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The Gallipoli campaign in 1914 went down as one of the worst military failures in World War 1.

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Introduction

Name: William Lane Hemel Hempstead Candidate No. 4094 Centre No. 17127 January 2007 Assignment 1: A06 Gallipoli Coursework The Gallipoli campaign in 1914 went down as one of the worst military failures in World War 1. Famous for its appalling conditions and high death rates, the campaign is still regarded as 'a military disaster'. The Gallipoli plan was to cease the Dardanelles with a navel attack, to take control of it to allow Russian trade ships through (which the Turks weren't allowing) and to gain control of the entrance to the black sea, and to capture Turkey's capital Constantinople. This was to ease the pressure on Russia from the Turks by knocking Turkey out of the war. This would also lead to the breakup of the stalemate on the western front and lead to World War 1 victory. Winston Churchill came up with the plan as a response to Tsar Nicholas, commander in chief of the Russian armies, plead for help. Winston Churchill was very enthusiastic for the navel attack to go ahead. He persuaded the First Sea Lord, Lord Fisher to put the plan into action by sending battle ships into the Dardanelles. The Turkish forces had sufficient defences in the Dardanelles. 3 battleships were sunk and 3 more heavily damaged seriously denting the attack in February 1915. After these losses they changed to a military attack on Gallipoli. ...read more.

Middle

For this attack Winston Churchill sent 35,000 men to Cape Helles under Lieutenant General Hunter Weston and sent 17,000 Anzac troops, to a cove which became known as Anzac Cove, under General Sir William Birdwood. Sir Ian Hamilton was General in charge of this attack. He produced a plan that succeeded in getting the armies ashore. Controversially, he allowed his subordinate commanders considerable discretion in devising their own tactics. As a result both of the subordinate commanders chose to do land in different ways. At Anzac Cove General Birdwood chose to land his men under cover of darkness. This was very poor command from Birdwood as many soldiers were led to confusion and because of the lack of understanding of the terrain, soldiers had to wait until light to advance to their positions. An example of Bad organization is the fact that the soldiers didn't know the terrain. Commanders should have done their research of the land and the soldiers should have had it in their heads of what to expect when coming to the landings. However, because of leaving it till light to advance the Turkish soldiers were already in position and ready to fight. At Cape Helles General Hunter Weston went for a different approach. He chose to land after dawn, keeping more control over his men but allowing the Turks a greater chance to fire on his men. ...read more.

Conclusion

They were loaded so badly that they had to be totally reorganized in Egypt before an assault could be made. This was very time consuming. During the summer month's soldiers felt the effects of inadequate forces and supplies a lot more than normal. Water was a big problem for soldiers. They had to live off a third of a gallon a day and the water they had had to be brought from the river Nile in Egypt which was 700 miles away. These conditions were very bad for soldiers to live in and because of the dead bodies and the heat, dysentery broke out and many soldiers were evacuated sick. At times up to 1,000 soldiers a week were being evacuated. This could have been prevented if a water supply was established before the fighting had begun. Because of the high numbers of casualties leaving the battlefield, the number of soldiers also decreased. There wasn't enough reinforcements left from Britain to cover the loss so the soldiers were fighting with less numbers than before. Again this should have been prevented by generals by keeping some soldiers back in Britain until they were really needed. Ironically the most successful part of the heroic failure was the evacuation. In my own opinion I would say that an ill thought out plan is the main reason to blame for the failure of the campaign. Had it been a better thought out plan the other problems may not have occurred and the allies would have had success, maybe leading world war one victory. ...read more.

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