"At a mile distant their thousand hooves were stuttering thunder, coming at a rate that frightened a man - they were an awe inspiring sight, galloping through the red haze - knee to knee and horse to horse - the dying sun glinting on bayonet points..." Trooper Ion Idriess
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The Battle for Hill 60, Gallipoli, 22 - 23, and 27 August 1915, Outline Topic: BatzG - Hill 60
The Battle for Hill 60
Gallipoli, 22 - 23, and 27 August 1915
Hill 60 showing bones of members of the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade and New Zealanders, 1919.
[From the CEW Bean Collection.]
Hill 60, a low rise on the north-western approaches to Hill 971 (q.v.), which on 21 and 27 August 1915 became the focus of several badly handled attacks which resulted in costly and confused fighting that marked the end of the last major offensive at Gallipoli. The operation was undertaken in an attempt to widen and strengthen the corridor of foreshore which connected newly landed British forces at Suvla Bay with the established beach-head at Anzac (q.v). While elements of the Suvla force concentrated on seizing a detached foothill of the range behind that beach-head known as the `W Hills', troops from the Anzac position were to capture Hill 60, a low rise on the north-western end of the foothills leading to Hill 971 - thereby effectively enabling the two forces to link up.
The first attempt made on 21 August enjoyed only mixed success. The W Hills were not taken, but to the south a mixed force of British, Indian, New Zealand and Australian troops (the latter men of the Australian 4th Brigade under Brigadier-General John Monash) managed to gain part of Hill 60 but not the cap of the rise which was well defended by trenches hastily dug by the Turks. In an attempt to press home the attack, a renewed effort against Hill 60 was made on 22 August using a battalion (18th) of the fresh Australian 5th Brigade, part of the 2nd Australian Division then in the process of transferring from Egypt. These were raw troops who were not up to dealing with such a hastily conceived and poorly arranged attack. Although the unit went bravely into action at dawn, it was gradually pushed back after half its strength became casualties-half of these being killed.
Hand drawn map of the 9th Light Horse Regiment attack at Hill 60, 27 August 1915.
A further attack was begun on the afternoon of 27 August, the troops advancing after a bombardment. Then followed three days of fighting in which the apparent objective was taken, partly lost, and retaken again. The attacking force included detachments from various British, New Zealand and Australian regiments - in the latter case the 18th Infantry Battalion, the 9th and 10th Light Horse, and a composite group of 250 men from Monash's 4th Brigade - practically all who were well enough to take part. When this attempt was also spent it was found that the crest of the rise was still beyond the ground taken, but since the aim of effecting a junction with the Suvla force seemed to have been sufficiently attained matters were allowed to rest at this time.
Hill 60 Cemetery, Gallipoli.
[Picture by Brian Budge.]
Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 110-111.
Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:
C.E.W. Bean, (1924), The Story of Anzac, Vol. 2 , Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
The Battle for Hill 60, Gallipoli, 22 - 23, and 27 August 1915, Photographic representation of Hill 60 Topic: BatzG - Hill 60
The Battle for Hill 60
Gallipoli, 22 - 23, and 27 August 1915
Photographic representation of Hill 60
Trench Map highlighting the position of Hill 60
Looking up to the summit of Hill 60
This picture illustrates the task facing the men as they prepared themselves for the battle on 27 August 1917. The task from this view appears deceptively simple and as the soldiers learned at Gallipoli, nothing was ever simple.
The area in which the fighting took place at Hill 60
This is a much closer picture of Hill 60 illustrating the features the men were to fight and die over that evening.
Location of Allied trenches at Hill 60
The sumit of Hill 60 looking down to where the Allied lines were located. The holding of the hill gave the Turks an advantage in being able to look over the Allied trenches and direct artillery or machine gun fire at targets of opportunity. This harassment proved to be so severe that all movements of supplies became very difficult during the day adding a further burden to the desperate lives of the men in the trenches.
Special thanks are directed to William "Tuna" Crookshanks for his pictures and the time he has spent annotating them.
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