The Utter Dependence on the Imperial Navy.
campaign, perhaps more noticeably than any other phase of the war, demonstrated the utter dependence of the Dominions Overseas on the supreme Imperial Navy. Of what use are mighty armies if they cannot be concentrated
[British Official Photograph.
The “Albion” ashore off Gaba Tepe.
The “Cornwallis” is towing her off.
at the decisive point at the right moment? Every New Zealander who was on Gallipoli
fully recognized that without the Navy we could not have got ashore, we could not have had our daily beef and biscuits, and worse still, we could
never have got safely away. How the admiration of the soldiers for the sailors was reciprocated! What a galaxy of glorious memories—the old “Majestic” and gallant “Bacchante” enveloping Walker's Ridge and Gaba Tepe
in clouds of smoke and dust on the day of the landing; the dear old “Albion” ashore that momentous morning off Gaba Tepe
, when the destroyers and the “Cornwallis
” tugged and tugged while the old ship spat broadside after broadside at the Turkish guns on the ridge; the sleepless destroyers, with their searchlights on the flanks — the “Chelmer,” the “Pincher,” the “Colne,” the “Usk,” and a dozen others—men up and down New Zealand to-day recall those magic names and remember the hot cocoa, the new bread, the warm welcomes and the cheery freemasonry of the sea. The service of the Navy was a very personal thing, and meant more to the men of Anzac than feeble words can tell.
[Photo by the Author
Ammunition from every Arsenal in India.
The ammunition problem was an acute one. Fortunately for the supply arrangements, the big guns of the Gallipoli armies were on the warships, but the howitzers and the field guns ashore were often sadly supplied. At one time the howitzers were restricted to two shells daily. Everything had to be saved for the days on which the Turk decided to “drive the infidels into the sea.”
Small arm ammunition was always plentiful, and the machine gunners, thanks to the Navy, never had to go short. As far as rifles and machine guns were concerned, many of
the outlying parts of the Empire were called on, and at one time Anzac Cove was inundated with thousands of small arm ammunition cases, on which were inscribed the signs of all the famous arsenals of India.
When “jams”—those bugbears of machine gunners—were at first much too frequent, we overcame these difficulties by using only New Zealand-made ammunition, which proved to be less variable and more reliable than the ordinary issue.