Anzacs of Gallipoli: A Forced Conflict


Terrain

The geography of the Dardenelles created complications for Allied forces. The narrow nature of the Strait restricted naval support for soldiers positioned on the peninsula. Not only did the geography of the Dardenelles hinder the Allies, but the strait itself was heavily fortified by Ottoman forces as well. "The Dardenelles is 61 km long and ranges from 1 to 6 km wide. As such, the entire length of the waterway can be covered by gunfire. In the narrower portions there is little or no room for manoeuvre under gunfire" -Chris Roberts, 2013, The Landing at Anzac: 1915. Due to miscalculations, Anzac forces unintentionally landed at the cape of Ari Burnu (also known as Anzac Cove), north of Gaba Tepe, their designated landing location. This misplaced landing created large problems for the Anzac troops and forced them to push inland at the new, unknown location. This error created a major hindrance for Anzac forces; the undevised landing location's geography presented steep, hazardous terrain, unlike the lowlands of Gapa Tepe, the original landing point. This unexpected variable compeletely altered the outcome of the campaign. "The landings of 25th April 1915 were made at Cape Helles and Anzac Cove, with objectives to capture the high ground. The land system analysis demonstrates that these landing places were disadvantaged by terrain, with steep, deeply incised slopes, narrow beaches and inadequate water supplies..."-Peter Doyle, and Matthew R. Bennett, 2002, Fields of Battle. Regardless of the rough terrain anzac soldiers faced on the peninsula, they were immediately at a disadvantge due to little reconnaissance and intelligence of the landscape. This occurred as a result of Allied authorities' crude plan of action.