Lt-General Sir Frederick Stopford


Given command of IXCorps at the age of 61 , having been retired for five years Stopford was commissioned into the Grenadier Guards back in 1871. He had never commanded troops in battle. He was a staff officer in three campaigns, including Buller 's disastrous efforts in the Second Boer War. He was personally selected by Kitchener for command o fIX Corps, but was given little information. On arrival he asked Hamilton for details of his Corps's task, and was informed that it was too secret for him to be told until later . This obsession with secrecy persisted to the extent that Stopford's troops were given only a cursory briefing - they were as surprised by the operation as the enemy. Stopford's lack of confidence was under-mined by the malevolent presence of his Chief of Staff, Brigadier General HL Reed VC, a gunner sent from the Western Front. He was a pessimist, refusing to believe that Suvla was lightly held, so demanded that the advance from the beaches should await the landing of guns and be preceded by a substantial artillery bombardment. Stopford, lacking battle experience, did not feel able to disagree. Stopford was relieved of command on August 15th.


The Gallipoli Campaign



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