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side. Their next objective was the village of Yeni Shehr, but they were held up by three Turkish regiments which were strongly entrenched, and could get no farther that day. Four times during the succeeding night the Turks made powerful counter-attacks, led by German officers, but each time they were driven back with the bayonet, until the ground intervening was strewn with the enemy's dead. At one period 400 Turks were cut off from their comrades by the fire of the battleships, and were made prisoners. Next morning, however, it was plain that further progress was impossible without heavy reinforcements, and the troops were ordered to re-embark. They did so under the guns of the French warships without suffering further opposition. They had performed their task gallantly, but at a great cost. In that one day and night the regiment had lost one-fourth of its effective strength, having suffered 754 casualties. These were : killed, 167; wounded, 459; missing, 116.

The Battle of the Landing has now been described up to the morning of the second day. The forces at Beach Y and at Kum Kale had been, or were being, withdrawn. The isolated Anzacs were holding a shortened semicircular line against the gathering masses of the enemy. The little force at De Tott's Battery was holding its ground, but was still far from any other body. The exhausted troops at Beach V

were isolated also, and remained clustering under the old fort and the sandy bank, not having yet advanced to the attack of the village and castle of Sedd-el-Bahr, and Hill 141. The only two forces which had effected a junction were those landed at Beaches W and X, and they held a very narrow strip of the south-western corner of the peninsula. A tremendous further effort was necessary if the slender foothold obtained was to be made good. With what vigour and determination the advance was made, and at what price, must in turn be related. After 24 hours the British were ashore, but that was all. Their position continued to be precarious and seriously menaced.

The great fault of the plan of the Battle of the Landing was that the attacking forces were too dispersed, and that too many landings were attempted, in some cases in insufficient strength. The landing of the Anzacs north of Gaba Tepe was probably a mistake from first to last. It was a repetition of the episode of Beach Y on a larger scale, and was doubtless due to an underestimation of the strength of the enemy's positions farther south. Had the splendid Australian and New Zealand troops been thrown into the scale before Krithia and Achi Baba the first stages of the attack upon the Gallipoli Peninsula might have reached a different conclusion.

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x Russian Front at the beginning of August, 1915 (before the Fall of Warsaw).
Russian Front towards the end of October, 1915.

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N August 5 the German troops entered Warsaw. On September 18 followed the fall of Vilna. The intervening forty-four days form practically the conclusion of the great Austro-German offensive against Russia which, having begun on May 2 with the battle of Gorlitse and Tarnoff, was throughout the summer of 1915 the main, we might almost say, the absorbing, concern of the enemy.

From the point of view of strategy, two distinct phases can be distinguished in the advance from Warsaw to Vilna; the fall of Brest Litovsk on August 25 can be taken as the landmark between them. The military operations of the first period carried to its logical conclusion the concentric movement against Eastern Polanc. From the north across the Nareff, from the west across the Vistula, from the south past Lublin and Cholm, the enemy was advancing against the strategic centre and main railway junction of the place d'armes of Western Russia, the fortress of Brest Litovsk. On the day of its fall the Germans gained also possession of Bielostok, the junction of five railway lines, from Warsaw, Ossovets, Grodno, Volkovysk, and Brest Litovsk. Two days earlier Austrian troops had entered Kovel, where the railway Vol. V-Part 65.


line leading from Warsaw to Kieff crosses that which unites Brest Litovsk with Rovno. The advance of the Austro-German armies during the three weeks which followed on the fall of Warsaw, carried them thus from the circumference of the semi-circle Ossovets-LomzaWarsaw-Ivangorod-Cholm to its diameter, of which the railway line Bielostok-Kovel is the most essential part; Brest Litovsk lies exactly half-way between Bielostok and Kovel and is the centre of that sector. Whilst the AustroGerman armies, under Mackensen and Prince Leopold, of Warsaw fame, were forcing the line of the Bug, the northern group under Hindenburg was mainly engaged in reducing the Russian fortresses on the Niemen. On August 17 fell Kovno, on August 26 our Allies evacuated Olita, in the first days of September they had to abandon Grodno, their last stronghold on the River Niemen.

Thus four weeks after the fall of Warsaw, the Austro-German armies were in possession of the entire Bug-Niemen line. The supposition had been frequently expressed in previous strategic speculations that that line formed the ultimate goal of the enemy's endeavours in the Eastern theatre of war, and that having reached it, he would pass to the defensive, transferring his

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main forces to some other front. Yet, even after the fall of Brest, the Austro-German offensive showed no sign of slackening. Evidently the goal of the Germanic armies lay still farther east. What was it? Was it Kieff or was it Petrograd? It now appears that neither the oldest, sacred capital of EastEuropean Slavdom, nor the centre of the modern Russian State, was the immediate objective of the Germanic commanders. They seem to have been aiming at something far less impressive from the point of view of the layman, but far more important from that of the strategist at the railway line which crosses the Pripet Marshes between Baranovitchy and Sarny, and connects Vilna with Rovno. The skilful retreat of the Russian armies had, time after time, deprived the German commanders of the "crowning mercy," which they were hoping for and seeking after; they never achieved their second Sedan on an infinitely bigger scale, which would have settled the war in so far as Eastern Europe was concerned. But if they could not capture the Russian army, they hoped to reduce it to practical impotence by forcing it to abandon the railway line across the Pripet Marshes, the biggest and most impassable area of morasses in Europe. Had our Allies been forced to abandon that railway connecting Vilna and Rovno, their armies would have been cut in two by the swamps of Polesie; all direct communication between the troops operating to the north of them and those

concentrated in the southern area would have ceased. Not a single other railway line crosses from north to south the 180 miles of marshland which lie between the Vilna-BaranovitchyLuniniets-Sarny-Rovno line and the River Dnieper. Even beyond it there is no direct line connecting the northern and the southern area; it is more than 100 miles east of the Dnieper that the two railway systems join at a small railway-station in the government of Tchernihoff.

With the fall of Brest Litovsk on August 25, the central sector of the western of the two railway lines which run from Vilna to Rovno passed into the hands of the enemy. A further advance in force due east of Brest, through the marshes against Luniniets, would have been a most hazardous undertaking; in fact, it would hardly have been practicable. It was but natural to start the operations against the eastern line by an offensive against the two termini, Vilna and Rovno. Having captured these two points, the Austro-German forces might have tried a converging movement against Luniniets along the three railway lines leading towards it from the north, west and south. Even then they would still have been confronted by a very difficult task. No big numbers of troops can operate in that region of swamps; nor is it probable that their offensive could have been supported by flanking movements against the LuninietsGomel line, either from the north or the south.

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