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Last updated : 04/12/06
Although the Turks made a heroic stance the situation was critical as one can read in a message written by Abdul Rahman, commander of a platoon of the 3rd Bn. / 26th Regiment. The officer was holding the Turkish strong-point on Cape Helles on 25th April and it runs as follows :
At 5 am on 25 April, the British battleship
opened fire on the old Ottoman fort of Sedd-el Bahr, code-named V beach. Sedd-el
Bahr and nearby W beach were the pivot points for for the projected landings.
The mighty naval bombardment launched on both beaches forced the local
defenders to retreat from the shore and seek whatever protection they could
find against the awesome shelling. The barrage kept up for about an hour.
By the time it stopped, the sun was rapidly rising in the sky. The Ottomans ran back to their trenches overlooking the beach. The tension among them must have been immense as they crouched and waited. Soon enough, a large collier and a flotilla of small boats became visible heading for shore. The intentions of the six small steamboats, each towing five open boats crammed with British soldiers, seemed clear enough, but why was the large ship steaming straight for the beach at Sedd-el-Bahr ? The puzzled men waited and watched, resisting any temptation to open fire too early. The quiet peacefulness continued as the boats approached the shore. The British could have been forgiven for thinking they could walk ashore unopposed.
"Gallipoli, the Turkish story", (Crows Nest 2003), Kevin Fewster, Vecihi Başarın, Hatice Hürmüz Başarın, p. 69
The small Turkish garrison of Sedd el Bahr, who, despite the terrifying effect
of their first experience of naval gun-fire, clung doggedly to their position
throughout the 25th, rendered a service to the defence which it would be
difficult to exaggarate.
"Military Operations: Gallipoli", Volume I, (London 1929), Brigadier-General Cecil F. Aspinall-Oglander, p. 255
Sergeant Yahya and a hero platoon,
Fought with all their hearts against three regiments
The enemy thought these men were a division
They sought God and joined him in the evening
Translated from a poem by Nail Memik, former Governor of Çanakkale
My Captain the enemys infantry is taking cover at the back of the
Sedd-el-Bahr gun defences, but the rear of these gun defences cannot come
under fire ... With the twenty or twenty-five men I have with me it will not
be possible to drive them off with a bayonet charge, because I am obliged to
spread my man out. Either you must send up reinforcements and drive the enemy
into the sea, or let us evacuate this place, because I am absolutely certain
that they will land more men tonight ...
Send the doctors to carry of my wounded. Alas ! Alas ! My Captain for Gods sake send me reinforcements, because hundreds of soldiers are landing. Hurry up. What on earth will happen, my Captain ?
From Abdul Rahman
"The story of Anzac", Volume I, (Sydney 1981), Charles E. W. Bean, p. 505