Brough's Books on Battle of Gallipoli

Battle of Gallipoli

Dardanelles, World War One
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Map of Gallipoli
An overview of the Gallipoli Peninsula. The dotted lines approximately mark the furthest advance of Allied Forces.
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    The Battle of Gallipoli took place on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli in World War I, in 1915. A combined Allied operation was mounted in order to eventually capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople. The attempt failed, and an estimated 500,000 soldiers were killed, divided about equally between the Allied forces and the Turkish army. 

    Prelude 

    Russia, one of the Allied powers during the war, had problems with its supply routes over sea. The Baltic Sea was locked by the German navy, while the Black Sea's only entrance was through the Bosporus, which was controlled by the Ottoman Empire. 

    By late 1914, the Western Front, in France and Belgium, had effectively become fixed. A new front was desperately needed. Also, the Allies hoped that an attack on the Ottomans would draw Bulgaria and Greece into the war on Allied side. 

    A first proposal to attack Turkey had already been suggested by a French minister in November 1914, but it was not supported. Later that month, navy officer Winston Churchill put forward his first plans for a naval attack on the Dardanelles. A plan for an attack and invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula was eventually approved by the British cabinet in January 1915. 

    The battle 

    Naval attacks 

    On February 19, the first attack on the Dardanelles began when a large fleet of British and French vessels, including the British battleship Queen Elizabeth, bombarded Turkish artillery along the coast. 

    Although the attack was politically succesful - Bulgaria stopped negotiations with Germany, Greece offered support, and Italy also seemed keen to enter the war on Allied side - the military effect was very small. Continued bombardments and landings on February 25 also proved unsuccessful. 

    A new attack was launched on March 18, targeted at the narrowest point of the Dardanelles, just a mile wide at that point. A massive fleet containing no less than 16 battleships was initially successful, eliminating many Turkish artillery batteries. However, at the end of the day, three ships had sunk (the British Ocean and Irresistible, and the French Bouvet), while many others were severely damaged, and the fleet was withdrawn.

    Invasion 

    After the failure of the naval attacks, it had become clear that ground troops were necessary to eliminate the Turkish mobile artillery. This would allow mine sweepers to clean out the waters for the larger vessels. 

    Casualties 

    Gallipoli casualties (compiled from various sources) 
      Died Wounded Total
    Australia 8,709 19,441 28,150
    New Zealand 2,701 4,852 7,553
    Britain 21,255 52,230 73,485
    France ( estimated ) 10,000 17,000 27,000
    India 1,358 3,421 4,779
    Newfoundland 49 93 142
    Total Allies 44,072 97,037 141,109
    Turkey 86,692 164,617 251,309

     

    This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License, which means that you can copy and modify it as long as the entire work (including additions) remains under this license. See http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html for details. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Battle_of_Gallipoli