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This episode attempts to describe the nine-month-long Gallipoli campaign in just 44 minutes.
The attack planned by Ahmadullah is based on the one that the Gurkha's used to take Gurkha Bluff one day later. If you go to the War Diary of the 89 Punjabis you'll see all the Turkish rifle fire in the night, the arrival of HMS Kennet in the bay, the relief by the 7 Manchesters, all as described in the episode.
The petition by the 69 Punjabis is mentioned in several sources, and is not so strange an occurance in a military unit as it first might appear. The handful of British officers were often seen as referees for social, dietary and religious questions within a battalion, with the day-to-day running of things being undertaken by the Indian officers and NCO's. So there is nothing particular odd about a petition being presented to them by the rank and file who didn't want to fight fellow Muslims.
Within a few weeks both the 69 and 89 Punjabis were in France fighting the Germans. The propaganda phrases yelled over No Man's Land -- much to Ahmadullah's fury -- were taken from real leaflets taken on the battlefields of Gallipoli.
I went on a research trip to Gallipoli - on my own money if you're wondering, as have been all my research ventures for this project. It was more than worth it to me, though.
I was able to record some sounds on Gully Beach, but the actual ravine is now so overgrown that you'd only hear woodland birds and wind in the trees rather than the scrubland varities of 1915.
If you've heard the episode you'll know what the tortoise is doing here. It's quite a surprise to bump into them wandering around on the floor of the ravine.
Above, the front line trenches still easily traced heading towards the sea from the ravine.
Below, with my boot hopefully not too disrepectfully in shot to give some scale, some bones washed out by the winter of 2013/14.
And here are some comrades on the Helles Memorial...