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Photograph of British troops landing at the Gallipoli Peninsula (Anzac Cove) c. 1915

Date: c 1915
Dimensions:
Overall (Photograph only): 165 x 255 mm
Overall (Including mounting): 510 x 405 x 3 mm
Medium: paper, cardboard, ink
Credit Line: ANMM Collection
Classification:Photographs
Object Name: Photograph
Object No: 00051783
Related Place:Gelibolu Yarimadasi, Gelibolu,

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    Description
    Photograph of a newspaper image of the landing of British troops at Gallipoli. The heading from the newspaper and accompanying text was reputedly: "The landing when the 'River Clyde' was run aground on the Gallipoli Peninsula. The landing of the British troops on 'V' beach of the Gallipoli Peninsula will remain memorable for the novel experiment of deliberately running ashore a vessel full of troops and thus allowing them to approach close in under cover without being exposed'.

    At 'V Beach' near the Turkish fort of Sedd-el-Bahr, a vital position for the British, the first troops ashore were landed in cutters towed by naval steamboats. The rest of the covering force was landed by a converted collier, the RIVER CLYDE, which was deliberately run aground to deliver its men. The plan was for the men to rush from the ship and pass along barges and lighters lashed together to form a pathway to the shore. In reality the barges did not reach the beach as the RIVER CLYDE, the landing force and those lashing the vessels together were under heavy machine gun fire during the landings. The troops disembarking from the RIVER CLYDE were forced to make the final landing wading through the water. It was chaotic and many troops were killed before even reaching the beach.
    SignificanceThis is an image relating to the Gallipoli campaign, the first major military offensive undertaken by Australian and New Zealand Army Corps fighting under the flags of their own nations. This photograph shows the landing of British troops on the Gallipoli Peninisula. It is likely to show parts of the pathway partially contructed between the ship the RIVER CLYDE and the shore made from barges and lighters lashed together along which British troops were expected to land. At the time of the initial landings on 25 April 1915 this plan was unsuccessful.
    HistoryThe Gallipoli campaign was conceived with the intention of forcing Turkey out of the war. It began as a naval offensive with British battleships sent to destroy Constantinople. Under heavy fire from the Turkish defences and unable to force a way through the straits of the Dardanelles a new plan was devised for the army to occupy the peninsula and take the Turkish shore defences, allowing the allied navies safe passage to the Turkish capital.

    In the early hours of 25 April 1915 the British landed at Helles on the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula with the aim to capture and move northwards. Just prior to these landings on the same day the ANZAC contingent was to land on the western coast of Gaba Tepe and French troops on the Asiatic side of Gallipoli near the town of Kum Kale. However, the ANZAC troops landed almost two kilometres too far north. The Turkish forces were underestimated, and the enemy, whilst smaller in numbers, was prepared for the allied landings in treacherous terrain that supported their position. Errors of judgment made by commanding officers, lack of clear orders, and the early and significant losses of officers and men compounded the already extensive difficulties of the landings.

    The British troops landed at five small beaches along the tip of the peninsula. For most of the landings the troops were landed in small ship's life boats, some of which were towed by a steam pinnace. At 'V Beach' near the Turkish fort of Sedd-el-Bahr, a vital position for the British, the first troops ashore were landed in cutters towed by naval steamboats. The rest of the covering force was landed by a converted collier, the RIVER CLYDE, which was deliberately run aground to deliver its men. The plan was for the men to rush from the ship and pass along barges and lighters lashed together to form a pathway to the shore. In reality the barges did not reach the beach as the RIVER CLYDE, the landing force and those lashing the vessels together were under heavy machine gun fire during the landings. The troops disembarking from the RIVER CLYDE were forced to make the final landing wading through the water. It was chaotic and many troops were killed before even reaching the beach. Commander Charles Samson, Royal Naval Air Service, flying above this scene later reported that the sea for 50 metres from the beach was 'absolutely red with blood' (taken from 'Gallipoli 1915' by Richard Reid, 2002, p30). The small force that were already ashore were sheltering under a sandbank from intense Turkish machine gun fire issuing from the fort. Half of the 2000 troops aboard the RIVER CLYDE were trapped aboard the vessel, sheltering behind the iron protection of the ship's hull. They could not be landed until darkness fell that night.

    Small areas of the peninsula were captured by the allies that day but there was little progress over the following eight months until the allied evacuation.

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