Krithia was a key objective in the land offensives; a killing ground greater than Anzac or Suvla. This book adds to the Gallipoli story and the preceding Battleground books on that campaign by recounting not only the landings at Helles of 25 April 1915, but also the subsequent bitter battles that followed in an attempt to capture the village and the vital high ground of Achi Baba. General Hunter-Weston’s weakened 29th Division achieved little during the first two bloody battles of Krithia, even when reinforced by the Anzacs, 42nd Division, Royal Naval Division and the French. The allies had little to show from their costly daylight frontal attacks, apart from a slightly firmer footing ashore and a growing casualty list. As the military situation looked to degenerate into a Western Front style stalemate, General Sir Ian Hamilton pushed for a final battle of Krithia. Using Hunter-Weston’s newly formed VIII Corps, and General Gouraud’s French Corps Expéditionnaire d’Orient, the Third Battle of Krithia launched on 6 June 1915. Despite a promising start, the attack soon collapsed against a stubborn Turkish defence, and although some lessons had been learnt from earlier failures; underestimation of the enemy was not one of them.
This is the true story, told using a mix of letters, diaries, photographs and maps, of Gallipoli’s most costly battles. Gallipoli today is an exquisitely beautiful and tranquil place, with its turquoise waters, stretches of sandy beaches, wild flower covered meadows and pine forested heights, such a contrast to what occurred here over a hundred years ago.