The Failure of Gallipoli Was Mainly Caused by Poor Allied Leadership

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“The failure of Gallipoli was mainly caused by poor Allied leadership”

Gallipoli is a peninsula in the Dardanelles in eastern Turkey. Gallipoli and the surrounding areas of the Dardanelles were the locations of some of the most contentious battles of the First World War in 1915 and 1916. The military campaign is well known as one of the great disasters of British military history.

In 1915 the First World War in northern Europe was deadlocked and ideas were being discussed about opening up new military fronts. One suggestion, in 1915, a decision was made to help Russia who was being threatened by Turkey. An allied plan was made to attack through the Dardanelles in an attempt to take Constantinople (today known as Istanbul) to make a link with Russia.

The failure of this attempt was caused by many factors. Much of the military planning was poor. The strength of the Turkish forces was greatly underestimated partly based on poor military intelligence. The initial naval attack was undertaken by older ships that were though inadequate to fight the Germans in the Atlantic but suitable to be used to fight the Turkish.

The slow preparation for the naval attack allowed the Turks to fortify the waterway with mines and artillery. Following the failure of the initial naval attacks there were many delays on starting the land campaign allowing the Turks to heavily entrench the peninsula that was already very unsuitable for a military attack. “The Allies landed against the most heavily defended and best-prepared position in the Ottoman Empire.”

Despite this there was evidence that some landing points were almost undefended yet the Allied troops dug in on the beaches and waited for the Turkish troops to arrive. There are many other examples of failures of military planning. Two whole military divisions were landed on the same beach within hours of each other in darkness sustaining massive casualties. Landings were made in the wrong locations, for example, next...
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