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PLAQUE NO. I ... ARI BURNU          

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Plaque Text. At 0430 hours on 25 April 1915,36 rowing boats landed the first Australian soldiers around this point and at Anzac cove. Immediately they climbed the 100 metre hill behind you (Plugge's plateau) and by 1000 hrs. Secured a front line(seen from the hill top road) from the Nek, Quinn's post, lone pine and to the south beyond shell green. 160 Turkish soldiers opposed the initial landing and by day's end, assisted by 8,000 reinforcements, they contained the 16,000 Australian and New Zetland soldiers landed. By evening each side had suffered 2,000 casualties and both were deadlocked along a front line that changed little until allied evacuation on 20 December 1915.

Text from Gallipoli Plaques Book*
Under cover of darkness at 0430 hours on 25th April 1915, Australian infantry of the 9th Battalion (Queensland), 10th and 11th Battalions (South Australia) and 12th Battalion (Tasmania) landed along this coastal area. Each man carried, besides his weapon and 200 rounds of ammunition, 2 extra days' rations and a full pack so fastened that it could be discarded if the boat was sunk The rowing boats were manned by young midshipmen from the transport ships of the Royal Navy that had carried the ANZACs from Egypt to these shores. The 160 Turkish soldiers of the 2nd Battalion, 27th Regiment who were guarding this area held their fire until the first boats had beached and men were charging up the hillsides.

The Turkish Command had not expected a landing at this position and had placed most of its men at Gaba Tepe, a headland 3.5 kilometres to the south. Gaba Tepe, with its adjacent wide beach and relatively small hills behind, was a logical and expected site for invasion. For reasons that are still not clear, the Australians landed well beyond the prepared defences of Gaba Tepe and found themselves on a rugged, uncharted shore. The number of Australian casualties would initially have been higher if the landing had been at Gaba Tcpe, but this would have been outweighed by the advantages of a much easier terrain than that encountered around ANZAC Cove.

The first assault troops in 36 boats landed around Ari Burnu, although some boats were carried 200 metres, further north of here and were met by extremely heavy Turkish fire causing large numbers of casualties. At ANZAC Cove, fewer boats landed troops than at Ari Burnu. These men were soon running along the skyline of MacLagans Ridge, north towards Plugge's Plateau (behind you).

Within minutes of the landing, the first Australians from Ari Burnu were seen on Plugge's Plateau. The few Turkish soldiers who garrisoned this isolated position were quickly overrun. The Australians then fanned out towards the next ridge.

The second wave of Australian infantry soon landed, but this time on a much wider front stretching from Hell Spit (now marked as Beach Cemetery) to Ari Burnu. By 0600 hours, 4,000 Australians were ashore with approximately 700 Turks opposing them. in the charge up the hills the men became disorganised and disoriented. Without accurate maps, great initiative was needed by both officers and men to pursue the enemy into, and along, the many gullies and ridges in this inhospitable area. Around 1030 hours New Zealanders landed and were rushed into forward positions to help the Australians.

The terrain is so rough that scouting parties, who were part of the first wave ashore, took almost four hours to reach the third ridge, known as Gun Ridge. This was taken but, due to inadequate Allied reinforcement, was quickly (and permanently) recaptured by the Turks. The main body of troops reached the second ridge within three hours. You will see the positions that they took up that morning on Second Ridge, as you pass along the road from Lone Pine (Plaque No. 5) to The Nek (Plaque No. 8).

During the rest of the morning, and for most of the afternoon, a tense and see-sawing battle raged with great courage displayed on both sides. They fought forwards and backwards over the crest of Second Ridge, neither side gaining the upper hand. The Turks were greatly outnumbered that first day, but they sacrificed their lives in many brave counterattacks against the ANZACs, knowing that large Turkish reinforcements would reach the area by nightfall. The northern and southern flanks of the ANZACs were secured by British warships steaming close in and providing concentrated fire from naval guns.

The main Turkish reserves were located on the other side of the Peninsula, ready to be moved to any position of need. They did not receive notification of the landing until 0600 hours; two battalions of the 27th Regiment moved out at 0730 hours towards the Australians. When these troops arrived at the battlefield they stemmed the Australian and New Zealand advance, but by nightfall some 50 per cent of the 27th Regiment had been killed or wounded. In the landing area, two Turkish field artillery batteries, each of 4 guns, supported their infantry and harassed Allied reinforcements on the beach and coming ashore.

After 0600 hours on the same day, British and French forces landed at six positions around the southern tip of the Peninsula. These landings were approximately 25 kilometres south of ANZAC Cove, and also at Kumkale on the Asiatic shore of the Dardanelles.

The Gallipoli Campaign had begun and would continue for a further 240 days at ANZAC and 260 days at the British and French battlefields of Cape Helles.


* - - This text is taken from "Gallipoli Plaques, A Guide to the Anzac Battlefield", by R.J.Bastiaan. 2nd Edition Published by ANRAB Pty. Ltd. 1991.

 



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