On shore the rifle and machine-gun fire was incessant, and at times rose into a perfect storm as the Turks pressed forward their attack. The hills were ablaze with shells from the ships and the enemy’s shrapnel, while on the beach masses of troops were waiting to take their places in the trenches, and the beach parties worked incessantly at landing stores, material, and ammunition.
This great attack lasted some two hours, and during this time we received encouraging messages from the beach. “Thanks for your assistance. Your guns are inflicting awful losses on the enemy.” The Turks must, in fact, have suffered terribly from this concentrated fire from so many guns and from the infantry in the trenches.
The end came amid a flash of bayonets and a sudden charge of the colonials, before which the Turks broke and fled amid a perfect tornado of shells from the ships. They fell back sullen and checked, but not yet defeated, but for the remainder of the day no big attack was pressed home, and the colonials gained some ground by local counter-attacks, which enlarged and consolidated the position they were holding.
The Turks kept up their incessant shrapnel fire throughout the day, but the colonials were now dug in and could not be shaken by it in their trenches, while the reserves had also prepared shelter trenches and dug-outs on the slopes.
Some prisoners were captured, including an officer, who said that the Turks were becoming demoralized by the fire of the guns, and that the Germans now had difficulty in getting them forward to the attack. We are well intrenched and they will probably do likewise, and we shall see a repetition of the siege warfare out here.
Dardanelles, April 30.
While Australians and New Zealanders were fighting so gallantly against heavy odds north of Gaba Tepe, British troops crowned themselves with equal laurels at the southern end of the Gallipoli Peninsula. A firm footing now has been obtained. The line stretches across the southern end of the entire peninsula, with both flanks secured by the fire of warships. The army holds many convenient landing places immune from the enemy’s guns.
The problems British landing parties faced differed from those the Australians solved further north. Here the cliffs are not high and irregular, but rise about fifty feet from the water’s edge, with stretches of beach at intervals. Five of these beaches were selected for disembarkation under the cover of warships. It was hoped the Turkish trenches would be rendered untenable and the barbed wire entanglements cut by the fire of the ships, but these expectations were not realized.