GALLIPOLI - Hamilton was getting more than a little tetchy as he responded to the impatient prodding and warnings from Kitchener back in London. Hamilton's men were still held back by the Turks on the toe of the peninsula and also the narrow beach-head at Anzac. It sounded like Kitchener was becoming concerned.
Photograph: Lord Kitchener, Secretary of State for War
"Kitchener sends me this brisk little pick-me-up: "Report here states that your position could be made untenable by Turkish guns from the Asiatic shore. Please report on this." No doubt - no doubt! Yet I was once his own Chief-of-Staff into whose hands he unreservedly placed the conduct of one of the most crucial, as it was the last, of the old South African enterprises: I was once the man into whose hands he placed the defence of his heavily criticized action at the Battle of Paardeburg. There it is: he used to have great faith in me, and now he makes me much the sort of remark which might be made by a young lady to a Marine. The answer, as K. well knows, depends upon too many imponderabilia to be worth the cost of a cable. The size and number of the Turkish guns; their supplies of shell; the power of our submarines to restrict those supplies; the worth of our own ship and shore guns; the depth of our trenches; the morale of our men, and so on ad infinitum. The point of the whole matter is this: the Turks haven't got the guns - and we know it: -if ever they do get the guns it will take them weeks, months, before they can get them mounted and shells in proportion amassed. K. should know better than any other man in England - Lord Bobs, alas, is gone -that if there was any real fear of guns from Asia being able to make us loosen our grip on the Peninsula, I would cable him quickly. Then why does he ask? Well - and why shouldn't he ask? I must not be so captious. Much better turn the tables on him by asking him to enable us to knock out the danger he fears: "From General Sir Ian Hamilton to Earl Kitchener. With reference to your telegram No. 5460. As already reported in my telegram, fire from the Asiatic shore is at times troublesome, but I am taking steps to deal with it. Of course another battery of 6-inch howitzers would greatly help in this."
Perhaps Hamilton was not so worried by the guns at Asia as their impact was mainly upon the poor old long-suffering French on the right-hand side of the Helles Peninsula.
I. Hamilton, Gallipoli Diary, Vol. I, (London; Edward Arnold, 1920) , pp.294-295