Topic: BatzG - Aug 1915
The August Offensive
Gallipoli, August 1915
Notes on Proposed Operations of 1st Australian Division, 6 August 1915
Some Notes on Proposed Operations of 1st Australian Division
Action and Record of Events Subsequent to that Action.
Considerations affecting the forward move of the 1st Australian Division.
In drawing up this appreciation, it is understood that, in addition to the New Zealand Division aiming at BABY 700 and beyond, another force will operate still further north, against, or with the object of turning, 971, which dominates the whole of the country to its south. Exclusive of Artillery whose movements will be particularly circumscribed and abnormal, and are therefore dealt with separately, the fighting Units in this Division are:
1st, 2nd and third Infantry Brigades;
2nd Light Horse Brigade;
4th Light Horse Regiment.
2. According to verbal instructions from the Army Corps Commander, one Brigade will join N.Z. & A. Division in the push for BABY 700. Another Brigade is to extend to, and include KABA TEPE, thus leaving one Infantry Brigade, the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, and 4th Light Horse Regiment to:
(a) operate against LONESOME PINE, JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY, and GERMAN OFFICERS TRENCH; and
(b) hold the keys of our present trenches, cover guns etc.
3. The number of rifles available would be approximately
Infantry Brigade, say .. 2,700
2nd Light Horse Brigade .. 1,470
4th Light Horse Regiment .. 490
The length of trench at present held is:
1st Infantry Brigade .. .. 950 yards
3rd Infantry Brigade .. .. 975 yards
Total. 1,925 yards
Say 2,000 yards.
The length of the hostile position which includes LONESOME PINE, JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY and GERMAN OFFICERS TRENCH, is approximately 1,500 yards.
4. When operating forward to our trench, it is of course not intended that our present trenches should be held in the same strength as now or even continuously. But there are certain portions which must be occupied as points d'appui. Some of which will, in the event of success, become important points on our lines of communications.
5. Numerating them from the left these are:-
(1) the continuation southwards of the head of MONASH VALLEY, from the right of COURTNEY'S POST up to, and inclusive of CLAYTON'S TRENCH, Length of 325 yards.
(2) the head of SHRAPNEL VALLEY, between THOMSON'S POST and some 100 yards southwards along 4th Battalion-trenches (both inclusive) a length of 150 yards.
(3) from: the left of the 3rd Battalion gully sap up to and inclusive of the "PIMPLE", a length of 250 yards.
(4) from head of the "PIMPLE" to cornfield sap inclusive, a length of 225 yards. Total 950 yds.
If these portions of our existing trenches are held adequately when the forward move takes place, we secure our rear against contingencies. Allowing a man per yard as the minimum garrison, it will be seen that we require, say 1,000 rifles in the aggregate to hold these positions. This, deducted from what will be available viz:- 4,660 rifles, leaves for active Operations 3,660 rifles. These might be made up of one complete Infantry Brigade and two Light Horse Regiments. This leaves one Regiment from the 2nd Light Horse Brigade, and the 4th Light Horse Regiment, available to occupy the keys of the trenches mentioned above, plus certain machine gun sections, which would have to be temporarily withdrawn from the attacking force until the latter had taken the trenches. But it is estimated that it will take a Brigade of at least 2,500 rifles, supported by artillery, to take and hold LONESOME PINE, which is the most important objective. It is the key to the right of our present position. It commands all the southern spurs emanating from it, and once securely in our possession could materially help to turn JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY. It must be attacked from the "PIMPLE" and south to ensure success. It is commanded by BABY 700, and beyond again by 971. It has to be decided whether actually the attack should be coincident with the forward movement against BABY 700, or when the attack on the latter is progressing. In the latter case, it would, of course, be necessary to heavy demonstration against LONESOME PINE from the very commencement of the operations against BABY 700, until the moment arrived to push forward. To reduce the distance between our trenches and the forward hostile trenches on LONESOME PINE, underground saps are being pushed forward from the "PIMPLE" and its neighbourhood. It is intended eventually to join these up into a new fire trench in close proximity to the forward hostile trench. This it is proposed to do at the last minute. The open space over which the actual assault will have to be carried out from the neighbourhood of the "PIMPLE", will, it is hoped, not exceed some thirty to forty yards. That portion of the assault from the south of the "PIMPLE", will have further to travel, but will be less exposed to 971 and JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY. Adequate artillery support will, have to be rendered (this is dealt with under Artillery). It will most likely be a two or three day’s operation. The other two important positions to operate against, and which must be eventually occupied, are;
(1) JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY;
(2) GERMAN OFFICERS TRENCH
Their respective frontages are:
JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY .. yards.
GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH .. yards.
To carry and hold JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY, inclusive of the Gully between it and LONESOME PINE, will, it is estimated, require a Brigade of equal strength to that operating against LONESOME PINE, i.e.:- 2,500 rifles. Similarly it will probably be an operation extending over several days. The task should be overtaken concurrently with the attack against LONESOME PINE, the capture of which should facilitate the operation against JOHNSTON'S JOLLY, which, however, like LONESOME PINE, is dominated by 971.
GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH.
Until BABY 700 has been made good, it is to be considered whether an actual attack should be made against GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH, through a vigorous demonstration against it would be necessary. Our occupation of BABY 700, would render the CHESS BOARD more or less untenable by the Turks. Their position in GERMAN OFFICER TRENCH would at the same time be weakened, and it might then be taken, though until JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY is in our hands, the latter can always enfilade us in the GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH. In any case, it is estimated 1,000 rifles mould be required for the operation. Our figures in paragraph 5, show that for all the three operations referred to, we shall have available 3,660 rifles; our estimates show requirements of 6,000.
Citation: The August Offensive, Gallipoli, August 1915, Notes on Proposed Operations of 1st Australian Division, 6 August 1915