Topic: BatzG - Aug 1915
The August Offensive
Gallipoli, August 1915
Leane's Trench, Report of General Sinclair MacLagan, 6 August 1915
Signal from General Birdwood
To Aust. Div., from Anzac.
Well done LEANE'S TRENCH. BIRDWOOD addressed 3rd Brigade repeat Aust Divn.
Report by Brigadier-General E.G. Sinclair-MacLagan
To Head Quarters A. & N.Z. Army Corps from 1st Aust Div.
I beg to forward for the information of the Lieutenant General Commanding, the report by Brigadier-General E.G. SINCLAIR-MACLAGAN, D.S.O., upon the measures taken on the 6th August to defeat the attempt of the enemy to retake the works known as LEANE'S TRENCH, and originally as TURKISH DESPAIR NORTH.
2. The enemy efforts were frustrated, and although we suffered a considerable number of casualties the loss inflicted on the enemy was greater.
The steps taken by the Brigadier-General Commanding 3rd Inf. Brigade were prompt and entirely commendable.
3. May the resort be returned, please?
REPORT ON ACTION OF 6TH AUGUST 1915. LEANE'S POST.
To 1st Aust. Div., from 3rd Inf. Brigade.
I have to report that at about 0430 this morning, the enemy commenced an attack on LEANE'S POST, by bombarding it with high explosive and shrapnel shells which partially demolished the parapets and caused severe casualties. At about 0400 a very heavy rifle and machine gun fire was opened from TURKISH DESPAIR WORKS (South) - PINE RIDGE - RIDGE South of SNIPERS RIDGE - SNIPERS RIDGE - LONE PINE. In addition some 100 of enemy who had crept up in the dead ground below the post with great accuracy, killing and wounding many of the garrison. A party of some 25 of enemy obtained a footing in the right, or southern end of LEANE'S POST, and tried to drive out the garrison. They also seized the right communication tunnel to TASMANIA POST, trough a few men at once blocked this with bags, and defended it until retaken. On receiving the information from O.C.11th Battalion that the every could not be driven out of their hold on LEANE'S POST, I proceeded to TASMANIA POST, and, having sent instructions to that effect prior to leaving my head quarters, found a counter-attack in progress of being organized. I personally supervised and wave orders as to how the counter stroke was to be carried out. About 25 men under 2nd Lieut. Prockter (killed) dashed over the parapets towards the portion of try LEANE'S POST in possession of the enemy, and gallantly led, about half reached the parades under a very heavy shell, machine gun and rifle fire. Some missed the trench and were mown down by enemy machine gun fire and killed. Seeing that this party failed to dislodge the enemy, I ordered a second party, held ready to follow up, to retake the trench. This party also gallantly dashed over the parapets of TASMANIA POST, and order a terrific fire, jumped into the trench, and killed all enemy found therein, bottling up some six Turks in the right communication trench.
These eventually surrendered. 2nd Lieut. Frankyn was dangerously wounded leading this attack. Meanwhile at 0455, 10th Battalion were instructed to assist by fire down VALLEY OF DESPAIR this was of great assistance, and it is thought, did some damage to enemy reinforcements. 0550 one Company 12th Battalion (in reserve) was sent to trenches in rear of TASMANIA POST. 0630, 10th Battalion resorted very heavy rifle fire on their front. 0650 trench retaken, reported to Div. at 0710, at about which time I returned to my headquarters, having given instructions as regards reorganisation, clearing trench, etc. etc. At 0830, I received a report that enemy was heard digging on the left of LEANE'S POST, in the dead ground below, and close to the parapet. I arranged for an Engineer Officer to investigate, and again visited the post, but could see, or find, no signs of enemy digging, on the other hand many of enemy were close to and under the work, and shot any periscope or anything showing above the parapet. Having personally put things straight, I returned to Hqrs, and soon after received a report that O.C. 11th Battalion had sent Lieut. Hall and about 25 men to counter-attack on ground North of LEANE'S POST. At 1630, only 3 of this party had returned, and I am afraid Lieut. Hall and the majority were killed. At 0915 enemy again attempted a further attack, but was repulsed. At 1000, howitzer fire opened from our howitzer on lower (S.E.), slopes of HOLLY RIDGE, and had a great moral effect on the enemy. Bombing by enemy was kept up until about 1030, and shell fire from several enemy guns kept playing on TASMANIA POST, and LEAN'S POST, and communication trenches to them, all morning. I regret to retort that the casualties were very heavy. I have not yet received definite numbers, as men are still lying out wounded (1630) but there are approximately:9th Battalion Officers, killed, nil, Wounded nil, O.R. 5 wounded.
11th Battalion, Officers killed, 3. Wounded 2. O.R. killed, 50. Wounded 100.
Engineers, 1 wounded. Major Clogstoun.
It is estimated that enemy lost over 50 killed (over 40 actually in view), and six prisoners, 3 of whom were killed by enemy shrapnel whilst being brought to Head Quarters. I cannot speak to highly of the tenacious way the Junior officers and N.C.O's and men, held on to their positions under very trying circumstances and tremendous fire, and words are unable to picture the unselfish gallantry with which the counter-attacks to retake the trench were made, and carried to a successful conclusion. The Post has been rebuilt, cleared as far as possible, and put in a state of defence; though owing to the fierce rifle and machine gun fire from close range, opened on any movement, it has been impossible to bring in dead and wounded in all cases. I attach report of O.C. 11th Battalion. I will forward names of Officers and others, in a further report, as soon as I am able to obtain them, for gallantry and devotion to duty.