Landing at Suvla Bay 6 to 15 August 1915

 

About 300 Australians in the Royal Australian Navy landed at Suvla Bay with British forces on 6 August 1915. This diversionary attack that was part of the August Offensive.

Amphibious landing to support Anzac breakout

Landing troops at Suvla Bay on 6 August 1915 was part of the August Offensive. The Allies planned this series of attacks to break through Ottoman lines and take over Gallipoli peninsula.

Action at Suvla Bay was planned to support a simultaneous attack at Sari Bair, to the north.

The only Australians involved in the action were 300 men in the Royal Australian Naval Bridging Train (RANBT).

Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Stopford commanded the troops involved int he Suvla Bay action. Despite 45 years in the British Army, Stopford had limited experience as a wartime leader.

On the evening of 6 August, Allied forces landed at Suvla Bay to launch a fresh attack against Ottoman and German forces. RANBT was part of the first day's landing.

Suvla Bay Area, Gallipoli. 1915. View from the heights of Gallipoli with Suvla Bay on the left. Photograph: James Campbell. AWM H03176

The enemy troops had been prepared well for the offensive. German commander Otto Liman von Sanders had received a warning from Berlin about a possible Allied attack in early August. In response to the news, Liman sent some Ottoman and German divisions to protect potential targets on Gallipoli peninsula.

After the landing

British troops quickly secured the closest hills after the landing. But Stopford's delayed orders allowed time for Liman to send reinforcements.

Turkish and German troops recovered lost ground. Snipers and artillerymen positioned themselves on the high ground above the Allies. The British-led forces lost any chance to regain control.

The Allies suffered nearly 20,000 casualties during the landings at Suvla Bay. Blamed for the failure of the action, Stopford was relieved of his command on 15 August 1915.

Australians of the RANBT stayed on at Suvla Bay to create a beachhead. They built a boat harbour using hundreds of thousands of sandbags, which must have been arduous and dangerous work under enemy fire.

West Beach, Suvla, after RANBT had made a quay, October 1915. AWM P11155.016.001

Last updated: 11 March 2020

Cite this page

DVA (Department of Veterans' Affairs) (2020), Landing at Suvla Bay 6 to 15 August 1915, DVA Anzac Portal, accessed 28 November 2021, https://anzacportal.dva.gov.au/wars-and-missions/ww1/where-australians-served/gallipoli/august-offensive/suvla-bay
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