Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size
Login

Military Photos



Online
There are 263 users online

You can register for a user account here.
Library of Congress

Military Quotes

We have met the enemy and they are ours!

-- Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry

World War IWe left Alexandria in Egypt on the 13th and passed through the Aegean Sea to arrive at the island of LEMNOS on the 16th. We spent several days in the Bay where numerous warships and troopships (French and British) were at anchor. I should guess there were 150 or more ships there including the QUEEN ELIZABETH.
On the morning of the 24th we left the Bay and streamed out in company with three other troopers; here it was discovered that smallpox had broken out on board. We immediately turned tail and returned to Lemnos where the patient was left. We then returned to the rendezvous and waited. We awakened this morning (25th) at five to the sound of heavy gunfire, dressed and went on deck. Lo! the DARDENELLES lay before us! Fortunately we, the 'A23', were the foremost troopship and heard and saw all that went on. During the bombardment of the northern shores of the Dardenelles, The southern shores were bombarded too, but being nearer the northern I saw more of this. Gee! didn't the ships pump shell into it! A fort, Sed-el-bahr, on the very point attracted a great deal of attention and through glasses I was able to see the havoc wrought by the deadly and true fire of our battleships. Though I write this within sight and sound of a battle raging a little distance off, I fell I can't describe the sccene as it ought to be described. Great holes were torn out all over the ground as far as one could see, the smell of explosives hung in the air, the boom of the guns with the whistling of the shells and the smaller boom of the burst, together with the dense clouds of smoke from guns, shell and burning forts and houses gave one some idea of what was going on. It was as one continuous roar from 5 a.m. to 9.30 p.m., just like Eastern thunder! Around 6.30 a.m. we landed several pontoon loadds of infantry and they received a warm reception, we saw the wounded being brought back in boat-loads. The infantry, however, managed to drive the Turks back to the next range before we left for our present position. This we did at 11.30 a.m., arriving here an hour later. Battleships were busy battering the Turk's trenches right along the coast. 'Tis 7.15 p.m. now but the battle and bombardment still continue. Rifle fire is most persistent. We are in readiness for landing and I hear we have to sleep near the guns in case we are wanted during the night. My word! 'tis a glorious sight (for a soldier) to see a dozen or more big warshps blazing away at full! This is Sunday and a glorious day, it has been calm, clear and peaceful but for the efforts of man against man. 'Tis the queerest Sabbath I've spent so far. I expect the bombardment will continue during the night with the aid of searchlights and the moon. I forgot to mention that hydroplanes hovered above us and the land all the time. The Turks made several determined efforts to get them but missed. A captive balloon is being used also. What will tomorrow bring?
Note: letter by 2/469 S.sgt Robert James Wait, New Zealand Artillery, 1NZEF


Comments

Display Order
Only logged in users are allowed to comment. register/log in
Related Links

Most-read story in World War I:
German High Seas Fleet
Military History
Forum Posts

Military Polls

What do you check out first when you log on to The Patriot Files?

[ Results | Polls ]

Votes: 72

This Day in History
1765: Britain passes the Quartering Act, requiring the colonies to house 10,000 British troops in public and private buildings.

1951: General Douglas MacArthur threatens the Chinese with an extension of the Korean War if the proposed truce is not accepted.

1953: The 2nd Infantry Division's artillery units began to support the embattled 7th Infantry Division on Pork Chop Hill, firing 15,000 rounds in one week.

1967: Viet Cong ambush a truck convoy in South Vietnam damaging 82 of the 121 trucks.

1975: The North Vietnamese "Ho Chi Minh Campaign" begins. Despite the 1973 Paris Peace Accords cease fire, the fighting had continued between South Vietnamese forces and the North Vietnamese troops in South Vietnam.

1999: The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) commences air strikes against Yugoslavia with the bombing of Serbian military positions in the Yugoslav province of Kosovo.