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Gallipoli, documentaire

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Auteur Bericht

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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2006 11:44    Onderwerp: Gallipoli, documentaire Reageer met quote

Geweldige doc, met Peter Doyle.
Met hart en ziel
De enige echte
Naar boven
Bekijk gebruikers profiel Stuur privé bericht Verstuur mail Bekijk de homepage

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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2006 11:49    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote


ik heb hem laast al gezien maar een mooie docu.
Naar boven
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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2006 14:27    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

goede docu
Naar boven
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Adriaan van Kammen

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BerichtGeplaatst: 21 Sep 2006 15:30    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Is dat die docu van Discovery?
Battlefield detectives ofzo?

(Op dit moment doet de video het niet) Yvonne blik
Have a sigar
(___{}____]]] ~ ~ ~ ~

Old soldiers never die
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Sep 2006 9:05    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

De video doet het niet meer Neutral

Maar hier ging het over:

Military geography: the influence of terrain in the outcome of the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915.

by Peter Doyle , Matthew R. Bennett

The Gallipoli campaign of 1915 ranks as one of the most controversial of the Great War. Often seen as a 'side-show' to the main events of the Western Front (Hart, 1934; Taylor, 1963; Gilbert, 1994), it was a costly gamble intended to knock Turkey out of the war and to command the main supply line to Russia. The land-based Gallipoli Campaign evolved from a plan sponsored by the First Lord of the Admiralty, Winston Churchill, to 'force' a way through the narrow Dardanelles [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED] using ships alone, knocking out the fortresses commanding the straits, and ultimately threatening Constantinople. A combination of factors led to the failure of this plan, most particularly the ineffectiveness of naval artillery fire against land targets, the presence of mobile batteries on both the European and Asian shores and ineffective minesweeping by the Allies. This ultimately caused an escalation of the conflict, and a commitment to deploy troops in an invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula. This deployment was initially intended solely as a support for the naval operation, the primary objective of the troops being the Dardanelles shore of the peninsula, and the silencing of the guns on that shore.

The Gallipoli Campaign is controversial because it is usually considered as a hastily conceived, and poorly executed operation. Perhaps above all, the Allied General Staff had a poor understanding of the nature of the terrain that they were expected to fight on. During the planning stages, and in the initial landings, they had inadequate and poorly-surveyed maps, and little aerial reconnaissance (Steel and Hart, 1994). There was little or no direct knowledge of the terrain, there were no reconnaissance raids or other detailed observations. Finally, there was little time to assemble expert advice, particularly with respect to the provision of resources and the nature of the ground conditions, and indeed, much of the information was gathered from guidebooks bought in the shops of the Egyptian city of Alexandria (Moorehead, 1956). This contrasts with the extensive understanding and use of terrain by the Turkish troops, which led ultimately to their victory in the campaign, and the withdrawal of Allied troops.

The purpose of this paper is to explore the terrain characteristics of the Gallipoli Peninsula, and to discuss their influence in the defeat of the Allied troops. Like the Western Front, numerous histories and personal reminiscences exist for the Gallipoli Campaign which detail the local inadequacy of water supplies, the steepness of slopes, the incision of ravines, the precipitous nature of the cliffs, and the density of vegetation. However, unlike the Western Front, there have been no detailed studies of the overall influence of terrain type on the outcome of the campaign, and it is the purpose of this paper to address this omission. It does so through an examination of:

1 the detailed topographical survey maps which were available only after the initial landings had been made, late in 1915;

2 an examination of historical maps and photographs plotting the position of defensive trench positions, rest camps and other emplacements; and

3 a reconnaissance survey of ground conditions in the field.

Other considerations, such as the inadequacy of reinforcements and ammunition, also played a major part in the Allied defeat. These aspects have received extensive treatment in historical works (e.g. Moorehead, 1956; Rhodes James, 1965; Steel and Hart, 1994; Hickey, 1995), and are not the direct subject of this paper.

Summary of the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign

The land-based Gallipoli Campaign was planned for 23 April 1915, following the failure of the naval engagement in March. The naval bombardment was not continued after March because of the fear of the loss of other ships. This meant that during the month between the cessation of the bombardment and the landings, the Turkish forces under the German commander General Liman von Sanders had ample time to prepare defences. Troops intended for the landings were drawn from Britain (29th and Royal Naval divisions), Australia, New Zealand (Australian and Zealand Army Corps: ANZAC), and France (Corps Expeditionnaire d'Orient), gathered together on the Greek islands of Lemnos and Imbros under the overall command of General Sir Ian Hamilton.

It was understood by both sides that there were two key strategic objectives of a land-based campaign:

1 the command of the Dardanelles straits, controlling the passage of both naval and merchant ships; and

2 the removal of the threat of both fixed and mobile coastal batteries on the shore of the Dardanelles [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED].

Both sides were aware that there were a limited number of locations, determined largely by the disposition of major terrain elements, where a landing could be successfully executed, namely:

1 in the northern part of the Peninsula near Bulair, the narrowest part of the isthmus connecting Gallipoli with the rest of Thrace;

2 either side of the promontory known as Gaba Tepe, in a depression separating the two main massifs of the southern peninsula;

3 at the narrow beaches of Cape Helles, threatening the southern slopes of the Kilid Bahr Plateau; and

4 on the Aegean coast of Anatolia - known in contemporary accounts as the Asiatic shore - notably at Kum Kale at the entrance to the Dardanelles, and at Besika Bay [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED].

Curiously, only Sir Ian Hamilton seriously considered a fifth landing site, that of Suvla Bay (Buchan, 1916; Masefield, 1916; Aspinall-Oglander, 1929; Steel and Hart, 1994).

Hamilton rejected both Bulair and the Asiatic shore as main landing sites. Bulair was ruled out because:

1 defensive positions were known to be strong there, having been first developed by the British themselves during the Crimean Campaign (Buchan, 1916), and had a consequent concentration of enemy troops; and

2 the topography of Bulair would cause a bottleneck of British troops landing from the Gulf of Saros, and overlooked by high ground both to the north-east and to the south-west.

He also rejected a massed landing on the Asiatic shore at Kum Kale and Besika Bay on two grounds:

1 that supply would be difficult and opposition would be strong, as troops could be easily derived from the Anatolian heartland and central Thrace; and

2 that the heights of the Gallipoli Peninsula commanded the Dardanelles and, therefore, a landing there would not effectively achieve the main strategic objectives. This view was independently upheld by geographers of the day (Hogarth, 1915; Leaf, 1916), although it is unknown whether their advice was actively sought during planning.

Instead, a concentration of effort was to be made in the south-western part of the peninsula against contemporary advice (Hogarth, 1915). It was intended to capture the Kilid Bahr Plateau which overlooked the main fort of the same name, and the narrows of the Dardanelles [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED]. In so doing, this would achieve the main objectives of the landing - the support of naval operations. Suvla Bay was ruled out as it was too far away from the Kilid Bahr Plateau to be of value, and because there was little reliable information about its terrain characteristics. The main landings were, therefore, to be made at the southern end of the Peninsula at Cape Helles, and on the west coast at Gaba Tepe [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED].

For his part, General Liman von Sanders considered the most likely landing places to be Bulair and Besika Bay; the former because of its strategic position in controlling the neck of the peninsula, the latter because of the possibility provided by its relatively wide beaches. It was for this reason that he created heavily-fortified positions in these areas. The Turkish Commander also realized the threat from attacks at Gaba Tepe and Cape Helles; the former because of the low ground crossing the peninsula between the Sari Bair and Kilid Bahr plateaux, threatening Maidos, the latter because of the long slope up from the beaches to the peak of Achi Baba which could easily be threatened by naval gunfire. Both of these areas were, therefore, protected by extensive trenches and barbed-wire entanglements in the month preceding the Allied landings in 1915.

Hamilton decided that there were to be three main landing areas, and two feints, all to be attacked on 23 April, although this was delayed by weather conditions to 25 April [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED]. The feints at Bulair and Besika Bay were intended to draw Turkish troops away from the main landing areas, and to keep open an element of surprise as to where the main landings were going to take place. The three main landings were at the southern end of the peninsula, at Cape Helles and Gaba Tepe, and on the Asiatic shore at Kum Kale. The Cape Helles landings were made by the men of the British 29th Division at five beaches, code lettered S, V, W, X, Y [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 1 OMITTED]. The landings at S, X and Y were virtually unopposed, but owing to poor communications the tactical advantages of the situation were not exploited. The landings at V and W met fierce opposition from the Turks in their well-prepared positions. The landings north of Gaba Tepe at Z beach were to be made by the men of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). They were to be landed from towed, open boats which were commanded by junior Naval Officers who had orders to stay in set positions as they approached the shore. Constant readjustment to retain these positions, and a gradual northwards drift, meant that the troops landed too far to the north. The landing was actually made in a small, steep-sided cove later to be christened Anzac Cove by the troops, a name officially accepted by the Turkish Government in 1985. Finally, the French landing at Kum Kale met with limited opposition, gaining an important bridgehead which was later to be relinquished.

After the 25 April, 'Battle of the Beaches', static trench positions similar to those of the Western Front developed. Soon after the landing at Cape Helles, the British overcame, with terrible losses, the Turkish positions located on the surrounding cliffs. Their final objective of this first phase was the summit of Achi Baba, the high point of the Kilid Bahr Plateau at 218 metres, which would have commanded the village of Kilid Bahr itself, one of the main fortresses of the Dardanelles [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURES 1 AND 2 OMITTED]. In fact, Achi Baba was never captured, and a series of set piece, frontal-assault battles for the village of Krithia ensued through the Summer months, usually aided by inadequate land based artillery and often ineffective Naval gunfire. Stalemate was achieved some 50 metres in front of Krithia, and remained until the final Allied withdrawal from the Peninsula in January 1916. At Anzac, the objectives were the summit of the Sari Bair ridge, and although some troops did manage to reach the subsidiary peak of Chunuk Bair in the opening days of the campaign, they too soon became resigned to static trench warfare, although some actions, such as the battles for the Lone Pine and the Nek, have gained legendary status in Australia and New Zealand. However, throughout the campaign the troops at Anzac were in a very difficult position, cramped by the narrowness of the beach and hemmed in by the precipitous slopes.

The final offensive phase of the Gallipoli Campaign came with a new landing of the British 10th and 11th Divisions at Suvla Bay in August 1915 [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED]. This landing is controversial, as it is accepted that the general officer in charge, Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Stopford, did not press his attack to the high ground surrounding the Suvla Plain, even in the face of light opposition and, therefore, did not gain advantage early in the campaign (Steel and Hart, 1994). The Suvla Landing achieved little other than a north-eastwards extension of the Allied line on to the Karakol Ridge [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED].

Following the failure of the Summer offensives, it was finally realized that it would be impossible to sustain the campaign, break the stalemate, and achieve the strategic objectives without a significant diversion of men and resources away from the Western Front. For these reasons, first a partial and then a complete withdrawal were planned. These took place, with complete success and few casualties, in December 1915 and January 1916. For the Allies, the Gallipoli Campaign was a costly failure, in which none of the stated final objectives of any of the battles were ever taken, and which diverted valuable resources away from the Western Front, a classic debating point of both contemporary and recent historical works (e.g. Buchan, 1916; Hart, 1934; Moorehead, 1956; Rhodes James, 1965; Steel and Hart, 1994; Hickey, 1995). All in all, the Campaign achieved little beyond diverting Turkish troops away from other areas of conflict in the Middle East, and severely denting the credibility of the Allies.

Terrain evaluation for military purposes

Mitchell and Gavish (1980), Parry (1984) and Mitchell (1991) have discussed the importance of terrain in determining the outcome of military campaigns, demonstrating that most successful campaigns draw upon the discriminating use of terrain by Commanders. Aspects of terrain are considered at two scales:

1 in strategic planning, usually reflecting the gross spatial distribution of major elements such as seas and mountains; and

2 at the tactical level during action, making the best use of ground in the furtherance of the strategic aims of the campaign.

Not surprisingly, strategic aspects are of greatest importance at the inception of a campaign, and involve specific decisions about the deployment of troops and the provision of resources. Tactical considerations are made in order to fulfil the strategic aims on the ground. Typically, there are five types of problem in tactical assessments of terrain (Parry, 1984; Mitchell, 1991):

1 position - that is in the provision of vantage points, and of refuge from those vantage points held by the enemy;

2 mobility, most especially with respect to the existence of natural terrain barriers such as rivers and impassable slopes, and the ability of surfaces - the 'going' surfaces - to sustain the movement of troops, machinery and animals;

3 ground conditions, and particularly their impact on the construction of entrenchments, permanent emplacements, tunnels and defensive positions;

4 resource provision, particularly potable water supplies and building materials for roads, and defensive works; and

5 hazard mitigation, particularly in the prevention of prevailing winds for chemical weapons, and the prevention of floods and mass movements which could threaten the lives and infrastructure of the troops.

Today, military assessments of terrain have attained a high degree of sophistication owing to an ability to fingerprint the characteristics of certain terrain types across the world in order to predict the resource needs and direct the tactical aspects of a battle (Parry, 1984; Patrick and Hatheway, 1989; Mitchell, 1991). Most conflicts are highly mobile, simply because of the increase in the efficacy of military vehicles and air power. However, the strategists of the First World War were hampered by poor communications, limited knowledge of terrain, outdated combat techniques, and a defensive ethos hard learnt on the Western Front. All these factors militated against the favourable outcome of a campaign such as that fought in Gallipoli, where the terrain is complex, and where inadequate resource investigations led to much suffering in the day-to-day lives of the Allied troops.

This paper discusses the impact of gross terrain characteristics of the Gallipoli Peninsula on the outcome of the campaign of 1915. Land system mapping is used in order to characterize the typical terrain units involved in terms of their geology, geomorphology, surface 'going' characteristics, vegetation and hydrogeology - all of which influenced the tactical use of ground. An overview of the terrain characteristics of the Gallipoli Peninsula is given below, followed by the details of land system classification. These elements are then discussed in relation to the strategic and tactical aspects of the Campaign, before determining their contribution to the overall Allied defeat.

Topography of the Gallipoli Peninsula

Climate and vegetation

The climate of the region is typically Mediterranean, with mild Winters, the mean January air temperature being normally between 7 [degrees] and 9 [degrees] C, and hot Summers, with average air temperatures exceeding 25 [degrees] C in July and August. There is a marked Summer drought, although annual precipitation is normally between 600 and 700 millimetres at sea level, rising to in excess of 1000 millimetres in mountain regions (United Nations, 1982). The vegetation reflects the Mediterranean climate, developed by human clearance from the original mixed woodland, and comprises low, dense, herbaceous and aromatic shrubs of garrigue type. There are few wooded areas, and trees of evergreen oak and pine are usually isolated and scattered.


The Gallipoli Peninsula forms part of the Alpine Pontide range. The Pontides have a strong east-west structural grain, and comprise ancient crystalline massifs developed in Anatolia, and folded Mesozoic-Cenozic sediments in Thrace and basement margins of Anatolia. The most dominant feature is the North Anatolian Fault zone, separating the European and Anatolian plates, which runs under the Sea of Marmara and crosses the Peninsula to the Gulf of Saros, forming the northern, rifted and strongly rectilinear margin of the Peninsula and separating it from the rest of Thrace (Sengor and Yilmaz, 1981). This fault zone has predominantly strike-slip movement, and is complex, as other branches of it form the Dardanelles and the Sea of Marmara. This fault zone is still active today (Crampin and Evans, 1986). During the Neogene movement of the fault developed a transtensional basin which produced the Sea of Marmara, with a maximum depth of 1000 metres, and led to the deposition of the thick Neogene sediments on either side of the Dardanelles (Crampin and Evans, 1986; Perincek, 1991). The Gallipoli Peninsula is, therefore, mostly composed of Palaeogene and Neogene sediments in a simple, relatively undisturbed relationship (Sengor and Yilmaz, 1981; Ternek et al., 1987; [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 3 OMITTED]).

The oldest basement exposed in the Peninsula is an outlier of metamorphic basement north-east of Bolayir (Bulair), at the point where the Peninsula is at its narrowest. The Dardanelles are bounded on both sides by a Palaeogene to Neogene sedimentary basin with relatively undisturbed limestones and sandstones [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 3 OMITTED]. Further to the east the mainland of Anatolia exposes basement of Palaeozoic-Mesozoic high-grade metamorphic rocks, and marine Miocene lies in nonconformity with these close to the present-day port of Canakkale [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 3 OMITTED]. The oldest Tertiary beds are those of Middle and Upper Eocene sediments which form the northern coast of the Peninsula, paralleling the Gulf of Saros. Some limited acid intrusive rocks are found associated with these. These Eocene beds are succeeded by continental Oligocene deposits, and marine sediments of Miocene age. Continental Pliocene caps most of the upland areas south of Suvla Bay, and Quaternary alluvium and related sediments are found in valleys [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 3 OMITTED].


The relief of the southern part of the Gallipoli Peninsula is relatively subdued, the dominant topographic elements being a series of ridges in the north and two north-east - south-west trending plateaux in the south [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED]. The northern ridges are formed from folded Palaeogene sandstones and limestones, and further north, Cretaceous rocks. This contrasts with the southern plateaux which are formed from Pliocene sediments overlying bedded Miocene limestones. The margins of the plateaux are heavily dissected, forming a complex network of sharp-crested interfluves. In most cases the slopes are heavily vegetated. The exception is the northern margin of the Sari Bair Plateau which is marked by a fault line scarp. Beneath the steep upper face of the scarp the slopes are heavily gullied and are barren of vegetation, forming classic 'badland' topography. In the south-eastern part of the peninsula, the slopes of the Kilid Bahr Massif are strongly gullied, in some cases forming deep ravines. These ravines exploit the structural grain of the peninsula, to give a parallel alignment to the drainage of the southern peninsula [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 4 OMITTED].


The majority of rivers within the southern Gallipoli Peninsula are seasonal, and most valleys are dry for much of the year. Exceptions occur in the northern part of the study area, on the margins of the Suvla Plain, where there are some perennial streams. All the major lithological units have potential as aquifers. Few detailed hydrological studies have been carried out in the Gallipoli Peninsula itself, as it is relatively unpopulated, and most studies have concentrated upon the Ergene Basin to the north, strategically important for the supply of water to Istanbul (Karatekin, 1953; Pamir, 1953; United Nations, 1982). However, it is clear from studies of Neogene and younger sediments on the southern margin of the Dardanelles that the main aquifer potential lies with the Miocene Limestones and the Quaternary alluvial deposits (United Nations, 1982; [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 4 OMITTED]).

Terrain classification

The terrain of the Gallipoli Peninsula can be classified into a series of land systems based upon geomorphology, geology, hydrogeology and vegetation characteristics. Six land systems are recognized here, which are strongly influenced by the underlying solid and drift geology. These land systems are described briefly below and their distribution is shown in Figure 5.

Land system I

This land system consists of north-east - south-west trending plateaux which are dissected by deeply incised valleys. Land system I is developed on Pliocene continental sediments which consist of interbedded fluvial sands and lacustrine clays. This provides a relatively firm and dry 'going' surface, although disturbed finer grained sediments are prone to wind transport during the Summer months. In most cases, land system I is characterized by relatively dense low-growing garrigue shrubs typical of Mediterranean coastal areas. The hydrological characteristics of this system are locally variable, dependent on the disposition of locally porous and impervious strata. Ground water is carried at depth, usually within limestone aquifers. Surface ground water is scarce, although it may occur in the form of perched water tables within the Pliocene sediments. Land system I may be further subdivided into two subsystems, based on the extent to which the plateau areas are dissected.

Land system IA consists of heavily dissected plateau surfaces. Valley density is high with many deep, dry, valleys separated by a complex network of sharp-crested interfluves. Vegetation is typically dense consisting of low, groundcover shrubs. Trees are sparse and widely spaced. This land system is typified by the Sari Bair Plateau [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURES 2 AND 5 OMITTED], and can be divided into a number of distinct landform components.

A steep, north-west-facing fault scarp which trends south-west-north-east defines the northern boundary of the Sail Bair Plateau. The lower slopes of this fault line scarp are heavily dissected by numerous dry valleys with sharp interfluves. Valley sides are cut by gulls and rills. Triangular 'flat-irons' occur along the fault line scarp between incised valleys, typified by the feature known as the 'Sphinx' to the troops. Typical slope angles range from 20 [degrees] to 40 [degrees] on the valley sides. This slope system merges downslope into land system II. The plateau top, south of the fault line scarp, is dissected by north-east - south-west trending valleys. High points tend to form along ridges, typified by the peaks of Chunuk Bair and Koja Chemen Tepe, with elevations of 261 and 308 metres respectively [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED]. To the south-west of the plateau area there is an undulating dip slope (5-10 [degrees]), deeply incised by dendritic channel systems. The valley sides of these tributaries are covered in dense scrub.

Land system IB consists of much broader plateau surfaces and is typified by the Kilid Bahr Plateau [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURES 2 AND 5 OMITTED]. This plateau has a mean elevation of 150 metres and is dissected by steep-sided river valleys. The level of plateau dissection is much less than that of land system IA, although the valleys are generally much deeper. The Kilid Bahr Plateau also has an asymmetrical profile with steeper north-west-facing scarp slopes and a gentler south-eastwards dip slope dissected by incised north-east - south-west trending valleys. These valleys form a strongly rectilinear drainage network which exploits the underlying structural grain [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 4 OMITTED]. Between the valleys are broad, flat-topped interfluves forming elongate spurs oriented north-east - south-west. Land system IB has a similar vegetation cover to IA, although it has fewer bare slopes.

Land system II

This land system is usually found at the base of land system I, and is transitional between the low-lying slopes of land systems III and IV, and the steeper slopes of land system I. These slopes have relatively gentle slope angles and are usually dissected to a varying degree by a number of prominent dry valleys. Interfluves are broad and undulating. This land system is mostly developed on sub-horizontal bioclastic limestone, sandstones and marl units of Miocene age [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 3 OMITTED]. It provides satisfactory 'going' surfaces which are mostly dry and firm, especially where there is insubstantial soil development, and particularly in the coastal areas. Most slopes are covered with dense, low garrigue scrub. Alluvial fans may occur with this system at the mouths of prominent valleys. Intersection of this land system with coastal areas produces slopes which are sub-vertical and largely unvegetated sea cliffs (c. 55-60 [degrees]). Hydrological characteristics are variable, but limestone units have the greatest potential as aquifers [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 4 OMITTED].

Land system III

This system is characterized by low-lying, flat or gently undulating valley floors filled with alluvium [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURES 3 AND 5 OMITTED]. They may be traversed by poorly defined valley/channel systems. Relatively few have flowing rivers. The majority of these valleys are cultivated and have been cleared of dense vegetation. The valley floors provide variable 'going' surfaces. In dry valleys it may be relatively firm, although it may be prone to lifting by wind where exposed. Hydrological characteristics are dependent on the underlying geology and the thickness of the alluvium. The alluvium itself may form a potential aquifer [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 4 OMITTED], although close to the coast. Groundwater is seasonally contaminated by seawater incursion.

Land system IV

This system consists of a low-lying coastal plain, typified by the Suvla Plain, with gentle slopes and areas of inland drainage [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURES 2 AND 5 OMITTED]. In the Suvla Plain, water flow is highly seasonal and is impounded by a system of coastal sand dunes, and an area of elevated terrain at Lala Baba, to form a salt lake. Low lying areas close to the lake may retain water and are usually marshy. The alluvial plain associated with the lake is mostly cultivated, with few trees, although uncultivated areas may be covered by dense garrigue scrub. Where this coastal plain is traversed by perennially flowing rivers, the river corridor/valley is densely vegetated. The salt lake is known to desiccate during high Summer (August). The coastal plain 'going' surfaces are variable, as they are usually soft and water-saturated close to the lake, although seasonal desiccation produces a surface traversable by foot in August. In the inland areas, the 'going' surfaces are passable in most cases. The salt lake is too saline to provide potable water. Groundwater is present in the alluvium, although close to the sea it may be contaminated by saline incursions.

Land system V

Land system V comprises linear ridges trending approximately east-west and north-east-south-west. Elevations are typically up to 200 metres. There are two principal linear hills within this system: the Anafarta Ridge to the south-east; and the Karakol Ridge to the north-west, running parallel to the north-east coast, between Suvla Point and Ejelmer Bay [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED]. Both ridges are associated with the strike of south-westwards dipping Oligocene and Eocene marine sediments and faults associated with the North Anatolian Fault system, and are bounded by the rifted coast of the Gulf of Saros in the north [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 3 OMITTED]. The orientation of the ridges and the development of the drainage pattern indicates the strong east - west oriented structural control of the region. Both major ridges have an asymmetrical cross section, with gentler slopes to the south-east, and steeper slopes to the north-west. North-west slopes are dissected by shallow, parallel aligned valleys, most marked in the main Karakol Ridge. The gentler dip slopes are only dissected to a minor degree by tributary stream networks feeding low-lying areas. The two ridges are linked by a series of flat-topped hills, with elevations of up to 250 metres, which trend north-west - south-east, showing some limited dissection [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED]. In general, the slopes are broad and open, although usually covered by dense garrigue scrub vegetation. 'Going' surfaces are mostly firm and dry.

Military implications of the land system analysis

The land system classification highlights a number of terrain aspects which are of importance in planning a military operation from scratch within the Gallipoli Peninsula. These are:

vantage/refuge points; ground conditions; traversability and 'going' surfaces; beach width; and hydrogeological characteristics.

Vantage/refuge points

The highest areas providing the greatest vantage points are provided by land systems I and V. Land system I is comprised of asymmetrical plateaux with steep north-west-facing slopes. Particularly important is the fault line scarp of the Sari Bair Plateau (land system IA) which provides a direct line of sight from the subsiduary peaks of Koja Chemen Tepe and Chunuk Bair to the Suvla Plain below. Little refuge is available for troops at the base of this slope, especially in the numerous deeply incised valleys and broad surfaces provided by land systems II, III and IV. The south-east-facing slopes of land system I have a gender gradient and vantage is gained from the plateaux surfaces such as Achi Baba with a good field of observation. However, where deeply incised, the parallel valley systems provide good opportunity for refuge. The ridges of land system V (Karakol and Anafarta Ridges) also provide significant vantage potential, particularly with respect to observation of the Suvla Plain and valley bottoms, although the east - west orientation of the ridges is a complication and requires careful positioning of defensive works.

Ground conditions for defensive works

Ground conditions for defensive works and the nature of 'going' surfaces which controls trafficability are variable. Land system I provides suitable ground conditions for trench, dugout and tunnel construction as it is composed of dry Pliocene sands and clays, with the water table at depth, which are capable of maintaining the integrity of the steeply cut faces. Problems arise through the density of vegetation cover and consequent root system penetration. Land systems II and V are composed of harder materials which are capable of supporting defensive systems, but which require heavier tools and more intensive excavation works. Deep systems would encounter seasonal difficulties with water table fluctuations. Land systems III and IV are composed of alluvial sediments which would require a greater degree of revetment, and which would be seasonally wet.

Traversability and 'going' surfaces

In all cases, with the possible exception of land systems III and IV, slopes are difficult to traverse. In particular, the dissected slopes of land systems I and II are especially problematical. In land system IA badland and fault line scarp topography prevents easy communication and traversability, relevant to the north-western slope of the Sari Bair Plateau. In both land systems IA and IB the depth of valley incision on the south-eastern slopes creates a broken terrain in which it is easy for attacking troops to lose contact and for communications to break down. Finally, the steeply-incised, narrow and flat-bottomed valleys and steep coastal cliffs of land system II at Cape Helles are a significant barrier and hazard to mass troop movements and landings. Given the overall aridity of the landscape suitably firm 'going' surfaces are provided by all land systems with the exception of seasonally wet land systems III and IV. Most suitable for heavy traffic is land system II, given its limestone substrata.

Beach width

The most suitable landing beaches are associated with land systems III and IV. These provide broad expanses of beach with a relatively gentle gradient which are not directly associated with coastal cliffs and other height/slope disadvantage. Suvla Bay (land system Iv) is typical of this, but other, less expansive examples are seen either side of the Gaba Tepe promontory, and in Morto Bay (land system III). Beach development with the coastal expression of land systems I and II is mostly unsatisfactory, with either narrow beaches with steep sea cliffs forming, or, in the case of land system II, narrow beaches associated with steep, incised and easily enfiladed valleys, typical of the beaches at Cape Helles.

Hydrogeological characteristics

All of the land systems are composed of geological materials which have potential to be aquifers. However, the most important materials are the limestone strata of land system II and the alluvial sediments of land systems III and IV. Beach sediments associated with all land systems have also some potential as aquifers, although seasonal salt water incursion is a problem. The poorest aquifer is that associated with land system I, the water table being at depth within the limestone units, and surface groundwaters present only where there is the possibility of perched water tables.


The land system analysis highlights two major points which need to be considered in planning an invasion, but which were not necessarily to hand in the planning of the 1915 campaign. Firs fly, with the exception of the high ground surrounding the Suvla Plain (Karakol and Anafarta Ridges), the remainder formed a distinct land system (I) which although suitable for the construction of defensive positions, has limited groundwaters for the supply of troops. Clearly then, capture of the high ground should be executed rapidly to prevent stagnation into static warfare. Secondly, there are few satisfactory landing beaches associated with land system II, given the steepness of the sea cliffs; those of land systems III and IV are wider and more suitable for the mass deployment of troops.

Strategic and tactical implications of terrain in the 1915 Gallipoli Campaign

There is no evidence to suggest that a detailed analysis of terrain was actually carried out in 1915 by the Allied General Staff, who were, as already recorded, hampered by poor maps and inadequate reconnaissance. Importantly, as can be determined from historical documents and accounts, the finer points of the limitations of terrain were not appreciated. Tactical deployment of the Allied troops in 1915 was greatly hampered by these factors in their execution of the strategic aims. As discussed above, terrain is an important factor in the following considerations:

1 tactical position;

2 mobility;

3 ground conditions;

4 resource provision; and

5 hazard mitigation.

These are discussed below in relation to what actually happened during the 1915 campaign, assessing the role of terrain overall in its outcome.

1 Terrain characteristics and tactical position

The three main zones of conflict, Cape Helles, Anzac Cove and Suvla Bay each had their own problems associated with tactical position. All three were within range of enemy shelling, and unlike the Turks, who had unlimited space for resting troops in the well-watered valleys behind the lines, there were no adequate rest camps (Aspinall-Oglander, 1929).

Cape Helles and Achi Baba The landings at Cape Helles were to be made at narrow beaches leading into narrow, constrained valleys (land system II) which rise up the slopes of the Kilid Bahr Plateau (land system IB), with the intention of capturing the plateau top, threatening Kilid Bahr below [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 6 OMITTED]. The coastal expression of land system II is as steep to near-vertical and unscalable coastal cliffs [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURES 7 AND 8 OMITTED], and therefore the only access to the slopes of the Kilid Bahr Plateau was through the incised valleys, particularly as there is only one low-lying area (land system III) at Morto Bay. The two main landing beaches selected, V and W, have only relatively narrow stretches of open beach (200-300m) which funnel directly into narrow gorges surrounded on both sides by the limestone slopes characteristic of land system II. Defence of the valleys by the Turks was relatively straightforward, given the ability for enfilading fire from both sides of the valley, and the narrowness of the beaches (Plates I and II). Turkish preparations in the month after the cessation of the naval bombardment exploited small hills (Hill 114, Hill 138 and Guezji Baba) as strong points, surrounded by trenches and extensive barbed wire entanglements mounted on angle-iron stakes. Trenches contoured the valley sides in order to provide the mutual enfilade fire promoted by the practitioners of the day (e.g. Pressey, 1919). Machine gun emplacements were installed on the cliff-tops at the mouth of both valleys, providing cross fire [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 7 OMITTED]. To the attackers, the enfilade fire produced by both the infantry in the trenches and the machine gun posts was decimating. Vegetation on the beaches was insufficient to provide much cover, and the only natural breaks in slope were some raised beach material on V beach, which enabled the attackers to shelter. The commanding hills and Turkish positions were only captured three days after the initial landing when the steep cliffs and slopes characteristic of the coastal expression of land system II were turned to the attackers' advantage in providing cover, although the nature of the crossfire was such that such cover could never be one hundred per cent efficient.

The beach designated 'X' by the Allies was largely undefended by the Turkish forces simply because the beach there was extremely narrow, and the slopes were precipitous and densely vegetated [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 7 OMITTED]. This meant that the attacking forces were able to come ashore largely unopposed, and if it were not for poor leadership and inadequate communications, may have assisted in the capture of Hill 114, thereby compromising the Turkish defences. This was not to be. A similar situation was encountered on the other side of the peninsula at Morto Bay (S Beach), which was also lightly defended. The landings at X and S beaches were not considered by the British to be as important as those at V and W beaches, presumably because here at least the beaches were slightly wider, access to the dip slope of Achi Baba easier. Clearly though, the much wider plain of Morto Bay would have provided a more suitable landing place, given the expanse of beach, although it is still surrounded on both flanks by near vertical cliffs and high ground of land system II (Plate I). This may have ruled out its more extensive use by the Allies.

Once ashore, the troops had to fight up the dip slope of Achi Baba, part of the Kilid Bahr Plateau (land system IB; [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 2 OMITTED], Plates I and II). Failure to exploit this more open terrain reflects resourcing difficulties and the tactical advantage for the Turks of the possession of the higher ground. The Allied troops were advancing up what was a relatively gentle slope, but were hampered by inadequate land-based artillery and ammunition, and decreased efficiency of naval artillery owing to the flat trajectory used. Limited successful advances on the flanks of the plateau, in the spurs and gullies of the undulating topography typical of land system IB also meant that often the flanks of the Allied advances were left 'in the air' and in danger of being outflanked. The Turks for their part were opposing the Allies on a forward slope, and were able to direct their artillery and machine gun fire with greater accuracy. After a series of attitritional battles which mimicked the Western Front, trench systems became more or less static, and Achi Baba was never captured [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 8 OMITTED].

Gaba Tepe and Anzac Cove

The intended landing site of the ANZAC troops was to be north of Gaba Tepe on the open beach initially designated Z beach, later to be christened Brighton Beach by the troops ([ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 6 OMITTED] and Plate IIIA). The plan was to exploit the lower slopes of the Sail Bair Plateau (land system II), rising up the less steep, but still deeply-incised valley systems of the southern margin of the plateau (land system IA) in order to reach the summit and overlook Kilid Bahr and the Dardanelles beyond [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 6 OMITTED]. In fact, for the reasons outlined above, the landing actually took place much farther to the north in Anzac Cove. This was unfortunate, as it is the only stretch of coast where land system IB meets the sea [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 5 OMITTED], and where the Pliocene continental sediments form the cliffline, although the Turkish defenders had not strongly defended this stretch of coastline, it was topographically challenging ([ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 3 OMITTED] and Plate IIIB).

The tactical implications of the mistaken landing are serious. After initial successes on the day of landing, the ANZAC troops did not ever manage to control the heights of the plateau, and as at Cape Helles, a parallel line of trenches was dug along the coastal slopes, the Turks always having the observational advantage of high ground. The final ANZAC line actually ran north-eastwards paralleling the fault scarp which was the north-eastern expression of the plateau ([ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 8 OMITTED] and Plate IIIC, D). The effectiveness of the ANZAC position was therefore severely constrained by the nature of land system IA, particularly with regard to the steepness and level of dissection of the slopes of the plateau. In effect, the fault scarp was extremely difficult for the attacking troops to ascend (Plate IIIC), and Turkish forward trenches, positioned as they were at the crest of this slope, provided a clear view of the low ground of land systems II and IV (Suvla Plain) beneath them (Plate IVA). The dissected dip slope leading up to the plateau also presented problems, the dissection producing three north-west - south-east trending narrow ridges separated by steep-sided gullies. The broken ground provided by this topography made communications difficult, and the further construction of Turkish defensive positions on the higher slopes, surrounding the peaks of Chunuk Bair and Koja Chemen Tepe meant that advances by the ANZAC troops were difficult and costly; typical examples being the battle for the Lone Pine and the charge of the Australian Light Horse at a narrow subsidiary ridge known as the Nek (Plate IVA). The constant observation of all the ANZAC lines by the Turks meant that there were no safe rest camps close to the line, and even swimming parties were under constant threat from Turkish artillery. Finally, the narrowness of the beach at Anzac Cove produced its own problems with respect to resourcing and storage of men, material and pack animals from the sea (Plate IIIB).

Suvla Bay

The landing at Suvla Bay, made in August of 1915, was meant to exploit the previously untried landing beaches of the Bay, and to allow troops to rapidly deploy across the flat Suvla Plain (land system IV) before taking the high ground of land system V which surrounded the plain in the form of the Anafarta and Karakol Ridges ([ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 6 OMITTED] and Plate IV). The landing was, unfortunately, mis-managed such that troops from different commands became hopelessly mixed, and no decisive military decisions were taken that day. In fact, it is known that the Turkish defenders were small in number, and were deployed in small outposts to the north and south of the Suvla Plain, exploiting small knolls developed as part of the arcuate outcrop pattern of the Palaeogene rocks forming land system V. The British troops did eventually traverse the open and flat-lying Suvla Plain, and not even the salt lake was an obstacle to progress, by foot at least, as it was seasonally dry. However, although they were to take up their positions at the foothills of land system V, they were never to take the commanding peaks which overlooked the Suvla Plain, and consequently they wasted a valuable opportunity to break out of the constrained area [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 8 OMITTED]. A later offensive in August tried to break out of the Suvla Plain by attacking the south-western slope of land system V (the so-called Chocolate, Green and Scimitar hills), and the northwestern facing faultline scarp of land system IA (the Sari Bair Plateau). However, these attacks failed because of the observational advantage possessed by the Turks who were now deployed in force, and ultimately this led to the decision to withdraw from the Peninsula completely.

2 Mobility

Unlike the Western Front, trafficability was never a major issue in the Gallipoli Campaign, due to a variety of factors. Importantly, the level of troop movements was limited inland, as the majority of supplies were derived from shipborne sources, including water supplies, as discussed below (Aspinall-Oglander 1929, 1932; Steel and Hart, 1994). Movement of supplies inland was in the main by mule transport, although some wheeled traffic was used more extensively at Cape Helles, where there was the maximum Allied penetration [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 8 OMITTED]. Therefore, it was important to construct piers for the landing of stores [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE IIC OMITTED], and for the construction of roads capable of taking wheeled artillery pieces, as there were no real roads on the Peninsula at that time. These roads and paths were mostly constructed by slope excavation, and there is no record of elaborate construction methods being used (Aspinall-Oglander, 1932). However, road construction using crushed stone aggregates was carried out by the Royal Engineers on Lemnos, and may also have been used on the Peninsula (Anon., 1997).

3 Ground conditions Ground conditions are most important in the development of permanent or semi-permanent entrenchments and other defensive positions. Three basic sets of ground conditions existed, primarily associated with land systems I, II and IV. These affected the construction of temporary, shallow-scrape foxholes, and more permanent defensive trench positions. Importantly, the nature of the ground conditions allowed for the development of tunnelling and offensive mining, associated with land system I. These are discussed below.

Trench and dugout construction The necessity to establish secure beachheads after the first landings at Gallipoli ensured that trench warfare would become an important aspect of life for both sides during the Gallipoli Campaign. Initially, trenches were dug to provide protection for the newly-landed and battle-weary troops, but by the end of the campaign, trench systems took on a complexity which in many ways mimicked that of the Western Front (cf. Doyle and Bennett, 1997), and which was intimately associated with the intricacies of the local terrain.

On the Anzac front, the relatively soft Pliocene sediments of land system I enabled the relatively rapid development of rudimentary trench systems, although this was hampered in the opening hours of the campaign by an absence of adequate construction tools, and by the degree of root penetration. By the end of the campaign, the trench systems were complex with a parallel underground system of tunnels and saps. In addition, many terraces were cut in the reverse slope to provide rudimentary dwelling areas (Aspinall-Oglander, 1932). In general, few drainage problems were encountered, given the paucity of rainfall, in the Summer months at least, the relative permeability of the trenches, and the depth to the water table. Revetment was usually achieved using locally derived or shipped-in timber, and both sides used covered trench systems, roofed by timber baulks and earthworks, in order to mitigate against the effects of shrapnel and small arms fire, although largely useless against direct hits from high explosive shells. Covered trench systems made extensive use of loopholes for snipers. New trenches were often dug by the use of shallow tunnels which were then roofed with timber before the cutting of loopholes (Aspinall-Oglander, 1932; Steel and Hart, 1994). As with the Western Front, dugouts varied from the deep, shell-proof dugout to the shallow recess or 'funk-hole' intended only as a limited shelter (Doyle and Bennett, 1997). Extensive dugout systems were cut into the seawards slopes of the Sari Bair Plateau providing shelter for a variety of administrative and service personnel.

At Helles, the initial landings encountered the relatively hard limestones of land system II and this meant that in many cases there was insufficient depth for protection without the use of heavy tools not immediately available. Blasting was used later in the campaign (Anon., 1997). However, the later advances from the Helles beachhead enabled construction of trenches in the overlying Pliocene sediments of land system I which were similar to those at Anzac. Extensive dugout systems were also constructed, and much use was made of the incised 'gullies' on the dip slope of the Kilid Bahr Plateau, particularly at Gully Ravine.

At Suvla, trench construction was commenced tactically earlier than it should have, before the high ground was captured and exploited. However, final positions were dug in land systems II and V, using the firmer substrates of the Miocene and older Palaeogene rocks. Support lines protecting the landing beaches were also dug adjacent to the salt lake, and these were undoubtedly more difficult to maintain, given the proximity of standing water, marshes and sand-dunes. Lala Baba, an outlier of Oligocene sediments forming a hill on the shores of Suvla Bay was also heavily defended.

Offensive mining Offensive mining is characteristic of protracted trench warfare, and was extensively used on the Western Front (Institution of Royal Engineers, 1922; Doyle and Bennett, 1997). Mining was also employed, intensively but on a smaller scale, at Gallipoli, on both the Helles and Anzac fronts (Aspinall-Oglander, 1929, 1932; Steel and Hart, 1994; Anon., 1997). On both fronts, and by both sides, mining activities were developed after the failure of the Summer offensives. On the Anzac front, mining and tunnelling activities led to the development of an extensive underground tunnel system which sent forward a series of saps under the enemy lines which were to be packed with explosives and blown at appropriate moments. In addition, and in an attempt to solve the overcrowding of the Anzac Cove area, an extensive tunnel system was constructed under the ANZAC trench lines to provide quarters for the men, storage facilities, and the ability to move about without being observed. These tunnels were constructed by tunnelling companies of the Royal Engineers attached to the ANZAC Brigade. A special corps of Australian tunnellers was also raised, but was formed too late to take an active part in the Gallipoli Campaign, although under Major Edgeworth David they served with distinction on the Western Front (Branagan, 1987; MacLoed, 1988; Rose and Rosenbaum, 1993; Doyle and Bennett, 1997). Similar tunnels and offensive mining techniques were employed at Cape Helles, although there was less need for an extensive system for storage and habitation. As on the Western Front, the opposing troops carried out a series of countermining techniques in order to both detect and deal with the mining activity, using shallow 'camoflet' mines designed to destroy the tunnels without producing a surface crater.

There were few geological problems with these tunnelling activities, as they were exclusively cut through the relatively workable Pliocene continental sediments of land system I, which consist of reasonably well-consolidated sands and clays. Apart from a few perched water tables (Beeby-Thomson, 1924), the water table was at depth, and consequently there was a paucity of groundwater supplies.

4 Resources The provision of resources to the invading armies was a particular problem for the Allied forces. In most cases, elaborate supply lines were constructed which brought food, water and ammunition from the Greek island of Imbros. A system of semi-permanent piers and jetties was constructed, mostly from anchored inshore craft, but also from pile-driven steel girders driven deep into the beach sediments, the remains of which can still be observed today [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE IIC OMITTED].

Potable water Water supply was the major consideration for the Gallipoli Campaign. It has been reported that the German Commander considered that one of the most decisive factors responsible for the Turkish success was the availability of water behind their lines (Aspinall-Oglander, 1932).

The attacking British and Commonwealth armies were forced from the beginning to plan for the provision of an adequate supply of potable water to serve both its men and animals. Water was derived from three sources:

1 surface water;

2 ground water; and

3 imported supplies.

The search for potable water supplies initiated some of the earliest reports on the geology of the Gallipoli Peninsula, commissioned directly from the Geological Survey of Great Britain (Strahan, 1919; Flett, 1937). Three geologists of the Survey were instructed to report on the water supply of the Peninsula, and this survey, never published, was submitted to the War Office (Strahan, 1919; Flett, 1937; Rose and Rosenbaum, 1993). No record of this document survives today in the Geological Survey or Public Record Office. However, Arthur Beeby-Thomson, a consultant geologist, was attached to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF) from 1915 to 1918, and had responsibility for the provision of on-the-spot reconnaissance for potable water. His official reports were apparently never published, but he was later to discuss aspects of exploration for ground waters in the Mediterranean lands based on his experiences (Beeby-Thomson, 1924), and this provides an invaluable insight into the exploration for water.

Surface water supplies were extremely variable and for the most part, insufficient. There are few flowing rivers on the Peninsula, the majority of them being seasonal. Ground water supplies were more promising. The majority of ground waters were derived from:

limestone/sandstone aquifer at depth;

beach and alluvial sediments;

sandstone aquifers in the north, and;

from perched water tables in the Pliocene sediments.

The limestone/sandstone aquifers of land system II provided the resources for much of the Cape Helles operation. However, as the British advanced up the slopes of land system IB groundwater became more difficult to obtain. Wells tapping this aquifer also existed around the south-eastern margins of the Suvla Plain [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 4 OMITTED]. Beach and alluvial sediments were found to be a good source of water by Beeby-Thomson (1924) and these provided some limited resources at Anzac Cove, and more abundant supplies at the eastern margin of the Suvla Plain. Saltwater incursion was a problem within the central part of the plain itself occurring seasonally, and as a result of excessive water abstraction. Much of the Suvla Plain and Karakol water supplies were derived from Oligocene sandstone aquifers.

One of the biggest problems was a lack of reliable ground water supplies at Anzac Cove [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 4 OMITTED]. Here, the limestone aquifer of land system II was at depth, and seasonally supplies perched on impermeable strata, difficult to locate accurately, were the norm, together with some exploitation of seasonally dry rivers. These were ephemeral, however, and many of the wells dug in the surrounding gullies began to dry up with the approach of Summer, though others were found at depth. This meant that the daily ration from local sources in the 1st Australian Division was rarely more than one-third of a gallon per man. Except on the extreme northern flank, wells were even scarcer in the area occupied by the New Zealanders, on the northern slope of land system IB. Most water supplied for these areas was from imported water (Aspinall-Oglander, 1929, 1932; Steel and Hart, 1994), and large water-lighters were towed from Alexandria and Malta and moored alongside the piers at Anzac Cove. The water could then be pumped by hand into iron tanks on the beach, whence it was taken by mules to other tanks in the hills, and thence by hand to the troops holding the line. Later, a pumping plant and a number of larger storage tanks were obtained from Egypt. These were hauled to specially-constructed platforms on the slopes of Plugge's Plateau, Walkers Ridge and other points near the front line. They were connected to the beach, and thereafter water could be pumped straight into them from the lighters, and then distributed to smaller tanks by gravitation. (Aspinall-Oglander, 1932:117).

The lessons learned at Anzac Cove led to the development of elaborate plans for water supply at Suvla Plain, despite the existence of more abundant ground water supplies. Four 50-ton water lighters specially fitted out in Egypt were towed across from Imbros by a water tank steamer, itself capable of carrying 200 tons of water, and which would fill the lighters when empty. Each lighter had been fitted with troughs, pumps and 120 feet of hose, and was manned by a crew of Royal Engineers. To enable the water to be carried forward to the troops, the bazaars in Egypt had been ransacked for every imaginable kind of water carrying receptacle, and large quantities of milk-cans, petrol tins, camel tanks and water bags had been shipped over. Unfortunately, these plans did not assist the landing in August, as the lighters grounded a long way out, and it was late in the day before water could be landed, causing much suffering amongst the troops (Aspinall-Oglander, 1932).

Mineral/aggregate resourcing The Gallipoli Campaign was fought over a relatively limited time scale, and there was little development of the kind of static positions developed on the Western Front which required concrete and other construction materials (Doyle and Bennett, 1997). The raw materials for cement production and brickmaking exist on the Gallipoli Peninsula, mostly from the Miocene limestones and Pliocene sediments (Ternek et al., 1987), but it is unlikely that these were extensively used in the campaign. In fact, the majority of permanent defensive works were constructed using timber and earthworks. In addition, and as far as can be ascertained, road construction mostly utilized locally-derived materials won when the initial cuttings were created, or when paths were widened, although some crushed stone may have been used (Anon., 1997).

5 Hazard mitigation The most important natural hazard which affected the troops was the flash flooding of the parallel aligned dry valley systems of land system I. This was particularly prevalent in the Winter months, with increased rainfall, and unexpected floods led to the deaths of many men in the incised Gully Ravine later in the year (Steel and Hart, 1994). Little was done to mitigate such hazards, which occurred in the Winter months following the break in the Summer drought, and it is unlikely that they were expected.


Choice of landing beach In a paper read to the Royal Geographical Society on 26 April 1915, D.G. Hogarth outlined the geography of the war with Turkey (Hogarth, 1915). This paper, read a day after the landing had been made and undoubtedly in ignorance of the land-based assault, drew the following conclusion:

All the western end of the Gallipoli Peninsula is of broken hilly character, which combines with lack of water and consequent lack of population and roads to render it an unfavourable area for military operations. No general, if he had the choice, would land a considerable force upon it at any spot below the narrows.

Hogarth, 1915:461

Clearly, this was a view which upheld the need for a landing at Bulair. Yet despite the view of an expert - later to be attached to the Admiralty - and given that the strategic aims of the Campaign were to simply support the Naval operation through the capture of the high ground, and removal of the threat of shore batteries, a landing in the south-western part of the Peninsula was necessary, with a consequently limited range of options available to the Allied Commander in Chief. As Masefield (1916) and Hart (1934) were to argue, if the peninsula was to be captured then General Sir Ian Hamilton had no real choice but to land where he did. The capture of the high ground was of clear importance, and Hamilton's plans, to capture the Kilid Bahr Plateau using a pincer movement from Gaba Tepe and Helles and exploiting the low slopes of land system II [ILLUSTRATION FOR FIGURE 6 OMITTED] appears sound. However, the beaches at Helles, developed at the mouth of the narrow ravine-like valleys of land system II, are clearly more suited to the defender, and the clearer understanding of terrain demonstrated by the Turkish troops led to the decimation of the British 29th Division during the 'Battle of the Beaches'. Clearly then, and with the benefit of hindsight, it would seem that a more objective use of terrain at Cape Helles would have been:

1 the steeper but undefended slopes of the north-west facing coast; and

2 the wider expanse of beach and alluvial sediment typical of land system III at Morto Bay.

The first option is only really an option where the cliffline was undefended as, given the slope and narrowness of the beach, defenders would have ample opportunity to pick off the attackers. Morto Bay was presumably not extensively used because of the difficulty of approaching the beaches without being fired upon by the coastal batteries. The wider expanse of beach and the much greater extent of open country would have enabled a deeper and wider deployment of troops, while still rising up the slopes of the Kilid Bahr Plateau towards Achi Baba.

The choice of Gaba Tepe makes sense from the perspective of terrain, using as it does the low slopes of land system II, but the use of the Anzac beaches does not. It must, therefore, be recognized of course that this was beyond the control of the commander once the landing was in place. Here, at the only place where land system I reaches the sea, the landing was made [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE IIIB OMITTED]. As it happens, the landing here was a surprise, but as with Cape Helles in the south, the advantage was not pressed home, and after the initial surprise the tactical advantage soon passed to the defenders, controlling as they did the high ground on the tops of land system I.

The real mystery is why neither Commander fully appreciated the value of Suvla Bay as a landing site earlier in the campaign [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE IVB OMITTED]. This land system (IV) has the benefit of both relatively wide beaches for the landing of men and material, and the Suvla Plain - flat but with suff
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The real mystery is why neither Commander fully appreciated the value of Suvla Bay as a landing site earlier in the campaign [ILLUSTRATION FOR PLATE IVB OMITTED]. This land system (IV) has the benefit of both relatively wide beaches for the landing of men and material, and the Suvla Plain - flat but with sufficient cover for rapid deployment, and with a ground surface sufficiently dry for movement on foot or with animal transport, although damp and muddy in places. This mystery is partly answered by the fact that Suvla was some distance from the main objectives - the Turkish guns on the Dardanelles shore - and that the Allies had little knowledge of either the terrain or the landing beaches themselves. For example, the Admiralty had little information upon the nature of shoaling of the coastal area, and the military Commanders had minimal understanding of the nature of important water resources (Steel and Hart, 1994). When the British finally landed in August 1915, the control of the high ground to the east (land system V), which ultimately could be used to outflank the Turkish positions on the Sari Bair Plateau overlooking Maidos and the Dardanelles, was in their grasp. Poor Generalship led to the loss of this advantage, to the subsequent costly and unsuccessful battles for the heights of the Anafarta Ridge and the Sari Bair Plateau, and ultimately to the admission of defeat by the Allies.

Using terrain Once ashore, and having become resigned to a stalemate at Anzac and Helles at least, the local use of terrain for resource provision and defensive works was reasonably handled. The most important problem lay in the provision of water supplies from ground waters. This was only really a major problem at the Anzac front, where ground water supply was limited and ephemeral. All previously known or newly dug wells exploited either the limestone aquifers of land system II, or the alluvial/lacustrine sediments of land systems III and IV. The geologists attached to or advising the Allied forces were conversant with the problem, and the only effective solution was the use of imported supplies, clearly a costly and hazardous exercise.

The use of terrain for defensive purposes was efficiently handled on the Anzac and Helles fronts, particularly in the construction of adequate trench systems and in the use of tunnelling and dugout construction in slopes out of sight of the opposing Turkish forces. However, the inability to provide suitable rest camps close to the front line led to a severe diminution in the health and well-being of the troops. A clearly inadequate understanding is the use of the dry seasonal ravines on the dip slope of land system IB leading from the summit of Achi Baba. Many men were killed and much material lost in the flooding of the wet, Winter season, adding to the discomfort of the troops.


The Gallipoli Campaign was doomed to failure primarily because of a lack of commitment to it from the Allied High Commands in London and Paris. Too few men, too little planning, inadequate munitions, and indecisiveness together with woefully inadequate communications ultimately led to the stagnation and defeat of the Allied troops. At the heart of the failure lies an inadequate understanding of the nature of the terrain. Although the strategic aims were well served by the initial plans, the terrible loss of life at Cape Helles was the result of a commitment to landing on beaches which were clearly too narrow and commanded on both sides by easily-fortified positions. The mistake of landing at Anzac Cove was costly, as after the initial failure to exploit early gains the positions became untenable. The vexed question of water supply was not clearly addressed and became a major issue, as was the provision of rest camps which were not overlooked by the Turkish artillery. Both of these the Turkish forces had in abundance.

The most important conclusion is a question as to why a landing at Suvla Bay had not been adequately explored, given the suitability of its landing beaches, the trafficability of the wide Suvla Plain, and the suitability of the plain for the provision of ground water supplies. If the belated and ill-starred landing of August 1915 had been subject to better leadership, this could have changed the face of the war altogether; commanding the Dardanelles, supporting the Navy and knocking Turkey out of the war much sooner than 1918. Clearly no military campaign can hope to succeed with an inadequate understanding of the terrain to be fought over.


The authors would like to acknowledge the help of Colin Bruce of the Imperial War Museum and Margaret Magnussen of the School of Military Engineering Library in providing access to important maps and books. Staff of the libraries of the Military Survey and the British Geological Survey assisted in the search for original documents. Julie Doyle assisted with the fieldwork associated with this paper.


Anon [GLC], 1997 Engineers at Gallipoli, 1915. R. Engr J. 111: 31-9.

Aspinall-Oglander, C.F. 1929 History of the Great War. Military operations Gallipoli. Volume 1. Inception of the campaign to May 1915. London: Heinemann.

-----, 1932 History of the Great War. Military operations Gallipoli. Volume 2. May 1915 to the evacuation. London: Heinemann.

Beeby-Thomson, A. 1924 Emergency water supplies for military, agricultural and colonial purposes. London: Crosby Lockwood and Son.

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Questia Media America, Inc.

Publication Information: Article Title: Military Geography: The Influence of Terrain in the Outcome of the Gallipoli Campaign, 1915. Contributors: Matthew R. Bennett - author, Peter Doyle - author. Journal Title: The Geographical Journal. Volume: 165. Issue: 1. Publication Year: 1999. Page Number: 12+. COPYRIGHT 1999 Royal Geographical Society; COPYRIGHT 2002 Gale Group;jsessionid=FVXJ4G1JB1rvVNZ1jsnQ1YFTxnrG55cHrj2pknlDyn8zMhq22FG3!620065691?a=o&d=5001259825
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Sep 2006 11:29    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Heb je de hele docu uitgeschreven?
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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Sep 2006 12:21    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote


jammer dat de video het niet meer doet!
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Adriaan van Kammen

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BerichtGeplaatst: 24 Sep 2006 19:37    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Deze video is ook als torrent te downloaden.
Daarom kwam hij me ook bekend voor.
Even zoeken op Gallipoli en dan vind je hem al gauw.
Mooie verhelderende docu.
Have a sigar
(___{}____]]] ~ ~ ~ ~

Old soldiers never die
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Sep 2006 7:47    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mario @ 24 Sep 2006 12:29 schreef:
Heb je de hele docu uitgeschreven?

Ja onschuld
Ijverig hč?
Maar goed, ik was danig onder de indruk van de video en was blij de tekst te vinden.
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Sep 2006 8:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Gallipoli study to reveal hidden secrets

By Judy Skatssoon for Science Online

Researchers say Australia is to be part of a major three-nation archaeological survey of the Gallipoli battlefield.

Associate Professor Chris Mackie, from the University of Melbourne, says the survey will be conducted by researchers from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey.

It will combine conventional mapping with electromagnetic surveying to produce the most comprehensive historical and archaeological study ever conducted at the site.

"Most of the attention in the post-war period has been on the cemeteries," he said about studies of Turkey's Gallipoli Peninsula.

"One of the things we'll be spending a great deal of time on is the mapping of the trenches to see how they cohere with surviving maps of the trenches and exploring what lies beneath."

Professor Mackie says there is a "distinct possibility" that a wealth of material dating back to the days of antiquity lies buried beneath the battlefield.

"Records from sappers dating back to 1915 mention ancient pots, ancient remains and so forth, so there could be material there," he said.

"Because we'll be using electromagnetics you're coming up with all sorts of possibilities, everything from material left behind in the battle itself to much older stuff."

Professor Mackie says many people are unaware of the historical importance of the region, which includes the nearby site of the ancient battle of Troy.

He says because of the historical and cultural sensitivity of the site "there's no intention to embark on any excavation".
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Sep 2006 10:06    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Adriaan van Kammen @ 24 Sep 2006 20:37 schreef:
Deze video is ook als torrent te downloaden.
Daarom kwam hij me ook bekend voor.
Even zoeken op Gallipoli en dan vind je hem al gauw.
Mooie verhelderende docu.

Zal eens gaan zoeken...
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BerichtGeplaatst: 25 Sep 2006 19:07    Onderwerp: Reageer met quote

Mochten jullie iets vinden, tip elkaar via pb even?

Voor alle duidelijkheid, ik weet het, het is een grijs gebied:


Er zijn veel WO1 materialen die via Bittorrent verspreiden.
Als je alleen directe link naar de .torrent plaatst, dan is het natuurlijk geen enkel probleem. Maar post geen links naar sites waar ook tal van andere, wellicht minder legale, torrents te vinden zijn. Hou het dan bij de .torrent zelf, en zet er bij dat het legaal is.
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