This Day in History: 1915-08-10

Gallipoli. At dawn a huge column of Turks, led by their great hero Colonel Mustafa Kemal (who later, as Kemal Ataturk, founded modern Turkey), sweeps onto the summit of Chunuk Bair. The 6th Loyals, in their shallow scrapes and rock crevices, are simply overwhelmed. The only other battalion on the ridge, 5th Wiltshires, are caught in the open and annihilated. The Turks drive on and almost wipe out all the supporting force. Chunuk Bair is lost, and is never recaptured. The Allied C-in-C, General Sir Ian Hamilton, later wrote:

“Generals fought in the ranks and men dropped their scientific weapons and caught one another by the throat. So desperate a fight cannot be described. The Turks came on again and again, fighting magnificently, calling upon the name of their God. Our men stood to it and maintained, by many a deed of daring, the old traditions of their race. There was no flinching. They died in the ranks where they stood.”