Item 01: Ellis Ashmead-Bartlett diary, 1915-1917 - Page 31
The Turks had had ample warning that we were coming, and they were certain to have made their preparations accordingly. What I mistrusted most was the higher commands of the Expedition. It did not appear to me from my intercourse with them that either the General or his Staff realised the terrible gravity of the enterprise on which they were now embarking, and how much failure might mean to the Empire. It seemed to me they rather regarded the Expedition as a kind of glorified picnic, and that the main considerations was the fact that they had an independent command to exercise which was extremely pleasing to their amour propre.
I could tell at once that their Intelligence Department was extremely bad, and that little or no reliance could be placed on their estimate of the Turks having 35,000 men to resist a landing. And that even then, it seemed to me that if this estimate was correct, that our force of 70,000 is far too few with which to attack troops on prepared grounds, of which we knew little or nothing. This was shown by our maps, the best obtainable, but which were found to be absolutely inaccurate, and which tells heavily against accurate fire from either the ships' guns or our own field artillery. Again considering the small effect of the fire of the ships' guns against the forts of the Narrows, I saw no reason to expect any better results when they were employed against earthworks, and entrenchments. It was therefore with the greatest misgivings that I watched the start of this enterprise. I did my best to get the truth known in England and the gravity of the situation realised, and thanks to the fact that my letters were being censored, up to this time, by the Navy and not by the Army, I succeeded in a limited sense