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Battle of Gallipoli

The memorial at Anzac Cove, commemorating the loss of Ottoman and Allied soldiers on the Gallipoli peninsula. On 25th April each year, ANZAC Day, Australia and New Zealand remember those who died at the Battle of Gallipoli during World War I. The military campaign, also known as Dardanelles Campaign or the Battle of Çanakkale, was fought between the Allies and the Ottoman Empire. It took place between 25th April 1915 and 9th January 1916 on the Gallipoli peninsula in what is now Turkey. It was a great disaster for the Allies—including the Britain and France as well as Australia and New Zealand, who were loyal to the British Empire. Total Allied dead or wounded came to nearly 200,000 soldiers, while the number of Turkish dead and wounded is estimated at around 175,000.

Anzac Cove, Gallipoli peninsula, as it is today

Winston Churchill shortly before World War I

Dardanelles front

On 25th November 1914, First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill proposed a plan to the British War Council for a new front in the Dardanelles, the narrow straits that linked the Mediterranean to the Black Sea. This would help open up a sea route for Britain's ally, Russia. It would also force Germany to split her forces, because some would be needed to support the army of their allies, the Ottoman Turks. This would leave German lines weakened elsewhere in Europe, giving the Allies a boost.

In Turkey, the Battle of Gallipoli is chiefly remembered for the fighting that took place on 18th March 1915, in which ships of the Allied navy were repulsed at Çanakkale on the Dardanelles. This date has a similar significance for Turks as 25th April does to Australians and New Zealanders.

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