Gallipoli Battle

The Gallipoli attack took place on 25 April to 18 December 1915 in the Gallipoli Peninsula, Turkey. It was an attack devised by Winston Churchill to take control of the Dardanelles Straits as well as force Turkey out of the war. The plan involved the Allies, who included Great Britain, Australia, New Zealand and France.

The Gallipoli campaign is considered a military failure but also a defending moment in Australian history and the creation of the iconic Australian character and identity. There were several reasons to why Gallipoli is considered a failure such as the disastrous naval plan, unsuccessful landing of the Allies, the unfamiliarity of the terrain for the Allies and the orders from the commanders.

The British and French naval plan was to sail through the Dardanelles Straits, which were controlled by the Turks. When they had followed through with their plan, it proved to be a disaster. Many British and French ships were sunk and destroyed in the process. Even though this didn’t take place on the Gallipoli Peninsula, it was part of the military failure.

Also, the ANZAC boats had planned to ‘secretly’ land on a beach, where the land was flat, on Gallipoli very early in the morning. Due to pitch darkness and the wind, their boats had drifted in different directions, bringing them closer to a cove later known as Anzac Cove. This was the very first signs of a failing plan. Just as the boats were heading towards shore, a spark from a steamboat was seen and the Turks were warned. They were up on the hills, well prepared, and begun firing down at the enemy. Many soldiers had died before even making to land. This was a large backfire in the Allies plan to secretly attack the Turks and was the beginning of the largely failed Gallipoli battle.

Moreover, the Gallipoli battle was the first for ANZAC soldiers. This made it extremely difficult for them and their commanders to go into battle. Firstly, since it was new land, they were unfamiliar with the terrain, which was a benefit for the Turks. Also, they had little training before hand and were inexperienced. This was a great disadvantage for the Alliances. It also may have prevented them from winning the battle.

Furthermore, the command given to the Allied soldiers from their commander, Sir Ian Hamilton, ordered them to “Dig, dig, dig, until you are safe.” On the other side of the battlefield, Mustafa Kemal, a Turkish commander had told his men, “I don’t order you to fight, I order you to die. In the time it takes us to die, other troops and commanders can come and take our places.” Both these orders from the military leaders had instructed their soldiers to stand their ground no matter what it takes. Though these were acts or courage and bravery, because neither side was willing to surrender, it led on to a longer battle.

Although the Gallipoli campaign was a huge failure, it was also a defining moment in Australian history and the creation of the iconic Australian character and identity. This battle had brought Australia a great achievement. They were now a huge part of world history as they were involved in a World War. Moreover, it was considered the birth of their nation. It was a proud moment for the nation as it brought them honor and recognition of their valiant soldiers. Anzac day is celebrated around Australia and New Zealand to commemorate and remember the bravery of the soldiers who fought and died in battle.

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