This page has already been transcribed. You can find new pages to transcribe here.


[Page 245]

[Editor's note: This letter addressed to the British Prime Minister was given to Keith Murdoch in Gallipoli to take to England. He was intercepted at Marseilles by British authorities and obliged to hand it over. A copy was finally delivered by Ashmead Bartlett when he was in England in October although Asquith May have seen the original]
[Handwritten note]
This is the carbon copy of the original letter sent
September 8th 1915.
Dear Mr Asquith
I hope you will excuse the liberty I am taking in writing to you but I have the chance of sending this letter through by hand and I consider it absolutely necessary that you should know the true state of affairs out here. Our last great effort to achieve some definite success against the Turks was the most ghastly and costly fiasco in our history since the Battle of Bannockburn. Personally I never thought the scheme decided on by Headquarters ever had the slightest chance of succeeding and all efforts now to make out that it only just failed owing to the failure of the 9th Corps to seize the Anafarta Hills bare no relation to the real truth.

The operations did for a time make headway in an absolutely impossible country more than any general had a right to expect owing to the superlative gallantry of the Colonial Troops and the self-sacrificing manner in which they threw away their lives against positions which should never have been attacked. The main idea was to cut off the southern portion of the Turkish Army by getting astride of the Peninsula from Suvla Bay. Therefore the whole weight of the attack should have been concentrated on this objective, instead of which the main attack with the best troops was delivered against the side of the Turkish position which is a series of impossible mountains and valleys covered with dense scrub. The Staff seem to have carefully serached for the most difficult points and then threw away thousands of lives in trying to take them by frontal attacks. A few Gourkas obtained a lodgement on Chunuk Bair but were immediately driven off by the Turkish counter attacks and the main objective Koja Chemen Tepe was never approached. The 9th Corps, miserably mishandled, having failed to take the Anafarta Hills is now accused of

Current Status: