A Public Lecture by Lt-Col (Retd) Ron Lyons.
The Second Battle of Krithia, fought from 5th to 8th May 1915, may be a little-known action on the Gallipoli Peninsula, but it cost over a 1,000 Australian and 800 New Zealand casualties in an hour. Just to gain and lose 1,000 yards of territory. Including British and French numbers, casualties were over 6,000 in one night.
Why is it so little known in Australia? It was fought at Cape Helles, primarily a British and French sector, not at Anzac.
Second Krithia was an appalling saga, worthy of a Blackadder script. Every principle of war was broken in futile daylight frontal assaults on an invisible but competent and deadly enemy. It proved that commanders had learned nothing from the American Civil War, the Boer War and the Russo-Japanese War of 1905 about modern warfare and the effect of new weapons, and clung almost to 18th century methods.
Like many First World War actions, it illustrated the innate courage and fortitude of the soldiers and the ineptitude of their commanders.
It was, in the words of the historian Les Carlyon, “Battle Done Badly”.
The event will be held at Anzac Memorial Hyde Park, a public facility operated by the NSW Government and as such has strict Covid-safe protocols including mandatory check-in, hand sanitising, socially distanced seating arrangements, a cap on attendance numbers, and availability of face masks.