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Australia's Involvement In The Battle Of Gallipoli

552 words - 3 pages

After Germany delivered a crushing blow to Russia at the battle of Tannenberg, the Russians were threatened by a Turkish advance through the Caucasus and appealed to their allies for assistance. Gaining control of the Dardanelle Strait would re-establish communications with Russia and open up wheat and shipping locked in the black sea by turkey. The allies planned to storm up the Dardanelle Strait and shell Constantinople (now Istanbul) then proceed to the Ukrainian port of Odessa. Before they did this they cautiously tested the range of the Turkish shore batteries, the Turkish realised immediately how vulnerable they were to future attacks and strengthened their defences with carefully laid minefields, well sited guns and search lights that swept ...view middle of the document...

It was decided that it was impossible to sail up the Dardanelles without first landing troops on the Gallipoli peninsula to force silence to the Turkish guns.The British 29th division was to carry out the landing at Cape Helles, which was located on the tip of the Gallipoli peninsula, they were to march up the peninsula and take the fort of Kalitbahir, which controlled the guns overlooking the waters of the Dardanelles Strait. Because the area of beach at Cape Helles was limited, it was decided that the Anzacs were to be landed further north on the Aegean coast. If the Turkish resistance was strong, the Anzac landing was to simply distract the Turkish forces making the British advancement much easier.The Australian and New Zealand Army Corps was formed in Egypt where they had been training prior to the attack. Two divisions were formed, the Australian First division, which consisted of the Australian 1st, 2nd and 3rd brigade and the Australian and New Zealand division which contained the Australian 4th division and the New Zealand infantry brigade.Due to poor navigation and crashing seas, the men were landed in the wrong spot, several hundred metres down the beach. What was meant to be a swift operation quickly turned into a bloody eight month long struggle which accomplished little more than the capture of an area of land a little over half the size of a square mile. That small patch of beach was home to twenty thousand men from April to December 1915. The British cabinet ordered the evacuation of the Anzacs on December 7th 1915. It took place from December 18th to 19th; the operation was declared a brilliant success.The landing at Gallipoli was Australia's first major military campaign, over the entire eight months 18 500 men were wounded and 7 500 killed.

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