Topic: BatzG - Aug 1915
The August Offensive
Gallipoli, August 1915
Leane's Trench, Report of Colonel Johnston, 6 August 1915
To 3rd Inf. Brigade. From Lieut. Col. J.L. Johnston, 11th Infantry Battalion.
Reporting briefly that the enemy made an attack in force on LEANE'S TRENCH this morning. About 0430, they crept up on our right, and made an attack by bombs. The attack was so intense that a large number of the men in that section were either killed or wounded. The enemy then rushed the trench and succeeded in getting possession of it from the extreme right Sap 1a to Sap 2. The bomb attack was maintained right along our front. Capt. Aaron was in command of this section of the de fences. When the enemy obtained a foothold, our men at once blocked up la Sap with sandbags, and then defended the communication trench. The men in the trench kept up an incessant attack on the Turks, by rifle fire and bombs, but could not displace them.
Meanwhile supports had been hurried up from the rear, and a starring party was organized to rush the trench from TASMANIA POST - About 30 under 2nd Lieut. Prockter, were detailed for this duty, and under a withering fire from machine guns and rifles, they rushed that portion of the trench held by the enemy. They had suffered so severely in getting across the open, that the number who got to the trench, were not considered strong enough to turn the enemy out, and hold the position, so another party of 25 under 2nd Lieut. Franklyn, was detailed to follow on. This they did in a gallant manner, and completed the capture of the trench, shooting and bayoneting all the Turks left there.
A party of six Turks had retired into 1a Sap, where for some time they held out, but then were ultimately taken prisoners, and sent back to headquarters under escort unfortunately while passing through the communication trench, three of the six were killed by their own shrapnel fire. The other three were sent on to headquarters.
Meanwhile reinforcements were hurried up to the Turks from the trenches they hold in front of the 2nd L.H. Brigade, also from the left front of LEANE'S TRENCH, and here they were discovered to be so close to our trenches that it was impossible to dislodge them although a large number of bombs were fired at them. Here also they started to dig, probably with the view of under mining our trenches and blowing them up.
I then decided to launch a counter attack from the right of the CORNFIELD, and 2nd Lieut. Hall with 25 men were detailed to carry it out. The result of this was that the enemy retired from this flank.
The general attack continued for about six hours, during which a fierce bombardment by heavy guns took place, as well as incessant rifle and machine gun fire. The trenches and parapets were badly knocked about by shell fire, but with the assistance of the engineer Company, these have been repaired to a great extent and the work is still proceeding. I regret to say the casualties are very heavy, it is difficult to estimate the number killed, as several companies are very mixed up in the firing line - Probably about 50 killed, and about 100 wounded. About 50 dead Turks are to be seen round that portion of the trench they seized.