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[Page 158]

undiscovered mine field in Kephez Bay or they may have been mines released by the sweepers off Kephez itself. The net result of these operations was the actual knocking out of two guns by direct hits at Chanak, and the killing of 35 Turks, according to their reports to the Rome embassy.

It has been frequently claimed that but for the unforeseen disasters to the Bouvet, the Ocean and the Irrisistible, the Straits might have been forced that afternoon, but an examination of the times at which the various incidents occurred shows that this is absolutely out of the question. The 1st Division did not commence the bombardment until 11.30, the light not being favourable before that hour. The 2nd Division did not enter the Straits to relieve the French ships until after 2 p.m. and the enemy's fire from the Narrows began to die down, I believe, about 3 p.m. It was not until 3.10 p.m. that the mine-sweepers closed in and began to sweep the channel to Kephez Point.

No further attempt to advance was made by the 2nd Division by 4.15, when the Irresistible was struck, and by 5 p.m. it was too dark either to shoot or to attempt the passage of the Narrows. Meanwhile the enemy's main mine field had never been touched. These facts ought to effectively dispose of the ideas prevalent in some minds, including, apparently, Mr Churchill's, that the attack was not pressed home and would have succeeded if it had been. The Navy did everything

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