What Happened in the Battle of Gallipoli?


Quick Answer

In the Battle of Gallipoli, the Allied Powers attempted to wrest control of the Dardanelles Straits, which was a sea route controlled by the Ottoman Empire, using sea and land power. Allied forces sustained more than 250,000 casualties and failed to achieve their objective. This battle, otherwise known as the Gallipoli Campaign or the Dardanelles Campaign, took place between April 5, 1915 and Jan. 9, 1916.

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Full Answer

Using the Dardanelles Straits was an important strategic move for naval forces attempting to go from the Mediterranean Sea to the Black Sea. By taking it, French, Australian, New Zealander and British troops could link up with their Russian allies to defeat the Ottoman Empire, which had entered the war on the side of Austria and Germany.

To seize this strait, the Allies first attempted a naval bombardment. This drove the Ottoman forces back, but it did not achieve a solid victory, especially after mines and heavy Ottoman resistance destroyed many Allied ships. Enduring many casualties, the Allies landed ground troops at Helles and Gaba Tepe, but stiff Ottoman resistance never allowed them to get much beyond these beachheads, even after a third land invasion commenced at Sulva Bay on Aug. 6, 1915. Hampered by faulty intelligence and planning, the ground troops failed to take significant Ottoman positions, but they sustained many casualties.

Though the Ottomans also lost many men to death and injury, they maintained control of their positions. Eventually, seeing no triumph possible, the Allies began to evacuate.

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