Gallipoli Campaign

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1915 Aug 7 - Aug 19

Battle of Chunuk Bair

Chunuk Bair Cemetery, Kocadere

The capture of Chunuk Bair, the secondary peak of the Sari Bair range, was one of the two objectives of the Battle of Sari Bair. British units that reached the summit of Chunuk Bair early on 8 August 1915 to engage the Turks were the Wellington Battalion of the New Zealand and Australian Division, 7th (Service) Battalion, Gloucestershire Regiment; and 8th (Service) Battalion, Welch Regiment, both of the 13th (Western) Division. The troops were reinforced in the afternoon by two squads of the Auckland Mounted Rifles Regiment, also part of the New Zealand and Australian Division. The first troops on the summit were severely depleted by Ottoman return fire and were relieved at 10:30 pm on 8 August by the Otago Battalion (NZ), and the Wellington Mounted Rifles Regiment, New Zealand and Australian Division. The New Zealand troops were relieved by 8:00 pm on 9 August by the 6th Battalion, South Lancashire Regiment, and 5th Battalion, Wiltshire Regiment, who were massacred and driven off the summit in the early morning of 10 August, by an Ottoman counter-attack led by Mustafa Kemal.

The British August Offensive at Anzac Cove and Suvla was an attempt to try to break the stalemate that the Gallipoli Campaign had become. The capture of Chunuk Bair was the only success for the Allies of the campaign but it was fleeting as the position proved untenable. The Ottomans recaptured the peak for good a few days later.

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Last Updated: : Tue Mar 28 2023