Topic: BatzG - Baby 700
Turkey, 2 May 1915
[Baby 700 is the knoll on the left above the long thin white line near the horizon which marks the extent of the Allied advance at Gallipoli. In the centre of the picture are the terraces of Quinn's Post. From: Fred Waite, The New Zealanders at Gallipoli, Whitcombe and Tombs Limited, 1919, Christchurch, p. 102.]
Baby 700, a height at the extreme north-eastern angle of the Allied beach-head gained at Anzac (q.v.) in April 1915, became the scene of a major attack by Australian and New Zealand troops on 2 Mm 1915. Because this feature-in many respects the key to the Anzac position-was in Turkish hands and enabled the enemy to dominate movement along the valley between the first and second line of ridges inland from the beach, the commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Lieut.-General Sir William Birdwood) decided that it must be captured. He therefore ordered an attack by the New Zealand & Australian Division, with the Australian 4th Brigade (Colonel John Monash) climbing the southern slopes while the New Zealand Infantry Brigade scaled those on the western side, the movement of both brigades being preceded by a combined naval and artillery bombardment.
While the Australians went forward at the appointed time of 7.15 p.m. with great gusto, the New Zealanders were delayed during their approach march and were not ready to attack until 90 minutes later. With a tremendous volume of enemy fire sweeping their unsupported left flank, the Australians became pinned down, and by the time the New Zealanders joined in they, too, could make no progress. Further efforts to carry out the plan were made during the night, but these proved futile. At dawn some British Marines were also pushed into the fight on the western slopes in a final useless attempt. No accurate tally of casualties was made (or was possible, particularly among the New Zealanders), but it is estimated that about 1,000 men were lost in this action. The effort was wholly in vain, as the crucial apex of Baby 700 stayed in enemy hands for the rest of the campaign.
[From: The Turkish General Staff, A Brief History of the Canakkale Campaign in the First World War, Ankara, The Turkish General Staff Printing House, 2004, Plate 20.]
Extracted from the book produced by Chris Coulthard-Clark, Where Australians Fought - The Encyclopaedia of Australia's Battles, Allen and Unwin, Sydney, 1998, pp. 104-105.
Additional References cited by Chris Coulthard-Clark:
C.E.W. Bean, (1921), The Story of Anzac, Vol. 1, Sydney: Angus & Robertson.
Christopher Pugsley, (1984), Gallipoli: The New Zealand Story,
Auckland: Hodder & Stoughton
Battles where Australians fought, 1899-1920
Citation: Baby 700, Turkey, May 2, 1915