Monday, 20 April 2015

The ANZAC Plan

A century ago the ANZACs were preparing to land on the Gallipoli Peninsula, north of Gaba Tepe, while the British and French were planning to land at the mouth of the Dardenelles at Cape Helles and Kum Kale.
The British 29th Division was to land at the beaches code named S, V, W, X and Y.

They were planning to land on the 23rd of April 1915, as this would give the Covering Force more time to land safely in the darkness between moon set and dawn. The threat of enfilading fire on the landing beach from Gaba Tepe concerned General Birdwood, so this would be mitigated by landing in darkness.
Then on the 20th of April, a strong storm blew in and kicked up the water in Mudros Harbour. It became too dangerous for the the required transfers between the troopships, so the landing was put off.
Now they waited for the wind to die down. With each succeeding day the moon set later and reduced the time of darkness for the landing of the Covering Force. If they waited too long the moon would set after dawn and there would be no chance of surprising the waiting Turks. Birdwood's plan would be ruined. He waited anxiously.

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