Blizzard in the Dardenelles

We woke up to heavy snow this morning — halfway through April. Clearing off the car was a challenge, and then there was ice to scrape off the windows. I saw a container garden of daffodils and snowdrops that were frozen solid.

But, to paraphrase another blogger (That’s Nothing Compared to Passchendaele). this snow is nothing compared to Gallipoli. The Dardanelles’ average temperature in November is a tolerable 54 — jacket weather, we would say. But on Nov. 28, 1915, the peninsula was hit with a blizzard.

The Australian, New Zealand and other British troops began landing at Gallipoli on April 25, 1915 — with another monthly average in the 50s — but the summer months were extremely hot and many soldiers developed dysentery and typhoid fever, because of the flies flourishing on the unburied, decomposing dead.

But the weather was hot, then it was warm, then it was cool — and then there was a horrific thunderstorm with rain so heavy that many men drowned in their own trenches.  The next day, the blizzard hit.

Here is one New Zealander’s account, from the Poverty Bay Herald, posted by the National Library of New Zealand: http://paperspast.natlib.govt.nz/cgi-bin/paperspast?a=d&d=PBH19160205.2.39

More accounts and discussions can be found at the Great War Forum: http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/forums/index.php?showtopic=166263&page=2

Snow at Gallipoli

April 25 is a day of remembrance for Australians and New Zealanders, and it’s also commemorated by the Turks.  Ceremonies around the world are very moving. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=stb0asxF6bM

Put it on your calendar — and hope for better weather.

 

 

 

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