Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 228

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[Page 228]

the country up to the Narrows and that taking the Narrows will open the gate for the Fleet to pass through to Constantinople. Yet, there is little justification for either of these beliefs. There are two other great positions behind Achi Baba before we can reach Kelid Bahr and, although I have no certain information, there is every reason to believe the enemy is fortifying these to meet future eventualities. Therefore, unless his resistance suddenly collapses, an eventuality on which we have no right to speculate, each of these positions will have to be taken yard by yard, trench by trench.

Also, taking the Narrows will no longer open the road for the Fleet to pass through to Constantinople, because the Turks have been mining the Channel (right) the way up to Gallipoli. They have been erecting new batteries on shore and placing fresh torpdeo tubes in position. Therefore, let no one suppose that once the Narrows is taken, the longer reach of narrow water beyond can be tackled with impunity. At the present moment we have not got a military position at all at the southern end of Gallipoli. I do not think we could be driven out of it, but we are not comfortable as every yard of the plain which we hold is exposed to the fire of the enemy's batteries and all the beaches can be swept by his heavy guns. Every movement we make is visible to him on the higher ground and his guns can be moved from position to position in

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