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chunuk bair




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…. There were six battalions available on the reverse slopes of Chunuk Bair, and Kemal ordered them to prepare for an attack at first light over the crest towards The Farm and Rhododendron. He did not even know if the side of the hill above The Farm was precipitous, but decided that the risk must be taken. ‘I had come to the conclusion’, Kemal later wrote in his diary, ‘that we could defeat the enemy by means of a sudden, surprise assault.’  It was a desperate gamble. The warships had the range of Chunuk Bair to a yard, and during the day it was impossible to live on the crest; the New Zealand machine-guns at the Apex swept the slopes down which Kemal proposed to attack. All the bitter experience of the campaign had proved over and over again that the frontal attack in daylight against machine-guns, artillery and entrenched troops was madness. If the attack failed, as so many of Kemal’s attacks had failed in the past, there was nothing left; the British would have been able to capture the summit of Chunuk Bair, occupy the whole of the Sari Bair ridge, dominate Tekke Tepe, Anzac and the Narrows, and the campaign was over.

"Gallipoli”, Robert Rhodes James, p. 298-99







 A day or two later I stood to in the morning on Rhododendron Spur, and afterwards, since I was the most senior guner left, put that one remainig machine-gun on a groundsheet, oiled it, and did all the necessary things to get it in working order again. Than the most natural thing was to try it out. I pointed it not up Chunuk Bair, but across to the adjoining hill, named 971. I fired little bursts and could see dust rising where the bullets hit. I was still fingering the gun when I saw the most amazing sight – a mass of Turks surging down the hill, perhaps 600 of them, across the very spot where I had my gun trained. All I had to do was press the triggger and they fall all over the place. They can’t have been much use as a miltary unit afterwards. The Wellingtons were no longer much of a military unit either.  That was the day when the summit of Chunuk Bair returned to Turk hands.  It was all over. From then we knew there was little hope of victory on the peninsula

It was 1 June 1915 when Mustafa Kemal explained his views on the north of ANZAC and Suvla. The panoramic view from Battleship Hill a landscape laced with gullies stretching towards Suvla. It was like a maze, very confusing. Seeing this, the chief of staff said, "Only the bandits can walk in these gullies." Esad, commander of the 3rd Army Corps, asked, "From what direction will the enemy come?" Mustafa Kemal pointed toward ANZAC and Suvla. "There," he said.

"Okay. Suppose they came through there. How could they move?"

Mustafa Kemal drew a half circle from ANZAC towards Chunuk Bair (Conk Bayiri). "Like that, sir" he said. The corps commander smiled and patted Mustafa Kemal's shoulders. "You do not need to worry because they will not do it."

"Gallipoli: The August Offensive, A Turkish View", Kenan Çelik - 18th March University-Çannakale
















that all the suffering had been in vain. I didn’t weep physically over the graves of my comrades. I was not a weeping chap. I wept in my heart.

Dan Curham (WIB)
quoted in "Voices of Gallipoli", (Auckland 1988),  Maurice Shadbolt, p. 48-49


    last updated : 02/02/08

.Segment of map reproduced from "The New Zealanders at Gallipoli”, (Auckland 1921), Fred Waite

And then, all of a sudden the enemy’s infantry did appear below us, some 500 metres away.  With their impeccable uniforms and a white bangle on their arm, the English were raveling one behind the other, visibly very tired climbing towards us along the flank of a ridge which comes out from a valley below.  Their number was growing continuously and immediately I gave the order for the infantry, which at this moment consisted of the 20 men guarding the gun, to open fire.
Their answer was : “We cannot open fire unless our battalion commander gives the order”.  This was too much for me.  I went over to their shallow trenches, jumped among them and, although I can’t remember what exactly I said, they started firing at the English who immediately sought cover and lay still without returning our fire. I had the impression they were happy for not having to climb any further.

"Gallipoli", (Paris 1934), General Hans Kannengieser (translated from German by Lanoix) , p. 192

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