01 December 1915

ANZAC - General Otto Liman von Sanders, Headquarters Fifth Army, Turkish Army and Private George Scott, 4th (New South Wales) Battalion, 1st Brigade, 1st Division, AIF - The advent of Bulgaria joining the Central Powers had indeed made it much easier for the heavier artillery and reliable ammunition to be brought up to Gallipoli. The relative paucity of modern Turkish artillery, the shortage of shells and the unreliability of what they had, meant that hitherto the Allies could continue exist even though their rear areas were under the intermittent menace of shell fire. But if that threat became real then the existing logistical difficulties would be magnified significantly.


Austro-Hungarian Heavy Trench MortarPhotograph: The Austrian K.u.K. 24 cm. Motormörser-Batterie M 98 No. 9 arrived at Gallipoli on November 15th 1915. Its first bombardment opened on November 25th. Photo from http://www.landships.freeservers.com/24cm_m1898_walkaround.htm"

At last in November the long coveted German artillery ammunition reached the Fifth Army. Its arrival increased the hope of a successful ending of the campaign. The Turkish artillery was in excellent training and its firing was good, but with its poor ammunition it could not produce more than limited results. From now on it was different. The first troops from the Central Powers arrived in Gallipoli November 1915 for our active support. It was an excellent Austrian 24-cm. mortar battery which was posted on the left of the Anafarta front and soon opened a very effective fire against the Mastan Tepe."

All over Anzac and Suvla the mortar shells were dropping in areas that had been previously considered relatively safe. Private George Scott of the 4th Battalion, AIF had a close escape on 1 December. One of his freinds was not so lucky.

"We were resting in Victoria Gully, till then untouched by Turkish shellfire, when I was called away to watch a 'Two-up' game and maybe hoping to try my luck as well! Suddenly a newly arrived howitzer battery (Austrian it was said) dropped one amongst the five or six I had just left. All died; amongst them I found Sergeant Jack Herbert just alive. Before he died he whispered, “They've got me downstairs, Scottie - no more fun for me!” So they had."

Sergeant Jack Herbert was the son of Sidney and Jessie Herbert; husband of Gertrude Herbert, of "Tanunda," Baylis St., Wagga Wagga, New South Wales. Born at Emmaville, New South Wales, Australia. He was killed on 1 December 1915 and is buried at Ari Burnu Cemetery.

O. L. von Sanders, "Five Years in Turkey", (Nashville, Tennessee: The Battery Press, 2000), p.96.
G. L. Scott, "The Evacuation of Anzac", (The Gallipollian, No. 16), p.25

See SOURCES above.