Battle of Gallipoli

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Battle of Gallipoli
Part of: First World War
Above: Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk) with his staff at Anafartalar Middle: Warships of the Triple Entente leave the Dardanelles;  Anzacs landing in Gallipoli Below: Ottoman soldiers at the front;  Anzacs on the Gallipolis hills
Above: Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk) with his staff at Anafartalar
Middle: Warships of the Triple Entente leave the Dardanelles ;
Anzacs landing in Gallipoli
Below: Ottoman soldiers at the front;
Anzacs on the Gallipolis hills
date February 19, 1915 to January 9, 1916
place Gallipoli , Turkey
output Victory of the Ottoman Empire
Parties to the conflict

United Kingdom 1801United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland British Empire

Third French RepublicThird French Republic France

Ottoman Empire 1844Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire German Empire Austria-Hungary
German EmpireThe German Imperium 
Austria-HungaryAustria-Hungary (war flag) 


United Kingdom 1801United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland Ian Hamilton
from October 14th: Charles Monro John de Robeck William Birdwood Henri Gouraud
United Kingdom 1801United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom 1801United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
United Kingdom 1801United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland
Third French RepublicThird French Republic

German EmpireThe German Imperium Otto Liman von Sanders (Liman Pascha) Mustafa Kemal Bey Enver Pascha Esat Pascha Vehib Pascha Cevat Pascha Fevzi Bey
Ottoman Empire 1844Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire 1844Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire 1844Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire 1844Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire 1844Ottoman Empire
Ottoman Empire 1844Ottoman Empire

Troop strength
United Kingdom 1801United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland British Empire : 469,000 soldiers

Third French RepublicThird French Republic France : 79,000

Ottoman Empire 1844Ottoman Empire Ottoman Empire :
315,500 soldiers (including 500 to 3000 German soldiers)

50,000 dead soldiers;
130,000 wounded;
6 warships

57,263 dead soldiers;
156,619 wounded

The Battle of Gallipoli was fought during the First World War in front of and on the Turkish Gallipoli peninsula (Turkish: Gelibolu Yarımadası ) on the European side of the Dardanelles (Turkish: Çanakkale Boğazı ), but also on the Asian side of the strait, between the Aegean and the Marmara Sea . The Entente powers later wanted to occupy the peninsula in a joint operation and use it as a base for the conquest of the Ottoman capital Constantinople , but failed because of the defenders. The battle claimed a total of 100,000 dead and 250,000 wounded on both sides, which corresponds to almost half of the soldiers deployed. In Turkey , the operation is called Çanakkale Çanakkale Savaşı (“War of Çanakkale”) after the city on the strait . In the English-speaking world it is known as the Dardanelles Campaign or Gallipoli Campaign ("Dardanelles" or "Gallipoli campaign"). April 25, the anniversary of the landing on Gallipoli, is still celebrated today in Australia , New Zealand and Tonga as a national day of remembrance ( ANZAC Day ).

The more than 100,000 fallen are in several military cemeteries .


In the 19th century the weakened was Ottoman Empire , which later became the Turkey should emerge as " the sick man of Europe " by many media of that time satirizes . In the spring of 1915 the military and political situation was in many respects quite delicate for the Young Turkish government . The Ottoman campaigns in the Russian-ruled Caucasus and in Northern Iran had failed and as a result the long front in the east collapsed in several places and in the Ottoman province of Van rebellious Armenian citizen militias rose up against the attacks of the military governor of the province. In February 1915, the Armenian soldiers of the Ottoman armies began to be disarmed, some of whom were subsequently killed and some of whom were grouped into labor battalions. A little later, the execution of the members of several of these battalions followed. Contrary to what is often shown, the Young Turks in the spring of 1915 had by no means fallen into passivity, but wanted to use what they saw as the most favorable hour. After the Ottoman Empire had lost almost all territories in the Balkans in the wars of 1912/13, it sought to gain large territories in the Balkans in the First World War.

The neglected and disorganized state of the Ottoman army and navy after the Balkan Wars led to the appointment of a German military mission with far-reaching powers under Liman von Sanders in 1913 , which on the other hand resulted in increased vigilance and readiness for intervention by the Triple Entente . The Ottoman Empire maintained its neutrality until the height of the summer of 1914 , but its ties to the Central Powers became ever closer . At the start of the war, on August 1, 1914 , Great Britain had  confiscated two Ottoman battleships - the Reshadije and Sultan Osman I , which were technically obsolete from the perspective of the Royal Navy - that had been commissioned by the Ottoman Empire in England and had already been paid for . The confiscation ordered by Winston Churchill triggered general indignation in the Ottoman Empire, also because the ships were partly paid for with public donations. On August 2nd, Grand Vizier Said Halim and Minister of War Enver had signed a secret treaty with the German Reich , on August 10th the German battle cruiser SMS Goeben and the small cruiser SMS Breslau under Rear Admiral Wilhelm Souchon were in the Dardanelles after a sharp chase by the British Royal Navy arrived. On August 12, they were nominally handed over to the Sultan and renamed Yavuz Sultan Selim and Midilli , three days later the Ottoman government ended the British naval mission under Admiral Limpus and expelled all British officers on September 15. With German help the Dardanelles should now be fortified and the Bosporus secured against Russia by the Yavuz Sultan Selim . On September 27, 1914, the straits were officially closed to international shipping. Since the Imperial German Navy blocked the Baltic Sea , the sea connections between Russia and the Western Allies were largely interrupted. The Bosphorus and Dardanelles Straits - the only way to the Black Sea - were now effectively controlled by the Ottoman Empire, so that arms deliveries by the Western Allies by sea were hardly feasible.

On October 29, 1914, the Ottoman-flagged fleet under Admiral Souchon attacked Russian port cities in the Black Sea. Almost at the same time, the Royal Navy shot at Ottoman merchant ships leaving the port of Izmir . As a result, on November 12, 1914, the Ottoman government declared war on the Triple Entente.

Map of the Dardanelles

By the end of 1914 the fronts in Belgium and France had frozen. The opponents therefore considered looking elsewhere for the decision. The Triple Entente hoped that a direct attack on the Ottoman Empire could induce the Greeks and Bulgarians to enter the war on the side of the Allies. Some contemporaries even believed that if the Ottoman Empire won, it would leave the war as an ally of the Central Powers.

In April 1854, French and British troops had landed at Gallipoli as part of the Crimean War . At that time, this was done under the opposite sign, in order to prevent a possible Russian advance into Constantinople and with the express consent of the Ottoman Empire, with which a war aid treaty had previously been concluded on March 12, 1854. A little later, the joint declaration of war on Russia followed. Both countries sent their Mediterranean fleets in June 1853 into the entrance to the Dardanelles and later into the Black Sea.

An attack proposed by a French minister in November 1914 did not find sufficient support. A little later, the First Lord of the Admiralty , Winston Churchill , presented his plans for a sea ​​attack on the Dardanelles. On February 16, 1915, the British decided for the first time to conduct a large landing operation. War Secretary Lord Kitchener appointed General Sir Ian Hamilton to be Commander in Chief of the Expeditionary Army which was to carry out the operation.

After the start of the war, the Ottoman defenses of the strait were considerably reinforced. The number of underwater mines has more than doubled, additional cannons and batteries have been installed, and stronger fortifications have been built. Churchill was able to persuade the Allies to launch a major attack on the Dardanelles after weeks of discussions and is therefore generally considered to be primarily responsible for the operation. For the large-scale frontal attack against the fortified Ottoman positions on the Gallipoli Peninsula, the concentration of numerous warships was necessary. Churchill believed that the guns of the British battleships would outstrip the enemy cannons and that the forts and fortresses could be safely destroyed. As it turned out later, this was a misjudgment. But he was so convinced of a pure naval attack that he wanted to continue it at the end of February, when he had already realized that additional land forces were urgently needed to conquer the peninsula.

Naval attacks

The irresistible sinks

On February 19, 1915, an association of British and French ships attacked some Ottoman artillery positions along the coast of the Dardanelles. The British battleship Queen Elizabeth was also involved in this first attack . Attempts have also been made to clear the Turkish mine barriers in the strait in order to be able to break through directly to Constantinople. The aim of the Allies was to push the Ottoman Empire out of the war by threatening its capital and to make use of the favorable supply route to Russia via the Black Sea.

One of the consequences of the Allied advance was that Bulgaria initially interrupted all negotiations with Germany. Greece offered its support and Italy gave the appearance of wanting to enter the war on the Allied side soon. Despite these political developments that were initially positive for the Allies, the company was not very successful in military terms.

Another advance was made on March 18. A fleet, which consisted of a British battleship, a battle cruiser, and twelve British and four French ships of the line , destroyed several Ottoman artillery pieces. The ships suffered heavy artillery hits during the battle. As the ships approached the narrow point of the Dardanelles, the French ships took the lead to shut down the forts that secured them. The Suffren in particular was hit 14 times in the first 15 minutes and caught fire. A medium artillery magazine had to be flooded to prevent an explosion. A hit in the bow resulted in more water in the ship. The French ships then had to withdraw. During a turning maneuver on their retreat, the ships drove into a minefield that had been laid out in the bay of Erenköy by the Ottoman miner Nusret (built in the Germania shipyard , 1911). The French Bouvet had hit one of the mines about two hours earlier , without this being recognized as a mine hit, when the ship sank within just two minutes. On the Bouvet alone , over 600 men died in the sinking, including the commander Rageot de la Touche . The already ailing Suffren was only able to save a few crew members. The Ottoman side had expected the turning maneuvers at this point, as this was an already known procedure. The Irresistible , the Ocean and the French Bouvet sank, the battle cruiser Inflexible and the French liners Suffren and Gaulois were badly damaged. The main problem became the floating minefields, not the forts themselves; however, their cannon fire effectively hindered the defusing of the mines.

This disaster caused the British Council of War to stop the pure sea attacks. Winston Churchill, who campaigned for the operation, later had to resign. After the heavy defeats in the Caucasus, Northern Persia and the Suez Canal, the successful defense against the naval attack of the Entente on March 18 was the first victory of the Ottoman Army in World War I. After the Seeangriffe the Ottoman troops were a few elite - divisions increased and under the guidance of Vehip Pasha and the German General Otto Liman von Sanders asked.


Allied troops go ashore
Wounded ANZAC soldiers are treated

After the failure of the sea attacks, the Allies were of the opinion that only land forces could eliminate the Ottoman artillery positions. However, a major surprise effect of the attack had now become impossible. Previously, a troop landing at Alexandretta was considered on the British side in order to separate the southern areas of the Ottoman Empire from the Anatolian core countries.

The Allied troops, disregarding Greek neutrality, occupied the island of Limnos , among others , in order to use it as a starting point for the attacks. Covered by 11 warships, 200 merchant ships dropped troops from various nations.

As early as the beginning of 1915, Australian and New Zealand volunteer organizations were shipped to Egypt . Because of Churchill's assertion that the peninsula would be evacuated by Turkish garrisons after the fortifications had been successfully destroyed, a well-trained British division, as previously discussed in the War Cabinet, was sent to Gallipoli instead of the inexperienced and completely differently trained Australian and New Zealand troops stationed in Egypt. These then had to be increased considerably by Canadian , British and French troops at short notice after the failed sea attacks . The Australian and New Zealand infantry units were formed into the 30,000-strong Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) under the command of General William Birdwood . This consisted of the New Zealand and Australian Division under Major General Alexander Godley and the 1st Australian Division under Major General WT Bridges . In addition, General Hamilton, the commander of the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force , the 17,000 strong 29th British Division , the Royal Naval Division and the French Corps expéditionnaire d'Orient were available.

The preparations for the Entente had not escaped the Turks; it was known that enemy troops were gathering on Limnos. Only four sections of the Dardanelles were considered likely for Allied landings: Cape Helles , Gaba Tepe , Bulair or the eastern coast on the Asian mainland. On March 24th, the Turks formed the 5th Ottoman Army under Liman von Sanders with about 84,000 men. They had to defend both coasts of the Dardanelles and were initially divided into two corps with six divisions and a cavalry brigade . The General Command of III. Corps under General Esat Pasha was on the Gallipoli peninsula, that of the XV. Corps under Vehib Pasha on the Asian side. The III. Corps were the 9th Division (Infantry Regiments No. 25, 26 and 27), the 19th Division (Infantry Regiments No. 57, 72 and 77) and the 7th Division (Infantry Regiments No. 19, 20 and 21) assigned. The 9th Division under Colonel Halil Samy Bey secured the coast from Cape Helles to Bulair, where the 7th Division under Remsi Bey connected to the north, while the 19th Division under Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kemal Bey served as a corps reserve at Maidos. The 5th Division was concentrated as an additional reserve on mainland Europe north of Bulair. On the Asian side, the Ottoman XV. Corps with the 3rd (Lieutenant Colonel Nicolai) and 11th Division (Colonel Weber ).

The " Jewish Mule Battalion " (Jewish Mule Corps) under Vladimir Jabotinsky made transport services in the mountainous terrain. Jabotinsky wanted to lay the foundation for a " Jewish Legion " to conquer Palestine .

The invasion began on April 25, 1915. After heavy bombardment by Allied naval artillery, the 29th Division was released at Helles at the tip of the peninsula. The ANZAC landed at the same time in the north of Ari Burnu , from where it was supposed to disrupt the Ottoman reinforcement troops from Kilitbahir. The French made a mock landing in Kumkale with 16,000 soldiers to distract the defenders.


Glorifying poster: "The Australian and New Zealand troops have truly proven themselves worthy sons of the Empire." George V.

The 3rd Brigade of the 1st Australian Division began to go ashore before dawn, at 4:30 a.m. The intended landing zone was a little north of Gaba Tepe and was called Z-Strand. The landing failed, however, and the soldiers were put ashore at Ari Burnu.

The beach at the landing area was narrow and lined with high-rise, jagged rocks, which made it difficult for Australian units to move forward quickly. Mustafa Kemal , the commander of the 19th Ottoman Division, recognized the situation and immediately set his reinforcement troops in motion.

Shortly afterwards, the fought over the hill Baby 700 , which was taken alternately by Ottoman and then again by Australian troops. Eventually, the Ottoman army was able to finally occupy the hill, as it had the advantage of attacking from a higher combat position. After the ANZAC's advance was slowed down, the Ottoman army, although in the minority, led a counterstrike with the aim of throwing the Allies back onto the beaches. However, this counterattack failed. Both parties holed up, so that a bloody stalemate existed in a trench war until the end of August.

Three Australian and one New Zealand cavalry brigades were used as infantry units during the battle and were generally not trained for it. The dead are still remembered in New Zealand and Australia today. The ANZAC Day is celebrated each April 25 and in Australia, New Zealand and Tonga a day of remembrance.

Eles Burnu

The Royal Naval Division leaves the trenches for a bayonet attack

The 29th British Division under the command of Major General Aylmer Hunter-Weston carried out the landing at Eles Burnu. The land section was divided into five beach sections S, V, W, X and Y from east to west.

At the very tip of Gallipoli, where S, X, and Y were sections, there was little resistance. The commander of the landing wave on Y-Strand (Sighin-Dere estuary) was able to advance near the abandoned village of Krithia that day. When Ottoman reinforcements approached a little later, the beach was abandoned.

The main landings were carried out on V-Strand near the old Sedd-ül-Bahr fortress and on W-Strand.

On V-beach the converted collier sat River Clyde , the Hampshire - Regiment and the Royal Munster Fusiliers below the fortress from. The soldiers could be dropped directly onto the beach via ramps. These soldiers, pouring one after the other out of the River Clyde without cover , were exposed to the Ottoman machine gun fire from the Sedd-ul-Bahr fortress. The Lancashire Fusiliers were brought in open boats to W-Strand, which was secured with barbed wire . On both beaches the resistance of the Ottoman defenders was fierce, so that the British suffered heavy losses.

As with the landing of the ANZAC, the Ottoman troops were clearly in the minority. However, they could not be overrun by the British and held their positions. Only on W-Strand did the Lancashire Fusiliers overwhelm the Ottoman defenders with heavy casualties. 600 of a total of 1,000 British soldiers were killed. The battalions on V-Strand suffered losses of up to 70%.

The first battles

A 75mm French gun during the 3rd Battle of Krithia

On April 27, Mustafa Kemal made an attempt to repel the ANZAC troops. The attack failed with heavy losses on the part of the Ottoman troops due to the intervention of the Allied ship artillery.

The next day the British tried, now supported by the French, to capture Krithia, which was held by the Ottoman army. The planning of the attack was disorganized, however, and communication between the troop units did not work. The soldiers of the 29th Division were also exhausted from the battle for the Sedd-ul-Bahr fortress. The conquest of the village was therefore unsuccessful. The Allied trenches were halfway between Krithia and the southern headland of the island after the attack. The fighting at Cape Helles immediately went into the trench warfare over. On the nights of May 1st and 3rd, the Allies repulsed all Ottoman counter-attacks, even though they had even broken through French lines at one point.

On May 2nd, the ANZAC attacked to recapture the Baby 700 altitude . The troops only advanced with great losses. Attempts to dig into some of the new positions failed and the ANZAC had to withdraw on the night of May 3rd.

At the beginning of the second battle for Krithia on May 6, General Hamilton ordered the transfer of two brigades from ANZAC to the Helles front. The subsequent attacks failed again with high losses.

On May 19, the Ottoman army launched a major attack against the ANZAC. With a majority of 40,000 men, 10,000 Australians and New Zealanders were to be overrun. The attack failed with high losses. On May 24th, both sides therefore agreed a short-term armistice to bury the large number of dead who were lying in the no-man's-land on the front and thus prevent the risk of epidemics.

The German submarine U 21 under Kapitänleutnant Otto Hersing sank the British battleship Triumph off Gaba Tepe on May 25 and the British battleship Majestic , which was used for artillery support for the land forces, on May 27, off Cape Helles .

After the third unsuccessful battle for Krithia on June 4th, the Allies gave up all hopes for a quick breakthrough. Instead, the focus was now on protracted trench warfare, each of which brought only a few hundred meters of territorial gains. In the third battle for the village, both sides lost about 25% of their forces. The British had to mourn 4,500 casualties out of a total of 20,000 soldiers.

In June, the 52nd Division landed on Gallipoli as reinforcement in the final phase of the Battle of Gully Ravine (June 28). The British managed to move their lines a little forward. In the days from July 1st to July 5th, the Ottoman troops carried out a series of counterattacks, which however did not lead to the hoped-for success.

On July 12, the last British offensive took place on the Eles Burnu against the Ottoman lines at Achi Baba Nullah. With losses of up to 30%, they did not achieve any decisive successes again.

August offensive

Turkish machine gun emplacement on the Dardanelles
The "Sphinx", one of the most prominent points of the battlefields on the west coast of the peninsula

The unsuccessful capture of Krithia and the setbacks on the Eles-Burnu front forced General Hamilton to work out a new plan for the Dardanelles operation, which eventually led to the August offensive. By resolution of the British Dardanelles Committee, two new infantry divisions (10th (Irish) and 11th (Northern) divisions) landed in Suvla Bay on the night of August 6th . They should break out together with the ANZAC, push far into the country and reach the Kilid Bahr plateau. The further actions of the 20,000-strong landing force, however, started very slowly, although at this point they were facing only about 1,500 Turks under the leadership of the Bavarian Major Willmer . This "Anafarta Detachement" consisted of three infantry battalions, a company of pioneers, a small cavalry division and a labor battalion. In view of the balance of power elsewhere, a relatively easy task for the attackers, but it was not fulfilled.

The commander of the IX Corps Lieutenant General Sir Frederick Stopford let his soldiers hold out in their positions and renounced the rapid advance, although from 10 August the 53rd (Welsh) and 54th (East Anglian) divisions were also landed as reinforcements. This gave the Ottoman army the opportunity to order further divisions to the landing section and then to occupy the favorable defensive positions. Lieutenant General Stopford was then replaced on August 16 by Major General de Lisle .

The attempt to break out of the ANZAC was preceded by an attack on the Ottoman trenches in Lone Pine, which was carried out by the infantry brigades of the 1st Australian Division. Although this resulted in slight territorial gains, the main objective of the attack, the capture of Chunuk Bair and Hill 971, could not be achieved.

The attacks were always uncoordinated and the advancing troops made difficult progress in the rugged rocks. In addition, the communication to the own artillery did not work, which either stopped fire prematurely or even became dangerous to own soldiers. After the uncoordinated bombing, the Ottoman troops were able to occupy their trenches in good time and repel the attackers wave after wave with machine gun salvos.

Only a few soldiers came near the important heights until shortly afterwards they were driven out by Ottoman forces led by Mustafa Kemal.

The last Allied attempt to turn the fortunes of war took place on August 21 with the attacks on Hill 60 and Scimitar Hill . These operations also failed due to the stubborn resistance of the defenders, whereupon there was no hope of winning the August offensive and thus also the battle for Gallipoli.

The Entente's loss-making defeat in the August offensive had far-reaching effects on the Balkans. The previously hesitant Bulgaria now sided with the Central Powers; Greece and Romania remained neutral despite their hostile attitude. Russia was thus cut off from the aid deliveries from its western allies, the Ottoman Empire secured to the west and the defeat of Serbia favored. Politically, the Tsar's Pan-Slavist line was taken ad absurdum by the accession of Bulgaria, which Russia helped create, to the Central Powers.


Field Marshal Kitchener and General Birdwood inspect the front, Russell's Top, November 15, 1915

The international situation for the Entente worsened when Bulgaria entered the war on the side of the Central Powers on October 14, 1915. In the event of a successful campaign by the Central Powers against Serbia, the Central Powers could have supplied strong artillery to the Allies via the land route that would reach the Ottoman Empire then would have been hopelessly inferior.

On October 14th, General Hamilton was replaced by Lieutenant General Sir Charles Monro due to the failures . Hamilton had also spoken out against the possibility of an evacuation. Allied troops had previously been dispatched to the new theater of war in the Balkans instead of to Gallipoli as reinforcements. On November 19th, after an overview of the situation, Lord Kitchener decided to evacuate.

The shipping of the 14 divisions proved difficult due to heavy storms and rains. Many soldiers suffered frostbite from the onset of snowfall and frost.

Paradoxically, the most successful undertaking of the Dardanelles operation was the evacuation . The embarkation on December 18th was initially not noticed by the Ottoman troops due to the adverse weather. Only two days later did they realize the situation and immediately proceeded to occupy the embarkation areas with heavy bombing. During their hectic escape, the Allies left a great deal of war material behind.

The Ottoman army threw a large part of its forces on the Eles-Burnu Front, where they attacked the Allies with similarly heavy attacks. The bad weather did the rest; the low-lying British trenches were flooded. On January 7, 1916, the Ottoman units decided to attack the Allied lines, from which they no longer expected much resistance. However, the British fought bitterly. The last units left Gallipoli on January 9, 1916.

Only shortly before the end of the war was another military action by the Allies on the Dardanelles in order to occupy them militarily. On October 30, 1918, the Moudros armistice ended the fighting between the Entente and the Ottoman Empire. From November 1918 the victorious powers occupied a large part of the Ottoman Empire.


Ataturk's grave speech on the occasion of the commemoration of the dead of this battle:

“Those heroes who shed their blood and gave their lives… now you are in the soil of a friendly land. Therefore rest in peace. There is no difference between the Johnnies and the Mehmets, where they lie side by side in this land of ours ... You, the mothers who sent their sons from far-flung lands, wipe away your tears. Your sons are now on our bosom and are at peace. Having lost their life in this country made them our sons as well. "

- Mustafa Kemal

After the Ottoman victory at Gallipoli, a British army in Mesopotamia was forced to surrender on April 29, 1916 at Kut-el-Amara . It took the British three years to conquer Baghdad , Jerusalem and Damascus . From southern Palestine , the troops of the Ottoman Empire marched to the Sinai Peninsula to conquer the Suez Canal . The British repulsed this advance in August, after which the Allies regained the upper hand in the Middle East .

After the evacuation, the Allied units were reorganized in Egypt. The ANZAC was reorganized; the infantry was sent to the western front, while the light cavalry was assigned to operations in Palestine and Sinai .

Gallipoli was the end of their careers for Generals Hamilton and Stopford. Hunter-Weston later led his VIII Corps in the Battle of the Somme . Mustafa Kemal, who had proven himself several times as a reliable and independent troop leader, laid the foundation stone for his admiration as the popular hero "Gazi Mustafa Kemal Pascha" with the battle of Gallipoli and, after the war was over, he was to become President of Turkey under the family name Kemal Ataturk given to him worldwide become known. Initially, however, Enver Pascha was able to prevent the then relatively unknown colonel from being celebrated. Instead, he let himself be credited with the fame. The leader of the tried and tested military reform, Liman von Sanders , was never given a popularity commensurate with its success, neither in the Ottoman Empire nor in Germany.

Minelayer Nusret as a postcard motif

The Battle of Gallipoli was one of the bloodiest and most brutal in World War I. It was unprecedented as a battle in which a land army could withstand an attack jointly led by the army and navy over the long term. Ataturk's command to his soldiers on a section of the front has been handed down, where they considered retreating due to a lack of ammunition: They should hold out under all circumstances and, if necessary, lose their lives so that fresh forces could be brought in in the meantime. Gallipoli was a shock to Australia and New Zealand because of the high casualty figures. It was the biggest conflict to date in which these two British Dominions had become involved. In addition to the shame for the Entente, the defeat also resulted in confrontations and disputes on a political level, which led to Churchill's resignation as Minister of the Navy and the overthrow of the Asquith government . Churchill's fears that if the fighting efforts for the Dardanelles waned, Bulgaria would join the Central Powers, proved to be true. The foreseeable failure on the peninsula encouraged the Bulgarians, who finally took part in the Serbia campaign of 1915 , in which the Serbian army suffered a crushing defeat. The Central Powers opened a direct land connection to the Ottoman Empire via Bulgaria. In addition, the reputation of the British in Persia, Afghanistan and India fell.

The Battle of Gallipoli became a myth in Turkey. Every year thousands of students from Australia and New Zealand travel to commemorate their fellow countrymen who died there. The mine-laying ship Nusret , which helped thwart the second sea attack through its night-and-fog operation, can be viewed twice today. A replica is anchored in the Naval Museum in Çanakkale . The original is in the city of Tarsus on the Gulf of Iskenderun . In 1962 the former mine-layer was retired and later served as a transport ship. Around 1989 the former pride of the Ottoman Navy sank. A good ten years later the ship was recovered and exhibited on land. Winston Churchill later wrote that little Nusret had "changed the world".


Fallen wounded Total number
Australia 8,709 19,441 28,150
New Zealand 2,701 4,852 7,553
Great Britain 21,255 52,230 73,485
France (estimated) 10,000 17,000 27,000
India 1,358 3,421 4,779
Newfoundland 49 93 142
Entente 44,072 97.037 141.109
Ottoman Empire 57.263 156.619 213,882

The Commonwealth War Graves Commission (CWGC) is responsible for the war graves of the Commonwealth troops. There are 31 CWGC cemeteries on Gallipoli; 6 at Cape Helles, 4 at Suvla Bay and 21 at the former positions of the Anzac. There are no graves for many soldiers who died in hospitals or at sea. Various plaques and monuments are dedicated to these soldiers, the British at Cape Helles, the Australian at Lone Pine and the New Zealand at Chunuk Bair.

A French military cemetery is located near the former S-Strand, where the French quarters were located during the battle. There is no larger Turkish military cemetery. Instead, several monuments have been erected, the most important of which are located on Morto Bay, near the former S-Strand and on Chunuk Bair.

Physicist Henry Moseley was among the better-known figures who died in the battle . The poet Rupert Brooke died on his way to battle on a British hospital ship of sepsis caused by a mosquito bite. In February 1915 he went to the Mediterranean with the British Mediterranean Expeditionary Force . On March 11th, the Times Literary Supplement published sonnets IV- The Dead and V- The Soldier in full text, the sonnets that made him particularly famous. On April 4th, Easter Sunday , The Soldier was read from the pulpit of St. Paul's Cathedral in London - an early death is generally hymned in his works. The opening lines often quoted later read:

“If I should die, think only this of me; That there's some corner of a foreign field That is for ever England. "

"If I should die, just think this about me: That there is a corner of a strange field that is England forever."

Brooke died less than three weeks later and was buried in an olive grove on the Greek island of Skyros . His grave is still there today.

The Battle of Gallipoli in Culture

British war memorial

The Sultan - Caliph Mehmed V. Reşad and numerous poets, including Ziya Gökalp , dedicated poems to this victory. But Ziya Gökalp was primarily an essayist. The establishment of modern Turkey as a secular state can largely be traced back to the intellectual orientation that Gökalp's ideas had prepared.

The Battle of Gallipoli provided material for several films:

  • The Australian production Gallipoli by director Peter Weir from 1981 described the fate of two ANZAC soldiers in battle (one of them played by Mel Gibson ) and caused a wave of patriotic and anti-British feelings in Australia.
  • The BBC -Fernsehfilm All the King's Men (1999) describes the loss of Sandringham - company .
  • The Turkish film director Tolga Örnek made the documentary Gelibolu ( English Gallipoli ) in 2005 , which depicts the battle from both sides.
  • In 2012 the Turkish director Yeşim Sezgin shot the feature film Çanakkale 1915 , which shows the battle from the perspective of two Ottoman soldiers; Mustafa Kemal Bey is portrayed by Ilker Kirmaz .
  • The BBC documentary Gallipoli - The Battle for the Dardanelles from 2005 (45 minutes) tells the story of the battle and what lessons the Allies learned from the battle for D-Day on June 6, 1944.
  • The film The Water Diviner ( The Water Diviner ) from 2014 tells the story of an Australian father (played by Russell Crowe ) who wants to seek his three missing during the Battle of Gallipoli sons.
  • The 2015 Australian miniseries Gallipoli tells the story of four Australian young men from the ANZAC division during the fighting. The series also reflects what happens in the generals and depicts the fighting in an extremely realistic manner.

In music too, battle is the theme of several songs, notably in Eric Bogles And The Band Played Waltzing Matilda from 1971.

Culture of remembrance

Arrest and deportation order issued by the Interior Ministry under Talât Pascha , April 24, 1915

April 25th, the anniversary of the first landing, is celebrated every year in Australia and New Zealand as ANZAC Day and is considered the most important national holiday. March 18, on which the Turks defeated the invaders, is celebrated in Turkey as the Day of the Fallen ( tr : Şehitler günü) . The government around President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan likes to portray the outcome of the Battle of Gallipoli and the myth of victory as a victory of Islam over Western crusaderism; the almost 10 percent non-Muslim soldiers in the Ottoman army have hardly been mentioned so far. The fact that in 2015 the Turkish government did not set its most important commemoration for the centenary of the battle on March 18, April 25 or December 18 - all of these dates that coincide with the victory over the Entente troops or the Withdrawal of this related - but on April 24th, was intentional. This is the day on which the genocide of the Armenian people is commemorated elsewhere . Sending over 100 invitations abroad revealed Erdoğan's attempt to continue to push the acts of violence that the Turkish governments have suppressed to this day from the public eye with the historic Gallipoli victory. Among the invitations to the victory celebration was one to the Armenian President. The arrest and deportation of Armenian civilians in Constantinople, initiated by the Ottoman government on April 24, 1915 , ultimately resulted in the murder of around 600,000 to 1,500,000 Christian Armenians . As a result of the persecutions and deportations, a total of around two thirds of the Armenians living on the territory of the Ottoman Empire died, which is regarded as genocide against them.

Of the more than 250,000 inhabitants of Constantinople in 1910, only a little over half belonged to the Turkish ethnic group. Alongside her, the Armenians and Greeks were by far the most represented. The European side of the strait belonged to the region of the Ottoman Empire that was heavily populated with Greeks. This ethnic group - like others - was also subjected to massive persecution from 1914 to 1923 . Even when the First World War broke out, the population was ethnically diverse.

The project name Çanakkale 1915 Bridge (Turkish: Çanakkale 1915 Köprüsü ) is intended to commemorate the Battle of Gallipoli, which is named after the province of Çanakkale in Turkey . The project is a planned suspension bridge that will span the Dardanelles . Measured by the span , it will probably be the longest suspension bridge in the world . The groundbreaking ceremony took place on March 18, 2017 and the completion date is scheduled for the centenary of the founding of modern Turkey on October 29, 2023.


  • Jenny Macleod: Gallipoli. Making history. Frank Cass, London 2004, ISBN 0-7146-5462-0 .
  • Alan Moorehead: Gallipoli. Hamilton, London 1956.
  • Robin Prior: Gallipoli. The end of the myth. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven 2009, ISBN 978-0-300-14995-1 .
  • Heinz A. Richter: The war in the southeast. Volume 1: Gallipoli 1915 Verlag Franz Philipp Rutzen, Ruhpolding 2014, ISBN 978-3-447-10118-9 .
  • Victor Rudenno: Gallipoli. Attack from the sea. Yale Univ. Press, New Haven 2008, ISBN 978-0-300-12440-8 .
  • Klaus Wolf: Gallipoli 1915. The German-Turkish military alliance in the First World War. Report-Verlag, Sulzbach 2008, ISBN 978-3-932385-29-2 ( table of contents ).

Web links

Commons : Battle of Gallipoli  - Album containing pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. Austria-Hungary provided a 15 cm howitzer battery and a 24 cm mortar battery. see. Bertrand Michael Buchmann: Austria and the Ottoman Empire. A bilateral story. wuv, Vienna 1999, ISBN 3-85114-479-1 , p. 262.
  2. ^ The Gallipoli campaign . (PDF 101 kB) Australian Government - Department of Veterans' Affairs , 2010, p. 2 , archived from the original on October 25, 2011 ; accessed on May 2, 2018 (English, original website no longer available). The British Empire deployed a total of 469,000 soldiers in the Battle of Gallipoli. The troop strength that was on the Gallipoli peninsula at the same time was a maximum of 128,000.
  3. ^ A b c Edward J. Erickson: Ordered to die: a history of the Ottoman army in the First World War . Greenwood Publishing, Westport, CT 2001, ISBN 0-313-31516-7 , pp. 94-95.
  4. Depending on the information and time, direct and indirect participation - see: David Leslie Hoggan : My comments on Germany. The Anglo-American Crusade Idea in the 20th Century. Grabert, Tübingen 1990, ISBN 3-87847-103-3 , p. 209; and Martin Gilbert (eds.): The straits of war. Gallipoli remembered. Sutton, Stroud 2000, ISBN, p. 165; and Studia Troica. 15 (2005), ISSN  0942-7635 , pp. 185ff; and Klaus Wolf: Gallipoli 1915. The German-Turkish military alliance in the First World War. Report Verlag, Sulzbach 2008, ISBN 978-3-932385-29-2 ; (Wolf writes of 530 German dead in Gallipoli).
  5. Gerd Krumeich: The First World War. The 101 most important questions. Beck, Munich 2014, ISBN 978-3-406-65941-6 , chap. 23.
    Casualties' Figures Gallipoli ( Memento of July 28, 2004 in the Internet Archive )
  6. a b c d Zekeriya Türkmen: Çanakkale Muharabelerİ'Nde Türk Ordusunun Kara Harekâtina Daİr Kisa Bİr Değerlendİrme. (PDF) Askerî tarih araştırmaları dergisi, August 2009, p. 96 , archived from the original on June 1, 2010 ; Retrieved December 13, 2009 (Turkish).
  7. ^ Cemetery Locations ( Memento of March 28, 2012 in the Internet Archive ) - The War Graves Photographic Project .
  8. a b c d Hans-Lukas Kieser: The Gallipoli myth. In: Neue Zürcher Zeitung . April 15, 2015, accessed October 15, 2016 .
  9. Yves Ternon : Report on the genocide of the Armenians in the Ottoman Empire . In: Tessa Hofmann (ed.): The crime of silence . Göttingen / Vienna 2000, p. 57.
  10. Richard Hough: The Great Dreadnought: The Strange Story of HMS Agincourt: The Mightiest Battleship of World War I . New York: Harper & Row. (1967)
  11. John Sweetman: The crimean war (= Osprey essential histories. Volume 2). Osprey, Oxford 2001, ISBN 1-84176-186-9 .
  12. A. L. Macfie: The Straits Question 1908-1936 . Thessaloniki 1993. pp. 59f.
  13. A. L. Macfie: The Straits Question 1908-1936 . Thessaloniki 1993. p. 60.
  14. ^ Philippe Caresse: The Drama of the Battleship Suffren , in: "Warship 2010", pp. 9-26, Conway, London, ISBN 978-1-84486-110-1 .
  15. ^ Philippe Caresse: The Drama of the Battleship Suffren , in: Warship 2010 , pp. 9-26, Conway, London, ISBN 978-1-84486-110-1 .
  16. ^ Raymond A. Burt: British Battleships 1889-1904. Naval Institute Press, Annapolis MD 1988, ISBN 0-85368-914-8 . Pp. 97, 156, 174.
  17. John Charmley: Churchill. The end of a legend . London 1995, p. 128.
  18. ^ Sebastian Haffner : Churchill. A biography . Berlin 2001, p. 71.
  19. Strachan: The First World War. A new illustrated story . 2006, p. 146 ff .; Keegan: The First World War. A European tragedy . 2001, p. 331 ff .; Piekałkiewicz: The First World War . 1988, p. 317 ff .; Hirschfeld et al. a. (Ed.): Encyclopedia First World War . 2009, p. 424 f., 517 f.
  20. ^ Higgins, Trumbull: Winston Churchill and the Dardanelles . London: 1963.
  21. ^ Higgins, Trumbull: Winston Churchill and the Dardanelles . London: 1963
  22. A. L. Macfie: The Straits Question 1908-1936 . Thessaloniki 1993. p. 69.
  23. Hasnain Kazim: I order you to die. In: one day . March 15, 2015, accessed October 8, 2016 .
  24. ^ Harry Rickets: Strange Meetings - The Poets of the Great War . Chatto & Windus, London 2010, ISBN 978-0-7011-7271-8 .
  25. Encyclopaedia of Islam: Ziya Gökalp
  26. The film Gelibolu in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  27. The Gallipoli series in the Internet Movie Database (English)
  28. Wolfgang Gust (ed.): The genocide of the Armenians 1915/16 . Documents from the Political Archive of the German Foreign Office. ZuKlampen Verlag, Springe 2005, ISBN 978-3-934920-59-0 , pp. 519 (file: 1916-10-04-DE-002 from Radowitz of October 4, 1916).
  29. Dimitri Pentzopoulos: The Balkan exchange of minorities and its impact on Greece. C. Hurst & Co. Publishers, 2002, ISBN 978-1-85065-702-6 , pp. 29-30.

Coordinates: 40 ° 14 '  N , 26 ° 20'  E