On 3 November 1914, Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, ordered the first British attack on the Dardanelles following the commencement of hostilities between Ottoman Turkey and Russia. The attack was carried out by Indomitable and Indefatigable, as well as the French pre-dreadnought battleships Suffren and Vérité. The intention of the attack was to test the fortifications and measure the Turkish response. The results were deceptively encouraging. In a twenty-minute bombardment, a single shell struck the magazine of the fort at Sedd el Bahr at the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula, displacing (but not destroying) 10 guns and killing 86 Turkish soldiers. The most significant consequence was that the attention of the Turks was drawn to strengthening their defences, and they set about expanding the mine field. This attack actually took place before Britain's formal declaration of war on 6 November against the Ottoman Empire. Indefatigable remained in the Mediterranean until she was relieved by Inflexible on 24 January 1915 and proceeded to Malta for a refit; she then sailed to England on 14 February and joined the 2nd BCS upon her arrival. The ship conducted uneventful patrols of the North Sea for the next year and a half. She was the temporary flagship of the 2nd BCS during April–May 1916, while her half-sister HMAS Australia was under repair after colliding with Indefatigable's other half-sister HMS New Zealand.
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