SUVLA LANDING AND ANAFARTALAR BATTLE
The purpose of this landing was letting some forces to the beach and taking over the control of some strategically important hill points with a sudden invasion. With the support of reinforcements to be sent on 7th August, Anzac invasion in Kocaçimetepesi was the desired outcome.
The time of the landing was set at 22:30. By that way, the attack in Seddülbahir was going to be followed by the attacks in Kanlısırt at 17:30, in Conkbayırı at 21:30 and when the Turkish force’s attention was directed to those areas, there was going to be an extra landing in the opposite direction, Sulva.
The number of the troops under the command of liueutenant colonel Wilmer was about 3000 and it was subject to North Units. In Kireçtepe, Gallipoli Gendermary Battallion was deployed and Bursa Gendemary Battalion was ready in Softatepe and Lalababa Hills. 31st regiment and 2nd battallion was placed in İsmailoğlutepe. The allied forces planned to land 10.300 soldiers at the first night. Even this number was three times higher than the oppositers and that is the sign of how important the battle was. Two spots had been chosen for landing in Sulva Cove. The first one was two close beaches (B and C) beside the Küçük Kemikli Cape and the second one was the beach (A) that connects Tuzla Lake to the open sea.
It was not easy for 32nd brigade to take control of Lalababa Hill. That area had been defended by a squadron all night long and the allied forces had lots of casualties. One of those casualties was liueutenant colonel Chapman. One of the battallions that could land despite a intense gun fire moved towards Büyük Kemikli Cape and confronted a strong resistance of Turkish forces there. Another battalion kept moving forward to Softatepe.
Under these circumstances, the help of the 33rd brigade became essential. Unluckily, however, English units captured Büyük Kemikli and Küçük Kemikli Cape in the morning. With all these disorder and difficulties, British units had to wait by the shore for a while.
After the landing of the 11th brigade with British majority, 10th brigade with Irish soldiers also started to land on the peninsula coast. The units landed on C beach moved to Softatepe while the 3rd batallion stood still in Lalababa. The movement of the units was going to be halted by the Turkish Bursa Gendermary Battallion The second landing wave of the 10th brigade was to the beach A. On the other hand, Turkish unit’s strong resistence discouraged the British and put a brake on their movements around the area. This also prevented them from invading the Turkish units in Conkbayırı and Kocaçimentepe from the north. However, it would be impossible to halt those units with the power of only two brigades. Liman Pasha realized that fact and ordered 7th and 12th brigades to take action. These brigades were expected to arrive at the battlesite within 36 hours. That morning, upon an order given given at 9:00 am, 7th brigade started movement towards Anafartalar. 12th brigade could join the movement at 12:00.
On 5th and 6th may, orders from Chief command to 5th Army, asked for general attack. Besides with the order they said that 12th division was sent for reinforcement, also incresing the supply infantries numbers to 20.000. In Addition, stand in Chief Commander Enver Pasha came to the battlefield and was done some inspections.
Enver Pasha got some advice from the 3th army corps commander Esat Pasha for this attack. He also claimed the conditions of their units and said that they would have two choices; firstly, wait enemy attack well prepared, secondly, excpect many casulaties and attack.
5th Army commander Liman Pasha also asked to Mustafa Kemal about his ideas. He mention that its time to total attack to enemy but at the end this decision was higher superiorties and he adressed Commander of Army Corps. Esat Pasha claimed his annoyance about the subject and remind that what he thought about the attack. On the ather hand 3rd army corps staff major let Kazım Bey and Enver Pasha know his opposite ideas about the attack wıth a letter.
Started at 3:00 am, the attack continued all night long and the first hours of it was remarkably bloody. Most of the Turkish soldiers had been martyred under the intense machine gun fire even before they could reach the trenches. The battle had not been over in the morning yet and that made the situation even harder. The attack came to nothing due to the solid defense line set by the Anzac forces. The Turkish force consisted of 42.000 soldiers could not defeat the Anzac army of 13.000. When the Turkish headquarter gave the retreat order, the number ofthe total casualties was 3.369 alongside the 5.967 wounded soldiers.
After this attack, there weren’t any further incidents that took place in Arıburnu, until the Battle of Anafartalar. After this battle, there were a few things that established some humane relations between the sides. Two days later after the battle, the Anzac forces raised a Red Cross flag and offered a cease fire to collect and burry the dead soldiers. After a while, two sides cooperate to burry the dead and this was the first time they had been together and helped eac h other. That first contact between the sides led to a pieceful environment and prejudgements were likely to be snuffed out. The Anzac hatred against the Turkish began to replace with understanding.
These battles ended up with certain victories. Wit these victories strategically important hills of Tekketepe, Kavaktepe and İsmailoğlutepe was taken over by the Turkish forces. After these events, British forces wouldn’t be able to move any more. The control of the peninsula was taken over by Turkish forces. The first battles over in Anafartalar, the number of 12th division’s casualties was 1.085, and 7th division casualties was 978 people.
Started on August 6 and continued on the following 6 days, those battles were so destructive for both sides. The average of Turkish casulities reached up to 20.000 and for The British, the number was 25.000. In this landing, Turkish side lost 6000 in Kanlısırt, 9200 in Conkbayırı, 3000 at Anafartalar and at 19th divison 1800 people. On the other hand, British gave the most casualties at Conkbayırı with 12.000 people, 8400 people at Anafartalar. They also lost 2000 people over at Kanlısırt and 2600 people at 19th division’s battlefield.