Perhaps the most crucial moments of the Gallipoli Offensive were on Beaches X, S and Y on Cape Helles after the Allied troops successfully landed on 25 April. While the other two landings on the head of the Cape were decimated by heavy Ottoman fire, these sites were lightly defended and rapid incursions might have overcome the Ottoman defences on the Cape. Instead their commander, Major General Hunter, vacillated (his instructions were unclear) and the moment was lost, never to be regained. A bitter war of attrition ensued, with both sides entrenched across the Cape. Three breakthrough attempts were made by the Allies (the Battles of Krithia), directed towards the village behind the Ottoman lines. Each was repulsed with heavy casualties. After a long stalemate, evacuation was finally ordered in December, and executed with great skill and no loss of life on the night of 8–9 January 1916.
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