BATTLE OF GALLIPOLI

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The Gallipoli Campaign of 1915-16, also known as the Battle of Gallipoli or the Dardanelles Campaign, was an unsuccessful attempt by the Allied Powers to control the sea route from Europe to Russia during World War I. The campaign began with a failed naval attack by British and French ships on the Dardanelles Straits in February-March 1915 and continued with a major land invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula on April 25, involving British and French troops as well as divisions of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC). Lack of sufficient intelligence and knowledge of the terrain, along with a fierce Turkish resistance, hampered the success of the invasion. By mid-October, Allied forces had suffered heavy casualties and had made little headway from their initial landing sites. Evacuation began in December 1915, and was completed early the following January.

LAUNCH OF THE GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN
With World War I stalled on the Western Front by 1915, the Allied Powers were debating going on the offensive in another region of the conflict, rather than continuing with attacks in Belgium and France. Early that year, Russia’s Grand Duke Nicholas appealed to Britain for aid in confronting a Turkish invasion in the Caucasus. (The Ottoman Empire had entered World War I on the side of the Central Powers, Germany and Austria-Hungary, by November 1914.) In response, the Allies decided to launch a naval expedition to seize the Dardanelles Straits, a narrow passage connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara in northwestern Turkey. If successful, capture of the straits would allow the Allies to link up with the Russians in the Black Sea, where they could work together to knock Turkey out of the war.

Spearheaded by the first lord of the British Admiralty, Winston Churchill (over the strong opposition of the First Sea Lord Admiral John Fisher, head of the British Navy), the naval attack on the Dardanelles began with a long-range bombardment by British and French battleships on February 19, 1915. Turkish forces abandoned their outer forts but met the approaching Allied minesweepers with heavy fire, stalling the advance. Under tremendous pressure to renew the attack, Admiral Sackville Carden, the British naval commander in the region, suffered a nervous collapse and was replaced by Vice-Admiral Sir John de Robeck. On March 18, 18 Allied battleships entered the straits; Turkish fire, including undetected mines, sank three of the ships and severely damaged three others.

GALLIPOLI LAND INVASION BEGINS
In the wake of the failed naval attack, preparations began for largescale troop landings on the Gallipoli Peninsula. British War Secretary Lord Kitchener appointed General Ian Hamilton as commander of British forces for the operation; under his command, troops from Australia, New Zealand and the French colonies assembled with British forces on the Greek island of Lemnos. Meanwhile, the Turks boosted their defenses under the command of the German general Liman von Sanders, who began positioning Ottoman troops along the shore where he expected the landings would take place. On April 25, 1915, the Allies launched their invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula. Despite suffering heavy casualties, they managed to establish two beachheads: at Helles on the peninsula’s southern tip, and at Gaba Tepe on the Aegean coast. (The latter site was later dubbed Anzac Cove, in honor of the Australian and New Zealand troops who fought so valiantly against determined Turkish defenders to establish the beachhead there.)

After the initial landing, the Allies were able to make little progress from their initial landing sites, even as the Turks gathered more and more troops on the peninsula from both the Palestine and Caucasus fronts. In an attempt to break the stalemate, the Allies made another major troop landing on August 6 at Sulva Bay, combined with a northwards advance from Anzac Cove towards the heights at Sari Bair and a diversionary action at Helles. The surprise landings at Sulva Bay proceeded against little opposition, but Allied indecision and delay stalled their progress in all three locations, allowing Ottoman reinforcements to arrive and shore up their defenses.

DECISION TO EVACUATE GALLIPOLI
With Allied casualties in the Gallipoli Campaign mounting, Hamilton (with Churchill’s support) petitioned Kitchener for 95,000 reinforcements; the war secretary offered barely a quarter of that number. In mid-October, Hamilton argued that a proposed evacuation of the peninsula would cost up to 50 percent casualties; British authorities subsequently recalled him and installed Sir Charles Monro in his place. By early November, Kitchener had visited the region himself and agreed with Monro’s recommendation that the remaining 105,000 Allied troops should be evacuated.

The British government authorized the evacuation to begin from Sulva Bay on December 7; the last troops left Helles on January 9, 1916. In all, some 480,000 Allied forces took part in the Gallipoli Campaign, at a cost of more than 250,000 casualties, including some 46,000 dead. On the Turkish side, the campaign also cost an estimated 250,000 casualties, with 65,000 killed.

Battle of Gallipoli - World War I - HISTORY.com

 

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Thousands honor fallen soldiers of Gallipoli at dawn service


People attend the Dawn Service ceremony at the Anzac Cove commemorative site, in Gallipoli peninsula, Turkey. AP photo

Leaders and dignitaries from Australia, New Zealand and Turkey led thousands at dawn ceremonies on Turkey's Gallipoli peninsula on April 25 to mark the 100th anniversary of a World War One battle that helped shape their nations.

The Gallipoli campaign has resonated through generations, which have mourned the thousands of soldiers from the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) cut down by machinegun and artillery fire as they struggled ashore on a narrow beach.

The fighting would eventually claim more than 130,000 lives, 87,000 of them on the side of the Ottoman Turks, who were allied with imperial Germany in World War One.

Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott, New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and Britain's Prince Charles laid wreaths as bagpipes played at Anzac Cove, just north of where the landings occurred, in front of more than 10,000 people.

Abbott told the crowd, many of whom spent a cold night in their sleeping bags to secure a place at the crowded grounds, about the lives lost during the campaign, which helped forge Australia's identity.

"Like every generation since, we are here on Gallipoli, because we believe that the ANZACs represented Australians at our best," Reuters quoted him as saying.

"It's the perseverance of those who scaled the cliffs under a rain of fire. It's the compassion of the nurses who attended to the thousands of wounded.

"And it's the greatest love anyone can have: the readiness to lay down your life for your friend."

"We aren't here to mourn a defeat or to honor a success, although there was much to mourn and much to honor in this campaign," he said, Anadolu Agency reported.

"We aren't here to acknowledge a legacy in this country, although Gallipoli shaped modern Turkey as much as it forged modern Australia and New Zealand.

"We're here to acknowledge what they have done for us - and what they still do for us."

He added: "In volunteering to serve, they became more than soldiers. They became the founding heroes of modern Australia."

Gallipoli was the first time that soldiers from Australia and New Zealand fought under their own flags and is seared in the national consciousness as a point where their nations came of age, emerging from the shadow of the British empire.

The Allied forces also included British, Irish, French, Indians, Gurkhas and Canadians. Approximately 58,000 Allied soldiers died, roughly half of them from Britain and Ireland, according to the Gallipoli Association.

Only 11,000 have known graves on the Gallipoli peninsula. Others simply have their names inscribed on memorials.

The peninsula has become a site of pilgrimage for visitors from Australia and New Zealand in particular, who honor their fallen in graveyards halfway around the world on ANZAC Day each year. This year is set to be the largest ever commemoration.

"To us, Gallipoli is also a byword for the best characteristics of Australians and New Zealanders, especially when they work side by side, in the face of adversity," said New Zealand Prime Minister John Key in his speech at the ceremony.

Britain's Prince Charles also spoke of the heroism of soldiers during the emotional ceremony.

Irish President Michael Higgins and Turkey's EU Minister Volkan Bozkır were also present to mark the bravery of their troops.

For Turkey, it is also a national touchstone, heralding the rise of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, who as a young officer led the defense. He later founded modern Turkey, the secular republic that emerged from the ruins of the Ottoman Empire.

The former foes now face a common threat from Islamist militant violence and security was tight, particularly after a police raid in the Australian city of Melbourne last week that targeted an alleged plot to attack local celebrations there.

Some of those who had travelled thousands of miles but had not registered for the ceremonies slept overnight in a hall and watched the events on television.

"My great uncle fought at Gallipoli and survived. We need to remember what these people have been through for us and what a waste of young lives it is," said Pam McMillan from New Zealand.

Ceremonies in Australia, New ZealandIn Sydney, tens of thousands turned out on Martin Place, and military bagpipers played just blocks from where an Islamist gunman and two of his hostages were killed last year when police stormed a cafe to end a deadly hostage siege.

In New Zealand, the Auckland Museum estimated a turnout of 30,000 people for that city's dawn services.



April/25/2015

Thousands honor fallen soldiers of Gallipoli at dawn service - LOCAL

 

vegito12

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In Dunedin in New Zealand we had a service and was around 6am, and the streets were busy and there was talks and also breakfast as well which was good. Many young ones lost their lives in this battle and also, it was amazing how their courage was and also it is good to remember them and what they did as well. It is interesting to see many people gathered for this event and it brings the countries together and also they get along with each other which is nice to see.
 

missbishi

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There was a service at my local war memorial too and it was a beautiful occasion. All kinds of people turned out to pay their respects, from tiny schoolchildren to the elderly and infirm.

Sadly, it also brought home that there's still a lot more war to come.
 
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