Gallipoli campaign

Gallipoli campaign
Part of the Middle Eastern theatre of the First World War
G.C. 18 March 1915 Gallipoli Campaign Article.jpg
A collection of photographs from the campaign. From top and left to right: Ottoman commanders including Mustafa Kemal Atatürk (fourth from left); Allied warships; V beach from the deck of SS River Clyde; Ottoman soldiers in a trench; and Allied positions.
Date17 February 1915 – 9 January 1916
(10 months, 3 weeks and 2 days)
ResultOttoman victory

 British Empire

Supported by:
 Ottoman Empire
Supported by:
Commanders and leaders
Units involved
United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
Egyptian Labour Corps[5]
Maltese Labour Corps[5]
France Oriental Expeditionary Corps
Ottoman Empire 5th Army
German Empire Military Mission[6]

5 divisions (initial)
15 divisions (final)
Total: 489,000[7]

  • 345,000 British (including Indians and Newfoundlanders)
  • 79,000 French[8]
  • c. 50,000 Australians
  • c. 15,000 New Zealanders

Supported by

c. 2,000 civilian labourers[5]

6 divisions (initial)
16 divisions (final)
Total: 315,500[8][9]

  • c. 700 Germans[10]
Casualties and losses

United Kingdom British Empire:
160,790 battle casualties
3,778+ died of disease
90,000 evacuated sick[7]
French Third Republic French Third Republic:
27,169 battle casualties
deaths from disease: unknown
20,000 evacuated sick

Total: 302,000 casualties

Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire:
56,643 killed
97,007 wounded or injured
11,178 missing or PoW
69,440 evacuated sick[11]
21,000 died of disease[7]

Total: 250,000 casualties

The Gallipoli campaign, also known as the Dardanelles campaign, the Battle of Gallipoli or the Battle of Çanakkale (Turkish: Çanakkale Savaşı), was a campaign of the First World War that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula (Gelibolu in modern Turkey), from 17 February 1915 to 9 January 1916. The Entente powers, Britain, France and the Russian Empire, sought to weaken the Ottoman Empire, one of the Central Powers, by taking control of the straits that provided a supply route to Russia. The Allies' attack on Ottoman forts at the entrance of the Dardanelles in February 1915 failed and was followed by an amphibious landing on the Gallipoli peninsula in April 1915 to capture the Ottoman capital of Constantinople (Istanbul).[12]

In January 1916, after eight months' fighting, with approximately 250,000 casualties on each side, the land campaign was abandoned and the invasion force withdrawn. It was a costly defeat for the Allies and for the sponsors, especially First Lord of the Admiralty (1911–1915), Winston Churchill. The campaign was considered a great Ottoman victory. In Turkey, it is regarded as a defining moment in the history of the state, a final surge in the defence of the motherland as the Ottoman Empire retreated. The struggle formed the basis for the Turkish War of Independence and the declaration of the Republic of Turkey eight years later, with Kemal Atatürk, who rose to prominence as a commander at Gallipoli, as founder and president.

The campaign is often considered to be the beginning of Australian and New Zealand national consciousness; 25 April, the anniversary of the landings, is known as ANZAC Day, the most significant commemoration of military casualties and veterans in the two countries, surpassing Remembrance Day (Armistice Day).[13][14][15]


On 27 October 1914, two former German warships, the Ottoman Yavûz Sultân Selîm and Midilli, still under the command of German officers, conducted the Black Sea Raid, in which they bombarded the Russian port of Odessa and sank several ships.[16] On 31 October, the Ottomans entered the war and began the Caucasus campaign against Russia. The British briefly bombarded forts in Gallipoli, invaded Mesopotamia and studied the possibility of forcing the Dardanelles.[17][18]

Allied strategy and the Dardanelles

Sea access to Russia through the Dardanelles (in yellow)

Before the Dardanelles operation was conceived, the British had planned to conduct an amphibious invasion near Alexandretta on the Mediterranean, an idea originally presented by Boghos Nubar in 1914.[19] This plan was developed by the Secretary of State for War, Field Marshal Earl Kitchener to sever the capital from Syria, Palestine and Egypt. Alexandretta was an area with a Christian population and was the strategic centre of the Empire's railway network—its capture would have cut the empire in two. Vice Admiral Sir Richard Peirse, East Indies Station, ordered Captain Frank Larkin of HMS Doris to Alexandretta on 13 December 1914. The Russian cruiser Askold and the French cruiser were also there. Kitchener was working on the plan as late as March 1915 and was the beginning of the British attempt to incite an Arab Revolt. The Alexandretta landing was abandoned because militarily it would have required more resources than France could allocate and politically France did not want the British operating in their sphere of influence, a position to which Britain had agreed in 1912.[20]

By late 1914, on the Western Front, the Franco-British counter-offensive of the First Battle of the Marne had ended and the Belgians, British and French had suffered many casualties in the First Battle of Ypres in Flanders. The war of manoeuvre had ended and been replaced by trench warfare.[21] The German Empire and Austria-Hungary closed the overland trade routes between Britain and France in the west and Russia in the east. The White Sea in the arctic north and the Sea of Okhotsk in the Far East were icebound in winter and distant from the Eastern Front; the Baltic Sea was blockaded by the Kaiserliche Marine (Imperial German Navy) and the entrance to the Black Sea through the Dardanelles was controlled by the Ottoman Empire.[22] While the Ottomans remained neutral, supplies could still be sent to Russia through the Dardanelles but prior to the Ottoman entry into the war, the straits had been closed; in November the Ottomans began to mine the waterway.[23][24]

The French Minister of Justice, Aristide Briand, proposed in November to attack the Ottoman Empire but this was rejected and an attempt by the British to bribe the Ottomans to join the Allied side also failed.[25] Later that month, Winston Churchill, First Lord of the Admiralty, proposed a naval attack on the Dardanelles, based in part on erroneous reports of Ottoman troop strength. Churchill wanted to use a large number of obsolete battleships, which could not operate against the German High Seas Fleet, in a Dardanelles operation, with a small occupation force provided by the army. It was hoped that an attack on the Ottomans would also draw Bulgaria and Greece (formerly Ottoman possessions) into the war on the Allied side.[26] On 2 January 1915, Grand Duke Nicholas of Russia appealed to Britain for assistance against the Ottomans, who were conducting an offensive in the Caucasus.[27] Planning began for a naval demonstration in the Dardanelles, to divert Ottoman troops from Caucasia.[28]

Other Languages
беларуская (тарашкевіца)‎: Галіпальская кампанія
Bahasa Indonesia: Kampanye Gallipoli
latviešu: Galipoli kauja
Lëtzebuergesch: Schluecht vu Gallipoli
Nederlands: Gallipoliveldtocht
norsk nynorsk: Gallipolifelttoget
Simple English: Gallipoli Campaign
slovenčina: Bitka o Gallipoli
slovenščina: Bitka za Galipoli
srpskohrvatski / српскохрватски: Galipoljska operacija
татарча/tatarça: Çanaqqala bäreleşe
ئۇيغۇرچە / Uyghurche: چاناق قەلئە ئۇرۇشى
Tiếng Việt: Chiến dịch Gallipoli