Between April in 1915 and January 1916, a military disaster took place that claimed the lives of about 58,000 allied soldiers on the Gallipoli Peninsula in the northwestern coast of Turkey. This place was the chosen site of the allied naval campaign against the Ottoman Empire to gain access to Russia.
Winston Churchill, as the First Lord of the Admiralty, conceived the campaign in November of 1914. His plan was to knock Ottoman Turkey out of the war and to open up the Dardanelles strait. The strait was heavily mined and defended on its western shore by Turkish coastal forts and gun batteries, but Churchill was not fully aware of that. The plan was to capture Constantinople, which is present-day Istanbul. In January of 1915, the War Council gave its agreement.
But the bombardment against Turkish positions was highly ineffective because they had grossly underestimated the capacity of the Turkish forces. They had fully expected to so impress the Turkish army and the Turkish government that they would easily throw up their arms and surrender. For three weeks the Turks and their German allies resisted. So then the War Council decided to dispatch British troops to the area.
What followed next was a huge embarrassment as three British battleships were sunk and three were badly crippled on March 18th. A few days later it was decided that the naval fleet would sail to Alexandria while the forces prepared for a land battle on the Gallipoli Peninsula. No one in authority objected to this change of plans. There was a terrible lack of knowledge regarding the true state of the Turkish army and a lack of understanding about how troops behave when they’re fighting for their homeland.
The landing was set for Sunday, April 25th, and at 4:30 a.m. the first Australian troops landed and caught the 200 Turks that were guarding the shore by surprise. The Australians were also surprised to find that they were facing a narrow beach with many cliffs and a gully. As they moved inland, confusion overwhelmed them but still, they were able to defeat most of the troops. But then many things went wrong.
This film explores the untold story of the bravery portrayed by a group of men who were forced to do extraordinary things in spite of hardship and sacrifice. Find out what happened next now.