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The New Zealanders at Gallipoli

Straightening the Line

Straightening the Line.

At the end of the first week it was obvious that our defensive line could be much improved. Between Pope's and Walker's Ridge there was a deep canyon—one of the forks at the head of Monash Gully. The Turk held the high ground looking down the canyon, so that troops who were at Pope's, if they wanted to get around to Walker's, had to go away
Black and white photograph of the shell burst.

A Shell Burst on Steel's Post.

down Monash Gully, along the beach, and up Walker's Ridge —a distance of nearly three miles, whereas the gap in the front line between Pope's and Walker's Ridge was only about 200 yards.

Again, between Pope's and Quinn's there was a ridge, so far unnamed. This ridge was practically “No Man's Land,” and, if occupied by the Turks, would be a dangerous salient page 105 to us, as it looked into the back of Quinn's Post and down the head of Monash Valley.

So it was decided that if the left flank of our line—that is, from Quinn's to Walker's—was flung forward, a continuous front line could be obtained and communication within the Anzac area would be much simplified.

It was originally decided that this pushing forward of our line would be made on May 1, but a Turkish attack was launched that evening, and was heavily repulsed by machine guns and rifle fire from Pope's and Courtney's Posts, which enfiladed the attacking infantry. Our attack was postponed until the evening of May 2.

The Canterbury Infantry were to push forward from Walker's, the 4th Australian Infantry Brigade from the head of Monash Gully, while the Otago Infantry Regiment were to attack from Pope's and link up the Australians with the Canterburys who were to advance from Walker's Ridge. Two battalions of the Royal Naval Division were to be held in reserve below Quinn's and Courtney's. To get to their appointed place by 7 p.m., the Otago Infantry had to leave Walker's Ridge on their three-mile march early in the after-noon.

Black and white diagram of the attack.

The Attack on Dead Man's Ridge.
It is obvious that the further an attack is pressed on Dead Man's Ridge, the better target is presented for the enemy gunner on the flank.

At 7 p.m. the attack was launched, but the Otago Regiment had suffered considerable checks on their march round the beach and up Monash Gully. This part of Anzac was so cut up and broken as to be almost unbelievable. The Otagos page 106 had to pull themselves up part of the way on a rope fastened on the steep slope of Pope's Hill.

The entire attack was carried out with great dash; but, owing to the darkness, our unfamiliarity with the country in front, and our misleading maps, we were brought to a standstill. The Canterburys found they could not get on from Walker's Ridge; some of our troops were beaten back, others, particularly the Otagos, hung on grimly through the long night. The Turk was plentifully supplied with cricket-ball hand-grenades, while we depended almost entirely on our rifles.