Read here about Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General William Robertson

Chief of the Imperial General Staff, General William Robertson, recommended the evacuation of Cape Helles to the War Committee on December 28, 1915. He explained the context for the complete withdrawal from the Gallipoli peninsula, in his memoirs.

Gallipoli, 1915 took to their official social media account and shared the information, “The evacuation of Helles in the Gallipoli Peninsula was still under consideration at the end of 1915.”

Since the month of September the Government had been undecided what course to pursue in regard to the Dardanelles, and early in month of October he had been summoned from France, Europe to advise.

Along with this, William Robertson recommended cutting their losses, as well as mentioned in the statement that although evacuation must necessarly be attended with difficulty as well as risk it ought nevertheless to be a feasible operation provided that careful arrangements were made, especially with respect to secrecy.

Later, General Charles Monro was sent out to command as well as to advise, and he was followed by Lord Kitchener, who was to give a final decision.

Eventually, in the third week of December month, Anzac and Suvla were evacuated, but the question as to whether Helles, at the toe of the peninsula, should or should not be retained still remained to be settled.

The open confession of the failure involved by full evacuation was unpalatable to ministers, as well as some of them though that people shouls lose prestige in the eyes of the eastern world, as well as so make further trouble there.

Along with this, some of the soldiers though that Egypt would be seriously threatened by the liberation of the Turkish troops hitherto contained in the peninsula.

The sailors, for reasons not very convincing, were mainly in favour of continued occupation.

Moreover, while the withdrawal and re-embarkation of a force of 40,000 men, 150 guns, 4500 horses, as well as a vast quantity of stores was undoubtedly beset with enormous risks.

It was impossible to say what their losses might not be, for apart from the uncertainty of what the enemy might do or omit to do, much depended upon the extent to which weather interfered with the operation. Some of the officers on the spot thought people might lose as much as thirty percent of the force.

But after all, the main question was what useful purpose would be served by keeping a detachment at Helles, now that the troops had been withdrawn from Anzac and Suvla? Clearly there was none, and to continue hanging on to the place merely because we were afraid to leave it, was not only a waste of men but would be a constant source of anxiety.


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