Gallipoli: What went wrong during the disastrous First World War campaign?

Peter Hart, author of a new book on this disastrous First World War campaign, offers his explanations for the Allies' failure in 1915

Troops pictured during the Gallipoli campaign of the First World War. The attempt by the allies to seize the Gallipoli peninsula "failed in a welter of hubris, blood and suffering," says Peter Hart. (Photo by Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

This article was first published in the February 2011 edition of BBC History Magazine

The Gallipoli campaign was a terrible tragedy. The attempt by the Allies to seize the Gallipoli peninsula from the Ottoman empire and gain control over the strategically-important Dardanelles failed in a welter of hubris, blood and suffering. Located just across the Dardanelles straits from the fabled city of Troy, its classical undertones have helped create a rich mythology of ‘the terrible ifs’; of what might have been achieved with ‘a bit more luck’.

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