3552 UNIVERSAL HISTORY-THE MODERN WORLD.
Turks and Germans, skillfully entrenched
and well supplied with artillery, barbed wire
entanglements, and deadly machine guns.
The Allies now held about ten square miles
of the peninsula, but practically every foot
of it was exposed to the fire of the Turkish
artillery, and the task of landing supplies
and munitions was a dangerous one. To an
Associated Press correspondent who was
allowed to visit the Turkish lines, Weber
Pasha, the German general commanding the
southern group, said: "The failure of the
Allies to consummate their plan of forcing
the Dardanelles is too obvious for discussion."
In the next few weeks, there was much
sanguinary fighting, with slight gains to
the Allies. The smallness of the area on
which the combats took place added to
the horrors of the situation. It was trench
and mine warfare, and in their excavations
the Allies dug up ruins of long buried
Greek towns and also stone tombs containing the moldering bones of men who
had died long before the Christian era.
The Allied position was the more serious
because the inability of the Russians to
attack the Bosphorus had released great
numbers of Turks who had been held in
readiness to meet that danger, and who
were now available for use about the
Dardanelles. The Allied forces were too
weak both in men, guns, and shells to attempt much, and were forced to watch their
enemies digging fresh trenches and covering
the hills with barbed wire. General Ian
Hamilton had urgently asked for reinforcements, but though some detachments
had reached him, they were not large
enough to make good the heavy losses and
greatly increase the size of the army.
During June, however, the British Government decided to make a more determined
effort to win through, and five divisions
were promised. During July and early
August, transport after transport arrived
from England or Egypt packed with troops,
many of whom were landed upon the Islands
of Imbros, Lemnos, and Mitylene. A
large part of these troops had never been
in battle, and a large proportion of their
officers were equally unseasoned.