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The New Zealanders at Gallipoli

Reinforcements Promised

Reinforcements Promised.

After the unsuccessful attack on Krithia early in May, Sir Ian Hamilton cabled Home for two more Army Corps, pointing out that apparently we were to be left to our own resources in the campaign; the Greeks had decided not to move at all, and the Russians had been so punished by the Austro-Germans as to give up all hope of moving against Constantinople from the Black Sea. The General, in his Third Despatch to the Secretary of State for War, goes on to say:— “During June your Lordship became persuaded of the bearing of these facts, and I was promised three regular divisions, plus the infantry of two territorial divisions. The advance page 188 guard of these troops was due to reach Mudros by July 10; by August 10 their concentration was to be complete.”

Now let us see what troops are available for a new trial of strength with the Turk. The following troops were already on the Peninsula:—
At Helles:
The French Army Corps1st Division
2nd Division

The 8th Army Corps
29th Division (Regular Army)
42nd (East Lancs.) Division
52nd (Lowland) Division
General Headquarters TroopsRoyal Naval Division
At Anzac:
The A. & N.Z. Army Corps1st Australian Division
N.Z. & Australian Division
New Troops Promised for an Offensive:

The 9th Army Corps
10th (Irish) Division
11th (Northern) Division
13th (Western) Division
The Infantry Brigade only of53rd (Welsh) Division
54th (East Anglian) Division

All of the troops—owing to the demands of the French front—were woefully deficient in artillery. The 9th Army Corps were part of the New Army—generally known as Kitchener's Army—and, of course, had not seen service. The infantry of the 53rd and 54th Divisions were of the Territorial Force, and likewise were inexperienced in war. These were the troops it was determined to lead against seasoned soldiers—inured to hardship and fighting for their native soil—the veterans of the Turkish Regular Army.

But when and where should these reinforcements be used?

The time was easily settled. In war, as in many other things, there is no time like the present. The summer was well advanced; the scored hillsides gave every indication of torrential autumn and winter rains; the naval staff knew page 189 that winter storms would seriously hamper their work. But the last troops could not arrive until early in August. As darkness was essential to any surprise attack, it was necessary to carefully study the phases of the moon. It was decided that as soon as the 53rd and 54th Divisions reached the
Black and white photograph of the signal office.

[Lent by Sergt. P. Tite, N.Z.E.
Headquarters Signal Office.
Signallers, telephonists, and linesmen risk their lives day and night sending and carrying messages and repairing wires. Snipers watch the wire and pick off the linesmen. It is significant that the only New Zealand V.C. awarded during the campaign went to a signaller.

scene of operations they would be kept on their ships as a general reserve. The weather, the moon, and the anticipated arrival of these reinforcements determined August 6 as the latest date for the commencement of the operations, for by the end of the second week the moon would be unfavourable.
page 190

So far, we knew what troops were available, when they would arrive, and the most desirable time to use them. Next, we must examine the proposals as to where they should be used to gain the greatest advantage.