; one
must do what one is told and take risks or otherwise we cannot win. We
are all getting ready for another 'go' and not in the least beaten or
downhearted. The big forts were silenced for a long time and everything
was going well, until _Bouvet_ struck a mine. It is hard to say what
amount of damage we did, I don't know, there were big explosions in the
Forts!"

Little Birdie, now grown up into a grand General, turned up at 3 p.m. I
was enchanted to see him. We had hundreds and thousands of things to
talk over. Although the confidence of the sailors seems quite unshaken
by the events of the 18th, Birdie seems to have made up his mind that
the Navy have shot their bolt for the time being and that we have no
time to lose in getting ready for a landing. But then he did not see the
battle and cannot, therefore, gauge the extent to which the Turkish
Forts were beaten.

_22nd March, 1915._ _H.M.S. "Franconia."_ At 10 a.m. we had another
Conference on board the _Queen Elizabeth_.

Present:--

  Admiral de Robeck,
  Admiral Wemyss,
  General Birdwood,
  General Braithwaite,
  Captain Pollen,
  Myself.

The moment we sat down de Robeck told us _he was now quite clear he
could not get through without the help of all my troops_.

Before ever we went aboard Braithwaite, Birdwood and I had agreed that,
whatever we landsmen might think, we must leave the seamen to settle
their own job, saying nothing for or against land operations or
amphibious operations until the sailors themselves turned to us and said
they had abandoned the idea of forcing the passage by naval operations
alone.

They have done so. The fat (that is us) is fairly in the fire.

No doubt we had our views. Birdie and my own Staff disliked the idea of
chancing mines with million pound ships. The hesitants who always make
hay in foul weather had been extra active since the sinking of the three
men-of-war. Suppose the Fleet _could_ get through with the loss of
another battleship or two--how the devil would our troopships be able to
follow? And the store ships? And the colliers?

This had made me turn contrary. During the battle I had cabled that the
chances of the Navy pushing through on their own were hardly fair
fighting chances, but, since then, de Robeck, the man who should know,
had said twice that he _did_ think there was a fair fighting chance. Had
he stuck to that opinion at the conference, then I was ready, as a
soldier, to make light of military croaks about troopships.
Constantinople must surrender, revolt or scuttle within a very few hours
of our battleships entering the Marmora. Memories of one or two obsolete
six inchers at Ladysmith helped me to feel as Constantinople would feel
when her rail and sea communications were cut and a rain of shell fell
upon the penned-in populace from de Robeck's terrific batteries. Given a
good wind that nest of iniquity would go up like Sodom and Gomorrah in a
winding sheet of flame.

But once the Admiral said his battleships could not fight through
without help, there was no foothold left for the views of a landsman.

So there was no discussion. At once we turned our faces to the land
scheme. Very sketchy; how could it be otherwise? On the German system
plans for a landing on Gallipoli would have been in my pocket,
up-to-date and worked out to a ball cartridge and a pail of water. By
the British system (?) I have been obliged to concoct my own plans in a
brace of shakes almost under fire. Strategically and tactically our
method may have its merits, for though it piles everything on to one
man, the Commander, yet he is the chap who has got to see it through.
But, in matters of supply, transport, organisation and administration
our way is the way of Colney Hatch.

Here am I still minus my Adjutant-General; my Quartermaster-General and
my Medical Chief, charged with settling the basic question of whether
the Army should push off from Lemnos or from Alexandria. Nothing in the
world to guide me beyond my own experience and that of my Chief of the
General Staff, whose sphere of work and experience lies quite outside
these administrative matters. I can see that Lemnos is practically
impossible; I fix on Alexandria in the light of Braithwaite's advice and
my own hasty study of the map. Almost incredible really, we should have
to decide so tremendous an administrative problem off the reel and
without any Administrative Staff. But time presses, the responsibility
cannot be shirked, and so I have cabled K. that Lemnos must be a
wash-out and that I am sending my troops to get ship-shape at Alexandria
although, thereby, I upset every previous arrangement. Then I have had
to cable for Engineers, trench mortars, bombs, hand grenades,
periscopes. Then again, seeing things are going less swimmingly than K.
had thought they would, I have had to harden my heart against his horror
of being asked for more men and have decided to cable for leave to bring
over from Egypt a Brigade of Gurkhas to complete Birdwood's New Zealand
Division. Last, and worst, I have had to risk the fury of the Q.M.G. to
the Forces by telling the War Office that their transports are so loaded
(water carts in one ship; water cart horses in another; guns in one
ship; limbers in another; entrenching tools anyhow) that they must be
emptied and reloaded before we can land under fire.

These points were touched upon at the Conference. I told them too that
my Intelligence folk fix the numbers of the enemy now at the Dardanelles
as 40,000 on the Gallipoli Peninsula with a reserve of 30,000 behind
Bulair: on the Asiatic side of the Straits there are at least a
Division, but there _may_ be several Divisions. The Admiral's
information tallies and, so Birdie says, does that of the Army in Egypt.
The War Office notion that the guns of the Fleet can sweep the enemy off
the tongue of the Peninsula from Achi Baba Southwards is moonshine. My
trump card turns out to be the Joker; best of all cards only it don't
happen to be included in this particular pack!

As ideas for getting round this prickly problem were passing through my
mind, two suggestions for dealing with it were put forward. The sailors
say some lighters were being built, and probably by now are built, for
the purpose of a landing in the North: they would carry five hundred
men; had bullet-proof bulwarks and are to work under their own gas
engines. If I can possibly get a petition for these through to Winston
we would very likely be lent some and with their aid the landing under
fire will be child's play to what it will be otherwise. But the cable
must get to Winston: if it falls into the hands of Fisher it fails, as
the sailors tell me he is obsessed by the other old plan and grudges us
every rope's end or ha'porth of tar that finds its way out here.

Rotten luck to have cut myself off from wiring to Winston: still I see
no way out of it: with K. jealous as a tiger--what can I do? Also,
although the sailors want me to pull this particular chestnut out of the
fire, it is just as well they should know I am not going to speak to
their Boss even under the most tempting circs.: but they won't cable
themselves: frightened of Fisher: so I then and there drafted this to K.
from myself:--

"Our first step of landing under fire will be the most critical as well
as the most vital of the whole operations. If the Admiralty will
improvise and send us out post haste 20 to 30 large lighters difficulty
and duration of this phase will be cut down to at least one half. The
lighters should each be capable of conveying 400 to 500 men or 30 to 40
horses. They should be protected by bullet-proof armour."

Everyone agreed but Birdwood pointed out that, by sending this message,
we implied in so many words, that we would not land until the lighters
came out from England. He assumed that we had definitely turned down any
plan of scrambling ashore forthwith, as best we could? I said, "Yes,"
and that the Navy were with me in that view, a statement confirmed by de
Robeck and Wemyss who nodded their heads. Birdwood said he only wanted
to be quite clear about it, and there the matter dropped.

Actually I had thought a lot about that possibility. To a man of my
temperament there was every temptation to have a go in and revenge the
loss of the battleships forthwith. We might sup to-morrow night on Achi
Baba. With luck we really might. Had I been here for ten days instead of
five, and had I had any time to draft out any sort of scheme, I might
have had a dart. But the operation of landing in face of an enemy is the
most complicated and difficult in war. Under existing conditions the
whole attempt would be partial, _decousu_, happy-go-lucky to the last
degree. There are no small craft to speak of. There is no provision for
carrying water. There is no information _at all_ about springs or wells
ashore. There is no arrangement for getting off the wounded and my
Principal Medical Officer and his Staff won't be here for a fortnight.
My orders against piecemeal occupation are specific. But the 29th
Division is our _piece de resistance_ and it won't be here, we
reckon--not complete--for another three weeks.

All the same, I might chance it, for, by taking all these off chances we
_might_ pull off the main chance of stealing a march upon the Turks.
What puts me off is not the chances of war but the certainties of
commonsense. If I did so handle my troops on the spot as to sup on Achi
Baba to-morrow night, I still could not counter the inevitable reaction
of numbers, time and space. The Turks would have at least a fortnight to
concentrate their whole force against my half force; to defeat them and
then to defy the other half.

I must wait for the 29th Division. By the time they come I can get
things straight for a smashing simultaneous blow and I am resolved that,
so far as in me lies, the orders and preparations will then be so
thoroughly worked out--so carefully rehearsed as to give every chance to
my men.[6]

If the 29th Division were here--or near at hand--I could balance
shortage against the obvious evils of giving the Turks time to reinforce
and to dig. Could I hope for the 29th Division within a week it might be
worth my while to fly in the face of K. by grasping the Peninsula firmly
by her toe: or,--had my staff and self been here ten days ago, we could
have already got well forward with our plans and orders, as well as with
the laying of our hands upon the thousand odds and ends demanded by the
invasion of a barren, trackless extremity of an Empire--odds and ends
never thought of by anyone until the spur of reality brought them
galloping to the front. Then the moment the Fleet cried off, we might
have had a dash in, right away, with what we have here. The onslaught
could have been supported from Egypt and the 29th Division might have
been treated as a reserve.

But, taking things as they are:--

(1). No detail thought out, much less worked out or practised, as to
form or manner of landing;

(2). Absence of 29th Division;

(3). Lack of gear (naval and military) for any landing on a large scale
or maintenance thereafter;

(4). Unsettled weather; my ground is not solid enough to support me
were I to put it to K. that I had broken away from his explicit
instructions.

The Navy, i.e., de Robeck, Wemyss and Keyes, entirely agree. They see as
well as we do that the military force ought to have been ready before
the Navy began to attack. What we have to do now is to repair a first
false step. The Admiral undertakes to keep pegging away at the Straits
whilst we in Alexandria are putting on our war paint. He will see to it,
he says, that they think more of battleships than of landings. He is
greatly relieved to hear _I_ have practically made up my mind to go for
the South of the Peninsula and to keep in closest touch with the Fleet.
The Commodore also seems well pleased: he told us he hoped to get his
Fleet Sweeps so reorganised as to do away with the danger from mines by
the 3rd or 4th of April; then, he says, with us to do the spotting for
the naval guns, the battleships can smother the Forts and will alarm the
Turkish Infantry as to that tenderest part of an Army--its rear. So I
may say that all are in full agreement,--a blessing.

Have cabled home begging for more engineers, a lot of hand grenades,
trench mortars, periscopes and tools. The barbed wire bothers me! Am
specially keen about trench mortars; if it comes to close fighting on
the Peninsula with its restricted area trench mortars may make up for
our lack of artillery and especially of howitzers. Luckily, they can be
turned out quickly.

_23rd March, 1915. H.M.S. "Franconia."_ At 9 a.m. General d'Amade and
his Staff came aboard. D'Amade had been kept yesterday by his own
pressing business from attending the Conference. I have read him these
notes and have shown him my cable of yesterday to Lord K. in which I say
that "The French Commander is equally convinced that a move to
Alexandria is a practical necessity, although a point of honour makes it
impossible for him to suggest turning his back to the Turks to his own
Government." But, I say, "he will be enchanted if they give him the
order." D'Amade says I have not quite correctly represented his views.
Not fantastic honour, he says, caused him to say we had better, for a
while, hold on, but rather the sense of prestige. He thought the
departure of the troops following so closely on the heels of the naval
repulse would have a bad moral effect on the Balkans. But he agrees
that, in practice, the move has now become imperative; the animals are
dying; the men are overcrowded, whilst Mudros is impossible as a base.
My cable, therefore, may stand.

At 10 o'clock he, Birdie and myself landed to inspect a Battalion of
Australians (9th Battalion of the 3rd Brigade). I made them carry out a
little attack on a row of windmills, and really, they did not show much
more imagination over the business than did Don Quixote in a similar
encounter. But the men are superb specimens.

Some of the troop transports left harbour for Egypt during the
afternoon. Bad to see these transports sailing the wrong way. What a
d----d pity! is what every soldier here feels--and says. But to look
on the bright side, our fellows will be twice as well trained to boat
work, and twice as well equipped by the time the 29th turn up, and by
then the weather will be more settled. As d'Amade said too, it will be
worth a great deal to us if the French troops get a chance of working a
little over the ground together with their British comrades before they
go shoulder to shoulder against the common enemy. All the same, if I had
my men and guns handy, I'd rather get at the Turks quick than be sure of
good weather and good _band-o-bast_ and be sure also of a well-prepared
enemy.

In the afternoon Braithwaite brought me a draft cable for Lord K. _re_
yesterday's Conference. I have approved. In it I say, "on the
thoroughness with which I can make the preliminary arrangements, of
which the proper allocation of troops, etc., to transports is not the
least important, the success of my plans will largely depend."
Therefore, I am going to Alexandria, as a convenient place for this work
and, "the Turks will be kept busy meanwhile by the Admiral."

_24th March, 1915. H.M.S. "Franconia."_ D'Amade and Staff came aboard at
10 a.m. He has got leave to move and will sail to Alexandria forthwith.
Roger Keyes from the Flagship came shortly afterward. He is sick as a
she-bear robbed of her cubs that his pets: battleships, T.B.s,
destroyers, submarines, etc., should have to wait for the Army. Well, we
are not to blame! Keyes has been shown my cables to K. and is pleased
with them. He accepts the fact, I think, that the Army must tackle the
mobile artillery of the Turks before the Navy can expect to silence the
light guns protecting the mine fields and then clear out the mines with
the present type of mine sweeper. But the Admiral's going to fix up the
mine sweeper question while we are away. Once he has done that, Keyes
believes the Fleet can knock out the Forts; wipe out the protective
batteries and sweep up the mines quite comfortably. He said one
illuminating and encouraging thing to Braithwaite; viz., that he had
never felt so possessed of the power of the Navy to force a passage
through the Narrows as in the small hours of the 19th when he got back
to the Flagship after trying in vain to salve the _Ocean_ and the
_Irresistible_.

Keyes brought me a first class letter from the Admiral--very much to the
point:--

                                                "H.M.S. _Q.E._
                                                     _24th March, 15._

  "My Dear General,

"I hear the Authorities at 'Home' have been sending hastening telegrams
to you. They most unfortunately did the same to us and probably if our
work had been slower and more thorough it would have been better. If
only they were on the _spot_, they would realise that to hurry would
write failure. In my very humble opinion, good co-operation and
organisation means everything for the future. A great triumph is much
better than scraping through and poor results! We are entirely with you
and can be relied on to give any assistance in our power. We will not be
idle!

                             "Believe me,
                                 "Yours sincerely,
                                    (_Sd._) "J.M. de Robeck."

11-15. Admiral Thursby (just arrived with the _Queen_ and _Implacable_)
came to make his salaams. We served together at Malta and both broke
sinews in our calves playing lawn tennis--a bond of union.

Have cabled to Lord K. telling him I am just off to Alexandria. Have
said that the ruling factor of my date of landing must be the arrival of
the 29th Division "(see para. 2 of your formal instructions to me the
foresight of which appeals to me with double force now we are at close
quarters with the problem[7])." I have pointed out that Birdwood's
Australians are very weak in artillery; that the Naval Division has none
at all and that the guns of the 29th Division make that body even more
indispensable than he had probably realised. I would very much like to
add that these are no times for infantry divisions minus artillery
seeing that they ought to have three times the pre-war complement of
guns, but Braithwaite's good advice has prevailed. As promised at the
Conference I express a hope that I may be allowed "to complete
Birdwood's New Zealand Division with a Brigade of Gurkhas who would work
admirably in the terrain" of the Peninsula. In view of what we have
gathered from Keyes, I wind up by saying, "The Admiral, whose confidence
in the Navy seems to have been raised even higher by recent events, and
who is a thruster if ever there was one, is in agreement with this
telegram."

Actually Keyes will show him a copy; we will wait one hour before
sending it off and, if we don't hear then, we may take it de Robeck will
have endorsed the purport. Of course, if he does not agree the last
sentence must come out, and he will have to put his own points to the
Admiralty.

_Later_.--Have sent Doughty Wylie to Athens to do "Intelligence": the
cable was approved by Navy; duly despatched; and now--up anchor!




CHAPTER III

EGYPT


_25th March, 1915. H.M.S. "Franconia." At Sea._ A fine smooth sea and a
flowing tide. Have written to K. and Mr. Asquith. Number two has caused
me _fikr_.[8] The P.M. lives in another plane from us soldiers. So it
came quite easily to his lips to ask _me_ to write to him,--a high
honour, likewise an order. But K. is my soldier chief. As C.-in-C. in
India he refused point blank to write letters to autocratic John Morley
behind the back of the Viceroy, and Morley never forgave him. K. told me
this himself and he told me also that he resented the correspondence
which was, he knew, being carried on, behind his (K.'s) back, between
the army in France and his (K.'s) own political Boss: that sort of
action was, he considered, calculated to undermine authority.

I have had a long talk with Braithwaite _re_ this quandary. He strongly
holds that my first duty is to K. and that it is for us a question of K.
and no one but K. Were the S. of S. only a civilian (instead of being a
Field Marshal) the case _might_ admit of argument; as things are, it
does not. So have written the P.M. on these lines and shall send K. the
carbons of all my letters to him. To K. himself I have written backing
up my cable and begging for a Brigade of Gurkhas. Really, it is like
going up to a tiger and asking for a small slice of venison: I remember
only too well his warning not to make his position impossible by
pressing for troops, etc., but Egypt is not England; the Westerners
don't want the Gurkhas who are too short to fit into their trenches and,
last but not least, our landing is not going to be the simple,
row-as-you-please he once pictured. The situation in fact, is not in the
least what he supposed it to be when I started; therefore, I am
justified, I think, in making this appeal:--"I am very anxious, if
possible, to get a Brigade of Gurkhas, so as to complete the New Zealand
Divisional organisation with a type of man who will, I am certain, be
most valuable on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The scrubby hillsides on the
South-west face of the plateau are just the sort of terrain where those
little fellows are at their brilliant best. There is already a small
Indian commissariat attached to the Mountain Batteries, so there would
be no trouble on the score of supply."

"As you may imagine, I have no wish to ask for anything the giving of
which would seriously weaken our hold on Egypt, but you will remember
that four Mounted Brigades belonging to Birdwood's force are being left
behind to look after the land of the Pharaohs, and a Mounted Brigade for
a battalion seems a fair exchange. Egypt, in fact, so far as I can make
out, seems stiff with troops, and each little Gurkha might be worth his
full weight in gold at Gallipoli."

Wrote Fitz in much the same sense:--"We are desperately keen to extract
a Gurkha Brigade out of Egypt and you might lend a hand, not only to us,
but to all your own Sikh and Dogra Regiments, by making K. see that the
Indian Army was never given a dog's chance in the mudholes. They were
benumbed: _it was not their show_. Here, in the warm sun; pitted against
the hereditary _dushman_[9] who comes on shouting 'Allah!' they would
gain much _izzat_.[10] _Now mind_, if you see any chance of an Indian
contingent for Constantinople, do everyone a good turn by rubbing these
ideas into K."

Braithwaite has already picked up a number of useful hints from Roger
Keyes. His old friendship with the Commodore should be a help. Keyes is
a fine fellow; radiating resolve to do and vigour to carry
through--hereditary qualities. His Mother, of whom he is an ugly
likeness, was as high-spirited, fascinating, clever a creature as ever I
saw. Camel riding, hawking, dancing, making good _band-o-bast_ for a
picnic, she was always at the top of the hunt; the idol of the Punjab
Frontier Force. His Father, Sir Charles, grim old Paladin of the
Marshes, whose loss of several fingers from a sword cut earned him my
special boyish veneration, was really the devil of a fellow. My first
flutter out of the sheltered nest of safe England into the outer sphere
of battle, murder and sudden death, took place under the auspices of
that warrior so famoused in fight when I was aged twenty. Riding
together in the early morning from the mud fort of Dera Ismail Khan
towards the Mountain of Sheikh Budin, we suddenly barged into a mob of
wild Waziri tribesmen who jumped out of the ditch and held us up--hand
on bridle. The old General spoke Pushtu fluently, and there was a
parley, begun by him, ordinarily the most silent of mankind. Where were
they going to? To buy camels at Dera Ghazi Khan. How far had they come?
Three days' march; but they had no money. The General simulated
amazement--"You have come all that distance to buy camels without money?
Those are strange tales you tell me. I fear when you pass through Dera
Ismail you will have to raise the wind by selling your nice pistols and
knives: oh yes, I see them quite well; they are peeping at me from under
your poshteens." The Waziris laughed and took their hands off our reins.
Instantly, the General shouted to me, "Come on--gallop!" And in less
than no time we were going hell for leather along the lonely frontier
road towards our next relay of horses. "That was a narrow squeak," said
the General, "but _you may take liberties with a Waziri if only you can
make him laugh_."

_26th March, 1915. H.M.8. "Franconia." At Sea._ Inspected troops on
board. A keen, likely looking lot. All Naval Division; living monuments,
these fellows, to Winston Churchill's contempt for convention.

Reached Port Said about 3.30 p.m. Nipped into a "Special" which seems to
have become my "ordinary" vehicle and left for Cairo. Opened despatches
from London. "Bullet-proof lighters cannot be provided." "I quite agree
that the 29th Division with its artillery is necessary." Not a word
about the Gurkhas. Arrived at 10 p.m., and was met by Maxwell.

_27th March, 1915 Cairo._ Working hard at Headquarters all day till 6.15
p.m., when I made my salaam to the Sultan at the Abdin Palace. A real
Generals' dinner--what we used to call a _burra khana_--at Maxwell's
hospitable board:--

  General Birdwood,
  General Godley,
  General Bridges,
  General Douglas,
  General Braithwaite,
  Myself.

_28th March, 1915. Cairo._ Inspected East Lancashire Division and a
Yeomanry Brigade (Westminster Dragoons and Herts). How I envied Maxwell
these beautiful troops. They will only be eating their heads off here,
with summer coming up and the desert getting as dry as a bone. The
Lancashire men especially are eye-openers. How on earth have they
managed to pick up the swank and devil-may-care airs of crack regulars?
They _are_ Regulars, only they are bigger, more effective specimens than
Manchester mills or East Lancashire mines can spare us for the Regular
Service in peace time. Anyway, no soldier need wish to see a finer lot.
On them has descended the mantle of my old comrades[11] of
Elandslaagte and Caesar's Camp, and worthily beyond doubt they will wear
it.

[Illustration: Lieut.-Gen. the Rt. Hon. Sir J. G. Maxwell, G.C.B.,
K.C.M.G.]

The enthusiasm of the natives was a pleasing part of the show. During
four years of Egyptian Inspections I recall no single instance of any
manifestation of friendliness to our troops, or even of interest in
them, by Gyppies. But the Territorials seem, somehow, to have conquered
their goodwill. As each stalwart company swung past there was a
spontaneous effervescence of waving hands along the crowded street and
murmurs of applause from Bedouins, Blacks and Fellaheen.

Maxwell will have a fit if I ask for them! He will fall down in a fit, I
am sure. Already he is vexed at my having cabled and written Lord K. for
_his_ (Maxwell's) Brigade of Gurkhas. To him I appear careless of his
(Maxwell's) position and of the narrowness of his margin of safety. For
the life of him K. can't help putting his Lieutenants into this
particular cart. The same old story as the eight small columns in the
Western Transvaal: co-equal and each thinking his own beat on the veldt
the only critical spot in South Africa: and the funny thing is that
Maxwell was then running the base at Vryberg and I was in command in the
field! But _there_ my word was law; _here_ Maxwell is entirely
independent of me, which is as much as to say, that the feet are not
under control of the head; i.e., that the expedition must move like a
drunken man. That is my fear: Maxwell will do what lies in him to help,
but in action it is better to order than to ask.

Grand lunch at the Abdin Palace with the Sultan. Most of the Cabinet
present. The Sultan spoke French well and seems clever as well as most
gracious and friendly. He assured me that the Turkish Forts at the
Dardanelles were absolutely impregnable. The words "absolute" and
"impregnable" don't impress me overmuch. They are only human opinions
used to gloss over flaws in the human knowledge or will. Nothing is
impregnable either--that's a sure thing. No reasons were given me by His
Highness.

Have just written home about these things: midnight.

_29th March, 1915. 9.30 p.m. Palace Hotel, Alexandria._ Early start to
the Mena Camp to see the Australians. A devil of a blinding storm gave a
foretaste of dust to dust. That was when they were marching past, but
afterwards I inspected the Infantry at close quarters, taking a good
look at each man and speaking to hundreds. Many had been at my
inspections in their own country a year ago, but most were new hands who
had never worn uniform till they 'listed for the war. The troops then
marched back to Camp in mass of quarter columns--or rather swept by like
a huge yellow cloud at the heart of which sparkled thousands of
bayonets.

Next I reviewed the Artillery, Engineers and Cavalry; winding up with
the overhaul of the supply and transport column. This took time, and I
had to make the motor travel getting across twelve miles or so to
inspect a mixed Division of Australians and New Zealanders at
Heliopolis. Godley commanded. Great fun seeing him again. These fellows
made a real good show; superb physique: numbers of old friends
especially amongst the New Zealanders. Another scurry in the motor to
catch the 4.15 for Alexandria. Tiring day if I had it in my mind to be
tired, but this 30,000 crowd of Birdwood's would straighten up the back
of a pacifist. There is a bravery in their air--a keenness upon their
clean cut features--they are spoiling for a scrap! Where they have
sprung from it is hard to say. Not in Brisbane, Adelaide, Sydney,
Melbourne or Perth--no, nor in Dunedin, Christchurch, Wellington or
Auckland, did I meet specimens like unto these. The spirit of War has
breathed its fires into their hearts; the drill sergeant has taken
thought and has added one cubit to their stature.

D'Amade has just been to make me known to a couple of Frenchmen about to
join my Staff. They seem to be nice fellows. The French have been here
some days and they are getting on well. Hunter-Weston landed this
morning; his first batch of transports are in the harbour. I am to see
the French troops in four days' time; Hunter-Weston's 29th Division on
the fifth day. Neither Commander has yet worked out how long it will
take before he has reloaded his transports. They declare it takes three
times as long to repack a ship loaded at haphazard as it would have
taken to have loaded her on a system in the first instance. Six days per
ship is their notion of what they can do, but I trust to improve a bit
on that.

Hunter-Weston had written me a letter from Malta (just to hand) putting
it down in black and white that we have not a reasonable prospect of
success. He seemed keen and sanguine when we met and made no reference
to this letter: so it comes in now as rather a startler. But it is best
to have the black points thrust upon one's notice beforehand--so long
always as I keep it fixed in the back of my mind that there was never
yet a great thought or a great deed which was not cried down as
unreasonable before the fact by a number of reasonable people!

_30th March, 1915. Alexandria._ Have just dictated a long letter to Lord
K. in the course of which I have forced myself to say something which
may cause the great man annoyance. I feel it is up to me to risk that.
One thing--he knows I am not one of those rotters who ask for more than
they can possibly be given so that, if things go wrong, they may
complain of their tools. I have promised K. to help him by keeping my
demands down to bedrock necessities. I make no demand for ammunition on
the France and Flanders scale but--we must have _some_! There must be a
depot somewhere within hail. Here is the crucial para.:--

"I realise how hard up you must be for ammunition, but I hope the M.G.O.
will have by now put in hand the building up of some reserves at our
base in Alexandria. If our batteries or battalions now serving in France
run short, something, at a pinch, can always be scraped together in
England and issued to them within 24 hours. Here it would be a question
of almost as many days, and, if it were to turn out that we have a long
and severe struggle, with no reserves nearer us than Woolwich--well--it
would not be pleasant! Moreover the number of howitzers, guns and rifles
in France is so enormous that it is morally impossible they should all
be hotly engaged at the same time. Thus they automatically form their
own reserves. In other words, a force possessing only ten howitzers
ought to have at least twice the reserves of a force possessing a
hundred howitzers. So at least it seems to me."

In the same letter I tell him about "Birdwood's crowd" and of their
splendid physique; their growing sense of discipline, their exceeding
great keenness, and wind up by saying that, given a fair chance, they
will, for certain, "render a very good account of themselves."

Confabs with d'Amade and Hunter-Weston. Hunter-Weston's "appreciation"
of the situation at the Dardanelles is to be treated as an _ad interim_
paper; he wrote it, he says now, without the fuller knowledge he is
daily acquiring--knowledge which is tending to make him more sanguine.
His stay at Malta and his talks with Officers there had greatly
impressed him with the hardness of the nut we have to try and crack; so
much so that his paper suggests an indefinite putting off of the attempt
to throw open the Straits. I asked him if he had laid his view before K.
in London and he said, No; that he had not then come to it and that he
had not definitely come to it now.

D'Amade's own inclinations would have led him to Asia. When he left
France he did not know he was to be under me and he had made up his mind
to land at Adramiti. But now he waives all preconceived ideas and is
keen to throw himself heart and soul into Lord K.'s ideas and mine. He
would rather I did not even refer to his former views as he sees they
are expressly barred by the tenor of my instructions. The French are
working to time in getting ship-shape. The 29th Division are arriving up
to date and about one-third of them have landed. We are fixing up our
gear for floating and other piers and are trying to improvise ways and
means of coping with the water problem--this ugly nightmare of a water
problem. The question of the carriage and storage of water for thousands
of men and horses over a roadless, mainly waterless track of country
should have been tackled before we left England.

To solve these conundrums we have had to recreate for ourselves a
special field service system of food, water and ammunition supply. As an
instance we have had to re-organise baggage sections of trains and fit
up store ships as substitutes for additional ammunition columns and
parks. We are getting on fairly fast with our work of telling off troops
to transports so that each boat load of men landed will be, so to say,
on its own; victualled, watered and munitioned. But it takes some doing.
Greatly handicapped by absence of any Administrative, or Q. Staff. The
General Staff are working double shifts, at a task for which they have
never been trained:--

  It's a way we have in the Aaarmy!
  It's a way we have in the NAAAAvy!!
  It's a way we have in the Eeeeeempire!!!
     That nobody can deny!!!!

What would my friends on the Japanese General Staff say--or my quondam
friends on the German General Staff--if they knew that a
Commander-in-Chief had been for a fortnight in touch with his troops,
engaged with them upon a huge administrative job, and that he had not
one administrative Staff Officer to help him, but was willynilly using
his General Staff for the work? They would say "mad Englishmen" and this
time they would be right. The British public services are poisoned by
two enormous fallacies: (_a_) if a man does well in one business, he
will do equally well or better in another; (_b_) if a man does badly in
one business he will do equally badly or worse in another. There is
nothing beyond a vague, floating reputation or public opinion to enable
a new Minister to know his subordinates. The Germans have tabulated the
experiences and deficiencies of our leaders, active and potential, in
peace and war--we have not! Every British General of any note is
analysed, characterised and turned inside out in the bureau records of
the great German General Staff in Berlin. We only attempt anything of
that sort with burglars. My own portrait is in those archives and is
very good if not very flattering; so a German who had read it has told
me. This is organisation: this is business; but official circles in
England are so remote in their methods from these particular notions of
business that I must turn to a big newspaper shop to let anyone even
begin to understand what it is to run Q. business with a G.S. team.
Suppose Lord Northcliffe decided to embark upon a journalistic campaign
in Canada and that his scheme turned upon time; that it was a question
of Northcliffe catching time by the forelock or of time laying
Northcliffe by the heels. Suppose, further, that he had no first-hand
knowledge of Canada and had decided to place the conduct of the campaign
in the hands of his brother who would spy out the land; choose the best
site; buy a building; order the printing press; engage hands and start
the paper. Well; what staff would he send with him? A couple of leader
writers, a trio of special correspondents and half a dozen reporters?
Probably; but would there not also be berths taken in the Cunarder for a
manager trained in the business side of journalism? Quite a fair way of
putting the present case, although, on the other side, it is also fair
to add that British Officers have usually had to play so many parts in
the charade of square pegs in round holes, that they can catch a hold
anywhere, at any time, and carry on somehow.

_31st March, 1915. Alexandria._--Quill driving and dictating. Have made
several remonstrances lately at the way McMahon is permitting the
Egyptian Press to betray our intentions, numbers, etc. It is almost
incredible and Maxwell doesn't see his way clear to interfere. For the
last day or two they have been telling the Turks openly where we are
bound for. So I have written McMahon the following:--

                   "General Headquarters,
                        "18 RUE EL CAIED GOHAR,
                            "ALEXANDRIA, 31/3/15.

  "DEAR HIGH COMMISSIONER,

"I was somewhat startled a couple of mornings ago by an article in the
_Egyptian Gazette_ giving away the arrival of the French troops, and
making open references to the Gallipoli Peninsula. The very frankness of
such communications may of course mislead the Turk into thinking we mean
thereby to take his mind off some other place which is our real
objective, but I doubt it. He knows our usual methods too well.

"Consequently as it is very important at least to throw him into some
state of bewilderment as to our movements, I propose sending the
following cable to Lord Kitchener:--

"'Whether of set purpose or through inadvertence articles have appeared
in Egyptian Press openly discussing arrival of French and British troops
and naming Gallipoli as their destination. Is there any political
objection to my cautiously spreading rumour that our true objective is,
say, Smyrna?'

"Before I despatch the wire, however, I think I should like you to see
it, in case you have any objections. I have all the facilities for
spreading any rumour I like through my Intelligence Branch, which would
be less suspected than information leaking out from political sources.

"Could you kindly send me a wire on receipt of this?

                                            "Yours sincerely,
                                               (_Sd._) "IAN HAMILTON."

"I only propose to ask Lord K. in case there may be political reasons
why I should not select any particular place about which to spread a
rumour of our landing."

Forgot to note a step taken yesterday--to nowhere perhaps--perhaps to
Constantinople. Yesterday the _Doris_ brought me a copy of a long cable
sent by Winston to de Robeck six days ago, together with a copy of the
V.A.'s reply. The First Lord is clearly in favour of the Fleet going on
knocking the Forts to pieces whilst the Army are getting on with their
preparations; clearly also he thinks that, under rough handling from
Q.E. & Co., the Turkish resistance might at any moment collapse. Then we
should sail through as per Lord K.'s programme. Well; nothing would suit
me so well. If we are to have an opposed landing better kill two birds
with one stone and land bang upon the Bosphorus. The nearer to the heart
I can strike my first blow, the more telling it will be. Cable 140 puts
the case very well. Winston hits the nail on the head, so it seems to
me, when he points out that the Navy is not tied to the apron strings of
the Army but that it is the other way about: i.e., if the Fleet makes
another big push whilst we are getting ready, they can still fall back
on the combined show with us if they fail; whereas, if they succeed they
will save us all the loss of life and energy implied by an opposed
landing at the Dardanelles. Certainly Braithwaite and I had understood
that de Robeck would work to that end; that this is what he was driving
at when he said he would not be idle but would keep the Turks busy
whilst we were getting ready. Nothing will induce me to volunteer
opinions on Naval affairs. But de Robeck's reply to Winston might be
read as if I _had_ expressed an opinion, so I am bound to clear up that
point--definitely.

  "_From_ GENERAL SIR IAN HAMILTON.
  "_To_ VICE-ADMIRAL SIR JOHN DE ROBECK.

"Copy of number 140 from Admiralty received AAA I had already
communicated outline of our plan to Lord Kitchener and am pushing on
preparations as fast as possible AAA War Office still seems to cherish
hope that you may break through without landing troops AAA Therefore, as
regards yourself I think wisest procedure will be to push on
systematically though not recklessly in attack on Forts AAA It is always
possible that opposition may crumple up AAA If you should succeed be
sure to leave light cruisers enough to see me through my military attack
in the event of that being after all necessary AAA If you do not succeed
then I think we quite understand one another AAA
                                                       "IAN HAMILTON."

_1st April, 1915. Alexandria._ The _Arcadian_ has arrived bringing my
A.G. and Q.M.G. with the second echelon of the Staff. God be praised for
this immense relief! The General Staff can now turn to their legitimate
business--the enemy, instead of struggling night and day with A.G. and
Q.M.G. affairs; allocating troops and transports; preparing for water
supply; tackling questions of procedure and discipline. We are all sorry
for the Q. Staff who, through no fault of their own, have been late for
the fair, _their_ special fair, the preparation, and find the show is
practically over. On paper at least, the Australians and New Zealanders
and the 29th Division are properly fixed up. We should begin embarking
these formations within the next three days. After that will come the
Naval Division from Port Said and the French Division from here.

_2nd April, 1915. Alexandria._ Hard at it all day in office. Am leaving
to-night by special train for Port Said to hurry things along.

A cable in from the Foreign Office telling me that the Russian part of
my force consists of a complete Army Corps under General
Istomine--evidently War and Foreign Offices still work in watertight
compartments!

Left Alexandria last night at 11 and came into Port Said at dawn. After
breakfast mounted an Arab charger which seems to have emerged out of the
desert to meet my wishes just as do special trains and banquets: as if I
wore on my finger the magic ring of the Arabian fairy tale: so I do I
suppose, in the command it has pleased K., Imperial Grand Vizier, to
bestow upon this humble but lively speck of dust. Mounting we cantered
through the heavy sand towards the parade ground near the docks. Here,
like a wall, stood Winston's far-famed Naval Division drawn up in its
battle array. General Paris received me backed by Olivant and Staff.
After my inspection the Division marched past, and marched past very
well indeed, much better than they did when I saw them some months ago
in Kent, although the sand was against them, muffling the stamp of feet
which binds a Company together and telling unevenly on different parts
of the line. Admiral Pierce and his Flag Captain, Burmeister, honoured
the occasion: they were on foot and so, not to elevate the stature of
the Army above that of the Senior Service, I took the salute dismounted.

Next had a look round camp. Found things so, so. Saw Arthur Asquith and
Rupert Brooke of the Howe Battalion, both sick, neither bad. Asked
Brooke to join my personal Staff, not as a fire insurance (seeing what
happened to Ronnie Brooke at Elandslaagte and to Ava at Waggon Hill) but
still as enabling me to keep an eye on the most distinguished of the
Georgians. Young Brooke replied, as a _preux chevalier_ would naturally
reply,--he realised the privileges he was foregoing, but he felt bound
to do the landing shoulder-to-shoulder with his comrades. He looked
extraordinarily handsome, quite a knightly presence, stretched out there
on the sand with the only world that counts at his feet.

Lunched on the _Franconia_ and conversed with Lieutenant-Colonel
Matthews and Major Mewes of the Plymouth Battalion; also with Major
Palmer. To see with your eyes; to hear with your ears; to touch with
your fingers enables you to bring the truth home to yourself. Five
minutes of that personal touch tells a man more than five weeks of
report reading. In five minutes I gained from these Officers five times
more knowledge about Sedd-el-Bahr and Kum Kale than all their own bald
despatches describing their own landings and cutting-out enterprises had
given me. Paris' account had not helped me much either, the reason being
that it was not first hand,--was only so many words that he had
heard,--was not what he had _felt_. Now, I do really, at last and for
the first time, realistically grasp the lie of the land and of the
Turks. The prospect is not too rosy, but Wolfe, I daresay, saw blue as
he gazed over the water at his problem, without map or General Staff
plan to help him. There lay Quebec; within cannon shot; but that enemy
was thrice his strength; entrenched in a fortress--there they lay
confident--a landing was "impossible!" But all things are possible--to
faith. He had faith in Pitt; faith in his own bright particular star;
faith in the British Fleet standing resolute at his back:--he launched
his attack; he got badly beaten at the landing; he pulled himself
together; he met a thousand and one mishaps and delays, and when, at the
long last, he fell, he had the plum in his pocket.

The Turks lie close within a few yards of the water's edge on the
Peninsula. Matthews smiled sarcastically at the War Office idea that no
Turks can exist South of Achi Baba! At Sedd-el-Bahr, the first houses
are empty, being open to the fire of the Fleet, but the best part of the
other houses are defiladed by the ground and a month ago they were held.
Glad I did not lose a minute after seeing the ground in asking Maxwell
and Methuen to make me some trench mortars. Methuen says he can't help,
but Maxwell's Ordnance people have already fixed up a sample or
two--rough things, but better than nothing. We have too little shrapnel
to be able to spare any for cutting entanglements. Trench mortars may
help where the Fleet can't bring their guns to bear. The thought of all
that barbed wire tucked away into the folds of the ground by the shore
follows me about like my shadow.

Left Port Said for Kantara and got there in half an hour. General Cox,
an old Indian friend of the days when I was A.D.C. to Sir Fred., met me
at the station. He commands the Indian troops in Egypt. We nipped into a
launch on the Canal, and crossed over to inspect the Companies of the
Nelson, Drake, Howe and Anson Battalions in their Fort, whilst Cox
hurried off to fix up a parade of his own.

The Indian Brigade were drawn up under Brigadier-General Mercer. After
inspection, the troops marched past headed by the band of the 14th
Sikhs. No one not a soldier can understand what it means to an old
soldier who began fighting in the Afghan War under Roberts of Kandahar
to be in touch once again with Sikhs and Gurkhas, those splendid
knights-errant of India.

After about eighteen years' silence, I thought my Hindustani would fail
me, but the words seemed to drop down from Heaven on to my tongue. Am
able now to understand the astonishment of St. Paul when he found
himself jabbering nineteen to the dozen in lingo, Greek to him till
then. But he at least was exempt from my worst terror which was that at
any moment I might burst into German!

After our little _durbar_, the men were dismissed to their lines and I
walked back to the Fort. There I suddenly ordered the alarm to be
sounded (I had not told anyone of my intention) so the swift yet smooth
fall-in to danger posts was a feather in Cox's helmet.

Back to main camp and there saw troops not manning the Fort. There were
the:--

  Queen Victoria's Own
    Sappers                Captain Hogg, R.E.,
  69th Punjabis            Colonel Harding,
  89th Punjabis            Colonel Campbell,
  14th K.G.O. Sikhs        Colonel Palin,
  1st Bn. 6th Gurkhas      Colonel Bruce,
  29th Mountain Battery
    and the Bikaner Camel
    Corps                  Major Bruce.

Had a second good talk to the Native Officers, shaking hands all round.
Much struck with the turn-out of the 29th Mountain Battery which is to
come along with the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps to the
Dardanelles.

From the platform of the Fort the lines of our defences and the way the
Turks attacked them stood out very clearly to a pair of field glasses.
Why, with so many mounted men some effort was not made to harry the
enemy's retreat, Cox cannot tell me. There were no trenches and the
desert had no limits.

_Now_ (in the train on my way back to Alexandria) I must have one more
try at K. about these Gurkhas! My official cable and letter asking for
the Gurkha Brigade have fallen upon stony ground. No notice of any sort
has been vouchsafed to my modest request. Has _any_ action been taken
upon them? Possibly the matter has been referred to Maxwell for opinion?
If so, he has said nothing about it, which does not promise well. Cox
has heard nothing from Cairo; only no end of camp rumours. Most likely
K. is vexed with me for asking for these troops at all, and thinks I am
already forgetting his warning not to put him in the cart by asking for
too many things. France must not be made jealous and Egypt ditto, I
suppose. I cannot possibly repeat my official cable and my demi-official
letter. The whole is _most_ disappointing. Here is Cox and here are his
men, absolutely wasted and frightfully keen to come. There are the
Dardanelles short-handed; there is the New Zealand Division short of a
Brigade. If surplus and deficit had the same common denominator, say
"K." or "G.S." they would wipe themselves out to the instant
simplification of the problem. As it is, they are kept on separate
sheets of paper;

  too many troops        too few troops
      Maxwell               Hamilton

       *       *       *       *       *

Have just finished dictating a letter to K., giving him an account of my
inspection of the Indian troops and of how "they made my mouth water,
especially the 6th Gurkhas." I ask him if I could not anyway have _them_
"as a sort of escort to the Mountain Battery," and go on to say, "The
desert is drying up, Cox tells me; such water as there is is becoming
more and more brackish and undrinkable; and no other serious raid, in
his opinion, will be possible this summer." I might have added that once
we open the ball at the Dardanelles the old Turks must dance to our
tune, and draw in their troops for the defence of Constantinople but it
does not do to be too instructive to one's Grandmother. So there it is:
I have done the best I can.

_4th April, 1915. Alexandria._ Busy day in office. Things beginning to
hum. A marvellous case of "two great minds." K. has proffered his advice
upon the tactical problem, and how it should be dealt with, and, as I
have just cabled in answer, "No need to send you my plan as you have got
it in one, even down to details, only I have not shells enough to cut
through barbed wire with my field guns or howitzers." I say also, "I
should much like to have some hint as to my future supply of gun and
rifle ammunition. The Naval Division has only 430 rounds per rifle and
the 29th Division only 500 rounds which means running it fine."

What might seem, to a civilian, a marvellous case of coincidence or
telepathy were he ever to compare my completed plan with K.'s cabled
suggestion is really one more instance of the identity of procedure born
of a common doctrine between two soldiers who have worked a great deal
together. Given the same facts the odds are in favour of these facts
being seen eye to eye by each.

Forgot to note that McMahon answered my letter of the 31st personally,
on the telephone, saying he had no objection to my cabling K. or
spreading any reports I liked through my Intelligence, but that he is
not keeper of the _Egyptian Gazette_ and must not quarrel with it as
Egypt is not at war! No wonder he prefers the telephone to the telegram
I begged him to send me if he makes these sort of answers. Egypt is in
the war area and, if it were not, McMahon can do anything he likes. The
_Gazette_ continues to publish full details of our actions and my only
hope is that the Turks will not be able to believe in folly so
incredible.

_5th April, 1915. Alexandria._ Motored after early breakfast to French
Headquarters at the Victoria College. Here I was met by d'Amade and an
escort of Cuirassiers, and, getting on to my Australian horse, trotted
off to parade.

Coming on to the ground, the French trumpeters blew a lively fanfare
which was followed by a roll of drums. Never was so picturesque a
parade, the verdict of one who can let his mind rove back through the
military pageants of India, Russia, Japan, Germany, Austria,
Switzerland, China, Canada, U.S.A., Australia, and New Zealand. Yes,
Alexandria has seen some pretty shows in its time; Cleopatra had an eye
to effect and so, too, had the great Napoleon. But I doubt whether the
townsfolk have ever seen anything to equal the _coup d'oeil_ engineered
by d'Amade. Under an Eastern sun the colours of the French uniforms,
gaudy in themselves, ran riot, and the troops had surely been posted by
one who was an artist in more than soldiering. Where the yellow sand was
broken by a number of small conical knolls with here and there a group,
and here and there a line, of waving palms, there, on the knolls, were
clustered the Mountain Batteries and the Batteries of Mitrailleuses. The
Horse, Foot and Guns were drawn up, Infantry in front, Cavalry in rear,
and the Field Artillery--the famous 75s--at right angles.

Infantry of the Line in grey; Zouaves in blue and red; Senegalese wore
dark blue and the Foreign Legion blue-grey. The Cavalry rode Arabs and
barbs mostly white stallions; they wore pale blue tunics and bright
scarlet breeches.

I rode down the lines of Infantry first and then galloped through the
heavy sand to the right of the Cavalry and inspected them, by d'Amade's
request, at a trot, winding up with the six Batteries of Artillery. On
reaching the Saluting Base, I was introduced to the French Minister
whilst d'Amade presented colours to two Regiments (175th Regiment de
marche d'Afrique and the 4th Colonial Regiment) making a short and
eloquent speech.

He then took command of the parade and marched past me at the head of
his forces. Were all the Houris of Paradise waving lily hands on the one
side, and were these French soldiers on the other side, I would give my
cold shoulder to the Houris.

The Cavalry swung along at the trot to the cadence of the trumpets and
to the clink-clank and glitter of steel. The beautiful, high-stepping
barbs; the trembling of the earth beneath their hoofs; the banner
streaming; the swordsmen of France sweeping past the saluting base;
breaking into the gallop; sounding the charge; charging; _ventre a
terre_; out into the desert where, in an instant, they were snatched
from our sight and changed into a pillar of dust!

High, high soared our hopes. Jerusalem--Constantinople? No limit to what
these soldiers may achieve. The thought passed through the massed
spectators and set enthusiasm coursing through their veins. Loudly they
cheered; hats off; and hurrah for the Infantry! Hurrah, hurrah for the
Cavalry!! Hurrah, hurrah, hurrah for the 75s!!!

At the end I said a few farewell words to the French Minister and then
galloped off with d'Amade. The bystanders gave us, too, the warmest
greetings, the bulk of them (French and Greek) calling out "d'Amade!"
and the Britishers also shouting all sorts of things at the pitch of
their voices.

Almost lost my temper with Woodward, my new A.G., and this was the
thusness thereof:--

Time presses: K. prods us from the rear: the Admiral from the front. To
their eyes we seem to be dallying amidst the fleshpots of Egypt whereas,
really, we are struggling like drowning mariners in a sea of chaos;
chaos in the offices; chaos on the ships; chaos in the camps; chaos
along the wharves; chaos half seas over rolling down the Seven Sisters
Road. The powers of Maxwell as C.-in-C., Egypt; of the Sultan and
McMahon, High Commissioner of Egypt, and of myself, C.-in-C., M.E.F.,
not to speak of the powers of our police civil and military, have all to
be defined and wheeled into line. We cannot go rushing off into space
leaving Pandemonium behind us as our Base! I know these things from a
very long experience. Braithwaite believes in the principle as a student
and ex-teacher of students. And yet that call to the front!

We've _got_ to tackle the landing scheme on the spot and quick. Luckily
the problems at Alexandria are _all_ non-tactical; pure A.G. and Q.M.G.
Staff questions; whereas, at present, the problems awaiting me at the
Dardanelles are mainly tactical; G.S. questions. So I am going to treat
G.H.Q. as Solomon threatened to treat the baby; i.e., leave the
Administrative Staff here until they knock their pidgin more or less
into shape and send off the G.S. to pluck _their_ pidgin at the Straits.
The Q. people have still to commandeer offices for Woodward's men, three
quarters of whom stay here permanently to do the casualty work; they
have to formulate a local code of discipline; take up buildings for base
hospitals and arrange for their personnel and equipment; outline their
schemes for getting sick and wounded back from the front; finish up the
loading of the ships, etc., etc., etc., _ad infinitum_. Whilst the Q.
Staff are thus pulling their full weight, the G. Staff will sail off
quickly and put their heads together with the Admiral and his Staff. As
to myself, I'm off: I cannot afford to lose more time in getting into
touch with the sailors, and the scene of action.

All was well until the Commander-in-Chief said he was going, but that
moment arose the good old trouble--the trouble which muddled our start
for the Relief of Chitral and ruined the Tirah Campaign. Everyone wants
to rush off to the excitement of the firing line--(a spasm usually cured
by the first hard fight), and to leave the hum-drum business of the Base
and Line of Communication to shift for itself. Braithwaite, of all
people, was good natured enough to plead for the Administration. He came
to tell me that it might tend towards goodwill amongst the charmed
circle of G.H.Q. if even now, at the eleventh hour, I would sweeten
Woodward by bringing him along. I said, yes, if he, Braithwaite, would
stand surety that he, Woodward, had fixed up his base hospitals and
third echelon, but if not, no! Next came Woodward himself. With great
pertinacity he represented that his subordinates could do all that had
to be done at the base. He says he speaks for the Q.M.G., as well as for
the Director General of Medical Services, and that they all want to
accompany me on my reconnaissance of the coasts of the Peninsula. I was
a little sharp with him. These heads of Departments think they must be
sitting in the C.-in-C.'s pocket lest they lose caste. But I say the
Departments must be where their work lies, or else the C.-in-C. will
lose caste, and luckily he can still put his own Staff where he will.
Finally, I agreed to take with me the Assistant to the Director of
Medical Services to advise his own Chief as to the local bearings of his
scheme for clearing out the sick and wounded; the others stay here until
they get their several shows into working order, and with that my A.G.
had fain to be content.

D'Amade and two or three Frenchmen are dining with me to-night. Sir John
Maxwell has just arrived.

_6th April, 1915. Alexandria._ Started out at 9.15 with d'Amade and Sir
John to review the Mounted troops of the 29th Division. We first saw
them march down the road in column of route. What a contrast between
these solid looking men on their magnificent weight-carrying horses and
our wiry little Allies on their barbs and Arabs. The R.H.A. were superb.

After seeing the troops I motored to Mex Camp and inspected the 86th and
87th Infantry Brigades. There was a strong wind blowing which tried to
spoil the show, but could not--that Infantry was too superb! Alexander,
Hannibal, Caesar, Napoleon; not one of them had the handling of
legionaries like these. The Fusilier Brigade were the heavier. If we
don't win, I won't be able to put it on the men.

Maxwell left at 4 p.m. for Cairo. I have pressed him hard about Cox's
Indian Brigade and told him of my conversation with Cox himself and of
how keen all ranks of the Brigade are to come. No use. He expects, so he
says, a big attack on the Canal any moment; he has heard nothing from
K.; the fact that K. has ignored my direct appeal to him shows he would
not approve, etc., etc., etc. All this is just the line I myself would
probably take--I admit it--if asked by another General to part with my
troops. The arrangement whereby I have to sponge on Maxwell for men if I
want them is a detestable arrangement. At the last he consented to cable
K. direct on the point himself and then he is to let me know. Two things
are quite certain; the Brigade are not wanted in Egypt. Old campaigners
versed in Egyptian war lore tell me that the drying up of the wells must
put the lid on to any move across the desert until the winter rains,
and, apart from this, how in the name of the beard of their own false
prophet can the Turks attack Egypt whilst we are at the gates of
Constantinople?

But if the Brigade are not wanted on the Canal, we are bound to be the
better for them at the Dardanelles, whatever course matters there may
take. Concentration is the cue! The German or Japanese General Staffs
would tumble to these truths and act upon them presto. K. sees them too,
but nothing can overcome his passion for playing off one Commander
against another, whereby K. of K. keeps all reins in his hands and
remains sole arbiter between them.

Birdwood has just turned up. We're off to-morrow evening.

'Phoned Maxwell last thing telling him to be sure not to forget to jog
K.'s elbow about Cox and his Gurkhas.

_7th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." 10 p.m._ D'Amade looked in to say
good-bye.

On my way down to the harbour I overhauled the Assyrian Jewish Refugee
Mule Corps at the Wardian Camp. Their Commander, author of that
thrilling shocker, "The Man-killers of Tsavo," finds Assyrians and mules
rather a mouthful and is going to tabloid bipeds and quadrupeds into
"The Zion Corps." The mules look very fit; so do the Assyrians and,
although I did not notice that their cohorts were gleaming with purple
or gold, they may help us to those habiliments: they may, in fact, serve
as ground bait to entice the big Jew journalists and bankers towards our
cause; the former will lend us the colour, the latter the coin. Anyway,
so far as I can, I mean to give the chosen people a chance.

Got aboard at 5.15, but owing to some hitch in the arrangements for
filling up our tanks with fresh water, we are held up and won't get off
until to-morrow morning.

If there drops a gnat into the ointment of the General, be sure there
are ten thousand flies stinking the ointment of the troops.

_8th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian."_ Sailing free to the Northwards. A
fine day and a smooth sea. What would not Richard Coeur de Lion or
Napoleon have given for the _Arcadian_ to take them to St. Jean d'Acre
and Jerusalem?

As we were clearing harbour a letter was brought out to us by a launch:

                                                       "UNION CLUB,
                                                          "ALEXANDRIA.

"The following telephone received from General Maxwell, Cairo:--Your
message re Cox, I will do my best to meet your wishes. Will you in your
turn assist me in getting the seaplanes arriving here in _Ganges_? I
have wired to Admiral de Robeck, I want them badly, so please help me if
you can.

                 "_Forwarded by_ ADMIRAL ROBINSON."

Cutlet for cutlet! I wish it had occurred to me sooner to do a deal with
some aeroplanes. But, then I have none. No matter: I should have
promised him de Robeck's! South Africa repeats itself! Egypt and Mudros
are not one but two. Maxwell and I are co-equal allies; _not_ a combine
under a Boss!




CHAPTER IV

CLEARING FOR ACTION


_9th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian."_ Isles of the Aegean; one more lovely
than the other; weather warm; wireless off; a great ship steaming fast
towards a great adventure--why do I walk up and down the deck feeling a
ton's weight of trouble weighing down upon my shoulders? Never till
to-day has solicitude become painful. This is the fault of Birdwood,
Hunter-Weston and Paris. I read their "appreciations of the situation"
some days ago, but until to-day I have not had the unbroken hour needed
to digest them. Birdwood begins by excusing himself in advance against
any charge of vacillation. At our first meeting he said he was convinced
our best plan would be to go for the South of the Gallipoli Peninsula.
Now he has, in fact, very much shifted his ground under the influence of
a new consideration, "(which I only learned after leaving Lemnos) that
the Turks now have guns or howitzers on the Asiatic side which could
actually command our transports should they anchor off Morto Bay." "As I
told you," he says, "after thinking it out thoroughly, I was convinced
our best plan would be to go for the South of the Gallipoli Peninsula,"
but now he continues, he finds his Staff "all seem to be keen on a
landing somewhere between Saros Bay and Enos. For this I have no use, as
though I think we should doubtless be able to effect a landing there
pretty easily, yet I do not see that we shall be any 'forrarder' by
doing so. We might put ourselves in front of the Bulair Lines, but there
would be far less object in attacking them and working South-west with
the Navy only partially able to help us, than by working up from the
other end with the Navy on either flank."

Birdwood himself rather inclines towards a landing on the Asiatic side,
for preference somewhere South of Tenedos. The attractive part of his
idea is that if we did this the Turks must withdraw most of their mobile
artillery from the Peninsula to meet us, which would give the Navy just
the opportunity they require for mine-sweeping and so forcing the
Narrows forthwith. They know they can give the superstition of old Forts
being stronger than new ships its quietus if only they can clear a
passage through the minefield. There are forts and forts, ships and
ships, no doubt. But from what we have done already the sailors know
that our ships here can knock out those forts here. But first they must
tackle the light guns which protect the minefield from the sweepers.
Birdwood seems to think we might dominate the Peninsula from the country
round Chunuk. In his P.S. he suggests that anyway, if we are beaten off
in our attempt to land on the Peninsula we may have this Asiatic scheme
in our mind as a second string. Disembarkation plans already made would
"probably be suitable _anywhere_ with very slight modifications. We
might perhaps even think of this--if we try the other first and can't
pull it off?"

In my answer, I say I am still for taking the shortest, most direct
route to my objective, the Narrows.

First, because "I have no roving commission to conquer Asia Minor." My
instructions deny me the whole of that country when they lay down as a
principle that "The occupation of the Asiatic side by military forces is
to be strongly deprecated."

Secondly, because I agree that a landing between Saros Bay and Enos
would leave us no "forrarder." There we should be attacked in front from
Rodosto; in flank from Adrianople; in rear from Bulair; whilst, as we
advanced, we would lose touch with the Fleet. But if our scheme is to be
based on severance from the Fleet we must delay another month or six
weeks to collect pack transport.

Thirdly, the Asiatic side _does not_ dominate the Peninsula whereas the
Kilid Bahr plateau _does_ dominate the Asiatic narrows.

Fourthly, the whole point of our being here is to work hand-in-glove
with the Fleet. We are here to help get the Fleet through the
Dardanelles in the first instance and to help the Russians to take
Constantinople in the second. The War Office, the Admiralty, the
Vice-Admiral and the French Commander-in-Chief all agree now that the
Peninsula is the best place for our first step towards these objects.

Hunter-Weston's appreciation, written on his way out at Malta, is a
masterly piece of work. He understands clearly that our true objective
is to let our warships through the Narrows to attack Constantinople.
"The immediate object," he says, "of operations in the Dardanelles is to
enable our warships, with the necessary colliers and other unarmoured
supply ships--without which capital ships cannot maintain themselves--to
pass through the Straits in order to attack Constantinople."

And again:--

"It is evident that land operations at this stage must be directed
entirely towards assisting the Fleet; and no operations should be
commenced unless it is clear that their result will be to enable our
warships, with their necessary colliers, etc., to have the use of the
Straits."

The Fleet, he holds, cannot do this without our help because of:--

  (1). Improvement of the defences.
  (2). The mobile howitzers.
  (3). The Leon floating mines.

Things being so, he sets himself to consider how far the Army can help,
in the light of the following premises:--

"The Turkish Army having been warned by our early bombardments and by
the landings carried out some time ago, has concentrated a large force
in and near the Gallipoli Peninsula."

"It has converted the Peninsula into an entrenched camp, has, under
German direction, made several lines of entrenchments covering the
landing places, with concealed machine gun emplacements and land mines
on the beach; and has put in concealed positions guns and howitzers
capable of covering the landing places and approaches with their fire."

"The Turkish Army in the Peninsula is being supplied and reinforced from
the Asiatic side and from the Sea of Marmora and is not dependent on the
Isthmus of Bulair. The passage of the Isthmus of Bulair by troops and
supplies at night cannot be denied by the guns of our Fleet."

After estimates of our forces and of the difficulties they may expect to
encounter, Hunter-Weston comes to the conclusion that, "the only landing
places worth serious consideration are:

  "(1). Those near Cape Suvla,
   (2). Those near Cape Helles."

Of these two he advises Helles, because:--"the Fleet can also surround
this end of the Peninsula and bring a concentrated fire on any Turks
holding it. We, therefore, should be able to make sure of securing the
Achi Baba position." Also, because our force is too weak to hold the big
country round Suvla Bay and at the same time operate against Kilid Bahr.

If this landing at Helles is successful, he considers the probable
further course of the operations. Broadly, he thinks that we are so
short of ammunition and particularly of high explosive shell that there
is every prospect of our getting tied up on an extended line across the
Peninsula in front of the Kilid Bahr trenches. Should the enemy
submarines arrive we should be "up a tree."

The cards in the game of life are the characters of men. Staking on
those cards I take my own opinions--always. But when we play the game of
death, things are our counters--guns, rivers, shells, bread, roads,
forests, ships--and in totting up the values of these my friend
Hunter-Weston has very few equals in the Army.

Therefore, his conclusion depresses me very much, but not so much as it
would have done had I not seen him. For certainly during his conference
on the 30th March with d'Amade and myself he never said or implied in
any way that under conditions as he found them and as they were then set
before him, there was no reasonable prospect of success:--quite the
contrary. Here are the conclusions as written at Malta:--

"Conclusion. The information available goes to show that if this
Expedition had been carefully and secretly prepared in England, France
and Egypt, and the Naval and Military details of organisation, equipment
and disembarkation carefully worked out by the General Staff and the
Naval War Staff, and if no bombardment or other warning had been given
till the troops, landing gear, etc., were all ready and despatched, (the
troops from England ostensibly for service in Egypt and those in Egypt
ostensibly for service in France) the capture of the Gallipoli
Peninsula and the forcing of the Dardanelles would have been successful.

"Von der Goltz is reported to have visited the Dardanelles on 11th
February and before that date it appears that very little had been done.

"Now big guns have been brought from Chatalja, Adrianople and
elsewhere,--roads have been made,--heavy movable armaments
provided,--troops and machine guns have been poured into the
Peninsula,--several lines of trenches have been dug,--every landing
place has been trenched and mined, and all that clever German Officers
under Von der Goltz can design, and hard working diggers like the Turks
can carry out, has been done to make the Peninsula impregnable.

"The prizes of success in this Expedition are very great.

"It was indeed the most hopeful method of finishing the war.

"No loss would be too heavy and no risks too great if thereby success
would be attained.

"But if the views expressed in this paper be sound, there is not in
present circumstances a reasonable chance of success. (The views are
founded on the information available to the writer at the time of
leaving Malta, and may be modified by further information at first hand
on arrival at Force Head Quarters.)

"The return of the Expedition when it has gone so far will cause
discontent, much talk, and some laughter; will confirm Roumania and
Greece in the wisdom of their neutrality, and will impair the power of
our valuable friend M. Venezelos. It will be a heavy blow to all of us
soldiers, and will need great strength and moral courage on the part of
the Commander and Government.

"But it will not do irreparable harm to our cause, whereas to attempt a
landing and fail to secure a passage through the Dardanelles would be a
disaster to the Empire.

"The threat of invasion by the Allies is evidently having considerable
effect on the Balkan States.

"It is therefore advisable to continue our preparations;--to train our
troops for landing, and to get our expedition properly equipped and
organised for this difficult operation of war; so as to be ready to take
advantage of any opportunity for successful action that may occur.

"But I would repeat; no action should be taken unless it has been
carefully thought out in all its possibilities and details and unless
there is a reasonable _probability_ of success.

                                              "A. HUNTER-WESTON, M.G."

Paris's appreciation gives no very clear lead. "The enemy is of strength
unknown," he says, "but within striking distance there must be 250,000."
He also lays stress on the point that the enemy are expecting
us--"Surprise is now impossible--.... The difficulties are now increased
a hundredfold.... To land would be difficult enough if surprise was
possible but hazardous in the extreme under present conditions." He
discusses Gaba Tepe as a landing place; also Smyrna, and Bulair. On the
whole, he favours Sedd-el-Bahr as it "is the only place where transports
could come in close and where the actual landing may be unopposed. It is
open to question whether a landing could be effected elsewhere. With the
aid of the Fleet it may be possible to land near Cape Helles almost
unopposed and an advance of ten miles would enormously facilitate the
landing of the remainder South of Gaba Tepe."

The truth is, every one of these fellows agrees in his heart with old
Von der Goltz, the Berlin experts, and the Sultan of Egypt that the
landing is impossible. Well, we shall see, D.V., we shall see!! One
thing is certain: we must work up our preparations to the _n_th degree
of perfection: the impossible can only be overborne by the
unprecedented; i.e., by an original method or idea.

_10th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ Cast anchor at 7 a.m. After
breakfast went on board the _Queen Elizabeth_ where Braithwaite and I
worked for three hours with Admiral de Robeck, Admiral Wemyss and
Commodore Roger Keyes.

Last time the Admiral made the running; to-day it was my turn for I had
to unfold my scheme and go through it point by point with the sailors.
But first I felt it my duty to read out the appreciations of
Hunter-Weston, Birdwood and Paris. Then I gave them my own view that
history had never offered any nation so clean cut a chance of bringing
off an immeasurably big coup as she had done by putting our Fleet and
Army precisely where it was at present on the map of the war world. Half
that unique chance had already been muddled away by the lack of secrecy
and swiftness in our methods. With check mate within our grasp we had
given two moves to the enemy. Still, perhaps; nay, probably, there was
time. Were we to prolong hesitation, or, were we, now that we had done
the best we could with the means under our hands, to go boldly forward?
Here was the great issue: there was no use discussing detail until the
principle was settled. By God's mercy the Vice-Admiral, Wemyss and Keyes
were all quite clear and quite determined. They rejected Bulair; they
rejected Asia; most of all they spurned the thought of further delay or
of hanging about hoping for something to turn up.

So I then told them my plan. The more, I said, I had pondered over the
map and reflected upon the character, probable numbers and supposed
positions of the enemy, the more convinced I had become that the first
and foremost step towards a victorious landing was to upset the
equilibrium of Liman von Sanders, the enemy Commander who has succeeded
Djavad in the Command of the Fifth Army. I must try to move so that he
should be unable to concentrate either his mind or his men against us.
Here I was handicapped by having no knowledge of my opponent whereas the
German General Staff is certain to have transferred the "life-like
picture" Schroeder told me they had of me to Constantinople. Still, sea
power and the mobility it confers is a great help, and we ought to be
able to rattle the enemy however imperturbable may be his nature and
whatever he knows about us if we throw every man we can carry in our
small craft in one simultaneous rush against selected points, whilst
using all the balance in feints against other likely places. Prudence
here is entirely out of place. There will be and can be no
reconnaissance, no half measures, no tentatives. Several cautious
proposals have been set before me but this is neither the time nor the
place for paddling about the shore putting one foot on to the beaches
with the idea of drawing it back again if it happens to alight upon a
land mine. No; we've got to take a good run at the Peninsula and jump
plump on--both feet together. At a given moment we must plunge and stake
everything on the one hazard.

I would like to land my whole force in one,--like a hammer stroke--with
the fullest violence of its mass effect--as close as I can to my
objective, the Kilid Bahr plateau. But, apart from lack of small craft,
the thing cannot be done; the beach space is so cramped that the men and
their stores could not be put ashore. I have to separate my forces and
the effect of momentum, which cannot be produced by cohesion, must be
reproduced by the simultaneous nature of the movement. From the South,
Achi Baba mountain is our first point of attack, and the direct move
against it will start from the beaches at Cape Helles and Sedd-el-Bahr.
As it is believed that the Turks are there in some force to oppose us,
envelopment will be attempted by landing detachments in Morto Bay and
opposite Krithia village. At the same time, also, the A. and N.Z. Corps
will land between Gaba Tepe and Fisherman's Hut to try and seize the
high backbone of the Peninsula and cut the line of retreat of the enemy
on the Kilid Bahr plateau. In any case, the move is bound to interfere
with the movements of Turkish reinforcements towards the toe of the
Peninsula. While these real attacks are taking place upon the foot and
at the waist of the Peninsula, the knife will be flourished at its neck.
Transports containing troops which cannot be landed during the first two
days must sail up to Bulair; make as much splash as they can with their
small boats and try to provide matter for alarm wires to Constantinople
and the enemy's Chief.

So much for Europe. Asia is forbidden but I hold myself free, as a
measure of battle tactics, to take half a step Troywards. The French are
to land a Brigade at Kum Kale (perhaps a Regiment may do) so as, first,
to draw the fire of any enemy big guns which can range Morto Bay;
secondly, to prevent Turkish troops being shipped across the Narrows.

With luck, then, within the space of an hour, the enemy Chief will be
beset by a series of S.O.S. signals. Over an area of 100 miles, from
five or six places; from Krithia and Morto Bay; from Gaba Tepe; from
Bulair and from Kum Kale in Asia, as well as, if the French can manage
it, from Besika Bay, the cables will pour in. I reckon Liman von
Sanders will not dare concentrate and that he will fight with his local
troops only for the first forty-eight hours. But what is the number of
these local troops? Alas, there is the doubtful point. We think forty
thousand rifles and a hundred guns, but, if my scheme comes off, not a
tenth of them should be South of Achi Baba for the first two days. Hints
have been thrown out that we are asking the French cat to pull the
hottest chestnut out of the fire. Not at all. At Kum Kale, with their
own ships at their back, and the deep Mendere River to their front,
d'Amade's men should easily be able to hold their own for a day or
two,--all that we ask of them.

The backbone of my enterprise is the 29th Division. At dawn I intend to
land the covering force of that Division at Sedd-el-Bahr, Cape Helles
and, D.V., in Morto Bay. I tack my D.V. on to Morto Bay because the
transports will there be under fire from Asia unless the French succeed
in silencing the guns about Troy or in diverting their aim. Whether then
our transports can stick it or not is uncertain, like everything else in
war, only more so. They must if they can and if they can they must; that
is all that can be said at present.

As to the effort to be made to envelop the enemy's right flank along the
coast between Helles and Krithia, I have not yet quite fixed on the
exact spot, but I am personally bent upon having it done as even a small
force so landed should threaten the line of retreat and tend to shake
the confidence of any Turks resisting us at the Southernmost point.
Some think these cliffs along that North-west coast unclimbable, but I
am sure our fellows will manage to scramble up, and I think their losses
should be less in doing so than in making the more easy seeming lodgment
at Sedd-el-Bahr or Helles. The more broken and precipitous the glacis,
the more the ground leading up to the objective is dead. The guns of the
Fleet can clear the crest of the cliffs and the strip of sand at their
foot should then be as healthy as Brighton. If the Turks down at Helles
are nervous, even a handful landing behind their first line (stretching
from the old Castle Northwards to the coast) should make them begin to
look over their shoulders.

As to the A. and N.Z. landing, that will be of the nature of a strong
feint, which may, and we hope will, develop into the real thing. My
General Staff have marked out on the maps a good circular holding
position, starting from Fisherman's Hut in the North round along the
Upper Spurs of the high ridges and following them down to where they
reach the sea, a little way above Gaba Tepe. If only Birdwood can seize
this line and fix himself there for a bit, he should in due course be
able to push on forward to Kojah Dere whence he will be able to choke
the Turks on the Southern part of the Peninsula with a closer grip and a
more deadly than we could ever hope to exercise from far away Bulair.

We are bound to suffer serious loss from concealed guns, both on the sea
and also during the first part of our landing before we can win ground
for our guns. That is part of the hardness of the nut. The landings at
Gaba Tepe and to the South will between them take up all our small craft
and launches. So I am unable to throw the Naval Division into action at
the first go off. They will man the transports that sail to make a show
at Bulair.

This is the substance of my opening remarks at the meeting: discussion
followed, and, at the end, the Navy signified full approval. Neither de
Robeck, Wemyss nor Roger Keyes are men to buy pigs in pokes; they wanted
to know all about it and to be quite sure they could play their part in
the programme. Their agreement is all the more precious. They (the
Admirals and the Commodore) are also, I fancy, happier in their minds
now that they know for sure what we soldiers are after. Rumours had been
busy in the Fleet that we were shaping our course for Bulair. Had that
been the basis of my plan, we should have come to loggerheads, I think.
As it is, the sailors seem eager to meet us in every possible way. So
now we've got to get our orders out.

On maps and charts the scheme may look neat and simple. On land and
water, the trouble will begin and only by the closest thought and
prevision will we find ourselves in a position to cope with it. To throw
so many men ashore in so short a time in the teeth of so rapid a current
on to a few cramped beaches; to take the chances of finding drinking
water and of a smooth sea; these elemental hazards alone would suffice
to give a man grey hairs were we practising a manoeuvre exercise on
the peaceful Essex coast. So much thought; so much _band-o-bast_; so
much dove-tailing and welding together of naval and military methods,
signals, technical words, etc., and the worst punishment should any link
in the composite chain give way. And then--taking success for
granted--on the top of all this--comes the Turk; "unspeakable" he used
to be, "unknowable" now. But we shall give him a startler too. If only
our plans come off the Turk won't have time to turn; much less to bring
into play all the clever moves foreseen for him by some whose stomachs
for the fight have been satisfied by their appreciation of its dangers.

Units of the 29th Division have been coming along in their transports
all day. The bay is alive with ships.

_11th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian."_ One of those exquisite days when
the sunlight penetrates to the heart. Admiral Guepratte, commanding the
French Fleet, called at 9.45 and in due course I returned his visit,
when I was electrified to find at his cabin door no common sentry but a
Beefeater armed with a large battleaxe, dating from about the period of
Charlemagne. The Admiral lives quite in the old style and is a
delightful personage; very gay and very eager for a chance to measure
himself against the enemy. Guepratte, though he knows nothing
officially, believes that his Government are holding up their sleeve a
second French Division ear-marked Gallipoli! But why bottle up trumps;
trumps worth a King's ransome, or a Kaiser's? He gives twice who gives
quickly (in peace); he gives tenfold who gives quickly (in war). The
devil of it is the French dare not cable home to ask questions, and as
for myself, I have not been much encouraged--so far!

During the afternoon Admirals de Robeck and Wemyss came on board to work
together with the General Staff on technical details. They too have
heard these rumours about the second French Division, and Wemyss is in
dismay at the thought of having to squeeze more ships into Mudros
harbour. His anxiety has given me exactly the excuse I wanted, so I have
dropped this fly just in front of K.'s nose, telling him that "There are
persistent rumours here amongst the French that General d'Amade's
Command is to be joined by another French Division. Just in case there
is truth in the report you should know that Mudros harbour is as full as
it will hold until our dash for the Peninsula has been made." We will
see what he says. If the Division exists, then the Naval people will
recommend Bizerta for their base; the ships can sail right up to the
Peninsula from there and land right away until things on Lemnos and
Tenedos have shaken themselves down.

Our first Taube: it passed over the harbour at a great height. One of
our lumbering seaplanes went up after it like an owl in sunlight, but
could rise no higher than the masts of the Fleet.

_12th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ The _Queen Elizabeth_ has
been having some trouble with her engines and in the battle of the 18th
was only able to use one of her propellers. Now she has been overhauled
and the Admiral has asked me to come on board for her steam trials.
These are to take place along the coastline of the Peninsula and I have
got leave to bring with me a party selected from Divisions and Brigades.
So when I went aboard this morning at 8.30 there were about thirty-five
Officers present. Starting at once, we steamed at great pace half way up
the Gulf of Saros and about 1 o'clock turned to go back, slowing down
and closing in to let me take a second good look at the coast. Our
studies were enlivened by an amusing incident. Nearing Cape Helles, the
_Queen Elizabeth_ went astern, so as to test her reverse turbines. The
enemy, who must have been watching us like a mouse does a cat, had the
ill-luck to select just this moment to salute us with a couple of
shells. As they had been allowing for our speed they were ludicrously
out of it, the shot striking the water half a mile ahead. We then lay
off Cape Helles whilst a very careful survey of the whole of that
section was being made. The Turks, disgusted by their own bad aim, did
not fire again. On our way back we passed three fakes, old liners
painted up, funnelled and armed with dummy guns to take off the _Tiger_,
the _Inflexible_ and the _Indomitable_. Riding at anchor there, they had
quite the man-o'-war air and if they draw the teeth of enemy submarines
(their torpedoes), as they are meant to do, the artists should be given
decorations. At 6 p.m. dropped anchor and I transhipped myself to the
_Arcadian_. Birdwood and Hunter-Weston had turned up during the day; the
latter dined and is now more sanguine than myself. He has been getting
to know his new command better and he says that he did not appreciate
the 29th Division when he wrote his appreciation!

_13th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian."_ Heavy squalls of rain and wind last
night. _Band-o-bast_ badly upset; boats also bottoms upwards and at
dawn--here in harbour--we found ourselves clean cut off from the shore.
What a ticklish affair the great landing is going to be! How much at the
mercy of the winds and waves! Aeolus and Neptune have hardly lost power
since Greeks and Trojans made history out yonder!

Have sent K. an electrical pick-me-up saying that the height of the
_Queen Elizabeth_ fire control station had enabled me to see the lie of
the land better than on my previous reconnaissance, and that, given good
luck, we hope to get ashore without too great a loss.

In the afternoon the wind moderated and I spent an hour or two watching
practice landings by Senegalese. Our delay is loss, but yet not clear
loss; that's a sure thing. These niggy-wigs were as awkward as
golly-wogs in the boats. Every extra hour's practice will save some
lives by teaching them how to make short work of the ugliest bit of
their job.

_14th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian," Lemnos._ A day so exquisitely lovely
that it should be chronicled in deathless verse. But we gaze at the
glassy sea and turn to the deep blue cloudless sky, victory our only
thought.

Colonel Dick, King's Messenger, has arrived bringing letters up to 3rd
instant. Or rather, he was supposed to have brought them, and it was
hoped the abundance of his intelligence would have borne some relation
to the cost of his journey,--about L80 it has been reckoned. As a matter
of fact, apart from some rubbish, he brings _one_ letter for me; none
for any of the others. Not even a file of newspapers; not even a
newspaper! In India many, many years ago, we used to call Dick _Burra
dik hai_, Hindustani for, _it is a great worry_. So he is only playing
up to his sobriquet. The little ewe lamb is an epistle from Fitz giving
me a lively sketch of the rumpus at the War Office when its pontiffs
grasped for the first time the true bearing of their own orders. There
was a rush to saddle poor us with the delay as soon as the Cabinet began
to show impatience. They seem to have expected the 29th Division to
arrive at top speed in a united squadron to rush straightway ashore.
They don't yet quite realise, I daresay, that not one of their lovely
ships has yet put in an appearance. That the men who packed the
transports and fixed their time tables should say we are too slow is
hardly playing the game.

Never lose your hair: that is a good soldier's motto. My cable of last
night, wherein I tried to calm their minds by telling them the sea was
rough and that, even if every one had been here with gaiter buttons
complete, I must have waited for a change in the weather, has answered
Fitz's letter by anticipation.

Worked all day in my office like a nigger and by mid-day had got almost
as black as my simile! We are coaling and life has grown dark and noisy.
In the middle of it, Ashmead-Bartlett came aboard to see me. He has his
quarters on the _Queen Elizabeth_ as one of the Admiralty authorised
Press Correspondents, or rather, as the only authorised correspondent.
In Manchuria he was known and his writing was well liked. When he had
gone, de Robeck and I put through a good lot of business very smoothly.
A little later on, Captain Ivanoff, commanding H.I.M.S. _Askold_, (a
Russian cruiser well-known to fame in Manchurian days), did me the
honour to call.

After lunch went ashore and saw parties of Australians at embarking and
disembarking drill. Colonel Paterson, the very man who bear-led me on
tour during my Australian inspection, was keeping an eye on the "Boys."
The work of the Australians and Senegalese gave us a good object lesson
of the relative brain capacities of the two races. Next I went and
inspected the Armoured Car Section of the Royal Naval Division under
Lieutenant-Commander Wedgwood. He is a mighty queer chap. Took active
part in the South African War. Afterwards became a pacifist M.P.; here
he is again with war paint and tomahawk. Give me a Pacifist in peace and
a Jingo in war. Too often it is the other way about.

All this took me on to 5.30 p.m. and when I came back on board,
Hunter-Weston was here. He has been out since last night on H.M.S.
_Dartmouth_ to inspect the various landing places. His whole tone about
the Expedition has been transformed. Now he has become the most sanguine
of us all. He has great hopes that we shall have Achi Baba in our hands
by sunset on the day of landing. If so he thinks we need have no fear
for the future.

All is worked out now and I do not quite see how we could improve upon
our scheme with the means at our disposal. If these "means" included a
larger number of boats and steam launches, then certainly, by
strengthening our forces on either flank, viz., at Morto Bay (where we
are sending only one Battalion) and at a landing under the cliffs a mile
West of Krithia (where we are sending one Battalion), we should greatly
better our chances. Also, a battery of field guns attached to the Morto
Bay column, and a couple of mountain guns added to the Krithia column
would add to our prospects of making a real big scoop. But we cannot
spare the sea transport except by too much weakening and delaying the
landing at the point of the Peninsula; nor dare I leave myself without
any reserve under my own hand. I am inclined, all the same, to squeeze
one Marine Battalion out of the Naval Division to strengthen our threat
to Krithia. Hunter-Weston will be in executive command of everything
South of Achi Baba; Birdwood of everything to the North.

I went very closely with Hunter-Weston into the question of a day or
night attack. My own leanings are in favour of the first boat-loads
getting ashore before break of dawn, but Hunter-Weston is clear and
strong for daylight. There is a very strong current running round the
point; the exact lie of the beaches is unknown and he thinks the
confusion inseparable from any landing will be so aggravated by
attempting it in the dark that he had rather face the losses the men in
boats must suffer from aimed fire. Executively he is responsible and he
is backed by his naval associates.

Birdwood, on the other hand, is of one mind with me and is going to get
his first boat-loads ashore before it is light enough to aim. He has no
current to trouble him, it is true, but he is not landing on any
surveyed beach and the opposition he will meet with is even more unknown
than in the case of Helles and Sedd-el-Bahr.

When a sportsman goes shark fishing, he should beware lest he be
mistaken for the bait. Gaily I cast my fly over K. and now he has
snapped off my head. That story about a second French Division was
false. K. merely quotes the number of my question and adds, "The rumour
is baseless." Well, "_tant pis_," as Guepratte would say with a shrug of
his shoulders. Our first step won't have the weight behind it we had
permitted ourselves for some hours to hope. _Everywhere_ the first is
the step that counts but _nowhere_ more so than in an Oriental War.

Now that the French Division has been snuffed out, how about the Grand
Duke Nicholas, General Istomine and their Russian Divisions? Are they
also to prove phantoms? Certainly, in some form or another, they ought
to be brought into our scheme and, even if only at a distance, bring
some pressure to bear upon the Turks at the time of our opening move. I
think my best way of getting into touch will be by wireless from de
Robeck to the Russian Admiral in the Black Sea.

Dick dines, also Birdwood.

_15th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ Boarded H.M.S. _Dublin_
(Captain Kelly) at 9.30 this morning, where Admiral de Robeck met me.
Sailed at once and dropped anchor off Tenedos at noon.

Landed and made a close inspection of the Aerodrome where we were taken
round by two young friends of mine, Commander Samson and Captain Davies,
Naval Air Service. By a queer fluke these are the very two men with whom
I did my very first flight! On that never to be forgotten day Samson
took up Winston and Davies took me. Like mallards we shot over the
Medway and saw the battleships as if they were little children's
playthings far away down below us. Now the children are going to use
their pretty toys and will make a nice noise with them in the world.

After lunch spent the best part of two hours in a small cottage with
Samson and Keyes trying to digest the honey brought back by our busy
aeroplane bees from their various flights over Gallipoli. The Admiral
went off on some other naval quest.

Samson and Davies are fliers of the first water--and not only in the
air. They carry the whole technique of their job at their finger tips.
The result of K.'s washing his hands of the Air is that the Admiralty
run that element entirely. Samson is Boss. He has brought with him two
Maurice Farmans and three B.E.2s. The Maurice Farmans with 100 H.P.
Renaults; the B.E.2s with 70 Renaults. These five machines are good
although one of the B.E.2s is dead old.

Also, he brought eight Henri Farmans with 80 Gnome engines. He took them
because they were new and there was nothing else new; but they are no
use for war.

Two B.E.2C.s with 70 Renaults: these are absolutely useless as they
won't take a passenger.

One Broguet 200 H.P. Canton engine; won't fly.

Two Sopwith Scouts: 80 Gnome engines; very old and can't be used owing
to weakness of engine mounting.

One very old but still useful Maurice Farman with 140 Canton engine.
That is the demnition total and it pans out at five serviceable
aeroplanes for the Army. There are also some seaplanes with us but they
are not under Samson, and are purely for naval purposes. Amongst those
are two good "Shorts," but the others are no use, they say, being wrong
type and underpowered.

The total nominal strength of Samson's Corps is eleven pilots and one
hundred and twenty men. As everyone knows, no Corps or Service is ever
up to its nominal strength; least of all an Air Corps. The dangerous
shortage is that in two-seater aeroplanes as we want our Air Service now
for spotting and reconnaissances. If, _after_ that requirement had been
met, we had only a bombing force at our disposal, the Gallipoli
Peninsula, being a very limited space with only one road and two or
three harbours on it, could probably be made untenable.

Commander Samson's estimate of a minimum force for this "stunt," as he
calls our great enterprise, is 30 good two-seater machines; 24 fighters;
40 pilots and 400 men. So equipped he reckons he could take the
Peninsula by himself and save us all a vast lot of trouble.

But, strange as it may seem, flying is not my "stunt." I dare not even
mention the word "aeroplane" to K., and I have cut myself off from
correspondence with Winston. I did this thing deliberately as
Braithwaite reminds me every time I am tempted to sit down and unbosom
myself to one who would sympathise and lend us a hand if he could: in
truth, I am torn in two about this; but I still feel it is wiser and
better so; not only from the K. point of view but also from de Robeck's.
He (de Robeck) might be quite glad I should write once to Winston on one
subject but he would never be sure afterwards I was not writing on
others. On the way back I spoke to the Admiral, but I don't know whether
he will write himself or not. Ventured also a little bit out of my own
element in another direction, and begged him not to put off sending the
submarine through the Straits until the day of our landing, but to let
her go directly she was ready. He does not agree. He has an idea (I hope
a premonition) that the submarine will catch Enver hurrying down to the
scene of action if we wait till the day of the attack.

Even more than in the Fleet I find in the Air Service the profound
conviction that, if they could only get into direct touch with Winston
Churchill, all would be well. Their faith in the First Lord is, in every
sense, _touching_. But they can't get the contact and they are
thoroughly imbued with the idea that the Sea Lords are at the best
half-hearted; at the worst, actively antagonistic to us and to the whole
of our enterprise. The photographs, etc., I have studied make it only
too clear that the Turks have not let the grass grow under their feet
since the first bombardment; the Peninsula, in fact, is better defended
than it was. _Per contra_ the momentum, precision, swiftness and staying
power of our actual attack will be at least twice as great now as it
would have been at the end of March.

Returned to Lemnos about 7.30 p.m.

While we were away my Staff got aboard the destroyer _Colne_ and steamed
in her to the mouth of the Dardanelles. There the whole precious load of
red tabs transshipped to H.M.S. _Triumph_ (Captain Fitzmaurice), who
forthwith took up her station opposite Morto Bay and began firing salvos
with her 6-inch guns at the trenches on the face of the hill. At first
the Staff watched the show with much enjoyment from the bridge, but
when howitzers from the Asiatic side began to lob shell over the ship,
the Captain hustled them all into the conning tower. The Turks seem to
have shot pretty straight. The first three fell fifty yards short of the
ship; the fourth shell about twenty yards over her. The next three got
home. One cut plumb through the bridge (where all my brains had been
playing about two minutes previously) and burst on the deck just outside
the conning tower. Some cordite cartridges were lying outside of it and
these went off with a great flare. Another struck the funnel and the
third came in on the waterline. Fifteen more shells were then fired with
just a little bit too much elevation and passed over. Only two men were
wounded,--fractured legs. Captain Fitzmaurice now decided that honour
and dignity were satisfied and so fell back slowly towards Cape Helles
to try the effect of his guns on the barbed wire entanglements. A good
deal of ammunition was expended but only one hit on the entanglement was
registered, and that did not seem to do any harm. The fire was described
to me as inaccurate. The fact is, as was agreed between the two services
at Malta, the whole principle of naval gunnery is different from the
principles of garrison or field artillery shooting. Before they will be
much good at landmarks, the sailors will have to take lessons in the
art.

Passed a very interesting evening, every one excited, I with my
aeroplane reports; the Staff with the powder they had smelt.

Two of the Australian Commanding Officers dined and I showed them the
aerial photographs of the enemy trenches, etc. The face of one of them
grew very long; so long, in fact, that I feared he was afraid; for I own
these photos are frightening. So I said, "You don't seem to like the
look of that barbed wire, Colonel?" To which he replied, "I was worrying
how and where I would feed and water the prisoners."

_16th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ Spent the forenoon in
interviews beginning at 10 a.m. with de Robeck and Mr. Fitzmaurice, late
dragoman at the Embassy at Constantinople. Mr. Fitzmaurice says the
Turks will put up a great fight at the Dardanelles. They had believed in
the British Navy, and, a month ago, they were shaking in their shoes.
But they had not believed in the British Army or that a body so
infinitely small would be so saucy as to attack them on their own chosen
ground. Even now, he says, they can hardly credit their spies, or their
eyes, and it ought to be easy enough to make them think all this is a
blind, and that we are really going to Smyrna or Adramiti. They are fond
of saying, "If the English are fools enough to enter our mouth we only
have to close it." Enver especially brags he will make very short work
with us if we set foot so near to the heart of his Empire, and gives it
out that the whole of us will be marching through the streets of
Constantinople, not as conquerors, but as prisoners, within a week from
the date of our making the attempt. All the same, despite this bragging,
the Turks realise that if we were to get the Fleet through the Narrows;
or, if it were to force its own way through whilst we absorb the
attention of their mobile guns, the game would be up. So they are
straining every nerve to be ready for anything. The moral of all these
rather contradictory remarks is just what I have said time and again
since South Africa. The fact that war has become a highly scientific
business should not blind us to the other fact that its roots still draw
their nutriment from primitive feelings and methods; the feelings and
methods of boy scouts and Red Indians. It is a huge handicap to us here
that our great men keep all their tricks for their political friends and
have none to spare for their natural enemies. There has been very little
attempt to disguise our aims in England, and Maxwell and McMahon in
Egypt have allowed their Press to report every arrival of French and
British troops, and to announce openly that we are about to attack at
Gallipoli. I have protested and reported the matter to K. but nothing in
the strategic sphere can be done now although, in the tactical sphere,
we have several deceptions ready for them.

Colonel Napier, Military Attache at Sofia, and Braithwaite came in after
these pseudo-secrets had been discussed and joined in the conversation.
I doubt whether either Fitzmaurice or Napier have solid information as
to what is in front of us, and their yarns about Balkan politics are
neither here nor there. John Bull is quite out of his depth in the
defiles of the Balkans. With just so much pull over the bulk of my
compatriots as has been given me by my having spent a little time with
their Armies, I may say that the Balkan nations loathe and mistrust one
another to so great a degree that it is sheer waste of time to think of
roping them all in on our side, as Fitzmaurice and Napier seem to
propose. We may get Greece to join us, and Russia may get Roumania to
join her--_if we win here_--but then we make an enemy of Bulgaria, and
_vice versa_. If they will unearth my 1909 report at the War Office they
will see that, at that time, one Bulgarian Battalion of Infantry was
worth two Battalions of Roumanian Infantry--which may be a help to them
in making their choice. The Balkan problem is so intricate that it must
be simply handled. The simple thing is to pay your money and pick the
best card, knowing you can't have a full hand. So let us have no more
beating about the bush and may we be inspired to make use of the big
boom this Expedition has given to Great Britain in the Balkans to pick
out a partner straightway.

Birdie came later and we took stock together of ways and means. We see
eye to eye now on every point. Just before lunch we heard the transport
_Manitou_ had been attacked by a Turkish torpedo boat from Smyrna. The
first wireless came in saying the enemy had made a bad shot and only a
few men had been drowned lowering the boats. Admiral Rosy Wemyss and
Hope, the Flag-Captain, of the Q.E. were my guests and naturally they
were greatly perturbed. Late in the evening we heard that the Turkish
T.B. had been chased by our destroyers and had run ashore on a Greek
Island where she was destroyed (international laws notwithstanding) by
our landing parties.

At 7.30 p.m. Hunter-Weston came along and I had the best part of an hour
with him.

_17th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ Hunter-Weston came over
early to finish off business left undone last night. Admiral Wemyss also
took part in our discussions over the landing. Picture puzzles are
child's play compared with this game of working an unheard of number of
craft to and fro, in and out, of little bits of beaches. At mid-day the
_Manitou_ steamed into harbour and Colonel Peel, Commander of the
troops, came on board and reported fully to me about the attack by the
Turkish torpedo boat. The Turks seem to have behaved quite decently
giving our men time to get into their boats and steaming some distance
off whilst they did so. During the interval the Turks must have got wind
of British warships, for they rushed back in a great hurry and fired
torpedoes at so short a range that they passed under the ship. Very
exciting, we were told, watching them dart beneath the keel through the
crystal clear water. I can well believe it.

Went ashore in the afternoon to watch the Australian Artillery embark.
Spoke to a lot of the men, some of whom had met me during my tour
through Australia last year.

General Paris came to see me this evening.

_18th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ Working all morning in
office. In the afternoon inspected embarkation of some howitzers.
D'Amade turned up later from the _Southland_. We went over the landing
at Kum Kale. He is in full sympathy and understands. Winter, Woodward
and their administrative Staffs also arrived in the _Southland_ and have
taken up their quarters on this ship. They report everything fixed up at
Alexandria before they sailed. We are all together now and their coming
will be a great relief to the General Staff.

Quite hot to-day. Sea dead smooth. The usual ebb and flow of visitors.
Saw the three Corps Commanders and many Staff Officers. We are rather on
wires now that the time is drawing near; Woodward, though he has only
been here one night, is on barbed wires. His cabin is next the
signallers and he could not get to sleep. He wants some medical
detachments sent up post haste from Alexandria. I have agreed to cable
for them and now he is more calm. A big pow-wow on the "Q.E." (d'Amade,
Birdie, Hunter-Weston, Godley, Bridges, Guepratte, Thursby, Wemyss,
Phillimore, Vyvian, Dent, Loring), whereat the 23rd was fixed for our
attack and the naval landing orders were read and fully threshed out. I
did not attend as the meeting was rather for the purpose of going point
by point into orders already approved in principle than of starting any
fresh hares. Staff Officers who have only had to do with land operations
would be surprised, I am sure, at the amount of original thinking and
improvisation demanded by a landing operation. The Naval and Military
Beach Personnel is in itself a very big and intricate business which
has no place in ordinary soldier tactics. The diagrams of the ships and
transports; the lists of tows; the action of the Destroyers; tugs;
lighters; signal arrangements for combined operations: these are
unfamiliar subjects and need very careful fitting in. Braithwaite came
back and reported all serene; everyone keen and cooperating very
loyally. D'Amade has now received the formal letter I wrote him
yesterday after my interview and sees his way clear about Kum Kale.

Went ashore in the afternoon and saw big landing by Australians, who
took mules and donkeys with them and got them in and out of lighters.
These Australians are shaping into Marines in double quick time and
Cairo high jinks are wild oats sown and buried. Where everyone wants to
do well and to do it in the same way, discipline goes down as slick as
Mother's milk. Action is a discipline in itself.

The three Officers forming the French Mission to my Headquarters made
salaams, viz., Captain Bertier de Sauvigny, Lieutenant Pelliot and
Lieutenant de la Borde. The first is a man of the world, with manners
suave and distinguished; the second is a savant and knows the habits of
obscure and out of the way people. What de la Borde's points may be, I
do not know: he is a frank, good looking young fellow and spoke perfect
English.

_20th April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ A big wind rose in the
night.

A clerk from my central office at the Horse Guards developed small pox
this morning. No doubt he has been in some rotten hole in Alexandria and
this is the result,--a disgusting one to all of us as we have had to be
vaccinated.

Ready now, but so long as the wind blows, we have to twiddle our thumbs.

Got the full text of d'Amades' orders for his Kum Kale landing as well
as for the Besika Bay make-believe.

_21st April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ Blowing big guns. The event
with which old mother time is in labour is so big that her pains are
prodigious and prolonged out of all nature. So near are we now to our
opening that the storm means a twenty four hours' delay.

Have issued my orders to the troops. Yesterday our plans were but plans.
To-day the irrevocable steps out on to the stage.

                                                General Headquarters,
                                                   _21st April, 1915._

    _Soldiers of France and of the King._

Before us lies an adventure unprecedented in modern war. Together with
our comrades of the Fleet, we are about to force a landing upon an open
beach in face of positions which have been vaunted by our enemies as
impregnable.

The landing will be made good, by the help of God and the Navy; the
positions will be stormed, and the War brought one step nearer to a
glorious close.

"Remember," said Lord Kitchener when bidding adieu to your Commander,
"Remember, once you set foot upon the Gallipoli Peninsula, you must
fight the thing through to a finish."

The whole world will be watching your progress. Let us prove our selves
worthy of the great feat of arms entrusted to us.
                                              IAN HAMILTON, _General_.

_22nd April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ Wind worse than ever, but
weather brighter. Another twenty four hours' delay. Russian Military
Attache from Athens (Makalinsky) came to see me at 2.30 p.m. He cannot
give me much idea of how the minds of the Athenians are working. He says
our Russian troops are of the very best. Delay is the worst
nerve-cracker.

Charley Burn, King's Messenger, came; with him a Captain Coddan, to be
liaison between me and Istomine's Russians.

The King sends his blessing.

                       SPECIAL ORDER,

                                  General Headquarters,
                                         _22nd April, 1915._

The following gracious message has been received to-day by the General
Commanding:--

"The King wishes you and your Army every success, and you are
constantly in His Majesty's thoughts and prayers."

_23rd April, 1915. S.S. "Arcadian." Lemnos._ A gorgeous day at last;
fitting frame to the most brilliant and yet touching of pageants.

All afternoon transports were very, very slowly coming out of harbour
winding their way in and out through the other painted ships lying thick
on the wonderful blue of the bay. The troops wild with enthusiasm and
tremendously cheering especially as they passed the warships of our
Allies.

_Nunc Dimittis_, O Lord of Hosts! Not a man but knows he is making for
the jaws of death. They know, these men do, they are being asked to
prove their enemies to have lied when they swore a landing on
Gallipoli's shore could never make good. They know that lie must pass
for truth until they have become targets to guns, machine guns and
rifles--huddled together in boats, helpless, plain to the enemy's sight.
And they are wild with joy; uplifted! Life spins superbly through their
veins at the very moment they seek to sacrifice it for a cause. O death,
where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?

A shadow has been cast over the wonders of the day by a wireless to say
that Rupert Brooke is very dangerously ill--from the wording we fear
there can be no hope.

Dent, principal Naval Transport Officer, left to-day to get ready.
Wemyss said good-bye on going to take up command of his Squadron.

Have got d'Amade's revised orders for the landing at Kum Kale and also
for the feint at Besika Bay. Very clear and good.

At 7.15 p.m. we got this message from K.:--

"Please communicate the following messages at a propitious moment to
each of those concerned.

"(1) My best wishes to you and all your force in carrying to a
successful conclusion the operations you have before you, which will
undoubtedly have a momentous effect on the war. The task they have to
perform will need all the grit Britishers have never failed to show, and
I am confident your troops will victoriously clear the way for the Fleet
to advance on Constantinople.

"(2) Convey to the Admiral my best wishes that all success may attend
the Fleet. The Army knows they can rely on their energy and effective
co-operation while dealing with the land forces of the enemy.

"(3) Assure General d'Amade and the French troops of our entire
confidence that their courage and skill will result in the triumph of
their arms.

"(End of message)--" Personal:

"All my thoughts will be with you when operations begin."

We, here, think of Lord K. too. May his shadow fall dark upon the
Germans and strike the fear of death into their hearts.

Just got following from the Admiral:--

                                            "H.M.S. _Queen Elizabeth_,
                                                 "_23rd April, 1915._

  "My dear General,

"I have sent orders to all Admirals that operations are to proceed and
they are to take the necessary measures to have their commands in their
assigned positions by Sunday morning, April 25th!

"I pray that the weather may be favourable and nothing will prevent our
proceeding with the scheme. 'May heaven's light be our guide' and God
give us the victory.

"Think everything is ready and in some ways the delay has been useful,
as we have now a few more lighters and tugs available.

                        "Yours sincerely,
                            (_Sd._) "J. M. de Robeck."

I have sent a reply:--

                                      "S.S. _Arcadian_,
                                    _23rd April, 1915._

  "My dear Admiral,

"Your note just received gives expression to my own sentiments. The
sooner we get to work now the better and may the best cause win.

                        "Yours sincerely,
                              (_Sd._) "Ian Hamilton."

Rupert Brooke is dead. Straightaway he will be buried. The rest is
silence.

Twice was "the sight" vouchsafed me:--in London when I told Eddie I
would bespeak the boy's services; at Port Said when I bespoke them.

Death on the eve of battle, death on a wedding day--nothing so tragic
save that most black mishap, death in action after peace has been
signed. Death grins at my elbow. I cannot get him out of my thoughts. He
is fed up with the old and sick--only the flower of the flock will serve
him now, for God has started a celestial spring cleaning, and our star
is to be scrubbed bright with the blood of our bravest and our best.

Youth and poetry are the links binding the children of the world to come
to the grandsires of the world that was. War will smash, pulverise,
sweep into the dustbins of eternity the whole fabric of the old world:
therefore, the firstborn in intellect must die. Is _that_ the reading of
the riddle?

Almighty God, Watchman of the Milky Way, Shepherd of the Golden Stars,
have mercy upon us, smallest of the heavenly Shiners. Our star burns dim
as a corpse light: the huge black chasm of space closes in: if only by
blood ...? Thy Will be done. _En avant_--at all costs--_en avant_!




CHAPTER V

THE LANDING


_24th April, 1915. H.M.S. "Queen Elizabeth." Tenedos._ Boarded the Queen
Lizzie at 1.30 p.m. Anchored off Tenedos just before 4 p.m. Lay outside
the roadstead; close by us is the British Fleet with an Armada of
transports,--all at anchor. As we were closing up to them we spotted a
floating mine which must have been passed touch-and-go during the night
by all those warships and troopships. A good omen surely that not one of
them fell foul of the death that lurks in that ugly, horned devil--not
dead itself, but very much alive, for it answered a shot from one of our
three pounders with the dull roar and spitting of fire and smoke bred
for our benefit by the kindly German Kultur.

I hope I may sleep to-night. I think so. If not, my wakefulness will
wish the clock's hand forward.

_25th April, 1915. H.M.S. "Queen Elizabeth."_ Our _Queen_ chose the cold
grey hour of 4 a.m. to make her war toilette. By 4.15 she had sunk the
lady and put on the man of war. Gone were the gay companions; closed the
tight compartments and stowed away under armour were all her furbelows
and frills. In plain English, our mighty battleship was cleared for
action, and--my mind--that also has now been cleared of its everyday
lumber: and I am ready.

If this is a queer start for me, so it is also for de Robeck. In sea
warfare, the Fleet lies in the grip of its Admiral like a platoon in the
hands of a Subaltern. The Admiral sees; speaks the executive word and
the whole Fleet moves; not, as with us, each Commander carrying out the
order in his own way, but each Captain steaming, firing, retiring to the
letter of the signal. In the Navy the man at the gun, the man at the
helm, the man sending up shells in the hoist has no discretion unless
indeed the gear goes wrong, and he has to use his wits to put it right
again. With us the infantry scout, a boy in his teens perhaps, may have
to decide whether to open fire, to lie low or to fall back; whether to
bring on a battle or avoid it. But the Fleet to-day is working like an
army; the ships are widely scattered each one on its own, except in so
far as wireless may serve, and that is why I say de Robeck is working
under conditions just as unusual to him as mine are to me.

My station is up in the conning tower with de Robeck. The conning tower
is a circular metal chamber, like a big cooking pot. Here we are, all
eyes, like potatoes in the cooking pot aforesaid, trying to peep through
a slit where the lid is raised a few inches, _ad hoc_, as these blasted
politicians like to say. My Staff are not with me in this holy of
holies, but are stowed away in steel towers or jammed into 6-inch
batteries.

So we kept moving along and at 4.30 a.m. were off Sedd-el-Bahr. All
quiet and grey. Thence we steamed for Gaba Tepe and midway, about 5
o'clock, heard a very heavy fire from Helles behind us. The Turks are
putting up some fight. Now we are off Gaba Tepe!

The day was just breaking over the jagged hills; the sea was glassy
smooth; the landing of the lads from the South was in full swing; the
shrapnel was bursting over the water; the patter of musketry came
creeping out to sea; we are in for it now; the machine guns muttered as
through chattering teeth--up to our necks in it now. But would we be out
of it? No; not one of us; not for five hundred years stuffed full of
dullness and routine.

By 5.35 the rattle of small arms quieted down; we heard that about 4,000
fighting men had been landed; we could see boat-loads making for the
land; swarms trying to straighten themselves out along the shore; other
groups digging and hacking down the brushwood. Even with our glasses
they did not look much bigger than ants. God, one would think, cannot
see them at all or He would put a stop to this sort of panorama
altogether. And yet, it would be a pity if He missed it; for these
fellows have been worth the making. They are not charging up into this
Sari Bair range for money or by compulsion. They fight for love--all the
way from the Southern Cross for love of the old country and of liberty.
Wave after wave of the little ants press up and disappear. We lose sight
of them the moment they lie down. Bravo! every man on our great ship
longs to be with them. But the main battle called. The Admiral was keen
to take me when and where the need might most arise. So we turned South
and steamed slowly back along the coast to Cape Helles.

Opposite Krithia came another great moment. We have made good the
landing--sure--it is a fact. I have to repeat the word to myself several
times, "fact," "fact," "fact," so as to be sure I am awake and standing
here looking at live men through a long telescope. The thing seems
unreal; as though I were in a dream, instead of on a battleship. To see
words working themselves out upon the ground; to watch thoughts move
over the ground as fighting men....!

Both Battalions, the Plymouth and the K.O.S.B.s, had climbed the high
cliff without loss; so it was signalled; there is no firing; the Turks
have made themselves scarce; nothing to show danger or stress; only
parties of our men struggling up the sandy precipice by zigzags,
carrying munitions and large glittering kerosine tins of water. Through
the telescope we can now make out a number of our fellows in groups
along the crest of the cliff, quite peacefully reposing--probably
smoking. This promises great results to our arms--not the repose or the
smoking, for I hope that won't last long--but the enemy's surprise. In
spite of Egypt and the _Egyptian Gazette_; in spite of the spy system of
Constantinople, we have brought off our tactical _coup_ and surprised
the enemy Chief. The bulk of the Turks are not at Gaba Tepe; here, at
"Y," there are none at all!

In a sense, and no mean sense either, I am as much relieved, and as
sanguine too, at the _coup_ we have brought off here as I was just now
to see Birdie's four thousand driving the Turks before them into the
mountains. The schemes are not on the same scale. If the Australians get
through to Mal Tepe the whole Turkish Army on the Peninsula will be done
in. If the "Y" Beach lot press their advantage they may cut off the
enemy troops on the toe of the Peninsula. With any luck, the K.O.S.B.s
and Plymouths at "Y" should get right on the line of retreat of the
Turks who are now fighting to the South.

The point at issue as we sailed down to "X" Beach was whether that
little force at "Y" should not be reinforced by the Naval Division who
were making a feint against the Bulair Lines and had, by now, probably
finished their work. Braithwaite has been speaking to me about it. The
idea appealed to me very strongly because I have been all along most
keen on the "Y" Beach plan which is my own special child; and this would
be to make the most of it and press it for all it was worth. But, until
the main battle develops more clearly at Gaba Tepe and at Sedd-el-Bahr
I must not commit the only troops I have in hand as my
Commander-in-Chief's reserve.

When we got to "X" Beach the foreshore and cliffs had been made good
without much loss in the first instance, we were told, though there is a
hot fight going on just south of it. But fresh troops will soon be
landing:--so far so good. Further round, at "W" Beach, another lodgment
had been effected; very desperate and bloody, we are told by the Naval
Beachmaster: and indeed we can see some of the dead, but the Lancashire
Fusiliers hold the beach though we don't seem yet to have penetrated
inland. By Sedd-el-Bahr, where we hove to about 6.45, the light was very
baffling; land wrapped in haze, sun full in our eyes. Here we watched as
best we could over the fight being put up by the Turks against our
forlorn hope on the _River Clyde_. Very soon it became clear that we
were being held. Through our glasses we could quite clearly watch the
sea being whipped up all along the beach and about the _River Clyde_ by
a pelting storm of rifle bullets. We could see also how a number of our
dare-devils were up to their necks in this tormented water trying to
struggle on to land from the barges linking the River Clyde to the
shore. There was a line of men lying flat down under cover of a little
sandbank in the centre of the beach. They were so held under by fire
they dared not, evidently, stir. Watching these gallant souls from the
safety of a battleship gave me a hateful feeling: Roger Keyes said to me
he simply could not bear it. Often a Commander may have to watch
tragedies from a post of safety. That is all right. I have had my share
of the hair's breadth business and now it becomes the turn of the
youngsters. But, from the battleship, you are outside the frame of the
picture. The thing becomes monstrous; too cold-blooded; like looking on
at gladiators from the dress circle. The moment we became satisfied that
none of our men had made their way further than a few feet above sea
level, the _Queen_ opened a heavy fire from her 6-inch batteries upon
the Castle, the village and the high steep ground ringing round the
beach in a semi-circle. The enemy lay very low somewhere underground. At
times the _River Clyde_ signalled that the worst fire came from the old
Fort and Sedd-el-Bahr; at times that these bullets were pouring out from
about the second highest rung of seats on the West of that amphitheatre
in which we were striving to take our places. Ashore the machine guns
and rifles never ceased--tic tac, tic tac, brrrr--tic tac, tic tac,
brrrrrr...... Drowned every few seconds by our tremendous salvoes, this
more nervous noise crept back insistently into our ears in the interval.
As men fixed in the grip of nightmare, we were powerless--unable to do
anything but wait.

[Illustration: S.S. "River Clyde" "Central News" photo.]

When we saw our covering party fairly hung up under the fire from the
Castle and its outworks, it became a question of issuing fresh orders to
the main body who had not yet been committed to that attack. There was
no use throwing them ashore to increase the number of targets on the
beach. Roger Keyes started the notion that these troops might well be
diverted to "Y" where they could land unopposed and whence they might be
able to help their advance guard at "V" more effectively than by direct
reinforcement if they threatened to cut the Turkish line of retreat from
Sedd-el-Bahr. Braithwaite was rather dubious from the orthodox General
Staff point of view as to whether it was sound for G.H.Q. to barge into
Hunter-Weston's plans, seeing he was executive Commander of the whole
of this southern invasion. But to me the idea seemed simple common
sense. If it did not suit Hunter-Weston's book, he had only to say so.
Certainly Hunter-Weston was in closer touch with all these landings than
we were; it was not for me to force his hands: there was no question of
that: so at 9.15 I wirelessed as follows:

"G.O.C. in C. to G.O.C. _Euryalus_."

"Would you like to get some more men ashore on 'Y' beach? If so,
trawlers are available."

Three quarters of an hour passed; the state of affairs at Sedd-el-Bahr
was no better, and in an attack if you don't get better you get worse;
the supports were not being landed; no answer had come to hand. So
repeated my signal to Hunter-Weston, making it this time personal from
me to him and ordering him to acknowledge receipt. (Lord Bobs'
wrinkle):--

"General Hamilton to General Hunter-Weston, _Euryalus_.

"Do you want any more men landed at 'Y'? There are trawlers available.
Acknowledge the signal."

At 11 a.m. I got this answer:--

"From General Hunter-Weston to G.O.C. _Queen Elizabeth_.

"Admiral Wemyss and Principal Naval Transport Officer state that to
interfere with present arrangements and try to land men at 'Y' Beach
would delay disembarkation."

There was some fuss about the _Cornwallis_. She ought to have been back
from Morto Bay and lending a hand here, but she had not turned up. All
sorts of surmises. Now we hear she has landed our right flank attack
very dashingly and that we have stormed de Tott's Battery! I fear the
South Wales Borderers are hardly strong enough alone to move across and
threaten Sedd-el-Bahr from the North. But the news is fine. How I wish
we had left "V" Beach severely alone. Big flanking attacks at "Y" and
"S" might have converged on Sedd-el-Bahr and carried it from the rear
when none of the garrison could have escaped. But then, until we tried,
we were afraid fire from Asia might defeat the de Tott's Battery attack
and that the "Y" party might not scale the cliffs. The Turks are
stronger down here than at Gaba Tepe. Still, I should doubt if they are
in any great force; quite clearly the bulk of them have been led astray
by our feints, and false rumours. Otherwise, had they even a regiment in
close reserve, they must have eaten up the S.W.B. as they stormed the
Battery.

About noon, a Naval Officer (Lieutenant Smith), a fine fellow, came off
to get some more small arm ammunition for the machine guns on the _River
Clyde_. He said the state of things on and around that ship was "awful,"
a word which carried twentyfold weight owing to the fact that it was
spoken by a youth never very emotional, I am sure, and now on his mettle
to make his report with indifference and calm. The whole landing place
at "V" Beach is ringed round with fire. The shots from our naval guns,
smashing as their impact appears, might as well be confetti for all the
effect they have upon the Turkish trenches. The _River Clyde_ is
commanded and swept not only by rifles at 100 yards' range, but by
pom-poms and field guns. Her own double battery of machine guns mounted
in a sandbag revetment in her bows are to some extent forcing the enemy
to keep their heads down and preventing them from actually rushing the
little party of our men who are crouching behind the sand bank. But
these same men of ours cannot raise head or hand one inch beyond that
lucky ledge of sand by the water's brink. And the bay at Sedd-el-Bahr,
so the last messengers have told us, had turned red. The _River Clyde_
so far saves the situation. She was only ready two days before we
plunged.

At 1.30 heard that d'Amade had taken Kum Kale. De Robeck had already
heard independently by wireless that the French (the 6th Colonials under
Nogues) had carried the village by a bayonet charge at 9.35 a.m. On the
Asiatic side, then, things are going as we had hoped. The Russian
_Askold_ and the _Jeanne d'Arc_ are supporting our Allies in their
attack. Being so hung up at "V," I have told d'Amade that he will not be
able to disembark there as arranged, but that he will have to take his
troops round to "W" and march them across.

At two o'clock a large number of our wounded who had taken refuge under
the base of the arches of the old Fort at Sedd-el-Bahr began to signal
for help. The _Queen Elizabeth_ sent away a picket boat which passed
through the bullet storm and most gallantly brought off the best part of
them.

Soon after 2 o'clock we were cheered by sighting our own brave fellows
making a push from the direction of "W." We reckon they must be
Worcesters and Essex men moving up to support the Royal Fusiliers and
the Lancashire Fusiliers, who have been struggling unaided against the
bulk of the Turkish troops. The new lot came along by rushes from the
Westwards, across from "X" to "W" towards Sedd-el-Bahr, and we prayed
God very fervently they might be able to press on so as to strike the
right rear of the enemy troops encircling "V" Beach. At 3.10 the leading
heroes--we were amazed at their daring--actually stood up in order the
better to cut through a broad belt of wire entanglement. One by one the
men passed through and fought their way to within a few yards of a
redoubt dominating the hill between Beaches "W" and "V." This belt of
wire ran perpendicularly, not parallel, to the coastline and had
evidently been fixed up precisely to prevent what we were now about to
attempt. To watch V.C.s being won by wire cutting; to see the very
figure and attitude of the hero; to be safe oneself except from the off
chance of a shell,--was like being stretched upon the rack! All day we
hung _vis-a-vis_ this inferno. With so great loss and with so desperate
a situation the white flag would have gone up in the South African War
but there was no idea of it to-day and I don't feel afraid of it even
now, in the dark of a moonless night, where evil thoughts are given most
power over the mind.

Nor does Hunter-Weston. We had a hurried dinner, de Robeck, Keyes,
Braithwaite, Godfrey, Hope and I, in the signal office under the bridge.
As we were finishing Hunter-Weston came on board. After he had told us
his story, breathlessly and listened to with breathless interest, I
asked him what about our troops at "Y"? He thought they were now in
touch with our troops at "X" but that they had been through some hard
fighting to get there. His last message had been that they were being
hard pressed but as he had heard nothing more since then he assumed they
were all right--! Anyway, he was cheery, stout-hearted, quite a good
tonic and--on the whole--his news is good.

To sum up the doings of the day; the French have dealt a brilliant
stroke at Kum Kale; we have fixed a grip on the hills to the North of
Gaba Tepe; also, we have broken through the enemy's defences at "X" and
"W," two out of the three beaches at the South point of the Peninsula.
The "hold-up" at the third, "V" (or Sedd-el-Bahr) causes me the keenest
anxiety--it would never do if we were forced to re-embark at night as
has been suggested--we must stick it until our advance from "X" and "W"
opens that sally port from the sea. There is always in the background of
my mind dread lest help should reach the enemy _before_ we have done
with Sedd-el-Bahr. The enveloping attacks on both enemy flanks have come
off brilliantly, but have not cut the enemy's line of retreat, or so
threatened it that they have to make haste to get back. At "S" (Eski
Hissarlick or Morto Bay) the 2nd South Wales Borderers have landed in
very dashing style though under fire from big fortress artillery as well
as field guns and musketry. On shore they deployed and, helped by
sailors from the _Cornwallis_, have carried the Turkish trenches in
front of them at the bayonet's point. They are now dug in on a
commanding spur but are anxious at finding themselves all alone and say
they do not feel able, owing to their weakness, to manoeuvre or to
advance. From "Y," opposite Krithia, there is no further news. But two
good battalions at large and on the war path some four or five miles in
rear of the enemy should do something during the next few hours. I was
right, so it seems, about getting ashore before the enemy could see to
shoot out to sea. At Gaba Tepe; opposite Krithia and by Morto Bay we
landed without too much loss. Where we waited to bombard, as at Helles
and Sedd-el-Bahr, we have got it in the neck.

This "V" Beach business is the blot. Sedd-el-Bahr was supposed to be the
softest landing of the lot, as it was the best harbour and seemed to lie
specially at the mercy of the big guns of the Fleet. Would that we had
left it severely alone and had landed a big force at Morto Bay whence we
could have forced the Sedd-el-Bahr Turks to fall back.

One thing is sure. Whatever happens to us here we are bound to win
glory. There are no other soldiers quite of the calibre of our chaps in
the world; they have _esprit de corps_; they are _volunteers_ every one
of them; they are _for it_; our Officers--our rank and file--have been
so _entered_ to this attack that they will all die--that we will all
die--sooner than give way before the Turk. The men are not fighting
blindly as in South Africa: they are not fighting against forces with
whose motives they half sympathise. They have been told, and told again,
exactly what we are after. They understand. Their eyes are wide open:
they _know_ that the war can only be brought to an end by our joining
hands quickly with the Russians: they _know_ that the fate of the Empire
depends on the courage they display. Should the Fates so decree, the
whole brave Army may disappear during the night more dreadfully than
that of Sennacherib; but assuredly they will not surrender: where so
much is dark, where many are discouraged, in this knowledge I feel both
light and joy.

Here I write--think--have my being. To-morrow night where shall we be?
Well; what then; what of the worst? At least we shall have lived, acted,
dared. We are half way through--we shall not look back.

As night began to settle down over the land, the _Queen Elizabeth_
seemed to feel the time had come to give full vent to her wrath. An
order from the bridge, and, in the twinkling of an eye, she shook from
stem to stern with the recoil from her own efforts. The great ship was
fighting all out, all in action. Every gun spouted flame and a roar
went up fit to shiver the stars of Heaven. Ears stopped with wax; eyes
half blinded by the scorching yellow blasts; still, in some chance
seconds interval, we could hear the hive-like b rr rr rr rr rr r r r r
of the small arms plying on the shore; still see, through some break in
the acrid smoke, the profile of the castle and houses; nay, of the very
earth itself and the rocky cliff; see them all, change, break, dissolve
into dust; crumble as if by enchantment into strange new outlines, under
the enormous explosions of our 15-in. lyddite shells. Buildings gutted:
walls and trenches turned inside out and upside down: friend and foe
surely must be wiped out together under such a fire: at least they are
stupefied--must cease taking a hand with their puny rifles and machine
guns? Not so. Amidst falling ruins; under smoke clouds of yellow, black,
green and white; the beach, the cliffs and the ramparts of the Castle
began, in the oncoming dusk, to sparkle all over with hundreds of tiny
flecks of rifle fire.

Just before the shadows of night hid everything from sight, we could see
that many of our men, who had been crouching all day under the sandy
bank in the centre of the arena, were taking advantage of the pillars of
smoke raised between them and their enemy to edge away to their right
and scale the rampart leading to the Fort of Sedd-el-Bahr. Other small
clusters lay still--they have made their last attack.

Now try to sleep. What of those men fighting for their lives in the
darkness. I put them there. Might they not, all of them, be sailing
back to safe England, but for me? And I sleep! To sleep whilst thousands
are killing one another close by! Well, why not; I _must_ sleep whilst I
may. The legend whereby a Commander-in-Chief works wonders during a
battle dies hard. He may still lose the battle in a moment by losing
heart. He may still help to win the battle by putting a brave face upon
the game when it seems to be up. By his character, he may still stop the
rot and inspire his men to advance once more to the assault. The old
Bible idea of the Commander:--when his hands grew heavy Amalek
advanced; when he raised them and willed victory Israel prevailed
over the heathen! As regards directions, modifications, orders,
counter-orders,--in precise proportion as his preparations and operation
orders have been thoroughly conceived and carried out, so will the
actual conflict find him leaving the actual handling of the troops to
Hunter-Weston as I am bound to do. Old Oyama cooled his brain during the
battle of the Shaho by shooting pigeons sitting on Chinese chimneys.
King Richard before Bosworth saw ghosts. My own dark hours pass more
easily as I make my cryptic jottings in pedlar's French. The detachment
of the writer comes over me; calms down the tumult of the mind and paves
a path towards the refuge of sleep. No order is to be issued until I get
reports and requests. I can't think now of anything left undone that I
ought to have done; I have no more troops to lay my hands
on--Hunter-Weston has more than he can land to-night; I won't mend
matters much by prowling up and down the gangways. Braithwaite calls me
if he must. No word yet about the losses except that they have been
heavy. If the Turks get hold of a lot of fresh men and throw them upon
us during the night,--perhaps they may knock us off into the sea. No
General knows his luck. That's the beauty of the business. But I feel
sanguine in the spirit of the men; sanguine in my own spirit; sanguine
in the soundness of my scheme. What with the landing at Gaba Tepe and at
Kum Kale, and the feints at Bulair and Besika Bay, the Turkish troops
here will get no help to-night. And our fellows are steadily pouring
ashore.

_26th April, 1915. H.M.S. "Queen Elizabeth."_ At 12.5 a.m. I was dragged
out of a dead sleep by Braithwaite who kept shaking me by the shoulder
and saying, "Sir Ian! Sir Ian!!" I had been having a good time for an
hour far away somewhere, far from bloody turmoil, and before I quite
knew where I was, my Chief of Staff repeated what he had, I think, said
several times already, "Sir Ian, you've got to come right along--a
question of life and death--you must settle it!" Braithwaite is a cool
hand, but his tone made me wide awake in a second. I sprang from bed;
flung on my "British Warm" and crossed to the Admiral's cabin--not his
own cabin but the dining saloon--where I found de Robeck himself,
Rear-Admiral Thursby (in charge of the landing of the Australian and New
Zealand Army Corps), Roger Keyes, Braithwaite, Brigadier-General
Carruthers (Deputy Adjutant and Quartermaster-General of the Australian
and New Zealand Army Corps) and Brigadier-General Cunliffe Owen
(Commanding Royal Artillery of the Australian and New Zealand Army
Corps). A cold hand clutched my heart as I scanned their faces.
Carruthers gave me a message from Birdwood written in Godley's writing.
I read it aloud:--

"Both my Divisional Generals and Brigadiers have represented to me that
they fear their men are thoroughly demoralised by shrapnel fire to which
they have been subjected all day after exhaustion and gallant work in
morning. Numbers have dribbled back from firing line and cannot be
collected in this difficult country. Even New Zealand Brigade which has
been only recently engaged lost heavily and is to some extent
demoralised. If troops are subjected to shell fire again to-morrow
morning there is likely to be a fiasco as I have no fresh troops with
which to replace those in firing line. I know my representation is most
serious but if we are to re-embark it must be at once.
                                                   (_Sd._) "BIRDWOOD."

The faces round that table took on a look--when I close my eyes there
they sit,--a look like nothing on earth unless it be the guests when
their host flings salt upon the burning raisins. To gain time I asked
one or two questions about the tactical position on shore, but
Carruthers and Cunliffe Owen seemed unable to add any detail to
Birdwood's general statement.

I turned to Thursby and said, "Admiral, what do you think?" He said, "It
will take the best part of three days to get that crowd off the
beaches." "And where are the Turks?" I asked. "On the top of 'em!"
"Well, then," I persisted, "tell me, Admiral, what do _you_ think?"
"What do I think: well, I think myself they will stick it out if only it
is put to them that they must." Without another word, all keeping
silence, I wrote Birdwood as follows:--

"Your news is indeed serious. But there is nothing for it but to dig
yourselves right in and stick it out. It would take at least two days to
re-embark you as Admiral Thursby will explain to you. Meanwhile, the
Australian submarine has got up through the Narrows and has torpedoed a
gunboat at Chunuk. Hunter-Weston despite his heavy losses will be
advancing to-morrow which should divert pressure from you. Make a
personal appeal to your men and Godley's to make a supreme effort to
hold their ground.
                                               (_Sd._) "IAN HAMILTON."

"P.S. You have got through the difficult business, now you have only to
dig, dig, dig, until you are safe. Ian H."

The men from Gaba Tepe made off with this letter; not the men who came
down here at all, but new men carrying a clear order. Be the upshot what
it may, I shall never repent that order. Better to die like heroes on
the enemy's ground than be butchered like sheep on the beaches like the
runaway Persians at Marathon.

De Robeck and Keyes were aghast; they pat me on the back; I hope they
will go on doing so if things go horribly wrong. Midnight decisions take
it out of one. Turned in and slept for three solid hours like a top till
I was set spinning once more at 4 a.m.

At dawn we were off Gaba Tepe. Thank God the idea of retreat had already
made itself scarce. The old _Queen_ let fly her first shot at 5.30 a.m.
Her shrapnel is a knockout. The explosion of the monstrous shell darkens
the rising sun; the bullets cover an acre; the enemy seems stunned for a
while after each discharge. One after the other she took on the Turkish
guns along Sari Bair and swept the skyline with them.

A message of relief and thankfulness came out to us from the shore.
Seeing how much they loved us--or rather our Long Toms--we hung around
until about half-past eight smothering the enemy's guns whenever they
dared show their snouts. By that hour our troops had regained their grip
of themselves and also of the enemy, and the firing of the Turks was
growing feeble. An organised counter-attack on the grand scale at dawn
was the one thing I dreaded, and that has not come off; only a bit of a
push over the downland by Gaba Tepe which was steadied by one of our
enormous shrapnel. About this time we heard from Hunter-Weston that
there was no material change in the situation at Helles and
Sedd-el-Bahr. I wirelessed, therefore, to d'Amade telling him he would
not be able to land his men at "V" under Sedd-el-Bahr as arranged but
that he should bring all the rest of the French troops up from Tenedos
and disembark them at "W" by Cape Helles. About this time, also, i.e.,
somewhere about 9 a.m., we picked up a wireless from the O.C. "Y" Beach
which caused us some uneasiness. "We are holding the ridge," it said,
"till the wounded are embarked." Why "till"? So I told the Admiral that
as Birdwood seemed fairly comfortable, I thought we ought to lose no
time getting back to Sedd-el-Bahr, taking "Y" Beach on our way. At once
we steamed South and hove to off "Y" Beach at 9.30 a.m. There the
_Sapphire_, _Dublin_ and _Goliath_ were lying close inshore and we could
see a trickle of our men coming down the steep cliff and parties being
ferried off to the _Goliath_: the wounded no doubt, but we did not see a
single soul going _up_ the cliff whereas there were many loose groups
hanging about on the beach. I disliked and mistrusted the looks of these
aimless dawdlers by the sea. There was no fighting; a rifle shot now and
then from the crests where we saw our fellows clearly. The little crowd
and the boats on the beach were right under them and no one paid any
attention or seemed to be in a hurry. Our naval and military signallers
were at sixes and sevens. The _Goliath_ wouldn't answer; the _Dublin_
said the force was coming off, and we could not get into touch with the
soldiers at all. At about a quarter to ten the _Sapphire_ asked us to
fire over the cliffs into the country some hundreds of yards further in,
and so the _Queen E._ gave Krithia and the South of it a taste of her
metal. Not much use as the high crests hid the intervening hinterland
from view, even from the crow's nests. A couple of shrapnel were also
fired at the crestline of the cliff about half a mile further North
where there appeared to be some snipers. But the trickling down the
cliffs continued. No one liked the look of things ashore. Our chaps can
hardly be making off in this deliberate way without orders; and yet, if
they _are_ making off "by order," Hunter-Weston ought to have consulted
me first as Birdwood consulted me in the case of the Australians and New
Zealanders last night. My inclination was to take a hand myself in this
affair but the Staff are clear against interference when I have no
knowledge of the facts--and I suppose they are right. To see a part of
my scheme, from which I had hoped so much, go wrong before my eyes is
maddening! I imagined it: I pressed it through: a second Battalion was
added to it and then the South Wales Borderers' Company. Many sailors
and soldiers, good men, had doubts as to whether the boats could get in,
or whether, having done so, men armed and accoutred would be able to
scale the yellow cliffs; or whether, having by some miracle climbed,
they would not be knocked off into the sea with bayonets as they got to
the top. I admitted every one of these possibilities but said, every
time, that taken together, they destroyed one another. If the venture
seemed so desperate even to ourselves, who are desperadoes, then the
enemy Chief would be of the same opinion only more so; so that,
supposing we _did_ get up, at least we would not find resistance
organised against us. Whether this was agreed to, or not, I cannot say.
The logic of a C.-in-C. has a convincing way of its own. But in all our
discussions one thing was taken for granted--no one doubted that once
our troops had got ashore, scaled the heights and dug themselves in,
they would be able to hold on: no one doubted that, with the British
Fleet at their backs, they would at least maintain their bridge-head
into the enemy's vitals until we could decide what to do with it.

At a quarter past ten we steamed, with anxious minds, for Cape Helles,
and on the way there, Braithwaite and I finished off our first cable to
K.:--

"Thanks to God who calmed the seas and to the Royal Navy who rowed our
fellows ashore as coolly as if at a regatta; thanks also to the
dauntless spirit shown by all ranks of both Services, we have landed
29,000 upon six beaches in the face of desperate resistance from strong
Turkish Infantry forces well backed by Artillery. Enemy are entrenched,
line upon line, behind wire entanglements spread to catch us wherever we
might try to concentrate for an advance. Worst danger zone, the open
sea, now traversed, but on land not yet out of the wood. Our main
covering detachment held up on water's edge, at foot of amphitheatre of
low cliffs round the little bay West of Sedd-el-Bahr. At sunset last
night a dashing attack was made by the 29th Division South-west along
the heights from Tekke Burnu to set free the Dublins, Munsters and
Hants, but at the hour of writing they are still pinned down to the
beach.

"The Australians have done wonderfully at Gaba Tepe. They got 8,000
ashore to one beach between 3.30 a.m. and 8.30 a.m.: due to their
courage; organisation; sea discipline and steady course of boat
practice. Navy report not one word spoken or movement made by any of
these thousands of untried troops either during the transit over the
water in the darkness or nearing the land when the bullets took their
toll. But, as the keel of the boats touched bottom, each boat-load
dashed into the water and then into the enemy's fire. At first it seemed
that nothing could stop them, but by degrees wire, scrub and cliffs;
thirst, sheer exhaustion broke the back of their impetus. Then the
enemy's howitzers and field guns had it all their own way, forcing
attack to yield a lot of ground. Things looked anxious for a bit, but by
this morning's dawn all are dug in, cool, confident.

"But for the number and good shooting of Turkish field guns and
howitzers, Birdwood would surely have carried the whole main ridge of
Sari Bair. As it is, his troops are holding a long curve upon the crests
of the lower ridges, identical, to a hundred yards, with the line
planned by my General Staff in their instructions and pencilled by them
upon the map.

"The French have stormed Kum Kale and are attacking Yeni Shahr. Although
you excluded Asia from my operations, have been forced by tactical needs
to ask d'Amade to do this and so relieve us from Artillery fire from the
Asiatic shore.

"Deeply regret to report the death of Brigadier-General Napier and to
say that our losses, though not yet estimated, are sure to be very
heavy.

"If only this night passes without misadventures, I propose to attack
Achi Baba to-morrow with whatever Hunter-Weston can scrape together of
the 29th Division. Such an attack should force the enemy to relax their
grip on Sedd-el-Bahr. I can look now to the Australians to keep any
enemy reinforcements from crossing the waist of the Peninsula."[12]

Relief about Gaba Tepe is almost swallowed up by the "Y" Beach
fiasco--as we must, I suppose, take it to be. No word yet from
Hunter-Weston.

At Helles things are much the same as last night; only, the South Wales
Borderers are now well dug in on a spur above Morto Bay and are
confident.

At 1.45 d'Amade came aboard in a torpedo boat to see me. He has been
ashore at Kum Kale and reports violent fighting and, for the time being,
victory. A very dashing landing, the village stormed; house to house
struggles; failure to carry the cemetery; last evening defensive
measures, loopholed walls, barbed wire fastened to corpses; at night
savage counter attacks led by Germans; their repulse; a wall some
hundred yards long and several feet high of Turkish corpses; our own
losses also very heavy and some good Officers among them. All this
partly from d'Amade to me; partly his Staff to my Staff. Nogues and his
brave lads have done their bit indeed for the glory of the Army of
France. Meanwhile, d'Amade is anxious to get his men off soon: he cannot
well stay where he is unless he carries the village of Yeni Shahr. Yeni
Shahr is perched on the height a mile to the South of him, but it has
been reinforced from the Besika Bay direction and to take it would be a
major operation needing a disembarkation of at least the whole of his
Division. He is keen to clear out: I agreed, and at 12.5 he went to make
his preparations.

Ten minutes later, when we were on our way back to Gaba Tepe, the
Admiral and Braithwaite both tackled me, and urged that the French
should be ordered to hold on for another twenty-four hours--even if for
no longer. Had they only raised their point before d'Amade left the
_Queen Elizabeth_! As it is, to change my mind and my orders would upset
the French very much and--on the whole--I do not think we have enough to
go upon to warrant me in doing so. The Admiral has always been keen on
Kum Kale and I quite understand that Naval aspect of the case. But it is
all I can do, as far as things have gone, to hang on by my eyelids to
the Peninsula, and let alone K.'s strong, clear order, I can hardly
consent, as a soldier, to entangle myself further in Asia, before I have
made good Achi Baba. We dare not lose another moment in getting a firm
footing on the Peninsula and that was why I had signalled d'Amade from
Gaba Tepe to bring up all the rest of his troops from Tenedos and to
disembark them at "W" (seeing we were still held up at "V") and why I
cannot now perceive any other issue. We are not strong enough to attack
on both sides of the Straits. Given one more Division we might try: as
things are, my troops won't cover the mileage. On a small scale map, in
an office, you may make mole-hills of mountains; on the ground there's
no escaping from its features.

As soon as the French Commander took his leave, we steamed back for Gaba
Tepe, passing Cape Helles at 12.20 p.m. Weather now much brighter and
warmer. Passing "Y" Beach the re-embarkation of troops was still going
on. All quiet, the _Goliath_ says: the enemy was so roughly handled in
an attack they made last night that they do not trouble our
withdrawal--too pleased to see us go, it seems! So this part of our plan
has gone clean off the rails. Keyes, Braithwaite, Aspinall, Dawnay,
Godfrey are sick--but their disappointment is nothing to mine. De Robeck
agrees that we don't know enough yet to warrant us in fault-finding or
intervention. My orders ought to have been taken before a single
unwounded Officer or man was ferried back aboard ship. Never, since
modern battles were invented by the Devil, has a Commander-in-Chief been
so accessible to a message or an appeal from any part of the force. Each
theatre has its outfit of signallers, wireless, etc., and I can either
answer within five minutes, or send help, or rush myself upon the scene
at 25 miles an hour with the _Q.E.'s_ fifteen inchers in my pocket. Here
there is no question of emergency, or enemy pressure, or of haste; so
much we see plain enough with our own eyes.

Whilst having a hurried meal, Jack Churchill rushed down from the crow's
nest to say that he thought we had carried the Fort above Sedd-el-Bahr.
He had seen through a powerful naval glass some figures standing erect
and silhouetted against the sky on the parapet. Only, he argued, British
soldiers would stand against the skyline during a general action. That
is so, and we were encouraged to be hopeful.

On to Gaba Tepe just in time to see the opening, the climax and the end
of the dreaded Turkish counter attack. The Turks have been fighting us
off and on all the time, but this is--or rather I can happily now say
"was"--an organised effort to burst in through our centre. Whether
burglars or battles are in question, give me sunshine. What had been a
terror when Braithwaite woke me out of my sleep at midnight to meet the
Gaba Tepe deputation was but a heightened, tightened sensation thirteen
hours later.

No doubt the panorama was alarming, but we all of us somehow--we on the
_Q.E._--felt sure that Australia and New Zealand had pulled themselves
together and were going to give Enver and his Army a very disagreeable
surprise.

The contrast of the actual with the might-have-been is the secret of our
confidence. Imagine, had these brave lads entrusted to us by the
Commonwealth and Dominion now been crowding on the beaches--crowding
into their boats--whilst some desperate rearguard was trying to hold off
the onrush of the triumphant Turks. Never would any of us have got over
so shocking a disaster; now they are about to win their spurs (D.V.).

Here come the Turks! First a shower of shells dropping all along the
lower ridges and out over the surface of the Bay. Very pretty the
shells--at half a mile! Prince of Wales's feathers springing suddenly
out of the blue to a loud hammer stroke; high explosives: or else the
shrapnel; pure white, twisting a moment and pirouetting as children in
their nightgowns pirouette, then gliding off the field two or three
together, an aerial ladies' chain. Next our projectiles, Thursby's from
the _Queen_, _Triumph_, _Majestic_, _Bacchante_, _London_, and _Prince
of Wales_; over the sea they flew; over the heads of our fighters;
covered the higher hillsides and skyline with smudges of black, yellow
and green. Smoky fellows these--with a fiery spark at their core, and
wherever they touch the earth, rocks leap upwards in columns of dust to
the sky. Under so many savage blows, the labouring mountains brought
forth Turks. Here and there advancing lines; dots moving over green
patches; dots following one another across a broad red scar on the flank
of Sari Bair: others following--and yet others--and others--and others,
closing in, disappearing, reappearing in close waves converging on the
central and highest part of our position. The tic tac of the machine
guns and the rattle of the rifles accompanied the roar of the big guns
as hail, pouring down on a greenhouse, plays fast and loose amidst the
peals of God's artillery: we have got some guns right up the precipitous
cliff: the noise doubled; redoubled; quadrupled, expanded into one
immense tiger-like growl--a solid mass of the enemy showed itself
crossing the green patch--and then the good _Queen Lizzie_ picked up her
targets--crash!!! Stop your ears with wax.

The fire slackened. The attack had ebbed away; our fellows were holding
their ground. A few, very few, little dots had run back over that green
patch--the others had passed down into the world of darkness.

A signaller was flag-wagging from a peak about the left centre of our
line:--"The boys will never forget the _Queen Elizabeth's_ help" was
what he said.

Jack Churchill was right. At 1.50 a wireless came in to say that the
Irish and Hants from the _River Clyde_ had forced their way through
Sedd-el-Bahr village and had driven the enemy clean out of all his
trenches and castles. Ah, well; _that_ load is off our minds: every one
smiling.

Passed on the news to Birdwood: I doubt the Turks coming on again--but,
in case, the 29th Division's feat of arms will be a tonic.

I was wrong. At 3 p.m. the enemy made another effort, this time on the
left of our line. We shook them badly and were rewarded by seeing a New
Zealand charge. Two Battalions racing due North along the coast and
foothills with levelled bayonets. Then again the tumult died away.

At 4.30 we left Gaba Tepe and sailed for Helles. At 4.50 we were
opposite Krithia passing "Y" Beach. The whole of the troops, plus
wounded, plus gear, have vanished. Only the petrol tins they took for
water right and left of their pathway up the cliff; huge diamonds in the
evening sun. The enemy let us slip off without shot fired. The last
boat-load got aboard the _Goliath_ at 4 p.m., but they had forgotten
some of their kit, so the Bluejackets rowed ashore as they might to
Southsea pier and brought it off for them--and again no shot fired!

Hove to off Cape Helles at quarter past five. Joyous confirmation of
Sedd-el-Bahr capture and our lines run straight across from "X" to Morto
Bay, but a very sad postscript now to that message: Doughty Wylie has
been killed leading the sally from the beach.

The death of a hero strips victory of her wings. Alas, for Doughty
Wylie! Alas, for that faithful disciple of Charles Gordon; protector of
the poor and of the helpless; noblest of those knights ever ready to lay
down their lives to uphold the fair fame of England. Braver soldier
never drew sword. He had no hatred of the enemy. His spirit did not need
that ugly stimulant. Tenderness and pity filled his heart and yet he had
the overflowing enthusiasm and contempt of death which alone can give
troops the volition to attack when they have been crouching so long
under a pitiless fire. Doughty Wylie was no flash-in-the-pan V.C.
winner. He was a steadfast hero. Years ago, at Aleppo, the mingled
chivalry and daring with which he placed his own body as a shield
between the Turkish soldiery and their victims during a time of massacre
made him admired even by the Moslems. Now; as he would have wished to
die, so has he died.

For myself, in the secret mind that lies beneath the conscious, I think
I had given up hope that the covering detachment at "V" would work out
their own salvation. My thought was to keep pushing in troops from "W"
Beach until the enemy had fallen back to save themselves from being cut
off. The Hampshires, Dublins and Munsters have turned their own tight
corner, but I hope these fine Regiments will never forget what they owe
to one Doughty Wylie, the Mr. Greatheart of our war.

The Admiral and Braithwaite have been at me again to urge that the
French should hang on another day at Kum Kale. They point out that the
crisis seems over for the time being both at Helles and Gaba Tepe and
argue that this puts a different aspect on the whole question. That is
so, and on the whole, I think "yes" and have asked d'Amade to comply.

At 6.20 p.m. started back intending to see all snug at Gaba Tepe, but,
picking up some Turkish guns as targets in Krithia and on the slopes of
Achi Baba, we hove to off Cape Tekke and opened fire. We soon silenced
these guns, though others, unseen, kept popping. At 6.50 we ceased fire.
At 7, Admiral Guepratte came on board and tells us splendid news about
Kum Kale. At 2 o'clock the artillery fire from shore and ships became
too hot for the Turks entrenched in the cemetery and they put up the
white flag and came in as prisoners, 500 of them. A hundred more had
been taken during the night fighting, but there was treachery and some
of those were killed. Kum Kale has been a brilliant bit of work, though
I fear we have lost nearly a quarter of our effectives. Guepratte agrees
we would do well to hold on for another 24 hours. At a quarter past
seven he took his leave and we let drop our anchor where we were, off
Cape Tekke.

So now we stand on Turkish _terra firma_. The price has been paid for
the first step and that is the step that counts. Blood, sweat, fire;
with these we have forged our master key and forced it into the lock of
the Hellespont, rusty and dusty with centuries of disuse. Grant us, O
Lord, tenacity to turn it; determination to turn it, till through that
open door _Queen Elizabeth_ of England sails East for the Golden Horn!
When in far off ages men discuss over vintages ripened in Mars the black
superstitions and bloody mindedness of the Georgian savages, still they
will have to drain a glass to the memory of the soldiers and sailormen
who fought here.




CHAPTER VI

MAKING GOOD


_27th April, 1915. Getting on for midnight. H.M.S. "Queen Elizabeth."_
All sorts of questions and answers. At 2 a.m. got a signal from Admiral
Guepratte, "Situation at Kum Kale excellent, but d'Amade gave orders to
re-embark. It has begun. Much regret it is not in my power to stop it."

Well, so do I regret it. With just one more Brigade at our backs we
would have taken Yeni Shahr and kept our grip on Kum Kale; helping along
the Fleet; countering the big guns from Asia. But, there it is; as
things are I was right, and beggars can't be choosers. The French are
now free to land direct at Sedd-el-Bahr, or "V," instead of round by
"W."

During the small hours I wrote a second cable to K. telling him
Hunter-Weston could not attack Achi Baba yesterday as his troops were
worn out and some of his Battalions had lost a quarter of their
effectives: also that we were already short of ammunition. Also that
"Sedd-el-Bahr was a dreadful place to carry by open assault, being a
labyrinth of rocks, galleries, ruins and entanglements." "With all the
devoted help of the Navy, it has taken us a day's hard fighting to make
good our footing. Achi Baba Hill, only a cannon shot distant, will be
attacked to-morrow, the 28th."

After shipping ammunition for her big guns the _Q.E._ sailed at 7 a.m.
for Gaba Tepe where we found Birdwood's base, the beach, being very
severely shelled. The fire seemed to drop from half the points of the
compass towards that one small strip of sand, so marvellously well
defiladed by nature that nine-tenths of the shot fell harmlessly into
the sea. The Turkish gunners had to chance hitting something by lobbing
shrapnel over the main cliff or one of the two arm-like promontories
which embraced the little cove,--and usually they didn't! Yet even so
the beach was hardly a seaside health resort and it was a comfort to see
squads of these young soldiers marching to and fro and handling packing
cases with no more sign of emotion than railway porters collecting
luggage at Margate.

At 7.55 we presented the Turks with some remarkable specimens of sea
shells to recompense them for their trouble in so narrowly searching our
beaches. They accepted our 6 inchers with a very good grace. Often one
of our H.E. hundred pounders seemed to burst just where a field gun had
been spotted:--and before our triumphant smiles had time to disentangle
themselves from our faces, the beggars would open again. But the 15-inch
shrapnel, with its 10,000 bullets, was a much more serious projectile.
The Turks were not taking more than they could help. Several times we
silenced a whole battery by one of these monsters. No doubt these very
batteries are now getting back into concealed positions where our
ships' guns will not be able to find them. Still, even so, to-day and
to-morrow are the two most ticklish days; after that, let the storm
come--our troops will have rooted themselves firmly into the soil.

Have been speaking to the sailors about getting man-killing H.E. shell
for the Mediterranean Squadron instead of the present armour piercers
which break into only two or three pieces and are, therefore, in the
open field, more alarming than deadly. They don't seem to think there
would be much good gained by begging for special favours through routine
channels. Officialdom at the Admiralty is none too keen on our show. If
we can get at Winston himself, then we can rely on his kicking red tape
into the waste-paper basket; otherwise we won't be met half way. As for
me, I am helpless. I cannot write Winston--not on military business;
least of all on Naval business. I am fixed, I won't write to any public
personage re my wants and troubles excepting only K. Braithwaite agrees
that, especially in war time, no man can serve two masters. There has
been so much stiletto work about this war, and I have so often blamed
others for their backstairs politics, that I must chance hurt feelings
and shall not write letters although several of the Powers that Be have
told me to keep them fully posted. The worst loss is that of Winston's
ear; high principles won't obtain high explosives. As to writing to the
Army Council--apart from K., the War Office is an oubliette.

The foregoing sage reflections were jotted down between 10 and 10.30
a.m., when I was clapped into solitary confinement under armour. An
aeroplane had reported that the _Goeben_ had come into the Narrows,
presumably to fire over the Peninsula with her big guns. There was no
use arguing with the sailors; they treat me as if I were a mascot. So I
was duly shut up out of harm's way and out of their way whilst they made
ready to take on the ship, which is just as much the cause of our Iliad
as was Helen that of Homer's. Up went our captive balloon; in ten
minutes it was ready to spot and at 10.15 we got off the first shot
which missed the _Goeben_ by just a few feet to the right. The enemy
then quickly took cover behind the high cliffs and I was let out of my
prison. Some Turkish transports remained, landing troops. Off flew the
shell, seven miles it flew; over the Turkish Army from one sea into
another. A miss! Again she let fly. This time from the balloon came down
that magic formula "O.K." (plumb centre). We danced for joy though
hardly able really to credit ourselves with so magnificent a shot: but
it was so: in two minutes came another message saying the transport was
sinking by the stern! O.K. for us; U.P. with the Turks. Simple letters
to describe a pretty ghastly affair. Fancy that enormous shell dropping
suddenly out of the blue on to a ship's deck swarming with troops!

A wireless from Wemyss to say that the whole of Hunter-Weston's force
has advanced two miles on a broad front and that the enemy made no
resistance.

At 6 p.m. a heavy squall came down from the North and the Aegean was no
place for flyers whether heavier or lighter than air. All the Turkish
guns we could spot from the ship had been knocked out or silenced, so
Birdwood and his men were able to get along with their digging. We cast
anchor off Cape Helles at about 6.30 p.m.

At 7 Hunter-Weston came on board and dined. He is full of confidence and
good cheer. _He never gave any order to evacuate "Y"; he never was
consulted; he does not know who gave the order._ He does well to be
proud of his men and of the way they played up to-day when he called
upon them to press back the enemy. He has had no losses to speak of and
we are now on a fairly broad three-mile front right across the toe of
the Peninsula; about two miles from the tip at Helles. Had our men not
been so deadly weary, there was no reason we should not have taken Achi
Baba from the Turks, who put up hardly any fight at all. But we have not
got our mules or horses ashore yet in any numbers, and the digging, and
carriage of stores, water and munitions to the firing line had to go on
all night, so the men are still as tired as they were on the 26th, or
more so. The Intelligence hear that enemy reinforcements are crossing
the Narrows. So it is a pity we could not make more ground whilst we
were about it, but we had no fresh men to put in and the used Battalions
were simply done to a turn.

We did not talk much about the past at dinner, except--ah me, how
bitterly we regretted our 10 per cent. margin to replace casualties,--a
margin allowed by regulation and afforded to the B.E.F. Just think of
it. To-day each Battalion of the 29th Division would have been joined by
two keen Officers and one hundred keen men--fresh--all of them fresh!
The fillip given would have been far, far greater than that which the
mere numbers (1,200 for the Division) would seem to imply. Hunter-Weston
says that he would sooner have a pick-me-up in that form than two fresh
Battalions, and I think, in saying so, he says too little.

Tired or not tired, we attack again to-morrow. We must make more--much
more--elbow room before the Turks get help from Asia or Constantinople.

Are we to strike before or after daylight? Hunter-Weston is clear for
day and we have made it so. The hour is to be 8 a.m.

Showed H.W. the cable we got at tea time from K., quoting some message
de Robeck has apparently sent home and saying, "Maxwell will give you
any support from the garrison of Egypt you may require." I am puzzled
how to act on this. Maxwell won't give me "any support" I "may require";
otherwise, naturally, I'd have had the Gurkhas with me now: he has his
own show to run: I have my own show to run: it is for K. to split the
differences. K. gave me fair warning before I started I must not embroil
him with French, France, or British politicians by squeezing him for
more troops. It was up to me to take the job on those terms or leave
it--and I took it on. I did think Egypt might be held to be outside
this tacit covenant, but when I asked first, directly, for the Indian
Brigade; secondly, for the Brigade or even for one Gurkha Battalion, I
only got that chilliest of refusals--silence. Since then, there has been
some change in his attitude. I do wish K. would take me more into his
confidence. Never a word to me about the Indian Brigade, yet now it is
on its way! Also, here comes this offer of more troops. Hunter-Weston's
reading of the riddle is that troops ear-marked for the Western front
are still taboo but that K. finds himself, since our successful landing,
in a more favourable political atmosphere and is willing, therefore, to
let us draw on Egypt. He thinks, in a word, that as far as Egypt goes,
we should try and get what we can get.

Said good-night with mutual good wishes, and have worked till now (1
a.m.) answering wireless and interviewing Winter and Woodward, who had
come across from the _Arcadian_ to do urgent administrative work. Each
seems satisfied with the way his own branch is getting on: Winter is the
quicker worker. Wrote out also a second long cable to K. (the first was
operations) formally asking leave to call upon Maxwell to send me the
East Lancs. Division and showing that Maxwell can have my second Mounted
Division in exchange.

Have thought it fair to cable Maxwell also, asking him to hold the East
Lancs. handy. K.'s cable covers me so far. No Commander enjoys parting
with his troops and Maxwell may play on one of the tenderest spots in
K.'s adamantine heart by telling him his darling Egypt will be
endangered; still it is only right to give him fair warning.

Lord Hindlip, King's Messenger, has brought us our mails.

_28th April, 1915. H.M.S. "Queen Elizabeth." Off Gallipoli._ At 9 a.m.
General d'Amade came aboard and gave me the full account of the Kum Kale
landing, a brilliant piece of work which will add lustre even to the
illustrious deeds of France. I hope the French Government will recognize
this dashing stroke of d'Amade's by something more solid than a thank
you.

At 9.40 General Paris and the Staff of the Naval Division also came
aboard, and were telling me their doings and their plans when the noise
of the battle cut short the pow-wow. The fire along the three miles
front is like the rumble of an express train running over fog signals.
Clearly we are not going to gain ground so cheaply as yesterday.

At 10 o'clock the _Q.E._ was steaming slowly Northwards and had reached
a point close to the old "Y" landing place (well marked out by the
glittering kerosine tins). Suddenly, inland, a large mass of men,
perhaps two thousand, were seen doubling down a depression of the ground
heading towards the coast. We had two 15-inch guns loaded with 10,000
shrapnel bullets each, but there was an agony as to whether these were
our fellows falling back or Turks advancing. The Admiral and Keyes asked
me. The Flag Captain was with us. The thing hung on a hair but the
horror of wiping out one of my own Brigades was too much for me: 20 to
1 they were Turkish reinforcements which had just passed through
Krithia--50 to 1 they were Turks--and then--the ground seemed to swallow
them from view. Ten minutes later, they broke cover half a mile lower
down the Peninsula and left us no doubt as to what they were, advancing
as they did in a most determined manner against some of our men who had
their left flank on the cliffs above the sea.

The Turks were no longer in mass but extended in several lines, less
than a pace between each man. Before this resolute attack our men, who
were much weaker, began to fall back. One Turkish Company, about a
hundred strong, was making an ugly push within rifle shot of our ship.
Its flank rested on the very edge of the cliff, and the men worked
forward like German Infantry in a regular line, making a rush of about
fifty yards with sloped arms and lying down and firing. They all had
their bayonets fixed. Through a glass every move, every signal, could be
seen. From where we were our guns exactly enfiladed them. Again they
rose and at a heavy sling trot came on with their rifles at the slope;
their bayonets glittering and their Officer ten yards ahead of them
waving his sword. Some one said they were cheering. Crash! and the
_Q.E._ let fly a shrapnel; range 1,200 yards; a lovely shot; we followed
it through the air with our eyes. Range and fuse--perfect. The huge
projectile exploded fifty yards from the right of the Turkish line, and
vomited its contents of 10,000 bullets clean across the stretch whereon
the Turkish Company was making its last effort. When the smoke and dust
cleared away nothing stirred on the whole of that piece of ground. We
looked for a long time, nothing stirred.

One hundred to the right barrel--nothing left for the second barrel! The
tailor of the fairy tale with his "seven at a blow" is not in it with
the gunnery Lieutenant of a battleship. Our beloved _Queen_ had drawn
the teeth of the Turkish counter-attack on our extreme left. The enemy
no longer dared show themselves over the open downs by the sea, but
worked over broken ground some hundreds of yards inland where we were
unable to see them. The _Q.E._ hung about here shelling the enemy and
trying to help our fellows on for the whole day.

As was signalled to us from the shore by an Officer of the Border
Regiment, the Turks were in great strength somewhere not easy to spot a
few hundred yards inland from "Y" Beach. Some were in a redoubt, others
working down a ravine. A party of our men had actually got into the
trench dug by the "Y" Beach covering party on the day of the landing,
but had been knocked out again, a few minutes before the _Queen
Elizabeth_ came to the rescue, and, in falling back, had been (so the
Officer signaller told us) "badly cut up." Asked again who were being
badly cut up, he replied, "All of us!" No doubt the _Q.E._ turned up in
the very nick of time, at a moment when we were being forced to retire
too rapidly. A certain number of stragglers were slipping quietly back
towards Cape Helles along the narrow sandy strip at the foot of the
high cliffs, so, as it was flat calm, I sent Aspinall off in a small
boat with orders to rally them. He rowed to the South so as to head them
off and as the dinghy drew in to the shore we saw one of them strip and
swim out to sea to meet it half way. By the time the young fellow
reached the boat the cool salt water had given him back his presence of
mind and he explained, as if it was the most natural thing in the world,
that he had swum off to get help for the wounded! After landing, a show
of force was needed to pull the fugitives up but once they did pull up
they were splendid, and volunteered to a man to follow Aspinall back
into the firing line. Many of them were wounded and the worst of these
were put into a picket boat which had just that moment come along. One
of the men seemed pretty bad, being hit in the head and in the body. He
wanted to join in but, naturally, was forbidden to do so. Aspinall then
led his little party back and climbed the cliff. When he got to the top
and looked round he found this severely wounded man had not only
disobeyed orders and followed him, but had found strength to lug up a
box of ammunition with him. "I ordered you not to come," said Aspinall:
"I can still pull a trigger, Sir," replied the man.[13]

To-day's experiences have been of the strangest. As armies have grown
and as the range of firearms has increased, the Commander-in-Chief of
any considerable force has been withdrawn further and further from the
fighting. To-day I have stood in the main battery which has fired a shot
establishing, in its way, a record in the annals of destruction.

On our left we had gained three miles and had been driven back a mile or
rather more after doing so, apparently by fresh enemy forces. What would
have been a promenade if our original covering party had stuck to "Y"
Beach, had become too difficult for that wearied and greatly weakened
Brigade. On the British right the 88th Brigade pushed back the Turks
easily enough at first, but afterwards they too came up against stiffer
resistance from what seemed to be fresh enemy formations until at last,
i.e., about mid-day, they were held up. The Reserve were then ordered to
pass through and attack. Small parties are reported to have got into
Krithia and one complete Battalion gained a position commanding
Krithia--so Wemyss has been credibly informed; but things went wrong;
they seem to have been _just_ too weak.

Hunter-Weston is confident as ever and says once his men have dug
themselves in, even a few inches, they will hold what they have gained
against any number of Turks.

We have been handicapped by the trouble that is bred in the bone of any
landing on enemy soil. The General wants to strike quick and hard from
the outset. To do so he must rush his men ashore and by very careful
plans he may succeed; but even then, unless he can lay hands upon
wharves, cranes, and all the mechanical appliances to be found in an
up-to-date harbour, he cannot keep up the supply of ammunition, stores,
food, water, on a like scale. He cannot do this because, just in
proportion as he is successful in getting a large number of men on shore
and in quickly pushing them forward some distance inland, so will it
become too much for his small craft and his beach frontage to cope with
the mule transport and carts. Hence, shortage of ammunition and shortage
of water, which last was the worse felt to-day. But the heavy fighting
at the landings was what delayed us most.

An enemy aeroplane (a Taube) has been dropping bombs on and about the
_River Clyde_.

There is little of the "joy of the contest" in fighting battles with
worn-out troops. Even when the men respond by doing wonders, the
Commander is bound to feel his heart torn in two by their trials, in
addition to having his brain tortured on anxiety's rack as to the
result. The number of Officers we have lost is terrible.

Seen from the Flagship, the sun set exactly behind the purple island of
Imbros, and as it disappeared sent out long flame-coloured streamers
into the sky. The effect was that of a bird of Paradise bringing balm to
our overwrought nerves.

Have published the following order:--

"I rely on all Officers and men to stand firm and steadfast to resist
the attempt of the enemy to drive us back from our present position
which has been so gallantly won.

"The enemy is evidently trying to obtain a local success before
reinforcements can reach us; but the first portion of these arrive
to-morrow and will be followed by a fresh Division from Egypt.

"It behoves us all, French and British, to stand fast, hold what we have
gained, wear down the enemy and thus be prepared for a decisive victory.

"Our comrades in Flanders have had the same experience of fatigue after
hard won fights. We shall, I know, emulate their steadfastness and
achieve a result which will confer added laurels to French and British
arms.
                                                        "IAN HAMILTON,
                                                             "General."

Two cables from K.:--

The first repeats a cable he has sent Maxwell. He begins by saying, "In
a cable just in from the Dardanelles French Admiral, I see he thinks
reinforcements are needed for the troops landed on Gallipoli. Hamilton
has not made any mention of this to me. All the same yesterday I cabled
him as follows:--"

(Here he quotes the cable already entered in by me yesterday.)

K. goes on, "I hope all your troops are being kept ready to embark, and
I would suggest you should send the Territorial Division if Hamilton
wants them. Peyton's transports, etc., etc., etc."

The second cable quotes mine of last night wherein I ask leave to call
for the East Lancs. and says, "I feel sure you had better have the
Territorial Division, and I have instructed Maxwell to embark them. My
No. 4239 addressed to Maxwell and repeated to you was sent before
receiving your telegram under reply. You had better tell him to send off
the Division to you. I am very glad the troops have done so well. Give
them a message of hearty congratulations on their successful achievement
to buck them up."

Bravo K.! but kind as is your message the best buck up for the Army will
be the news that the lads from Manchester are on their way to help us.

The cable people have pinned a minute to these two messages saying that
the two hours' pull we have over Greenwich time ought to have let K. get
my message _before_ he wired to Maxwell. He may think Maxwell will take
it better that way.

Before going to bed, I sent him (K.) two cables:--

(1) "Last night the Turks attacked the Australians and New Zealanders in
great force, charging right up to the trenches, bugles blowing and
shouting 'Allah Hu!' They were bayoneted. The French are landing to lend
a hand to the 29th Division. Birdwood's men are very weary and I am
supporting them with the Naval Division." These, I may say, are my very
last reserves.

(2) Telling K. how "I shall now be able to cheer up my troops by the
prospect of speedy reinforcements, whilst informing them of your
congratulations, and appealing to them to continue as they have
commenced," I go on to say that we have used up the French and the Naval
Division "so that at present I have no reserve except Cox when he
arrives and the remainder of the French." I also say, simply, and
without any reference to the War Office previous denial that there _was_
any second French Division, "D'Amade informs me that the other French
Division is ready to embark if required, so I hope you will urge that it
be despatched." As to the delay in letting me have the Indian Brigade; a
delay which has to-day, so say the 29th Division, cost us Krithia and
Achi Baba, I say "Unluckily Cox's Brigade is a day late, but I still
trust it will arrive to-morrow during the day."

_Bis dot qui cito dat_. O truest proverb! One fresh man on Gallipoli
to-day was worth five afloat on the Mediterranean or fifty loafing
around London in the Central Force. At home they are carefully totting
up figures--I know them--and explaining to the P.M. and the Senior
Wranglers with some complacency that the sixty thousand effective
bayonets left me are enough--seeing they are British--to overthrow the
Turkish Empire. So they would be if I had that number, or anything like
it, for my line of battle. But what are the facts? Exactly one half of
my "bayonets" spend the whole night carrying water, ammunition and
supplies between the beach and the firing line. The other half of my
"bayonets," those left in the firing line, are up the whole night armed
mostly with spades digging desperately into the earth. Now and then
there is a hell of a fight, but that is incidental and a relief. A
single Division of my old "Central Force," so easily to be spared, so
wasted where they are, could take this pick and spade work off the
fighters. But the civilians think, I am certain, we are in France, with
a service of trains and motor transport at our backs so that our
"bayonets" are really free to devote their best energies to fighting. My
troops are becoming thoroughly worn out. And when I think of the three
huge armies of the Central Force I commanded a few weeks ago in
England--!

_29th April, 1915. H.M.S. "Q.E." Off the Peninsula._ A biggish sea
running, subsiding as the day went on--and my mind grew calmer with the
waves. For we are living hand-to-mouth now in every sense. Two days'
storm would go very near starving us. Until we work up some weeks'
reserve of water, food and cartridges, I shan't sleep sound. Have lent
Birdwood four Battalions of the Royal Naval Division and two more
Battalions are landing at Helles to form my own reserve. Two weak
Battalions; that is the exact measure of my executive power to shape the
course of events; all the power I have to help either d'Amade or
Hunter-Weston.

Water is a worry; weather is a worry; the shelling from Asia is a thorn
in my side. The sailors had hoped they would be able to shield the
Southern point of the Peninsula by interposing their ships but they
can't. Their gunnery won't run to it--was never meant to run to it--and
with five going aeroplanes we can't do the spotting. Our Regiments, too,
will not be their superb selves again--won't be anything like
themselves--not until they get their terrible losses made good. There is
no other way but fresh blood for it is sheer human nature to feel flat
after an effort. Any violent struggle for life always lowers the will to
fight even of the most cut-and-come-again:--don't I remember well when
Sir George asked me if the Elandslaagte Brigade had it in them to storm
Pepworth? I had to tell him they were still the same Brigade but not the
same men. No use smashing in the impregnable sea front if we don't get a
fresh dose of energy to help us to push into the, as yet, very pregnable
hinterland. Since yesterday morning, when I saw our men scatter right
and left before an enemy they would have gone for with a cheer on the
25th or 26th,--ever since then I have cursed with special bitterness the
lack of vision which leaves us without that 10 per cent. margin above
strength which we could, and should, have had with us. The most fatal
heresy in war, and, with us, the most rank, is the heresy that battles
can be won without heavy loss--I don't care whether it is in men or in
ships. The next most fatal heresy is to think that, having won the
battle, decimated troops can go on defeating fresh enemies without
getting their 10 per cent. renewed.

[Illustration: "W" BEACH]

At 9 o'clock I boarded H.M.S. _Kennett_, a destroyer, and went ashore.
Commodore Roger Keyes came along with me, and we set foot on Turkish
soil for the first time at 9.45 a.m. at "W" Beach. What a scene! An
ants' nest in revolution. Five hundred of our fighting men are running
to and fro between cliffs and sea carrying stones wherewith to improve
our pier. On to this pier, picket boats, launches, dinghies, barges, all
converge through the heavy swell with shouts and curses, bumps and
hair's-breadth escapes. Other swarms of half-naked soldiers are
sweating, hauling, unloading, loading, road-making; dragging mules up
the cliff, pushing mules down the cliff: hundreds more are bathing, and
through this pandemonium pass the quiet stretchers bearing pale,
blood-stained, smiling burdens. First we spent some time speaking to
groups of Officers and men and hearing what the Beachmasters and
Engineers had to say; next we saw as many of the wounded as we could and
then I walked across to the Headquarters of the 29th Division (half a
mile) to see Hunter-Weston. A strange abode for a Boss; some holes
burrowed into a hillock. In South Africa, this feature which looks like,
and actually is, a good observing post, would have been thoroughly
searched by fire. The Turks seem, so far, to have left it pretty well
alone.

After a long talk during which we fixed up a good many moot points, went
on to see General d'Amade. Unluckily he had just left to go on to the
Flagship to see me. I did not like to visit the French front in his
absence, so took notes of the Turkish defences on "V" and had a second
and a more thorough inspection of the beach, transport and storage
arrangements on "W."

Roper, Phillimore (R.N.) and Fuller stood by and showed me round.

At 1.30 p.m. re-embarked on the _Q.E._ and sailed towards Gaba Tepe.

After watching our big guns shooting at the enemy's field pieces for
some time I could stand it no longer--the sight seeing I mean--and
boarded the destroyer _Colne_ which took me towards the beach. Commodore
Keyes came along, also Pollen, Dawnay and Jack Churchill. Our destroyer
got within a hundred yards or so of the shore when we had to tranship
into a picquet boat owing to the shallow water. Quite a good lot of
bullets were plopping into the water, so the Commodore ordered the
_Colne_ to lie further out. At this distance from the beach, withdrawn a
little from the combat, (there was a hottish scrimmage going on), and
yet so close that friends could be recognised, the picture we saw was
astonishing. No one has ever seen so strange a spectacle and I very much
doubt if any one will ever see it again. The Australians and New
Zealanders had fixed themselves into the crests of a series of high
sandy cliffs, covered, wherever they were not quite sheer, with box
scrub. These cliffs were not in the least like what they had seemed to
be through our glasses when we reconnoitred them at a distance of a mile
or more from the shore. Still less were they like what I had originally
imagined them to be from the map. Their features were tumbled, twisted,
scarred--unclimbable, one would have said, were it not that their faces
were now pock-marked with caves like large sand-martin holes, wherein
the men were resting or taking refuge from the sniping. From the
trenches that ran along the crest a hot fire was being kept up, and
swarms of bullets sang through the air, far overhead for the most part,
to drop into the sea that lay around us. Yet all the time there were
full five hundred men fooling about stark naked on the water's edge or
swimming, shouting and enjoying themselves as it might be at Margate.
Not a sign to show that they possess the things called nerves. While we
were looking, there was an alarm, and long, lean figures darted out of
the caves on the face of the cliffs and scooted into the firing line,
stooping low as they ran along the crest. The clatter of the musketry
was redoubled by the echoing cliffs, and I thought we had dropped in for
a scrap of some dimensions as we disembarked upon a fragile little
floating pier and were met by Birdie and Admiral Thursby. A full General
landing to inspect overseas is entitled to a salute of 17 guns--well, I
got my dues. But there is no crisis; things are quieter than they have
been since the landing, Birdie says, and the Turks for the time being
have been beat. He tells me several men have already been shot whilst
bathing but there is no use trying to stop it: they take the off chance.
So together we made our way up a steep spur, and in two hours had
traversed the first line trenches and taken in the lie of the land. Half
way we met Generals Bridges and Godley, and had a talk with them, my
first, with Bridges, since Duntroon days in Australia. From the heights
we could look down on to the strip of sand running Northwards from Ari
Burnu towards Suvla Bay. There were machine guns here which wiped out
the landing parties whenever they tried to get ashore North of the
present line. The New Zealanders took these with the bayonet, and we
held five or six hundred yards more coast line until we were forced back
by Turkish counter-attacks in the afternoon and evening of the 25th. The
whole stretch is now dominated by Turkish fire from the ridges, and
along it lie the bodies of those killed at the first onset, and
afterwards in the New Zealand bayonet charge. Several boats are stranded
along this no man's land; so far all attempts to get out at night and
bury the dead have only led to fresh losses. No one ever landed out of
these boats--so they say.

Towards evening we re-embarked on the _Colne_ and at the very moment of
transhipment from the picquet boat the enemy opened a real hot shrapnel
fire, plastering with impartiality and liberality our trenches, our
beaches and the sea. The _Colne_ was in strangely troubled water, but,
although the shot fell all about her, neither she nor the picquet boat
was touched. Five minutes later we should have caught it properly! The
Turkish guns are very well hidden now, and the _Q.E._ can do nothing
against them without the balloon to spot; we can't often spare one of
our five aeroplanes for Gaba Tepe. Going back we had some long range
shots with the 15-inch guns at batteries in rear of Achi Baba.

Anchored off Cape Helles at dark. A reply in from Maxwell about the East
Lancs. They are coming!

The worst enemy a Chief has to face in war is an alarmist. The Turks are
indeed stout and terrifying fellows when seen, not in a poetry book but
in a long line running at you in a heavy jogtrot way with fixed bayonets
gleaming. But they don't frighten me as much as one or two of my own
friends. No matter. We are here to stay; in so far as my fixed
determination can make it so; alive or dead, we stay.

_30th April, 1915. H.M.S. Queen Elizabeth._ From dawn to breakfast time
all hands busy slinging shells--modern war sinews--piles of
them--aboard. The Turks are making hay while the sun shines and are
letting "V" Beach have it from their 6-inch howitzers on the plains of
Troy. So, once upon a time, did Paris shoot forth his arrows over that
selfsame ground and plug proud Achilles in the heel--and never surely
was any fabulous tendon more vulnerable than are our Southern beaches
from Asia. The audacious Commander Samson cheers us up. He came aboard
at 9.15 a.m. and stakes his repute as an airman that his fellows will
duly spot these guns and that once they do so the ships will knock them
out. I was so pleased to hear him say so that I took him ashore with me
to "W" Beach, where he was going to fix up a flight over the Asiatic
shore, as well as select a flat piece of ground near the tip of the
Peninsula's toe to alight upon.

Saw Hunter-Weston: he is quite happy. Touched on "Y" Beach; concluded
least said soonest mended. The issues of the day before yesterday's
battle seem certainly to have hung on a hair. Apart from "Y" beach
might-have-beens, it seems that, further inland, detachments of our men
got into a position dominating Krithia; a position from which--could
they have held it--Turkish troops in or South of Krithia could have been
cut off from their supplies. These men saw the Turks clear out of
Krithia taking machine guns with them. But after half an hour, as we did
not come on, they began to come back. We were too weak and only one
Battalion was left of our reserves--otherwise the day was ours. Street,
the G.S.O.I. of the Division, was in the thick of the battle--too far in
for his rank, I am told, and he is most emphatic that with one more
Brigade Achi Baba would now be in our hands. He said this to me in
presence of his own Chief and I believe him, although I had rather
disbelieve. To my mind "a miss is as good as a mile" should run a "miss
is far worse than a mile." He is a sober-spoken, most gallant Officer.
But it can't be helped. This is not the first time in history when the
lack of a ha'porth of tar has spoilt the ship of State. I would bear my
ills without a groan were it not that from the very moment when I set
eyes on the Narrows I was sent to prize open, I had set my heart upon
just this very identical ha'porth of tar--_videlicet_, the Indian
Brigade.

Our men are now busy digging themselves into the ground they gained on
the 28th. The Turks have done a good lot of gunnery but no real
counter-attack. Hunter-Weston's states show that during the past
twenty-four hours well over half of his total strength are getting
their artillery ashore, building piers, making roads, or bringing up
food, water and ammunition into the trenches. This does not take into
account men locally struck off fighting duty as cooks, orderlies,
sentries over water, etc., etc. Altogether, it seems that not more than
one-third of our fast diminishing total are available for actual
fighting purposes. Had we even a Brigade of those backward Territorial
reserve Battalions with whom the South of England is congested, they
would be worth I don't know what, for they would release their
equivalent of first-class fighting men to attend to their own
business--the fighting.

There are quite a little budget of knotty points to settle between
Hunter-Weston and d'Amade, so I made a careful note of them and went
along to French Headquarters. By bad luck d'Amade was away, up in the
front trenches, and I could not well deliver myself to des Coigns. So I
said I would come again sometime to-morrow and once more wended my way
along the busy beaches, and in doing so revisited the Turkish defences
of "V" and "W." The more I look, the more do I marvel at the invincible
spirit of the British soldier. Nothing is impossible to him; no General
knows what he can do till he tries. Therefore, he, the British General,
must always try! must never listen to the rule-of-thumb advisers who
seek to chain down adventure to precedent. But our wounds make us weaker
and weaker. Oh that we could fill up the gaps in the thinned ranks of
those famous Regiments....!

Had ten minutes' talk with the French Captain commanding the battery of
75's now dug in close to the old Fort, where General d'Amade sleeps, or
rather, is supposed to sleep. Here is the noisiest spot on God's earth.
Not only do the 75's blaze away merrily from morn till dewy eve, and
again from dewy eve till morn, to a tune that turns our gunners green
with envy, but the enemy are not slow in replying, and although they
have not yet exactly found the little beggars (most cunningly concealed
with green boughs and brushwood), yet they go precious near them with
big shell and small shell, shrapnel and H.E. As I was standing here I
was greeted by an old Manchurian friend, le capitaine Reginald Kahn. He
fought with the Boers against us and has taken his immense bulk into one
campaign after another. A very clever writer, he has been entrusted by
the French Government with the compilation of their official history of
these operations.

On my way back to the _Arcadian_ (we are leaving the _Queen Elizabeth_
for a time)--I met a big batch of wounded, knocked out, all of them, in
the battle of the 28th. I spoke to as many of them as I could, and
although some were terribly mutilated and disfigured, and although a few
others were clearly dying, one and all kept a stiff upper lip--one and
all were, or managed to appear--more than content--happy! This scene
brought tears into my eyes. The courage of our soldiers goes far beyond
belief. Were it not so war would be unbearable. How strongly God keeps
the balance even. In fullest splendour the soul shines out amidst the
dark shadows of adversity; as a fire goes out when the sunlight strikes
it, so the burning, essential quality in men is stifled by prosperity
and success.

_Later_. Our battleships have been bombarding Chunuk--chucking shells
into it from the Aegean side of the Peninsula--and a huge column of
smoke is rising up into the evening sky. A proper bonfire on the very
altar of Mars.

_1st May, 1915. H.M.S. "Arcadian."_ Went ashore first thing. Odd shells
on the wing. Visited French Headquarters. Again d'Amade was away. Had a
long talk with des Coigns, the Chief of Staff, and told him I had just
heard from Lord K. that the 1st Brigade of the new French Division would
sail for the Dardanelles on the 3rd inst. Des Coigns is overjoyed but a
tiny bit hurt, too, that French Headquarters should get the news first
from me and not from their own War Ministry. He insists on my going
round the French trenches and sent a capitaine de la Fontaine along with
me. Until to-day I had quite failed to grasp the extent of the ground we
had gained. But we want a lot more before we can begin to feel safe. The
French trenches are not as good as ours by a long chalk, and bullets
keep coming through the joints of the badly built sandbag revetment. But
they say, "_Un peu de repos, apres, vous verrez, mon general._" During
my peregrinations I struck the Headquarters of the Mediterranean Brigade
under General Vandenberg, who came round his own men with me. A sturdy,
thickset fair man with lots of go and very cheery. He is of Dutch
descent. Later on I came to the Colonial Brigade Headquarters and made
the acquaintance of Colonel Ruef, a fine man--every inch a soldier. The
French have suffered severely but are in fine fighting form. They are
enchanted to hear about their second Division. For some reason or
another they have made up their minds that France is not so keen as we
are to make a present of Constantinople to Russia. Their intelligence on
European questions seems much better than ours and they depress me by
expressing doubts as to whether the Grand Duke Nicholas has munitions
enough to make further headway against the Turks in the Caucasus: also,
as to whether he has even stuff enough to equip Istomine and my rather
visionary Army Corps.

By the time we had passed along the whole of the French second line and
part of their front line trenches, I had had about enough. So took leave
of these valiant Frenchmen and cheery Senegalese and pushed on to the
advanced observation post of the Artillery where I met General
Stockdale, commanding the 15th Brigade, R.F.A., and not only saw how the
land lay but heard some interesting opinions. Also, some ominous
comments on what armies spend and what Governments scrimp:--that is
ammunition.

At 3 p.m., got back having had a real good sweat. Must have walked at
least a dozen miles. Soon afterwards Cox, commanding the 29th Indian
Brigade, came on board to make his salaam. Better late than never is all
I could say to him: he and his Brigade are sick at not having been on
the spot to give the staggering Turks a knock-out on the 28th, but he's
going to lose no more chances; his men are landing now and he hopes to
get them all ashore in the course of the day.

The Intelligence have just translated an order for the 25th April found
upon the dead body of a Turkish Staff Officer. "Be sure," so it runs,
"that no matter how many troops the enemy may try to land, or how heavy
the fire of his artillery, it is absolutely impossible for him to make
good his footing. Supposing he does succeed in landing at one spot, no
time should be left him to co-ordinate and concentrate his forces, but
our own troops must instantly press in to the attack and with the help
of our reserves in rear he will forthwith be flung back into the sea."

_2nd May, 1915. H.M.S. "Arcadian."_ Had a sleepless night and strain was
too great to write or do anything but stand on bridge and listen to the
firing or go down to the General Staff and see if any messages had come
to hand.

About 10 p.m. I was on the bridge thinking how dark it was and how
preternaturally still; I felt all alone in the world; nothing stirred;
even the French 75's had ceased their nerve-racking bark, and then,
suddenly, in one instant, hell was let loose upon earth. Like a hundred
peals of thunder the Turkish artillery from both Continents let fly
their salvoes right, left and centre, and the French and ourselves did
not lose many seconds in reply. The shells came from Asia and Achi
Baba:--in a fiery shower, they fell upon the lines of our front
trenches. Half an hour the bombardment and counter-bombardment, and then
there arose the deadly crepitation of small arms--no messages--ten times
I went back and forward to the signal room--no messages--until a new and
dreadful sound was carried on the night wind out to sea--the sound of
the shock of whole regiments--the Turkish Allah Din!--our answering loud
Hurrahs. The moments to me were moments of unrelieved agony. I tried to
think of some possible source of help I had overlooked and could not. To
hear the battle cries of the fighting men and be tied to this
_Arcadian_--what torture!

Soon, amidst the dazzling yellow flashes of the bursting shells and star
bombs, there rose in beautiful parabolas all along our front coloured
balls of fire, green, red or white; signals to their own artillery from
the pistols of the Officers of the enemy. An ugly feature, these lights
so beautiful, because, presumably, in response to their appeal, the
Turkish shell were falling further down the Peninsula than at first, as
if they had lengthened their range and fuse, i.e., as if we were falling
back.

By now several disquietening messages had come in, especially from the
right, and although bad news was better than no news, or seemed so in
that darkness and confusion, yet my anxious mind was stretched on the
rack by inability to get contact with the Headquarters of the 29th
Division and the French. Bullets or shell had cut some of the wires, and
the telephone only worked intermittently. At 2 in the morning I had to
send a battalion of my reserve from the Royal Naval Division to
strengthen the French right. At 3 a.m. we heard--not from the
British--that the British had been broken and were falling back upon the
beaches. At 4 we heard from Hunter-Weston that, although the enemy had
pierced our line at one or two points, they had now been bloodily
repulsed. Thereupon, I gave the word for a general counter-attack and
our line began to advance. The whole country-side was covered with
retreating Turks and, as soon as it was light enough to see, our
shrapnel mowed them down by the score. We gained quite a lot of ground
at first, but afterwards came under enfilade fire from machine guns
cunningly hidden in folds of the ground. There was no forcing of these
by any _coup de main_ especially with worn out troops and guns which had
to husband their shell, and so we had to fall back on our starting
point. We have made several hundreds prisoners, and have killed a
multitude of the enemy.

I took Braithwaite and others of the G.S. with me and went ashore. At
the pier at "W" were several big lighters filled with wounded who
were about to be towed out to Hospital ships. Spent the best part
of an hour on the lighters. The cheeriness of the gallant lads is
amazing--superhuman!

Went on to see Hunter-Weston at his Headquarters,--a queer Headquarters
it would seem to our brethren in France! Braithwaite, Street,
Hunter-Weston and myself.

Some of our units are shaken, no doubt, by loss of Officers (complete);
by heavy losses of men (not replaced, or replaceable, under a month) and
by sheer physical exertion. Small wonder then that one weak spot in our
barrier gave way before the solid mass of the attacking Turks, who came
on with the bayonet like true Ghazis. The first part of the rifle fire
last night was entirely from our own men. The break by one battalion
gave a grand chance to the only Territorial unit in the 29th Division,
the 5th Royal Scots, who have a first-class commanding Officer and are
inspired not only by the indomitable spirit of their regular comrades,
but by the special fighting traditions of Auld Reekie. They formed to a
flank as if on a peace parade and fell on to the triumphant Turkish
stormers with the cold steel, completely restoring the fortunes of the
night. It would have melted a heart of stone, Hunter-Weston said, to see
how tired our men looked in the grey of morning when my order came to
hand urging them to counter-attack and pursue. Not the spirit but the
flesh failed them. With a fresh Division on the ground nothing would
have prevented us from making several thousand prisoners; whether they
would have been able to rush the machine guns and so gain a great
victory was more problematical. Anyway, our advance at dawn was half
heroic, half lamentable. The men were so beat that if they tripped and
fell, they lay like dead things. The enemy were almost in worse plight
and so we took prisoners, but as soon as we came up against nerveless,
tireless machine guns we had to stagger back to our trenches.

As I write dead quiet reigns on the Peninsula, literally dead quiet. Not
a shot from gun or rifle and the enemy are out in swarms over the plain!
but they carry no arms; only stretchers and red crescent flags, for they
are bearing away their wounded and are burying their piles of dead. It
is by my order that the Turks are being left a free hand to carry out
this pious duty.

The stretcher-bearers carry their burdens over a carpet of flowers. Life
is here around us in its most exquisite forms. Those flowers! Poppies,
cornflowers, lilies, tulips whose colours are those of the rainbow. The
coast line curving down and far away to meet the extravagant blueness of
the Aegean where the battleships lie silent--still--smoke rising up
lazily--and behind them, through the sea haze, dim outlines of Imbros
and Samothrace.

Going back, found that the lighter loads of wounded already taken off
have by no means cleared the beach. More wounded and yet more. Here,
too, are a big drove of Turkish prisoners; fine-looking men; well
clothed; well nourished; more of them coming in every minute and mixing
up in the strangest and friendliest way with our wounded with whom they
talk in some dumb-crambo lingo. The Turks are doing yeoman service for
Germany. If only India were pulling her weight for us on the same scale,
we should by now be before the gates of Vienna.

In the afternoon d'Amade paid me a long visit. He was at first rather
chilly and I soon found out it was on account of my having gone round
his lines during his absence. He is quite right, and I was quite wrong,
and I told him so frankly which made "all's well" in a moment. My only
excuse, namely, that I had been invited--nay pressed--to do so by his
own Chief of Staff, I thought it wiser to keep to myself. Yesterday
evening he got a cable from his own War Ministry confirming K.'s cable
to me about the new French Division; Numbered the 156th, it is to be
commanded by Bailloud, a distinguished General who has held high office
in Africa--seventy years old, but sharp as a needle. D'Amade is most
grateful for the battalion of the Naval Division; most complimentary
about the Officers and men and is dying to have another which is,
_evidemment_, a real compliment. He promises if I will do so to ration
them on the best of French conserves and wine. The fact is, that the
proportion of white men in the French Division is low; there are too
many Senegalese. The battalion from the Naval Division gives, therefore,
greater value to the whole force by being placed on the French right
than by any other use I can put it to although it does seem strange to
separate a small British unit by the entire French front from its own
comrades.

When d'Amade had done, de Robeck came along. No one on the _Q.E._ slept
much last night: to them, as to us, the dark hours had passed like one
nightmare after another. Were we miles back from the trenches as in
France, and frankly dependent on our telephones, the strain would be
softened by distance. Here we see the flashes; we hear the shots; we
stand in our main battery and are yet quite cut off from sharing the
efforts of our comrades. Too near for reflection; too far for
intervention: on tenter hooks, in fact; a sort of mental crucifixion.

Cox is not going to take his Punjabi Mahommedans into the fighting area
but will leave them on "W" Beach. He says if we were sweeping on
victoriously he would take them on but that, as things are, it would not
be fair to them to do so. That is exactly why I asked K. and Fitz for a
Brigade of Gurkhas; not a mixed Brigade.

_3rd May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ At 9 p.m. last night there was
another furious outburst of fire; mainly from the French. 75's and
rifles vied against one another in making the most infernal _fracas_. I
thought we were in for an _encore_ performance, but gradually the uproar
died away, and by midnight all was quiet. The Turks had made another
effort against our right, but they could not penetrate the rampart of
living fire built up against them and none got within charging distance
of our trenches, so d'Amade 'phones. He also says that a mass of Turkish
reserves were suddenly picked up by the French searchlights and the 75's
were into them like a knife, slicing and slashing the serried ranks to
pieces before they had time to scatter.

Birdie boarded us at 9 a.m. and told us his troubles. He has
straightened out his line on the left; after a fierce fight which has
cost him no less than 700 fresh casualties. But he feels safer now and
is pretty happy! he is sure he can hold his own against anything except
thirst. His _band-o-bast_ for taking water up to the higher trenches is
not working well, and the springs he has struck along the beach and in
the lower gullies are brakish. We are going to try and fix this up for
him.

At 10 o'clock went ashore with Braithwaite and paid visits to
Hunter-Weston and to d'Amade. We had a conference with each of them,
Generals and Staff who could be spared from the fighting being present.
The feeling is hopeful if only we had more men and especially drafts to
fill up our weakened battalions. The shell question is serious although,
in this respect, thank Heavens, the French are quite well found. When we
got back to the ship, heard a Taube had just been over and dropped a
bomb, which fell exactly between the _Arcadian_ and the ammunition ship,
anchored only about 60 or 70 yards off us!

_4th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Last night again there was all sorts
of firing and fighting going on, throughout those hours peaceful
citizens ear-mark for sleep. I had one or two absolutely hair-raising
messages. Not only were the French troops broken but the 29th Division
were falling back into the sea. Though frightened to death, I refused to
part with my reserve and made ready to go and take command of it at
break of dawn. In the end the French and Hunter-Weston beat off the
enemy by themselves. But there is no doubt that some of the French, and
two Battalions of our own, are badly shaken,--no wonder! Both
Hunter-Weston and d'Amade came on board in the forenoon, Hunter-Weston
quite fixed that _his_ men are strained to breaking point and d'Amade
emphatic that _his_ men will not carry on through another night unless
they get relief. To me fell the unenviable duty of reconciling two
contrary persuasions. Much argument as to where the enemy was making his
main push; as to the numbers of our own rifles (French and English) and
the yards of trenches each (French and English) have to hold. I decided
after anxious searching of heart to help the French by taking over some
portion of their line with the Naval Brigade. There was no help for it.
Hunter-Weston agreed in the end with a very good grace.

In writing K. I try to convey the truth in terms which will neither give
him needless anxiety or undue confidence. The facts have been stated
very simply, plus one brief general comment. I tell him that the Turks
would be playing our game by these assaults were it not that in the
French section they break through the Senegalese and penetrate into the
position. I add a word of special praise for the Naval Division, they
have done so well, but I know there are people in the War Office who
won't like to hear it. I say, "I hope the new French Division will not
steam at economic, but full, speed"; and I sum up by the sentence, "The
times are anxious, but I believe the enemy's cohesion should suffer more
than ours by these repeated night attacks."




CHAPTER VII

SHELLS


To-day, the 4th, shells were falling from Asia on both "V" and "W"
Beaches. We have landed aeroplanes on the Peninsula. The Taube has been
bothering us again, but wound up its manoeuvres very decently by
killing some fish for our dinner. Approved an out-spoken cable from my
Ordnance to the War Office. Heaven knows we have been close-fisted with
our meagre stocks, but when the Turks are coming right on to the assault
it is not possible to prevent a spurt of rapid fire from men who feel
the knife at their throat. "Ammunition is becoming a very serious
matter, owing to the ceaseless fighting since April 25th. The _Junia_
has not turned up and has but a small supply when she does. 18 pr. shell
is vital necessity."

_5th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ A wearing, nerve-racking, night-long
fire by the Turks and the French 75's. They, at least, both of them,
seem to have a good supply of shell. To the Jews, God showed Himself
once as a pillar of fire by night; to the French soldier whose God is
the 75 He reveals Himself in just the same way, safeguarding his flimsy
trenches from the impact of the infidel horde. The curse of the method
is its noise--let alone its cost. But last night it came off: no Turks
got through anywhere on the French front and the men had not to stand to
their arms or use their rifles. We British, worse luck, can't dream of
these orgies of explosives. Our batteries last night did not fire a shot
and the men had to drive back the enemy by rifle fire. They did it
easily enough but the process is wearing.

An answer has come to my prayer for 18 pr. stuff: not the answer that
turns away wrath, but the answer that provokes a plaster saint.

"We have under consideration your telegram of yesterday. The ammunition
supply for your force, however, was never calculated on the basis of a
prolonged occupation of the Gallipoli Peninsula, we will have to
reconsider the position if, after the arrival of the reinforcements now
on their way out to you, the enemy cannot be driven back and, in
conjunction with the Fleet, the Forts barring the passage of the
Dardanelles cannot be reduced. It is important to push on."

Now von Donop is a kindly man despite that overbearing "von": yet, he
speaks to us like this! The survivors of our half dead force are to
"push on"; for, "it is important to push on" although Whitehall seems to
have time and to spare to "consider" my cable and to "reconsider the
position." Death first, diagnosis afterwards. Wherever is the use of
reconsidering the position now? The position has taken charge. When a
man has jumped off Westminster Bridge to save a drowning Russian his
position has got beyond reconsideration: there is only one thing to
do--as quickly as you can, as much help as you can--and if it comes to a
choice between the _quick_ and the _much_: hark to your swimmer and hear
him cry "Quick! Quick!! Quick!!!"

The War Office urge me to throw my brave troops yet once more against
machine guns in redoubts; to do it on the cheap; to do it without asking
for the shell that gives the attack a sporting chance. I don't say they
are wrong in so saying; there may be no other way out of it; but I do
say the War Office stand convicted of having gone hopelessly wrong in
their estimates and preparations. For we must have been held up
somewhere, surely; we must have fought _somewhere_. I suppose, even if
we had forced the Straits--even if we had taken Constantinople without
firing a shot, we must have fought somewhere! Otherwise, a child's box
of tin soldiers sent by post would have been just the thing for the
Dardanelles landing! No; it's not the advice that riles me: it's the
fact that people who have made a mistake, and should be sorry, slur over
my appeal for the stuff advances are made of and yet continue to urge us
on as if we were hanging back.

A strong wind blows and Helles is smothered in dust. Hunter-Weston spent
an hour with me this morning and an hour with the G.S. putting the final
touches to the plan of attack discussed by us yesterday. The Lancashire
Brigade of the 42nd Division has landed.

Hunter-Bunter stayed to lunch.

_Later_. In the afternoon went ashore and inspected the Lancashire
Brigade of the East Lancs. Division just landed; and a very fine lot of
Officers and men they are. They are keen and ready for to-morrow. Yes,
to-morrow we attack again: I have men enough now but very, very little
shell. The Turks have given us three bad nights and they ought to be
worn out. With our sea power we can shift a couple of Brigades from Gaba
Tepe to Helles or vice versa quicker than the Turks can march from the
one theatre to the other. So the first question has been whether to
reinforce Gaba Tepe from Helles or vice versa. For reasons too long to
write here I have decided to attack in the South especially as I had a
cable from K. himself yesterday in which he makes the suggestion:--

"I hope," he says, "the 5th" (that's to-day) "will see you strong enough
to press on to Achi Baba anyway, as delay will allow the Turks to bring
up more reinforcements and to make unpleasant preparations for your
reception. The Australians and New Zealanders will have had
reinforcements from Egypt by then, and, if they hold on to their
trenches with the help of the Naval Division, could spare you a good
many men for the advance."

Old K. is as right as rain here but a little bit after the shower. Had
he and Maxwell tumbled to the real situation when I first saw with my
own eyes the lie of the land instead of the lies on their maps; and had
they let me have the Brigade of Gurkhas I asked for by my letters and by
my cable of 24th March, and by word of mouth and telephone up to the
last moment of my leaving Egypt, these homilies about the urgency of
seizing Achi Baba would be beside the mark, seeing we should be sitting
on the top of it.

In the matter of giving K. is built on the model of Pharaoh: nothing
less than the firstborn of the nation will make him suffer his subjects
to depart from Egypt; and Maxwell sees eye to eye with him--that is
natural. No word of the bombs and trench mortars I asked for six weeks
ago, but the "bayonets" are coming in liberally now.

Two of Birdwood's Brigades sail down to-night and join up with a Brigade
from the Naval Division, thus making a new composite Division for the
Southern theatre. The 29th, who have lost so very heavily, are being
strengthened by the new Lancashire Fusilier Brigade, and Cox's Indian
Brigade. By no manner the same thing, this, as getting drafts to fill up
the ranks of the 29th. Always in war there is three times better value
in filling up an old formation than in making up the total by bringing
in a new formation. I have given the French the Naval Brigade; the new,
Naval-Australian Division is to form my general reserve.

So there! To-morrow morning. We have men enough, and good men too, but
we are short of pebbles for Goliath of Achi Baba. These three nights
have made a big hole in our stocks. Hunter-Weston feels that all is in
our favour but the artillery. In Flanders, he says, they would never
attack with empty limbers behind them; they would wait till they were
full up. But the West is not in its essence a time problem; there, they
can wait--next week--next month. If we wait one week the Turks will
have become twice as strong in their numbers, and twice as deep in their
trenches, as they are to-day. Hunter-Weston and d'Amade see that
perfectly. I hold the idea myself that it would be good tactics, seeing
shell shortage is our weakness, to make use of the half hour before dawn
to close with the enemy and then fight it out on their ground. To cross
the danger zone, in fact, by night and overthrow the enemy in the grey
dawn. But Hunter-Weston says that so many regimental officers have been
lost he fears for the Company leading at night:--for that, most
searching of military tests, nothing but the best will do.

Hard up as we are for shell he thinks it best to blaze it away freely
before closing and to trust our bayonets when we get in. He and d'Amade
have both of them their Western experience to guide them. I have agreed,
subject only to the condition that we must keep some munitions in
reserve until we hear for certain that more is on its way.

The enemy had trusted to their shore defences. There was no second line
behind them--not this side of Achi Baba, at least. Now, i.e., ever since
the failure of their grand attempt on the night of the 2nd-3rd May, they
have been hard at work. Already their lines cover quite half the ground
between the Aegean and the Straits; whilst, in rear again, we can see
wired patches which we guess to be enfilading machine gun redoubts. We
must resolutely and at all cost make progress and smash up these new
spiders' webs of steel before they connect into elastic but unbreakable
patterns.

_9th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Three days on the rack! Since the
morning of the 6th not a word have I written barring one or two letters
and one or two hasty scraps of cables. Now, D.V., there is the best part
of a day at my disposal and it is worth an effort to put that story
down.

First I had better fix the sequence of the munition cables, for upon
them the whole attack has hung--or rather, hung fire.

On the 6th, the evening of the opening day, we received a postscript to
the refusal already chronicled:--

"Until you can submit a return of the amount you have in hand to enable
us to work out the rates of expenditure, it is difficult to decide about
further supplies of ammunition."

When I read this I fell on my knees and prayed God to grant me patience.
Am I to check the number of rounds in the limbers; on the beaches and in
transit during a battle? Two days after my S.O.S. the War Office begin
to think about tables of averages!

I directed my answer to Lord K. himself:--

"With reference to your No. 4432 of 5th inst., please turn to my letter
to you of 30th March,[14] wherein I have laid stress on the essential
difference in the matter of ammunition supply between the Dardanelles
and France. In France, where the factories are within 24 hours' distance
from the firing line, it may be feasible to consider and reconsider
situations, including ammunition supply. Here we are distant a
fortnight. I consider that 4.5 inch, 18 pr. and other ammunition,
especially Mark VII rifle ammunition, should instantly be despatched
here _via_ Marseilles.

"Battle in progress. Advance being held up by stubborn opposition."

Within a few hours K.'s reply came in; he says:--

"It is difficult for me to judge the situation unless you can send me
your expenditure of ammunition for which we have repeatedly asked. The
question is not affected by the other considerations you mention." If
space and time have no bearing on strategy and tactics, then K. is
right. If ships sail over the sea as fast as railways run across the
land; if Helles is nearer Woolwich than Calais; then he is right. I use
the capital K. here impersonally, for I am sure the great man did not
indite the message himself even though it may be headed from him to me.

Late that night came another cable from the Master General of the
Ordnance saying he was sending out "in the next relief ship 10,000
rounds of 18 pr. shrapnel, and 1,000 rounds of 4.5 inch high explosive."

But why the next relief ship? It won't get here for another three weeks
and by that time we should be, by all the laws of nature and of war, in
Davy Jones's locker. True, we don't mean to be, whatever the Ordnance
may do or leave undone but, so far as I can see, that won't be their
fault. Neither I nor my Staff can make head or tail of these cables.
They seem so unlike K.; so unlike all the people. Here we are:--The
Turks in front of us--too close: the deep sea behind us--too close. We
beg them "instantly" to send us 4.5 inch and other ammunition;
"instantly, _via_ Marseilles":--they tell us in reply that they will
send 1,000 rounds of the vital stuff, the 4.5 high explosive, "_in the
next relief ship_"!

Why, even in the South African War, before the siege of Ladysmith, one
battery would fire five hundred rounds in a day. And this 1,000 rounds
in the next relief ship (_via_ Alexandria) will take three weeks to get
to us whereas stress was laid by me upon the Marseilles route.

Now, to-day, (the 9th), I have at last been able to send the Ordnance a
statement (made under extreme difficulty) of our ammunition expenditure;
up to the 5th May; i.e., before the three days' battle began. We were
then nine million small arm still to the good having spent eleven
million. We had shot away 23,000 shrapnel, 18 pr., and had 48,000 in
hand. We had fired off 5,000 of that (most vital) 4.5 howitzer and had
1,800 remaining. A.P.S. has been added saying the amounts shown had been
greatly reduced by the last two days' battle. Actually, they have fallen
to less than half and, as I have said, we had, on the evening of the
7th, only 17,000 rounds of 18 pr. on hand for the whole Peninsula. Out
of this we have fought the battle of the 8th and I believe we have run
down now to under 10,000, some fear as low as 5,000.

Very well. Now for my last night's cable which, in the opinion of my
Officers, summarises general result of lack of shell:--

"For the past three days we have fought our hardest for Achi Baba
winding up with a bayonet charge by the whole force along the entire
front, from sea to sea. Faced by a heavy artillery, machine gun and
rifle fire our troops, French and British alike, made a fine effort; the
French especially got well into the Turks with the bayonet, and all
along, excepting on our extreme left, our line gained ground. I might
represent the battle as a victory, as the enemy's advanced positions
were driven in, but essentially the result has been failure, as the main
object remains unachieved. The fortifications and their machine guns
were too scientific and too strongly held to be rushed, although I had
every available man in to-day. Our troops have done all that flesh and
blood can do against semi-permanent works, and they are not able to
carry them. More and more munitions will be needed to do so. I fear this
is a very unpalatable conclusion, but I see no way out of it.

"I estimate that the Turks had about 40,000 opposed to our 25,000
rifles. There are 20,000 more in front of Australian-New Zealand Army
Corps' 12,000 rifles at Gaba Tepe. By bringing men over from the Asiatic
side and from Adrianople the Turks seem to be able to keep up their
strength. I have only one more brigade of the Lancashire Territorial
Division to come; not enough to make any real effect upon the situation
as regards breaking through."

Hard must be the heart that is not wrung to think of all these brave
boys making their effort; giving their lives; all that they had; it is
too much; almost more than can be borne.

Now to go back and make my notes, day by day, of the battle:--

On the 6th instant we began at 11.30 after half an hour's
bombardment,--we dared not run to more. A strong wind was blowing and it
was hard to land or come aboard. Till 2 p.m. I remained glued to the
telephone on board and then went ashore and saw both Hunter-Weston and
d'Amade in their posts of command. The live long day there were furious
semi-detached fights by Battalions and Brigades, and we butted back the
enemy for some 200 or 300 yards. So far so good. But we did not capture
any of the main Turkish trenches. I still think we might have done as
well at much less cost by creeping up these 200 or 300 yards by night.

However!

At 4.30 we dropped our high-vaulting Achi Baba aspirations and took to
our spades.

The Hood Battalion of the Royal Naval Division had been roughly handled.
In the hospital clearing tent by the beach I saw and spoke to (amongst
many others) young Asquith, shot through the knee, and Commander
Wedgwood, who had been horribly hurt by shrapnel. Each in his own way
was a calm hero; wrapped in the mantle bequeathed to English soldiers by
Sir Philip Sidney. Coming back in the evening to the ship we watched
the Manchester Brigade disembarking. I have never seen a better looking
lot. The 6th Battalion would serve very well as picked specimens of our
race; not so much in height or physique, but in the impression they gave
of purity of race and distinction. Here are the best the old country can
produce; the hope of the progress of the British ideal in the world; and
half of them are going to swap lives with Turks whose relative value to
the well-being of humanity is to theirs as is a locust to a honey-bee.

That night Bailloud, Commander of the new French Division, came to make
his salaam. He is small, alert, brimful of jokes and of years; seventy
they say, but he neither looks it nor acts it.

The 7th was stormy and the sea dangerously rough. At 10 a.m. the
Lancashire Fusilier Brigade were to lead off on our left. They could not
get a move on, it seemed, although we had hoped that the shelling from
the ships would have swept a clear lane for them.

The thought that "Y" Beach, which was holding up this brigade, was once
in our hands, adds its sting to other reports coming from that part of
the field. In France these reports would have been impersonal messages
arriving from afar. In Asia or Africa I would have been letting off the
steam by galloping to d'Amade or Hunter-Weston. Here I was neither one
thing nor the other:--neither a new fangled Commander sitting cool and
semi-detached in an office; nor an old fashioned Commander taking
personal direction of the show. During so long drawn out a suspense I
tried to ease the tension by dictation. From the carbons I select these
two paragraphs: they occur in a letter fired off to Colonel Clive Wigram
at "11.25 a.m., 7th May, 1915."

"I broke off there because I got a telephone message in from
Hunter-Weston to say his centre was advancing, and that by a pretty
piece of co-operation between Infantry and Artillery, he had driven the
Turks out of one very troublesome trench. He cannot see what is on his
left, or get any message from them. On his left are the Lancashire
Fusiliers (Territorials). They are faced by a horrid redoubt held by
machine guns, and they are to rush it with the bayonet.[15] It is a high
thing to ask of Territorials but against an enemy who is fighting for
his life, and for the existence of his country, we have to call upon
every one for efforts which, under any other conditions, might be
considered beyond their strength.

"Were we still faced by the Divisions which originally held the
Gallipoli Peninsula we would by now, I firmly believe, be in possession
of the Kilid Bahr plateau. But every day a regiment or two dribble into
Gallipoli, either from Asia or from Constantinople, and in the last two
days an entire fresh Division has (we have heard) arrived from
Adrianople, and is fighting against us this morning. The smallest
demonstration on the part of Bulgaria would, I presume, have prevented
this big reinforcement of fresh troops reaching the enemy, but it seems
beyond the resources of diplomacy to get anyone to create a diversion."

At 4.30 I ordered a general assault; the 88th Brigade to be thrown in on
the top of the 87th; the New Zealand Brigade in support; the French to
conform. Our gunners had put more than they could afford into the
bombardment and had very little wherewith to pave the way.

By the 4th instant I had seen danger-point drawing near and now it was
on us. Five hundred more rounds of howitzer 4.5 and aeroplanes to spot
whilst we wiped out the machine guns; that was the burden of my prayer.
Still, we did what we could and for a quarter of an hour the whole of
the Turkish front was wreathed in smoke, but these were naval shells or
18 pr shrapnel; we have no 18 pr high explosive and neither naval shells
nor shrapnel are very much good once the targets have got underground.
On our left no move forward.[16] Elsewhere our wonderful Infantry fought
like fresh formations. In face of a tempest of shot and shell and of a
desperate resistance by the Turks, who stuck it out very bravely to the
last, they carried and held the first line enemy trenches. At night
several counter-attacks were delivered, in every case repulsed with
heavy loss.

We are now on our last legs. The beautiful Battalions of the 25th April
are wasted skeletons now; shadows of what they had been. The thought of
the river of blood, against which I painfully made my way when I met
these multitudes of wounded coming down to the shore, was unnerving. But
every soldier has to fight down these pitiful sensations: the enemy may
be harder hit than he: if we do not push them further back the beaches
will become untenable. To overdrive the willingest troops any General
ever had under his command is a sin--but we must go on fighting
to-morrow!

On Saturday, the 8th, I went ashore and by 9.30 had taken up my quarters
in a little gully between "W" and "X" Beaches within 60 yards of the
Headquarters of the Royal Naval Division. There I was in direct
telephonic touch with both Hunter-Weston and d'Amade. The storm had
abated and the day was fine. Our troops had now been fighting for two
days and two nights but there were messages in from the front telling us
they were keen as ever to get something solid for their efforts. The
Lancashire Fusiliers Brigade had been withdrawn into reserve, and under
my orders the New Zealand Brigade was to advance through the line taken
up during the night by the 88th Brigade and attack Krithia. The 87th
Brigade were to try and gain ground over that wicked piece of moorland
to the West of the great ravine which--since the days when it was in the
hands of the troops who landed at "Y"--has hopelessly held up our left.
Every gun-shot fired gives me a pain in my heart and adds to the deadly
anxiety I feel about our ammunition. We have only one thousand rounds of
4.5 H.E. left and we dare not use any more. The 18 pr shrapnel is
running down, down, down to its terminus, for we _must_ try and keep
10,000 rounds in hand for defence. The French have still got enough to
cover their own attacks. The ships began to fire at 10.15 and after a
quarter of an hour the flower of New Zealand advanced in open order to
the attack. After the most desperate hand to hand fighting, often by
sections or sometimes by groups of half a dozen men, we gained slowly,
very slowly, perhaps a couple of hundred yards. There was an opinion in
some quarters that we had done all we could, but I resolved firmly to
make one more attempt. At 4 o'clock I issued orders that the whole line,
reinforced by the Australians, should on the stroke of 5.30 fix bayonets
and storm Krithia and Achi Baba. At 5.15 the men-of-war went at it hot
and strong with their big guns and fifteen minutes later the hour glass
of eternity dropped a tiny grain labelled 5.30 p.m. 8.5.1915 into the
lap of time.

As that moment befell, the wide plain before us became alive. Bayonets
sparkled all over the wide plain. Under our glasses this vague movement
took form and human shape: men rose, fell, ran, rushed on in waves,
broke, recoiled, crumbled away and disappeared.

At the speed of the minute hand of a watch the left of our line crept
forward.

On the right, at first nothing. Then suddenly, in the twinkling of an
eye, the whole of the Northern slopes of the Kereves Dere Ravine was
covered by bright coloured irregular surging crowds, moving in quite
another way to the khaki-clad figures on their left:--one moment pouring
over the debatable ground like a torrent, anon twisted and turning and
flying like multitudes of dead leaves before the pestilent breath of
the howitzers. No living man has ever seen so strange a vision as this:
in its disarray; in its rushing to and fro; in the martial music, shouts
and evolutions!

My glasses shook as I looked, though I _believe_ I seemed very calm. It
seemed; it truly seemed as if the tide of blue, grey, scarlet specks was
submerging the enemy's strongholds. A thousand of them converged and
rushed the redoubt at the head of the Kereves Dere. A few seconds later
into it--one! two!! three!!! fell from the clouds the Turkish six
inchers. Where the redoubt had been a huge column of smoke arose as from
the crater of a volcano. Then fast and furious the enemy guns opened on
us. For the first time they showed their full force of fire. Again, the
big howitzers led the infernal orchestra pitting the face of no man's
land with jet black blotches. The puppet figures we watched began to
waver; the Senegalese were torn and scattered. Once more these huge
explosions unloading their cargoes of midnight on to the evening gloom.
All along the Zouaves and Senegalese gave way. Another surge forward and
bayonets crossed with the Turks: yet a few moments of tension and back
they fell to their trenches followed by salvo upon salvo of shell
bursts. Night slid down into the smoke. The last thing--against the
skyline--a little column of French soldiers of the line charging back
upwards towards the lost redoubt. After that--darkness!

The battle is over. Both sides have fought with every atom of energy
they possessed. The heat is oppressive. A heavy mail from England. On
shore all quiet. A young wounded Officer of the 29th Division said it
was worth ten years of tennis to see the Australians and New Zealanders
go in. Began writing at daylight and now it is midnight. No word yet of
the naval offer to go through.

Issued a special order to the troops. They deserve everything that
anyone can give them in this world and the next.

                                                 GENERAL HEADQUARTERS,
                                                       _9th May, 1915._

"Sir Ian Hamilton wishes the troops of the Mediterranean Expeditionary
Force to be informed that in all his past experiences, which include the
hard struggles of the Russo-Japanese campaign, he has never seen more
devoted gallantry displayed than that which has characterised their
efforts during the past three days. He has informed Lord Kitchener by
cable of the bravery and endurance displayed by all ranks here and has
asked that the necessary reinforcements be forthwith dispatched.
Meanwhile, the remainder of the East Lancashire Division is disembarking
and will henceforth be available to help us to make good and improve
upon the positions we have so hardly won."

_10th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Fell asleep last night thinking of
Admirals, Commodores and men-o'-war and of how they _might_, within the
next forty-eight hours, put another complexion upon our prospects. So it
seemed quite natural when, the first thing in the morning, a cable came
in with the tea asking me whether I have been consulting de Robeck as to
"the future operations that will be necessary." K. adds, "I hope you and
the Admiral will be able to devise some means of clearing a passage."

Have just cabled back "Every day I have consultations with the Admiral":
I cannot say more than this as I am not supposed to know anything about
de Robeck's cable as to the "means of clearing a passage" which went, I
believe, yesterday. No doubt it lay before K. when he wired me. I have
not been shown the cable; I have not been consulted about it, nor, I
believe, has Braithwaite, but I do happen to be aware of its drift.

Without embarking on another endless yarn let me note the fact that
there are two schools amongst our brethren afloat. Roger Keyes and those
of the younger school who sport the executive curl upon their sleeves
are convinced that now, when we have replaced the ramshackle old
trawlers of 18th March by an unprecedented mine-sweeping service of
20-knot destroyers under disciplined crews, the forcing of the Straits
has become as easy ... well; anyway; easier than what we soldiers tried
to do on Saturday. Upon these fire-eaters de Robeck has hitherto thrown
cold water. He thought, as we thought, that the Army would save his
ships. But our last battle has shown him that the Army would only open
the Straits at a cost greater than the loss of ships, and that the time
has come to strike home with the tremendous mechanism of the Fleet. On
that basis he quickly came to terms with the views of his thrusting
lieutenants.

On two reservations, he still insisted: (1) he was not going to deprive
me of the close tactical support of his battleships if there was the
least apprehension we might be "done in" in his absence. (2) He was not
going to risk his ships amongst the mines unless we were sure, if he did
get through, we could follow on after him by land.

On both issues there was, to my thinking, no question:--(1) Although we
cannot push through "under present conditions without more and more
ammunition," _vide_ my cable of yesterday, all the Turks in Asia will
not shift us from where we stand even if we have not one battleship to
back us.

(2) If the ships force the Straits, beyond doubt, we can starve out the
Turks; scupper the Forts and hold the Bulair lines.

We know enough now about the communications and reserves of food and
munitions of the Turks to be positively certain they cannot stick it on
the Peninsula if they are cut off from sea communication with Asia and
with Constantinople. Within a fortnight they will begin to run short; we
are all agreed there.

So now, (i.e., yesterday) the Admiral has cabled offering to go through,
and "now" is the moment of all others to let Lord K. clearly face the
alternative to that proposal. So I have said (in the same cable in which
I answer his question about consultations with the Admiral) "If you
could only spare me two fresh Divisions organized as a Corps I could
push on with great hopes of success both from Helles and Gaba Tepe;
otherwise I am afraid we shall degenerate into trench warfare with its
resultant slowness."

Birdie ran down from Anzac and breakfasted. He brings news of an A.1
affair. Two of his Battalions, the 15th and 16th Australians, stormed
three rows of Turkish trenches with the bayonet, and then sat down in
them. At dawn to-day the enemy counter-attacked in overwhelming
strength. The healthy part of the story lies herein, that our field guns
were standing by in action, and as the enemy came on they let them have
it hot with shrapnel over a space of 300 yards. Terrible as this fire
was, it failed to beat off the Turks. They retook the trenches, but they
have paid far more than their price, for Birdwood assures me that their
corpses lie piled up so thick one on top of the other that our snipers
can take cover behind them.

A curious incident: during the night a Fleet-sweeper tied up alongside,
full of wounded, chiefly Australians. They had been sent off from the
beach; had been hawked about from ship to ship and every ship they
hailed had the same reply--"full up"--until, in the end, they received
orders to return to the shore and disembark their wounded to wait there
until next day. The Officers, amongst them an Australian Brigadier of my
acquaintance, protested; and so, the Fleet-sweeper crew, not knowing
what to do, came and lashed on to us.[17] No one told me anything of
this last night, but the ship's Captain and his Officers and my own
Staff Officers have been up on watches serving out soup, etc., and
tending these wounded to the best of their power. As soon as I heard
what had happened I first signalled the hospital ship _Guildford Castle_
to prepare to take the men in (she had just cast anchor); then I went on
board the Fleet-sweeper myself and told the wounded how sorry I was for
the delay in getting them to bed. They declared one and all they had
been very well done but "the boys" never complain; my A.G. is the
responsible official; I have told him the _band-o-bast_ has been bad;
also that a Court of Enquiry must be called to adjudicate on the whole
matter.

Were an example to be sought of the almighty influence of "Time" none
better could be found than in the fact that, to-day, I have almost
forgotten to chronicle a passage in K.'s cable aforesaid that might well
have been worth the world and the glories thereof only forty-eight short
hours ago. K. says, "More ammunition is being pushed out to you _via_
Marseilles." I am glad. I am deeply grateful. Our anxieties will be
lessened, but _that same message, had it only reached us on Saturday
morning, would have enabled us to fire 5,000 more shrapnel and 500 more
4.5 howitzer H.E. to cover our last assault!_




CHAPTER VIII

TWO CORPS OR AN ALLY?


_11th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Day dull and overcast. Vice-Admiral
came over to see me in the morning. Neither of us has had a reply to his
cable; instead, he has been told two enemy submarines are on their way
to pay us a visit. The approach of these mechanical monsters opens up
vistas thronged with shadowy forebodings. De Robeck begs me to set his
mind at ease by landing with my Staff forthwith. Have sent Officers to
survey the ground between Helles and Sedd-el-Bahr and to see if they can
find room for us. We would all rather be on shore than board ship, but
Helles and "V" Beaches are already overcrowded, and we should be
squeezed in cheek by jowl, within a few hundred yards of the two
Divisional Headquarters Staffs.

_12th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Raining hard. Busy all morning. A
cable from Lord K. to say he is sending out the Lowland Division. We are
all as pleased as Punch! especially (so Braithwaite tells me) Roger
Keyes who looks on this as a good omen for the naval attack proposals.
Had he not meant the Fleet to shove in K. must have made some reference
to the second Division, surely. Have cabled back at once to K. giving
him warmest thanks and begging him to look, personally, into the
question of the command of the coming Division. Have begged him to take
Leslie Rundle's opinion on the point and have pressed it by saying,
"Imperturbable calm in the Commander is essential above all things in
these operations." Most of the troop transports have left their
anchorage and gone back to Mudros for fear of submarines.

Went ashore at 3 o'clock. Saw Hunter-Weston and then inspected the 29th
Division just in from the firing line. The ground was heavy and sloppy
after the rain. I walked as far as the trenches of the 86th Brigade and
saw amongst other Corps the Essex, Hants, Lancashire Fusiliers and 5th
Royal Scots. Spent over an hour chatting to groups of Officers and men
who looked like earth to earth, caked as they were with mud, haggard
with lack of sleep, pale as the dead, many of them slightly wounded and
bandaged, hand or head, their clothes blood-stained, their eyes
blood-shot. Who could have believed that only a fortnight ago these same
figures were clean as new pins; smart and well-liking! Two-thirds of
each Battalion were sound asleep in pools of mud and water--like corpses
half buried! This sounds horrible but the hearty welcome extended to us
by all ranks and the pride they took in their achievements was a sublime
triumph of mind over matter. Our voluntary service regulars are the last
descendants of those rulers of the ancient world, the Roman
Legionaries. Oh that their ranks could be kept filled and that a mould
so unique was being used to its fullest in forming new regulars.

On my way back to the beach I saw the Plymouth Battalion as it marched
in from the front line. They were quite different excepting only in the
fact that they also had done marvels of fighting and endurance. They
were done: they had come to the end of their tether. Not only physical
exhaustion but moral exhaustion. They could not raise a smile in the
whole battalion. The faces of Officers and men had a crushed, utterly
finished expression: some of the younger Officers especially had that
true funeral set about their lips which spreads the contagion of gloom
through the hearts of the bravest soldiers. As each company front formed
the knees of the rank and file seemed to give way. Down they fell and
motionless remained. An hour or two of rest, their Colonel says, will
make all the difference in what the French call their _allure_, but not
quite so soon I think. These are the New Armies. They are not
specialised types like the Old Army. They have nerves, the defects of
their good qualities. They are more susceptible to the horrors and
discomforts of what they were never brought up to undergo. The
philosophy of the battlefield is not part of their panoply. No one
fights better than they do--for a spell--and a good long spell too. But
they have not the invincible carelessness or temperamental springiness
of the old lot--and how should they?

In the evening I received General d'Amade who had come over to pay his
farewell visit. He is permitted to let me see his order of recall.
"Important modifications having come about in the general political
situation" his Government have urgent need for his services on a
"military mission." D'Amade is a most charming, chivalrous and loyal
soldier. He has lost his son fighting in France and he has had his
headquarters right down in the middle of his 75's where the infernal din
night and day must indeed murder sleep. He is a delightful person and,
in the combat, too brave. We all wish him luck. For Kum Kale and for
what he has done, suffered and lost he deserves great Kudos in his
country.

By order of the Vice-Admiral this ship is to anchor at Tenedos. My
informal confab with the heroes of the 29th Division, and their utter
unconsciousness of their own glorious conduct have moved me to write
these few words in their honour:--

                                                 GENERAL HEADQUARTERS,
                                                      _12th May, 1915._

For the first time for 18 days and nights it has been found possible to
withdraw the 29th Division from the fire fight. During the whole of that
long period of unprecedented strain the Division has held ground or
gained it, against the bullets and bayonets of the constantly renewed
forces of the foe. During the whole of that long period they have been
illuminating the pages of military history with their blood. The losses
have been terrible, but mingling with the deep sorrow for fallen
comrades arises a feeling of pride in the invincible spirit which has
enabled the survivors to triumph where ordinary troops must inevitably
have failed. I tender to Major-General Hunter-Weston and to his Division
at the same time my profoundest sympathy with their losses and my
warmest congratulations on their achievement.

                                                         IAN HAMILTON,
                                                             _General._

[Illustration: GENERAL D'AMADE]

Also I have penned a farewell line to d'Amade:

                        GENERAL HEADQUARTERS,
                              MEDN. EXPED. FORCE,
                                     _12th May, 1915._

  MON GENERAL,

With deep personal sadness I learn that your country has urgent need of
your great experience elsewhere.

From the very first you and your brave troops have done all, and more
than all, that mortal man could do to further the cause we have at
heart. By day and by night, for many days and nights in succession, you
and your gallant troops have ceaselessly struggled against the enemy's
fresh reinforcements and have won from him ground at the bayonet point.

The military records of France are most glorious, but you, Mon General,
have added fresh brilliancy, if I may say so, even to those dazzling
records.

The losses have been cruel: such losses are almost unprecedented, but it
may be some consolation hereafter to think that only by so fierce a
trial could thus have been fully disclosed the flame of patriotism which
burns in the hearts of yourself and your men.

With sincere regrets at your coming departure but with the full
assurance that in your new sphere of activity, you will continue to
render the same valuable service you have already given to France.

                    I remain,
                        Mon General,
                            Your sincere friend,
                                      IAN HAMILTON,
                                             _General._

_13th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Hot and bright. Dead calm sea. Last
night a dense fog during which a Turkish Torpedo boat sneaked down the
Straits and torpedoed the _Goliath_. David and his sling on the grand
scale. No details yet to hand. The enemy deserve decorations--confound
them!

Got hold of a Fleet-sweeper and went off to Cape Helles. Again visited
Headquarters 29th Division, and afterwards walked through the trenches
of the 87th Brigade. Saw that fine soldier, Brigadier-General Marshall,
in command. Chatted to no end of his men--Inniskillings, Dublin
Fusiliers, etc. They have recovered their exhaustion; have cleaned up,
and look full of themselves, twice the size in fact. As I stepped on to
the little pier at Cape Helles an enemy's six-incher burst about 50
yards back, a lump of metal just clearing my right shoulder strap and
shooting into the sea with an ugly hiss. Not a big fragment but enough!

The Staff have made up their minds that we should be very much in the
wrong box if we dossed down on the toe of the Peninsula. First,--unless
we get between the Divisional Generals and the enemy, there is literally
no room! Secondly,--I should be further, in point of time, from Birdwood
and his men than if I was still on board ship. Thirdly,--the several
Headquarters of Divisions, whether French or British, would all equally
hate to have Braithwaite and myself sitting in their pockets from
morning to night. Have sent out another party, therefore, to explore
Tenedos and see if we can find a place there which will serve us till we
can make more elbow room on Gallipoli.

The Gurkhas have stalked the Bluff Redoubt and have carried it with a
rush! They are absolutely the boys for this class of country and for
this class of enemy.

Cabled Lord K. about the weakness of the 29th Division. At the very
moment when we are hoping so much from a fresh push made in conjunction
with a naval attack, the Division, the backbone of my force, are short
by over 11,000 men and 400 Officers! As a fighting unit they are on
their last legs and when they will be set upon their feet again Lord K.
knows. Were we in France we'd get the men to-morrow. If I had my own
depots in Egypt still I could see my way, but, as things are, there
seems no chance of getting a move on for another fortnight. Have cabled
K. saying, "I hope the 29th Division is soon to be made up to strength.
I had no idea when I left England that the customary 10 per cent.
reinforcement was not being taken with it by the Division although it
was to operate at so great a distance from its base." If K. gets into a
bad temper over the opening of my cable, its tail end should lift him
out again. For the enemy's extremely tenacious right has been shifted at
last. Under cover of a hooroosh by the Manchesters, the Gurkhas have
rushed a bluff 600 yards ahead of our line and are sticking to their
winnings.

_14th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Hot day, smooth sea. Disembarking
to bivouac on shore. What a contrast we must present to the Headquarters
in France! There the stately _Chateau_; sheets, table-cloths and motor
cars. Here the red tab patricians have to haul their own kits over the
sand.

In the afternoon d'Amade came back with General Gouraud, his successor,
the new Chief of the French. A resolute, solid looking _gaillard_ is
Gouraud. He brings a great reputation with him from the Western Front.

Quite late the Admiral came over to see me. He brings bad news. Roger
Keyes and the forwards will be cut to the heart. The Admiralty have
turned down the proposal to force the Straits simultaneously by land and
sea. We are to go on attacking; the warships are to go on supporting.

From the earliest days great commanders have rubbed in the maxim, "If
you attack, attack with all your force." Our people know better; we are
to go on attacking with half our force. First we attack with the naval
half and are held up--next we attack with the army half and are held up.

The Admiral has changed his mind about our landing and thinks it would
be best not to fix G.H.Q. at Tenedos; first, because there might be
delay in getting quickly to Anzac; secondly, because Tenedos is so close
to Asia that we might all be scuppered in our beds by a cutting-out
party of Besika Bay ruffians, unless we had a guard. But we can't run to
the pomp and circumstance of a Commander-in-Chief's guard here.

_15th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Till 3 p.m. the perspiring Staff
were re-embarking their gear. Sailed then for Helles when I saw
Hunter-Weston who gave me a full account of the attacks made on the
newly gained bluff upon our left. Shells busy bursting on "W" Beach.
Some French aeroplanes have arrived--God be praised! Shocked to hear
Birdie has been hit, but another message to say nothing serious, came
close on the heels of the first. Anchored at Imbros when I got a cable
asking me what forces I shall need to carry right through to a finish.
A crucial question, very much affected by what the Admiral told me last
night. Nothing easier than to ask for 150,000 men and then, if I fail
say I didn't get what I wanted, but the boldest leaders, Bobs, White,
Gordon, K., have always "asked for more" with a most queasy conscience.
On the face of it I need many more men if the Fleet is not to attack,
and yet I am not even supposed to have knowledge, much less an opinion,
as to what passes between the Fleet and the Admiralty!

_16th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ De Robeck came off the _Lord
Nelson_, his new Flagship, in the morning. The submarines are shadowing
him already, and there seems little doubt they are on their way.

Bridges has been badly wounded. The news upset me so got hold of H.M.S.
_Rattlesnake_ (Commander Wedgwood), and started off for Anzac. Went
ashore and saw Birdie. Doing so, I received a different sort of salute
from that to which a Commander-in-Chief landing on duty is entitled by
regulation. Quite a shower of shell fell all about us, the Turks having
spotted there was some sort of "bloke" on the _Rattlesnake_. We went
round a bit of the line, and found all well, the men in great heart and,
amidst a constant crackle of musketry, looking as if they liked it.
Birdie himself is still a little shaken by his wound of yesterday. He
had a close shave indeed. A bullet came through the chinks of a sandbag
and scalped him. He fell to the ground senseless and pouring with
blood, but when he had been picked up and washed he wanted to finish his
round of the trenches.

Embarked again under brisk shell fire and proceeded to the hospital ship
_Gascon_ where I saw General Bridges. He looked languid and pale. But
his spirit was high as ever and he smiled at a little joke I managed to
make about the way someone had taken the shelling we had just gone
through. The doctors, alas, give a bad, if not desperate, account of
him. Were he a young man, they could save him by cutting off his leg
high up, but as it is he would not stand the shock. On the other hand,
his feet are so cold from the artery being severed that they anticipate
mortification. I should have thought better have a try at cutting off
the leg, but they are not for it. Bridges will be a real loss. He was a
single-minded, upright, politics-despising soldier. With all her
magnificent rank and file, Australia cannot afford to lose Bridges. But
perhaps I am too previous. May it be so!

Spent a good long time talking to wounded men--Australians, New
Zealanders and native Indians. Both the former like to meet someone who
knows their native country, and the natives brighten up when they are
greeted in Hindustani. On returning to Imbros, got good news about the
Lancashire Territorials who have gained 180 yards of ground without
incurring any loss to speak of. They are real good chaps. They suffer
only from the regular soldiers' fault; there are too few of them here.

_17th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian." 10 p.m._ Too much work to move. In
the evening the Admiral came to see me and read my rough draft for an
answer to Lord K.'s cable. We show the Navy all our important operations
cables; they have their own ways of doing things and don't open out so
freely. On the face of it, we are invited to say what we want. Well, to
steer a middle course between my duty to my force and my loyalty to K.
is not so simple as it might seem. That middle course is (if I can only
hit it) my duty to my country. The chief puzzle of the problem is that
nothing turns out as we were told it would turn out. The landing has
been made but the Balkans fold their arms, the Italians show no
interest, the Russians do not move an inch to get across the Black Sea
(the Grand Duke Nicholas has no munitions, we hear); our submarines have
got through but they can only annoy, they cannot cut the sea
communications, and so the Turks have not fled to Bulair. Instead, enemy
submarines are actually about to get at us and our ships are being
warned they may have to make themselves scarce: last--in point of
time--but not least, not by a long way, the central idea of the original
plan, an attack by the Fleet on the Forts appears to have been entirely
shelved. At first the Fleet was to force its way through; we were to
look on; next, the Fleet and the Army were to go for the Straits side by
side; to-day, the whole problem may fairly be restated on a clean sheet
of paper, so different is it from the problem originally put to me by K.
when it was understood I would put him in an impossible position if I
pressed for reinforcements. We should be on velvet if we asked for so
many troops that we must win if we got them; whereas, if we did not get
them we could say victory was impossible. But we are not the only
fighters for the Empire. The Admiral, Braithwaite, Roger Keyes agree
with me that the fair and square thing under the circumstances is to ask
for _what is right_; not a man more than we, in our consciences, believe
we will really need,--not a man less.

Actually, after much heart searching and head scratching, my mind has
made itself up and has gone home by cable to-day. The statement is
entirely frank and covers all the ground except as regards the Fleet, a
pidgin which flies out of range:--

"(M.F. 234).

"Your No. 4644 cipher, of the 14th instant. The following is my
appreciation of the situation:

"On the one hand, there are at present on the Peninsula as many troops
as the available space and water supply can accommodate.

"On the other hand, to break through the strong opposition on my front
will require more troops. I am, therefore, in a quandary, because
although more troops are wanted there is, at present, no room for
them.[18] Moreover, the difficulty in answering your question is
accentuated by the fact that my answer must depend on whether Turkey
will continue to be left undisturbed in other parts and therefore free
to make good the undoubtedly heavy losses incurred here by sending
troops from Adrianople, Keshan, Constantinople and Asia; we now have
direct evidence that the latter has been the case.

"If the present condition of affairs in this respect were changed by the
entry into the struggle of Bulgaria or Greece or by the landing of the
Russians, my present force, kept up to strength by the necessary drafts,
plus the Army Corps asked for in my No. M.F. 216 of the 10th May, would
probably suffice to finish my task. If, however, the present situation
remains unchanged and the Turks are still able to devote so much
exclusive attention to us, I shall want an additional army corps, that
is, two army corps additional in all.

"I could not land these reinforcements on the Peninsula until I can
advance another 1,000 yards and so free the beaches from the shelling to
which they are subjected from the Western side and gain more space; but
I could land them on the adjacent islands of Tenedos, Imbros and Lemnos
and take them over later to the Peninsula for battle. This plan would
surmount the difficulties of water and space on the Peninsula and would,
perhaps, enable me to effect a surprise with the fresh divisions.

"I believe I could advance with half the loss of life that is now being
reckoned upon, if I had a liberal supply of gun ammunition, especially
of high explosive."

Only bitterest experience has forced me to insert the two stipulations
which should go without saving, (1) that my force is kept up to
strength, (2) that I have a decent allowance of gun ammunition,
especially of high explosives.

Will Lord K. meet us half way, I wonder? He is the idol of England, and
take him all in all, the biggest figure in the world. He believes, he
has an instinct, that here is the heel of the German Colossus, otherwise
immune to our arrows. Let him but put his foot down, and who dare say
him nay?

The most vital of my demands is that my formations should be kept full.
An extra 50,000 men in the shape of a new army corps is one thing. An
extra 50,000 men to feed war-trained units already in the field is
another, and very different, and very much better thing. The value of
keeping the veteran corps up to strength and the value of the same
number of rifles organized into raw battalions commanded by
inexperienced leaders is as the value of the sun to the moon. But K. and
I have never seen eye to eye here, and never will. The spirit of man is
like a precious stone: the greater it is the more room in it for a flaw.
Who in the world but K. would have swept up all the odds and ends of
detachments from about twenty different regiments of mine sent from
Pretoria to Elandsfontein to bring up remounts and clothing to their
units; who but K. could have conceived the idea of forming them into a
new corps and expecting them to fight as well as ever--instead of
legging it like the wind as they did at the first whistle of a bullet?
On the other hand, who but K., at that time, could have run the war at
all?

The 29th Division have managed to snatch another 150 yards from the
enemy, greatly strengthening the bluff upon which the Gurkhas dug
themselves in.

_18th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Villiers Stuart, Birdie's Staff
Officer, has been killed on Anzac by a shell. The submarine E.14 sailed
into harbour after a series of hair-raising adventures in the Sea of
Marmora. She is none the worse, bar the loss of one periscope from a
Turkish lucky shot. Her Commander, Boyle, comes only after Nasmith as a
pet of Roger Keyes! She got a tremendous ovation from the Fleet. The
exploits of the submarine give a flat knock-out to Norman Angell's
contention that excitement and romance have now gone out of war.

Have asked that the Maoris may be sent from Malta to join the New
Zealanders at Anzac. I hope and believe that they will do well. Their
white comrades from the Northern Island are very keen to have them.

_19th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian"._ Compton Mackenzie has come on
board. He is to be attached to the Intelligence. General Gouraud and his
Chief of Staff, Girodon, lunched. I do not know many French Officers,
but Girodon happens to be an old acquaintance. I met him six years ago
on the Austrian manoeuvres. He is a delightful personality; a very
sound soldier and a plucky one also. I reminded him how, in 1906, he had
told me that the Germans would end by binding together all the other
peoples of Europe against the common danger of their dominance. This was
at Teschen on the borderland between Austrian and Prussian Silesia
during the Austrian Manoeuvres. He remembered the occasion and the
remark. Well, he has proved a true prophet!

A cable from K. in answer to mine giving two more Army Corps as my
minimum unless some neutral or Allied Power is going to help us against
the Turks. I knew he would be greatly upset:--

"(4726, cipher).

"Private and personal. With reference to your telegram No. M.F. 234, I
am quite certain that you fully realize what a serious disappointment it
has been to me to discover that my preconceived views as to the conquest
of positions necessary to dominate the forts on the Straits, with naval
artillery to support our troops on land, and with the active help of
naval bombardment, were miscalculated.

"A serious situation is created by the present check, and the calls for
large reinforcements and an additional amount of ammunition that we can
ill spare from France.

"From the stand-point of an early solution of our difficulties, your
views, as stated, are not encouraging. The question whether we can long
support two fields of operation draining on our resources requires
grave consideration. I know that I can rely upon you to do your utmost
to bring the present unfortunate state of affairs in the Dardanelles to
as early a conclusion as possible, so that any consideration of a
withdrawal, with all its dangers in the East, may be prevented from
entering the field of possible solutions.

"When all the above is taken into consideration, I am somewhat surprised
to see that the 4,500 which Maxwell can send you are apparently not
required by you. With the aid of these I had hoped that you would have
been in a position to press forward.

"The Lowland Division is leaving for you."

This is a queer cable. Seems as if K. was beginning to come up against
those political forces which have ever been a British Commander's bane.
The words in which he begs me to try and prevent "a withdrawal with all
its dangers in the East ... from entering the field of possible
solutions," sounds uncommonly like a cry for help. He means that I
should help him by remembering, and by making smaller calls upon him.
But the only way I can _really_ help him is by winning a battle: to
pretend I could win that battle without drafts, munitions and the Army
Corps asked for would be a very short-lived bluff both for him and for
me. We have had it from other sources that this strange notion of
running away from the Turk, after singeing his beard, has arisen in
London and in France. So now that the murder has peeped out, I am glad
to know where we are and to feel that K. stands solid and sound behind
us. He need have no fear; all that man can do I will do by pressing on
here and by asking for not one man or round more than is absolutely
essential for the job.

As to that passage about the 4,500 Australians, a refusal of Australians
would indeed be good cause for surprise--only--it has never taken place,
and never will take place. I can only surmise that my request made to
Maxwell that these 4,500 men should come to me as drafts for my skeleton
units, instead of as a raw brigade, has twisted itself, going down some
office corridor, into a story that I don't want the men! K. tells me
Egypt is mine and the fatness thereof; yet, no sooner do I make the most
modest suggestion concerning anything or anyone Egyptian than K. is got
at and I find he is the Barmecide and I Schac'abac. "How do you like
your lentil soup?" says K. "Excellently well," say I, "but devil a drop
is in the plate!" I have got to enter into the joke; that's the long and
the short of it. But it is being pushed just a trifle too far when I am
told I _apparently do not require_ 4,500 Australians!

The whole of K.'s cable calls for close thinking. How to try and help
him to pump courage into faint-hearted fellows? How to do so without
toning down my demands for reinforcements?--for evidently these demands
are what are making them shake in their shoes. Here is my draft for an
answer: I can't change my estimate: it was the least I could safely ask
for: but I can make it clear I do not want to ask for more than he can
give:--

"(M.F. 243).

"With reference to your No. 4726, cipher. Private and personal. You need
not be despondent at anything in the situation. Remember that you asked
me to answer on the assumption that you had adequate forces at your
disposal, and I did so.

"Maxwell must have misinformed you. I want the Australian reinforcements
to fill existing cadres. Maxwell, possibly not to disappoint senior
officers, has sent them as weak brigades, which complicates command and
organization exceedingly.

"We gain ground surely if slowly every day, and now at 11 p.m. the
French and Naval Divisions are fighting their way forward."

Tidings of great joy from Anzac. The whole of the enemy's
freshly-arrived contingent have made a grand assault and have been
shattered in the attempt. Samson dropped bombs on them as they were
standing on the shore after their disembarkation. Next, they were moved
up into the fight where a tremendous fire action was in progress. Last,
they stormed forward in the densest masses yet seen on the Peninsula.
Then, they were mown down and driven back headlong. So they have had a
dreadnought reception. This has not been a local trench attack but a
real battle and a fiery one. I have lost no time in cabling the glorious
news to K. The cloud of these coming enemy reinforcements has cast its
shadow over us for awhile and now the sun shines again.

_20th May, 1919. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Aubrey Herbert saw me before
dinner. He brings a message from Birdie to say that there has been some
sort of parley with the enemy who wish to fix up an armistice for the
burial of their dead. Herbert is keen on meeting the Turks half way and
I am quite with him, _provided_ Birdie clearly understands that no Corps
Commander can fix up an armistice off his own bat, and _provided_ it is
clear we do not ask for the armistice but grant it to them--the
suppliants. Herbert brings amazing fine detail about the night and day
battle on the high ridges. Birdie has fairly taken the fighting edge off
Liman von Sanders' two new Divisions: he has knocked them to bits. A few
more shells and they would have been swept off the face of the earth. As
it is we have slaughtered a multitude. Since the 18th we are down to two
rounds per gun per diem, but the Turks who have been short of stuff
since the 8th instant are now once more well found. Admiral Thursby
tells me he himself counted 240 shells falling on one of Birdwood's
trenches in the space of ten minutes. I asked him if that amounted to
one shell per yard and he said the whole length of the trench was less
than 100 yards. On the 18th fifty heavy shells, including 12-inch and
14-inch, dropped out of the blue vault of heaven on to the Anzacs.
Everyone sorry to say good-bye to Thursby who goes to Italy.

Rumours that Winston is leaving the Admiralty. This would be an awful
blow to us out here, would be a sign that Providence had some grudge
against the Dardanelles. Private feelings do not count in war, but alas,
how grievous is this set-back to one who has it in him to revive the
part of Pitt, had he but Pitt's place. Haldane, too. Are the benefits of
his organization of our army to be discounted because they had a German
origin? _Fas est et ab hoste doceri_. Half the guns on the Peninsula
would have been scrap-iron had it not been for Haldane! But if this
turns out true about Winston, there will be a colder spirit (let them
appoint whom they will) at the back of our battleships here.

_21st May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian." Imbros._ De Robeck came on board
with Lieutenant-Commander Boyle of E. 4 fame. I was proud indeed to meet
the young and modest hero. He gets the V.C.; his other two officers the
D.S.O.; his crew the D.C.M.

Also he brought with him the Reuter giving us the Cabinet changes and
the resignations of Fisher and Winston and this, in its interest, has
eclipsed even V.C.s for the moment. De Robeck reminded me that Lord K.'s
cable (begging me to help him to combat any idea of withdrawal) must
have been written that very day. A significant straw disclosing the
veering of the winds of high politics! Evidently K. felt ill at ease;
evidently he must now be sitting at a round table surrounded by masked
figures. Have just finished writing him to sympathize; to say he is not
to worry about me as "I know that as long as you remain at the War
Office no one will be allowed to harm us out here." Nor could they if he
were the K. of old; the K. who downed Milner and Chamberlain by making a
peace by agreement with the Boers and then swallowed a Viceroy and his
Military Member of Council as an appetiser to his more serious digest of
India. But is he? Where are the instruments?--gone to France or gone to
glory. Callwell is the exception.

I would give a great deal for one good talk with K.--I would indeed. But
this is not France. Time and space forbid my quitting the helm and so I
must try and induce the mountain to come to Mahomet. My letter goes on
to say, "Could you not take a run out here and see us? If once you
realize with your own eyes what the troops are doing I would never need
to praise them again. Travelling in the _Phaeton_ you would be here in
three days; you would see some wonderful things and the men would be
tremendously bucked up. The spirit of all ranks rises above trials and
losses and is confident of the present and cheery about the future."

Quite apart from any high politics, or from my coming to a fresh, clear,
close understanding with K. on subjects neither of us understood when
last we spoke together, I wish, on the grounds of ordinary tactics, he
could make up his mind to come out. The man who has _seen_ gains
self-confidence and the prestige of his subject when he encounters
others who have only _heard_ and _read_. K. might snap his fingers at
the new hands in the Cabinet once he had been out and got the real
Gallipoli at their tips.

I can't keep my thoughts from dwelling on the fate of Winston. How will
he feel now he realizes he is shorn of his direct power to help us
through these dark and dreadful Straits? Since I started nothing has
handicapped me more than the embargo which a double loyalty to K. and to
de Robeck has imposed upon my communications to Winston. What a tragedy
that his nerve and military vision have been side-tracked: his eclipse
projects a black shadow over the Dardanelles.

Very likely the next great war will have begun before we realize that
the three days' delay in the fall of Antwerp saved Calais. No more
brilliant effort of unaided genius in history than that recorded in the
scene when Winston burst into the Council Chamber and bucked up the
Burgomeisters to hold on a little bit longer. Any comfort our people may
enjoy from being out of cannon shot of the Germans--they owe it to the
imagination, bluff and persuasiveness of Winston and to this gallant
Naval Division now destined to be starved to death!

Sent my first despatch home to-day by King's Messenger. Never has story
been penned amidst so infernal a racket.




CHAPTER IX

SUBMARINES


_22nd May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ News in to say that yesterday,
whilst Herbert was here to take orders about an armistice, some sort of
an informal parley actually took place. Both sides suddenly got panic
stricken, thinking the others were treacherous, and fire was opened,
some stretcher bearers being killed. Nothing else was to be expected
when things are done in this casual and unauthorized way. I felt very
much annoyed, but Aubrey Herbert was still on board and I saw him before
breakfast and told him Walker seemed to have taken too much upon himself
parleying with the Turks and that Birdwood must now make this clear to
everyone for future guidance. Although Aubrey Herbert is excessively
unorthodox he quite sees that confabs with enemies must be carried out
according to Cocker.

After breakfast landed at Cape Helles. Inspected the detachment of the
Works Department of the Egyptian Army as it was on its way to the French
Headquarters. Colonel Micklem was in charge. At Sedd-el-Bahr lunched
with Gouraud and his Staff. General Bailloud rode up just as I was about
to enter the porch of the old Fort. He was in two minds whether or not
to embrace me, being in very high feather, his men having this morning
carried the Haricot redoubt overlooking the Kereves Dere. At lunch he
was the greatest possible fun, bubbling over with jokes and witty
sallies. Just as we were finishing, news came through the telephone that
Bailloud's Brigade had been driven in by a big Turkish counter-attack,
with a loss of 400 men and some first class officers. Most of us showed
signs, I will not say of being rattled, but of having stumbled against a
rattlesnake. Gouraud remained unaffectedly in possession of himself as
host of a lunch party. He said, "We will not take the trenches by not
taking the coffee. Let us drink it first, and then we will consider." So
we drank our coffee; lit our smokes, and afterwards Gouraud, through
Girodon, issued his orders in the most calm and matter-of-fact way. He
declares the redoubt will be in our hands again to-morrow.

Our lunch was to furnish us with yet another landmark for bad luck. As
we were leaving, a message came in to say that an enemy submarine had
been sighted off Gaba Tepe. The fresh imprint of a tiger's paw upon the
pathway gives the same sort of feel to the Indian herdsman. Tall stories
from neighbouring villages have been going the round for weeks, only
half-believed, but here is the very mark of the beast; the horror has
suddenly taken shape. He mutters the name of God, wondering what eyes
may even now be watching his every movement; he wonders whose turn will
come first--and when--and where. This was the sort of effect of the
wireless and in a twinkling every transport round the coast was steering
full steam to Imbros. In less than no time we saw a regatta of
skedaddling ships. So dies the invasion of England bogey which, from
first to last, has wrought us an infinity of harm. Born and bred of
mistrust of our own magnificent Navy, it has led soldiers into heresy
after fallacy and fallacy after heresy until now it is the cause of my
Divisions here being hardly larger than Brigades, whilst the men who
might have filled them are "busy" guarding London! If one rumoured
submarine can put the fear of the Lord into British transports how are
German or any other transports going to face up to a hundred British
submarines? The theory of the War Office has struggled with the theory
of the Admiralty for the past five years: now there is nothing left of
the War Office theory; no more than is left of a soap bubble when you
strike it with a battleaxe. Some other stimulus to our Territorial
recruiting than the fear of invasion will have to be invented in future.

After lunch went to the Headquarters of the 29th Division where all the
British Divisional Generals had assembled together to meet me. The same
story everywhere--lack of men, meaning extra work--which again means
sickness and still greater lack of men. On my return found a letter from
the Turkish Commander-in-Chief giving his "full consent" to the
armistice he himself had asked me for! A save-face document, no doubt:
the wounded are all Turks as our men did not leave their trenches on
the 19th; the dead, also, I am glad to say, almost entirely Turks; but
anyway, one need not be too punctilious where it is a matter of giving
decent burial to so many men.

                                GRAND QUARTIER GENERAL DE LA 5me ARMEE
                                                         OTTOMANE.
                                                      _le 22 mai 1915._

    "EXCELLENCE!

     "J'ai l'honneur d'informer Votre Excellence que les propositions
     concernant la conclusion d'un armistice pour enterrer les morts et
     secourir les blesses des deux parties adverses, ont trouve mon
     plein consentement--et que seule nos sentiments d'humanite nous y
     ont determines.

     "J'ai investi le lieutenant-colonel Fahreddin du pouvoir de signer
     en mon nom.

     "J'ai l'honneur d'etre avec l'assurance de ma plus haute
     consideration.

                                           (_Sd._) "LIMAN VON SANDERS,

                                       "Commandant en chef de la 5me
                                                      Armee Ottomane.

  "Commandant en chef des Forces Britanniques,
      Sir John Hamilton, Excellence."

_23rd May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Blazing hot. Wrote all day. Had an
hour and a half's talk with de Robeck--high politics as well as our own
rather anxious affairs. No one knows how the new First Lord will play
up, but Asquith, for sure, chucks away his mainspring if he parts with
Winston: as to Fisher, he too has energy but none of it came our way so
he will have no tears from us, though he has friends here too. The
submarine scare is full on; the beastly things have frightened us more
than all the Turks and all their German guns.

_24th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Vice-Admiral Nicol, French Naval
Commander-in-Chief, came aboard to pay me a visit.

Armistice from 9.30 a.m. to 4.30 p.m. for burial of Turkish dead. All
went off quite smoothly.... This moment, 12.40 p.m. the Captain has
rushed in to say that H.M.S. _Triumph_ is sinking! He caught the bad
news on his wireless as it flew. Beyond doubt the German submarine. What
exactly is about to happen, God knows. The fleet cannot see itself wiped
out by degrees; and yet, without the fleet, how are we soldiers to
exist? One more awful conundrum set to us, but the Navy will solve it,
for sure.

_25th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Bad news confirmed. The Admiral
came aboard and between us we tried to size up the new situation and to
readjust ourselves thereto. Our nicely worked out system for supplying
the troops has in a moment been tangled up into a hundred knotty
problems. Instead of our small craft working to and fro in half mile
runs, henceforth they will have to cover 60 miles per trip. Until now
the big ocean going ships have anchored close up to Helles or Anzac; in
future Mudros will be the only possible harbour for these priceless
floating depots. Imbros, here, lies quite open to submarine attacks, and
in a northerly gale, becomes a mere roadstead. The Admiral, who regards
soldiers as wayward water babes, has insisted on lashing a merchantman
to each side of the _Arcadian_ to serve as torpedo buffers. There are,
it seems, at least two German submarines prowling about at the present
moment between Gaba Tepe and Cape Helles. After torpedoing the _Triumph_
the same submarine fired at and missed the _Vengeance_. The _Lord
Nelson_ with the Admiral, as well as three French battleships,
zig-zagged out of harbour and made tracks for Mudros in the afternoon.
We are left all alone in our glory with our two captive merchantmen. The
attitude is heroic but not, I think, so dangerous as it is
uncomfortable. The big ocean liners lashed to port and starboard cut us
off from air as well as light and one of them is loaded with Cheddar.
When Mr. Jorrocks awoke James Pigg and asked him to open the window and
see what sort of a hunting morning it was, it will be remembered that
the huntsman opened the cupboard by mistake and made the reply, "Hellish
dark and smells of cheese." Well, that immortal remark hits us off to a
T. Never mind. Light will be vouchsafed. Amen.

The burial of 3,000 Turks by armistice at Anzac seems to have been
carried out without a hitch. All these 3,000 Turks were killed between
the 18th and 20th instant. By the usual averages this figure implies
over 12,000 wounded so the Lord has vouchsafed us a signal victory
indeed. Birdwood's men were all out and his reserves, or rather the lack
of them, would not permit him to counter-attack the moment the enemy's
assault was repulsed. When we read of battles in histories we feel, we
see, so clearly the value of counter-attack and the folly of passive
defence; but, in the field, the struggle has sometimes been so close
that the victorious defence are left gasping. The enemy were very polite
during the armistice, and by way of being highly solemn and correct, but
they could not refrain from bursting into laughter when the Australians
held up cigarettes and called out "baksheesh."

Last night the French and the Naval Brigade made a good advance with
slight loss. The East Lancs also pushed on a little bit.

_26th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Entertained a small party of
Australian officers as my private guests for 48 hours, my idea being to
give them a bit of a rest. Colonel Monash, commanding 4th Australian
Infantry Brigade, was the senior. He is a very competent officer. I have
a clear memory of him standing under a gum tree at Lilydale, near
Melbourne, holding a conference after a manoeuvre, when it had been
even hotter than it is here now. I was prepared for intelligent
criticisms but I thought they would be so wrapped up in the cotton wool
of politeness that no one would be very much impressed. On the contrary,
he stated his opinions in the most direct, blunt, telling way. The fact
was noted in my report and now his conduct out here has been fully up to
sample.

A horrid mishap. Landing some New Zealand Mounted Rifles at Anzac, the
destroyer anchored within range of the Turkish guns instead of slowly
steaming about out of range until the picket boats came off to bring the
men ashore. The Turks were watching and, as soon as she let go her
anchor, opened fire from their guns by the olive, and before the
destroyer could get under weigh six of these fine New Zealand lads were
killed and forty-five wounded. A hundred fair fighting casualties would
affect me less. To be knocked out before having taken part in a battle,
or even having set foot upon the Promised Land--nothing could be more
cruel.

A special order to the troops:--

                                                 GENERAL HEADQUARTERS,
                                                      _25th May, 1915._

1. Now that a clear month has passed since the Mediterranean
Expeditionary Force began its night and day fighting with the enemy, the
General Commanding desires me to explain to officers, non-commissioned
officers and men the real significance of the calls made upon them to
risk their lives apparently for nothing better than to gain a few yards
of uncultivated land.

2. A comparatively small body of the finest troops in the world, French
and British, have effected a lodgment close to the heart of a great
continental empire, still formidable even in its decadence. Here they
stand firm, or slowly advance, and in the efforts made by successive
Turkish armies to dislodge them the rotten Government at Constantinople
is gradually wearing itself out. The facts and figures upon which this
conclusion is based have been checked and verified from a variety of
sources. Agents of neutral powers possessing good sources of information
have placed both the numbers and the losses of the enemy much higher
than they are set forth here, but the General Commanding prefers to be
on the safe side and to give his troops a strictly conservative
estimate.

Before operations began the strength of the defenders of the Dardanelles
was:--

  Gallipoli Peninsula          34,000 and about 100 guns.
  Asiatic side of Straits      41,000

All the troops on the Gallipoli Peninsula and fifty per cent. of the
troops on the Asiatic side were Nizam, that is to say, regular first
line troops. They were transferable, and were actually transferred to
this side upon which the invaders disembarked. Our Expeditionary Force
effected its landing it will be seen, in the face of an enemy superior,
not only to the covering parties which got ashore the first day, but
superior actually to the total strength at our disposal. By the 12th
May, the Turkish Army of occupation had been defeated in several
engagements, and would have been at the end of their resources had they
not meanwhile received reinforcements of 20,000 infantry and 21
batteries of Field Artillery.

Still the Expeditionary Force held its own, and more than its own,
inflicting fresh bloody defeats upon the newcomers and again the Turks
must certainly have given way had not a second reinforcement reached the
Peninsula from Constantinople and Smyrna amounting at the lowest
estimate to 24,000 men.

3. From what has been said it will be understood that the Mediterranean
Expeditionary Force, supported by its gallant comrades the Fleet, but
with constantly diminishing effectives, has held in check or wrested
ground from some 120,000 Turkish troops elaborately entrenched and
supported by a powerful artillery.

The enemy has now few more Nizam troops at his disposal and not many
Redif or second class troops. Up to date his casualties are 55,000, and
again, in giving this figure, the General Commanding has preferred to
err on the side of low estimates.

Daily we make progress, and whenever the reinforcements close at hand
begin to put in an appearance, the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
will press forward with a fresh impulse to accomplish the greatest
Imperial task ever entrusted to an army.

_27th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ The _Majestic_ has been torpedoed
and has sunk off Cape Helles. Got the news at mid-day. Fuller, my
Artillery Commander, and Ashmead-Bartlett, the correspondent, were both
on board, and both were saved--minus kit! About 40 men have gone under.
Bad luck. A Naval Officer who has seen her says she is lying in shallow
water--6 fathoms--bottom upwards looking like a stranded whale. He says
the German submarine made a most lovely shot at her through a crowd of
cargo ships and transports. Like picking a royal stag out of his harem
of does. To my Staff, they tell me, he delivered himself further but, as
I said to the Officer who repeated these criticisms to me, "judge not
that ye be not judged."

_28th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Went for a walk with the Admiral.
He refuses any longer to accept the responsibility of keeping us afloat.
As Helles, Anzac and Tenedos have each been ruled out, we are going to
doss down on this sandbank opposite us. One thing, it will be central to
both my theatres of work.

_29th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ The Commodore, Roger Keyes, arrived
mid-day and invited me to come over to Helles with him on a destroyer,
H.M.S. _Scorpion._ He was crossing in hopes--_in hopes,_ if you
please--of hitting off the submarine. The idea that it might hit him had
not seemed to occur to him. On the way we were greatly excited to see
the bladder of an indicator net smoking. So we rushed about the place
and bombs were got ready to drop. But the net remained motionless and,
as the water was too deep for the submarine to be lying at the bottom,
it seemed (although no one dared to say so) that a porpoise had been
poking fun at the Commodore.

Landing at Helles inspected the various roads, which were in the making.
Next saw Hunter-Weston. Canvassed plans with him and felt myself
refreshed. Then went on to Gouraud's Headquarters, taking the Commodore
with me. My Commanders are an asset which cancels many a debit. Gouraud
is in excellent form and gave us tea. Walked down to "V" Beach at 6 p.m.

When we got on to the pier, which ends in the _River Clyde_, we found
another destroyer, the _Wolverine_, under Lieutenant-Commander Keyes,
the brother of the Commodore. She was to take us across, and (of all
places in the world to select for a berth!) she had run herself
alongside the _River Clyde_ which was, at that moment, busy playing
target to the heavy guns of Asia. I imagined that taking aboard a boss
like the Commander-in-Chief, as well as that much bigger boss (in naval
estimates) his own big brother, the Commodore, our Lieutenant-Commander
would nip away presto. Not a bit of it! No sooner had he got us aboard
than he came out boldly and very, very slowly, stern first, from the lee
of the _River Clyde_ and began a duel against Asia with 4-inch lyddite
from the _Wolverine's_ after gun. The fight seems quite funny to me now
but, at the time, serio-comic would have better described my
impressions. Shells ashore are part of the common lot; they come in the
day's work: on the water; in a cockleshell--well, you can't go to
ground, anyway!

[Illustration: VIEW OF "V" BEACH, TAKEN FROM S.S. "RIVER CLYDE"
_"Central News" photo._]

Heavy fighting at Anzac. The Turks fired a mine under Quinn's Post and
then rushed a section of the defence isolated by the explosion. At 6 in
the morning the crater was, Birdie says, most gallantly retaken with the
bayonet. There are excursions and alarms; attacks and counter-attacks;
bomb-showers to which the bayonet charge is our only retort--but we hold
fast the crater!

When I tell them at home that if they will give me munitions enough to
let me advance two miles I will give them Constantinople, that is the
truth. On paper, the Turks no doubt might assert with equal force that
if they got forces enough together to drive the Australians back a short
two hundred yards they could give the Sultan the resounding prestige of
a Peninsula freed from the Giaour. But that would require more Turks
than the Turks could feed, whereas we know we could do it now, as we
are--given the wherewithal--trench mortars, hand grenades and bombs, for
example.

A message from Hanbury Williams, who is with the Grand Duke Nicholas, to
say that all idea of sending me a Russian Army Corps to land at the
Bosphorus has been abandoned!!!

_30th May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Went to Anzac in a destroyer. The
Cove was being heavily shelled, and the troops near the beach together
with the fatigue parties handling stores and ammunition, had dashed
into their dugouts like marmots at the shadow of an eagle. Birdwood came
out to meet me on this very unhealthy spot; indeed, in spite of my
waving him back, he walked right on to the end of the deserted pier.
Just as we were getting near his quarters, a couple of shrapnel burst at
an angle and height which, by the laws of gravity, momentum and velocity
ought to have put a fullstop to this chronicle. Actually, we walked
on--through the "Valley of Death"--past the spot where the brave Bridges
bit the dust, to the Headquarters of the 4th Australian Infantry
Brigade. Thence I could see the enemy trenches in front of Quinn's Post,
and also a very brisk bomb combat in full flame where the New Zealand
Mounted Rifles were making good the Turkish communicating post they had
seized earlier in the day. Nothing more strange than this inspection.
Along the path at the bottom of the valley warning notices were stuck
up. The wayfarer has to be as punctilious about each footstep as
Christian in the "Pilgrim's Progress." Should he disregard the placards
directing him to keep to the right or to the left of the track, he is
almost certainly shot. Half of the pathway may be as safe as Piccadilly,
whilst he who treads the other had far better be up yonder at hand grips
with the Turks. Presumably some feature of the ground defilades one
part, for the enemy cannot see into the valley, although, were they only
20 yards nearer the edge of the cliff, they would command its whole
extent. The spirit of the men is invincible. Only lately have we been
able to give them blankets: as to square meals and soft sleeps, these
are dreams of the past, they belonged to another state of being. Yet I
never struck a more jovial crew. Men staggering under huge sides of
frozen beef; men struggling up cliffs with kerosine tins full of water;
men digging; men cooking; men card-playing in small dens scooped out
from the banks of yellow clay--everyone wore a Bank Holiday
air;--evidently the ranklings and worry of mankind--miseries and
concerns of the spirit--had fled the precincts of this valley. The
Boss--the bill--the girl--envy, malice, hunger, hatred--had scooted far
away to the Antipodes. All the time, overhead, the shell and rifle
bullets groaned and whined, touching just the same note of violent
energy as was in evidence everywhere else. To understand that awful din,
raise the eyes 25 degrees to the top of the cliff which closes in the
tail end of the valley and you can see the Turkish hand grenades
bursting along the crest, just where an occasional bayonet flashes and
figures hardly distinguishable from Mother earth crouch in an irregular
line. Or else they rise to fire and are silhouetted a moment against the
sky and then you recognize the naked athletes from the Antipodes and
your heart goes into your mouth as a whole bunch of them dart forward
suddenly, and as suddenly disappear. And the bomb shower stops dead--for
the moment; but, all the time, from that fiery crest line which is
Quinn's, there comes a slow constant trickle of wounded--some dragging
themselves painfully along; others being carried along on stretchers.
Bomb wounds all; a ceaseless, silent stream of bandages and blood. Yet
three out of four of "the boys" have grit left for a gay smile or a
cheery little nod to their comrades waiting for their turn as they pass,
pass, pass, down on their way to the sea.

There are poets and writers who see naught in war but carrion, filth,
savagery and horror. The heroism of the rank and file makes no appeal.
They refuse war the credit of being the only exercise in devotion on the
large scale existing in this world. The superb moral victory over death
leaves them cold. Each one to his taste. To me this is no valley of
death--it is a valley brim full of life at its highest power. Men live
through more in five minutes on that crest than they do in five years of
Bendigo or Ballarat. Ask the brothers of these very fighters--Calgoorlie
or Coolgardie miners--to do one quarter the work and to run one
hundredth the risk on a wages basis--instanter there would be a riot.
But here,--not a murmur, not a question; only a radiant force of
camaraderie in action.

The Turks have heaps of cartridges and more shells, anyway, than we
have. They have as many grenades as they can throw; we have--a dozen per
Company. There is a very bitter feeling amongst all the troops, but
especially the Australians, at this lack of elementary weapons like
grenades. Our overseas men are very intelligent. They are prepared to
make allowances for lack of shell; lack of guns; lack of high
explosives. But they know there must be something wrong when the Turks
carry ten good bombs to our one bad one; and they think, some of them,
that this must be my fault. Far from it. _Directly_ after the naval
battle of the 18th March--i.e., over two months ago, I wrote out a cable
asking for bombs. I sent this on my own happy thought, and I had hoped
for a million by the date of landing five weeks later. But I got,
practically, none; nor any promise for the future. In default of help
from home, we have tried to manufacture these primitive but very
effective projectiles for ourselves with jam pots, meat tins and any old
rubbish we can scrape together. De Lothbiniere has shown ingenuity in
thus making bricks without straw. The Fleet, too, has played up and de
Robeck has guaranteed me two thousand to be made by the artificers on
the battleships. Maxwell in Egypt has been improvising a few; Methuen at
Malta says they can't make them there. But what a shame that the sons of
a manufacturing country like Great Britain should be in straits for
engines so simple.

Yesterday and to-day we have fired, for us, a terrible lot of shells
(1,800 shrapnel) but never was shot better spent. We reckon the enemy's
casualties between 1,000 and 2,000 mainly caused by our guns playing on
the columns which came up trying to improve upon their lodgment in
Quinn's Post. Add this to the 3,000 killed, and, say, 12,000 wounded on
the 18th instant, and it is clear no troops in the world can stand it
very long. But we are literally at the end of our shrapnel; and as to
high explosive, according to the standards of the gunners, we have never
had any!

Left on a picket boat with Birdie to board my destroyer to an
accompaniment of various denominations of projectiles. One or two shells
burst hard by just as we were scrambling up her side.

Vice-Admiral Nicholls called after my return. Courtauld Thomson, the Red
Cross man, dined; very helpful; very well stocked with comforts and
everyone likes him, even the R.A.M.C.

_31st May, 1915. H.M.T. "Arcadian."_ Worked in the forenoon. Gouraud,
Girodon and Hunter-Weston lunched and we spent the afternoon at the
scheme for our next fight. Each of us agreed that Fortune had not been
over kind. By one month's hard, close hammering we had at last made the
tough _moral_ of the Turks more pliant, when lo and behold, in broad
daylight, thousands of their common soldiery see with their own eyes two
great battleships sink beneath the waves and all the others make an exit
more dramatic than dignified. Most of the Armada of store ships had
already cleared out and now the last of the battleships has offed it
over the offing; a move which the whole of the German Grand Fleet could
not have forced them to make! What better pick-me-up could Providence
have provided for the badly-shaken Turks? No more inquisitive cruisers
ready to let fly a salvo at anything that stirs. No more searchlights by
night; no more big explosives flying from the Aegean into the
Dardanelles!

_1st June, 1915. Imbros._ Came ashore and stuck up my 80-lb. tent in the
middle of a sandbank whereon some sanguine Greek agriculturalist has
been trying to plant wheat.

We shall live the simple life; the same life, in fact, as the men, but
are glad to be off the ship and able to stretch our legs.

Hard fighting in the North zone and the South. Both outposts captured by
us on the 29th May at Anzac and on the French right at Helles heavily
attacked. In the North we had to give ground, but not before we had made
the enemy pay ten times its value in killed and wounded. Had we only had
a few spare rounds of shrapnel we need never have gone back. The War
Office have called for a return of my 4.5 howitzer ammunition during the
past fortnight, and I find that, since the 14th May, we have expended
477 shell altogether at Anzac and Helles combined. In the South the
enemy twice recaptured the redoubt taken by the French on the 29th, but
Gouraud, having a nice little parcel of high explosive on hand, was able
to drive them out definitely and to keep them out.

_2nd June, 1915. Imbros._ Working all day in camp. Blazing hot, tempered
by a cool breeze towards evening. De Robeck came ashore and we had an
hour together in the afternoon. Everything is fixed up for our big
attack on the 4th. From aeroplane photographs it would appear that the
front line Turkish trenches are meant more as traps for rash forlorn
hopes than as strongholds. In fact, the true tug only begins when we try
to carry the second line and the flanking machine guns. Gouraud has
generously lent us two groups of 75s with H.E. shell, and I am cabling
the fact to the War Office as it means a great deal to us. When I say
they are lent to us, I do not mean that they put the guns at our
disposal. They are only ours for defensive purposes; that is to say,
they remain in their own gun positions in the French lines and are to
help by thickening the barrage in front of the Naval Division.

De Robeck and Keyes are quite as much at sea as Braithwaite and myself
about this original scheme of the British Government for treating a
tearing, raging crisis; i.e., by taking no notice of it. I guess that
never before in the history of war has a Commander asked urgently that
his force might be doubled and then got no orders; no answer of any sort
or kind!

When I sent K. my M.F. 234 of the 17th May asking for two Corps, or for
Allies, one or the other, I got a reply by return expressing his
disappointment; since then, nothing. During that fortnight of silence
the whole of the Turkish Empire has been moving--closing in--on the
Dardanelles. Then, by a side-wind I happen to hear of the abstraction of
a Russian Army Corps from my supposed command; an Army Corps, who by the
mere fact of "being," held off a large force of Turks from Gallipoli.

So I have put down a few hard truths. Unpalatable they may be but some
day they've got to be faced and the sooner the better. Time has slipped
away, but to-day is still better than to-morrow.

What a change since the War Office sent us packing with a bagful of
hallucinations. Naval guns sweeping the Turks off the Peninsula; the
Ottoman Army legging it from a British submarine waving the Union Jack;
Russian help in hand; Greek help on the _tapis_. Now it is our Fleet
which has to leg it from the German submarine; there is no ammunition
for the guns; no drafts to keep my Divisions up to strength; my Russians
have gone to Galicia and the Greeks are lying lower than ever.

"No. M.F. 288. From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Earl Kitchener. With
reference to my telegrams No. M.F. 274 of 29th May, and No. M.F. 234 of
17th May. If the information sent by Hanbury-Williams, to which I
referred in my No. M.F. 274, is correct it is advisable that I should
send you a fresh appreciation of the situation.

"I assumed in my No. M.F. 234 that you had adequate forces at your
disposal, but on the other hand I assumed that some 100,000 Turks would
be kept occupied by the Russians. By the defection of Russia, 100,000
Turks are set free in the Caucasus and European Turkey. After deduction
of casualties there are at least 80,000 Turks now against us in the
Peninsula. There are 20,000 Turks on the Bulgarian frontier which,
assuming that Bulgaria remains neutral, are able to reinforce Gallipoli;
some, in fact, have already arrived showing the restoration of Turkish
confidence in King Ferdinand. Close by on the Asiatic side there remain
10,000 Turks, making a total of 210,000, to which must be added 65,000
who are under training in Europe.

"The movement of the Turkish troops has already begun. There are
practically no troops left in Smyrna district, and there are already in
the field numbers of troops from European garrisons, while recently it
was reported that more are coming.

"The movement of a quarter of a million men against us seems to be well
under way, and although many of these are ill-trained still with
well-run supply and ammunition columns and in trenches designed by
Germans the Turk is always formidable.

"As regards ammunition, the enemy appears to have an unlimited supply of
small-arm ammunition and as many hand-grenades as they can fling. Though
there is some indication that gun ammunition is being husbanded, it was
reported as late as 27th May, that supplies of shells were being
received _via_ Roumania, and yesterday it was suggested that artillery
ammunition can be manufactured at Constantinople where it is reported
that over two hundred engineers have arrived from Krupp's.

"At the same time, the temporary withdrawal of our battleships owing to
enemy submarines has altered the position to our disadvantage; while not
of the highest importance materially this factor carries considerable
moral weight.

"Taking all these factors into consideration, it would seem that for an
early success some equivalent to the suspended Russian co-operation is
vitally necessary. The ground gained and the positions which we hold are
not such as to enable me to envisage with soldierly equanimity the
probability of the large forces adumbrated above being massed against my
troops without let or hindrance from elsewhere. Fresh light may be shed
on the matter by the battle now imminent, but I am cabling on reasoned
existing facts. Time is an object, but if Greece came in, preferably
_via_ Enos, the problem would be simplified. It is broadly my view that
we must obtain the support of a fresh ally in this theatre, or else
there should be got ready British reinforcements to the full extent
mentioned in my No. M.F. 234, though as stated above the disappearance
of Russian co-operation was not contemplated in my estimate."

_3rd June, 1915. Imbros._ Meant to go to Anzac; sea too rough; in the
afternoon saw de Robeck and Roger Keyes. Braithwaite came over and we
went through my cable of yesterday. The sailors would just as soon I had
left out that remark about the enemy being bucked up by the retreat of
our battleships. But the passage implied also that their mere visible
presence was shown to be most valuable. Both of them agree that I am
well within the mark in saying what I did about the loss of my Russian
Army Corps. Roger Keyes next launched a dry land criticism. He rightly
thinks that the weakness of our _present_ units is _the_ real weakness:
he thinks we are far more in need of drafts than of fresh units; he
suggests that a rider be sent now to insist that the estimates in
yesterday's cable were only made on the assumption that my present force
is kept up to strength. I did press that very point in my first cable of
17th May, which is referred to in the opening of this cable; further, we
keep on saying it every week in our War Office cable giving strengths.
After all, K. is 65. He still believes "A man's a man and a rifle's a
rifle"; I still believe that half the value of every human being depends
upon his environment:--we are not going to convert one another now.

As we were actually talking, Williams brought over an answer:--

"No. 5104, cipher. From Earl Kitchener to General Sir Ian Hamilton. With
reference to your No. M.F. 288. Owing to the restricted nature of the
ground you occupy and the experience we have had in Flanders of
increased forces acting in trench positions, I own I have some doubts of
an early decisive result being obtained by at once increasing the forces
at your disposal, but I should like your views as soon as you
can--to-day if possible. Are you convinced that with immediate
reinforcements to the extent you mention you could force the Kilid Bahr
position and thus finish the Dardanelles operations?

"You mentioned in a previous telegram that you intended to keep
reinforcements on islands, is this your intention with regard to the
Lowland Division, now on its way to you, and the other troops when
sent?"

K.'s brief cable is _intensely_ characteristic. I have taken down
hundreds of his wires. We are face to face here with his very self at
_first hand_. How curiously it reveals the man's instinct, or
genius--call it what you will.

K. sees in a flash what the rest of the world does not seem to see so
clearly; viz., that the piling up of increased forces opposite
entrenched positions is a spendthrift, unscientific proceeding. He
wishes to know if I mean to do this. To draw me out he assumes if I get
the troops, I _would_ at once commit them to trench warfare by crowding
them in behind the lines of Helles or Anzac. Actually I intend to keep
the bulk of them on the islands, so as to throw them unexpectedly
against some key position which is _not_ prepared for defence. But I
have to be very careful what I say, seeing that the Turks got wind of
the date of our first landing from London _via_ Vienna. Least said to a
Cabinet, least leakage.

That is not all. Curt as is the cable it has yet scope to show up a
little more of our great K.'s outfit. His infernal hurry. "To-day":--I
am to reply, to-day! He has taken some two and a half weeks to answer my
request for two Army Corps and I am to answer a far more obscure
question in two and a half minutes. Why, since my appeal of 17th May the
situation has not stood still. A Commander in the field is like a cannon
ball. If he stops going ahead, he falls dead. You can't stop moving for
a fortnight and then expect to carry on where you left off; I think the
Duke of Wellington said this; if he didn't he should have. To err is to
be human and the troops, if sent at once, may or may not, fulfil our
hopes. All we here can say is this:--

(1) If the Army Corps had been sent at once (i.e., two weeks ago) the
results should have been decisive.

(2) If the Army Corps are not sent at once, there can be no early
decision.

Braithwaite, De Robeck and Keyes agree to (1) and (2) but the cabled
answer will not be so simple and, in spite of K.'s sudden impatience, I
must sleep over it first.

Written whilst Williams waits:--

"No. M.F. 292. From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Earl Kitchener. Secret.
To-morrow, 4th June, I am fighting a general action. Therefore I feel
sure that you will wish me to defer my answer to your telegram No. 5104,
cipher, until I see the result."

These lofty strategical questions must not make me forget an equally
vital munitions message just to hand. I have cabled K. twice in the past
day or two about shells. On the 1st instant I had said, "I still await
the information promised in your x. 4773, A. 5, of 19th instant. In my
opinion the supply of gun ammunition can hardly be considered adequate
or safe until the following conditions can be filled:--(1) That the
amounts with units and on the Lines of Communication should be made up
to the number of rounds per gun which is allowed in War Establishment
figures of 29th Division. (2) That these full amounts should be
maintained and despatched automatically without any further application
from us, beyond a weekly statement of the expenditure which will be
cabled to you every Saturday. (3) In view of the number and the extent
of the entrenchments to be dealt with it is necessary that a high
proportion of high explosive shell for 18 pounder and howitzers be
included in accordance with the report of my military advisers."

We now have his reply:--

"No. 5088, cipher. From Earl Kitchener to Sir Ian Hamilton. With
reference to your telegrams No. M.F. 281 and No. M.F.G.T. 967. We cannot
supply ammunition to maintain a 1,000 rounds a gun owing to the demands
from France, but consignments are being sent which amount to 17 rounds
per gun per day for the 18 pounder and 4.5.-inch howitzer; this is
considered by General Joffre and Sir John French as necessary. As much
as possible of other natures will be sent. As regards quantities, you
will be informed as early as possible. As available, H.E. shells will be
sent for 18 pounder guns and howitzers."

If we get 17 rounds per gun per day for the 18 pounders and 4.5
howitzers we shall indeed be on velvet. To be given what satisfies
Joffre and French--that sounds too good to be true. So ran my thoughts
and Braithwaite's on a first reading. Then came the C.R.A. who puts
another light on the proposal and points out that the implied comparison
with France is fallacious. We are undergunned here as compared with
France in the proportion of 1 to 3. I mean to say that, in proportion to
"bayonets" we have rather less than one third of the "guns."
_Therefore_, if we were really to have munitions on the scale
"considered necessary by General Joffre and Sir John French," we ought
to have three times 17 rounds per day per gun; i.e. 51 rounds per day
per gun. But never mind. _If we do get_ the 17 rounds we shall be
infinitely better off than we have been: "and so say all of us!" Putting
this cable together with yesterday's we all of us feel that the home
folk are beginning to yawn and rub their eyes and that ere long they may
really be awake.

_4th June, 1915. Imbros._ Left camp after breakfast and boarded the
redoubtable _Wolverine_ under that desperado Lieutenant-Commander Keyes.
The General Staff came alongside and we made our way to Cape Helles
through a blinding dust storm--at least, the dust came right out to sea,
but it was on shore that it became literally blinding.

On the pier I met Gouraud who walked up with me. Gouraud was very grave
but confident. My post of command had been "dug out" for me well forward
on the left flank by Hunter-Weston. In that hole two enormous tarantulas
and I passed a day that seems to me ten years. The torture of suspense;
the extremes of exaltation and of depression; the Red Indian necessity
of showing no sign: all this varied only by the vicious scream of shell
sailing some 30 feet over our heads on their way towards the 60 pounders
near the point. A Commander feels desperately lonely at such moments. On
him, and on him alone, falls the crushing onus of responsibility: to be
a Corps Commander is child's play in _that_ comparison. The Staff are
gnawed with anxiety too--are saying their prayers as fast as they can,
no doubt, as they follow the ebb and flow of the long khaki line through
their glasses. Yes, I have done that myself in the old days from
Charasia onwards. Yet how faintly is my anguish reflected in the mere
anxiety of their minds.

Chapters could be written about this furious battle fought in a
whirlwind of dust and smoke; some day I hope somebody may write them.
After the first short spell of shelling our men fixed bayonets and
lifted them high above the parapet. The Turks thinking we were going to
make the assault, rushed troops into their trenches, until then lightly
held. No sooner were our targets fully manned than we shelled them in
earnest and went on at it until--on the stroke of mid-day--out dashed
our fellows into the open. For the best part of an hour it seemed that
we had won a decisive victory. On the left all the front line Turkish
trenches were taken. On the right the French rushed the _"Haricot"_--so
long a thorn in their flesh; next to them the Anson lads stormed another
big Turkish redoubt in a slap-dash style reminding me of the best work
of the old Regular Army; but the boldest and most brilliant exploit of
the lot was the charge made by the Manchester Brigade[19] in the centre
who wrested two lines of trenches from the Turks; and then, carrying
right on; on to the lower slopes of Achi Baba, had _nothing_ between
them and its summit but the clear, unentrenched hillside. They lay
there--the line of our brave lads, plainly visible to a pair of good
glasses--there they actually lay! We wanted, so it seemed, but a reserve
to advance in their support and carry them right up to the top. We
said--and yet could hardly believe our own words--"We are through!"

Alas, too previous that remark. Everything began to go wrong. First the
French were shelled and bombed out of the _"Haricot"_; next the right of
the Naval Division became uncovered and they had to give way, losing
many times more men in the yielding than in the capture of their ground.
Then came the turn of the Manchesters, left in the lurch, with their
right flank hanging in the air. By all the laws of war they ought to
have tumbled back anyhow, but by the laws of the Manchesters they hung
on and declared they could do so for ever. How to help? Men! Men, not so
much now to sustain the Manchesters as to force back the Turks who were
enfilading them from the _"Haricot"_ and from that redoubt held for
awhile by the R.N.D. on their right. I implored Gouraud to try and make
a push and promised that the Naval Division would retake their redoubt
if he could retake the _"Haricot"_. Gouraud said he would go in at 3
p.m. The hour came; nothing happened. He then said he could not call
upon his men again till 4 o'clock, and at 4 o'clock he said definitely
that he would not be able to make another assault. The moment that last
message came in I first telephoned and then, to make doubly sure, ran
myself to Hunter-Weston's Headquarters so as not to let another moment
be lost in pulling out the Manchester Brigade. I had 500 yards to go,
and, rising the knoll, I would have been astonished, had I had any
faculty of astonishment left in me, to meet Beetleheim, the Turk, who
was with French in South Africa. I suppose he is here as an interpreter,
or something, but I didn't ask. Seeing me alone for the moment he came
along. He had quite a grip of the battle and seemed to hope I might let
the Manchesters try and stick it out through the night, as he thought
the Turks were too much done to do much more. But it was not good
enough. To fall back was agony; not to do it would have been folly.
Hunter-Weston felt the same. When Fate has first granted just a sip of
the wine of success the slip between the cup and lip comes hardest. The
upshot of the whole affair is that the enemy still hold a strong line of
trenches between us and Achi Baba. Our four hundred prisoners, almost
all made by the Manchester Brigade, amongst whom a good number of
officers, do not console me. Having to make the Manchesters yield up
their hard won gains is what breaks my heart. Had I known the result of
our fight before the event, I should have been happy enough. Three or
four hundred yards of ground plus four hundred prisoners are distances
and numbers which may mean little in Russia or France, but here, where
we only have a mile or two to go, land has a value all its own. Yes, I
should have been happy enough. But, to have to yield up the best
half--the vital half--of our gains--to have had our losses trebled on
the top of a cheaply won victory--these are the reverse side of our
medal for the 4th June.

Going back we fell in with a blood-stained crowd from the Hood, Howe and
Anson Battalions. Down the little gully to the beach we could only walk
very slowly. At my elbow was Colonel Crauford Stuart, commanding the
Hood Battalion. He had had his jaw smashed but I have seen men pull
longer faces at breaking a collar stud. He told me that the losses of
the Naval Division has been very heavy, the bulk of them during their
retreat. From the moment the Turks drove the French out of the
_"Haricot"_ the enfilade fire became murderous.

On the beach was General de Lisle, fresh from France. He is taking over
the 29th Division from Hunter-Weston who ascends to the command of the
newly formed 8th Army Corps. De Lisle seemed in very good form although
it must have been rather an eye-opener landing in the thick of this huge
stream of wounded. How well I remember seeing him galloping at the head
of his Mounted Infantry straight for Pretoria; and my rage when, under
orders from Headquarters, I had to send swift messengers to tell him he
must rein back for some reason never made clear.

_5th June, 1915. Imbros._ Best part of the day occupied in a hundred and
one sequels of the battle. The enemy have been quiet; they have had a
belly-full. De Robeck came off to see me at 5.30, to have a final talk
(amongst other things) as to the Enos and Bulair ideas before I send my
final answer to K. If we dare not advertise the detail of our proposed
tactics, we may take the lesser risk of saying what we are _not_ going
to attempt. The Admiral is perfectly clear against Bulair. There is no
protection there for the ships against submarines except Enos harbour
and Enos is only one fathom deep. After all, the main thing they want is
that I should commit myself to a statement that if I get the drafts and
troops asked for in my various cables, I will make good. That, I find
quite reasonable.

_6th June, 1915. Imbros._ A very hot and dusty day. Still sweeping up
the _debris_ of the battle. Besides my big cable have been studying
strengths with my A.G. The Battalions are dwindling to Companies and the
Divisions to Brigades.

The cable is being ciphered: not a very luminous document: how could it
be? The great men at home seem to forget that they cannot draw wise
counsels from their servants unless they confide in them and give them
_all_ the factors of the problem. If a client goes to a lawyer for
advice the first thing the lawyer asks him to do is to make a clean
breast of it. Before K. asks me to specify what I can do if he sends me
these unknown and--in Great Britain--most variable quantities,
Territorial or New Army Divisions, he ought to make a clean breast of it
by telling me:--

  (1) What he has.
  (2) What Sir John French wants.
  (3) Whether Italy will move--or Greece.
  (4) What is happening in the Balkans,--in the
        Caucasus,--in Mesopotamia.

After all, the Armies of the Caucasus and of Mesopotamia are not
campaigning in the moon. They are two Allied Armies working with me (or
supposed to be working with me) against a common enemy.

The first part of my cable I discuss the cause which led to the
disappointing end to the battle of the 4th already described and then go
on to say, "I am convinced by this action that with my present force my
progress will be very slow, but in the absence of any further important
alteration in the situation such as a definite understanding between
Turkey and Bulgaria, I believe the reinforcements asked for in my No.
234 will eventually enable me to take Kilid Bahr and will assuredly
expedite the decision. I entirely agree that the restricted nature of
the ground I occupy militates against me in success, however much I am
reinforced; that was why in my Nos. M.F. 214 and M.F. 234 I emphasized
the desirability of securing co-operation of new Allied Forces acting on
a second line of operations. I have been very closely considering the
possibility of opening a new line of operations myself, _via_ Enos, if
sufficient reinforcements should be available. The Vice-Admiral,
however, is at present strongly averse to the selection of Enos owing to
the open and unprotected nature of anchorage and to the presence of
enemy submarines. Otherwise Enos offers very favourable prospects, both
strategically and tactically, and is so direct a threat to
Constantinople as to necessitate withdrawal of Turkish troops from the
Peninsula to meet it. Smyrna or even Adramyti which are not open to the
same objections are too far from me, but the effect of entry of a fresh
Ally at either place would inevitably make itself felt before very long
in preventing further massing of the Turkish army against me, and
perhaps even in drawing off troops; a considerable moral and political
effect might also be produced, and all information points to those
districts being denuded of troops.

"With regard to the employment of the reinforcements asked for in my No.
M.F. 234, General Birdwood estimates that four Brigades are necessary to
clear and extend his front sufficiently to prepare a serious move
towards Maidos. I should therefore allocate a corps to the
Australian-New Zealand Army Corps as the other two brigades would be
required to give weight to his advance. The French Force as at present
constituted, and the Naval Division which has been roughly handled,
would be replaced in front of the line by the other corps. This
reinforcement to be exclusive of any help we may receive from Allied
troops operating on a second line of operations so distant as Smyrna.

"With reference to your last paragraph I have no alternative, until Achi
Baba is in my possession, but to keep reinforcements on islands or
elsewhere handy. I have made arrangements at present, however, for one
Infantry Brigade and Engineers of the Lowland Division on the Peninsula,
one Infantry Brigade at Imbros and the remaining Infantry Brigade at
Alexandria to be ready to start at 12 hours' notice whenever I telegraph
for it. Besides all the reasons given above, no troops in existence can
continue fighting night and day without respite."

Three weeks have passed now since I asked for two British Corps or for
Allies and still no reply or notice of any sort except that message of
the 3rd instant expressing doubts as to whether any good purpose will be
served by sending us help "at once." Well; there hasn't been much "at
once" about it but I have not played the Sybilline book trick or doubled
my demand with each delay as I ought perhaps to have done. Now I think
we are bound to hear something but I can't make out what has come over
K. of K. In the old days his prime force lay in his faculty of focusing
every iota of his energy upon the pivotal project, regardless (so it
used to appear) of the other planks of the platform. A "side show" to
him meant the non-vital part of the business, _at that moment_: it was
not a question of troops or of ranks of Generals. For the time being the
interests of an enterprise of five thousand would obliterate those of
fifty. No man ever went the whole hog better. He would turn the whole
current of his energy to help the man of the hour. The rest were bled
white to help him. If they howled they found that K. and his Staff were
deaf, and for the same reason, as the crew of Ulysses to the Sirens.
Several times in South Africa K., so doing, carried the Imperial
Standard to victory through a series of hair's breadth escapes. But
to-day, though he sees, the power of believing in his own vision and of
hanging on to it like a bulldog, seems paralysed. He hesitates. Ten
short years ago, if K.'s heart had been set on Constantinople, why, to
Constantinople he would have gone. Paris might have screamed; he would
not have swerved a hair's breadth till he had gripped the Golden Horn.

_7th June, 1915. Imbros._ Left camp early and went to Cape Helles on a
destroyer. On our little sandbag pier, built by Egyptians and Turkish
prisoners, I met General Wallace and his A.D.C. (a son of Walter
Long's). Wallace has come here to take up his duty as Inspector-General
of Communications. About ten days ago he was forced upon us. He is
reputed a good executive Brigadier of the Indian Army, but we want him,
not to train Sepoys but to create one of the biggest organizing and
administrative jobs in the world. His work will comprise the whole of
the transhipment of stores from the ships to small craft; their dispatch
over 60 miles of sea to the Peninsula, and the maintenance of all the
necessary machinery in good running order. The task is tremendous, and
here is a simple soldier, without any experience of naval men or
matters, or the British soldier, or of Administration on a large scale,
or even of superior Staff duties, sent me for the purpose. We want a
competent business man at Mudros, ready to grapple with millions of
public money; ready to cable on his own for goods or gear by the ten
thousand pounds worth. We want a man of tried business courage; a man
who can tackle contractors. We are sent an Indian Brigadier who has
never, so far as I can make out, in his longish life had undivided
responsibility for one hundred pounds of public belongings. I cabled to
K. my objection as strongly as seemed suitable, but he tells me to carry
on. He tells me to carry on and, in doing so, throws an amusing
sidelight upon himself. Into his cable he sticks the words, "Ellison
cannot be spared." K. believes that my protest _re_ Wallace has, at the
back of it, a wish to put in the Staff Officer he took from me when I
started. He doesn't believe in my zeal for efficiency at Mudros; he
thinks my little plan is to work General Ellison into the billet.
Certainly, I'd like an organizer of Ellison's calibre, but he had not,
it so happens, entered my mind till K. put him there!

Landing at "W" Beach, I walked over to the 9th Division and met Generals
Hunter-Weston, de Lisle and Doran. As we were having our confab, the
Turkish guns from Asia were steadily pounding the ridge just South of
Headquarters. One or two big fellows fell within 100 yards of the Mess.
After an A.1 lunch (for which much glory to Carter, A.D.C.) visited
Gouraud at French Headquarters. Going along the coast we were treated
to an exciting spectacle. The Turkish guns in Asia stopped firing at
Headquarters and turned on to a solitary French transport containing
forage, which had braved the submarines and instead of transhipping (as
is now the order) at Mudros, had anchored close to "V" Beach. After
several overs and unders they hit her three times running and set her on
fire. Destroyers and trawlers rushed to her help. Bluejackets boarded
her; got her fire under control; got her under steam and moved out. The
amazing part of the affair lay in the conduct of the Turks. Having made
their three hits, then was the moment to sink the bally ship. But no;
they switched back once more onto the Peninsula, and left their helpless
prize to make a leisurely and unmolested escape. Anyone but a Turk would
have opened rapid fire on seeking his target smoking like a factory
chimney, ringed round by a crowd of small craft. But these old Turks are
real freaks. Their fierce courage on the defensive is the only cert
about them. On all other points it becomes a fair war risk to presume
upon their happy-go-lucky behaviour. If this crippled ship had been full
of troops instead of hay they would equally have let her slip through
their fingers.

I stayed the best part of an hour with Gouraud. He can throw no light
from the French side upon the reason for the strange hesitations of our
Governments. As he says, after reporting an entirely unexpected and
unprepared for situation and asking for the wherewithal to cope with
it, a Commander should get fresh orders. Either: we cannot give you what
you ask, so fall back onto the defensive; or, go ahead, we will give you
the means. Taking leave we came back again by the 29th Headquarters
where I saw Douglas, commanding the 42nd Division. Got home latish. As I
was on my way to our destroyer took in a wireless saying that submarine
E.11 had returned safely after three fruitful weeks in the Marmora.

A most singular message is in:--

"(No. 5199).

"From Earl Kitchener to General Sir Ian Hamilton.

"With reference to your telegram No. M.F. 301, instead of sending such
telegrams reporting operations, privately to Earl Kitchener, will you
please send them to the Secretary of State. A separate telegram might
have been sent dealing with the latter part about Doran."

May the devil fly away with me if I know what that means! Braithwaite is
as much at a loss as myself. No one knows better than we do how much
store K. sets on having all these messages addressed to him personally.
There's more in this than meets the common or garden optic!

Very heavy firing on the Peninsula at 8 o'clock; a ceaseless tremor of
the air which--faint here--denotes tremendous musketry there.




CHAPTER X

A DECISION AND THE PLAN


_8th June, 1915. Imbros._ We are getting "three Divisions of the New
Army"! The Cabinet "are determined to support" us! And why wouldn't they
be? Thus runs the cable:--

"(No. 5217, cipher). Your difficulties are fully recognized by the
Cabinet who are determined to support you. We are sending you three
divisions of the New Army. The first of these will leave about the end
of this week, and the other two will be sent as transport is available.

"The last of the three divisions ought to reach you not later than the
first fortnight in July. By that time the Fleet will have been
reinforced by a good many units which are much less vulnerable to
submarine attack than those now at the Dardanelles, and you can then
count on the Fleet to give you continuous support.

"While steadily pressing the enemy, there seems no reason for running
any premature risks in the meantime."

In face of K.'s hang-fire cable of the 3rd, and in face of this long
three weeks of stupefaction, thank God our rulers have got out of the
right side of their beds and are not going to run away.

The first thing to be done was to signal to the Admiral to come over. At
2 p.m. he and Roger Keyes turned up. The great news was read out and
yet, such is the contrariness of human nature that neither the hornpipe
nor the Highland Fling was danced. Three weeks ago--two weeks ago--we
should have been beside ourselves, but irritation now takes the fine
edge off our rejoicings. Why not three weeks ago? That was the tone of
the meeting. At first:--but why be captious in the very embrace of
Fortune? So we set to and worked off the broad general scheme in the
course of an hour and a half.

Just as the Admiral was going, Ward (of the Intelligence) crossed over
with a nasty little damper. The Turks keep just one lap ahead of us. Two
new Divisions have arrived and have been launched straightway at our
trenches. At the moment we get promises that troops asked for in the
middle of May will arrive by the middle of July the Turks get their
divisions in the flesh:--so much so that they have gained a footing in
the lines of the East Lanes: but there is no danger; they will be driven
out. We have taken some prisoners.

Dined on board the _Triad_. Sat up later than usual. Not only had we
news from home and the news from the Peninsula to thresh out, but there
was much to say and hear about E.11 and that apple of Roger Keyes' eye,
the gallant Nasmith. Their adventures in the sea of Marmora take the
shine out of those of the Argonauts.

Coming back along the well-beaten sandy track, my heart sank to see our
mess tent still lit up at midnight. It might be good news but also it
might not. Fortunately, it was pleasant news; i.e., Colonel Chauvel,
commanding 1st Australian Light Horse Brigade, waiting to see me. I had
known him well in Melbourne where he helped me more than anyone else to
get the hang of the Australian system. He stays the night.

_9th June, 1915. Imbros._ A cable saying the new Divisions will form the
9th Corps and asking me my opinion of Mahon as Corps Commander. I shall
reply at once he is good up to a point and brave, but not up to running
a Corps out here.

Have been sent a gas-mask and a mosquito-net. Quite likely the mask is
good bizz and may prolong my poor life a little bit, but this is
problematical whereas there's no blooming error about the net. This
morning instead of being awakened at 4.30 a.m. by a cluster of
house-flies having a garden party on my nose I just opened one eye and
looked at them running about outside my entrenchments, then closed it
and fell asleep again for an hour.

_10th June, 1915. Imbros._ Nothing doing but sheer hard work. The
sailors the same. Sent one pretty stiff cable as we all agreed that we
must make ourselves quite clear upon the question of guns and shell.
After all, any outsider would think it a plain sailing matter enough--a
demand, that is to say, from Simpson-Baikie at Helles that he should be
gunned and shell supplied on the same scale as the formations he quitted
on the Western Front only a few weeks ago. Simpson-Baikie has been
specially sent to us by Lord K., who has a high opinion of his merits. A
deep-thinking, studious and scientific officer. Well, Baikie says that
to put him on anything like the Western Front footing he wants another
forty-eight 18-pounders; eight 5-inch hows.; eight 4.5. hows.; eight
6-inch; four 9.2 hows.; four anti-aircraft guns and a thousand rounds a
month per field gun; these "wants" he puts down as an absolute minimum.
He also wishes me at once to cable for an aeroplane squadron of three
flights of four machines each, one flight for patrol work; the other two
for spotting.

There is no use enraging people for nothing and "nothing" I am sure
would be the result of this demand were it shot in quite nakedly. But I
have pressed Baikie's vital points home all the same, _vide_ attached:--

"(No. M.F. 316).

"Your No. 5088. After a further consideration of the ammunition question
in light of the expenditure on the 4th and 5th June, I would like to
point out that I have only the normal artillery complement of two
divisions, although actually I have five divisions here. Consequently,
each of my guns has to do the work which two and a half guns are doing
in Flanders. Any comparison based on expenditure per gun must therefore
be misleading. Also a comparison based on numbers of troops would prove
to be beside the point, for conditions cannot be identical. Therefore,
as I know you will do your best for me and thus leave me contented with
the decision you arrive at, I prefer to state frankly what amount I
consider necessary. This amount is at least 30 rounds a day for 18-pr.
and 4.5 howitzer already ashore, and I hope that a supply on this scale
may be possible. The number of guns already ashore is beginning to prove
insufficient for their task, for the enemy have apparently no lack of
ammunition and their artillery is constantly increasing. Therefore I
hope that the new divisions may be sent out with the full complement of
artillery, but, if this is done, the ammunition supply for the artillery
of the fresh divisions need only be on the normal scale.

"Since the above was written, I have received a report that the enemy
has been reinforced by 1,300 Germans for fortress artillery; perhaps
their recent shooting is accounted for by this fact."

As to our Air Service, the way this feud between Admiralty and War
Office has worked itself out in the field is simply heart-breaking. The
War Office wash their hands of the air entirely (at the Dardanelles). I
cannot put my own case to the Admiralty although the machines are wanted
for overland tactics--a fatal blind alley. All I could do I did this
afternoon when the Admiral came to tea and took me for a good stiff walk
afterwards.

_11th June, 1915. Imbros._ Sailed over to Anzac with Braithwaite. Took
Birdwood's views upon the outline of our plan (which originated between
him and Skeen) for entering the New Army against the Turks. To do his
share, _durch und durch_ (God forgive me), he wants three new Brigades;
with them he engages to go through from bottom to top of Sari Bair.
Well, I will give him four; perhaps five! Our whole scheme hinges on
these crests of Sari Bair which dominate Anzac and Maidos; the
Dardanelles and the Aegean. The destroyers next took us to Cape Helles
where I held a pow wow at Army Headquarters, Generals Hunter-Weston and
Gouraud being present as well as Birdwood and Braithwaite. Everyone keen
and sanguine. Many minor suggestions; warm approval of the broad lines
of the scheme. Afterwards I brought Birdie back to Anzac and then
returned to Imbros. A good day's work. Half the battle to find that my
Corps Commanders are so keen. They are all sworn to the closest secrecy;
have been told that our lives depend upon their discretion. I have shown
them my M.F. 300 of the 7th June so as to let them understand they are
being trusted with a plan which is too much under the seal to be sent
over the cables even to the highest.

Every General I met to-day spoke of the shortage of bombs and grenades.
The Anzacs are very much depressed to hear they are to get no more bombs
for their six Japanese trench mortars. We told the Ordnance some days
ago to put this very strongly to the War Office. After all, bombs and
grenades are easy things to make if the tails of the manufacturers are
well twisted.

_12th June, 1915. Imbros._ Stayed in camp where de Robeck came to see
me. I wonder what K. is likely to do about Mahon and about ammunition.
When he told me Joffre and French thought 17 rounds per gun per day good
enough, and that he was going to give me as much, there were several
qualifications to our pleasure, but we _were_ pleased, because apart
from all invidious comparisons, we were anyway going to get more stuff.
But we have not yet tasted this new French ration of 17 rounds per gun.

Are we too insistent? I think not. One dozen small field howitzer
shells, of 4.5. calibre, save one British life by taking two Turkish
lives. And although the 4.5. are what we want the old 5-inch are none so
bad. Where would we be now, I wonder, had not Haldane against Press,
Public and four soldiers out of five stuck to his guns and insisted on
creating those 145 batteries of Territorial Field Artillery?

A depressing wire in from the War Office expressing doubt as to whether
they will be able to meet our wishes by embarking units complete and
ready for landing; gear, supplies, munitions all in due proportion, in
the transports coming out here from England. Should we be forced to
redistribute men and material on arrival, we are in for another spell of
delay.

Altogether I have been very busy on cables to-day. The War Office having
jogged my elbow again about the Bulair scheme, I have once more been
through the whole series of pros and cons with the Admiral who has
agreed in the reply I have sent:--clear negative. Three quarters of the
objections are naval; either directly--want of harbours, etc.; or
indirectly--as involving three lines of small craft to supply three
separate military forces. The number of small craft required are not in
existence.

_13th June, 1915. Imbros._ The War Office forget every now and then
other things about the coastline above the Narrows. I have replied:

"Your first question as to the fortification of the coast towards
Gallipoli can be satisfactorily answered only by the Navy as naval
aeroplane observation is the only means by which I can find out about
the coast fortifications. From time to time it has been reported that
torpedo tubes have been placed at the mouth of Soghan Dere and at Nagara
Point. These are matters on which I presume Admiral has reported to
Admiralty, but I am telegraphing to him to make sure as he is away
to-day at Mudros. I will ask him to have aeroplane reconnaissance made
regarding the coast fortifications you mention, to see if it can be
ascertained whether your informant's report is correct, but there are
but few aeroplanes and the few we have are constantly required for
spotting for artillery, photographing trenches, and for reconnaissances
of the troops immediately engaged with us."

I am being forced by War Office questions to say rather more than I had
intended about plans. The following cable took me the best part of the
morning. I hope it is too technical to effect a lodgment in the memories
of the gossips:--

"(No. M.F. 328). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to War Office. With
reference to your No. 5441, cipher. From the outset I have fully
realized that the question of cutting off forces defending the Peninsula
lay at the heart of my problem. See my No. M.F. 173, last paragraph, and
paragraphs 2 and 7 of my instructions to General Officer Commanding
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, of 13th April, before landing. I
still consider, as indicated therein, that the best and most practicable
method of stopping enemy's communications is to push forward to the
south-east from Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

"The attempt to stop Bulair communications further North than the
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps position would give the Turks too
much room to pass our guns. An advance of little more than two miles in
a south-eastern direction would enable us to command the land
communications between Bulair and Kilid Bahr. This, in turn, would
render Ak Bashi Liman useless to the enemy as a port of disembarkation
for either Chanak or Constantinople. It would enable us, moreover, to
co-operate effectively with the Navy in stopping communication with the
Asiatic shore, since Kilia Liman and Maidos would be under fire from our
land guns.

"It was these considerations which decided me originally to land at
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps position, and in spite of the
difficulties of advancing thence, I see no reason to expect that a new
point of departure would make the task any easier. I have recently been
obliged by circumstances to concentrate my main efforts on pushing
forward towards Achi Baba so as to clear my main port of disembarkation
of shell fire. I only await the promised reinforcements, however, to
enable me to take the next step in the prosecution of my main plan from
the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

"I cannot extend the present Australian position until they arrive. See
my No. M.F. 300, as to estimate of troops required, and my No. 304, 7th
June, as to state of siege at Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. If
I succeed the enemy's communications _via_ Bulair and, with the Navy's
help, _via_ Asiatic coast should both be closed, as far as possible, by
the one operation. If, in addition, submarines can stop sea
communications with Constantinople the problem will be solved.

"With regard to supplies and ammunition which can be obtained by the
enemy across the Dardanelles, since Panderma and Karabingha are normally
important centres of collection of food supplies, both cereals and meat,
and since the Panderma-Chanak road is adequate, it would be possible to
provision the peninsula from a great supply depot at Chanak where there
are steam mills, steam bakeries and ample shallow draught craft. If
land communications were blocked near Bulair, ammunition could only be
brought by sea to Panderma, and thence by road to Chanak or by sea
direct to Kilid Bahr.

"Either for supplies or ammunition, however, the difficulty of
effectively stopping supply by sea may be increased by the large number
of shallow craft available at Rodosto, Chanak, Constantinople and
Panderma. But as soon as I can make good advance south-east from
Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, my guns, plus the submarines,
should be able to make all traffic from the Asiatic shore very difficult
for the enemy.

"It is vitally important that future developments should be kept
absolutely secret. I mention this because, although the date of our
original landing was known to hardly anyone here before the ships
sailed, yet the date was cabled to the Turks from Vienna."

The message took some doing and could not, therefore, get clear of camp
till 11 o'clock when I boarded the destroyer _Grampus_, and sailed for
Helles. Lunched with Hunter-Weston at his Headquarters, and then walked
out along the new road being built under the cliffs from "W" Beach to
Gurkha Gully. On the way I stopped at the 29th Divisional Headquarters
where I met de Lisle. Thence along the coast where the 88th Brigade were
bathing. In the beautiful hot afternoon weather the men were happy as
sandboys. Their own mothers would hardly know them--burnt black with the
sun, in rags or else stark naked, with pipes in their mouths. But they
like it! After passing the time of day to a lot of these boys, I climbed
the cliff and came back along the crests, stopping to inspect some of
the East Lancashire Division in their rest trenches.

Got back to Hunter-Weston's about 6 and had a cup of tea. There Cox of
the Indian Brigade joined me, and I took him with me to Imbros where he
is going to stay a day or two with Braithwaite.

_14th June, 1915. Imbros._ K. sends me this brisk little pick-me-up:--

"Report here states that your position could be made untenable by
Turkish guns from the Asiatic shore. Please report on this."

No doubt--no doubt! Yet I was once his own Chief of Staff into whose
hands he unreservedly placed the conduct of one of the most crucial, as
it was the last, of the old South African enterprises: I was once the
man into whose hands he placed the defence of his heavily criticized
action at the Battle of Paardeburg. There it is: he used to have great
faith in me, and now he makes me much the sort of remark which might be
made by a young lady to a Marine. The answer, as K. well knows, depends
upon too many imponderabilia to be worth the cost of a cable. The size
and number of the Turkish guns; their supplies of shell; the power of
our submarines to restrict those supplies; the worth of our own ship and
shore guns; the depth of our trenches; the _moral_ of our men, and so on
_ad infinitum_. The point of the whole matter is this:--the Turks
haven't got the guns--and we know it:--if ever they do get the guns it
will take them weeks, months, before they can get them mounted and
shells in proportion amassed.

K. should know better than any other man in England--Lord Bobs, alas, is
gone--that if there was any real fear of guns from Asia being able to
make us loosen our grip on the Peninsula, I would cable him quickly.
Then why does he ask? Well--and why shouldn't he ask? I must not be so
captious. Much better turn the tables on him by asking him to enable us
to knock out the danger he fears:--

"(No. M.F. 331). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Earl Kitchener. With
reference to your telegram No. 5460. As already reported in my telegram,
fire from the Asiatic shore is at times troublesome, but I am taking
steps to deal with it. Of course another battery of 6-inch howitzers
would greatly help in this."

By coincidence a letter has come in to me this very night, on the very
subject; a letter written by a famous soldier--Gouraud--the lion of the
Ardennes, who is, it so happens, much better posted as to the Asiatic
guns than the Jeremiah who has made K. anxious. The French bear the
brunt of this fire and Gouraud's cool decision to ignore it in favour of
bigger issues marks the contrast between the fighter who makes little of
the enemy and the writer who makes much of him. I look upon Gouraud more
as a coadjutor than as a subordinate, so it is worth anything to me to
find that we see eye to eye at present. For, there is much more in the
letter than his feelings about the guns of Asia: there is an outline
sketch, drawn with slight but masterly touches, covering the past,
present and future of our show:--

                                               _Q.G. le 13 juin 1915._

    Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient.

     CABINE DU GENERAL.

       N. Cab.
       SECRET.

  Le General de Division Gouraud, Commandant le
  Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient, a Sir Ian
  Hamilton, G.C.B., D.S.O., Commandant le
  Corps Expeditionnaire Mediterraneen.
                                     QUARTIER GENERAL.

       MON GENERAL,

     Vous avez bien voulu me communiquer une depeche de Lord Kitchener
     faisant connaitre que le Gouvernement anglais allait envoyer
     incessamment aux Dardanelles trois nouvelles divisions et des
     vaisseaux moins vulnerables aux sous-marins. D'apres les
     renseignements qui m'ont ete donnes, on annonce 14 de ces monitors;
     4 seraient armes de pieces de 35 a 38 m/ 4 de pieces de 24, les
     autres de 15.

     C'est donc sur terre et sur mer un important renfort.

     J'ai l'honneur de vous soumettre ci-dessous mes idees sur son
     emploi.

     Jetons d'abord un coup d'oeil sur la situation. Il s'en degage, ce
     me semble, deux faits.

     D'une part, le combat du 4 juin, qui, malgre une preparation
     serieuse n'a pas donne de resultat en balance avec le vigoureux et
     couteux effort fourni par les troupes alliees, a montre que, guides
     par les Allemands, les Turcs ont donne a leur ligne une tres grande
     force. La presqu'ile est barree devant notre front de plusieurs
     lignes de tranchees fortement etablies, precedees en plusieurs
     points de fil de fer barbeles, flanquees de mitrailleuses,
     communiquant avec l'arriere par des boyaux, formant un systeme de
     fortification comparable a celui du grand Front.

     Dans ces tranchees les Turcs se montrent bons soldats, braves,
     tenaces. Leur artillerie a constamment et tres sensiblement
     augmente en nombres et en puissance depuis trois semaines.

     Dans ces conditions, et etant donne que les Turcs ont toute liberte
     d'amener sur ce front etroite toute leur armee, on ne peut se
     dissimuler que les progres seront lents et que chaque progres sera
     couteux.

     Les Allemands appliqueront certainement dans les montagnes et les
     ravins de la presqu'ile le systeme qui leur a reussi jusqu'ici en
     France.

     D'autre part l'ennemi parait avoir change de tactique. Il a voulu
     au debut nous rejeter a la mer; apres les pertes enormes qu'il a
     subi dans les combats d'avril et de mai, il semble y avoir renonce
     du moins pour le moment.

     Son plan actuel consiste a chercher a nous bloquer de front, pour
     nous maintenir sur l'etroit terrain que nous avons conquis, et a
     nous y rendre la vie intenable en bombardant les camps et surtout
     les plages de debarquement. C'est ainsi que les quatre batteries de
     grosses pieces recemment installees entre Erenkeui et Yenishahr ont
     apporte au ravitaillement des troupes une gene qu'on peut dire
     dangereuse, puisque la consommation dans dernieres journees a
     legerement depasse le ravitaillement.

     Au resume nous sommes bloques de front et pris par derriere. Et
     cette situation ira en empirant du fait des maladies, resultant du
     climat, de la chaleur, du bivouac continuel, peut etre des
     epidemies, et du fait que la mer rendra tres difficile tout
     debarquement des la mauvaise saison, fin aout.

     Ceci pose, comment employer les gros renforts attendus. Plusieurs
     solutions se presentent a l'esprit.

     Primo, en Asie.

     C'est la premiere idee qui se presente; etant donne l'interet de se
     rendre maitre de la region Yenishahr-Erenkeui, qui prend nos plages
     de debarquement a revers.

     Mais c'est la une mesure d'un interet defensif, qui ne fera pas
     faire un pas en avant. Il est permis d'autre part de penser que les
     canons des monitors anglais, qui sont sans doute destines a
     detruire les defenses du detroit, commenceront par nous debarrasser
     des batteries de l'entree. Enfin nous disposerons d'ici peu d'un
     front de mer Seddul-Bahr Eski Hissarlick, dont les pieces
     puissantes contrebattront efficacement les canons d'Asie.

     Secundo, vers Gaba-Tepe.

     Au Sud de Gaba Tepe s'etend une plaine que les cartes disent
     accessible au debarquement. Des troupes debarquees la se trouvent a
     8 kilometres environ de Maidos, c'est a dire au point ou la
     presqu'ile est la plus etroite.

     Sans nul doute, trouveront elles devant elles les memes difficultes
     qu'ici et il sera necessaire notemment de se rendre maitre des
     montagnes qui dominent la plaine au Nord. Mais alors que la prise
     d'Achi Baba ne sera qu'un grand succes militaire, qui nous mettra
     le lendemain devant les escarpements de Kilid-Bahr, l'occupation de
     la region Gaba Tepe-Maidos nous placerait au dela des detroits,
     nous permettrait d'y constituer une base ou les sous-marins de la
     mer de Marmara pourraient indefiniment s'approvisionner.

     Si le barrage des Dardanelles n'etait pas brise, il serait tourne.

     Tertio, vers Boulair.

     Cette solution apparait comme le plus radicale, celui qui
     dejouerait le plan de l'ennemi. Constantinople serait directement
     menace par ce coup retentissant.

     Toute la question est de savoir si, avec leurs moyens nouveaux, les
     monitors, les Amiraux sont en mesure de proteger un debarquement,
     qui comme celui du 25 avril necessiterait de nombreux bateaux.

     En resume, j'ai l'honneur d'emettre l'avis de poser nettement aux
     Amiraux la question du debarquement a Boulair, d'y faire
     reconnaitre l'etat actuel des defenses par bateaux, avions et si
     possible agents, sans faire d'acte de guerre pour ne pas donner
     l'eveil.

     Au cas ou le debarquement serait juge impossible, j'emet l'avis
     d'employer les renforts dans la region Gaba-Tepe, ou les
     Australiens ont deja implante un solide jalon.

     Concurremment, je pense qu'il serait du plus vif interet pour hater
     la decision, de creer au Gouvernement Turc des inquietudes dans
     d'autres parties de l'Empire, pour l'empecher d'amener ici toutes
     ses forces.

     Dans cet ordre d'idees on peut envisager deux moyens. L'un, le plus
     efficace, est l'action russe ou bulgare. La Grece est mal placee
     geographiquement pour exercer une action sur la guerre. Seule la
     Bulgarie, par sa position geographique, prend les Turcs a revers.
     Sans doute, a voir la facon dont les Turcs amenent devant nous les
     troupes et les canons d'Adrianople, ont ils un accord avec la
     Bulgarie, mais la guerre des Balkans prouve que la Bulgarie n'est
     pas embarrassee d'un accord si elle voit ailleurs son interet. La
     question est donc d'offrir un prix fort a la Bulgarie.

     L'autre est de provoquer des agitations dans differentes parties de
     l'Empire, d'y faire operer des destructions par des bandes,
     d'obliger les Turcs a y envoyer du monde. Cela encore vaut la peine
     d'y mettre le prix.

     Je suis, avec un profond respect, mon General,

                                 Votre tres devoue,
                                      (_Sd._) GOURAUD.

Boarded a destroyer at 11.15 a.m. and sailed straight for Gully Beach.
Then into dinghy and paddled to shore where I lunched with de Lisle at
the 29th Divisional Headquarters. Hunter-Weston had come up to meet me
from Corps Headquarters.

With both Generals I rode a couple of miles up the Gully seeing the 87th
Brigade as we went. When we got to the mouth of the communication trench
leading to the front of the Indian Brigade, Bruce of the Gurkhas was
waiting for us, and led me along through endless sunken ways until we
reached his firing line.

Every hundred yards or so I had a close peep at the ground in front
through de Lisle's periscope. The enemy trenches were sometimes not more
than 7 yards away and the rifles of the Turks moving showed there was a
man behind the loophole. Many corpses, almost all Turks, lay between the
two lines of trenches. There was no shelling at the moment, but rifle
bullets kept flopping into the parapet especially when the periscope was
moved.

At the end of the Gurkha line I was met by Colonel Wolley Dod, who took
me round the fire trenches of the 86th Brigade. The Dublin Fusiliers
looked particularly fit and jolly.

Getting back to the head of the Gully I rode with Hunter-Weston to his
Corps Headquarters where I had tea before sailing.

When I got to Imbros the Fleet were firing at a Taube. She was only
having a look; flying around the shipping and Headquarters camp at a
great height, but dropping no bombs. After a bit she scooted off to the
South-east. Cox dined.

_15th June, 1915. Imbros._ Yesterday I learned some detail about the
conduct of affairs the other day--enough to make me very anxious indeed
that no tired or nervy leaders should be sent out with the new troops.
So I have sent K. a cable!--

"(No. M.F. 334). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Earl Kitchener.

"With reference to the last paragraph of your telegram No. 5250, cipher,
and my No. M.F. 313. I should like to submit for your consideration the
following views of the qualities necessary in an Army Corps Commander on
the Gallipoli Peninsula. In that position only men of good stiff
constitution and nerve will be able to do any good. Everything is at
such close quarters that many men would be useless in the somewhat
exposed headquarters they would have to occupy on this limited terrain,
though they would do quite good work if moderately comfortable and away
from constant shell fire. I can think of two men, Byng and Rawlinson.
Both possess the requisite qualities and seniority; the latter does not
seem very happy where he is, and the former would have more scope than a
cavalry Corps can give him in France."

Left camp the moment I got this weight off my chest; boarded the
_Savage_, or rather jumped on her ladder like a chamois and scrambled on
deck like a monkey. It was blowing big guns and our launch was very
nearly swamped. Crossing to Helles big seas were making a clean sweep of
the decks. Jolly to look at from the bridge.

After a dusty walk round piers and beaches lunched with Hunter-Weston
before inspecting the 155th and 156th Brigades. On our road we were met
by Brigadier-Generals Erskine and Scott-Moncrieff. Walked the trenches
where I chatted with the regimental officers and men, and found my
compatriots in very good form.

Went on to the Royal Naval Division Headquarters where Paris met me.
Together we went round the 3rd Marine Brigade Section under
Brigadier-General Trotman. These old comrades of the first landing gave
me the kindliest greetings.

Got back to 8th Corps Headquarters intending to enjoy a cup of tea _al
fresco_, but we were reckoning without our host (the Turkish one) who
threw so many big shell from Asia all about the mound that, (only to
save the tea cups), we retired with dignified slowness into our dugouts.
Whilst sitting in these funk-holes, as we used to call them at
Ladysmith, General Gouraud ran the gauntlet and made also a slow and
dignified entry. He was coming back with me to Imbros. As it was getting
late we hardened our hearts to walk across the open country between
Headquarters and the beach, where every twenty seconds or so a big
fellow was raising Cain. Fortune favouring we both reached the sea with
our heads upon our shoulders.

An answer is in to our plea for a Western scale of ammunition, guns and
howitzers. They cable sympathetically but say simply they can't. Soft
answers, etc., but it would be well if they could make up their minds
whether they wish to score the next trick in the East or in the West. If
they can't do that they will be doubly done.

A purely passive defence is not possible for us; it implies losing
ground by degrees--and we have not a yard to lose. If we are to remain
we must keep on attacking here and there to maintain ourselves! But; to
expect us to attack without giving us our fair share--on Western
standards--of high explosive and howitzers shows lack of military
imagination. A man's a man for a' that whether at Helles or Ypres. Let
me bring my lads face to face with Turks in the open field, we _must_
beat them every time because British volunteer soldiers are superior
individuals to Anatolians, Syrians or Arabs and are animated with a
superior ideal and an equal joy in battle. Wire and machine guns prevent
this hand to hand, or rifle to rifle, style of contest. Well, then the
decent thing to do is to give us shells enough to clear a fair field.
To attempt to solve the problem by letting a single dirty Turk at the
Maxim kill ten--twenty--fifty--of our fellows on the barbed
wire,--ten--twenty--fifty--_each of whom is worth several dozen Turks_,
is a sin of the Holy Ghost category unless it can be justified by dire
necessity. But there is no necessity. The supreme command has only to
decide categorically that the Allies stand on the defensive on the West
for a few weeks and then Von Donop can find us enough to bring us
through. Joffre and French, as a matter of fact, would hardly feel the
difference. If the supreme command can't do that; and can't even send us
trench mortars as substitutes, let them harden their hearts and wind up
this great enterprise for which they simply haven't got the nerve.

If only K. would come and see for himself! Failing that--if only it were
possible for me to run home and put my own case.

_16th June, 1915. Imbros._ Gouraud, a sympathetic guest, left for French
Headquarters in one of our destroyers at 3.30 p.m. He is a real Sahib; a
tower of strength. The Asiatic guns have upset his men a good deal. He
hopes soon to clap on an extinguisher to their fire by planting down two
fine big fellows of his own Morto Bay way: we mean to add a couple of
old naval six-inchers to this battery. During his stay we have very
thoroughly threshed out our hopes and fears and went into the plan which
Gouraud thinks offers chances of a record-breaking victory. If the
character of the new Commanders and the spirit of their troops are of
the calibre of those on his left flank at Helles he feels pretty
confident.

Talking of Commanders, my appeal for a young Corps Commander of a "good
stiff constitution" has drawn a startling reply:--

"(No. 5501, cipher). From Earl Kitchener to Sir Ian Hamilton. Your No.
M.F. 334. I am afraid that Sir John French would not spare the services
of the two Generals you mention, and they are, moreover, both junior to
Mahon, who commands the 10th Division which is going out to you. Ewart,
who is very fit and well, would I think do. I am going to see him the
day after to-morrow.

"Mahon raised the 10th Division and has produced an excellent unit. He
is quite fit and well, and I do not think that he could now be left
behind."

So the field of selection for the new Corps is to be restricted to some
Lieutenant-General senior to Mahon--himself the only man of his rank
commanding a Division and almost at the top of the Lieutenant-Generals!
Oh God, if I could have a Corps Commander like Gouraud! But this block
by "Mahon" makes a record for the seniority fetish. I have just been
studying the Army List with Pollen. Excluding Indians, Marines and
employed men like Douglas Haig and Maxwell, there _are_ only about one
dozen British service Lieutenant-Generals senior to Mahon, and, of that
dozen only two are _possible_--Ewart and Stopford! There _are_ no
others. Ewart is a fine fellow, with a character which commands respect
and affection. He is also a Cameron Highlander whose father commanded
the Gordons. As a presence nothing could be better; as a man no one in
the Army would be more welcome. But he would not, with his build and
constitutional habit, last out here for one fortnight. Despite his
soldier heart and his wise brain we can't risk it. We are unanimous on
that point. Stopford remains. I have cabled expressing my deep
disappointment that Mahon should be the factor which restricts all
choice and saying,

"However, my No. M.F. 334[20] gave you what I considered to be the
qualities necessary in a Commander, so I will do my best with what you
send me.

"With regard to Ewart. I greatly admire his character, but he positively
could not have made his way along the fire trenches I inspected
yesterday. He has never approached troops for fifteen years although I
have often implored him, as a friend, to do so. Would not Stopford be
preferable to Ewart, even though he does not possess the latter's calm?"

I begin to think I shall be recalled for my importunity. But, in for a
penny in for a pound, and I have fired off the following protest to a
really disastrous cable from the War Office saying that the New Army is
to bring _no_ 4.5-inch howitzers with it; no howitzers at all, indeed,
except sixteen of the old, inaccurate 5-inch Territorial howitzers, some
of which "came out" at Omdurman and were afterwards--the whole
category--found so much fault with in South Africa. Unless they are
going to have an August push in France they might at least have lent us
forty-eight 4.5 hows. from France to see the New Army through their
first encounter with the enemy. They could all be run back in a fast
cruiser and would only be loaned to us for three weeks or a month. If
the G.S. at Whitehall can't do those things, they have handed over the
running of a world war to one section of the Army. I attach my
ultimatum: I cannot make it more emphatic; instead of death or victory
we moderns say howitzers or defeat:--

"(No. 5489, cipher, M.G.O.) From War Office to General Officer
Commanding-in-Chief, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Your No. M.F.
316. It is impossible to send more ammunition than we are sending you.
528 rounds per 18-pr will be brought out by each Division. Instead of
4.5-inch howitzers we are sending 16 5-inch howitzers with the 13th
Division, as there is more 5-inch ammunition available. By the time that
the last of the three Divisions arrive we hope to have supplied a good
percentage of high explosive shells, but you should try to save as much
as you can in the meantime. Until more ammunition is available for them,
we cannot send you any 4.5-inch howitzers with the other two Divisions,
and even if more 5-inch were sent the fortnightly supply of ammunition
for them would be very small."

"(No. M.F. 337). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to War Office. With
reference to your No. 5489, cipher. I am very sorry that you cannot
send the proper howitzers, and still more sorry for the reason, that of
ammunition. The Turkish trenches are deep and narrow, and only effective
weapon for dealing with them is the howitzer. I realize your
difficulties, and I am sure that you will supply me with both howitzers
and ammunition as soon as you are able to do so. I shall be glad in the
meantime of as many more trench mortars and bombs as you can possibly
spare. We realize for our part that in the matter of guns and ammunition
it is no good crying for the moon, and for your part you must recognize
that until howitzers and ammunition arrive it is no good crying for the
Crescent."

The Admiral and Godley paid me a visit; discussed tea and sea transport,
then a walk.

There is quite a break in the weather. Very cold and windy with a little
rain in the forenoon.

_17th June, 1915. Imbros._ Smoother sea, but rough weather in office. A
cable from the Master General of the Ordnance in reply to my petition
for another battery of 6-inch howitzers:--

"(No. 5537, cipher, M.G.O.) From War Office to the General Officer
Commanding-in-Chief, Mediterranean Expeditionary Force. Your telegram
No. M.F. 331. We can send out another battery of 6-inch howitzers, but
cannot send ammunition with it. Moreover, we cannot increase the present
periodical supply, so that if we send the additional howitzers you must
not complain of the small number of rounds per gun sent to you, as
experience has shown is sometimes done in similar cases. It is possible
that the Navy may help you with 6-inch ammunition. Please say after
consideration of the above if you want the howitzers sent."

My mind plays agreeably with the idea of chaining the M.G.O. on to a
rock on the Peninsula whilst the Asiatic batteries are pounding it. That
would learn him to be an M.G.O.; singing us Departmental ditties whilst
we are trying to hold our Asiatic wolf by the ears. I feel very
depressed; we are too far away; so far away that we lie beyond the
grasp of an M.G.O.'s imagination. That's the whole truth. Were the
Army in France to receive such a message, within 24 hours the
Commander-in-Chief, or at the least his Chief of the Staff, would walk
into the M.G.O.'s office and then proceed to walk into the M.G.O. I
can't do that; a bad tempered cable is useless; I have no weapon at my
disposal but very mild sarcasm:--

"(No. M.F. 343). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to War Office. Your No.
5537, cipher, M.G.O. Please send the battery of 6-inch howitzers. Your
admonition will be borne in mind. Extra howitzers will be most useful to
replace pieces damaged by enemy batteries on the Asiatic side of the
Dardanelles. No doubt in time the ammunition question will improve. Only
yesterday prisoners reported that 14 more Turkish heavy guns were coming
to the Peninsula."

Have written another screed to French. As it gives a sort of summing up
of the state of affairs to-day I spatchcock (as Buller used to say) the
carbon:--

         "GENERAL HEADQUARTERS,
    "MEDITERRANEAN EXPEDITIONARY FORCE,
                      _17th June, 1915._

  "MY DEAR FRENCH,

"It must be fully a month since I wrote you but no one understands
better than you must do, how time flies under the constant strain of
these night and day excursions and alarms. Between the two letters there
has been a desperate lot of fighting, mostly bomb and bayonet work, and,
except for a good many Turks gone to glory, there is only a few hundred
yards of ground to show for it all at Anzac, and about a mile perhaps in
the southern part of the Peninsula. But taking a wider point of view, I
hope our losses and efforts have gained a good deal for our cause
although they may not be so measurable in yards. First, the Turks are
defending themselves instead of attacking Egypt and over-running Basra;
secondly, we are told on high authority, that the action of the Italians
in coming in was precipitated by our entry into this part of the
theatre; thirdly, if we can only hold on and continue to enfeeble the
Turks, I think myself it will not be very long before some of the Balkan
States take the bloody plunge.

"However all that may be, we must be prepared at the worst to win
through by ourselves, and it is, I assure you, a tough proposition. In
a manoeuvre battle of old style our fellows here would beat twice
their number of Turks in less than no time, but, actually, the
restricted Peninsula suits the Turkish tactics to a 'T.' They have
always been good at trench work where their stupid men have only simple,
straightforward duties to perform, namely, in sticking on and shooting
anything that comes up to them. They do this to perfection; I never saw
braver soldiers, in fact, than some of the best of them. When we
advance, no matter the shelling we give them, they stand right up firing
coolly and straight over their parapets. Also they have unlimited
supplies of bombs, each soldier carrying them, and they are not half bad
at throwing them. Meanwhile they are piling up a lot of heavy artillery
of very long range on the Asiatic shore, and shell us like the devil
with 4.5, 6-inch, 8, 9.2 and 10-inch guns--not pleasant. This
necessitates a very tough type of man for senior billets. X--Y--, for
instance, did not last 24 hours. Everyone here is under fire, and really
and truly the front trenches are safer, or at least fully as safe, as
the Corps Commander's dugout. For, if the former are nearer the
Infantry, the latter is nearer the big guns firing into our rear.

"Another reason why we advance so slowly and lose so much is that the
enemy get constant reinforcements. We have overcome three successive
armies of Turks, and a new lot of 20,000 from Syria are arriving here
now, with 14 more heavy guns, so prisoners say, but I hope not.

"I have fine Corps Commanders in Birdwood, Hunter-Weston and Gouraud.
This is very fortunate. Who is to be Commander of the new corps I cannot
say, but we have one or two terrifying suggestions from home.

"Last night a brisk attack headed by a senior Turkish Officer and a
German Officer was made on the 86th Brigade. Both these Officers were
killed and 20 or 30 of their men, the attack being repulsed. Against the
South Wales Borderers a much heavier attack was launched. Our fellows
were bombed clean out of their trenches, but only fell back 30 yards and
dug in. This morning early we got maxims on to each end of the place
they had stormed, and then the Dublins retook it with the bayonet. Two
hundred of their dead were left in the trench, and we only had 50
casualties--not so bad! A little later on in the day a d----d submarine
appeared and had some shots at our transports and store ships. Luckily
she missed, but all our landing operations of supplies were suspended.
These are the sort of daily anxieties. All one can do is to carry on
with determination and trust in providence.

"I hope you are feeling fit and that things are going on well generally.
Give my salaams to the great Robertson, also to Barry. Otherwise please
treat this letter as private. With all kind remembrance.

                       "Believe me,
                           "Yours very sincerely,
                               "(_Sd._) IAN HAMILTON."




CHAPTER XI

BOMBS AND JOURNALISTS


Our beautiful East Lancs. Division is in a very bad way. One more month
of neglect and it will be ruined: if quickly filled up with fresh drafts
it will be better than ever. Have cabled:--

"(M.F.A. 871). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to War Office. The
following is the shortage of officers and rank and file in each Brigade
of the XLIInd East Lancashire Division including the reinforcements
reported as arriving:--

  125th Brigade    50 Officers, 1,852 rank and file.
  126th Brigade    31 Officers, 1,714 rank and file.
  127th Brigade    50 Officers, 2,297 rank and file.

"A stage of wastage has now been reached in this Division, especially in
the 127th Manchester Brigade, when filling up with drafts will make it
as good or better than ever. If, however, they have to go on fighting in
their present condition and suffer further losses, the remnants will not
offer sufficiently wide foundation for reconstituting cadres.

"Lord Kitchener might also like to know this, that a satisfactory
proportion of the officers recently sent out to fill casualties are
shaping very well indeed."

An amalgam of veterans and fresh keen recruits, cemented by a common
county feeling as well as by war tradition, makes the best fighting
formation in the world. The veterans give experience and
steadiness;--when the battle is joined the old hands feel bound to make
good their camp-fire boastings to the recruits. The recruits bring
freshness and the spirit of competition;--they are determined to show
that they are as brave as the old fighters. But, if the East Lancs. go
on dwindling, the cadre will not retain strength enough to absorb and
shape the recruits who will, we must suppose, some day be poured into
it. A perishing formation loses moral force in more rapid progression
than the mere loss of members would seem to warrant. When a battalion
which entered upon a campaign a thousand strong,--all keen and
hopeful,--gets down to five hundred, comrades begin to look round at one
another and wonder if any will be left. When it falls to three hundred,
or less, the unit, in my experience, is better drawn out of the line.
The bravest men lose heart when, on parade, they see with their own eyes
that their Company--the finest Company in the Army--has become a
platoon,--and the famous battalion a Company. A mould for shaping young
enthusiasms into heroisms has been scrapped and it takes a desperate
long time to recreate it.

I want to be sure K. himself takes notice and that is why I refer to him
at the tail end of the cable. We have also cabled saying that the idea
of sending so many rounds per gun per day was excellent, but that "we
have received no notice of any despatch later than the S.S. _Arabian_,
which consignment" (whenever it might arrive?) "was only due to last
until the day before yesterday"! So this is what our famous agreement to
have munitions on the scale deemed necessary by Joffre and French pans
out at in practice. Two-fifths of their amount and that not delivered!

Dined with the Admiral on board the _Triad_. A glorious dinner. The
sailormen have a real pull over us soldiers in all matters of messing.
Linen, plate, glass, bread, meat, wine; of the best, are on the spot,
always: even after the enemy is sighted, if they happen to feel a sense
of emptiness they have only to go to the cold sideboard.

Coming back found mess tent brilliantly lit up and my staff entertaining
their friends. So I put on my life-saving waistcoat and blew it out;
clapped my new gas-mask on my head and entered. They were really
startled, thinking the devil had come for them before their time.

Just got a telegram saying that M. Venezelos has gained a big majority
in the Greek Election. Also, that the King of Greece is dying, and that,
therefore, the Greek Army can't join us until he has come round or gone
under.

_18th June, 1915. Imbros._ Went over to Kephalos Camp to inspect
Rochdale's 127th (Manchester) Brigade. The Howe Battalion of the 2nd
Naval Brigade were there (Lieutenant-Colonel Collins), also, the 3rd
Field Ambulance R.N.D. All these were enjoying an easy out of the
trenches and, though only at about half strength, had already quite
forgotten the tragic struggles they had passed through. In fattest peace
times, I never saw a keener, happier looking lot. I drew courage from
the ranks. Surely these are the faces of men turned to victory!

Some twenty unattached officers fresh from England were there: a likely
looking lot. One of the brightest a Socialist M.P.

The inspection took me all forenoon so I had to sweat double shifts
after lunch. Hunter-Weston came over from Helles at 7.15 p.m. and we
dined off crayfish. He was in great form.

The War Office can get no more bombs for our Japanese trench mortars! A
catastrophe this! Putting the French on one side, we here, in this great
force, possess only half a dozen good trench mortars--the Japanese.
These six are worth their weight in gold to Anzac. Often those fellows
have said to me that if they had twenty-five of them, with lots of
bombs, they could render the Turkish trenches untenable. Twice, whilst
their six precious mortars have been firing, I have stood for half an
hour with Birdie, watching and drinking in encouragement. About one bomb
a minute was the rate of fire and as it buzzed over our own trenches
like a monstrous humming bird all the naked Anzacs laughed. Then, _such_
an explosion and a sort of long drawn out ei-ei-ei-ei cry of horror from
the Turks. It was fine,--a real corpse-reviving performance and now the
W.O. have let the stock run out, because some ass has forgotten to order
them in advance. Have cabled a very elementary question: "Could not the
Japanese bombs be copied in England?"

Being the Centenary of Waterloo, the thoughts and converse of
Hunter-Weston and myself turned naturally towards the lives of the
heroes of a hundred years ago whose monument had given us our education,
and from that topic, equally naturally, to the boys of the coming
generation. Then wrote out greetings to be sent by wire on my own behalf
and on behalf of all Wellingtonians serving under my command here: this
to the accompaniment of unusually heavy shell fire on the Peninsula.

_Later._--Have just heard that after a heavy bombardment the Turks made
an attack and that fighting is going on now.

_19th June, 1915. Imbros._ The Turks expended last night some 500 H.E.
shells; 250 heavy stuff from Asia and some thousands of shrapnel. They
then attacked; we counter-attacked and there was some confused
in-and-out Infantry fighting. We hear that the South Wales Borderers,
the Worcesters, the 5th Royal Scots and the Naval Division all won
distinction. Wiring home I say, "If Lord Kitchener could tell the Lord
Provost of Edinburgh how well the 5th Bn. Royal Scots have done, the
whole of this force would be pleased." The Turks have left 1,000 dead
behind them. Prisoners say they thought so much high explosive would
knock a hole in our line: the bombardment was all concentrated on the
South Wales Borderers' trench.

Writing most of the day. Lord K. has asked the French Government to send
out extra quantities of H.E. shell to their force here; also, he has
begged them to order Gouraud to lend me his guns. In so far as the
French may get more H.E. this is A.1. But if K. thinks the British will
_directly_ benefit--I fear he is out of his reckoning: it would be fatal
to my relations with Gouraud, now so happy, were he even to suspect that
I had any sort of lien on his guns. Unless I want to stir up jealous
feelings, now entirely quiescent, I cannot use this cable as a lever to
get French guns across into our area. Gouraud's plans for his big attack
are now quite complete. A million pities we cannot attack
simultaneously. That we should attack one week and the French another
week is rotten tactically; but, practically, we have no option. We
British want to go in side by side with the French--are burning to do
so--but we cannot think of it until we can borrow shell from Gouraud;
and, naturally, he wants every round he has for his own great push on
the 21st. Walked down in the evening to see what progress was being made
with the new pier. Colonel Skeen, Birdwood's Chief of Staff, dined and
seems clever, as well as a very pleasant fellow.

_20th June, 1915. Imbros._ Rose early. Did a lot of business. The King's
Messenger's bag closed at 8 a.m. Told K. about the arrival of fresh
Turkish troops and our fighting on the 18th. The trenches remain as
before, but the Turks, having failed, are worse off.

I have also written him about war correspondents. He had doubted whether
my experiences would encourage me to increase the number to two or
three. But, after trial, I prefer that the public should have a
multitude of councillors. "When a single individual," I say, "has the
whole of the London Press at his back he becomes an unduly important
personage. When, in addition to this, it so happens, that he is inclined
to see the black side of every proposition, then it becomes difficult to
prevent him from encouraging the enemy, and from discouraging all our
own people, as well as the Balkan States. If I have several others to
counterbalance, then I do not care so much."

Fired off a second barrel through Fitz from whom I have just heard that
my Despatch cannot be published as it stands but must be bowdlerized
first, all the names of battalions being cut out. Instead of saying,
"The landing at 'W' had been entrusted to the 1st Bn. Lancashire
Fusiliers (Major Bishop) and it was to the complete lack of the sense of
danger or of fear of this daring battalion that we owed our astonishing
success," I am to say, "The landing, etc., had been entrusted to a
certain battalion."

The whole of this press correspondence; press censorship; despatch
writing and operations cables hang together and will end by hanging the
Government.

My operations cables are written primarily for K., it is true, but they
are meant also to let our own people know what their brothers and sons
are up against and how they are bearing up under unheard of trials.
There is not a word in those cables which would help or encourage the
enemy. I am best judge of that and I see to it myself.

What is the result of my efforts to throw light upon our proceedings? A
War Office extinguisher from under which only a few evil-smelling
phrases escape. As I say to Fitz:--

"You seem to see nothing beyond the mischief that may happen if the
enemy gets to know too much about us; you do not see that this danger
can be kept within bounds and is of small consequence when compared with
the keenness or dullness of our own Nation."

The news that the War Office were going to send us no more Japanese
bombs spread so great a consternation at Anzac that I have followed up
my first remonstrance with a second and a stronger cable:--

"(No. M.F. 348). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to War Office. Your No.
5272, A.2.[21] I particularly request that you may reconsider your
proposal not to order more Japanese bombs. These bombs are most
effective and in high favour with our troops whose locally-made weapons,
on which they have frequently to rely, are far inferior to the bombs
used by the Turks. Our great difficulty in holding captured trenches is
that the Turks always counter-attack with a large number of powerful
bombs. Apparently their supply of these is limitless. Unless the delay
in arrival is likely to extend over several months, therefore, I would
suggest that a large order be sent to Japan. We cannot have too many of
these weapons, and this should not cancel my No. M.F.Q.T. 1321, which
should be treated as additional."

Drafted also a long cable discussing a diversion on the Asiatic shore of
the Dardanelles. So some work had been done by the time we left camp at
9.15 a.m., and got on board the _Triad_. After a jolly sail reached
Mudros at 2 p.m., landing on the Australian pier at 3 p.m. Mudros is a
dusty hole; _ein trauriges Nest_, as our German friends would say.

Worked like a nigger going right through Nos. 15 and 16 Stationary
Hospitals. Colonel Maher, P.M.O., came round, also Colonel Jones,
R.A.M.C., and Captain Stanley, R.A.M.C. Talked with hundreds of men:
these are the true philosophers.

_21st June, 1915. Mudros._ Went at it again and overhauled No. 2
Stationary Hospital under Lieutenant-Colonel White, as well as No. 1
Stationary Hospital commanded by Lieutenant-Colonel Bryant. The doctors
praised me for inventing something new to say to each man. But all the
time in my mind was the thought of Gouraud. I have wanted him to do it
absolutely on his own, and I could not emphasize this better than by
coming right away to Mudros. Back to the _Triad_ by 1 p.m. No news.
Weighed anchor at once, steaming for Imbros, where we cast anchor at
about 6 p.m. Freddie Maitland has arrived here, like a breath of air
from home, to be once more my A.D.C.; his features wreathed in the
well-known, friendly smile. The French duly attacked at dawn and the 2nd
Division have carried a series of redoubts and trenches. The 1st
Division did equally well but have been driven back again by
counter-attacks. Fighting is still going on.

While I have been away Braithwaite has cabled home in my name asking
which of the new Divisions is the best, as we shall have to use them
before we can get to know them.

_22nd June, 1915. Imbros._ An anxious night. Gouraud has done
splendidly; so have his troops. This has been a serious defeat for the
Turks; a real bad defeat, showing, as it does, that given a modicum of
ammunition we can seize the strongest entrenchments of the enemy and
stick to them.

"(No. M.F. 357). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Secretary of State for
War. After 24 hours' heavy and continuous fighting a substantial
success has been achieved. As already reported, the battle of 4th-5th
June resulted in a good advance of my centre to which neither my right
nor my left were able to conform, the reason being that the Turkish
positions in front of the flanks are naturally strong and exceedingly
well fortified. At 4.30 a.m. yesterday, General Gouraud began an attack
upon the line of formidable works which run along the Kereves Dere. By
noon the second French Division had stormed and captured all the Turkish
first and second line trenches opposite their front, including the
famous Haricot Redoubt, with its subsidiary maze of entanglements and
communication trenches. On their right, the first French Division, after
fierce fighting, also took the Turkish trenches opposite their front,
but were counter-attacked so heavily that they were forced to fall back.
Again, this Division attacked, again it stormed the position, and again
it was driven out. General Gouraud then, at 2.55 p.m., issued the
following order:"

'From Colonel Viont's report it is evident that the preparation for the
attack at 2.15 p.m. was not sufficient.

'It is indispensable that the Turkish first line of trenches in front of
you should be taken, otherwise the gains of the 2nd Division may be
rendered useless. You have five hours of daylight, take your time, let
me know your orders and time fixed for preparation, and arrange for
Infantry assault to be simultaneous after preparation.'

"As a result of this order, the bombardment of the Turkish left was
resumed, the British guns and howitzers lending their aid to the French
Artillery as in the previous attacks. At about 6 p.m., a fine attack was
launched, 600 yards of Turkish first line trenches were taken, and
despite heavy counter-attacks during the night, especially at 3.20 a.m.,
all captured positions are still in our hands. Am afraid casualties are
considerable, but details are lacking. The enemy lost very heavily. One
Turkish battalion coming up to reinforce, was spotted by an aeroplane,
and was practically wiped out by the seventy-fives before they could
scatter.

"Type of fighting did not lend itself to taking prisoners, and only some
50, including one officer, are in our hands. The elan and contempt of
danger shown by the young French drafts of the last contingent,
averaging, perhaps, 20 years of age, was much admired by all. During the
fighting, the French battleship _St. Louis_ did excellent service
against the Asiatic batteries. All here especially regret that Colonel
Girodon, one of the best staff officers existing, has been severely
wounded whilst temporarily commanding a brigade. Colonel Nogues, also an
officer of conspicuous courage, already twice wounded, at Kum Kale, has
again been badly hit."

Girodon is one in ten thousand; serious, brave and far sighted. The
bullet went through his lung. We are said to have suffered nearly 3,000
casualties.

They say that the uproar of battle was tremendous, especially between
midnight and 4 a.m. Some of our newly arrived troops stood to their arms
all night thinking the end of the world had come.

At 6 p.m. de Robeck, Keyes, Ormsby Johnson and Godfrey came over from
the flagship to see me.

Have got an answer about the Japanese trench mortars and bombs. In two
months' time a thousand bombs will be ready at the Japanese Arsenal, and
five hundred the following month. The trench mortars--bomb guns they
call them--will be ready in Japan in two and a half months' time. Two
and a half months, plus half a month for delay, plus another month for
sea transit, makes four months! There are some things speak for
themselves. Blood, they say, cries out to Heaven. Well, let it cry now.
Over three months ago I asked--_my first request_--for these primitive
engines and as for the bombs, had Birmingham been put to it, Birmingham
could have turned them out as quick as shelling peas.

Am doing what I can to fend for myself. This Dardanelles war is a war,
if ever there was one, of the ingenuity and improvised efforts of man
against nature plus machinery. We are in the desert and have to begin
very often at the beginning of things. The Navy _now_ assure me that
their Dockyard Superintendent at Malta could make us a fine lot of hand
grenades in his workshops if Lord Methuen will give him the order.

So I have directed a full technical specification of the Turkish hand
grenades being used against us with effects so terrible, to be sent on
to Methuen telling him it is simple, effective, that I hope he can make
them and will be glad to take all he can turn out.

_23rd June, 1915. Imbros._ Another day in camp. De Robeck and Keyes came
over from the _Triad_ to unravel knotty points.

Am enraged to recognize in Reuter one of my own cables which has been
garbled in Egypt. The press censorship is a negative evil in London; in
Cairo there is no doubt it is positive. After following my wording
pretty closely, a phrase has been dovetailed in to say that the Turks
have day and night to submit to the capture of trenches. These cables
are repeated to London and when they get back here what will my own men
think me? If, as most of us profess to believe, it is a mistake to tell
lies, what a specially fatal description of falsehood to issue
short-dated bulletins of victory with only one month to run. I have
fired off a remonstrance as follows:--

"(No M.F. 359). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to War Office. A Reuter
telegram dated London, 16th June, has just been brought to my notice in
which it is stated that the Press Bureau issues despatch in which the
following sentence occurs: 'Day and night they (the Turks) have to
submit to capture of trenches.' This information is incorrect, and as
far as we are aware, has not been sent from here. This false news puts
me in a false position with my troops, who know it to be untrue, and I
should be glad if you would trace whence it emanates.

"Repeated to General Officer Commanding, Egypt."

_24th June, 1915. Imbros._ Three days ago we asked the War Office to let
us know the merits of the three new Divisions. The War Office replied
placing them in the order XIth; XIIth; Xth, and reminding me that the
personality of the Commander would be the chief factor for deciding
which were to be employed in any particular operation. K. now
supplements this by a cable in which he sizes up the Commanders.
Hammersley gets a good _chit_ but the phrase, "he will have to be
watched to see that the strain of trench warfare is not too much for
him" is ominous. I knew him in October, '99, and thought him a fine
soldier. Mahon, "without being methodical," is praised. Shaw gets a
moderate eulogy, but we out here are glad to have him for we know him.
On these two War Office cables Hammersley and the 11th Division should
be for it.

After clearing my table, embarked with Braithwaite and Mitchell aboard
the _Basilisk_ (Lieutenant Fallowfield) and made her stand in as close
as we dared at Suvla Bay and the coast to the North of it. We have kept
a destroyer on patrol along that line, and we were careful to follow the
usual track and time, so as to rouse no suspicions.

To spy out the land with a naval telescope over a mile of sea means
taking a lot on trust as we learned to our cost on April 25th. We can't
even be sure if the Salt Lake _is_ a lake, or whether the glister we see
there is just dry sand. We shall have to pretend to do some gun
practice, and drop a shell on to its surface to find out. No sign of
life anywhere, not even a trickle of smoke. The whole of the Suvla Bay
area looks peaceful and deserted. God grant that it may remain so until
we come along and make it the other thing.

On my return the Admiral came to hear what I thought about it all. Our
plan is bold, but there never was a state of affairs less suited to half
and half, keep-in-the-middle-of-the-road tactics than that with which
the Empire is faced to-day. If we get through here, now, the war will,
must be, over next year. My Manchurian Campaign and two Russian
Manoeuvres have taught me that, from Grand Duke to Moujiks, our Allies
need just that precise spice of initiative which we, only we in the
world, can lend them. Advice, cash, munitions aren't enough; our
palpable presence is the point. The arrival of Birdwood, Hunter-Weston
and Gouraud at Odessa would electrify the whole of the Russian Army.

As to the plan, I have had the G.S. working hard upon it for over a
fortnight (ever since the Cabinet decided to support us). Secrecy is so
ultra-vital that we are bound to keep the thing within a tiny circle. I
am not the originator. Though I have entirely fathered it, the idea was
born at Anzac. We have not yet got down to precise dates, units or
commanders but, in those matters, the two cables already entered this
morning should help. The plan is based upon Birdwood's confidence that,
if only he can be strengthened by another Division, he can seize and
hold the high crest line which dominates his own left, and in my own
concurrence in that confidence. Sari Bair is the "keep" to the Narrows;
Chunuk Bair and Hill 305 are its keys: i.e., from those points the
Turkish trenches opposite Birdwood can be enfiladed: the land _and_ sea
communications of the enemy holding Maidos, Kilid Bahr and Krithia can
be seen and shelled and, in fact, any strong force of Turks guarding the
European side of the Narrows can then be starved out, whilst a weak
force will not long resist Gouraud and Hunter-Weston. As to our tactical
scheme for producing these strategical results, it is simple in outline
though infernally complicated in its amphibious and supply aspects. The
French and British at Helles will attack so as to draw the attention of
the Turks southwards. To add to this effect, we are thinking of asking
the Anzacs to exert a preliminary pressure on the Gaba Tepe alarum to
the southwards. We shall then give Birdwood what he wants, an extra
division, and it will be a problem how to do so without letting the
enemy smell a rat. Birdwood's Intelligence are certain that no trenches
have been dug by the enemy along the high ridge from Chunuk Bair to Hill
305. He is sure that with one more Division under his direct command,
plus the help of a push from Helles to ease his southern flank, he can
make good these dominating heights.

[Illustration: THE NARROWS FROM CHUNUK BAIR]

_But_,--here comes the second half of the plan: the balance of the
reinforcements from home are also to be thrown into the scale so as at
the same time to give further support to Birdwood on his _northern_
flank and to occupy a good harbour (Suvla Bay) whence we can run a light
railway line and more effectively feed the troops holding Sari Bair than
they could be fed from the bad, cramped beaches of Anzac Cove. This will
be the more necessary as the process of starving out the Turks to the
south must take time. Suvla Bay should be an easy base to seize as it is
weakly held and unentrenched whilst, tactically, any troops landed there
will, by a very short advance, be able to make Birdwood's mind easy
about his left. Altogether, the plan seems to me simple in outline, and
sound in principle. The ground between Anzac and the Sari Bair crestline
is worse than the Khyber Pass but both Birdwood and Godley say that
their troops can tackle it. There are one or two in the know who think
me "venturesome" but, after all, is not "nothing venture nothing win" an
unanswerable retort?

De Robeck is excited over some new anti-submarine nets. They are so
strong and he can run them out so swiftly that they open, he seems to
think, new possibilities of making landings,--not on open coasts like
the North of the Aegean but at places like Yukeri Bay, where the nets
could be spread from the North and South ends of Tenedos to shoals
connecting with Asia so as to make a torpedo proof basin for transports.
The Navy, in fact, suddenly seem rather bitten with the idea of landing
opposite Tenedos. But whereas, this very afternoon, our own eyes
confirmed the aeroplane reports that Suvla Bay is unentrenched, weakly
held and quiescent, only yesterday a division of the enemy were reputed
to be busy along the whole of the coastline to the South of Besika Bay.

I have raised a hornet's nest by my objection to faked cables; but I
will not have it done. They may suppress but they shall not invent.

"(No. M.F. 366). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to War Office. Your No.
12431. I do not object to General Officer Commanding, Egypt, publishing
any telegram I send him, as I write them for that purpose. But I do
object to the addition of news which is untrue, and which can surely be
seen through by any reading public. If we can take trenches at our will,
why are we still on this side of Achi Baba?

"In compliance with Lord Kitchener's instructions I send a telegram to
the Secretary of State for War and repeat it to Egypt; also to Australia
and New Zealand if it affect these Dominions. Please see your No.
10,475, code, and my No. M.F. 285, instructing me to do this. These
telegrams are practically identical when they leave here, and are
intended to be used as a communique and to be published. Instead of this
I find a mutilated and misleading Cairo telegram reproduced in London
Press in place of the true version I sent to the Secretary of State for
War."

General Paris crossed from Helles to dine and stay the night. After
dinner, Commodore Backhouse came over to make his salaams to his
Divisional Chief.

Gouraud has sent me his reply to Lord K.'s congratulations on his
victory of the 21st. He says,

     "_Vous prie exprimer a Lord Kitchener mes respectueux remerciements
     nous n'avons, eu qu'a prendre exemple sur les heroiques regiments
     anglais qui ont debarque dans les fils de fer sur la plage de
     Seddulbahr_."

_25th June, 1915. Imbros._ At 8 a.m. walked down with Paris to see him
off. Worked till 11 a.m. and then crossed over to "K" Beach where
Backhouse, commanding the 2nd Naval Brigade, met me. Inspected the Hood,
Howe and Anson Battalions into which had been incorporated the
Collingwood and Benbow units--too weak now to carry on as independent
units. The Hood, Howe and Anson are suffering from an acute attack of
indigestion, and Collingwoods and Benbows are sick at having been
swallowed. But I had to do it seeing there is no word of the cruel
losses of the battle of the 4th being made good by the Admiralty. The
Howe, Hood and Anson attacked on our extreme right, next the French.
They did most gloriously--most gloriously! As to the Collingwoods, they
were simply cut to pieces, losing 25 officers out of 28 in a few
minutes. Down at the roots of this unhappiness lie the neglect to give
us our fair share of howitzers and trench mortars--in fact stupidity!
The rank and file all round looked much better for their short rest, and
seemed to like the few halting words of praise I was able to say to
them. Lunched with Backhouse in a delicious garden under a spreading fig
tree; then rode back.

At 5 p.m. Ashmead-Bartlett had an appointment, K. himself took trouble
to send me several cables about him a little time ago. Referring in one
of them to the dangers of letting Jeremiah loose in London, K. said,
"Ashmead-Bartlett has promised verbally to speak to no one but his
Editor, who can be trusted." Verbally, or in writing, my astonishment at
K.'s confidence can only find expression in verse:--

  "Oft expectation fails, and most oft there
  Where most it promises;"

He, Ashmead-Bartlett, came to-day to beg me to deliver him out of the
hands of the Censor. He wants certain changes made and I have agreed.

Next, he fully explained to me the importance of the Bulair Lines and
urged me to throw the new Divisions against them. He seems to think he
is mooting to me a spick and span new idea--that he has invented
something. Finally, he suggests ten shillings and a free pardon be
offered to every Turk who deserts to our lines with his rifle and kit:
he believes we should thus get rid of the whole of the enemy army very
quickly.

This makes one wonder what would Ashmead-Bartlett himself do if he were
offered ten shillings and a good supper by a Mahommedan when he was
feeling a bit hungry and hard up amongst the Christians. Anyway, there
is no type of soldier man fighting in the war who is more faithful to
his salt than the Osmanli Turk. Were we to offer fifty pounds per head,
instead of ten shillings, the bid would rebound in shame upon ourselves.

Colonel Sir Mark Sykes was my next visitor. He is fulfilling the promise
of his 'teens when he was the shining light of the Militia; was as keen
a Galloper as I have had on a list which includes Winston and F.E., and,
generally, gained much glory, martial, equestrian, histrionic,
terpsichorean at our Militia Training Camp on Salisbury Plain in '99.
Now he has mysteriously made himself (heaven knows how) into our premier
authority on the Middle East and is travelling on some ultra-mysterious
mission, very likely, _en passant_, as a critic of our doings: never
mind, he is thrice welcome as a large-hearted and generous person.

Dined with de Robeck on board the _Triad_. He is _most_ hospitable and
kind. I have not here the wherewithal to give back cutlet for cutlet,
worse luck.

_26th June, 1915._ Worked till past 11 o'clock, then started
for Anzac with Braithwaite per destroyer _Pincher_ (Lieutenant-Commander
Wyld). After going a short way was shifted to the _Mosquito_
(Lieutenant-Commander Clarke). We had biscuits in our pockets, but the
hospitable Navy stood us lunch.

When the Turks saw a destroyer come bustling up at an unusual hour they
said to themselves, "fee faw fum!" and began to raise pillars of water
here and there over the surface of the cove. As we got within a few
yards of the pier a shell hit it, knocking off some splinters. I jumped
on to it--had to--then jumped off it nippier still and, turning to the
right, began to walk towards Birdie's dugout. As I did so a big fellow
pitched plunk into the soft shingle between land and water about five or
six yards behind me and five or six yards in front of Freddie. The slush
fairly smothered or blanketed the shell but I was wetted through and was
stung up properly with small gravel. The hardened devils of Anzacs, who
had taken cover betwixt the shell-proofs built of piles of stores,
roared with laughter. Very funny--to look at!

As the old Turks kept plugging it in fairly hot, I sat quiet in
Birdwood's dugout for a quarter of an hour. Then they calmed down and we
went the rounds of the right trenches. In those held by the Light Horse
Brigade under Colonel G. de L. Ryrie, encountered Lieutenant Elliot,
last seen a year ago at Duntroon.

Next, met Colonel Sinclair Maclagan commanding 3rd (Australian) Infantry
Brigade. After that saw the lines of Colonel Smith's Brigade, where
Major Browne, R.A., showed me a fearful sort of bomb he had just
patented.

At last, rather tired by my long day, made my way back, stopping at
Birdie's dugout en route. Boarded the _Mosquito_; sailed for and reached
camp without further adventure. General Douglas of the East Lancs
Division is here. He has dined and is staying the night. A melancholy
man before whose eyes stands constantly the tragic melting away without
replacement of the most beautiful of the Divisions of Northern England.

_27th June, 1915. Imbros._ Blazing hot; wound up my mail letters; fought
files, flies and irritability; tackled a lot of stuff from Q.M.G. and
A.G.; won a clear table by tea time. In the evening hung about waiting
for de Robeck who had signalled over to say he wanted to talk business.
At the last he couldn't come.

The sequel to the letter telling me I'd have to cut the names of
battalions out of my Despatch has come in the shape of a War Office
cable telling me that, if I agree, it is proposed "to have the despatch
reviewed and a slightly different version prepared for publication." I
hope my reply to Fitz may arrive in time to prevent too much titivation.

An imaginative War Office (were such a thing imaginable) would try first
of all to rouse public enthusiasm by letting them follow quite closely
the brave doings of their own boys' units whatever these might be. Next,
they would try and use the Press to teach the public that there are
three kinds of war, (_a_) military war, (_b_) economic war and (_c_)
social war. Lastly, they would explain to the Cabinet that this war of
ours is a mixture of (_a_) and (_b_) with more of (_b_) than (_a_) in
it.

How can economic victory be won? (1) by enlisting the sympathy of
America; (2) by taking Constantinople.

The idea that we can hustle the Kaiser back over the Rhine and march on
to Berlin at the double emanates from a school of thought who have
devoted much study to the French Army, not so much to that of the
Germans. But we _can_ (no one denies it) hustle the Turks out of
Constantinople if we will make an effort, big, no doubt, in itself but
not very big compared to that entailed by a few miles' advance in the
West. Let us do that and, forthwith, we enlist economics on our side.

None of these things can be carried through without the help of the
Press. Second only to enthusiasm of our own folk comes the sweetening of
the temper of the neutral. Hard to say at present whether our Censorship
has done most harm in the U.K. or the U.S.A. Before leaving for the
Dardanelles I begged hard for Hare and Frederick Palmer, the Americans,
knowing they would help us with the Yanks just as much as aeroplanes
would help us with the Turks, but I was turned down on the plea that the
London Press would be jealous.

These are the feelings which have prompted my pen to-day. Writing one of
the few great men I know I put the matter like this:--

"From my individual point of view a hideous mistake has been made on the
correspondence side of the whole of this Dardanelles business. Had we
had a dozen good newspaper correspondents here, the vital life-giving
interest of these stupendous proceedings would have been brought right
into the hearths and homes of the humblest people in Britain....

"As for information to the enemy, this is too puerile altogether. The
things these fellows produce are all read and checked by competent
General Staff Officers. To think that it matters to the Turks whether a
certain trench was taken by the 7th Royal Scots or the 3rd Warwicks is
just really like children playing at secrets. The Censors who are by way
of keeping everyone in England in darkness allow extremely accurate
outline panoramas of the Australian position from the back; trenches,
communication tracks, etc., all to scale; a true military sketch, to
appear in the _Illustrated London News_ of 5th June. The wildest
indiscretions in words could not equal this."

Again I say the Press must win. On no subject is there more hypocrisy
amongst big men in England. They pretend they do not care for the Press
and _sub rosa_ they try all they are worth to work it. How well I
remember my Chief of the General Staff coming up to me at a big
conference on Salisbury Plain where I had spent five very useful minutes
explaining the inwardness of things to old Bennett Burleigh, the War
Correspondent. He (the C.G.S.) begged me to see Burleigh privately,
afterwards, as it would "create a bad impression" were I seen by
everyone to be on friendly terms with the old man! He meant it very
kindly: from his point of view he was quite right. I lay no claim to be
more candid than the rest of them: quite the contrary. Only, over that
particular line of country, I am more candid. Whenever anyone
ostentatiously washes his hands of the Press in my hearing I chuckle
over the memory of the administrator who was admonishing me as to the
unsuitability of a public servant having a journalistic acquaintance
when, suddenly, the door opened; the parlour-maid entered and said,
"Lord Northcliffe is on the 'phone."

Have told Lord K. in my letter we have just enough shell for one more
attack. After that, we fold our hands and wait the arrival of the new
troops and the new outfit of ammunition:--not "wait and see" but "wait
and suffer." A month is a desperate long halt to have in a battle. A
month, at least, to let weariness and sickness spread whilst new armies
of enemies replace those whose hearts we have broken,--at a cost of how
many broken hearts, I wonder, in Australasia and England?

This enforced pause in our operations is a desperate bad business: for
to-day there is a feeling in the air--thrilling through the ranks--that
_at last_ the upper hand is ours. Now is the moment to fall on with
might and main,--to press unrelentingly and without break or pause until
we wrest victory from Fortune. Morally, we are confident
but,--materially? Alas, to-morrow, for our last "dart" before
reinforcements arrive a month hence, my shell only runs to a forty
minutes' bombardment of some half a mile of the enemy's trenches. We
simply have not shell wherewith to cover more or keep it up any longer.

A General laying down the law to a Field Marshal is as obnoxious to
military "form" as a vacuum was once supposed to be to the sentiments of
nature. The child, who teaches its grandmother to suck eggs, commits a
venial fault in comparison. So I have had to convey my precepts
insensibly to Milord K.--to convey them in homeopathic doses of parable.
The brilliant French success of the 21st-22nd, I explain to him, was due
to the showers of shell wherewith they deluged the Turkish lines until
their defenders were sitting dazed with their dugouts in ruins about
them. Also, in the same epistle, I have tried to explain Anzac.

In the domain of tactics our landing at Helles speaks for itself. Since
gunpowder was invented nothing finer than the 29th Division has been
achieved. But it will be a long time yet before people grasp that the
landing at Anzac is just as remarkable in the imaginative domain of
strategy. The military student of the future will, I hope and believe,
realize the significance of the stroke whereby we are hourly forcing a
great Empire to commit _hari kiri_ upon these barren, worthless
cliffs--whereby we keep pressing a dagger exactly over the black heart
of the Ottoman Raj. Only skin deep--so far; only through the skin. Yet
already how freely bleeds the wound. Daily the effort to escape this
doom; to push away the threat of that painful point will increase. Even
if we were never to make another yard's advance,--here--in the cove of
Anzac--is the cup into which the life blood of the Caliphat shall be
pressed. And on the whole Gallipoli Peninsula this little cove is the
one and only spot whereon a base could have been established, which is
sheltered (to a bearable extent) from the force of the enemy's fire.
Dead ground; defiladed from inland batteries; deep water right close to
the shore!

Enver dares not leave Anzac alone. We are too near his neck; the
Narrows!! So on this most precarious, God-forsaken spot he must maintain
an Army of his best troops, mostly supplied by sea,--by sea whereon our
submarines swallow 25 per cent. of their drafts, munitions and food,
just as a pike takes down the duckling before the eyes of their mother
on a pond. Hold fast's the word. We have only to keep our grip firm and
fast; Turkey will die of exhaustion trying to do what she can't do;
drive us into the sea!

Braithwaite and Amery dined. Great fun seeing Amery again. _What_
memories of his concealment in the Autocrat's "Special" going to the
Vereeniging Conference; of our efforts to create a strategical training
ground for British troops in South Africa; of our battles against one
another over the great Voluntary Service issue.




CHAPTER XII

A VICTORY AND AFTER


_28th June, 1915. Imbros._ The fateful day.

Left camp with Braithwaite, Dawnay and Ward. Embarked on the destroyer
_Colne_ (Commander Seymour) and sailed for Helles. The fire fight was
raging. From the bridge we got a fine view as our guns were being
focused on and about the north-west coast. The cliff line and half a
mile inland is shrouded in a pall of yellow dust which, as it twirls,
twists and eddies, blots out Achi Baba himself. Through this curtain
appear, dozens at a time, little balls of white,--the shrapnel searching
out the communication trenches and cutting the wire entanglements. At
other times spouts of green or black vapour rise, mix and lose
themselves in the yellow cloud. The noise is like the rumbling of an
express train--continuous; no break at all. The Turks sitting there in
their trenches--our men 100 yards away sitting in _their_ trenches! What
a wonderful change in the art,--no not the art, in the mechanism--of
war. Fifteen years ago armies would have stood aghast at our display of
explosive energy; to-day we know that our shortage is pitiable and that
we are very short of stuff; perilously short.--(Written in the cabin of
the _Colne_.)

Jimmy Watson met me on the pier. He is Commandant Advance Base. Deedes
also met me and the whole band of us made our way inland to my battle
dugout. This is probably our last onslaught before the new troops and
new supplies of shell come to hand in about a month from now. We have
just enough stuff to deal with one narrow strip by the coast. Had it not
been for some help from the French, we could not have entered upon this
engagement at all, but must have continued to sit still and be shot
at--rather an expensive way of fighting if John Bull could only be told
the truth. Now, although the area is limited the battle is a big one,
fairly entitled to be called a general action. As I said, the French are
helping Simpson-Baikie in his bombardment; the Fleet are helping us with
the fire of the _Scorpion_, _Talbot_ and _Wolverine_, and Birdwood has
been asked to try and help us from Anzac by making a push there to hold
the enemy and prevent him sending reinforcements south. On their side
the Turks are making a very feeble reply. Looks as if we had caught them
with their ammunition parks empty.

I went into the dugout indescribably slack; hardly energy to struggle
against the heat and the myriads of flies. I came out of it radiant. The
Turks are beat. Five lines of their best trenches carried (or, at least,
four regular lines plus a bit extra); the Boomerang Redoubt rushed, and
in two successive attacks we have advanced 1,000 yards. Our losses are
said to be moderate. The dreaded Boomerang collapsed and was stormed
with hardly a casualty. This was owing partly to the two trench mortars
lent us by the French and partly to the extraordinary fine shooting of
our own battery of 4.5 howitzers. The whole show went like
clockwork--like a Field Day. First the 87th Brigade took three lines of
trenches; then our guns lengthened their range and fuses and the 86th
Brigade, with the gallant Royal Fusiliers at their head, scrambled over
the trenches already taken by the 87th, and took the last two lines in
splendid style. We could have gone right on but we had nothing to go on
with. How I wish the whole world and his wife could have been here to
see our lines advancing under fire quite steadily with intervals and
dressing as on parade. A wonderful show!

As the 87th Brigade left the trenches at 11 a.m., the enemy opened a hot
shrapnel fire on them but although some men fell, none faltered as we
could see very well owing to the following device. The 29th attackers
had sewn on to their backs triangles cut out of kerosine tins. The idea
was to let these bright bits of metal flash in the sunlight and act as
helios. Thus our guns would be able to keep an eye on them. The
spectacle was extraordinary. From my post I could follow the movements
of every man. One moment after 11 a.m. the smoke pall lifted and moved
slowly on with a thousand sparkles of light in its wake: as if someone
had quite suddenly flung a big handful of diamonds on to the landscape.

At 11.30 the 86th Brigade likewise advanced; passed through the 87th and
took two more lines of trenches.

At mid-day I signalled, "Well done 29th Division and 156th Brigade. Am
watching your splendid attack with admiration. Stick to it and your
names will become famous in your homes."

At 1.50 I got a reply, "Thanks from all ranks 29th. We are here to
stay."

At 3.15 I ran across and warmly congratulated Hunter-Weston, staying
with him reading the messages until about 4 p.m. when I went on to see
Gouraud. Hunter-Weston, Gouraud and Braithwaite agree that:--_had we
only shell to repeat our bombardment of this morning, now, we could go
on another 1,000 yards before dark,--result, Achi Baba to-morrow, or, at
the latest, the day after; Achi Baba_ and fifty guns perhaps with, say,
10,000 prisoners.

At 5 p.m. Gouraud and I walked back to Hunter-Weston's G.H.Q. A load was
off our minds--we were wonderfully happy. At 5.30 a message from Birdie
to say the Queenslanders had thrust out towards Gaba Tepe and had
"drawn" the Turkish reserves who had been badly hammered by our guns.
With this crowning mercy in my pocket, walked down and boarded the
destroyer _Scourge_ (Lieutenant Tupper) and got back to camp before
seven. What a day! May our glorious Infantry gain everlasting
_Kudos_--and the Gunners, too, may the good use they made of their shell
ration create a legend.

The French official photographer has fixed a moment by snapping Gouraud
and myself overlooking the Hellespont from the old battlements.

[Illustration: GENERAL GOURAUD "Central News" photo.]

_Midnight._--When I lay down in my little tent two hours ago the canvas
seemed to make a sort of sounding board. No sooner did I try to sleep
than I heard the musketry rolling up and dying away; then rolling up
again in volume until I could stick it no longer and simply had to get
up and pick a path, through the brush and over sandhills, across to the
sea on the East coast of our island. There I could hear nothing. Was the
firing then an hallucination--a sort of sequel to the battle in my
brain? Not so; far away I could see faint corruscations of sparks; star
shells; coloured fire balls from pistols; searchlights playing up and
down the coast. Our fellows were being hard beset to hold on to what
they had won; there, where the horizon stood out with spectral
luminosity. What a contrast; the direct fear, joy, and excitement of the
fighting men out there in the searchlights and the dull anguish of
waiting here in the darkness; imagining horrors; praying the Almighty
our men may be vouchsafed valour to stick it through the night;
wondering, waiting until the wire brings its colourless message!

One thought I have which is in the end a sure sleep-getter--the
advancing death. Whether by hours or by years, by inches or by leagues,
by bullets or bacilli, we struggle-for-lifers will very soon struggle no
more. My last salaams are well-nigh due to my audience and to the stage.
That rare and curious being called I is more fragile than any porcelain
jar. How on earth it has preserved itself so long, heaven only knows.
One pellet of lead, it falls in a heap of dust; the Peninsula
disappears; the fighting men fall asleep; the world and its glories
become a blank--not even a dream--nothing!

_29th June, 1915. Imbros._ Sunlight has scattered the spectres of the
night,--they have fled, leaving behind them only the matter-of-fact
residuum of heavy Turkish counter-attacks against our fresh-won ground.
The fighting took place along the coastline, and the stillness of the
night seems to have helped the sounds of musketry across the twelve
miles of sea. The attack was most determined: repulsed by bombs and with
the bayonet: at daylight the enemy came under a cross-fire of machine
guns and rifles and were shot to pieces.

Very early approved the revise of my long cable (for the Cabinet)
outlining my hopes and fears:--

"(No. M.F. 381). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Earl Kitchener. With
reference to your telegram No. 5770, cipher. As the Cabinet are anxious
to consider my situation in all its bearings, it is necessary I should
open to you all my mind. In my No. M.F. 328 of 13th June, I gave you an
outline of my plan, based on the news that I was to be given new
divisions, and I told you what I should do with a possible fourth
division in my No. M.F. 364 of 23rd June. I am now asked whether I
consider a fifth division advisable and necessary.

"I have taken time to answer this question, as the addition of each new
division necessitates, in such a theatre of war as this, a
reconsideration of the whole strategical and tactical situation as well
as of the power of the Fleet to work up to the increased demands that
would be placed upon it. The scheme which might tempt me (Naval
considerations permitting) of landing the 4th and 5th Divisions together
with the three divisions and one or two divisions from Cape Helles and
Anzac on flank of shore of Gulf of Saros to march on Rodosto and
Constantinople I reject because the 4th and 5th Divisions cannot reach
me simultaneously with all their transport.

"But assuming that reinforcements can only reach me in echelon of
divisions I have decided that the best policy would be to adhere to my
original plan of endeavouring to turn the enemy's right at Anzac with
the first three divisions and to gain a position from Gaba Tepe to
Maidos. I should then use the 4th and 5th Divisions, in case of
non-success at first to reinforce this wing, and in case of success
possibly to effect a landing on the southern shore of the Dardanelles;
and since the enemy's forces south of the Straits would probably have
been reduced to a minimum in order to oppose my reinforced strength on
the Peninsula I should in the latter case count upon these two divisions
doing more than hold a bridge-head (see my M.F. 349 of 19th June), and
should expect them, reinforced from the northern wing if necessary, to
press forward to Chanak and thus to cut off this enemy's sole remaining
line of supply.[22] By these means I should hope to compel the
surrender of the whole Gallipoli Army. Meanwhile, with my force on the
Asiatic side I would be enabled to establish in Morto Bay a base safe
from the bad weather which must be expected later on.

"With regard to ammunition, the more we can get the more easy will our
task be, but I hope we may be able to achieve success at the end of July
with the amount available. As we are so far from home, however, we
cannot afford to run things too fine, and we shall always be obliged to
keep up a large reserve until the arrival of further supply. I should,
therefore, like as much as you can spare, particularly high explosive.
So far as this question affects sending a 4th and 5th Division I would
not refuse them on the score of ammunition alone, because with the
Artillery of three new divisions complete I think we shall have as many
guns as the terrain will allow us to use in the operations towards
Maidos, and also sufficient to compete with any Artillery which the
enemy could bring against the detachment operating on the Asiatic shore.

"To summarize--I think I have reasonable prospects of eventual success
with three divisions, with four the risks of miscalculation would be
minimized, and with five, even if the fifth division had little or no
gun ammunition, I think it would be a much simpler matter to clear the
Asiatic shore subsequently of big guns, etc., Kilid Bahr would be
captured at an earlier date and success would be generally assured."

Next, I boiled down yesterday's battle into telegraphic dispatch form:

"(No. M.F. 383). From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Secretary of State for
War. In continuation of my Nos. M.F. 379 and 382. Plan of operations
yesterday was to throw forward left of my line south-east of Krithia,
pivoting on point about one mile from the sea, and after advancing
extreme left for about half a mile, to establish new line facing east on
ground thus gained. This plan entailed the capture in succession of two
lines of the Turkish trenches east of the Saghir Dere and five lines of
trenches west of it. Australian Corps was ordered to co-operate by
making vigorous demonstration. The action opened at 9 a.m. with
bombardment by heavy artillery of the trenches to be captured.

"Assistance rendered by French in this bombardment was most valuable. At
10.20 our field artillery opened fire to cut wire in front of Turkish
trenches and this was effectively done. Great effect on enemy's trench
near sea and in keeping down his artillery fire from that quarter was
produced by very accurate fire of H.M.S. _Talbot_, _Scorpion_, and
_Wolverine_. At 10.45 a small Turkish advanced work in the Saghir Dere,
known as the Boomerang Redoubt, was assaulted. This little fort was
very strongly sited, protected by extra strong wire entanglements and
has long been a source of trouble. After special bombardment by trench
mortars and while bombardment of surrounding trenches was at its height
part of Border Regiment, at the exact moment prescribed, leapt from
their trenches like a pack of hounds pouring out of cover, raced across
and took the work most brilliantly.

"Artillery bombardment increased in intensity till 11 a.m. when range
was lengthened and infantry advanced. Infantry attack was carried out
with great dash along whole line. West of Saghir Dere 87th Brigade
captured three lines of trenches with little opposition. Trenches full
of dead Turks, many buried by bombardment, and 100 prisoners were taken
in them. East of Ravine two battalions Royal Scots made fine attack,
capturing the two lines of trenches assigned as their objective, but
remainder of 156th Brigade on their right met severe opposition and were
unable to get forward. At 11.30, 86th Brigade led by 2nd Bn. Royal
Fusiliers started second phase of attack West of Ravine. They advanced
with great steadiness and resolution through trenches already captured
and on across the open, and taking two more lines of trenches reached
objective allotted to them, Lancashire Fusiliers inclining half right
and forming line to connect with our new position East of Ravine.

"The northernmost objective I had set out to reach had now been
attained, but the Gurkhas pressing on under the cliffs captured an
important knoll still further forward, actually due west of Krithia.
This they fortified and held during the night, making our total gain on
the left precisely 1,000 yards. During afternoon 88th Brigade attacked
trenches, small portion of which remained uncaptured on right, but enemy
held on stubbornly, supported by machine guns and artillery, and attacks
did not succeed. During night enemy counter-attacked furthest trenches
gained but was repulsed with heavy loss. Party of Turks who penetrated
from flank between two lines of captured trenches, subjected to
machine-gun fire at daybreak, suffered very heavily and survivors
surrendered.

"Except for small portion of trench already mentioned which is still
held by enemy, all, and more than we hoped for, from operations has been
gained. On extreme left, line has been pushed forward to specially
strong point well beyond limit of advance originally contemplated. Our
casualties about 2,000, the greater proportion of which are slight cases
of which 250 at Anzac, in the useful demonstration made simultaneously
there. All engaged did well, but certainly the chief factor in the
success was the splendid attack carried out by XXIXth Division, whose
conduct in this as on previous occasions was beyond praise."

Lastly, I wrote out a special Force Order thanking the incomparable
29th.

Winter brought me over a letter just received from Wallace. He is
quarrelling with Elliot. For that I don't blame him. At the end of his
letter Wallace says, "I feel that the organization of the Lines of
Communication and making it work is such a task that I sometimes doubt
myself whether I am equal to it." Wallace is a good fellow and a
sensible man placed, by British methods, out of his element and out of
his depth. Have told Winter to tell him I sympathize and will help him
and support him all I know; that if it turns out his strong points lie
in another direction than administering a huge business machine, I will
try and find a handsome way out for him.

Had been writing, writing, writing since cockcrow so when I heard a
trawler was going over with two of the General Staff at mid-day, I could
not resist the chance of another visit to the scene of yesterday's
victorious advance. Went to see Hunter-Weston but he was up at the front
where I had no time to follow him. His Chief of Staff says all goes
well, but they have just had cables from my own Headquarters to tell
them that heavy columns of Turks are massing behind Achi Baba for a
fresh counter-attack. Thought, therefore, the wisest thing was to get
back quickly. Reached camp again about 7 p.m., and found more news in
office than I got on the spot. Last night's firing on the Peninsula
meant close and desperate fighting. Several heavy columns of Turks
attacked with bomb and bayonet, and in places some of their braves broke
through into our new trenches where the defence had not yet been put on
a stable footing. When daylight came we got them enfiladed by machine
guns and every single mother's son of them was either killed or
captured. So we still hold every yard we had gained.

The attack by a part of the Lowland Division seems to have been
mishandled. A Brigade made the assault East of the Ravine; the men
advanced gallantly but there was lack of effective preparation. Two
battalions of the Royal Scots carried a couple of the enemy's trenches
in fine style and stuck to them, but the rest of the Brigade lost a
number of good men to no useful purpose in their push against H.12. One
thing is clear. If the bombardment was ineffective, from whatever cause,
then the men should not have been allowed to break cover.[23]

_30th June, 1915. Imbros._ Writing in camp.

More good news. It never rains but it pours. The French have made a fine
push and got the Quadrilateral by 8 a.m. with but little loss. The Turks
seemed discouraged, they say, and did not offer their usual firm
resistance.

At 10.30 a.m. wired Gouraud:--"Warm congratulations on this morning's
work which will compensate for the loss of your 2,000 quarts of wine.
Your Government should now replace it with vintage claret. Please send
me quickly a sketch of the ground you have gained."

Gouraud now replies:--"Best thanks for congratulations. Sketch being
made. If our Government is pleased to send a finer brand of wine to
replace what was wasted by the guns of Asia, we Frenchmen will drink it
to the very good health of our British comrades in arms."

How lucky I signalled de Robeck 8 p.m. yesterday to let us keep the
_Wolverine_ and _Scorpion_ "in case of a night attack!" Sure enough
there was another onslaught made against our northernmost post. Two
Turkish Regiments were discovered in mass creeping along the top of the
cliffs by the searchlights of the _Scorpion_. They were so punished by
her guns that they were completely broken up and the Infantry at
daylight had not much to do except pick up the fragments. 300 Turks lay
dead upon the ground. Also, hiding in furze, have gleaned 180 prisoners
belonging to the 13th, 16th and 33rd Regiments. A Circassian prisoner
carried in a wounded Royal Scot on his back under a heavy fire.

Three wires from Helles; the first early this morning; the last just to
hand (11 p.m.) saying that the lack of hand grenades is endangering all
our gains. The Turks are much better armed in this respect. De Lisle
says that where we have hand grenades we can advance still further;
where we have not, we lose ground. At mid-day, we wired our reply saying
we had no more hand grenades we feared but that we would do our best to
scrape up a few; also that several trench mortars had just arrived from
home and that they would be sent over forthwith.

Have returned some interesting minutes on the Dardanelles, sent me from
home, with this remark:--"Looking back I see now clearly that the one
fallacy which crept into your plans was non-recognition of the pride and
military _moral_ of the Turk. There was never any question of the Turk
being demoralized or even flustered by ships sailing past him or by
troops landing in his rear. _At last, I believe_, this _moral_ is
beginning to crack up a little (not much) but nothing less than
murderous losses would have done it. In their diaries their officers
speak of this Peninsula as the Slaughterhouse."

Brigadier-General de Lothbiniere and Major Ruthven lunched and young
Brodrick and I dined together on board the _Triad_ with the hospitable
Vice-Admiral. We were all very cheery at the happy turn of our fortunes;
outwardly, that is to say, for there was a skeleton at the feast who
kept tap, tap, tapping on the mahogany with his bony knuckles; tap, tap,
tap; the gunfire at Helles was insistent, warning us that the Turks had
not yet "taken their licking." But when I get back, although there is
nothing in from Hunter-Weston there is an officer from Anzac who has
just given me the complete story of Birdwood's demonstration on the
28th. The tide of war is indeed racing full flood in our favour.

When we were working out our scheme for the attack of the 29th Division
and 156th Brigade the day before yesterday, as well as Gouraud's attack
of yesterday, we had reckoned that the Turkish High Command would get to
realize by about 11 a.m. on the 28th that an uncommon stiff fight had
been set afoot to the sou'-west of Krithia. L. von S. would then, it
might be surmised, draw upon his reserves at Maidos and upon his forces
opposite Anzac: they would get their orders about mid-day: they would be
starting about 1 p.m.: they would reach Krithia about dusk: they would
use their "pull" in the matter of hand grenades to counter-attack by
moonlight. So we asked Birdie to make one of his most engaging gestures
just to delay these reinforcements a little bit; and now it turns out
that the Australians and New Zealanders in their handsome, antipodean
style went some 50 per cent. better than their bargain:--

(1) At 1 p.m. on the 28th the Queensland giants darted out of their
caves and went for the low ridge covering Gaba Tepe, that tenderest spot
of the Turks. They got on to the foot of it and, by their dashing
onslaught, drew the fire of all the enemy guns; but, what was still
better, heavy Turkish columns, on the march, evidently, from Maidos to
the help of Krithia, turned back northwards and closed in for the
defence of Gaba Tepe. As they drew near they came under fire of our
destroyers and of the Anzac guns and were badly knocked about and broken
up. So both Krithia and the French Quadrilateral have had to do without
the help of these reinforcements from the reserves of Liman von Sanders.
One of the neatest of strokes and the credit of it lies with the
Queenslanders who were not content to flourish their fists in the
enemy's face but ran out and attacked him at close quarters.

(2) Now comes the sequel! Birdie has just sent in word of the best
business done at Anzac since May 19th!! The success of his demonstration
towards Gaba Tepe had given the Turks a bad attack of the jumps,
followed by a thirst for vengeance. Yesterday, they got _very_ nervy
during a dust storm and for two hours the whole of their Army kept up
high pressure fire from every rifle and machine gun they could bring to
bear. They simply poured out bullets by the million into the blinding
dust. Things then gradually quieted down till 1.30 this morning when a
very serious assault--very serious for the enemy--was suddenly launched
against the Anzac left, the brunt of it falling on Russell's New Zealand
Mounted Rifles and Chauvel's Australian Light Horse; a bad choice too!
Our victory complete; bloodless for us. Their defeat complete; very
bloody. Nine fresh enemy battalions smashed to bits: fighting went on
until dawn: five hundred Turks laid out and counted: no more detail but
that is good enough to go to sleep upon.

_1st July, 1915. Imbros._ Good news from Helles continues. In the early
hours of last night an attack was made on the Gurkhas in J trenches.
When they ran out of bombs the Turks bombed them out. Headed by Bruce
their Colonel, whom they adore, they retook the trench and, for the
first time, got into the enemy with their _kukris_ and sliced off a
number of their heads. At dawn half a battalion of Turks tried to make
the attack along the top of the cliff and were entirely wiped out.

Against this I must set down cruel bad news about Gouraud. An accursed
misadventure. He has been severely wounded by a shell. Directly I heard
I got the Navy to run me over. He was already in the Hospital ship; I
saw him there. A pure toss up whether he pulls round or not; luckily he
has a frame of iron. I was allowed to speak to him for half a minute and
he is full of pluck. The shell, an 8-incher from Asia, landed only some
half a dozen yards away from him as he was visiting his wounded and sick
down by "V" Beach. By some miracle none of the metal fragments touched
him, but the sheer force of the explosion shot him up into the air and
over a wall said to be seven feet high. His thigh, ankle and arm are all
badly smashed, simply by the fall. We could more easily spare a Brigade.
His loss is irreparable. By personal magnetism he has raised the ardour
of his troops to the highest power. Have cabled to Lord K. expressing my
profound sorrow and assuring him that "the grave loss suffered by the
French, and indirectly by my whole force," is really most serious, as I
know, I say, "the French War Minister cannot send us another General
Gouraud."

_2nd July, 1915. Imbros._ Worked all day in camp. Birdie, with Onslow,
his A.D.C--_such_ a nice boy--came over from Anzac in the morning and
stayed with me the day, during which we worked together at our plan. At
night we all went over together to H.M.S. _Triad_ to dine with the
Vice-Admiral.

Birdwood is quite confident that with a fresh Division and a decent
supply of shell he can get hold of the heights of Sari Bair, whereby he
will enfilade the whole network of Turkish trenches, now hedging him
round. The only thing he bargains for is that G.H.Q. so work the whole
affair from orders down to movements, that the enemy get no inkling of
our intentions. The Turks so far suspect nothing, and Koja Chemen Tepe
and Chunuk Bair, with all the intervening ridge, are still unentrenched
and open to capture by a _coup-de-main_. Even if the naval objections to
Bulair could be overcome, Sari Bair remains the better move of the two.
With the high ridges of Sari Bair in our hands we could put a stop to
the Turkish sea transport from Chanak which we could neither see nor
touch from Bulair. The tugs with their strings of lighters could not run
by day, and as soon as we could get searchlights fixed up, they would
find it very awkward to show themselves in the Straits by night. As to
the enemy land communications, as soon as we can haul up our big guns we
should command, and be able to search, all the ground between the Aegean
and the Dardanelles. Now is the moment. Birdwood says that he and his
men have exactly the same feeling that we have down at Helles--the
feeling, namely, that now at last, we have got a right moral pull over
the Turks. All we want is enough material to turn that faith into a mile
or two of mountains.

Making full use of their advantage in hand grenades, the Turks again won
their trench back from the Gurkhas last night; a trench which was the
key to a whole system of earthworks. Bruce had been wounded and they had
no officers left to lead them, so de Lisle had to call once more on the
29th Division and the bold Inniskilling Fusiliers retook that trench at
a cost of all their officers save two.

There are some feats of arms best left to speak for themselves and this
is one of them.

Wrote Lord K. as follows:--

                                                "GENERAL HEADQUARTERS,
                                          "MEDTN. EXPEDITIONARY FORCE.

                                                     "_2nd July, 1915._

    "Dictated.

  "MY DEAR LORD KITCHENER,

"There seems to be a lull in this tooth-and-nail struggle which has kept
me on tenterhooks during the past four days and nights. But we have on
our maps little blue arrows showing the movements of at least a Division
of troops in various little columns from above Kereves Dere, from Soghon
Dere river, from Kilid Bahr and even from within gun-shot of Achi Baba,
all converging on a point a mile or two north-west of Krithia. So it
looks as if they were going to have one more desperate go at the Gurkha
knoll due west of Krithia, and at the line of trench we call J.13
immediately behind it which was also held by the Gurkhas.

"Last night they bombed the Gurkhas out of the eastern half of J.13 and
the Inniskilling Fusiliers had to take it again at the point of the
bayonet just as day broke.

"You can have small idea of what the troops are going through. The same
old battalions being called on again and again to do the forlorn hope
sort of business. However, each day that passes, these captured
positions get better dug in, and make the Turks' counter-attack more
costly.

"The cause of the attack made the night before last on Anzac has been
made quite clear to us by a highly intelligent Armenian prisoner we have
taken. The strictest orders had been issued by His Excellency
Commanding-in-Chief on the Peninsula that no further attacks against our
works were to be made unless, of course, we took any ground from them
when we must be vigorously countered. But it was explained to the men
that the losses in attack had proved too heavy, whereas, if they had
patience and waited a week or ten days in their trenches, then at last
we would come out and try to attack them when they would kill us in
great quantities. However, Enver Pasha appeared in person amongst the
troops at Anzac, and ordered three regiments to attack whilst the whole
of the rest of the line supported them by demonstrations and by fire. It
was objected this was against the command of their local chief. He
brushed this objection aside, and told them never to look him in the
face again if they failed to drive the Australians into the sea. So off
they went and they certainly did not drive the Australians into the sea
(although they got into their support trenches at one time) and
certainly most of them never looked Enver in the face again, or anyone
else for that matter.

"The old battle tactics have clean vanished. I have only quite lately
realized the new conditions. Whether your entrenchments are on the top
of a hill or at the bottom of a valley matters precious little: whether
you are outflanked matters precious little--you may hold one half of a
straight trench and the enemy may hold the other half, and this
situation may endure for weeks. The only thing is by cunning or
surprise, or skill, or tremendous expenditure of high explosives, or
great expenditure of good troops, to win some small tactical position
which the enemy may be bound, perhaps for military or perhaps for
political reasons, to attack. Then you can begin to kill them pretty
fast."

_3rd July, 1915. Imbros._ Very hot; very limp with the prevalent disease
but greatly cheered up by the news of yesterday evening's battle at
Helles. The Turks must have got hold of a lot of fresh shell for, at
5.30 p.m., they began as heavy a bombardment as any yet seen at Helles,
concentrating on our extreme left. We could only send a feeble reply. At
6 o'clock the enemy advanced in swarms, but before they had covered more
than 100 yards they were driven back again into the Ravine some 800
yards to our front. H.M.S. _Scorpion_ and our machine guns played the
chief hand. At 7 p.m. the Turkish guns began again, blazing away as if
shells were a drug in the market, whilst, under cover of this very
intense fire, another two of their battalions had the nerve to emerge
from the Ravine to the north-east of our forward trenches and to move in
regular lines--shoulder to shoulder--right across the open. Hardly had
they shown themselves when the 10th Battery R.F.A. sprayed them
beautifully with shrapnel. The Gurkha supports were rushed up, and as
there was no room for them in the fire trenches they crept into shell
craters and any sort of hole they could find from which to rake the
Turks as they made their advance. The enemy's officers greatly
distinguished themselves, waving their swords and running well out into
the open to get the men forward. The men also had screwed up their
courage to the sticking point and made a big push for it, but, in the
end, they could not face our fire, and fell back helter-skelter to their
mullah. Along the spot where they had stood wavering awhile before they
broke and ran, there are still two clearly marked lines of corpses.

Wrote a letter to Sclater saying I cannot understand his request for
fuller information about the drafts needed to make my units up to
strength. We have regularly cabled strengths; the figures are correct
and it is the A.G. himself who has ordered us to furnish the optimistic
"ration" strengths instead of the customary "fighting" strengths. The
ration strength are for the Q.M.G., but unless the A.G. wishes to go on
living in a fool's paradise, why should he be afraid of knowing the
numbers we cannot put into the line of battle!

Have also written Cowans protesting once more that we should have
business brains to run the most intricate business proposition at
present on tap in the world--our communications. During the past month
the confusion at Mudros, our advanced base, becomes daily worse
confounded. Things meant for Anzac go to Helles, and _vice versa_: or,
not infrequently, stores, supplies or luxuries arrive and are sent off
on a little tour to Alexandria and Malta before delivery. The system
would be perfect for the mellowing of port or madeira, but when it is
applied to plum and apple jam or, when 18 pr. shell are sent to
howitzers, the system needs overhauling. I know the job is out of the
way difficult. There is work here for Lesseps, Goethals and Morgan
rolled into one:--work that may change the face of the world far, far
more than the Suez or Panama Canals and, to do it, they have put in a
good fighting soldier, quite out of his setting, and merely because they
did not know what to do with him in Egypt! In case Cowans shares K.'s
suspicions about my sneaking desire for Ellison, I say, "I assure you;
most solemnly I assure you, that the personal equation does not, even in
the vaguest fashion, enter into my thoughts. Put the greatest enemy I
possess in the world, and the person I most dislike, into that post, and
I would thank God for his appointment, on my knees, provided he was a
competent business man."

Again:--

"I am in despair myself over it. Perhaps that is putting it rather
strong as I try never to despair, but seriously I worry just as much
over things behind me as I do over the enemy in front of me. What I want
is a really big man there, and I don't care one D. who he is. A man I
mean who, if he saw the real necessity, would wire for a great English
contractor and 300 navvies without bothering or referring the matter to
anyone."

A cable to say that the editing of my despatch is ended, and that the
public will be let into its dreadful secrets in a day or two. But, I am
informed there are passages in it whose "secret nature will be
scrupulously observed." What passages? I cannot remember any secrets in
my despatch.

Have been defending myself desperately against the War Office who want
to send out a Naval Doctor to take full charge and responsibility for
the wounded (including destination) the moment they quit dry land. But
we must have a complete scheme of evacuation _by land and sea_, not two
badly jointed schemes. So I have asked, who is to be "Boss"? Who is to
see to it that the two halves fit together? The answer is that the War
Office are confident "there will be no friction" (bless them!); they
say, "nothing could be simpler than this arrangement and no difficulty
is anticipated. Neither is boss and the boundary between the different
spheres of activity of the two officers might be laid down as the
high-water mark." (Bless them again!). Have replied:--

"I have struggled with your high-water mark silently for weeks and know
something about it. Had I bothered you with all my troubles you would, I
respectfully submit, realize that your proposal is not simple but
extraordinarily complicated, even pre-supposing seraphic dispositions on
either side. If you determine finally that these two officers are to be
independent, I foresee that you will greatly widen the scope of dual
control which is now only applicable to my great friend the Admiral and
myself.

"Either Babtie must order up the ships when and where he wants them, or
Porter must order the wounded down when he is ready for them. This is
my considered opinion."[24]

Have also sent an earnest message to K.--just the old, old story--saying
that what I want _first_ is drafts, and only _second_ fresh divisions.
My old Chief has been his kind self again:--so very considerate has he
been in his recent messages that I feel it almost brutal to press him or
to seem to wish to take advantage of his goodness. But we are dealing
with lives of men and I _must_ try and make myself clear:--

"I am anxious with regard to the question of reinforcements for units.
During the period 28th to 30th June, the Brigades of the XXIXth and
Lowland Divisions dropped in strengths approximately as follows:--86th
from 71 officers, 2,807 others to 36 and 1,994; 87th from 65 and 2,724
to 48 and 2,075; 88th from 63 and 2,139 to 46 and 1,765; 156th from 102
and 2,839 to 30 and 1,399. All Officers who have arrived from England to
date are included in the above figures. Maxwell has agreed to let me
have 80 young Officers from Egypt. Of the other ranks I have no
appreciable reinforcements to put in. This is the situation after an
operation carried out by the XXIXth and two brigades of LIInd Divisions,
which was not only successful but even more successful than we
anticipated; wherein the initial losses on 28th June were comparatively
small, namely 2,000, but as the result of numerous counter-attacks day
and night, have since swelled to some 3,500.

"The drafts promised in your No. 5793, A.G.2a, would, provided there
were no more casualties, bring the units of the XXIXth Division to
approximately 75 per cent. of establishment, but would leave none
available as further reinforcements.

"In view of the operations on a larger scale, with increased forces, I
feel I should draw your attention to the risk introduced by the theatre
of operations being so far from England. I have no reserves in base
depots now, while the operations we are engaged in are such that heavy
casualties are to be expected. The want of drafts ready on the spot to
fill up units which have suffered heavily might prevent me pressing to
full advantage as the result of a local success. At a critical moment I
might find myself compelled to suspend operations until the arrival of
drafts from England. This might involve a month and in the meantime the
enemy would have time to consolidate his position. The difficulty of the
drafts question is fully realized, but I think you should know exactly
how I am placed and that I should reflect and make clear the essential
difference between the Dardanelles and France in so far as the necessity
of mobilizing first reinforcements for each unit is concerned. Our real
need is a system which will enable me to maintain drafts for the
deficiencies in depots on my lines of communications with Egypt."

If K. did not want brief spurts sandwiched between long waits, all he
had to do was to tell his A.G. to see to it that the XXIXth Division was
kept up to strength. A word and a frown would have done it. But he has
not said the word, or scowled, and the troops have by extraordinary
efforts and self-sacrifice carried through the work of strong battalions
with weak ones--but only to some extent. That is the whole story.

_4th July, 1915. Imbros._ Church Parade this morning. Made a close
inspection of the Surrey Yeomanry under Major Bonsor. Even with as free
a hand as the Lord Almighty, it would be hard to invent a better type of
fighting man than the British Yeomanry; only, they have never been
properly appreciated by the martinets who have ruled our roost, and
chances have never been given to them to make the most of themselves as
soldiers.

The Escort was made up of men of the 29th Division under Lieutenant
Burrell of the South Wales Borderers--that famous battalion which
stormed so brilliantly de Tott's battery at the first landing,--also of
a detachment of Australians under Lieutenant Edwards and a squad of New
Zealanders under Lieutenant Sheppard, fine men all of them, but very
different (despite the superficial resemblance imparted by their slouch
hats) when thus seen shoulder to shoulder on parade. The Australians
have the pull in height and width of chest; the New Zealanders are
thicker all through, chests, waists, thighs.

After Church Parade, boarded H.M.S. _Basilisk_ (Lieutenant Fallowfield)
and steamed to Helles. The Turks, inconsiderate as usual, were shelling
Lancashire Landing as we got ashore. Every living soul had gone to
ground. Strolled up the deserted road with an air of careless
indifference, hopped casually over a huge splosh of fresh blood, and
crossed to Hunter-Weston's Headquarters. Had I only been my simple self,
I would have out-stripped the hare for swiftness, as it was, I, as
C.-in-C, had to play up to the dugouts. As Hunter-Weston and I were
starting lunch, an orderly rushed in to say that a ship in harbour had
been torpedoed. So we rushed out with our glasses and watched. She was a
French transport, the _Carthage_, and she took exactly four minutes to
sink. The destroyers and picket boats were round her as smart as flies
settle on a lump of sugar, and there was no loss of life. Sad to see the
old ship go down. I knew her well at Malta and Jean once came across in
her from Tunis. She used to roll like the devil and was always said,
with what justice I do not know, to be the sister ship to the _Waratah_
which foundered so mysteriously somewhere off the Natal coast with a
very good chap, a M.F.H., Percy Brown, on board. At 2.30 General
Bailloud, now commanding the French, came over to see me. When he had
finished his business which he handles in so original a manner as to
make it a recreation, I went off with Hunter-Weston and Staffs to see
General Egerton of the Lowland Division. Egerton introduced me to
Colonel Mudge, A.A.G., Major Maclean, D.A.A.G. (an old friend), Captain
Tollemashe, G.S.O.3, and to his A.D.C., Lieutenant Laverton. We then
went on and saw the 156th Brigade. Passed the time of day to a lot of
the Officers and men. Among those whose names I remember were Colonel
Pallin, acting Brigadier; Captain Girdwood, Brigade Major; Captain Law,
Staff Captain; Colonel Peebles, 7th Royal Scots; Captain Sinclair, 4th
Royal Scots; Lieutenant McClay, 8th Scottish Rifles. The last Officer
was one of the very few--I am not sure they did not say the only one--of
his Battalion who went into the assault and returned untouched.

The whole Brigade had attacked H. 12 on the 28th ult. and lost a number
of good men. The rank and file seemed very nice lads but--there was no
mistaking it--they have been given a bad shake and many of them were
down on their luck. As we came to each Battalion Headquarters we were
told, "These are the remnants of the----," whatever the unit was. Three
times was this remark repeated but the fourth time I had to express my
firm opinion that in no case was the use of the word "remnant," as
applied to a fighting unit "in being," an expression which authority
should employ in the presence of the men.

Re-embarked in H.M.S. _Basilisk_ and got back to Imbros fairly late.

A set of Turkish Divisional orders sent by the Turkish General to the
Commander of their right zone at Helles has been taken from a wounded
Turkish officer. They bear out our views of the blow that the 29th
Division have struck at the enemy's _moral_ by their brilliant attack on
the 28th inst.

"There is nothing that causes us more sorrow, increases the courage of
the enemy and encourages him to attack more freely, causing us great
losses, than the losing of these trenches. Henceforth, commanders who
surrender these trenches from whatever side the attack may come before
the last man is killed will be punished in the same way as if they had
run away. Especially will the commanders of units told off to guard a
certain front be punished if, instead of thinking about their work
supporting their units and giving information to the higher command,
they only take action after a regrettable incident has taken place.

"I hope that this will not occur again. I give notice that if it does, I
shall carry out the punishment. I do not desire to see a blot made on
the courage of our men by those who escape from the trenches to avoid
the rifle and machine gun fire of the enemy. Henceforth, I shall hold
responsible all Officers who do not shoot with their revolvers all the
privates who try to escape from the trenches on any pretext. Commander
of the 11th Division, Colonel Rifaat."

In sending on this order to his battalions, the Colonel of the 127th
Regiment adds:--

"To Commander of the 1st Battalion. The contents will be communicated to
the Officers and I promise to carry out the orders till the last drop of
our blood has been shed."

Then followed the signatures of the company commanders of the Battalion.
There is a savage ring about these orders but they are, I am sure, more
bracing to the recipients than laments and condolences over their
losses.

_5th July, 1915. Imbros._ Spent a long, hot day hanging at the end of
the wire. Heavy firing on the Peninsula last night under cover of which
the Turks at dawn made, or tried to make, a grand, concerted attack. Not
a soul in England, outside the Ordnance, realizes, I believe, that
barring the guns of the 29th Division and the few guns of the Anzacs,
our field artillery consists of the old 15-prs., relics of South Africa,
and of 5-inch hows., some of them Omdurman veterans. Quite a number of
these guns are already unserviceable and, in the 42nd Division, to keep
one and a half batteries fully gunned, we have had to use up every piece
in the Brigade. The surplus personnel are thus wasted. To take on new
Skoda or Krupp guns with these short-range veterans is rough on the
gunners. Still, but for the Territorial Force we should have nothing at
all, and but for those guns to-day some of the enemy might have got
home.

A sort of professional gossip turned up to-day from G.H.Q. France. We do
not seem to be so popular as we deserve to be in _la belle France!_ But
what I would plead were I only able to get at Joffre and French is that
we are "such a little one." Were we all to be set down in the West
to-morrow with our shattered, torn formations, they'd put us back into
reserve for a month's rest and training. As for the guns, they'd scrap
the lot. _They_ don't want ancient 15-prs. and 5-inch hows. out there.
They picture us feasting upon their munitions, but half of what we use
they would not touch with a barge pole and, of the good stuff, one
Division in France will fire away in one day what would serve to take
the Peninsula.

Braithwaite has a letter from the D.M.I. telling him that 5,000 Russians
sailed from Vladivostock on the 1st inst. to join us here. One Regiment
of four Battalions plus one Sotnia of Cossacks. A reinforcement of 5,000
stout soldiers tumbling out of the skies! Russians placed here are worth
twice their number elsewhere, not only because we need rifles so badly,
but because of the moral effect their presence should have in the
Balkans.

This little vodka pick-me-up has come in the nick of time to hearten me
against the tenor of the news of to-day which is splendid indeed in one
sense; ominous in another. The Turks are being heavily reinforced. All
the enemy troops who made the big attack last night were fresh arrivals
from Adrianople. I do not grumble at the attack (on the contrary we like
it), but at the reason they had for making it, which is that two fresh
Divisions, newly arrived, asked leave to show their muscle by driving us
into the sea. Full details are only just in. The biggest bombardment
took place at Anzac. A Turkish battleship joined in from the Hellespont,
dropping about twenty 11.2-inch shells into our lines. At Helles, all
night, the Turks blazed away from their trenches. At 4 a.m. they opened
fire on our trenches and beaches with every gun they could bring to
bear from Asia or Achi Baba. Their Asiatic Batteries alone fired 1,900
rounds, of which 700 fell on Lancashire Landing. At least 5,000 shell
were loosed off on to Helles. A lot of the stuff was 6-inch and over.
The bombardment was very wild and seemed almost unaimed. Soon after 4
a.m. very heavy columns of Turks tried to emerge from the Ravine against
the left of the 29th Division. "It wanted to be the hell of a great
attack," as one of the witnesses, a moderate spoken young gentleman,
states. When the Commanders saw what was impending they sent messages to
Simpson-Baikie begging him to send some 4.5 H.E. shell into the Ravine
which was beginning to overflow. He was adamant. He had only a few
rounds of H.E. and he would not spend them, feeling sure his 18 prs.
with their shrapnel were masters of the field. At 6 a.m. out came the
Turks, not in lines, but just like a swarm of bees. Our fellows never
saw the like and began to wonder whenever they were going to stop, and
what on earth _could_ stop them! Thousands of Turks in a bunch, so the
boys say, swarmed out of their trenches and the Gully Ravine. Well, they
were stopped _dead_. There they lie, _still_. The guns ate the life out
of them.

It was our central group of artillery who did it. As that big oblong
crowd of Turks showed their left flank to Baikie's nine batteries they
were swept in enfilade by shrapnel. The fall of the shell was corrected
by the two young R.A. subalterns at the front, neither of whom would
observe in the usual way through his periscope. They looked over the
parapet because that method was more sure and quick, and the stress of
the battle was great. There is a rumour that both were shot through the
head: I pray it may be but a rumour. Out of all these Turks some thirty
only reached our parapets. The sudden destruction which befell them was
due in the main to the devotion of these two young heroes. At 7.30 a.m.
the Turks tried to storm again. Some of them got in amongst the Royal
Naval Division, who brought up their own supports and killed 300,
driving out the rest. Ninety dead Turks are laid out on their parapet.
Another, later, enemy effort against the right of the 29th Division was
clean wiped out. 150 Turks are dead there. But it is on the far
crestline they lie thick.

Every one of these attacking Turks were _fresh_--from Adrianople! Full
of fight as compared with their thrice beaten brethren. If the Turks are
given time to swap troops in the middle of fighting, we can't really
tell how we stand. Still; they are not now as fresh as they were. They
have lost a terrible lot of men since the 28th. The big Ravine and all
the small nullahs are chock-a-block with corpses. Their casualties in
these past few days are put at very high figures by both Birdie and H.W.
and it is probable that 5,000 are actually lying dead on the ground. I
have on my table a statement made by de Lisle; endorsed by Hunter-Weston
and dated 4th instant, saying that 1,200 Turkish dead can be counted
corpse by corpse from the left front. The actual numbers de Lisle
estimates as between 2,000 and 3,000. Now we have to-day's losses to
throw in. The Turks are burning their candle fast at the Anzac as well
as the Helles end. Ten days of this and they are finished.[25]

Naturally, my mind dwells happily just now upon our incoming New Army
formations. Yet every now and then I feel compelled to look back to
regret the lack of systematic flow of drafts and munitions which have
turned our fine victory of the 28th into a pyrrhic instead of a fruitful
affair. When Pyrrhus gained his battle over the Romans and exclaimed,
"One more such victory and I am done in," or words to that effect, he
had no organized system of depots behind him from which the bloody gaps
in his ranks could be filled. A couple of thousand years have now passed
and we are still as unscientific as Pyrrhus. A splendid expeditionary
force sails away; invades an Empire, storms the outworks and in doing so
knocks itself to bits. Then a second expeditionary force is sent, but
that would have been unnecessary had any sort of arrangement been
thought out for promptly replacing first wastages in men and in shell.

_6th July, 1915._ From early morning till 5 p.m. stuck as persistently
to my desk as the flies stuck persistently to me. After tea went riding
with Maitland. Then with Pollen to dine on board H.M.S. _Triad_. The two
Territorial Divisions are coming. What with them and the Rooskies we
ought to get a move on this time. Discoursed small craft with the
Admiral. The French hate the overseas fire--small blame to them--and
Bailloud agrees with his predecessor Gouraud in thinking that one man
hit in the back from Asia affects the _moral_ of his comrades as badly
as half a dozen bowled over by the enemy facing them. The Admiral's idea
of landing from Tenedos would help us here, but it is admitted on all
hands now that the Turks have pushed on with their Asiatic defences, and
it is too much to ask of either the New Army or of the Territorials that
they should start off with a terrible landing.

_7th July, 1915._ No escape from the steadily rising flood of letters
and files,--none from the swarms of filthy flies. General Bailloud and
Colonel Piepape (Chief of Staff) came across with Major Bertier in a
French torpedo boat to see me. They stayed about an hour. Bailloud's
main object was to get me to put off the attack planned by General
Gouraud for to-morrow. Gouraud has worked out everything, and I greatly
hoped in the then state of the Turks the French would have done a very
good advance on our right. The arrival of these fresh Turkish Divisions
from Adrianople does make a difference. Still, I am sorry the attack is
not to come off. Girodon is a heavy loss to Bailloud. Piepape has never
been a General Staff Officer before; by training, bent of mind and
experience he is an administrator. He is very much depressed by the loss
of the 2,000 quarts of wine by the Asiatic shell. Since Gouraud and
Girodon have left them the French seem to be less confident. When
Bailloud entered our Mess he said, in the presence of four or five young
Officers, "If the Asiatic side of the Straits is not held by us within
fifteen days our whole force is _voue a la destruction_." He meant it as
a jest, but when those who prophesy destruction are _gros bonnets_; big
wigs; it needs no miracle to make them come off--I don't mean the wigs
but the prophecies. Fortunately, Bailloud soon made a cheerier class of
joke and wound up by inviting me to dine with him in an extra chic
restaurant at Constantinople.

Have told K. plainly that the employment of an ordinary executive
soldier as Boss of so gigantic a business as Mudros is suicidal--no
less. Heaven knows K. himself had his work cut out when he ran the
communications during his advance upon Khartoum. Heaven knows I myself
had a hard enough job when I became responsible for feeding our troops
at Chitral, two hundred miles into the heart of the Himalayas from the
base at Nowshera. Breaking bulk at every stage--it was heart-breaking.
First the railway, then the bullock cart, the camel, the mules--till, at
the Larram Pass we got down to the donkey. But here we have to break
bulk from big ships to small craft; to send our stuff not to one but to
several landings, to run the show with a mixed staff of Naval and
Military Officers. No, give me deserts or precipices,--anything fixed
and solid is better than this capricious, ever-changing sea. The problem
is a real puzzler, demanding experience, energy, good temper as well as
the power of entering into the point of view of sailors as well as
soldiers, and of being (mentally) in at least three places at once:--

"_From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Earl Kitchener. (No. M.F. 424)._

"Private. I am becoming seriously apprehensive about my Lines of
Communication and am forced to let you know the state of affairs.

"Much of the time of General Headquarters has been taken up during the
last few days considering matters relating to Mudros and Lines of
Communication generally. The Inspector-General of Communications must be
a man of energy and ideas. The new Divisions will find the Mudros
littoral on arrival better prepared for their reception than it was a
month ago. The present man is probably excellent in his own line, but he
himself in writing doubts his own ability to cope with one of the most
complicated situations imaginable. Please do not think for a moment that
I am still hankering after Ellison, I only want a man of that type,
someone, for instance, like Maxwell or Sir Edward Ward. Unless I can
feel confident in the Commandant of my Lines of Communication I shall
always be looking behind me. Wallace could remain as Deputy
Inspector-General of Communications. Something, however, must be done
meanwhile, and I am sending Brigadier-General Hon. H.A. Lawrence, a man
of tried business capacity and great character, to Mudros to-day as
dry-nurse."

I have followed up this cable in my letter to Lord K. of date, where I
say, "I have just seen Bertie Lawrence who I am sending to reinforce
Wallace. He is bitterly disappointed at losing his Brigade, but there is
no help for it. He is a business man of great competence, and I think he
ought to be able to do much to get things on to a ship-shape footing.
General Douglas is very sorry too and says that Lawrence was one of the
best Brigadiers imaginable."

The last sentence has been written, I confess, with a spice of malice.
When, about a month ago, I had hurriedly to lay my hands on a Commander
for the 127th Brigade, I bethought me of Bertie Lawrence, then G.S.O. to
the Yeomanry in Egypt. The thrust of a Lancer and the circumspection of
a Banker do not usually harbour in the same skull, but I believed I knew
of one exception. So I put Lawrence in. By return King's Messenger came
a rap over the knuckles. To promote a dugout to be a Brigadier of
Infantry was risky, but to put in a Cavalry dugout as a Brigadier of
Infantry was outrageous! Still, I stuck to Lorenzo, and lo and behold!
Douglas, the Commander of the East Lancs. Division, is fighting tooth
and nail for his paragon Brigadier![26]

Since 19th March we have been asking for bombs--any kind of bombs--and
we have not even got answers. Now they offer us some speciality bombs
for which France, they say, has no use.

I have replied:--

"I shall be most grateful for as many bombs of this and any other kind
as you can spare. Anything made of iron and containing high explosive
and detonator will be welcome. I should be greatly relieved if a large
supply could be sent overland via Marseilles, as the bomb question is
growing increasingly urgent. The Turks have an unlimited supply of
bombs, and our deficiencies place our troops at a disadvantage both
physically and morally and increase our difficulties in holding captured
trenches.

"Could you arrange for a weekly consignment of 10,000 to be sent to us
regularly?"

De Lisle came over to dine and stay the night.

_8th July, 1915. H.M.S. "Triad." Tenedos._ Started off in H.M.S. _Triad_
with Freddie Maitland, Aspinall and our host, the Admiral.

Had a lovely sail to Tenedos where Colonel Nuillion (acting Governor)
and Commander Samson, now Commandant of the Flying Camp, came on board.
After lunch, rowed ashore. There was some surf on and I jumped short,
landing (if such an expression may pass) in the sea. Wet feet rather
refreshing than otherwise on so hot a day. Tenedos is lovely. Each of
these islands has its own type of coasts, vegetation and colouring: like
rubies and diamonds they are connected yet hardly akin. Climbed Tenedos
Hill, our ascent ending in a desperate race for the crest. My long legs
and light body enabled me to win despite the weight of age. Very hot,
though, and the weight of age has got even less now.

From the top we had an hour's close prospecting of the opposite coasts,
where the Turks have done too much digging to make landing anything but
a very bloody business. Half a mile to the South looks healthier, but
they are sure to have a lot of machine guns there now. The landing would
be worse than on the 25th April. Anyway, _I am not going to do it_.

On the ground we now have a fair showing of aeroplanes, but mostly of
the wingless sort. At this precise moment only two are really fit. K.
has stuck to his word and is not going to help us here, and I can't
grumble as certainly I was forewarned. Had he only followed Neville
Usborne's L10,000,000 suggestion, we might now be bombing the Turks'
landing places and store depots, as well as spotting every day for our
gunners. But these naval airmen, bold fellows, always on for an
adventurous attack, are hardly in their element when carrying out the
technical gunnery part of our work.

Re-embarked, and during our sail back saw a trawler firing at a
submarine, whilst other trawlers and picket boats were skurrying up from
all points of the compass. Nets were run out in a jiffy, but I fear the
big fish had already given them the slip. Cast anchor about 7 o'clock.

Colonel Dick and Mr. Graives dined.

_9th July, 1915._ Spent the morning writing for the King's Messenger. My
letter to K. (an answer to that of Fitz to me) tells him:--

(1) That we have passed through the most promising week since the first
landing. The thousand yards' advance on the left and the rows of dead
Turks left by the receding tide of their counter-attack are solid
evidences to the results of the 28th ult., and of the six very heavy
Turkish assaults which have since broken themselves to pieces against
us.

(2) That Gouraud's loss almost wipes out our gains. Bailloud does not
attack till next week when he hopes to have more men and more
ammunition, but will this help us so much if the Turks also have more
men and more ammunition?

(3) That the Asiatic guns are giving us worry, but that I hope to knock
them out with our own heavy guns (the French 9.4s and our own 9.2s) just
being mounted. When the new Monitors come they ought to help us here.

(4) That "_power of digestion, sleeping and nerve power are what are
essential above all things to anyone who would command successfully at
the Dardanelles. Compared with these qualifications most others are
secondary._"

(5) That the British and Australians are marvels of endurance, but that
I am having to pull the Indian Brigade right out and send them to
Imbros. Their Commander, fine soldier though he be, is too old for the
post of Brigadier; he ought to be commanding a Division; and the men are
morally and physically tired and have lost three-fourths of their
officers: with rest they will all of them come round.

(6) That Baldwin's Brigade of the 13th Division have been landed on the
Peninsula and are now mixed up by platoons with the 29th Division where
they are tumbling to their new conditions quite quickly. They have
already created a very good impression at Helles.

Godley and his New Zealander A.D.C. (Lieutenant Rhodes), both old
friends, came over from H.M.S. _Triad_ to lunch. Hunter-Weston crossed
from Helles to dine and stay the night.

_10th July, 1915. Imbros._ These Imbros flies actually drink my fountain
pen dry! Hunter-Weston left for Helles in the evening.

Yesterday a cable saying there were no men left in England to fill
either the 42nd Division or the 52nd. We have already heard that the
Naval Division must fade away. Poor old Territorials! The War Office are
behaving like an architect who tries to mend shaky foundations by
clapping on another storey to the top of the building. Once upon a time
President Lincoln and the Federal States let their matured units starve
and thought to balance the account by the dispatch of untried
formations. Why go on making these assurances to the B.P. that we have
as many men coming in voluntarily as we can use?

Have refused the request made by His Excellency, Weber Pasha, who signs
himself Commandant of the Ottoman Forces, to have a five hours' truce
for burying their piles of dead. The British Officers who have been out
to meet the Turkish parlementaires say that the sight of the Turkish
dead lying in thousands just over the crestline where Baikie's guns
caught them on the 5th inst. is indeed an astonishing sight. Our
Intelligence are clear that the reason the Turks make this request is
that they cannot get their men to charge over the corpses of their
comrades. Dead Turks are better than barbed wire and so, though on
grounds of humanity as well as health, I should like the poor chaps to
be decently buried, I find myself forced to say no.

Patrick Shaw Stewart came to see me. I made Peter take his photo. He was
on a rat of a pony and sported a long red beard. How his lady friends
would laugh!

  END OF VOL. I.




FOOTNOTES:

[1] Except in a small way at some foreign manoeuvres.

[2] The letters, cables, etc., published here have either: (_a_) been
submitted to the Dardanelles Commission; or, (_b_) have been printed by
permission.--_Ian H._

[3] I.e. after the others had come in.--_Ian H., 1920._

[4] More than four years after this was written a member of a British
Commission sent out to collect facts at the Dardanelles was speaking to
the Turkish Commander-in-Chief, Djavad Pasha. In the course of the
conversation His Excellency said, "I prefer the British to the Germans
for they resemble us so closely--the Germans do not. The Germans are
good organisers but they do not love fighting for itself as we do--and
as you do. Then again, although the Turks and British are so fond of
righting they are never ready for it:--in that respect also the
resemblance between our nations is extraordinary."--_Ian H_., 1920.

[5] Arrangements.--_Ian H., 1920._

[6] Since these early days, Birdwood has told me he does not think a
scheme of an immediate landing could have been carried out.--_Ian H.
1920._

[7] Para. 2. "Before any serious undertaking is carried out in the
Gallipoli Peninsula all the British military forces detailed for the
expedition should be assembled so that their full weight can be thrown
in."

[8] An Indian word denoting anxious thought.

[9] Enemy.

[10] Kudos.

[11] The 1st Manchesters.

[12] This was my original draft; it was slightly condensed for cyphering
home.--_Ian H., 1920._

[13] I wanted very much to get this brave fellow a decoration but we
were never able to trace him.--_Ian H., 1920._

[14] Quoted on pp. 62-63.

[15] Captured by the Gurkhas five days later--by surprise.--_Ian H.,
1920._

[16] This was by General Hunter-Weston's order: the machine guns of the
enemy had too good a field of fire.--_Ian. H., 1920._

[17] Long afterwards I heard that a responsible naval officer, being
determined that this instance of lack of method should be brought to my
personal notice, had hit upon the plan of ordering the Fleet-sweeper
crew to do what they did.--_Ian H., 1920._

[18] I learnt afterwards that great play had been made with this third
paragraph of my cable by the opponents of the Dardanelles idea; in doing
so they slurred over the words "at present," also the fifth paragraph of
the same cable, overleaf.--_Ian H., 1920._

[19] The Fifth Lancs Fusiliers were also working with this Brigade and
behaved with great bravery.--_Ian H., 1920._

[20] See page 302.

[21] Stated no more Japanese bombs could be supplied.

[22] All this was based, be it remembered, upon a complete misconception
of the state these two divisions, formerly, good, afterwards destined to
become splendid, had been allowed to fall into. No one at the
Dardanelles, least of all myself, had an inkling that since I had
inspected them late in 1914 and found them good, they had passed into a
squeezed-lemon stage of existence and had ceased to be able "to press
forward to Chanak." The fact that they were at half strength and that
the best of their officers and men had been picked out for the Western
theatre was unknown to us at the Dardanelles.--_Ian H., 1920._

[23] See Appendix I for the exact facts which were not known to me until
long afterwards.--_Ian H., 1920._

[24] The considered opinion proved right.--_Ian H., 1920._

[25] This period fell between two of my despatches. As most writers have
naturally based themselves on those despatches, the full understanding
of the blows inflicted on the Turks between June 29th and July 13th has
never yet been grasped; nor, it may be added, the effect which would
have been produced had the August offensive been undertaken three weeks
earlier.--_Ian H., 1920._

[26] Lawrence never looked back. After his good work at Mudros I put him
in to command the 53rd Division, and the War Office made no objection, I
suppose because they were beginning to hear about him. As is well known,
he went on then from one post to another till he wound up gloriously as
Chief of the General Staff on the Western Front.--_Ian H., 1920._





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