In the Footsteps of the First: 1st Australian Light Horse Regiment - The August Offensive Gallipoli 1915

by Anne Flood

After spending six weeks recuperating from pleurisy, Brigadier General Chauvel returned to the Gallipoli Peninsula on Tuesday 3rd August 1915 to command the 1st Light Horse Brigade – just in time for the biggest attack since the Landing.

The Plan for the August Offensive

By late July, 1915 there had been little gain for either side since 25th April and it became clear that, if they were going to stay on the Peninsula, the Allies had to try something ‘new’. The battle plan was engineered by General Hamilton, Major-General Godley and Lieutenant-General Birdwood. Godley was given command of the entire assault involving over one hundred thousand men.

 

The offensive would be fought on a number of fronts. Beginning the 3rd August, 45,000 British reinforcements would land at Suvla Bay and proceed to seize hills in the Sari Bair Range.

 

On the 6th August British forces at Cape Helles would take diversionary action to keep Turkish divisions tied down at the southern end of the Peninsula. At 5.30pm on the 6th August a diversionary attack would be mounted at Lone Pine by the Australian First Infantry Brigade to divert Turkish troops away from the main action in its North. Other diversionary attack would occur at midnight on the 6th August at Steele’s Post to take the German Officers’ Trench.

AWM H15753 Brigadier General Harry Chauvel, Major General Alexander Godley and Lieutenant General William Riddell Birdwood confer in the open. [1]

On the evening of the 6th August two columns would head North along the beach and turn East to scale the heights of the Sari Bair Range.  Monash’s 4th Brigade, the British New Army Battalions, and the 29th Indian Brigade under General Cox, would move via Aghyl Dere to take Hill 971 and Hill Q.  New Zealand troops under Colonel Johnston and Brigadier-General Russell would move via Rhododendron Ridge and take Chunuk Bair. At 3.30am a Brigade of the New Army force on Chunuk Bair would then move down the southern slopes to attack on the rear of Baby 700, thus forming a converging movement with a frontal attack by Light Horse forces.