About Turkey


Land Battles, Gallipoli / Turkey

Turkish army trenches in GallipoliIn spite of all the efforts in the Dardanelles from 19th February to 18th March nothing had been gained by the Allied Forces. Now, alongside the Naval bombardments and amphibious operation was under consideration in order to capture the peninsula.

The Anzac Corps, the 29th British Territorial Infantry Division, the 1st Royal Naval Infantry Division, the 29th Indian Infantry Brigade and the French 1st Infantry Division were to take part in this action. These forces were to be split into two groups, the first group was to seize the Seddulbahir area and open the Straits whilst the second was to land in the Kabatepe region, seize the Conkbayir area and obstruct the Turkish Forces moving down from the north.

The Commander of the Ottoman 5th Army had evaluated the defense of the Gallipoli peninsula as of secondary importance. Thus out of six divisions he allocated two divisions and one cavalry brigade to the defense of the Gulf of Saros, two divisions to the defense of the area between Anafartalar and Seddulbahir and the remaining two divisions to the defense of the Asian coast.

Of the two divisions deployed on the Gallipoli peninsula one was the 19th division which served as the Chief of Command Reserve Force in Bigali. The commander of this brigade was Mustafa Kemal.

At the beginning of the 1st WW, Staff Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kemal was Military Attaché in Sofia. Preferring to participate personally in the struggle of his county against invading super powers of the time, rather than watching from the sidelines, he requested active military duty from the Chief of Staff. Upon his insistence, he was appointed to the 19th Divisional Command founded in Tekirdag on 1st February 1915.

In less than one month, Mustafa Kemal had the division prepared for war. On 25th February, his division was at Eceabat (across Çanakkale) and ready for combat.

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