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This consisted of the naval assault which began on 18th March 1915. There was never a 'real' strategy, as the battleships just forged their way through the Dardenelles. It was not entirely unsuccessful as the ships made a great distance, but when it was time to turn back due to bad light, the vessels managed to meet with quite a few sea mines which resulted in the capsizing of some.
The landings by the British and French at Cape Helles and the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC's) at the Anzac beaches on the 25th April 1915. The British and French made decent ground at heavy cost, whereas the Anzac's struggled in what can only be described as a farce as they landed at the wrong beach. There are several reasons as to why this occurred, some of which involved wrong markers and strong currents. The Anzac legend was born on this very day as soldiers from far away lands barely coped with the bloody conditions. The Turks were waiting and if it wasn't for the brilliance of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, one could never imagine what might have happened. Anzac's were mowed down, some before even reaching land, and others who did make it to shore dug deep to hide from the fury of gunfire which was almost deafening. Numerous casualties occurred on that very first Anzac Day but the true grit shown by the Anzac's was more than heroic.
This occurred in August and involved more British landings to the north of Anzac and at Suvla Bay. One of the most important battles to have taken place was what is now known as the August offensive at the Nek. The charges of the 8th & 10th Australian Light Horse as depicted in the Gallipoli film was just another one to add to the list of incompetence. The static trench warfare lasted approximately 8-9 months. Both sides were not budging and the pointless loss of lives on this peninsula was too huge to accurately account.
The order was finally delivered that the allied troops must retreat. This was the one thing the allies got right, as not one life was lost during this whole process. It started with the evacuations from Suvla and the Anzac areas in the early hours of 20th December 1915 and from Helles on 9th January 1916.
The irony of this entire battle was that both sides shared a camaraderie and were fighting a battle which wasn't theirs. Stories exist of sharing cigarette papers and tobacco, helping wounded soldiers on opposing sides as well as showing a certain respect for each other. Today the Gallipoli peninsula serves as a place for both young and old travellers to commemorate the fallen and to serve as a reminder to each and every one of us that war is not worth the effort as no-one can win!
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Last updated : 6 May 2014