The Gallipoli campaign
The Gallipoli campaign or Dardanelles campaign was a World War I campaign and was fought between April 25th, 1915 and January 9th, 1916. It was an unsuccessful attempt by Allied Forces to secure a sea route to Russian’s Empire from Europe through Dardanelles strait.
It was a battle between Allies and the Ottoman Empire, which entered the war on the side of Germany and Austria-Hungary. In the beginning of 1915, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill proposed to open new front south-eastern Europe, to defeat and knock Ottoman Empire out of the war.
The campaign began with the naval attack by British and French battleships on February 19, 1915. Naval attack failed with loss of 3 ships. Other 3 ships were severely damaged. After that, an amphibious landing on the Gallipoli peninsula was planned.
On April 25, 1915, British Forces, consisted of the British 29th Division, a Newfoundland battalion, Indian troops, two divisions of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), a Royal Naval Division and a French colonial division, launched the invasion. Turkish forces were prepared and ready to landings, and stopped the invasion.
Allies suffered heavy losses, and campaign transformed into the trench warfare. Turkish forced gathered more troops from other fronts. Allies weren’t able to progress and advance under permanent heavy artillery fire, in unsanitary conditions and extreme heat.
An additional assault on Suvla Bay and diversionary attacks were attempted, but they practically didn’t gain any advance. After that, an evacuation of the left forces was proposed and performed in December 1915- January 1916.
Gallipoli campaign cost for Allies nearly 250,000 casualties, including 53,000 dead. Turkish forces suffered 250,000 casualties, with 65,000 killed. This campaign was one of the greatest victories of Ottoman Empire during World War I, and is considered in Turkey as a significant event in the nation’s emergence. It formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the establishment of the Republic of Turkey under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who played the significant role as a commander at Gallipoli. In Australia and New Zealand the date of landing, 25 April, is known as Anzac Day – the commemoration of military casualties.