The Battle of Gallipoli was a WWI, British, military campaign that took place on the Gallipoli peninsula, East Thrace, Turkey, from April 25, 1915, to January 10, 1916. The main rationale for this Allied invasion of Turkish territory was to open a sea corridor to supply military materiel to Russia, aiding this nation in her fight against the Central Powers (Germany and Austro-Hunagary) on the Eastern Front. The Gallipoli peninsula and Anatolia (Asia Minor) mark off the Dardanelles Strait, through which the Royal Navy intended to gain access to the Sea of Marmara and the Black Sea, where the Russian ports were located. It was a long and costly campaign for the Allies in terms of men and military materiel that were squandered away.
In order to secure a sea lane, the Allied troops had to capture the Turkish fortresses and artillery emplacements located on the northern shores of the Dardanelles. With the fire support of naval guns from the 18 British and French battleships, the Austrialian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) landed at different points on beaches of Gallipoli, on April 25, 1915; they were followed by the British Royal Navy’s 29th Division and the French Oriental Expeditionary Corps. In the first week, about 80,000 men set foot on the shores of the peninsula. However, waves after waves of Allied forces were beaten back by the Turkish troops, strategically located on the hilly high grounds. Due to the high number of casualties and cost in materiel, the British command decided to evacuate Gallipoli in early December 1915, after several months of fierce fighting and dysentery outbreaks. On January 9, 1916, the last British units were withdrawn from the peninsula. Although the campaign was a failure, it was a well organized and stealthy retreat.
British: 480,000 men (Mediterranean Expeditionary Force)
Turkish: 260,000 troops (5th Army)
British: Ian Hamilton
Turkish: German General Otto Liman von Sanders
Maps of the Gallipoli Campaign