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Carnage at Suvla Bay
The 7th Battalion of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers as they prepare to leave the Royal Barracks in May 1915. They were among the troops who landed on the Gallipoli peninsula in August 1915 Photo: National Museum of Ireland

Carnage at Suvla Bay

Beach landings result in enormous loss of life

Dardanelles, 17 August 1915 - Tales of loss and heroism are emerging from the Dardanelles as ferocious fighting continues around Suvla Bay in Turkey. This is the second major offensive by allied forces on the peninsula, the first having taken place in April.

Soldiers from the British army, joined by Australians, New Zealanders and Newfoundlanders, landed on beaches all along the Gallipoli peninsula in an attempt to capture the area from Turkish troops.

The strength of the resistance from the Turks has led to the invaders suffering severe losses along the beaches.

There are reports of chaotic scenes as several army companies were forced to withdraw, such was the scale of their defeat.

In other places, beachheads were successfully established, through displays of enormous courage by men faced with grave difficulties.

British troops at Suvla Bay in 1915 after the first landing on the peninsula in April (Image: National Library NZ)

The 10th (Irish) Division

Intense fighting has been reported around the village of Seddul Bahr. Here - and in many other places - Irish soldiers of the the 10th Division, the first of the Irish divisions to see action, have been prominently involved.

It is reported that the 6th and 7th battalions of the Royal Dublin Fusiliers in particular have lost many men. Indeed, some reports suggest that entire boatloads of soldiers who were seeking to land were killed or wounded before even reaching the shore, due to heavy bombardment from the shore.

Reports also suggest that fire from covering ships was of little use in various areas and that this has contributed to the successes enjoyed by the Turks in their counter-attacks.

Fighting continues now all around the beaches of Suvla Bay.

[Editor's note: This is an article from Century Ireland, a fortnightly online newspaper, written from the perspective of a journalist 100 years ago, based on news reports of the time.]


Century Ireland

The Century Ireland project is an online historical newspaper that tells the story of the events of Irish life a century ago.