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The New Zealanders at Gallipoli

The Landing Beaches

The Landing Beaches.

The day before the battle the component parts of the Army Corps were widely scattered. Part was at Mitylene, 120 miles away; part was at Mudros, 50 miles away; the remainder at Kephalos, on Imbros, about 16 miles away. As soon as it was fully dark, these three bodies of troops were speeding on their way to Suvla. Three beaches were page 233 to be used. Beach A was in the centre of Suvla Bay. Beaches B and C were to the south of Nibrunesi—B for infantry and C for the disembarkation of artillery.

At 8 o'clock on the night of the 6th, the force sailed from Kephalos with its collection of water boats, barges and lighters. At 9.30 p.m., the flotilla silently crept towards Nibrunesi, and the disembarkation commenced. The 32nd and 33rd Brigades got ashore expeditiously at Beach B and rushed Lala Baba.

Then occurred the first disaster. Beach A was not reconnoitred, and the barges containing the 34th Brigade ran aground. Men jumped into the water and waded ashore. A few Turkish snipers on Hill 10 and Lala Baba crept among the troops, who were new to war. In the dark, confusion reigned. When daylight came the troops were ashore, but that was about all. There was no pressing on. The men were shaken by their experience of the night. The line ran round from Lala Baba across the flat ground to Hill 10.