trails covering the entire horizon and approaching the Dardanelles signaled
that the 18th of March was going to be a big day....
At about 11.30 in the morning ... a rain of iron poured down on the defences, thick clouds of smoke drifting over the targets. Activity around the ships also increased. From the batteries on both sides a rain of shells comes down on the ships, high waterfountains splash up and clouds of smoke emerge indicating hits upon their targets. ...
Just after 12 ... an amazing artillery battle began ... The battle reaches a
peak. Thunder turns into storm; ...
...It appeared beyond human capability to tolerate this hell; but nonetheless, the Turks and Germans stayed and did their duty. Behind the hills, flashes and flames were raging and the air was filled with cracking noises. Red flashes were visible through the clouds of smoke and columns of earth that had been whipped-up by the bombardment from the big guns.
Translated from “The Battle for the Dardanelles 1915”, (Berlin 1927) K. Mühlmann, p. 71-72
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18th March celebrations in 2003
"The commander of the local Artillery Regiment makes a speech at a ceremony helt to commemorate the 3rd anniversary of the Çanakkale victory of 5 March 331 (*)", picture reproduction from "The War Magazine", (Istanbul - 2004), p. 318
report for 18th March by,
Brigadier-General Cevat, commander of the Dardanelles Defence Forces reads as
1. Today a total of 16 battleships, 4 of which are French along with 3 cruisers and a number of enemy torpedo boats from their fleet have bombarded our batteries. The bombardment began at 11h30 and continued till late in the day. We have responded to their attack.
One of the torpedo boats and the battleship “Bouvet” have been sunk,
Naturally, the Ottomans
were jubilant. They had repulsed the greatest naval power in the world yet had
lost only forty-four men killed (including eighteen Germans) and seventy-four
wounded. The shore guns had that day fired an enormous amount of ammunition.
In British post-war mythology it is sometimes claimed that the fleet retired
just as the Ottoman ammunition supply expired, but recent research has
revealed that enough shells were on hand to repulse another two attacks.
Besides, it was mines rather than guns that inflicted most of the damage.
The victory was the Ottoman’s first for many, many years. Thus the achievement was of immense psychological as well as military value… The occasion is still commemorated each year by Turks.
“Gallipoli, the Turkish story”, (Crows Nest 2003), Kevin Fewster, Vecihi Başarın, Hatice Hürmüz Başarın, p. 55
whereas the battleship “Irresistible” is still afloat but
has lost its battle capability. Another battleship was hit and while leaning to
its side, managed to escape at a very slow pace. We have not received any
reports yet from our batteries –which at this moment continue firing without
interruption at the enemy- yet we estimate that losses are negligible.
2. The endurance and accuracy of our batteries during todays bombardment merits an appreciation and I therefore extend to all my fellow officers and their men my satisfaction and I hope God may always give us such victories.
Translated from “My Memoirs of the Çanakkale Wars”, Çanakkale memoirs / Volume III, (Istanbul 2005), Şakir Tunççapa, p. 105-106