The Gallipoli campaign was a seven-month conflict that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula in Turkey between April and January 1915 as part of World War I.
The plan was first proposed as the first step to opening another Allied front against the Triple Alliance during the First World War. The campaign was meant to capture Constantinople, effectively removing the Ottoman Empire from the war, as well as opening supply routes to Russia.
A preliminary attack was launched in February 1915, bombarding the artillery of the Ottoman Empire. On March 18, Allied ships attempted to navigate the strait. Allied ships engaged Turkish artillery battleships on the shore while Allied minesweepers attempted to clear a pathway into the strait. However, the minesweepers pulled back under intense Turkish fire, leaving the Allied battleships vulnerable to mines, which sunk two ships and left several others badly damaged.
The unsuccessful naval operation convinced Allied strategists that a complementary land campaign was necessary and, on April 25, 1915, thousands of British, Indian and ANZAC troops went ashore. Poor intelligence and ship-to-shore communication hindered Allied advances and the landing troops gained little more than a foothold on six beaches on the eastern side of the peninsula.
Between April and August 1915, numerous inconclusive battles occurred, resulting in thousands of casualties on both sides, but little gain in territory or overall impact on the Allied war effort. After a particularly chaotic and disastrous Allied offensive in August, British politicians began discussing the evacuation of Allied troops from the peninsula, a daring operation carried out under extreme secrecy in the early weeks of December 1915.
Between April 1915 and January 1916, approximately 480,000 allied troops participated in the Gallipoli campaign. of those, over 250,000 became casualties, including over 50,000 killed. Turkish casualty figures are unknown, but estimated at approximately the same as the Allied forces (250,000 casualties, with 65,000 killed)
- Moorehead, Alan, Gallipoli