Topic: BatzG - Anzac
The Battle of Anzac Cove
Gallipoli, 25 April 1915
New Zealand and Australian Division War Diary
The following is a transcription of the War Diary of the New Zealand and Australian Division, of their role in the landings at Anzac on 25 April 1915.
25 April 1915
7 am - HMT Lutzow arrived off shore.
9.30 am - Divisional Headquarters and 1st tow landed. Considerable confusion owing to Navy having landed covering force considerably north of site arranged, the result being arrangements as regards berths MLO's etc were disarranged.
10.30 am - General Walker met the General Staff, who gave us verbal instructions to effect that one Brigade would extend left of 3rd Brigade Australian Division, and one Brigade be held in reserve.
General Officer Commanding Division not having come ashore. Colonel Chaytor, AAG, temporarily assumed command. In response to request from General Service Officer II for reinforcements to be sent to 3rd Australian Brigade left, the Auckland Battalion was sent against ridge 224 C6 and the Canterbury Battalion were to follow on arrival.
12 noon - Auckland Battalion all ashore, Canterbury Battalion, two companies, arriving, also Divisional Signal Company and Divisional Headquarters established on beach at 224 G8, New Zealand Infantry Brigade Headquarters at 224 B3. At this time, enemy shell fire on south west slopes of ridge 224 C - 237 W was accurate. Our warships engaged hostile guns.
12.30 pm - Two Companies Canterbury Battalion ashore.
The Auckland Battalion, which had been sent to reinforce the Australian 3rd Brigade left on slopes 224 C2. One company reached crest, remainder following.
General Walker, DSO, assumed command of New Zealand Infantry Brigade vice Colonel FE Johnston, sick.
Auckland Battalion were recalled from 224 C and sent up on the ridge 224 C6 above Australian Divisional Wireless Station.
Two Companies Canterbury Battalion prolong Auckland Battalion left.
Captain Coningham, General Staff, detailed as Brigade major to General Walker pending Major Temperley's arrival.
12.30 - 4 pm - Complete hiatus in disembarkation . This was due to the early disembarkation having been more rapid than was expected; apparently ships remaining at Lemnos and other ships further in rear conveying other units of No. 1 Echelon, and other echelons were hurried on. Hence these adhered to original timings.
4 pm - Otago Battalion arrive and are directed to Walker's Ridge 224 C3 - 237 X7.
5 pm - Remaining two companies Canterbury Battalion arrive and reinforce Auckland Battalion. Colonel Stewart, Canterbury Battalion, killed, Colonel Plugge, Auckland Battalion, wounded slightly.
5.30 pm - Otago Battalion called back from left flank and reach ridge above Wireless Battalion 224 B7, B6 (Plugge's Plateau).
6 pm - Brigade Major and SC for New Zealand Infantry Brigade arrive.
8.30 pm - One Company, Wellington Battalion under Colonel Malone arrives.
Meanwhile fighting had been continuous. A good deal of the ground which had been gained by Colonel MacLagan's 3rd Australian Brigade had been lost and our troops considerably outnumbered, had difficulty holding on. We were much handicapped by having no artillery (CRC Mountain Batteries) to support us. Moreover the enemy held the higher ground and commanded our positions.
10.00 pm - Three Companies 16th Battalion and two Platoons 15th Battalion under Colonel having arrived reinforce 3rd Australian Brigade.
11 pm - General Officer Commanding ANZAC, arrived from HMS Queen and held a conference at which General Officers Commanding 1st Australian Division, New Zealand and Australian Division and General Walker were present. It was decided to reinforce the 3rd Australian Brigade (covering force under Colonel MacLagan) with all available troops and connect up its left with the New Zealand Infantry Brigade right.
So far only one field gun (1st Australian Division) had been landed; we had obtained no gun support from Navy. Whilst enemy had made free use of artillery our casualties up to midnight were said to have been 1,500. The hospital ship left for Alexandria with 500 cases. Arrangement to clear casualties on left flank appeared defective, probably due to enemy's snipers. All available stretchers were sent and ½ a bearer subdivision as well.
Midnight - 15th Battalion (4th Australian Brigade) having arrived are sent to reinforce 3rd Australian Brigade right. Sniping continued most of the night, on the whole our progress was not so good as anticipated, the causes perhaps being:1. Owing disembarkation having taken place north of site arranged, confusion resulted.
2. The early stages of the operation and success of the covering force having been quicker and more complete than anticipated - the rest of the disembarkation should have been accelerated.
3. General Officer Commanding 1st Australian Division considering country unsuitable forbade landing of Australian Field Guns.
4. Naval arrangements for landing troops towards close of day and during night appeared defective. Launches, lighters scarce and work slow.
26 April 1915
1 am - During night and early morning 13th Battalion and remainder 15th and 16th Battalions and two more filed guns (1st Australian Division) landed and were sent up to reinforce the firing line. Lieutenant Davis, New Zealand Field Artillery went forward as observing officer to Indian Mountain Artillery.
5 am - Remainder of Wellington Battalion arrived.
6 am - 13th Battalion (4th Australian Brigade) all ashore.
1½ Companies Wellington Battalion - which had arrived during the night - are sent to reinforce right centre of firing line. At this time 13th Battalion and 2½ Companies Wellington Battalion in reserve. Two guns of the New Zealand Howitzer Battery are landed and come into action. 224 G6.
Enemy's guns opened fire early and shops replied strongly.
6.30 am - Mountain Guns, New Zealand Howitzers and HMS Queen Elizabeth open fire on enemy's field guns and silence them. Our infantry said to be advancing. Up to 9am the battle was in continual progress - firing being very heavy.
9 am - Orders were sent to Brigadiers in firing line to reorganise their units which had got badly mixed up as a result of yesterday's fight. General Walker, Colonel MacLagan and MacLaurin were instructed to divide up the line and organise sections.
9.15 am - Big shell burst in hill just above Division Headquarters said to be from Goeben in Dardanelles. Situation is now as follows:- Auckland, Canterbury and Otago in Firing line. Two companies Wellington Battalion supporting MacLagan. 13th Battalion and part 16th Battalion in reserve. 14th Battalion and Headquarters 4th Australian Infantry Brigade not yet ashore.
10 am - Enemy's attack from direction of 224 D5 renewed and repelled. Section of Howitzers sent to 237 W5 to drive off snipers in direction of 237 Q3, who are interfering with collection of casualties on shore.
11.15 am - 4th Battalion and Headquarters 4th Australian Infantry Brigade land under heavy shrapnel fire. All the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade have now landed.
The reserve now consists of the 14th Battalion and two Companies Wellington Battalion, the rest of both Brigades being in firing line. At midday remaining Battalions Howitzer Battery disembarked and came into action.
12.30 pm - General Walker intimated that in order to reorganise units, he would relieve 3½ Companies Auckland Battalion by 2 Companies Otago Battalion on MacLagan's Ridge (224 I2, M9 and M5.
At this stage it was noticed Turks used following ruses:1. Called out that MacLagan's 3rd Brigade was to retire and take a spell on beach.
2. British Division advancing and close, troops were not to fire.
3. Said they were French and danced about shouting.
With untrained and tired troops this might have some result. It effected little.
2pm - Beach shelled with shrapnel from direction of 224 F and 237 Z. Our Naval gun fire said to have been very effective in reply. Losses of New Zealand Infantry Brigade on April 25th said to have been heavy, as we had no guns (except naval) to help operations there.
Line held by ANZAC roughly as follows: 237 W5 - W9, X7 to X6, 224 C2 (Walker's Ridge), 224 C3 - C9, thence south west from 224 I3 - I7 to M3. Also Plateau 224 B7 to B5 and C4 and 5 (Plugge's Plateau).
3.15 pm - Colonel Pope, 16th Battalion, 4th Australian Infantry Brigade reported that one company 13th Battalion sent to clear Turks from his rear in 224 J1 were unable to do this and were retiring. Ships shelling ridge 224 D5 to F2.
3.30 pm - Officer Commanding 16th Battalion asks 13th Battalion for reinforcements. None available.
3.45 pm - Naval bombardment of Maltepe and Kojadere continued intermittently till 7 pm.
On this day efforts were made to restore order amongst units, but little was effected. During the night firing continued but nothing of importance occurred.
One company, New Zealand and Australian Division Train arrived.
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Citation: The Battle of Anzac Cove, Gallipoli, 25 April 1915, New Zealand and Australian Division War Diary