Battle of Krithia Vineyard

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Battle of Krithia Vineyard
Part of First World War
Date 6–13 August 1915
Location 40°04′41″N 26°12′58″E / 40.078°N 26.216°E / 40.078; 26.216Coordinates: 40°04′41″N 26°12′58″E / 40.078°N 26.216°E / 40.078; 26.216
Helles, Gallipoli, Ottoman Empire
Result Ottoman victory
Belligerents
 United Kingdom  Ottoman Empire
Commanders and leaders
Br-Gen. H.E. Street Trommer Paşa, Fevzi Çakmak
Strength
3 Brigades[citation needed] 6 Divisions[1]
Casualties and losses
4,120 total[2][3] 1,510 total[4]

The Battle of Krithia Vineyard (6–13 August 1915) was fought during the Gallipoli Campaign during the First World War. It was originally intended as a minor British action at Helles on the Gallipoli peninsula to divert attention from the imminent launch of the August Offensive, but instead, the British commander, Brigadier General H.E. Street, mounted a futile and bloody series of attacks that in the end gained a small patch of ground known as "The Vineyard".

Prelude[edit]

The original commander of the British VIII Corps at Helles, Lieutenant General Aylmer Hunter-Weston, had departed the peninsula in July, following the last Helles offensive—the Battle of Gully Ravine. His replacement, Lieutenant General Francis Davies, arrived in early August but had not yet assumed command of the corps when a series of diversions were due to be launched from Anzac and Helles to divert Ottoman attention from the planned landing at Suvla and the break out from Anzac. Consequently, the Helles diversion was planned and conducted by the VIII Corps' chief of staff, Brigadier General H.E. Street, who proved himself an able student of Hunter-Weston's battle strategy.

Battle[edit]

Map showing situation of Krithia Vineyard, just above the centre

Due to the shortage of artillery, the attack was split into two parts with the 88th Brigade of the 29th Division attacking on the afternoon of 6 August while two brigades of the 42nd (East Lancashire) Division would attack the following day. They were facing four Ottoman divisions, three of which were fresh, while there were two more divisions in reserve.[5]

The 88th Brigade's attack managed to capture some Ottoman trenches, which were recaptured by the Ottoman 30th Regiment during a counter-attack. The British attacked again and once more captured some trenches, but the Ottomans counter-attacked again and drove them out. The British failed to hold any ground and the 88th Brigade was effectively destroyed as a fighting force. At around 9:40 am on the morning of 7 August the 42nd Division attacked on the right of the 88th Brigade's sector. The 127th Brigade managed to break through the line held by the Ottoman 13th Division, but were forced back by an Ottoman counter-attack.

The Ottomans counter-attacked repeatedly from 7 August to 9 August and the fighting in the area continued until 13 August when it finally subsided. Afterwards, this sector of the Helles front would remain one of the busiest and most violent for the remainder of the campaign.

Aftermath[edit]

Two Victoria Crosses were awarded to men of the 42nd Division during the fighting at Krithia Vineyard. The British casualties in the first 24 hours of fighting, covering the original attacks of the 88th Brigade and the two brigades of the 42nd Division, were 3,469. The total British casualties for the duration of the battle were probably in excess of 4,000.[6] The Ottoman casualties for the period of the battle were estimated to be around 7,000.[7]

As for the other diversion at Lone Pine, the attack failed to fulfil its goal of tying down the Ottoman reinforcements away from the main offensive. As early as the morning of 7 August, regiments were being dispatched from Helles to the main front in the Sari Bair range.

References[edit]

  1. ^ ATASE, Çanakkale, pp.284–289
  2. ^ ATASE, Çanakkale, pp.284–289
  3. ^ AC.F.Aspinal-Oglander, Vol. 2, p.192
  4. ^ ATASE, Çanakkale, pp.316–328
  5. ^ Turgut Ōzakman, Diriliş, 2008, p.462
  6. ^ AC.F.Aspinal-Oglander, Vol. 2, p.192
  7. ^ ATASE, Çanakkale, pp.316–328