On 19 May, Turkish forces launched a concerted attack on the allied trenches, with the clear intention of driving the Australian and New Zealand troops (Anzac) stationed at Anzac Cove back to the sea. Three Turkish divisions had been moved from the Sulva area in an effort to break the Anzac stronghold in the Monash Valley. The 16th, 5th, and 2nd were moved in place for the attack. The attack was launched upon the centre of the Allied line in the darkness of the early hours of 19 May. Lacking sufficient artillery and ammunition, the Ottomans relied on surprise and weight of numbers for success. Before the attack began, troop-build up in the Turkish lines was noticed by Allied observers. Thus when the attack began some 42,000 Turkish pitted against 17,000 defenders, New Zealand and Australian troops were in position to gun down the Turks who advanced in successive waves across open ground. Out in front of the trench was a plain called the Table Top and beyond that further along Turkish lines was the Lone Pine Ridge. Facing the 3rd battalion was the 16th and 2nd Turkish divisions, the troops were considered to be the very best German general Von Sanders had to offer during the campaign. Von Sanders major mistake however was in the fact that the attack going in at night, the troops had yet to see the ground they were to cover and many became disoriented and confused in the heat of the battle. Barbed wire impeded the Turks' efforts to reach Anzac trenches and the few Turks that reached there were summarily shot or bayonetted. Time and again the Turks flung themselves at the Anzac line, to be halted by intense machine-gun fire and musketry of the New Zealanders. Eventually Allied artillery from Howitzer Gully and shelling from ships offshore multiplied the carnage. The result was disastrous with three-thousand Turkish soldiers lying dead between the lines. By midday Von Sanders immediately halted any further attacks, knowing that each attack resulted in useless bayonet charges.
The Ottoman losses were so severe that an armistice was reached on 24 May in order to bury the large amounts of dead that laid in no man's land, because of the summer heat the bodies began to rot making the smell overpowering. This was one of the first times a truce was ever signed during the First World War.