This presentation covers several topics.
An overview of WW I in 1914/1915 and the role of our RAN ships under the command of the RN. The decision by Churchill to attack Constantinople and stop it joining the AXIS forces.
The Navy attacks on the Dardanelles forts. There were multiple attacks on the forts to put them out of action so the minesweepers could clear the ten rows of Turkish mines. The Turks laid another line of mines that sank three battleships with hundreds of sailors killed.
The landings. When the Navy could not get through the decision was taken to land the Army to destroy the forts from the land. The ANZACS were landed at the wrong place and could not get much further than the beach. Over 250 ships were involved in landing the soldiers and supplies.
The RAN Bridging Train. Wharves and dockyards had to be built so supplies and soldiers could be landed, and the wounded evacuated. They did this amid Turkish artillery shells. They were the most decorated RAN unit in WW I.
The role of AE2 – our second submarine. AE2 was the first submarine to get through to the sea of Marmara and sink Turkish ships. This success changed the direction of the whole campaign.
The evacuation. This was done at night in secrecy in December by over 100 ships without casualties.
Australian forces were first in and last out at Gallipoli. The historian Charles Bean described the ANZAC spirit using the following words.
Endurance, courage, ingenuity, resourceful, good humour, mateship and loyal.
Noel Phelan’s first career was as a science and mathematics teacher. He then moved into IT with IBM as a systems engineer and spent 25 years in various technical and management positions.
He has been a volunteer guide at the Maritime Museum for over 15 years. Noel was the team leader of the speakers for many years.
Noel is a Past President of the Northbridge Rotary club. He spent many years as sailing captain of his sailing club. He also spent several years with Marine Rescue and the Rural Fire Service.
Noel is also a volunteer at the Naval Historical Society where he has developed three Navy harbour cruises.
He fulfilled a boyhood dream to fly a WW II fighter by flying a SPITFIRE at The Imperial War Museum at Duxford in the UK recently.
Date and Time:1100, Wednesday 17th. April 2024 (Sydney time)