Turkey, which was by then the Ottoman Empire, came into the war towards the end of October 1914. It had not recovered from its wars, which took place between 1911 and 1913. Its state coffers had been drained as a result of the war. In the meantime, its leader, Enver Pasha, a young military officer aged thirty three years old, was a national hero with a huge future. Pasha saw the war as an opportunity to reclaim the lands that had been taken by the Russian Empire. Pasha had the ambition of reinvigorating the Turkish Empire. However, he was afraid of the fact that Great Britain, Russia as well as France might win the war against Central Powers that is Austria-Hungary and Germany. Then Turkey would be dispossessed of its empire. In this regard, Pasha decided to take the empire into the war on the side of Germany.
The Turkish government had ordered two naval ships to England just before the war broke out. They also paid for them. However, the candid relations between Turkey and Germany scared the Allies. As a result, Britain opted not to release the naval ships which had already been paid for (Shrier). This resulted in a pandemonium among the Turks leading to differences with Great Britain. In this regard, Pasha used the prevailing circumstances as an opportunity to launch an attack against the Allies. In line with this, Turkey coordinated with German warships in bombarding the Russian seaports. Thus, Nikolayev and Odessa were bombarded by Turkey.
As a result, Russia retaliated three days later by declaring war against Turkey on November 2. On the other hand, France followed suit by declaring war on Turkey on November 5. Additionally, Great Britain joined the fray, realizing that the circumstances offered it an opportunity to annex Egypt as well as Cyprus. These were lands that were nominally under the Turkish Empire, though really they were under the British authority.
In retaliation, the Turkish Empire decided to close the Dardanelles as well as the BosphorusStraits that lay between the Mediterranean and the BlackSeas (Shrier). This was done in order to prevent the nation of Russia from exporting its wheat. Again, such a move would prevent Russia from receiving any arms from the Allies. For the sake of protecting its oil wells in the Middle East, Britain decided to shift a military force from the Persian Gulf to Iraq. From this location, it began engaging the Turkish forces. Before the end of the year, Turkey began an assault on the Russia’s Caucasus Mountains.
However, there were disappointments that came as a result of Turkey’s failed offensive against the Russians. In five days of the battle that ended on January 3, Turkey’s offensive was decisively crashed by Russia. As a matter of fact, about 50,000 of the Turkish troops were frozen to death, with only a paltry number of 18,000 living to see the light of day.
Reporting the War
The Gallipoli campaign was just catastrophic from the start. This was due to the incompetent command that was poorly equipped and not strategic. It took approximately nine months for the catastrophe which cost well over 100,000 lives, with over 250,000 allied armies being wounded. The leakage of the poor coordination of the events hit the ground due to the diligence of renegade correspondents. Eventually, it became necessary for the troops to withdraw from the attack (Murdoch 39-50).
By and large, the battle took place between April 25, 1915 and January 9, 1916. The main objective of the Allies was to force through the Straits of Dardanelles and eventually capture the Turkish capital, Constantinople. If this was to succeed, the Turks would not be in a position of preventing the British as well as the French from fighting Hungary, Turkey, and Austria.
Regrettably, the Anzacs lost the control of two beaches. The Turkish resistance led to the loss of 2000 Anzac troops. By the end of two weeks, the third of the forces had been lost. This was because of the leadership, especially the British General, Sir Ian Hamilton. He commanded the entire operation from a ship. The information would not leak out due to the stringent censorship that the war correspondents representing different press institutions had to go through. After the correspondents having managed to leak out the information, the entire offensive was called off. However, a lot of it had already been lost.
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