The effort at Helles was to be entrusted to the 29th Division, supported by the Royal Naval Division, and ultimately to be reinforced by the French division.
The beaches which had been selected were, enumerating from right to left, " S " in Morto Bay, " V " and " W " on either side of Cape Helles at the south-western end, and " X " and " Y " on the outer shore; " V " and " W " were regarded as of primary importance, as those two beaches offered suitable landing places from the point of view of subsequent operations.
The invaders of Helles had secured but a precarious foothold on Ottoman soil by the morning of the 26th, twenty-four hours after starting operations; but fair progress was made by them during the course of this second day.
On this occasion the Turks made a determined resistance; but the Allies' line was advanced by a few hundred yards at most points, and a three days' lull then ensued in the Helles area.
The arrangements for disembarking Birdwood's Australasians differed from those made at Helles, in that here the whole force was to land at one point, and that an attempt was to be made to effect a surprise just before dawn (April 25).
Sodenstern) was put in charge of the Helles front, Essad taking command on the Ari Burnei front.
On the other hand, the Turks, who were commanded by Essad, had likewise dug themselves in, and they could bring an effective artillery fire to bear on the Anzac trenches from three sides, the prospect of the landing force making any effective progress under the awkward conditions of ground in which it found itself was remote, and Birdwood's contingents had in reality been even less successful than had those detailed for Helles as regards securing an adequate area on the enemy's shores before the defence gathered strength.
His troops were entrenching themselves solidly in face of the invaders both at Helles and at Anzac, so that his antagonists would be obliged to storm lines of earthworks whenever they should attempt to make further progress.
On three successive nights from the ist to the 3rd the Turks delivered resolute assaults upon the Allies' position at Helles, but they were repulsed on each occasion; they also on the night of the 2nd-3rd launched attacks upon the Australasians, the combat lasting into the next day, but here also they were beaten off.
Two brigades of Birdwood's force were thereupon temporarily transferred to Helles by night, and on the 6th and following two days a mighty effort was made by the invaders to push forward in this southern area and to win the high ground that stretches across the peninsula about 5 m.
Much work was done in organizing the area and its communications and landing places, but the tactical situation at Helles remained stationary for the rest of the month.
Hamilton made Imbros his headquarters, and troops also were sometimes collected there owing to its vicinity both to Helles and to Anzac. Within the Dardanelles the battleship " Goliath " had been torpedoed by the Turkish destroyer " Muavenet-i-Milliye " on May 13; on the other hand British submarines were performing invaluable service, diving under the mine-fields, causing havoc amongst enemy craft in the channel itself and higher up, and threatening Ottoman communications with the peninsula.
The 52nd Division was, however, under orders to proceed from England to th 2 Aegean; it arrived at Helles early in June, where there was some severe fighting during that month by which the Allies somewhat improved their position.
This Turkish artillery was bearing upon Helles not merely from the uplands facing the Allies' front line, but also from the Asiatic side of the Dardanelles on the Allies' flank.
The water question caused no great difficulty at Helles, but the very limited local supply found within the contracted area occupied by Birdwood's force gave out almost entirely when the dry season set definitely in, and much of that which was brought by sea or condensed had to be conveyed up steep inclines to the trenches.
A general attack was, however, delivered by the Helles force on the 12th and 13th along the right half of its front, and some little ground was conquered; but the situation was not appreciably modified.
Of the Straits connoted disembarkation in face of opposition, and, even supposing the landing to be successful, the force would start work much further from the Narrows than were either Helles or Anzac. Then again, to plant down a portion of the Allied troops on one side of the Straits, while continuing operations on the other side, would mean voluntary dispersion of resources in place of concentration.
The Ottoman commander had organized his forces as a southern group watching Helles and a northern group watching Anzac, with the already mentioned two divisions at the Bulair end of the peninsula.
An onset was made upon some of the Turkish trenches in the Helles area, which led to sharp fighting; the object was to prevent the Turks transferring troops northwards, and it probably served its purpose; apart from that, little was accomplished although the affray went on intermittently for a week.
At Suvla Point the coast (which from there down to about Helles runs roughly N.
As had been the case at Helles and at Anzac ever since the first opening of land operations in April, only a restricted patch of Ottoman territory had been obtained by the new undertaking, and although the position at Anzac had been extended and improved it remained an extremely bad one.
The mounted division, and also a division from Helles, were quietly concentrated there, and on the 21st a determined attempt was made to capture some of the high ground which had baffled the essays of the invaders on the 9th and loth.
That at Helles (which included the French contingent, still as at the outset on the right) was under the charge of Gen.
It should be noted that the matter in hand was, from the point of view of water transport, somewhat facilitated by the British Government's determination to hold on to Helles for the present, as nearly all the lighters, boats, etc., in naval charge could consequently be gathered at Anzac and Suvla.
Taken unawares and signally out-manoeuvred at Anzac and Suvla, Liman von Sanders perceived that his antagonists would probably retire from Helles also, and he took measures accordingly.
He had at this time 21 divisions at his disposal, while there were only four British divisions to oppose them at Helles (the last French division left for Salonika during Dec.).
It ought also to be mentioned that there was a greater accumulation of impedimenta at Helles than there had been at either Anzac or Suvla, so that even if the weather were to remain favourable, it was certain that material of great value would have to be destroyed to prevent its falling into the enemy's hands.
That night the troops still left at Helles were reduced by one-third, and, on the next day breaking fine, it was decided to complete the operation on the following night as intended at the start.
Although the evacuation of Helles without appreciable loss in personnel reflected great credit on the British staff and the troops concerned in it, as also on the Royal Navy, whose work at the beaches was carried out under great difficulties, the escape of the final remnants of the Dardanelles army from the Gallipoli Peninsula was facilitated by the negligence of the troops opposed to them.
After a few days taken up in collecting the troops from Helles in their different divisions at Lemnos, what was left of the Dardanelles army was shipped to Egypt, whither most of the forces from Anzac and Suvla had already proceeded.