Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Significant Dots of Red and Black - dd1

He was in the news; shouting, waiving his hands, calling for revenge. Only 16, maybe 17, or 18 at best. Frustrated in a devastated land by bombings, attacks, what not. "Death," he says, "kill them all!" The warrior of the future, potential terrorist; depending on your point of view.

Some organization, one or the other, will foster him, train him, send him back to the field. More pain, bloodshed, tears, anger... but above all, hatred. You could see it in his eyes.

I think we should take him, before anybody else, for military training proper. And I have a great idea whereabouts. What better place can there be the ideal training ground for him and his friends but Dardanelles?

WWI battleship queen elizabeth
They appeared in the morning of March, 18th. Queen Elizabeth, Agamemnon, Lord Nelson and Inflexible entered Dardanelles around 10:30, followed by the French armada. Their targets were Ottoman artilleries at Mecidiye, Namazgah and Hamidiye, guarding the straits, the route to Istanbul. Churchill's plan was simple: destroy the artilleries, clear the mines, then Godspeed to the Ottoman capital. Yet, all plans made on the table deviate to some extent when put into practice. This one deviated considerably. At the end of the day, Bouvet, Irresistible, Ocean were sunk, Goulois and Inflexible took heavy damage and they were barely afloat. A ground assault was inevitable.

Had it been up to the War Minister Lord Kitchener only, the British 29th division would have fought in Gallipoli. Tough opposition of British generals forced Kitchener to declare Australian and New Zealand divisions then located in Egypt would take their place.

And so they did. The first 1500 Anzac soldiers set foot in Dardanelles, at the Kabatepe region, which properly renamed Anzac Cove after the war.

In the ensuing campaign nearly 350,000 people had died from both sides and Çanakkale has the highest number of cemeteries among Turkish cities. In the map above red dots show Turkish, black dots invasion forces' cemeteries. And cemeteries are special; they have always been.

Part 2: The Shaman Within