The fighting in the Gallipoli, the Dardanelles campaign, began in 1915 as a purely naval affair instigated by Winston Churchill, who, as First Lord of the Admiralty, had entertained plans of capturing the Dardanelles straits as early as September 1914. It was the Royal Navy that bore the brunt of the initial action, supported by the French and with minor contributions from the Russian, French and Australian fleets.
On 3 November 1914, Churchill ordered the first British attack on the Dardanelles following the opening of hostilities between the Turkish Ottoman and Russian empires. The British attack was carried out by battle cruisers of Admiral Carden’s Mediterranean Squadron, HMS Indomitable and HMS Indefatigable, as well as two French battleships.
When the naval operations failed, a full scale invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula was launched. The bitter fighting that followed resonated profoundly among all nations involved. The campaign was the first major battle undertaken by the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC), and marked the birth of national consciousness in both countries.
DESPATCHES FROM THE FRONT: GALLIPOLI AND THE DARDANELLES 1915-1916
The tragic story of the prolonged and ultimately doomed attempt by the Allies to force the Dardanelles straits and then capture the Gallipoli peninsular from the Turks in 1915 is laid out in this volume in the Despatches from the Front series, taking the story from the first purely Naval action to the landings by Anzac forces.
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