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Machine Guns

Printed From: The Gallipoli Association
Category: Research
Forum Name: Battles/Actions
Forum Description: For research queries with regards to the different Battles/Actions of the Campaign
Printed Date: 16 Sep 2019 at 12:31
Software Version: Web Wiz Forums 10.12 -

Topic: Machine Guns
Posted By: Peter Trounson
Subject: Machine Guns
Date Posted: 29 Dec 2011 at 14:20
Just a bit of a thought about whether or not machine guns were at ANZAC. I can see that at the Fishermans hut area the Turks concentrating their rifle fire onto individual boats would seem like machinegun fire and that has been well researched by Haluk Oral. In the AWM 'Boys of the Dardenelles' movie there is a letter read out (at 8.33) into the documentary where the writer says that there was a pause on the beach then he charged up the hill clean over a machine gun. I think that on here somewhere or other there was four machineguns in the area and perhaps that was one of them. Just a bit more fodder to think about.


Posted By: Mal Murray
Date Posted: 29 Dec 2011 at 15:34

Edward Erickson in his book "Gallipoli the Ottoman Campaign" states that the 27th Regiment Defensive Fire Plan for the Gaba Tepe/ Anzac area included artillery and "Machine Guns", so yes there would appear to have been Machine Guns covering the area.

With artillery shrapnel shells and intensive rifle and machine gun fire, it is quite possible that the number of Machine Guns present may have been overstated, but they were there ok.

Posted By: Krithia
Date Posted: 31 Dec 2011 at 00:03
The machine gun question is one long debated, and so far without a definite answer. 

Fact, there were Ottoman machine guns in the Anzac area with 27 Regiment, but there were probably none during the initial landing stage on the morning of the 25 April. In the latter afternoon the answer is yes as Ottoman records support this.

Fisherman's Hut is an interesting debate in its own right. There was a  Turkish lieutenant there with about 50 rifles, which would do as much damage as any machine gun, but would it sound the same? From the Anzac side there were countless accounts of the hearing of machine guns. Thinking about it this could have been their own MGs providing supporting fire, but in reality and the heat of battle (and I cannot answer from experience, luckily), how would you distinguish from the sound of a machine gun and 50 plus rifles, plus those of the Anzac and the supporting fire of the Navy. Sound can play funny tricks. 

All food for thought!

Posted By: Mal Murray
Date Posted: 31 Dec 2011 at 11:02
Steve, you are quite correct, 50 rifles firing rapidly along with the cacophony of incoming and supporting fires would cause confusion as to what was happening. I have heard enough rifle and machine gun fire in my life to understand the confusion that may have reigned on that day.
We should also remember those reports from the Western Front in the initial days of the war when the Germans over estimated the number of Machine guns in the B.E.F. due to the riflemarksmanship skills and fire discipline of the B.E.F. soldiers.
Food for thought,  a true enough statement.

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