SEDDULBAHIR LANDINGS


Allied forces landed on 5 points at Seddulbahir. British army gave Y,X,W,V and S codes for these locations. (Pınariçi Koyu, İkiz Koyu, Tekke Koyu, Ertuğrul Koyu, Morto Koyu).Purpose of this landing on those beaches was to have the land superiority with the first target was Alcitepe and the main target was the Platou of Kilitbayir. Possibilty of giving support for these forces was consideration of Anzacs reaching their targets.For this campaign, 29.division with Plymouth small navy infantry battalion and French forces who were going to withdraw from Kumkale were going to be used.

According to Hamiltons intelligence, there was only one division over that area. Landing was planned for that resistance.but intelligence information was not correct. Turkish forces located over the South of Alcitepe as morning of april 25 were only consisting of two battalion and one engineer company.there wasn’t any Turkish soldiers over at Y beach (pinar ici koyu).There were only 2 companies over at W and V beaches (Tekke ve Ertuğrul Koyu), one squadron over at S beach (morto koyu) and there were a team from twelve people over at X beach (ikiz koyu).

Allied forces gathered on Bozcaada right before at 800 am 24th day of april.There were defense ships, Implacable, Euryalus and Cornwallis, with three Cunarde Transatlantic steamships full of soldiers who came for battle. There were River Clyde coaler which camouflaged with beach sand colour, 6 mine swiper ships, 8 fishing vessels and some layters and towboats.

The target of Y beach (Pınar içi Koyu) landing was to help main campaign over at Seddulbahir with the small force landed on the beach where the unexpected point of cutting the transportation and communication with South part of peninsula. Even though there wasnt any resistance against for the Pınar içi cove landing, it was a failure for the units.

On the other hand over in X beach landing, one mile from Tekke cape, at the İkiz cove there wasn’t much resistance posing obstacles for infantry. There were only 9 soldiers left for surveillance mission from 26th Regions 7th squadron.

Having started the movement before 8.00 am, Captain Leslie exposed a harsh resistence about 800 yards inside the land and could not move any further. On the right side, Lieutenant Newen ham’s battalion seized the first target hill before 11:00 am. Their fellow navy soldiers in Implacable saw the battalion on top of the hill and applauded the victory.

W Beach Tekke Cove, considered a death trap set smartly by the Turkish forces, witnessed the fiercest scenes of the landing. That place is located in one mile south of İkiz Cove and Lancashire Division had taken on the landing there. The width of the 300-meter-long beach changes between 30 and 40 meters. The defense of the area was under the control of the 26th Regiment 12th Squadron. Either team was deployed at the end of the peninsula while the other was serving as a guardhouse in Aytepe.

Despite having moved forward very easily until that time, the soldiers later confronted an unexpected resistance in this area. They had targeted to wipe out the beach, capture Aytepe to finally join the other teams leaving Karacaoğlan (altitude: 114 meters).

Throughout the landing, Turkish forces could not be forced even for a moment to leave their position.

The landing started simultaneously in all the zones and this led an urgent need of reinforcements. The 12th squadron had been outnumbered by the enemy and had to leave their trenches at 7:00 am. From that point, the defense of Alçıtepe had become crucial. By 7:15 am, the British forces had already captured a zone to provide themselves a shelter against the imminent gun fire. The movement started across the X beach. As soon as the British forces landed on X beach to join their fellows, they were attacked from Karacaoğlan by the Turks and after the unexpectedly enormous gunfire, the General Hare was seriously wounded and had to step down as the commander of the British forces.

The landing attack towards Ertuğrul Cove was the bloodiest battle that the allied forces had been confronted while it was a real time saga written by a bunch of heroic Turkish soldiers under the command of Yahya Çavuş. Moreover, this 300 meter-long beach would witness a repeated history. During the landing, a coal vessel named River Cylde was used as a Trojan Horse fully loaded with soldiers and grounded by the cove, which made headlines in English press at the time. The soldiers called this vessel ‘’the Wooden Horse’’ and it almost became the symbol of the landing.

The powerful sea stream during the landing changed their plans. When River Cylide was slowly grounded below the Seddülbahir Castle at 6:20 am, the life boat fleet of Dublin Royal Division had just got to the shore. This unexpected situation prevented the landing from being dominant and effective. The 10th squadron under the command of Hasan Efendi, which was subject to the 26th regiment of the 3rd battalion, had deployed one of their teams in Ertugrul Bastion and another in a windmill in the north of Seddulbahir Village. While the life boats were unloading,   the soldiers were caught out by the ambushed Turkish soldiers and they had lots of causalities during the attack.

The situation of River CIyde which was the main element of landing did not differ from the lifeboats landing on and the campaign failed. At 09:00, the landing operation was stopped. The soldiers were able to reach beach ridge because of Turkish fire. The soldiers were stuck here and they could not move. Those who survived by sheltering behind this gracious beach ridge were unable to move. 1.000 people staying on the coaler were stuck until the weather was getting dark or sieging Turkish defending system with a successful forward operating from W Coast. Their fellow fighters who were powerless to help them had to watch that situation from desperate defense ships. Queen Elizabeth, Albion and Cornwallis ships could not show a considerable success although they had intensified fire against any smallest movement appeared on the beach and bombarded the defending system until night. 5 squad soldier and their leader Ezineli Yahya Çavuş, one of the supply soldiers of 10th squadron 1st team, showed this success against enemy soldiers. Yahya Çavuş and his fellows killed hundreds of enemy soldiers by persisting against numerous and terrifying bombardment until night.

The Siege of confederates at 14.00 on Aytepe from Tekke Koyu in the south and west bothered Yahya Çavuş and our soldiers. By 15:00, Aytepe had been captured and the line from Tekke Cape to Zığındere had been conquered. Yahya Çavuş who had been defending Ertuğrul Koyu for 12 hours left his place after resisting every kind of fire.

When a squadron of Turkish soldiers disrupted British plan in a distance of less than 2 miles from Seddülbahir, 3 squadron of British 2nd South Galya Border Battalion had managed to land on S Beach at 07:30 and placed fast. In fact, few preparations had been made for defense of this place. There were no wire fences. The garrison here was consisting of a team from 2nd Battalion 8th squadron and another team placed half mile inside. This landing was designed to secure right side of the main landings made on Ertuğrul and Tekke Coves. British forces did not have difficulties during the landing and captured Eskihisarlık Hill in a short time. The battle night was stopped by 2 squadrons of soldiers coming from 25th Regiment 2nd Battalion.