Third Battle Of Krithia

The early battles had been fought over thinly fortified ground but by May, two lines of opposing trenches had begun to demarcate the battlefields. At the end of May, Hunter-Weston felt he had enough force to make a third attempt on Krithia.

The artillery situation was perilous and made all the worse due to recent setbacks at sea. The battleship HMS Triumph was sunk off Anzac on May 25th, and HMS Majestic soon followed off Helles on May 27th, both torpedoed by the U boat U-21. Not only did their loss significantly reduce the firepower available, the Navy was not about to have battleships sitting at anchor while U boats were on the prowl. In future all bombardments would happen while the supporting ship was underway, further reducing accuracy.

Hunter-Weston was beginning to demonstrate some small competence by the time of Attempt #3. The battle opened with a heavy bombardment, decimating the Turks. There was a pause in the bombardment, which caused the Turks to think the attack was imminent, so they flooded back into the trenches, only to be hit by an even heavier barrage, cutting them to pieces. The Turks suffered 6000 casualties in the first day alone.

Then came the assault. The Indians were stopped bloodily, suffering 80% casualties, but elsewhere progress was made, with gains of up to a thousand yards across the front. By Gallipoli standards, this was a great success. However, the strategic objective of Achi Baba was still thousands of yards beyond the front, so many more 'successes' like this would be needed to win the campaign.

Strategically, therefore, the attack was still a failure despite limited success. Hunter-Weston would have one more fling at Helles before finally being dismissed.

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