Australian soldier Pete Hamilton is sent to Gallipoli during World War One on 25 April 1915 as part of the landing force with the 11th Battalion, 1st Australian Division, ANZAC.
What Pete experiences is a story that has never been attempted on this wiki; a young man fighting for his country in the worst place on earth. What Pete experiences, though, is the story of the Anzac Myth, but he also sees the death and destruction of both sides in the conflict, an officer shooting a man for not going over the top, and whole human-wave attacks that are doomed to fail.
But through it all, he still finds peace.
Chapter One - Ari Burnu LandingsEdit
I hold my rifle, one hand on the barrel, another on the trigger as we are told we are coming to shore. It's scary. I can sense the enemy.
I think of home, my mother, my life. I threw it all away to volunteer for this war...
"Come on!" I hear someone yell, and we begin to come ashore.
I see a man run up the beach and then BRRRRRPBRRRPBRRRP! He is ripped apart by machine-gun fire.
"Joseph! Joseph!" I hear one yell, likely the man's friend.
We are met by rifle and machine-gun fire. We charge up the beach, but we take heavy fire.
"Mother!" a soldier yells.
We begin to dive into the sand and fire in prone and crouch positions.
A man to the right of me is shot in the head and dies immediately.
I aim my rifle, and I see an enemy soldier firing his rifle at us. I aim at him and put my finger over the trigger. But I can't shoot. I can't.
The soldier I spared fires a round, and I hear a man scream in pain, and the enemy runs away. And I just watch.
More men scream and yell in pain.
Soldiers begin to rise and charge at the enemy machine-gun nests, only to be pinned. Now I begin to crawl towards them to help them, along with two other soldiers and a sergeant.
The sergeant stops us as the machine-guns begin to target us. The sergeant then runs to the pinned down soldiers, then the two other soldiers and I follow.
One of the other soldiers is killed, and the other one is shot in both legs. I pick him up and sling him over my shoulder as he screams in pain. The machine-guns are all targeting me now, but I keep running and make it to the pinned down soldiers.
"That was heroic, Private..." he begins to say.
"Hamilton. Pete Hamilton, sir." I say, and he shakes my hand as those bullets fly over our heads and hit the ground around us.
The sergeant then goes back to shooting.
Finally reinforcements are seen coming in boats, but the Turkish soldiers begin to shoot at the boats!
"No! Stop them!" a soldier says.
We fire at the machine-guns for a while, then we begin to advance. The sergeant pulls me up and takes me with him.
We follow a captain by the name of Tulloch who followed the beach to the north. After walking for a short time we begin to ascend a ridge, named Walker's Ridge.
After climbing it we encounter some parties from 12th Battalion, who seem friendly enough. After talking to them we continue as the sun begins to appear in the sky.
Chapter Two - Baby 700Edit
As morning arrived, Captain Tulloch took all sixty of us, including me and the sergeant, to attack the enemy and secure a landmark known as "Baby 700".
We left and worked around the inland side of Baby 700.
And that's when the Turks and our force of men opened fire.
We begin to push them back.
"Private Hamilton!" yells the sergeant.
"Yes, sir?" I say in reply, having to yell because of the gunfire.
"Machine-guns!" yells a soldier.
The sergeant tells me that I and five other men, including the sergeant, are going to flank around and knock out the enemy trench.
We move, quietly, and we jump in the trench, unnoticed, after ten minutes of flanking around.
The sergeant stabs an enemy gunner, simultaneously two other soldiers kill the two others in the machine-gun team.
"Pete, over here." the sergeant whispers.
He tells me to get on the MG and mow down the Turkish riflemen in the trench. I say I can't. He sighs, then he gets on it.
The Turks, confused, begin to duck down in the trench but he mows them down before they can hide. They are all dead.
We greet the forces coming up the hill, then we begin to move to "Battleship Hill", using the inland side. We manage to make it to just below Battleship Hill when the enemy decides to attack us with machine-guns and rifles. Tulloch withdraws us to Baby 700. We wait there, when CRACKCRACKCRACKSNAPSNAPCRACKCRACKSNAPSNAPSNAPSNAPCRACKCRACK! The enemy is attacking with riflemen!
We barely have time to start digging makeshift trenches and holes for cover when artillery comes raining down on us!
I keep digging as bullets and artillery hit the ground around me. I dig a deep enough hole to at least have my legs in cover. I then pick up my rifle, though I don't do anything with it. I can't kill a man.
The Turks look like they are going to break through our lines. Finally, Captain Tulloch orders us to abandon the hill to move to Captain Lalor's position in the trenches.
Many screams of agony accompany us, as well as gunfire and artillery.
We finally make it to the trenches after what seems like hours of running.
The Turks who followed us now retreat back to the safety of Baby 700, which they took from us.
Chapter Three - Turkish AssaultEdit
I am in the second trench, talking to the sergeant, who's name is Ryan Walker, and another soldier, about home.
After talking for a while, the Turks suddenly attack us.
Firing back as best we can, the enemy still makes it through. I am still in the second trench, just watching, when they jump in and attack with their rifles and bayonets, and even their damn hands.
This is when I get my rifle out, but some attack the second trench, then all of a sudden BOOMBOOMBOOM!
Artillery! The Turks still come.
Sgt. Walker is attacked and thrown to the ground, and I am shot in the leg.
I fall down.
Sgt. Walker tries to bring his rifle up but it's no use. They surround Walker.
Not noticing me, I take a grenade from a dead soldier's pouch and pull the pin.
I remember it has a seven second time before it blows up after the pin is pulled.
I stand up, next to the Turks, and tap one on the shoulder as they begin to capture Walker.
The Turk looks at me and screams.
Three... two... one...
It doesn't go off.
I counted seven seconds.
Tears begin to come down my dirty face... they touch the uniform dirtied with the mud and blood of the trenches as I fall to my knees.
Then Walker takes out his Webley revolver.
He kills the four Turks with four shots.
I still cry. Walker, who was shot before he went down, tries to crawl to me.
He dies on his way, his revolver in hand.
I pick it up and drop the grenade, then put the pistol to my head as streams of tears flood down my face.
I'm about to fire when reinforcements come, and pick me up.
They take the pistol away.
I wanted to die there with Sgt. Walker. They didn't let me.
"No! Let me go!" I yell to the medics carrying me.
I finally stop as they take me to the beaches so I can be fixed up.
But I still silently cry.
Chapter Four - Australian AssaultEdit
My leg wound wasn't too serious, and after they fixed it up, I was put back on the line.
The war here has reached a stalemate, though our lines are attacked often.
But our command has finally decided to attack the Turkish lines in a massive assault, three months after I was shot.
And I am ready.
I am ready to fire my rifle at enemy soldiers.
And I will kill Turks.
We mass on the trenches a few days after the decision. I am on the third wave of the assault, three more will follow.
The first assault will go without artillery, so we can give them an unexpected attack.
The second wave will have artillery, following the first wave.
My wave will be the main wave.
The last three of the six waves will be reinforcements.
The first wave is more of a forlorn hope assault to break enemy positions, meaning that the first wave will have combat experienced men who are mostly Corporals and Sergeants, while the other waves are mostly Privates with little to no combat experience.
The whistle blows.
The second wave assaults after the first wave is cut down, but remains of the first assault are in craters left by the months of battle in this area.
My wave is all ready to go, execpt for a man who says he can't go over the top.
An officer executes him immediately, and our whistle blows.
But the artillery hasn't started up!
Just then BOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBOOMBRRRPCRACKCRACKSNAPBOOM!
The artillery joins the conversation between the riflemen and the machine-guns, on our side.
Men fall to my right and left and bullets whiz past me but I keep running.
Remains of the first two assaults get up from their craters and assault with us.
Suddenly, grenades are exploding in the Turkish lines! We jump in as fragmentation from our grenades flies everywhere, and we clear the trenches.
A Turk runs at me.
He goes down.
"Come on!" a soldier yells to me, and I follow him into the enemy.
More Turks await us.
Two Turkish riflemen fire at us, so I aim and shoot.
He goes down.
The other Turk is shot, too.
The reinforcement waves jump in, and we make our way through the trenches.
Then, as we make our way to the reserve trenches, BRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRPBRRRRRP!
Several men are cut down by machine-gun fire, and three others are wounded and are out in the open.
I take out a grenade and throw it at the machine-gun nest.
It barely gets in.
I see an enemy officer running, and I fire at him.
I charge ahead as other men treat the wounded soldiers.
I make my way through the trenches, and a wounded Turkish soldier, probably hit by some form of the artillery blast, is crawling out of the trenches.
I tell him to stop, but he keeps going.
Finally, soldiers catch-up to me just after I kill the Turk. The trenches have been swept through, and finally, they are declared safe.
Chapter Five - End of the Gallipoli CampaignEdit
We lost those trenches eventually, and we and the Turks had reached a stalemate.
But soon, we are pulled out of Gallipoli.
The fields for me have changed.
I am sent to the Western Front, and I am promoted to Corporal for extreme heroism in our last assault on the Turkish lines.
More responsibility and more challenge.
In reality, the Commonwealth nations in Gallipoli were eventually pulled out, including the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (Anzac).
Corporal Pete Hamilton would have been sent to the Western front, because Anzac was re-formed into I ANZAC and II ANZAC, both sent to the Western front after Gallipoli.
Gallipoli was indeed the moment of birth for Australia and New Zealand, and the 9th Battalion which also landed at Anzac Cove in real life would define another moment in history three decades later in the harbor of Tobruk in North Africa, during World War Two.