Topic: BatzG - Aug 1915
The August Offensive
Gallipoli, August 1915
Notes on the Attack of Lone Pine
NOTES ON THE ATTACK OF LONE PINE.
A. LONE PINE
1. - This paper deals mainly with problems concerning the attack of LONE PINE. The topographical relation of LONE PINE and JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY is such, however, that, strictly speaking, both should in the event of an attack, be dealt with simultaneously.
Reasons forbidding this, however, are:(1) insufficiency of "numbers;
(2) the fact that the operations in this area are being undertaken to hold the enemy in this locality.
2. - We can only conjecture the enemy's strength in the LONE PINE position. Excluding communication trenches, and as far as tie trace of his trenches can be determined, he has space for about 1,000 rifles. The length of front from P.2. to S.3., is about 300 yards, but with double tiers of fire, at least 600 rifles could be brought into action. Cover in rear and adjacent affords cover for unlimited supports and reserves. Our total available strength is:1st Infantry Brigade.... 2,9302nd Infantry Brigade.... 2,6793rd Infantry Brigade.... 3,5872nd L. H. Brigade.... 1,75010,946.
This may be increased by reinforcements. With this number we have to hold a front of soma 2,400 yards, and may have to undertake other operations. To hold the front of 2400 yards in the manner indicated hereafter, at least some 7,000 men will be required, thus leaving some 4,000 men free for the operation against LONE PINE. Out of this, a reserve will have to be provided. The 1st Inf. Brigade will therefore have to undertake the operation against LONE PINE, with a strength of some 3,000 men, and a battalion of the 3rd Brigade, will be held in reserve. This of course bearing in mind probable casualties, is a minimum requirement.
3. The nature of the ground separating our and the enemy's trenches, is not altogether favourable. To the north, between our tunnel B.24., and enemy trench P.2., the distance to be traversed is about 70 yards, and the ground is mostly rising slightly. The drawback to movement between our tunnels F.24, and B.8. to the enemy's trenches, is that, while defiladed from fire from the southern faces of LONE PINE, it is enfiladed from JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY to a serious extent. A movement straight against the enemy from the vicinity of our tunnel B.5., passes along the crest, and is exposed on both flanks; it is however the shortest route (about 50 yards). Movement from between B.5. and B.3. is defiladed from JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY, but slightly exposed from PINE RIDGE and SNIPER'S RIDGE From between B.4. and B. 5. movement will be over a distance of 12r yards, and passes through a dip with a steep climb towards the enemy. The frontages from which the attack must be delivered, however, extends from P.2. to about the letters S.1. a total of some 200 yards.
4. The available area far our deployment, therefore extends from B.24 to a point about 10 yards north of B.3. Within this line we have our forward recesses capable of assembling some 230 men. The present firing line can accommodate two lines of 204 and 290 men respectively. These three lines would be able to advance almost simultaneously, and they would give a total of some 700 men. It is improbable that the forward recesses could be filled a second time owing to the difficult of moving through tunnels, and the need for getting to work at once on these tunnels to convert them into communications. Subsequent lines will, therefore, have to move from the present firing line, and will have to be told off in lines, and formed up ready in communication trenches, which should be clearly marked. This is unfortunate as it will mean congestion in a position which is sure to be vigorously shelled. The provision of overhead cover on communication trenches will diminish casualties.
5. The objectives of our attack should be, not the first or second line of the enemy trenches, but the fourth trench back, and the heart of the work. Each battalion should be given a definite line of trenches to aim at, and be told that when once occupied, the tendency should be to open out to the flanks. Enemy lines P2, 010, 011 or P3, and P4, should be converted into works facing North, to give flanks protection, and they should be joined up with the craters about B22 and tunnel B24 to flank OWEN'S GULLY and the ground to the north. The more craters we can make on the line B24, B26, the better. On the south we should endeavour to convert R3, R7 into flank protection.
6. Bomb parties, obstacle parties, and working parties, will need to be told off; and obstacle and working parties should follow, they should include Engineer parties. Bomb parties will have to be provided with means of carrying bombs, and be given a supply of lighting sticks. Parties will also have to be held ready to begin work promptly on our tunnels, and running them into the enemy's forward trenches. B5 will be the main communication trench. The exits to GUN ROAD from B4, B9, B5 should be improved and properly marked.
7. The provision of means of communication with captured works will for some time present some difficulty. The periscope signal apparatus will have to be used for some time, but as early as possible, telephone wires should be laid in tunnels.
B. HOLDING REMAINDER OF LINE
The most effective and economical means of holding the remainder of the line, will be the selection of points d'appui, and the assembly of strength at them, the intervening spaces being held lightly where men are available. The points d'appui, beginning from the south, are suggested thus:-CHATHAM POSTRYRIE POSTTASMANIA POSTSILT SPURTURKEY KNOLL (which should be linked up to B3 and post to be established at B3.)THE PIMPLE (near B3.)THE B24 POSTTHE GULLY POSTMOORE'S POSTTHE CRATER POSTTHE TAMBOURSCOTT'S POSTSTEEL'S POSTCOURTNEY'S POST
This should so reduce numbers required to hold the present line, that the 3rd Inf. Brigade will be able to hold a battalion in reserve, and be prepared for operations against PINE RIDGE if they became necessary. The 2nd Infantry Brigade similarly should have available some 500 men for any attack on GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH which may be required, and, in addition, sufficient men to resist counter attack from JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY or GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH.
C. FURTHER OPERATIONS
It is impossible t o predict what further operations may be required of the division. We are bound however to contemplate:(1) the seizure of the GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH;
(2) the seizure of PINE RIDGE
(3) an advance to the eastern slopes of LONE PINE plateau
(4) the occupation of the JOLLY.
The first only need be of our own volition - the remainder may be forced upon us. It is necessary, therefore, to determine the most advantageous time for operations against GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH. In the absence of knowledge of the wider plans upon which the action of the division is dependant, the fixing of time is difficult. The object of the attack on LONE PINE is to draw troops down to that locality. In the event of pressure by counter attack, we could therefore use an attack on GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH, to relieve us at any time necessary during the night. This, however, has the disadvantage of indicating our tendency to extend our attack to the left. By midnight, however, this tendency may in any case become evident and there is every advantage in doing the operation at night: the work is subjected to cross fire from the north and from JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY in the south. All things considered, it would appear that midnight was a suitable time.
EXTENT OF JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY POSITION.
1. Frontage.Frontage of enemy's trench is 350 yards approximately.
2. Depth.To rear of first rise approximately 200 yards. Thence to main valley 300 yards.
Approximate total ... 500 yards.
General.(1) It is impossible to get a complete view of this feature.
(2) The attached sketch is compiled from the captured Turkish map, and from the results of close personal reconnaissance.
(3) The two "Swells" of which the feature is composed, amount practically to a small plateau descending sharply to the east
to a watercourse. The slope on this side appears to be convex.
(4) The works constructed on the feature appear to extend in depth over both swells.
(5) The feature is higher than the ground held by the enemy immediately to the north (GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH) and slightly higher than LONESOME PINE.
4. Tactical.(1) GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH could give very little assistance
in defending the JOLLY.
(2) LONESOME PINE could give a good deal of help.
(3) The eastern swell appears to form a point d'apput for the forward position, and for LONESOME PINE, and trenches now connected up.
(4) Possession of the JOLLY would make LONESOME PINE untenable by the enemy and would probably cause the evacuation of GERMAN OFFICER'S TRENCH.
5. Garrison.700 yards of trenches require to be held. Under present conditions, a garrison of two battalions would be required.
6. Plans attached.(1) JOHNSON'S JOLLY, app 12" to 1 mile.
(2) Locality sketch app 3° to 1 mile
EXTANT OF LONESOME PINE POSITION.
1. General Description.1915-This position runs diagonally to our present front for 600 yards, it then continues along another Spur running a little west of south; or nearly 400 yards. It has a convex slope towards the east.
2. Depth.From front to rear the depth may be taken as about 600 yards. Owing to the formation of the ground, the defended depth is about 300 yards to 400 yards.
3. Support.It is supported from JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY which appears to command it.
4. Field of fire.It has a good field of fire generally, but this is somewhat broken up by nullahs, particularly on the southern side.
5. Tactical.The northern and southern parts are incapable of mutual a, support owing to the nature of the ground.
The northern part and JOHNSTONE'S JOLLY are so closely connected for defence, that it would seem that an attempt should be made to capture both at the same time. (3) Owing to the sharpness and convexity of the eastern slopes, would be necessary to go forward a considerable distance if it were decided to hold the place.
6. Garrison.3. (above) leads to a greatly extended line of from 1000 to 1200 yards. The garrison required would be iron 3 to 4 battalions,
7. Personal.I have not seen over this ground for some days, and would like to revise this note after a thorough reconnaissance made definitely for the purpose.
Citation: The August Offensive, Gallipoli, August 1915, Notes on the Attack of Lone Pine