Battle Of Gallipoli: Significance, Dates, And Facts For Kids

Shirin Biswas
Jan 24, 2024 By Shirin Biswas
Originally Published on Nov 17, 2021
Edited by Monisha Kochhar
Fact-checked by Niyati Parab
Read about the Battle of Gallipoli to know how France and Britain were utterly defeated by the Turks!
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Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.5 Min

The Gallipoli campaign isn't one that is talked about widely.

This is because this campaign is understood to be one that was mostly just a product of miscalculation and British pride. However, there is more than meets the eye.

The Gallipoli campaign may not have been a pivotal part of the First World War, but it shows just how gruesome warfare is and how much damage can be caused by a simple mistake on the part of the high command. This campaign started as a way of Britain and France trying to make their trade routes stronger but ended in massive loss of life and money. Keep reading to know about the Gallipoli campaign.

If you enjoy reading this article, why not also check out facts about the Battle of Chancellorsville and Battle of France here at Kidadl!

Who won the battle of Gallipoli?

The Battle of Gallipoli was fought between the British allied forces and the Ottoman empire. This event of the First World war is hardly recognized as one of the most significant ones, but it definitely was one of the most unsuccessful and bloody ones led by the allied troops.

The main motive behind the naval attack was to defeat the Ottoman forces and drive them out of the war. If the Battle of Gallipoli had happened to work out in favor of the British, it would have paved the way for the British government to carry out its trade in a much more convenient fashion. The Gallipoli campaign was ultimately aimed at making sure that Constantinople, or present-day Istanbul, was defeated. If the Turkish forces were defeated in the same fashion that Winston Churchill had predicted, the allied forces would have been able to carry out their trade and commerce through the Black Sea quite safely. However, the events unfolded in such a way that the British authorities had to abort their mission after being faced with severe resistance. Needless to say, the Ottoman troops held the fort and were able to ruin all the plans that the allied forces had.

Battle Of Gallipoli Casualties

The Battle of Gallipoli is still considered to be one of the most unsuccessful and bloody campaigns that were ever put into motion by the British Company and the allied forces.

The Turkish soldiers were able to deflect the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps at the Anzac Cove, and the British and French troops at Cape Helles. The Ottoman defenders found in such a way that both the Gaba Tepe and Cape Helles were protected against the amphibious assault right from the very onset. However, the campaign was extended over the next few months. In the words of soldiers who have survived the Gallipoli battle, the living conditions at these places were miserable and there was no way that the infantry battalion would have come back home in large numbers.

While war tactics and firepower did add to the number of casualties, a large number of people also lost their lives while at the Gallipoli peninsula. There is no telling as to which number would exceed the other, but an account of the many ways in which the Gallipoli peninsula offered threats to the troops was quite fearsome in itself. There are many accounts where people share their experiences of having to eat food that always have some corpse flies in them. With the rising number of fatalities and no place to bury the dead, the bodies were left to rot. If this was not enough, the allied troops were also faced with severe dysentery. The ugly sides of the First World War also include the way in which people did not have enough trench warfare or even food. They were forced to live in such conditions where they didn't even have access to proper toilets. Understandably, this added a significant chunk to the casualties.

Anzac Cove is actually named after the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps that were killed and wounded as soon as they entered the Gallipoli peninsula through the Gaba Tepe. The number of people that lost their lives there, far away from their own lands, was the primary reason for the naming of the place. The death of the New Zealand troops, as well as the Australian troops, left such a deep impact that Anzac Day is still observed in Australia on April 25, when the Ottoman soldiers brutally killed and injured thousands of ANZAC soldiers. This day is intended towards remembering the dead, as well as celebrating the day when patriotic sense was instilled in many native Australians. There were more than 500 casualties in the Anzac cove on April 25, 1915, and the number of deaths and casualties kept increasing exponentially over the next few months, till the forces were ordered to retreat in January 1916.

The allied casualties amounted to hundreds of thousands. The British Empire suffered the loss of around 213000 of its men, which is a humongous number. The French divisions faced casualties of great numbers as well. The numbers amounted to roughly 27000 men. There were also many Turkish people and Ottoman soldiers that were killed or seriously injured during the campaign. Even though the Ottoman Empire was successful in driving the allied troops away, they suffered casualties that amounted to around 160000. It hardly comes as a surprise that the First Lord of Admiralty, Sir Winston Churchill, is criticized for his Gallipoli campaign, which not only caused heavy casualties but was also completely unsuccessful.

There were more casualties in the Gallipoli campaign than in the Western front later in 1916.

What happened in the Battle of Gallipoli?

The British Crown was still ruling over places such as New Zealand, Australia and India during 1915. When the First World War broke out and the British Crown had to deploy men in order to gain access to new sea routes such as the Aegean and the Black Sea, they not only took help from allies such as the French but also deployed New Zealanders, Indians and Australians to fight a war that had nothing to do with their own interests.

The young men that were deployed along the Battle of Gallipoli map were either killed by the soldiers of the Ottoman Empire, or by the sheer bad weather and poor sanitation.

The Gallipoli campaign was one that was proposed and authorized by the First Lord of Admiralty, Winston Churchill. He believed that sending 50000 men and a few French battleships would be enough in bringing down Constantinople and thereby throwing the Ottoman empire and the Turkish people out of the First World War. The conquest of Constantinople would also be very beneficial for the British Crown since it would open the warm waters of the Black Sea for them to carry out trade successfully. The victory would also allow them to pass through the Dardanelles straits without any resistance. However, it is clear that he had miscalculated things and had severely diminished the power of the Turks in his thoughts.

The plans and aspirations of the British Crown and its allies began to disintegrate as soon as landings began along the Gallipoli peninsula. While some of the soldiers were injured by the barbed wire set up in their anticipation, the others were met with firing as soon as they started to land along the shores of the Aegean Sea or Suvla Bay. The deployments at Suvla Bay were all allied forces, while people of New Zealand and Australia (ANZAC troops) were deployed in the steep ravines of Anzac cove.

After a few months of waiting along the Aegean coast and suffering numerous fatalities, the Gallipoli campaign was withdrawn. The withdrawal process was also made quicker when Bulgaria joined the Central Powers. This eventually led to Britishers opening a new operation in the Mediterranean and cutting off the resources that were being sent to the Gallipoli campaign. The entire endeavor was therefore miscalculated and only caused losses.

Battle Of Gallipoli Significance

The Gallipoli campaign hardly comes up as a significant part of the First World War. Undeniably, this wouldn't have been the case if things worked to plan for the British Crown and their access through Dardanelles began. However, the fact that they basically wasted coin and human life in an attempt to defeat the Ottomans simply comes up as one of the wasted efforts of the First World War.

However, the Gallipoli campaign does form a very important part of the culture and patriotic nature of the New Zealanders and Australians. These people, along with Indians, needlessly died for a campaign that would have won them nothing even if it had been successful. Hence, the loss of native lives sparked a passion that eventually helped these colonized lands in regaining their independence.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for facts about the Battle of Gallipoli then why not take a look atthe Battle of Jutland, or Battle of Kursk?

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Written by Shirin Biswas

Bachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

Shirin Biswas picture

Shirin BiswasBachelor of Arts specializing in English Language and Literature

With a degree in English from Amity University, Noida, Shirin has won awards for oratory, acting, and creative writing. She has a wealth of experience as an English teacher, editor, and writer, having previously worked at Quizzy and Big Books Publishing. Her expertise lies in editing study guides for children and creating engaging content.

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