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Dardanelles

Dardanelles: Minesweepers try to work at night, 1 sunk, only 4 kts possible across current.

Ну что ж, предложил Кейс, давайте обратимся с призывом к добровольцам на регулярном военно-морском флоте, а тем временем предложим гражданским экипажам премию, если они пойдут сегодня ночью на задание. Это было 10 марта, и, как только он получил весьма неохотное согласие адмирала, Кейс под покровом темноты сам пошёл с флотилией. Едва тральщики вошли в пролив, в них вонзились пять ярких лучей прожекторов, и следовавший за ними линкор «Конопус» открыл огонь.
«В нас стреляли со всех направлений, — вспоминал Кейс. — Были видны лезвия света в холмах и в направлении батареи шестидюймовок, перекрывающей минные поля на обеих сторонах пролива, а за этим следовал вой небольших снарядов, разрывы шрапнели и рев тяжелых снарядов, взметающих фонтаны воды. Зрелище приятнейшее. Огонь был бешеный, в «Конопус» попаданий не было, но, несмотря на все наши усилия подавить прожектора, это было равносильно стрельбе по луне».
Для тральщиков это было уж слишком. Четыре из шести прошли над минным полем ниже Чанака, не опуская трала, а вот один из оставшейся пары скоро задел мину и взорвался. Ужасное пламя обрушилось на выживших, и удивительно, что при стольких сорвавшихся и плавающих вокруг в темноте минах было ранено лишь два человека, пока флотилия не покинула это место.

10 марта 29-я дивизия получила приказ передислоцироваться на Лемнос. 16 марта в море вышли первые транспорты. К сожалению, военное ведомство грузило войска на суда без всякой оглядки на организацию боевых действий после высадки. [258]
Kitchener tells Hamilton (GOC Central Force England) he will command MEF; 29th Division ordered to embark.

  Именно в этот момент британское правительство, и Черчилль в частности, вдруг решили поиграть в большую политику. В разгар войны против Центральных Держав они неожиданно начали рассматривать перспективы войны… против собственных союзников! Китченер, Черчилль и Фишер на совещании 10 марта единогласно решили готовить создание крупной военно-морской базы в Александретте — одном из терминалов на Багдадской железной дороге. «Когда Россия окажется в Константинополе, Франция — в Сирии, Италия — на Родосе, наше положение на Средиземном море станет невыносимым, если Александретта попадёт в чужие руки», — заявил Китченер. Ему вторил Черчилль: «Если мы сумеем сокрушить германскую морскую мощь, мы должны быть готовы сосредоточить на Средиземном море флот против Франции и России».

10 марта Карден пришёл к выводу, что атака провалилась. Фишер в ответ приказал отбросить «осторожные и медлительные методы». Он требовал использовать все силы в «энергичной попытке подавить форты Узостей с короткой дистанции». Фишер также добавил, что операция имеет «такое значение, которое оправдает потери в кораблях и личном составе». К Дарданеллам были отправлены 2 последних броненосца из состава Эскадры Ла-Манша — «Куин» под флагом контр-адмирала Тэрсби и «Имплейкебл».
*
HMT Manx Hero (RN): The naval trawler was lost on this date.
MANX HERO, Admiralty trawler, 221/1910, W H Beeley, Grimsby-reg GY585, hired 8/14 as minesweeper, 1-6pdr, Admiralty No.339, Skipper Edward Bray RNR, one of seven trawlers with 3rd Minesweeping Group accompanied by two picket boats, four escorting destroyers and supported by battleship Canopus and light cruiser Amethyst, taking part in attempt to sweep Kephez minefields in the dark. Instead of sweeping against the strong 3-4kt current, the intention was to get above the first line of mines and sweep down. Trawlers reached their position, passed sweeps in pairs and started back. Night of 10th/11th - Two mines exploded, one of them possibly so close to Manx Hero she sank, otherwise she hit a third, Turks opened fire, two trawlers hit and damaged by 6in shells, all then retired under destroyer cover; no lives lost in Manx Hero, crew picked up by HM Trawler Koorah (+L/Lr/Rn/C/D/He/ap/dk/sc; ADM.137/1089)
*
March 10 was the date by which Lord Kitchener expected to be able to decide whether the XXIXth Division was to be employed at the Dardanelles or not: whether, that is, by allocating first line troops to the Eastern Mediterranean theatre, it was to be given the status of a recognised alternative line of operation, or whether it was to remain, as originally intended, a mere area of diversion. By that time he believed the general military situation would be sufficiently clear to judge whether the division could be spared from France. This was the view he held on March 8, and during the following week events had marched so rapidly that by the end of it he was able to come to a final decision.
At the War Office it was recognised that on the Western Front we had not as yet sufficient force or sufficient reserves of ammunition to make a break-through possible. On the other hand, our line had now been reinforced. The Canadian division was just taking its place in the trenches; the North Midland division — the first of the Territorial divisions to take the field as a complete unit — was in the general reserve, and a number of independent Territorial battalions had gone out, sufficient to allow one to be attached to each existing brigade. It was therefore considered that our line was sufficiently strong to resist any pressure it was in the power of the Germans to bring to bear upon it for some tune.
Our Headquarters in France, however, were not content with this attitude. There a more sanguine view obtained, and for March 10 Sir John French had planned a serious attempt to break through at Neuve Chapelle, where a success seemed to promise decisive advantages. In any case an offensive movement was highly desirable, whether for the sake of preventing further troops being withdrawn to break down the Russian resistance on the Eastern Front, or for enheartening our own troops after their long period of defensive warfare against superior forces. There was, however, a real expectation that a well-planned attack would effect a break-through, and in order to turn it to the fullest account it was necessary to occupy the attention of the German reserves. To this end the French and Belgians were to demonstrate about Nieuport and the Yser, and, in order to give weight to the diversion, the navy was asked to co-operate.
The Venerable [See] and Excellent [???], with the usual attendance of destroyers and minesweepers, were sent over with instructions to bombard the batteries near Westende on March 11. The attack on Neuve Chapelle was made on the 10th, and was so far successful that the village was stormed and held. Next morning the naval bombardment began. Though met by a heavy return fire the ships were not touched, but in the view neither of the Admiral nor the Admiralty was the expenditure of ammunition justified by any tangible effect at Neuve Chapelle. German reserves were brought down from the north, and though Sir John French had all ready to push the cavalry through the gap that had been made, no such opportunity presented itself. The wings had been held up, and though the effort was continued both ashore and afloat till the 13th, no further progress could be made. The fact had to be faced that troops and ammunition supply were insufficient to bring about a decision.

Accordingly, when on March 10 the War Council met to consider the question, Lord Kitchener announced that he had decided that the XXIXth Division might go, and that the force which the Allies would be able to use against Constantinople would amount, if the Russian corps was up to full strength, to little less than 180,000 men, with nearly 300 guns.

(Dardanelles Commission Report, I., p. 33 and II., p. 9. The estimated details of the force were: —
Men. Guns.
Royal Naval Division 11,000 6
Australasian Infantry 30,600 64
Australasian Mounted 3,600 12
XXIXth Division 18,000 56
French Division 18,000 40
Russian Corps 47,600 120
Total 128,700 298
Besides these troops it was intended to send General Peyton's Yeomanry Division to Egypt as a reserve.)
The force it was likely to meet was believed to be about 60,000 in the Dardanelles area and perhaps 120,000 in or near Constantinople. It was not therefore more than the Allied army should be able to tackle with such powerful naval co-operation as was expected from the Russian side. The instructions that Admiral Ebergard received, which were communicated to London, were that so long as the Allied fleet was operating in the Dardanelles the Black Sea fleet would confine itself to purely naval demonstration, but as soon as Admiral Carden appeared before the Princes Islands, which defended the approach to Constantinople, the Russians would undertake a serious attack on the Bosporus forts. The troops were not to be landed till the Turkish fleet was destroyed and the two Allied fleets had joined hands, but it was specially provided that these orders were not to stand in the way of Admiral Ebergard’s acting on any suggestion his British colleague might wish to convey to him.
Up to this point, then, the objective, both of the Anglo-French and the Russian troops, was Constantinople, and there was still no intention of forcing the Dardanelles by a combined operation, although in a minute which Admiral Jackson submitted the following day he pointed out that unless the Gallipoli peninsula was occupied, the fleet, even if it succeeded in reaching the Straits, could not keep them open for the passage of troops. The decision, in fact, involved no real change of war policy; it was merely the ratification of what had been adopted in principle three weeks before; but from the point of view of our Imperial policy it meant a radical departure.
Daylight operations were now centred in the Gulf of Xeros. Their main object appears to have been a thorough reconnaissance of the Bulair lines and their approaches, combined with an investigation of the possibilities of landing on that side. The Dublin was still watching the lines, and early on the 10th the Cornwallis and Irresistible, with the seaplane carrier Ark Royal, went up to join her. The morning, however, proved too bad for an air reconnaissance, but the Cornwallis bombarded the village of Bulair which had lately been included in the lines, while the Dublin shelled and apparently demolished the barracks in Fort Sultan, but having nothing larger than 6” guns, and being severely restricted in expenditure of ammunition, she could make little or no impression on the fort itself.
In the afternoon a seaplane was able to get up, and her report was that the Kavak bridge on the Adrianople road, in spite of the previous attempts to destroy it, was still intact. Nothing further was done, and the Cornwallis returned to Tenedos, leaving the rest of the work for Admiral Guepratte, who was to take over the command next day. He arrived with the Suffren and Gaulois, and after detaching the Irresistible to bombard the little village port of Bakla in rear of the lines, and the coast forts north and south of it, he carried on with the reconnaissance.
No attempt to destroy the Kavak bridge is mentioned, and it was not till the afternoon that the weather permitted a seaplane to go up. Her report was that neither Fort Sultan nor Fort Napoleon appeared to be much damaged, and that the lines had been strengthened and extended with a view apparently to prevent their being turned or taken in reverse from the sea. Four lines of traversed trenches had been dug from Bulair village down to the Kavak River, and an entrenched camp with two large redoubts had been constructed east of the village. Next day (the 12th) the clouds were so low that all air reconnaissance was impossible. The Ark Royal returned to Tenedos, and Admiral Guepratte, embarking in the destroyer Usk [See], devoted himself to reconnoitring the north coast of the gulf from Cape Bustan to the Pasha River.

Meanwhile two more attempts had been made to get at the Kephez minefield — on a larger scale and a new plan. On the night of the 10th the force detailed was seven trawlers of the 3rd Group, and two picket boats, with four destroyers for escort and the Canopus and Amethyst [See] in support. Previous failures had shown that the trawlers had not sufficient engine power to sweep against the strong current that always sets down the Straits, and it had therefore been decided to try getting above the first minefield before beginning. This by good luck they were able to do, for at the critical period the searchlights were extinguished for twenty minutes. Thus they managed to steal up unperceived and get out the sweeps. The first pair of trawlers at once caught two mines both of which exploded, and one of them unfortunately so close to trawler No. 889 (Manx Hero) that it sank her. But that was only the beginning of trouble. At the sound of the explosions the searchlights were immediately switched on and the trawlers were quickly in a rain of shell. In vain the ships tried to extinguish the lights; they still burnt defiantly; the fire increased; two trawlers were hit by 6” shell, and there was nothing to do but for all to retire as best they could under cover of the destroyers.
Tags: history, navy, war economy, англичанка гадит, былое и думы, война не для генералов, гейжопа, мелкобританцы
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