The New Zealanders at Gallipoli
The Last Attack on Anzac
The Last Attack on Anzac.
Day by day the soldiers clinging to their posts at Anzac were filled with speculations as to the progress made at Helles. Great bombardments seemed to be of daily occurrence. Sometimes we could fancy that the great clouds of dust and smoke were rolling appreciably nearer. On June 27/28 the masses of smoke and flame seemed greater than ever. Then we learned that Helles was being attacked, page 178 and we were asked to take off a little of the strain. The extreme right of our line was now held by the 2nd Australian Light Horse Brigade, supported on the right by the veterans of the heroic early-morning landing—Maclagan's 3rd Australian Infantry Brigade. These units carried out dashing attacks on the extreme right. The diversion was entirely successful, and drew formidable Turkish reserves towards Anzac.
Indeed, as the hours slipped by, it seemed that the object of the Light Horse and Infantry was more than achieved, for it was reported that more and more of the finest Turkish regulars were being concentrated opposite Anzac.
On the night of June 29, about 9.10, the enemy expended thousands of rounds ineffectually against our extreme right—evidently firing at nothing in particular, as most of the bullets sailed aimlessly out to sea. This was the Turk's usual method of advertising an attack somewhere else. Sure enough, during the night that attack developed opposite Pope's and Russell's Top. The 3rd Light Horse Brigade (consisting of the 8th, 9th, and 10th Regiments) were now taking turns with the New Zealand Mounted Brigade in No. 4 Defence Section. The machine guns were never taken out of the line, Australian and New Zealand guns staying in even when their respective brigades were withdrawn to “rest.”
In the moonlight, about an hour after midnight, the Turk, calling on his God, surged forward to the attack on No. 4 Section. In the half light the machine gunners found the range, and mercilessly cut up the attacking waves. But they were not to be denied. On and on they pressed, right up to the parapets. Several Turks bravely jumped into our trenches and were killed. They certainly were game. Around Pope's, too, they threw wave after wave, which faded away under the hail of lead.
On the Nek we had constructed several trenches, which were not yet joined up. Down between these new trenches came the enemy, only to be assailed with a cross-fire which almost annihilated the attack. Further to the left, General Russell had an excellent secret sap—a trench with no parapet to advertise its existence. Working round our left flank, the page 179 enemy blundered into this concealed tench, and lost over 250 men. Nowhere was the line broken, and the attack melted away.
This was the last attempt the enemy made to break the Anzac line.