Die Angriffe der feindlichen Flotten richteten sich auch heute wieder gegen die Außenforts der Dardanellen, die nach jedesmaligem Bombardement über Nacht wieder neu zu entstehen scheinen. Das Ergebnis der heutigen und gestrigen Angriffe entsprach trotz des großen Munitionsaufwandes der feindlichen Flotte demjenigen der letzten Tage.
Der nach Saloniki zurückgezogene Kreuzer „Saphir“ hat schwere Beschädigungen erlitten. Gleich nach seinem Eintreffen wurden zwei Zinksärge und Medikamente für die Einbalsamierung bestellt. Das läßt darauf schließen, daß höhere Offiziere getötet worden sind. Der „Tanin“ versichert, noch zwei andere beschädigte Kriegsschiffe, eines vom Typus der „Defence“, hätten Saloniki als Zufluchtsort aufgesucht.
Die türkische Presse fragt, wie es mit der Neutralität Griechenlands vereinbar sei, daß die feindlichen Schiffe länger als 24 Stunden in Saloniki verbleiben und jedwede Vergünstigung erfahren, ohne desarmiert zu werden.
Konstantinopel, 4. März. (W. B.)
Über das gestrige Bombardement der Dardanellen telegraphiert der dortige Korrespondent der Agence Milli: Vier feindliche Panzerschiffe, umgeben von mehr als zehn Torpedobooten, beteiligten sich an dem Bombardement, ohne bei den Batterien, die das Feuer sofort erwiderten, irgend welchen Schaden anzurichten. Die feindlichen Schiffe entfernten sich wie gewöhnlich. Vier französische Panzerschiffe gaben eine Anzahl Schüsse gegen Bulair ab, trafen aber nur die englischen Grabstätten, die sich dort bekanntlich seit 1854 befinden.
At Dardanelles demolition parties again landed. HMS Sapphire silenced field battery at Dikeli, between Mitylene and mainland; Besika shelled by HMS Prince George.
Attack on Dardanelles continues; French ships bombard Bulair forts and destroy Kavak Bridge;
Field Marshal von der Goltz has asked for German artillery officers to aid in defending Dardanelles, but it is reported that Germans cannot spare any
Mißlungener Landungsversuch der Engländer und Franzosen bei Sedil Bahr und Kum Kaleh (Dardanellen).
Royal Marines sent ashore at Sedd-el-Bahr met strong resistance and have to be taken off. The battleship HMS Majestic shelled the village and, as was reported by one British naval officer, ‘in a few minutes there was in place of a village a smoking ruin’.
Anglo-French bombardment of Dardanelles forts continues. 5 troop transports arrive at Mudros. 300 Royal Marines (48 casualties) repulsed on both shores, only 4 MGs destroyed.
Royal Navy Air Service and French floatplanes spot fall of shot for Allied bombardment of Turk forts.
Admiralty sends instructions on reducing Bosphorus forts.
Enver Pasha request made in Vienna to buy 3 Austrian U-boats at Pola for Dardanelles defence, but only 2 operational and not feasible.
2,3 и 4 марта действия свелись к следующему. Было выяснено, что в проливе под европейским берегом имеется мёртвое пространство, откуда корабли, став на якорь, могли успешно вести обстрел, но как только они пытались переменить место, так сейчас же попадали под сильный огонь Дарданоса и гаубичных батарей. Попытки тральщиков также не увенчались успехом. Малоэнергичные действия флота 2 и 3 марта и огонь полевой артиллерии дали туркам толчок к усилению своей обороны полевыми средствами. В районе Кум-Кале и Оркание 4 марта появились полевые войска с полевыми батареями. Тем не менее англо-французы пытались окончательно уничтожить орудия этих фортов подрывными партиями под прикрытием огня судовой артиллерии. Попытки эти были отбиты с большими потерями.
The Marines’ transport, Braemar Castle, had been moved up to Imbros, and early in the morning the two companies were brought in by destroyers, and on reaching the entrance they were joined by the boats of the squadron bringing the demolition and beach parties from the ships, while General Trotman directed operations, with his headquarters in the destroyer Wolverine.
The southern force was the first to land, under Lieutenant-Colonel C. E. Matthews, commanding the Plymouth battalion. About 10.0 the scouts and an advanced guard of a half company, with a demolition and beach party from the Lord Nelson under Lieutenant-Commander W. X. Dodgson (Covering party 120; Demolition party eighteen men and five marines; Beach party one lieutenant, one surgeon and eight men) shoved off and made for the Kum Kale pier, while the Cornwallis from off the Mendere River shelled the fort and the village in rear of it, shifting to the bridge as the boats advanced.
From the first it was clear that, owing to the long delay caused by the weather, the advantage of surprise had been lost, and that the Turks were prepared to show considerable opposition. From the Cornwallis numbers of troops could be seen entering the cemetery from the direction of the bridge and passing on to Yeni Shehr, upon which the Agamemnon also began to fire, and between the two ships the enemy seemed to suffer severely. Guns and howitzers were also located, but throughout the day the work of covering the advance proved very difficult, since the ships had no clear information of the line the troops on this side intended to take.
The general idea was to enter the fort and push on through the village, so as to make the ground good from Kum Kale to the south of Yeni Shehr village, and this they were to hold for three hours, while the demolition parties were at work and a reconnaissance was made to select ground for an aerodrome. As the tow carrying the Marines approached the shore, it was received with a shower of shrapnel, which forced the boats to cast off and take to their oars to scatter. Still the actual landing, as usual, was made without opposition, but no sooner were the men out of the boats than it was obvious the village had been reoccupied.
Snipers opened a well-directed fire from the houses and windmills in the vicinity, guns from somewhere joined in with shrapnel, and so hot was the reception that the whole party had to take shelter under the walls of the fort, leaving their machine-guns and demolition gear on the pier. It was now the turn of the ships. The Irresistible took the windmills and quickly reduced them to ruins. The Scorpion closed in to the mouth of the Mendere River, found the battery that was firing shrapnel near In Tepe, silenced it and then attended to the village snipers.
As the enemy retired it could be seen that a number of Germans were with them, but the Turks could not be got to face the ships’ fire. As they gave way the demolition party was able to recover its gear and explosives, but the machine-guns remained on the pier. The beach master called for volunteers to recover them, and a boat’s crew from the Agamemnon’s second cutter was quickly formed, under its coxswain. Leading Seaman Ludgate. Under a galling fire they rowed to the pier, and Ludgate, with one able seaman and two marines, by crawling along it, was able to take off the maxims and restore them to their crews without any casualty. (Colonel Matthew’s account is: “The fire did not slacken, and it became necessary to bring the guns off the pier, and this was well done under heavy fire by Lieutenant F. C. Law, Sergeant E. J. Williams, Corporal Cook (severely wounded), Privates C. A. Sims and J. A. Threlfall” —all Plymouth battalion.)
Meanwhile the shore party had been pushing on round the fort into the village, but it was still found impossible to get beyond the first houses, and there was nothing to do but wait for the supports, while the Irresistible and Cornwallis bombarded it. There was consequently some delay in getting the other half company ashore, and it was not till 12.30 that they came up. Even then so galling was the fire from the houses that it took them an hour and a half to reach the open ground beyond the village. Here they were again stopped by a report from the rear guard holding their line of retirement that they were being fired on, and that the enemy were working round to enfilade our lines. This movement was quickly stopped by ship fire, and at 3.45 Colonel Matthews felt he could make a push for Orkanie. An advanced guard and the naval demolition party were sent forward, but only to find themselves held up near Achilles’ fountain by a heavy rifle fire that came from the Orkanie battery and some trenches on the slope of Yeni Shehr Hill. Still the demolition party attempted to advance in face of it, but were forced at last to take cover on the beach.
It was now pretty clear that no further advance could be made with so small a force. Indeed in an hour’s time the fire had increased so much that it seemed impossible even to hold the ground they had gained. Colonel Matthews, therefore, called up the reserve to cover a retirement, and signalled a request for destroyers to close and enfilade the Yeni Shehr trenches. The Amethyst at once went in with the Basilisk and Scorpion, as well as Renard, Wolverine and Grampus, who had just taken the northern landing party back to the Braemar Castle.
The Agamemnon and Dublin, which were off Yeni Shehr, were able to lend a hand, and the Cornwallis was busy shelling a howitzer battery on the ridge with her 12” and the barracks near Orkanie with her 6”. Under this weight of shell the fire, both from the fort and the Yeni Shehr trenches, was soon subdued, and about 5.0 Colonel Matthews was able to begin his retreat. But no sooner did he move than a heavy rifle fire opened from the cemetery. On account of our own men the ships could not touch it, and again he had to call up his reserve. Even so the withdrawal was not done without loss, for in spite of the fire of the Marines’ machine-guns, which had been mounted on the walls of the fort, snipers became active again in the village, and many casualties occurred before the shelter of the fort was reached.
It was not till 7.45, when it was quite dark, that the withdrawal was effected, and even then a small party of two officers and five men — two of them wounded— had been cut off on the beach. These, however, were pluckily rescued by an armed whaler from the Scorpion. Not content with this, the boat returned and for two hours searched the beach for stragglers and wounded from Kum Kale to Yeni Shehr, but without finding any one. In all Colonel Matthews had to report seventeen non-commissioned officers and men killed, twenty-four wounded and three missing, and that the operation had entirely failed in its object.
The northern force had no better success. Here the company of the Plymouth battalion was imder Major H. D. Palmer, R.M.L.I., with demolition, survey and beach parties from the Inflexible and Ocean, under Lieutenant-Commander Frederic Giffard. Major Palmer’s instructions were to hold the line from Morto Bay to the fountain north of Tekke Burnu for three hours in order to cover the work of the demolition and survey parties. Here, profiting by experience, the landing was better prepared by the Ocean shelling Sedd el Bahr and the neighbouring houses while the Majestic, from off Morto Bay, dealt with the old castle above, and some trenches which the seaplanes had located in rear of it. At 10.30 (Transcribers Note: around this period of the narrative, some of the times differ by an hour between the online file and Naval & Military Press reprint) the disembarkation began at the Camber, and patrols at once went forward up the steep and narrow path leading up the cliff to Sedd el Bahr.
It debouched upon an open space between the fort and the village; on reaching the top, they found that this space was being swept with fire from a large building athwart the far end. Further advance being impossible, an attempt was made to turn the obstacle by passing through the breaches in the shattered fort, while another party endeavoured to reach the village by scaling the cliff. But everywhere the fire was too hot. The whole party therefore took cover, and signal was made for the ships and destroyers to reopen fire. This quickly told. The enfilading building was smashed, the snipers were driven from the houses, and under the Majestic’s fire the main body of the enemy fell back from the old castle into the battery behind.
Sedd el Bahr fort was then made good, and a footing obtained in the village, but it was still found impossible to debouch into the open. The enemy were stealing back into the old castle trenches again, and field guns were sweeping the front of the village from somewhere to the right. This was the position at noon when, in response to a signal from the Ocean to report progress, Major Palmer said he could not advance further without 200 more men. Captain Hayes-Sadler at once prepared to send them, but by this time General Trotman had joined Admiral de Robeck in the Irresistible, and as, “in view of the conditions obtaining,” he did not consider it advisable to risk more men, the reinforcement was negatived. It was not till 1.40 that the Majestic, with the Ocean’s help, was able to turn the enemy out of the old castle again. But she herself did not escape, for five minutes later she was hit by a shell from In Tepe on the starboard side of the quarter-deck. As things stood, it was now considered too late to complete the work that day, and at 2.10 the General ordered the party to withdraw. To cover the retirement the ships reopened on the village, and by 3.0 the whole force was back in the destroyers that had brought them in. All that had been done was to smash two Nordenfeldt guns, and the casualties were three men killed and one wounded.
It was a most regrettable setback, the more to be deplored because the main object of the operation had already been obtained. Fort Helles had been put completely out of action by the Queen Elizabeth during the bombardment of February 25, and Orkanie had been rendered equally harmless by the Irresistible and Lieutenant-Commander Robinson’s demolition party. At the time, however, this was uncertain and it was necessary to clear up the situation before the next phase of the operations could be begun in earnest. What seemed a favourable moment had therefore been seized, but, as the experience of the day proved, the time had gone for using so small a force. It was precisely the same that had been fixed when the landing was first projected, but the delay had told. The Germans had had time to whip the Turks into facing the ships, and they had met with a distinct success, which lent itself to being worked up to an inspiriting victory. The moral effect could not fail to be serious, and it was becoming more evident that without a strong force of troops there was little likelihood of the fleet being able to do even the preliminary work of forcing the Straits.
Первой начала высадку южная группа Плимутского батальона и подрывной партии с «Лорда Нельсона». Они должны были уничтожить укрепления Кум-Кале и Иени-Шер. «Корнуоллис» и «Агамемнон» обстреливали укрепления и турецкие войска. Благодаря многочисленным задержкам и отсрочкам турки успели сосредоточить здесь крупные силы. Хотя шлюпки с пехотой были встречены сильным шрапнельным огнём, десант всё-таки высадился. Однако наступление немедленно захлебнулось, несмотря на активную поддержку кораблей. ЭМ «Скорпион» даже вошёл в реку Мендере, чтобы подавить турецкую батарею, обстреливающую шлюпки. Но максимум, чего добился флот — заставил турок ослабить огонь, чтобы позволить десанту отступить. После наступления темноты десантники вернулись на шлюпки. Операция завершилась полным провалом.
Вот как действовал «Агамемнон» 4 марта, поддерживая подрывную партию:
«Мы дали ход в 7.15 и направились к входу в пролив. Нам приказали прикрывать десантные партии возле форта № 6. Когда мы прибыли, «Корнуоллис», «Иррезистебл», «Маджестик», «Оушен» и несколько эсминцев уже вошли в пролив. Наши 2 катера были отправлены к эсминцу, чтобы высадить морских пехотинцев, которые находились у него на борту. Мы кружили на месте, ведя огонь из 1 2-фунтовок по янычарам. На воде заметили какой-то подозрительный объект, обстреляли его и потопили. Я думаю, это был швартовый буй, который мы нашли позднее.
Мы продолжали обстреливать янычар из своих 12-фунтовок. В 13.00 мы сделали 3 выстрела из башни B2 [234 мм] по батарее позади и левее № 4. В 14.15 мы открыли плотный огонь из 12-фунтовок по левому краю деревни, где были замечены несколько турок. Ну и задали мы им! Я видел в свой бинокль, как они драпают изо всех сил. Одновременно мы дали залп по батарее из башни Р2… Я боюсь, что нашим подрывным партиям, которые пытались добраться до форта № 4, пришлось туго. Всю вторую половину дня до самого вечера мы видели, как они короткими перебежками мечутся по пляжу, то и дело падая на землю. Люди передвигались ползком и на карачках. Экипажи наших катеров после возвращения сообщили, что потери должны быть очень тяжёлыми».
На северном берегу дела обстояли не лучше. Здесь высаживалась рота того же Плимутского батальона с подрывными партиями с «Инфлексибла» и «Оушна». Более опытный командир «Оушна» умело организовал обстрел берега, и десант высадился относительно спокойно. Однако продвинуться вглубь полуострова морская пехота не сумела. На запрос Садлера командир десанта сообщил, что ему требуется подкрепления не менее 200 человек. Садлер начал готовить вторую высадку, но генерал Тротман специально прибыл на «Иррезистебл», чтобы убедить де Робека прекратить операцию, которая могла привести к значительным потерям. Приказ Садлера был отменён, и северный десант тоже эвакуировался.