Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 218

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[Page 218]

auxiliary of the Amy. But there seems still to have remained the idea that only a small force was necessary to carry the Turkish positions on the European side up to the Narrows and then it would be a comparatively simple matter to clear the Straits of mines and allow the Fleet through to demonstrate off Constantinople. The immensity of the task ahead of the Allies was certainly not realised when the army landed on April 25th and even to this day there seems to be a general reluctance to face the true facts of the situation.

Also, apparently, there was a very natural disinclination to turn what was originally intended as a minor operation of war into a major one which would involve hundreds of thousands of men at the East of Europe at a moment when both armies in the West were evidently preparing for a decisive trial of strength. Yet, as a matter of fact, it should have been obvious that the attack on Gallipoli had already become a major operation of war directly we showed our hand by the disastrous Fleet action of March 18th. It was obvious that the Germans would leave no stone unturned to render the defences of the peninsula impregnable. It would seem also as if our information as to the enemy's numbers and the disposition of his troops have been sadly at fault from the start. Thus, having failed to take Constantinople by a coup de

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