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Gallipoli Campaign - 1915

February 16, 1915 – January 9, 1916

Gallipoli Peninsula - Turkey (erstwhile Ottoman Empire)

Allied Powers:          British Empire
  • Australia
  • New Zealand
  • India
  • United Kingdom
  • French West Africa
Central Powers: Ottoman Empire

The Gallipoli Campaign was a joint military operation of the Allied Powers in the Gallipoli Peninsula in the erstwhile Ottoman Empire.
The operations were undertaken to open up a third front in addition to the Eastern and Western Fronts. The campaign was also an attempt to secure control of the Dardanelles Strait,which was closed down by the Ottoman Empire following their entry into the war. The strait was an easy route connecting the Mediterranean Sea with the Black Sea, allowing France and Britain access to Russia.

The Gallipoli Campaign was the idea of Winston Churchill. Internal opposition in Britain did not deter Churchill, who secured the sanction of the War Cabinet on January 28, 1915.

The Allies launched an initial naval attack on February 16, 1915, but the attacks were paused many times due to bad weather conditions. The intermittent attacks lasted until March 1915, and were halted for military assistance. General Sir Ian Hamilton commanded the British force stationed in Egypt. The French too contributed to the build up.

On April 25, 1915, the Allied troops landed on the peninsula. The Allied assaults were intermittent and progress was slow. By August 6, 1915, reinforcements arrived and landed on the Suvla Bay. The skirmishes between the Allied and Central forces remained largely indecisive and cost both sides a number of losses.

In September 1915, Lieutenant General Sir Charles Monro took charge from Sir Ian Hamilton and expressed his opinion in favor of abandoning the campaign. Lord Kitchener, the British Secretary of State for War, concurred with Monro’s suggestions after visiting the peninsula in November 1915. The Gallipoli Campaign was abandoned in January 1916.

The Gallipoli Campaign ended in a clear victory for the Central Powers. The operation caused severe damage to both sides. While the Allies recorded over 220,000 casualties the Central troops lost 253,000 soldiers.

The Gallipoli Campaign had a remarkable outcome in terms of reviving Turkish nationalistic tendencies. The death of the Ottoman Empire and the rise of a nationalistic spirit among the Turkish people was the foundation for the formation of the Republic of Turkey.

Not unlike the Turkish people, the Australian, Indian, and New Zealand troops who took part in the campaign as part of the British Empire experienced the initial upsurge of nationalism. This eventually led to the demand for independent states, free from the dominion of the British rule.

The campaign had resonating implications in Britain. Winston Churchill resigned following the failure. H. H. Asquith, the British Prime Minister resigned, and was succeeded by David Lloyd George toward the end of 1916. - See more at: file:///E:/mapsworld/world-war-i/gallipoli-campaign.html#sthash.Qs0ouL83.dpuf

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