Thursday, 19 March 2015

Battle for the Dardanelles 18 Mar 1915

100 years ago : following on from the last post

Photo taken from Fort No 1 on the tip of Cape Helles; showing the mouth of the Dardenelles.
This a model of Killid Bahr Fort (a typical example of the forts guarding the Narrows). You can see
how strongly built they are by comparing the thickness of the walls with the width of the road. 

Just before the battle began Vice Admiral Carden became ill, so Vice Admiral J. de Robeck took command.

The forecast for 18 March was for fine weather, so orders were given for the armada of French and British battleships to form and commence the attack at 11 o’clock that morning.

During the earlier operations at the beginning of March, the Turks had observed that the Allied ships had a tendency to sail towards the Narrows and then turn to starboard into Erin Keui Bay, on completion of their runs.

The Turks decided to lay some mines there on the chance the Allies may continue this tactic in future assaults. It proved to be a wise move.

From Kilid Bahr Fort looking out from a gun position. There is only one ship in view here, imagine how it would have looked  with 16 huge battleships blazing away with their guns.

What a sight it must have been to see the Dardanelles crammed full of huge battleships. It is only a narrow area and once the battle commenced it would have been an awe inspiring and frightening sight.

The Allies attacked in three lines. The first and third lines each consisted of four British Royal Navy ships, and the second line consisted of four French Naval ships. These three lines were supported by another two British battleships on each flank.

I’ll let my pictures tell the rest of the story….

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