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The New Zealanders at Gallipoli

The Anzac Thrust for “971.”

The Anzac Thrust for “971.”

The attack from the left of Anzac was perhaps one of the most complicated in history. The huge sprawling mass of the Sari Bair system was broken by a multiplicity of water-courses, the sides of which were often sheer cliffs, scored and fissured by torrential winter rains. The only possible means of approaching the peaks was by way of these water-courses. Now, it is a well-known military axiom page 202
Black and white sketch map.

A Sketch Map To illustrate the Battle of Sari Bair.
The area represented is about 5,400 yards by 3,000 yards. The distance from the mouth of the Sazli Beit Dere to the Apex is approximately 2,300 yards; and about 3,700 yards to the top of Hill 971.

page 203 that troops cannot pass safely through a defile until the heights are made secure; it was also known that no troops could push up through two and a half miles of these savage, scrub-covered hills and be fit to fight a battle with a fresh, determined foe at the top. So the work had to be mapped out in stages.

Soldiers know that with more than one body of troops operating there is always a risk of someone being late. In night operations this risk is intensified. Further, it is very difficult to fit in what the staff officers call their “time and space problem.” The men could not all go up one gully. They would arrive at the top a few men at a time, and could not attack on a broad enough front, but only at one point. So it was arranged that the force under the command of Major-General Godley should be divided into four columns—two to break the line and open up the lower parts of the deres; the other two following shortly after, and proceeding up the three main deres, pass through the covering forces to the assault of Chunuk Bair, Hill Q, and Koja Chemen Tepe.

During the nights of August 3, 4, and 5, the New Army troops were landed at Anzac, marched along the “Big Sap” to their prepared bivouacs on the hillside, and remained under cover until the eventful night. The 29th Indian Brigade, consisting of one Sikh and three Ghurka regiments, also arrived and went to their allotted place on the left. This made available:—

The N.Z. and Australian Division (less the Australian Light Horse, who were at Quinn's, Pope's, Russell's Top, and Walker's Ridge.

The 13th (New Army) Division (less five battalions).
The 29th Indian Infantry Brigade; and
The Indian Mountain Artillery Brigade.