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Why was it important that the Gallipoli Campaign should succeed?

Categories Government, History, War, Ww1

Essay, Pages 10 (2267 words)

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Essay, Pages 10 (2267 words)

When the government went to war. They went in with a lot of public support. In the Christmas of 1914 there were uniforms of the soldiers fighting on sale for 6 to 12 year olds. This shows that the public were taking the war very lightly. Everyone was expecting it to be over the winter anyway. The War Council believed that they would win and get the war finished quicker by attacking other places. Admiral Fisher from the Baltic, Lloyd George from the Adriatic Sea against Austria and Kitchener advocated and attack from Palestine against the Turks.

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The year of 1915 was the centenary of the Battle of Waterloo when the great Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated. This to the public would have seemed like good luck. Only a hundred years ago, a great battle was won and so they probably would have expected the same with Gallipoli.

Eventually, when the bloody stalemate that had developed on the Western Front was made known, the public were annoyed that it was taking so long for the Allies to defeat the enemy.

Soon, pressure was beginning to build up on the War Council to break the stalemate and to make some more progress but because of what the military was facing, a break through in the near future didn’t look like it was going to happen. Then, the war cabinet decided to open a new front somewhere to try and draw the enemy troops as thin as possible.

Then, on the 2nd January 1915, the Allies received a call for military help from the Russians, who by this point were a great ally to the Allied fighters, in the east.

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This meant that the war cabinet had to find a way to open a new front that would relieve pressure on the Russians, open a supply route to the Russians and that would knock out Allies of their enemy. This made the selection of places to open a new front smaller. 1/2 of Russia exports came through the Dardanelle Straits and the Turks had managed to close off the Dardanelles in 1914, stopping any of the supplies that Russia needed from getting through. Because the Dardanelles were vital supply routes for the Russians, it became imperative that the Russians re-opened them. One way to try and the Russian ports would take the Allies right past Germany, which would be too big a risk to take for the allied ships because of Submarines so the allies decided that this would be a good place to break through. If they managed to break through here, then they would have made a direct supply route to Russia, they would have managed to successfully take Turkey, one of the allies of the Germans, out of the war. This would then mean that they could march through the Balkans. This would then enable the Allies to attack one of Germany’s key allies, Austria-Hungry. This would also open a new front, which the war cabinet wanted and so they would take some pressure off the Russian troops by causing more troops to be diverted to protect this new front from progressing any further.

If the Allies also managed to successfully break through then they stood the chance of gaining some of the independent states in an alliance against the Turks and Austro-Hungarians. Bulgaria, Greece, Romania and other such states didn’t like Turkey or the Austro-Hungarians. If the Allies broke through then they hoped to be able to convince these states to fight with them. If they won then the Allies would, as payment almost, give them parts of the Ottoman and Austro Hungarian Empire as it would belong to them and they would do with it what they wanted.

The main plan of attack would be to land at Gallipoli and take the Peninsula. Then to take the Turks out of the War and causing Germany to lose an ally. Convince Bulgaria, Romania and Greece to join an alliance and to fight together, march through the Balkans and attack Austria-Hungry from below, create a new front and defeat Germany and the rest of her allies.

Question 2: Look at Source A. Do you agree with this interpretation of Anzac Soldiers at Gallipoli? Use the Source and your own knowledge.

The Author of Source A was Charles Bean. He was the official Australian war correspondent at Gallipoli. These sources were for the Australian folk back at home that were going to see this. The way in which he did it basically depicts the way we imagine the typical Australian, a rugged bronzed digger that came from the out back. The type of people that the Australians were looking for was a typical bushman, some one who can rely on himself to do things, clever and does jobs practically and could shoot. Bean could have had inspiration for his book by making the Anzac soldiers the legends in the history of their country. Dr Peter Stanley actually says that Charles Bean actually created “The Anzac Legend”. It is said that Australia “came of age” at Gallipoli.

Bean, who was a first generation Australian, was in a perfect position, being the official war correspondent, to send the Anzacs down in the collective memories of the Australian nation. The way that the pictures were done was a sort of stereotyping of the typical Aussie soldier. The Americans are the GI’s, The British are the Tommie’s and the Australians have the Bushman.

But by looking at the two sources together, show to me that they weren’t afraid of the danger ahead of them. They knew that they had a less that 50% chance of surviving going over the top but they have the courage to carry and on are showing any of fear of what was awaiting them over the trench.

However, there are people that contradict what Bean was probably trying to put across. One of these people is Huw Strachen. According to Strachen the Australians were undisciplined and had a reputation for mayhem although this was mixed in with Combativeness and a high morale. Though according to Strachen this morale was always high, one of these moments was when the Australians were landing at Z Beach. Apparently here, Morale came close to completely collapsing. The landings weren’t handled properly and far too many troops in big groups were heading towards the beaches. This beach became known as Anzac Cove because of this. This mayhem was a result of bad administration.

A New Zealand Lieutenant-Colonel William Malone of the Wellington Battalion said that the Australian commanders should have been court marshalled and that the Australian fighters were a “source of weakness”. He also said that when they left, that he was glad that they were going. He admitted that there had been some good fighters among them but they had probably been killed or wounded and that the other soldiers were cowards but on some occasion they were brave. He described it as being “spasmodically brave” and that the officers in charge of the Australians were no better.

Strachen also brings up the point of where the soldiers came from. He says that most of them weren’t actually from the outback but were centrally from the cities. What is said here contradicts what Bean was trying to depict by the sources.

In answer to the question about whether I agree with the interpretation of Anzac soldiers then it would have to be yes. My reason for my answer is that it is because it shows the Anzac soldiers, as they would have been. Bean used those pictures as a sort of positive stereotype of the soldiers to give the people who weren’t fighting who were going to see the pictures, an idea of what the soldiers looked like when they were fighting.

Question 3: Is there sufficient evidence in Sources A to F to explain why the Gallipoli campaign failed?

In source A, the pictures give a sort of cynical view on behalf of the troops. The first picture shows a man walking and yawing, giving the impression that he is doing a very half-hearted job. Also the fact that it says “The Hopeless Dawn” doesn’t really give the most optimistic view of the typical Anzac Soldier. The next picture showing a rugged soldier, to me, gives the impression that they weren’t the best equipped people there on Gallipoli but this picture, unlike the other one, to me, doesn’t really seem to give much of a reason why the Campaign failed.

Source B is a written account from one of the soldiers there at Gallipoli. This soldier is saying that the attacks weren’t properly organised and planned out properly. He also says “The Men on the spot weren’t listened to” telling that even the soldiers and commanders who were risking their lives and facing certain death, weren’t listening to Officers who were giving them the plans that could decided whether they live or die. There is also a mention that the Turks were well disciplined and that they had carefully chosen the position of the trenches and defended them well. He also then goes and contrasts the Allied trenches with the Turkish trenches by saying the organisation and preparation of the trenches was done well. This surprised them as they very much underestimated the Turks. The phone lines were exposed and prone to being damaged or broken in bombing raid and that phones couldn’t be used on a regular basis as the lines had been disrupted due to major bombing. It also gets a point across of saying how me underestimated the Turks and the problems that we had with our communication and leadership. This makes and excellent source if cross-referenced with Source C.

Source C is an account by two British soldiers about the disorganisation and the bad leadership and communication that there was about the landings at S, Y, V and W beaches. None of the forces on these beaches did anything because they didn’t know of the status of the other forces at the other landing sites. The forces at V beach were wiped out because there wasn’t any communication to any of the other beaches for help, W beach suffered heavy losses because of lack in communication. S and Y beach just sat there doing nothing because they didn’t know what was going on at the other landing sites. This is a strong contributing factor as to why the campaign failed because it strongly suggest lack in leadership and communication to any other forces that were landing. This is alluded to in Source B, E and in the film “Gallipoli”.

Source D suggests that the reason why the campaign failed was because of congestion at the landings and disorganisation in disembarking the soldiers from their ships or carriers. It suggests that all the forces were being focused on one tiny bit of land that wasn’t going to get any bigger to allow the Allies to get round and attack the Germans or their Allies from behind. We were putting all our forces in one compact space where they were getting slaughtered. The writer says the only advantage because of this as “it could have worn down the Turkish defences and put a strain on the German supplies.” This source is also supported by what is said in Source B and by many modern Military Historians including Hew Strachan

Source E says that the reason why Gallipoli failed was because of the poorly trained troops and having badly planned tactics and bad leadership. This cross-references well with Source B and C. It also shows that there was very bad planning over the operation all together and a lack of observation prior to the attack showing again a prime example of very bad leadership and communication to officers and platoons and very bad planning by Commanders, all crucial failings at Gallipoli.

What has been left out though by the sources is all the illness that had been going round with the rotting bodies and the flies in the food. This is crucial as it meant that there would have been a lot of disease and as they didn’t have very good sanitation then that would have resulted in even more disease going round as a result. It also forgets to mention the harsh winters that the men had to suffer. As they weren’t very well prepared for the attack, they didn’t have the right equipment to deal with the winter and so there were numerous cases of hypothermia and frostbite among the soldiers. This is vital evidence as to why the Battle of Gallipoli was lost. These have been omitted from the sources.

Source F is useful because it shows that the Turks very well and heavily protected the Dardanelles. What it does fail to show though is how the Navy failed and how the Allies lost the element of surprise in their attacks on the straits. But this and the Naval failure proves that they had no maps or plans of the enemy set out of their defences over the straits and as a result, they lost two battle ships.

As a conclusion, I think that there is a enough evidence to suggest why the campaign failed but there are some very important bits of information that have been left out like illness and disease caused by rotting bodies and the harsh winters that the men had to endure. Furthermore, little attention is paid to the quality of the Turkish and German leadership and their highly efficient defence mounted after the failed Naval Assault in the Straits.

Cite this essay

Why was it important that the Gallipoli Campaign should succeed?. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from https://studymoose.com/important-gallipoli-campaign-succeed-new-essay

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