The Gallipoli Catastrophe

 

The Gallipoli Campaign, also known as the Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale (Turkish: Çanakkale Savaşı), took place on the Gallipoli peninsula (Gelibolu in modern Turkey) in the Ottoman Empire between 25 April 1915 and 9 January 1916, during World War I. Aiming to secure a sea route to Russia, the British and French launched a naval campaign to force a passage through the Dardanelles. After the naval operation, an amphibious landing was undertaken on the Gallipoli peninsula, to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul).[6] After eight months the land campaign also failed with many casualties on both sides, and the invasion force was withdrawn to Egypt.

The campaign was one of the greatest Ottoman victories during the war and is considered a major failure of the Allies. In Turkey, it is perceived as a defining moment in the nation’s history—a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire crumbled. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the founding of the Republic of Turkey eight years later under Mustafa Kemal Atatürk, a commander at Gallipoli. The campaign is often considered to mark the birth of national consciousness in Australia and New Zealand and the date of the landing 25 April, is known as “Anzac Day”. It remains the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans there, surpassing Remembrance Day (Armistice Day).

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