The Gallipoli disaster cost 225,000 lives

By 1915, stalemate reigned supreme. Every attempt to break the deadlock in Europe was resulting in mass casualties for, at best, miniscule gains


So how to break the deadlock? Winston Churchill’s proposed solution was to mount an audacious attack on the Turkish peninsula of Gallipoli and advance on the Turkish capital, Constantinople. In doing so, Churchill, the first lord of the Admiralty, hoped the British could link up with their allies, Russia, and knock Turkey out of the war.


If the plan sounded great in theory, it was a bloody debacle in practice. The initial naval attack, on 19 February, was abandoned after three battleships were sunk. And so, when the Allies did land troops, in April, the Turks were more than ready.


Despite the fact that Australian and New Zealand troops established a beachhead at Anzac Cove, in sweltering, disease-ridden conditions, the Allies could make no progress – and suffered 225,000 casualties trying. The entire operation was called off at the end of the year.