Page 3551

3551 THE TWENTIETH CENTURY-THE GREAT WAR.

of the fleet. It was not long before Constantinople and all the towns in that

part of the Turkish Empire were full of

wounded.

If the Allies could have carried out

at this time the new landing which they

made in August, they would probably

soon have swept their way through to

Constantinople. The Turks were in great

alarm, and every day the people of the

capital half expected to see the enemy's

fleet approaching. As it was, the landing

parties were not able to do much more

than hold their own against the constantly

increasing swarms of Turks, and the

warfare became one of trenches, of bombs,

and slow approaches. Progress, like that

on the Western Front, was measured by

yards. The Allies were, at this time,

however, not far from victory, and Winston

Churchill, the First Lord of the Admiralty,

correctly portrayed the situation and

the prize at stake, when he said:

"In looking at your losses squarely

and soberly you must not forget at the

same time the prize for which you are

contending. The army of Sir Ian Hamilton and the fleet of Admiral de Robeck

are separated only by a few miles from a

victory such as this war has not seen.

When I speak of victory I am not referring

to those victories that crowd the daily

placards of any newspaper. I am speaking of victory in the sense of a brilliant

and formidable fact shaping the destinies

of nations and shortening the duration

of the war. Beyond those few miles of

ridge and scrub on which our soldiers,

our French comrades, our gallant Australian and New Zealand fellow subjects

are now battling, lie the downfall of a

hostile empire, the destruction of an

enemy's fleet and army, the fall of a

world-famous capital, and probably the

accession of powerful allies. The struggle

will be heavy, the risks numerous, the

losses cruel, but victory when it comes

will make amend for all. ...Through the

Narrows of the Dardanelles and across

the ridges of the Gallipoli Peninsula lie

some of the shortest paths to a triumphant

peace."

Already, however, circumstances were

rapidly developing that were unfavorable

to the Allied venture. In May, the

Teutonic forces had begun their great

drive through Galicia; and Russia, hard

pressed at home, had no troops to spare

for an attack upon the Bosphorus. In

the Balkans, Allied attempts to reconstitute the Balkan League in their interest

had failed, at least for the time being.

Venizelos, the great Cretan statesman

who had piloted Greece through two

victorious wars, was eager to lend assistance to the attack on the Turks, but

King Constantine, influenced by his wife,

who was a sister of Kaiser Wilhelm, was

opposed to the venture-at least on the

terms the Allies offered. Finding his

efforts blocked, Venizelos resigned, and,

though a general election was soon ordered,

it did not take place for many weeks.

On May 26, a German submarine

suddenly appeared in the Dardanelles,

and in two days' time sank the British

battleships Triumph and Majestic. Opinions differed as to whence the wasp had

come; some supposed that she had been

sent overland to the Adriatic and from

thence had made her way to Turkish

waters; but the German commander asserted that she had come by way of the

Atlantic and Gibraltar. At any rate,

the wasp was there, and thenceforth the

Allied warships were unable to lend so

much assistance as they had hitherto done.

The Germans, however, were not alone

in carryinng out such under-water enterprises. British submarines repeatedly succeeded in passing through the maze of

mines in the strait and entering the Sea of

Marmora, where they sank scores of Turkish vessels thereby greatly complicating the

problem of supplying the defenders of the

Dardanelles and spreading apprehension

and terror even in Constantinople.

On June 4, the Allies attempted a

grand assault on the Turkish trenches

in the southern area of Gallipoli, and

managed to carry two lines of Turkish

trenches along a three mile front, but

were again held up. Ahead loomed formidable heights, defended by thousands of