What was the Gallipoli Campaign?

World War I, or The Great War, as it came to be known at the time, began in 1914 after the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand brought a series of heated tensions to a boiling point and pulled all of Europe into a massive conflict with their alliances. The stories of those major countries, Britain, France, Germany, Russia, and the United States, are well known and covered through our courses in social studies. What is not well known is the stories of the countries that got brought into the conflict because of Britain. More specifically, the stories of those of the Australian-New Zealand Army Core (ANZAC), serving as additional forces for the British.

The first engagement of this group was in the Dardanelles, attempting to cut off the Ottoman Empire from aiding their allies the Germans, in what has come to be known as the Gallipoli Campaign. The British saw these Straits as a crucial taking point, and decided that the tenacity of the ANZAC forces would be exactly what would be needed to take the area. Why, then, is the topic largely grazed over in the World History curriculum? It is only mentioned that the Gallipoli Campaign happened at that it would end in failure.

This campaign must be covered in our curriculum as we look at lives that were lost at Gallipoli and determine one thing: Were the lives at Gallipoli thrown away by the British, would had the option to press on or retreat earlier, or was the sacrifice of these men worth the outcome?

Throughout this activity, you will encounter several different types of documents. First, you will encounter several British Intelligence documents, either from before or during the Gallipoli Campaign. Following that, there are several newspapers (one outlining the early success of the Gallipoli Campaign, one with a timeline looking into the middle of the campaign) and a recruitment poster from Australia. Finally, there are several photos showing the terrain of Gallipoli as well as some of the death that took place in the campaign.

Directly from the Australian War Memorial Site,


If this is true, and there was no influence on the war, were the lives at Gallipoli worthy sacrifices, or were they thrown away? Did the British keep the ANZAC forces at Gallipoli too long, or did they do everything they did in their best conscious? Should the British have pulled out off Gallipoli when the losses started to come in towards the middle of the campaign, or did they keep the ANZAC troops there with the thought that they could win and take Gallipoli?