Gallipoli: WWI Battle for Control of Dardanelles Straits - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1720 Words
Date:  2023-02-23


The Gallipoli campaign or the battle of Gallipoli is one of the main campaigns of the first world war that was to see the Entente powers take control of the straigt that was to be used as a supply route to Russia. The Entente or allied powers comprised of British, French, and Russian forced empires believed that by controlling the routes that were used to supply provisions to the Ottoman empire. The Entente powers planned to attack the Ottoman empire supplies at the entrance of the Dardanelles, but the plan failed in 1915. The amphibian landed on the Gallipoli peninsula leading to the battle at the Gallipoli peninsula as the gallant soldiers were lead by Mustafa Kemal. The Entente powers almost captured the Ottoman capital of Istanbul, then called Constantinople. By examining the battle of Gallipoli, the paper argues that it is the battle that set-in motion the Turkish War of Independence that saw the Republic of Turkey, New Zealand, and Australia being declared independent county eight years later.

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The war broke out in February 1915, lasted for eight months to 1915 over which more than 250,000 casualties were recorded. Despite the carnage, the battle Gallipoli played an important role in the history of turkey as it was the turning point in the history of turkey and Australia and New Zealand. Based on the then maps of the Ottoman empire, it would have been had to help Russia because the ports in the north were completely inaccessible during the season because of snow and ice covering thousands of miles from St. Petersburg. Russia's allies could only ship their wares via the black sea through the Aegean Sea that was by then under the control of the Gallipoli and or through the entrance of the black sea under the control of the Bosporus. Mustafa Kemal made sure that he prevented unfair obstacles such as the occupancy of Izmir by Allied powers. Mustafa Kamal's main goal was to defend Turkey and prove to the allied forces that Turks were ready as a nation to defend their country at all costs in every corner. He coordinated protests in every corner of turkey against the occupation of Izmir

The journey through the black sea was not guaranteed to be successful in that there were many factors that would have advantaged or disadvantaged the Russian allies. The Ottoman victory in the battle of Gallipoli can be attributed to several factors. The first factor was the famous land campaign. The terrain gave the Turks an advantage over the allied forces. Mustafa Kemal acting as the lieutenant colonel, took command of the 19th Infantry Division in charge of the Dardanelles Campaign to give the Turks a victory which lead to his promotion

The naval attack was easy for the Ottoman because they knew the terrain and expected the allied forces to use the amphibians. Therefore, they waited in ambush. Secondly, the allied forces depended on the technological advantage they had to gain intelligence on the location of the Ottoman troops and sinking the 11 Ottoman ships carrying 6000 soldiers. However, even with the successful assault of the allied forces, it became easier for the Ottoman troops to defend their territories. They started a war of attrition to wear down the allied forces who spent all their munition supplies before they went on the offense as the allied forced collapse after losing too many of their personnel and materials. In Samsun, Mustafa Kemal surveyed the situation and ensured that he developed rapport with the leaders in Istanbul knowing that the battle ahead would be tough be was confident that they had advantage of terrain to thwart the Greece and allied forces efforts. Nevertheless, the Turkish army was also decimated as the entire 57th battalion was either killed or wounded. The allied forced withdrew to Egypt, believing that they were defeated, but both sides registered a heavy casualty.

The campaigns may have begun with the failure of the British and French ships on the Dardanelles Straits in March 1915. However, the invasion of the Gallipoli peninsula in April 2015. However, the inclusion of the divisions of the Australian Army and New Zealand army corps (ANZAC). The Anzac used the war as a defining point in their identity. They assisted the British naval operations in forcing the Dardanelles straight then capture Constantinople. Their establishment of the tenuous foothold at the strait made them recognized as a spring army, which they became proud of despite over 5% of the military men being massacred. It is also important to note that Australia's still today celebrates the Anzac Day to reflect on the enduring symbols of independence, nationhood, and quintessential ethos of mateship. It is also importance to note they Australians and New Zealanders were not distinct from their British allies. This was their way of proving to the British allies that they were true allies even though the Gallipoli campaign was not their war.

The Gallipoli was to be the battle that would have pushed the Ottoman empire out of the first-word war, and Gallipoli was vital as the gateway to the Marmora sea that linked Constantinople and Bosporus straits. Passing through Gallipoli would have given the entente powers an advantage over the Ottoman empire and open one of the most important trade routes with Russia. To the Turks, this was their time to prove their awoken nationalism as they managed to distance themselves from the multicultural Ottoman empire. They wanted to fight the allied forces army alone without the support of the Ottoman empire. In war, the winning strategy is to have an advantage in terms of provision. Diversion of provisions weakens the oppositions which cannot fight on an empty stomach. However, despair and uncertainty can kill one faster that is what the Dardanelles Strait was targeted by the entente powers.

The war is also of significant importance to the Turkish forces because, after the war, they were convinced that they were better battle strategists than the allied war command of the French, British, and Australian armies. The defeat of the allied forces despite the Turkish army's decimation in the Balkan wars proved to the Turkish that they were still strong to be a sovereign. The Turkish forces know that the stake was high, and losing to the British should give the Russian an added advantage in terms of munition supplies. The development of a strong relationship between then British and the Russian army, which would have put turkey at a disadvantage as the neutral states of Greece, Bulgaria, as well as Roman, would have joined the war on the side of the Allied forces to fight Turkey.

Additionally, had the allied forces won the battle at Gallipoli and moved to the middle of the Ottoman empire, the defeat could have triggered a coup in the Constantinople forcing turkey to leave the central power and either join then allied forces or return to their previous neutrality. The impact would have had a longer impact on the Ottoman emporia and could have marked the end of the Ottoman empire. Therefore, the Ottoman empire defeating the allied forces was both symbolic of the Ottoman empire's readiness to defend itself and protect its allies.

It is also important to note that even though Winston Churchill was overly focused on winning the Gallipoli war, he faced a lot of backlash at home. Nevertheless, the failure of the allied forces can be attributed to the haste of Winston Churchill because he did not wait for more ground troops to come from the western front. Winston Churchill was hasty to give the command for the aggressive naval assault against the Turkish forces at the strait without considering his army's preparedness for the war. Winston Churchill believed that the Ottoman troop's strength was stagnant. Being the first lord of the admiralty, he proposed an attack of the Dardanelles, hoping to withdraw Greece and Bulgaria to join the Entente's side and connect with Russia.

The relevance of the strait was that it linked the western allies with Russia and could be instrumental to the munitions sales to Russia had the western allies won the battle. The Ottoman empire had been controlling the strait allowing supplies to go through straight before the campaign. Turkish army and the Ottoman empire understood the significance of the strait and how the relationship would be damaged if they conceded the war. The attempts to pay and persuade the Ottoman empire to join the allied by Britain, and France, failed. This was because, to the Ottoman empire, relationship with the central powers was more important to them than the relationship with the allied powers.


The main goal of the Gallipoli battle was to put an end to the world war one by simply creating a new war front that could not be defended by the Turks. Even though the campaign failed abysmally, it was the lessons that were learned at the war front and from the victory of the Ottoman empire. The Russian allies, including Britain and France, failed to secure the Dardanelles straight when they were defeated by the Ottoman empire. The Gallipoli battle was, therefore, of significance to all the countries that were involved. To the Australians, New Zealanders, and Turkish forces, the campaign marked a great turning point in their history because the war proved to each country that they are strong enough to celebrate their independence. Both Winston Churchill and Kamal Ataturk played their roles to their best judgment but Winston Churchill employed a poor strategy while Kamal fought hard to defend his the invasion of his homeland, had war front experiences and confidence.


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Jacob, Frank and Altieri, Riccardo, "Heroic Depiction vs. Modern Slaughtering -The Great War in the Middle East as a Semi-Modern War" (2015). CUNY Academic Works.

Toth, Michael, "By Sea and Air: Winston Churchill's Views on the Navy and Air Force During the Second World War" (2015). Honor's Papers. Paper 12.

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Gallipoli: WWI Battle for Control of Dardanelles Straits - Research Paper. (2023, Feb 23). Retrieved from

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