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1917 Gallipoli by John Masefield.
1917 Gallipoli by John Masefield. The Gallipoli peninsula is located in Turkish Thrace, the European part of Turkey, with the Aegean Sea to the west and the Dardanelles straits to the east. Gallipoli derives its name from the Greek Kallipolis, meaning "Beautiful City."
The Allied landing and subsequent campaign on the peninsula during World War I is usually known in Britain as the Dardanelles Campaign and in Turkey as the Battle of Çanakkale. In Australia, New Zealand, South Africa and Canada, the terms Gallipoli Campaign or just Gallipoli alone are used to describe the eight month campaign.

On 25 April 1915, a force of British Empire and French troops landed at multiple places along the peninsula. However some of the landings went wrong and troops were landed in the wrong positions causing confusion that lost valuable time. To make matters worse this was followed up by only tentative advances inland as most of the arriving armies were left on the beaches, allowing for the Ottomans to pour in reinforcements to the area. The battles over the next eight months saw high casualties on both sides due to the exposed terrain, weather and closeness of the front lines. In addition, many casualties resulted from an epidemic of dysentery, caused by poor sanitary conditions. The New Zealand Wellington Battalion reached, and briefly occupied, the high point of Chunuk Bair, before being beaten back by Turkish troops who were never again dislodged from the summit. The subsequent Allied withdrawal meant an end to the idea of defeating the Ottoman Empire quickly, as well as the possibility of gaining a victory over the major Central Powers enemy—Germany—through an attack on the "soft underbelly" of its power.
The campaign is often referred to for its successful stealthy retreat which was completed with minimal casualties, the ANZAC forces completed their retreat by 19 December 1915 and the remaining British elements by 9 January 1916. Total Allied deaths were around 21,000 British, 10,000 French, 8,700 Australians, 2,700 New Zealanders and 1,370 Indians. Total Turkish deaths were around 86,700 - nearly twice as many as all the Allies combined. New Zealanders suffered the highest percentage of Allied deaths when compared with population size, but the percentage of Turkish deaths was almost twice theirs.
This campaign became a turning point in the national consciousness of several of the participants. Both Australia and New Zealand still celebrate Anzac Day and the Turks consider it a point of national pride. Many mementos of the Gallipoli campaign can be seen in the museum at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, Australia, and at the Auckland War Memorial Museum in Auckland, New Zealand. This campaign also put a dent in the armour of Winston Churchill, then the First Lord of the Admiralty, who had commissioned the plans to invade the Dardanelles. He talks about this campaign vividly in his memoirs.

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October 18, 2019
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