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On This Day in History: The Gallipoli Campaign

On this day in 1915, 42,000 Ottoman soldiers against 17,000 World War I ANZAC soldiers in the now famous Battle of Gallipoli. At the time, the Ottomans were grossly under-supplied. They lacked the necessary ammunition and artillery to push the ANZAC forces back, so they relied instead on their superior numbers and suprise attacks.

The push was a failed attempt, however, as British aircraft spotted the Ottomans preparing for the attack one day prior.
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The Gallipoli Campaign is one of the most famous military initiatives in Australian and New Zealand history. According to the Australian War Memorial, “the [Gallipoli] legend has been developed, expanded, embellished and confirmed on many battlefields, and it remains central to Australians’ self image.

“It was not on the basis of their strategic achievements but because of the way in which the Australian troops performed that the ANZAC legend was born. Facing small chance of success, forbidding terrain, and constant fire from well established defences; surrounded by death, short of water and food, living in the most primitive conditions, they displayed phenomenal endurance, discipline and courage. Such qualities came to be known as the ANZAC spirit.”

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