Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 30
sole remark on saying good bye was this: "General, the task ahead is one of the most difficult that has ever been undertaken, and the Expedition can only succeed if you have sufficient troops to push right inland at the start, and if the Government keep you well supplied with reinforcements. By this time I had become convinced that the Expedition was almost certainly doomed to failure. The military authorities took the standpoint that the most critical period would be the first 24 hours, mainly during the landing. Personally I thought otherwise. I did not think that the Turks would concentrate the mass of their men to actually oppose the landing, as they would come under the fire of such a mass of warships that after a time they would almost certainly be crushed by it, or else demoralised.
I felt rather that the critical period would be when having established ourselves on shore, we attempted to push inland to attack their main positions, wherever they might be situated, because the guns of the fleet would no longer then, be able to render the same assistance, and the Army would have to depend on itself to storm entrenched positions with the very limited number of field guns, and howitzers to support them. I knew what an excellent fighter the Turk is behind entrenchments, and how difficult he would be to turn out at the point of the bayonet. I also saw that once the troops were ashore at a number of different points, that the command would be an extremely difficult one, to exercise and that so much would depend on the skill and initiative of the Brigadier Commanders. I felt certain that we must expect to encounter just the same high level of skill in the land defences as the Fleet had met with when it attacked the Straits.