A hundred years ago the World was ass deep in a deadly conflict….the War To End All Wars…..the Great War….and we know it as World War One…..and as I have been doing for awhile now a history lesson will ensue.
When someone mentions beach assault most people will think of the Normandy landing or the island landings in the Pacific during World War Two……but the first beach landing was not unique to WW2…..a massive beach assault began with WW1 and the battle of Gallipoli in Turkey……
Winston Churchill is widely credited as the man who committed British, French and – above all – untested Australian and New Zealand forces to the ill-fated campaign to seize control of the Dardanelles Straits and western Turkey. Indeed, although it was Churchill’s drive and aggressiveness – not to mention cunning – which resulted in the campaign actually taking place, the notion of capturing the Turkish Dardanelles Straits had long been given consideration.
It was widely believed however – at least in professional circles – that a purely naval attempt to win the Straits was bound to end in failure.
The Value of the Straits
But why attempt the Straits in the first place? The answer lay in the great strategic value control would give the Entente Powers. The Straits linked the Mediterranean Sea with the Sea of Marmora. This not only gave ready access to the Turkish capital Constantinople and much of the Turkish Empire’s industrial powerhouse, but also provided a lane to the Black Sea.
Unlike the landings in Normandy and the Pacific….Gallipoli was an utter failure that got thousands, 200,000+ to be exact, killed and wounded for NO gain whatsoever.