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Dardanelles

It was still very bad. During all January, except on three days, it had blown a gale from the south-west.
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19 февраля 1915 г. в 9 ч. 50 м. утра французские и английские корабли открыли огонь по укреплениям Кум-Кале и Сэд-эль-Бар. Так как они располагали огромным количеством орудий от 130-мм до 380-мм калибра и вели огонь с расстояний, превышавших досягаемость огня турецких батарей, то бомбардировка была для них просто „учебной стрельбой“, т.к. неприятельская артиллерия была совершенно не в состоянии отвечать на огонь. Однако, когда после полудня часть союзного флота приблизилась к турецким батареям, последние своим огнем показали, что они совсем не выведены из строя. В 5 ч. 30 м. вечера суда Антанты прекратили огонь вследствие наступившей темноты, чем закончили бой; по случаю наступления плохой погоды бой не возобновлялся и в последующие дни.
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The first attack on the Dardanelles began when a strong Anglo-French task force, including the British battleship HMS Queen Elizabeth, began a long-range bombardment of Ottoman artillery along the coast. The British had intended to utilise Ark Royal​s eight aircraft to spot for the bombardment, but harsh conditions rendered all but one of these, a Short Type 136, unserviceable.
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 Для первой фазы был назначен отряд из 4-х броненосцев и лин. крейсера Inflexible. Отряд этот около 10 ч. утра начал бомбардирование на большой дистанции (около 70 каб.) с якоря. Форты не отвечали. Тогда суда подошли на 60 каб. и вновь открыли огонь.
  В полдень выяснилось, что все орудия на Кум-Кале, Седль-Баре и Оркание целы. Тем не менее Карден приказал начать вторую фазу обстрела, причём суда должны были стрелять на ходу.
  До 4-х часов корабли стреляли, причём обстреливаемые форты были покрыты облаками дыма и поднятой пыли. На некоторых фортах были видны повреждения (особенно пострадал Кум-Кале).
  Ок. 4 ч. 40 мин. вдруг неожиданно для атаковавших форты, до сих пор молчавшие, открыли оживлённый огонь по одному из приблизившихся кораблей (Vengeance), не нанеся впрочем серьёзных повреждений. Корабли вновь усилили огонь. В это время с моря подходили Queen Elizabeth и Agamemnon.
  Между тем стало темнеть, и в 5 ч. 20 мин. Карден дал "отбой". Около 7 часов вошли ко входу в пролив тральщики и начали тралить район Габа-Тебе, по западную сторону п-ова, мин ими найдено не было.
Итоги первого дня в общем казались благоприятными. Создавалось впечатление, что лишний час светлого времени мог дать решительный успех. С другой стороны, выяснилось, что преимущества флота с его более дальнобойными орудиями не могут быть использованы полностью в виду трудности корректирования огня на больших расстояниях. Эта стрельба показала, что для уничтожения фортов нужно непосредственное попадание в каждое орудие, что при этих дистанциях чрезвычайно трудно.
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BRITISH WAR VESSELS IN THE MEDITERRANEAN,
EGYPTIAN AND EAST INDIAN WATERS, FEBRUARY 19, 1915

EASTERN MEDITERRANEAN
Commander-in-Chief: Vice-Admiral Sackville H Carden
Chief of Staff: Commodore Roger J B Keyes
Second in Command: Rear-Admiral John M De Robeck
SNO, Mudros: Rear-Admiral Rosslyn E Wemyss
BATTLESHIPS
Agamemnon – Captain H A S Fyler
Albion – Captain A W Heneage
Canopus – Captain H S Grant
Cornwallis – Captain A P Davidson
Irresistible – Captain D L Dent
Lord Nelson – Captain J W L McClintock
Majestic – Captain H F G Talbot
Prince George – Captain A V Campbell
Queen Elizabeth – Captain G P W Hope
Triumph – Captain M S FitzMaurice
Vengeance (flag of RA) – Captain B H Smith
BATTLE CRUISERS
Inflexible (flag of V A ) – Captain R F Phillimore
LIGHT CRUISERS
Amethyst – Commander G J Todd
Dartmouth – Captain Judge D'Arcy
Dublin – Captain J D Kelly
Sapphire – Captain P W E Hill
AIRCRAFT CARRIER
Ark Royal – Commander (act) R H Clark-Hall
GUNBOAT
Hussar – Commander (ret ) E Unwin
DEPOT SHIP FOR T B D 's
Blenheim – Captain C P R Coode (Captain, D ), 16 TBD’s, 6 submarines, 21 minesweepers

EGYPT AND EAST INDIES
Vice-Admiral Sir Richard H Pierse
BATTLESHIPS
Swiftsure (flag) – Captain C Maxwell-Lefroy
Ocean – Captain A Hayes-Sadler
CRUISERS
Bacchante – Captain The Hon A D E H Boyle
Euryalus – Captain R M Burmester
LIGHT CRUISERS
Chatham (refitting) – Captain S B Drury-Lowe
Doris – Captain F Larken
Fox (refitting) – Captain F W Caulfeild
Minerva – Captain P H Warleigh
Philomel – Captain P H Hall Thompson
Proserpine – Commander G C Hardy
ARMED MERCHANT CRUISERS
Empress of Asia – Captain P H Columb
Empress of Japan – Commander M B Baillie-Hamilton
Empress of Russia – Commander A Cochrane
Himalaya – Commander (act) A Dixon
SLOOPS
Clio – Commander (act) C MacKenzie
Espiegle – Captain W Nunn (Persian Gulf)
Odin – Commander C R Wason (Persian Gulf)

VESSELS OF THE ROYAL INDIAN MARINE
Dalhousie – Commander (act) E M Palmer (Persian Gulf)
Dufferin – Commander A W Lowis
Hardinge – Commander (act) T J Linberry
Lawrence – Commander (act) R N Suter (Persian Gulf)
Minto – Lieut-Commander C E V Crauford
Northbrook – Commander A E Wood
6 TB’s for duty in Suez Canal
4 armed tugs in Persian Gulf
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February 19 still held as the day the attack was to commence. The choice was full of omen, for it was the anniversary of the day on which Admiral Duckworth had rushed the Straits in 1807. In the present case, the operation was certain to be of a very different nature, and at Malta, Admiral Carden had worked out all details of his plan. It was based on seven main phases: —
1. Reduction of the defences at the entrance to the Straits, in Bashika Bay and on the north coast of Gallipoli.
2. Sweeping the minefields and reducing the defences up to the Narrows.
3. Reduction of the Narrows.
4. Sweeping the principal minefield (which was off Kephez).
5. Silencing the forts above the Narrows.
6. Passing the fleet into the Sea of Marmara.
7. Operations in the Sea of Marmara and patrolling the Dardanelles.

In dealing with the forts, the general principle was to be an attack in three stages: first, a long-range bombardment (direct or indirect) out of range or bearing of the enemy’s guns (effective range of Turkish 22 to 35 calibre guns was to be taken, for L/22 10,000 yards, for L/35 12,000 yards); secondly, a bombardment at medium ranges, using secondary armament and direct fire, and thirdly, the final reduction of the forts by an overwhelming fire at decisive ranges of from 8,000 to 4,000 yards. Special importance was attached to ships not being hit in the initial stages, and if they came under unexpected fire they were to withdraw and resume the long-range bombardment.

For the first phase, six ships were selected, the Suffren (flag of Admiral Guepratte), Bouvet, Inflexible (flag of Admiral Carden), Triumph, Cornwallis and Albion, with the Gaullois as supporting ship for the Suffren, and Amethyst for Albion. The Vengeance (flag of Admiral de Robeck) was to observe the fire for her division.

(The organisation at this time was in three divisions, as under: —
1st Division – Inflexible, Agamemnon, Queen Elizabeth
2nd Division – Vengeance, Albion, Cornallis, Irresistible, Triumph
3rd Division – Suffren, Bouvet, Charlemagne, Gaulois.)

By the operation orders the Suffren was to bombard the main fort on the Asiatic side of the entrance. This was Kum Kale (known to us as Fort No. 6), a modern work, constructed to supersede the old castle which still stood, with its high walls and rounded flanking towers. The new work, which was close on the water's edge immediately in front of the old castle, consisted of two circular bastions with a low curtain between them, and its main armament was nine guns from 6” to 11”'.
A mile down the coast, near Cape Yeni Shehr, was its supporting battery Orkanie (Fort No. 4), a modern work 126 feet above sea level, armed with two 9.4" guns. The Suffren was to begin her attack from a station off Yeni Keui village, where she would be out of the arc of fire of both forts. From this point she would bombard Kum Kale by indirect fire over Cape Yeni Shehr at from 9,000 to 10,000 yards, and the Bouvet was to spot for her from a point about five miles to the westward of Cape Helles, while the Gaulois patrolled of Bashika Bay to prevent the flagship being molested by field guns on the quarter.

The main defence on the European side, Sedd el Bahr, was assigned to the Inflexible. Like Kum Kale it was a low-lying work which in comparatively modern times had been constructed of earth within the enceinte of the original stone castle, facing south-east to south-west, with a main armament of six heavy guns from 9.4” to 11”. It, too, had its supporting fort at Cape Helles, practically identical with Orkanie, and about 100 feet above sea level. It was known as Helles (No. 1), and was to be engaged by the Triumph from a position 8,000 yards to the north-north-westward, where she would be masked from its fire by Tekke Burnu. She would therefore have to use indirect fire over the headland. The Inflexible was to spot for her from her bombarding position to the west of Sedd el Bahr. Its opposite number, Orkanie, on the Asiatic side, since its guns bore on the British manoeuvre area, was also taken over by the British, and was to be dealt with by the Cornwallis from an area west-south-west of Cape Yeni Shehr, where she could use direct fire without coming into the fire arc of Kum Kale.

On the European side the Albion, the Amethyst and seven British minesweepers were detailed to sweep from one mile north to three miles south of Gaba Tepe, so as to clear that area for the Queen Elizabeth who, in the third phase, was to bombard the Narrows forts over the peninsula. The Albion was also to destroy any defences found in the vicinity. (For details of the standing defences, see Plan No. 4. (below))
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Gürsel Göncü and Şahin Aldoğan wrote that the plan of the Turkish defence had four main elements:
1. Two batteries on each side of the entrance of the Dardanelles (Kumkale and Orhaniye on the Asian side; Seddülbahir and Ertuğrul on the European side) were to prevent the Allied warships from entering the Straits.
2. If the enemy warships manage to enter the Dardanelles, howitzers in Erenköy and Tengerdere will open fire and prevent the warships from maneuvering inside the Bay of Erenköy.
3. Smaller batteries that consist of guns dismantled from old warships and mortars will protect the mine belts and prevent enemy minesweepers from operating in the area. The Dardanos battery at Kepez and the Baykuş battery (later renamed as the Mesudiye battery because guns salvaged from the same named warship were installed there) in Soğanlıdere will either support the howitzers in Erenköy and Tengerdere or provide fire support to the Çanakkale-Kilitbahir group.
4. The central batteries in Çanakkale and Kilitbahir will open fire when the enemy warships enter their firing range.

Admiral Carden tried to stage the first phase of the Allied plan on February 19. That day, at 9:51 am, six Allied warships opened fire on the forts at the entrance of the Dardanelles. They pounded the forts until 2:00 pm without receiving any return fire. They were firing from a distance of 10-12 km and hence out of range of the Turkish guns.
At 4:00 pm, Carden ordered the warships to get closer to the forts. When Vengeance was around 5 km off Seddülbahir, Turks opened fire from Orhaniye and Ertuğrul. Having realized that they could not inflict any damage to the Turkish forts, Admiral Carden called off the attack at 6:00 pm. This attempt to destroy the forts at the entrance had been a disappointment for the Allied fleet.
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It was at 9.51 on the morning of February 19 that the first shot heralded the opening of the unparalleled operations which were destined to attain such vast proportions, to consume so much heroism, resource and tragic effort, and to end with so glorious a failure. It was fired by the Cornwallis at Orkanie (No. 4); the Triumph followed in tea minutes on Helles (No. 1), with her 10” guns at 7,700 yards, and by 10.32 the Suffren, who had anchored between Yeni Keui and Rabbit Islands, was engaging Kum Kale. (All times given are East European, i. e., two hours in advance of Greenwich Mean Time.)

There was no reply from any of the forts, and in order to improve the shooting the Admiral ordered the other ships to anchor. But the Cornwallis, owing to a defective capstan, could not anchor in deep water, and consequently at eleven o’clock the Vengeance was ordered to take her place, while shortly afterwards the Cornwallis was directed to carry out the duty of spotting ship for the Triumph and Inflexible if required. The flagship anchored at 11.50, about seven miles to the westward of Cape Helles lighthouse, and tried two rounds at Helles fort at 15,400 yards, but as both fell short she weighed and went 2,500 yards nearer in. At 12.20 she opened fire again at Helles. Though fire was kept slow and deliberate, spotting at these long ranges proved very difficult. The Triumph fired only fourteen rounds from 10.0 to 12.15, when, as she could not hit Helles, she was shortly afterwards ordered to cease fire and transfer her attention to a party of men who were showing signs of activity in a new fieldwork two miles north of Tekke Burnu.

The Inflexible herself continued to engage Fort Helles, and, so far as could be seen, with so much success that at 1.0 she transferred to Sedd el Bahr, and the Gaulois reported that her sixth shot got home. The Suffren, who had anchored 11,800 yards from Kum Kale with the Bouvet spotting for her, was firing entirely by indirect laying over Cape Yeni Shehr, mainly with her secondary armament, and seemed also to be making excellent practice. The Vengeance, who had taken the Cornwallis’s place and was engaging Orkanie by direct fire, appeared to be doing equally good work; but at noon, according to the report of a seaplane, all the guns in Sedd el Bahr, Orkanie and Kum Kale were intact. Still, so good had been the shooting since the ships anchored, that the Admiral considered the effect of the long-range bombardment had been severe enough for the ships to close nearer, and at 2.0 he made the signal for the second stage of the operation to begin.

By the operation orders it involved “Bombardment at closer ranges, overwhelming of forts at close range, and sweeping channel towards the entrance of Straits.” In this stage the ships were to keep moving. The Suffren was to steer to the N.W. from Yeni Keui village till she opened up Kum Kale, when at 7,000 yards she would engage it with direct fire from her secondary armament, making repeated short runs at decreasing distances, but she was not to pass north of the line S. 84 W. from Orkanie, so as not to come under fire from its guns till she had silenced her original objective. She would then take on Orkanie by direct fire at 5,000 yards. In this work the Vengeance would assist her, while the Bouvet would join the Inflexible in dealing with the European forts on a similar plan, the destruction to be completed at close range. The Bouvet, however, was not to begin till a field gun battery above the landing-place at Tekke Burnu (known as No. 1 B) was silenced if it showed signs of activity. This was to be done by the Triumph after Orkanie and Kum Kale had been destroyed; she was to open fire at 5,000 yards, and make a series of short runs, her limit of manoeuvre to the southward being a line drawn west from Cape Helles.

About 3.0 the Inflexible anchored 11,000 yards from Sedd el Bahr, and to ascertain if it was still alive fired five more rounds. There was no response, and the inshore squadron continued to move in. By 3.50 the Suffren had made three runs as directed, still maintaining a deliberate fire on Kum Kale. As there also no reply was made. Admiral Guepratte asked leave to go in to decisive range. This he did, and at 4.10 opened a more rapid fire. In twenty minutes the southern face of the fort was in ruins, all three guns on that face had disappeared, and the whole place was blackened with melinite.

By this time Admiral de Robeck in the Vengeance was also plunging shells into the ruins of the fort. He and the Cornwallis had been ordered to move in for the final effort just as the Suffren began her rapid fire, and after engaging Sedd el Bahr and Kum Kale they were now using their secondary armament on Orkanie and Helles respectively. Out of the clouds of dust and smoke that enveloped the forts came no sign of life; they seemed completely overwhelmed, and at 4.40 Admiral Carden, in order to verify their condition, signalled to the Suffren to close them and to the VengeanceCease fire and examine forts.

Unfortunately the two signals seem to have been confused by the Suffren, for she read the order “Cease fire and close the Inflexible.” At the moment she was in excellent position to destroy the Orkanie battery, the armament of which she could see was still intact. She was about to attack it, but regarding the order as a peremptory recall she began to haul off. As she gathered way Admiral de Robeck, in response to the order to examine the forts, was coming up at good speed straight for the centre of the entrance, when suddenly both Helles and Orkanie opened a hot fire on him as though they had not been touched.

It was a complete surprise, that gave ominous presage of the difficulties that lay ahead, but he was equal to the occasion. To the admiration of the French, instead of retiring to open out the range he at once turned and engaged the Helles fort. “The daring attack of the Vengeance,” wrote Admiral Guepratte in his report, “in flinging herself against the forts when their fire was in no way reduced was one of the finest episodes of the day.” The French were as ready with support as with admiration. The Bouvet even tried salvoes over the Vengeance and Cornwallis, while the Suffren, as she made away to the north-west to close the Admiral, re-opened on Helles fort, and the Gaulois came up and fired salvoes at about 9,000 yards into Orkanie.

Kum Kale fortunately was quite silent, and Sedd el Bahr could only manage a few desultory shots, but the fire of Orkanie was particularly well nourished, and the Vengeance was soon in the thick of it. She was not hit, but four shots fell close enough to damage her spars and rigging. The Cornwallis also came in for a share, but not so severely. They were not long without support, for as soon as the forts began to show that they still had fight in them the Admiral had weighed to come to the rescue, and by 5.15 the Inflexible was engaging Orkanie, with the result — so good was her practice — that the Turkish fire quickly became wild.

Nor was this all, for the Agamemnon, which, with the Queen Elizabeth, had just joined the Fleet, had come up in the nick of time, and she, too, was ordered in to support the Cornwallis. She was not in action, however, more than twenty minutes, for at 5.20 the Admiral, judging it now too late to do more that evening, made the General Recall. Admiral de Robeck, undeterred by his exposed position, felt quite equal to completing the business, and begged to be allowed to carry on. No ship had yet been hit, but in the opinion of Admiral Carden the request could not be approved. The light to landward was getting bad, while the ships were clearly silhouetted against the western sky, and in his instructions he had insisted on the moral importance of avoiding injury to the ships in the initial stage.

Besides, there was the serious question of the shortage of ammunition, which was destined to cramp the operations all through. To fire it away with a fading light into the clouds of smoke and dust that obscured the targets could scarcely give returns which would justify the drain on the precious store. The guns of the old ships, moreover, were nearing the end of their efficient life, and against the remote chance of decisive results, there was the very real risk of torpedo attack if the ships were not got away before dark. At 5.30 therefore “Cease firing” was signalled. By that time Helles appeared to be silenced, but Orkanie was still firing when the squadron withdrew.
At 7.0 the Albion with Amethyst and the minesweepers rejoined from the western side of the peninsula, and reported that no mines or guns had been found and that the area had been swept. Starting from a point N. 52 W. 5 ½ miles from Cape Helles, an approach had been cleared to within 5,000 yards of Gaba Tepe. Eight 6’ shells were spent to draw the enemy’s fire, but even when the channel was being buoyed in the presence of a large number of troops, no opposition was offered. The Triumph during her reconnaissance of the coast beyond Cape Helles had the same experience. Nothing was seen except some trenches and field works near Tekke Burnu, on which she fired, causing considerable damage.
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On the whole the first day’s experience was promising for the success of the enterprise, it seemed clear that an hour’s more good light would have entirely finished the entrance forts, yet in one important particular the results were disappointing. Eventual success depended mainly on the superiority of the fleet in long-range armament, and the unexpected activity of Forts Helles and Orkanie at the close of the day had shown, in the Admiral’s opinion, that the effect of long-range bombardment on modern earthworks was slight. They appeared to have been hit by a number of well-placed 12” common shell, but when the critical moment came all the heavy guns which these forts contained were in action. It began to be clear, in fact, that nothing short of a direct hit would knock out a gun, and that the necessary accuracy for a direct hit — particularly when ammunition had to be husbanded-— could not be obtained by indirect fire, and was scarcely to be hoped for by direct fire unless the ships were anchored. (The enemy’s casualties seem to have been very slight. The Turks report one officer and a few men killed on the European side and one officer and two men at Orkanie.)

Nevertheless, although the first phase of the operation had not been quite completed to time, the attack had been sufficiently successful to stiffen the confidence of those at home who believed the fleet could accomplish what it had undertaken. It seemed likely to take longer than had been estimated, and under existing arrangements the troops would be well in time to make good the initial steps. The Admiralty on the previous day had ordered the Deal and Portsmouth battalions of Marines to follow the other two. They had also ready the ten battalions of the Royal Naval Division, which was then in training camp at Blandford, and were preparing orders for them to proceed to Lemnos on the 27th. The War Office, however, had not given effect to the proposals of the last War Council. In fact, the arrangements then contemplated had been modified.
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While the bombardment was going on (February 19) there began a series of meetings of the War Council at which an endeavour was made to settle the thorny question of military action at the Dardanelles. The problem was by no means simple, and its complexity had just been increased by a new difficulty. Owing to the continued bad news from the Eastern Front, Lord Kitchener did not feel justified in letting the XXIXth Division go. The Russians had just lost Czernowitz and had had to evacuate the whole of the Bukovina, while in East Prussia the Germans were still pushing them back. The prisoners claimed amounted to 100,000; the Russians were known to be very short of rifles, and they had lost vast numbers during the various retreats. Whatever the ultimate result of their setback, their armies, it was feared, had been reduced to impotence, at least for some considerable time, and in military opinion the Germans would soon be in a position to transfer troops to the west, and would endeavour to do so before April, when the first of our new armies would be ready. It was necessary therefore to keep a good division in reserve.

Already the French had been informed, in reply to an inquiry from them as to whether we wanted their division sent to Lemnos, as Salonica was barred, that our division was not going. This did not mean that no military assistance was to be given, but that a sufficient force would be provided without the Old Army division. As the Turks had completely retired from the Egyptian frontier the whole of the Australasian Expeditionary Force could go. This would mean 39,000 men or, without the cavalry, 30,000, and these troops could be on the spot more quickly than any from home, while if the cavalry remained, Egypt would still be left with a garrison of 44,000 men.

This sudden and unexpected development was very disturbing, particularly to the Admiralty. From their point of view the new arrangement was open to a serious objection. All experience taught — and in previous discussions the point had been specially insisted on — that for such an operation as was before them a stiffening of first line troops was essential. The Royal Naval Division, though much improved in training and equipment since their Antwerp adventure, were not first line troops, nor were, as yet, the Australasians. It was further argued that in France the situation had clearly reached a deadlock, the condition on which it had been agreed another objective should be undertaken, and as for the plight of the Russians, it was only another reason for striking hard and quickly at the Dardanelles. This view was in general accordance with that of the civilian Ministers. Being less absorbed with the exigencies of the actual position in France, they were able, perhaps, to take a wider view and appreciate more justly the political deflections of the broader strategical situation.

To them it seemed fairly clear that the Germans were now committed to their Near Eastern objectives, and that any force they could spare from the Russian Front would be used against Serbia in order to break a way through the Balkans. On this appreciation the only effective parry, since Salonica was for the present off the board, was a counter-blow at the Dardanelles. They believed the necessary force was available, for with the XXIXth Division, the Royal Naval Division, the Australasians and the Marines, added to the 15,000 men whom the French had at disposal, and possibly 10,000 from Russia, we should have close on 100,000 men.

The Admiralty had also to point out another flaw in the contention of the military authorities. Their argument that time would be saved by taking troops from Egypt ignored the question of transports. Most of the shipping required would have to be sent out from home, and could not reach Alexandria in under three weeks. Still Lord Kitchener did not feel he could give way. The weight of his responsibility for the security of the Western Front was too heavy. In military opinion the Germans, during their recent unsuccessful attack, had not displayed anything like the force or energy of which they were capable, and it was believed that if they attacked again and really meant to break through we should have a much more formidable task to stop them. The furthest then that Lord Kitchener could go for the present was to undertake that in case of emergency the XXIXth Division should go, but not yet. No action therefore was taken, but the Admiralty undertook to prepare transports and send them to Alexandria.
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Сокращённый перевод совсем Больных
  В 9.51 «Корнуоллис» сделал первый выстрел по форту Оркание. Через 10 минут «Трайэмф» с дистанции 38 кабельтов открыл огонь по форту Хеллес. В 10.32 «Сюффрен» открыл огонь по форту Кум-Кале с дистанции 59 кабельтов, используя в основном среднюю артиллерию. Форты не отвечали, поэтому Карден приказал кораблям стать на якорь. «Корнуоллис» из-за повреждения шпиля не смог отдать якорь и был заменен «Виндженсом». «Инфлексибл» в 11.50 дал 2 залпа с дистанции 70 кабельтов по форту Хеллес, но снаряды легли недолетами. Поэтому линейный крейсер снялся с якоря и сократил дистанцию на 12,5 кабельтов и в 12.20 снова открыл огонь. Стрельба велась очень медленно, так как артиллеристы почти не видели падений своих снарядов. Например, «Трайэмф» за 2 часа дал только 14 залпов, при этом ни разу не сумел накрыть цель. Около полудня британский гидросамолет сообщил, что все орудия Седц-уль-Бахра, Оркание и Кум-Кале остались целы. «Инфлексибл» примерно в 13.00 перенес огонь на форт Седд-уль-Бахр. Однако Карден решил, что обстрел с дальней дистанции прошел успешно, и в 14.00 поднял сигнал, приказывая перейти ко второй фазе операции.
Теперь корабли должны были вести огонь с хода, но с малых дистанций. Около 15.00 «Инфлексибл» дал 3 залпа по Седд-уль-Бахру с дистанции 55 кабельтов. Ответа не последовало, и корабли союзников подошли ближе к берегу. Южный фас укреплений Кум-Кале был разрушен огнем «Сюффрена» и присоединившегося к нему «Виндженса». Турецкие форты были окутаны клубами дыма и пыли. Англичане решили, что им удалось подавить, вражеские орудия. Броненосцы вели огонь из тяжелых орудий по Кум-Кале и Седд-уль-Бахру, а из средних — по Оркание и Хеллесу. В 16.40 адмирал Карден приказал «Виндженсу» подойти еще ближе к берегу и осмотреть форты.
  К несчастью, «Сюффрен» неверно разобрал сигнал. Французы решили, что им приказывают «Прекратить огонь, приблизиться к «Инфлексиблу». В это время «Сюффрен» находился в очень удобной позиции для обстрела форта Оркание, орудия которого были целы. Но французский адмирал решил выполнить приказ. И вдруг в 16.45 турки открыли ответный огонь по «Виндженсу». Адмирал де Робек, хотя и был застигнут врасплох, не дрогнул. Он повернул прямо на форт Хеллес и открыл по нему беглый огонь. Адмирал Гепратт немедленно поддержал англичан. «Буве» открыл огонь, стреляя через «Виндженс». «Сюффрен» возобновил обстрел Хеллеса, а «Голуа» обстрелял Оркание с дистанции 45 кабельтов. Форт Кум-Кале молчал, а орудия Седд-уль-Бахра дали только пару выстрелов. Прямых попаданий в «Виндженс» не было, но несколько снарядов разорвались вблизи от броненосца, который засыпало осколками. Как только Карден увидел, что форты не подавлены, он пошел на помощь броненосцам. В 17.15 «Инфлексибл» открыл огонь по Оркание. Вскоре стрельба турок стала хаотичной, видимо, огонь линейного крейсера оказался эффективным. Адмирал Гепратт написал в своем рапорте:
  «Отважные действия «Виндженса», который, невзирая на то, что огонь батарей ни в коей мере не был ослаблен, бросился в атаку, являются украшением дня».
  Тут подошли «Куин Элизабет» и «Агамемнон», однако их участие в бою было недолгим. «Куин Элизабет» около 20 минут поддерживал огнем «Корнуоллис». Совершенно неожиданно в 15.20 Карден поднял сигнал, скомандовав общий отход. Он решил, что уже слишком поздно, чтобы продолжать обстрел. Де Робек запросил разрешения продолжать обстрел, но Карден не разрешил. Он считал, что в сумерках обстрел превратится в бесполезную трату снарядов, которых было не слишком много. Поэтому в 17.30 он повторил приказ прекратить огонь. Корабли отошли, провожаемые залпами форта Оркание. Примерно в 19.00 к ним присоединились «Альбион» и «Аметист», которые осматривали западное побережье полуострова. Ни мин, ни батарей они не нашли.

  Таким образом, результаты первого дня операции оказались несколько противоречивыми. С одной стороны, создалось впечатление, что лишний час светлого времени позволил бы кораблям окончательно подавить входные форты. С другой стороны, выяснилось, что добиться прямого попадания в орудие почти невозможно. Форты получили по несколько попаданий, однако почти все их орудия остались целы. Для повышения меткости кораблям следовало вести огонь, стоя на якоре, что подвергало их значительному риску. В целом же стало ясно, что первоначальные оценки были слишком оптимистичными, и операция затянется. Однако моряки еще больше укрепились в мнении, что смогут завершить операцию собственными силами. Но на всякий случай Адмиралтейство распорядилось отправить на Лемнос еще 2 батальона морской пехоты. Одновременно оно приказало готовить к отправке на Лемнос 10 батальонов королевской морской дивизии, проходивших подготовку в лагере Бланд-Форд.
Tags: history, navy, war economy, былое и думы
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