Mustafa Kemal and the Battle of Gallipoli

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At the onset of World War 1 in 1914, the ‘sick man of Europe’ known as Turkey, or the Ottoman Empire, sought foreign financial aid after the stress of the Balkan Wars. The belligerents of World War 1 saw an opportunity in the Ottoman misfortune, as a Turkish alliance equated to control of the Dardanelles Strait near the peninsular city of Gallipoli. To the Allies consisting of Russia, Britain, and France, the Dardanelles was Russia’s primary contact route, and also facilitated the movement of 90% of Russia’s grain exports and 50% of Russia’s exports overall. Conversely, to the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary, control of the strait posed a major threat to the Allies. When Britain failed to deliver two battleships which Turkey requested, Germany was quick to deliver a gift of two German battleships to the Dardanelles Strait. Turkey accepted Germany’s gifts, closed the strait, and secured their active role in the war. The Allies would soon arrive to regain access to the strait, and Turkish Soldiers bore the responsibility of its defense. Of all Turkish military leaders, the young Lieutenant Colonel Mustafa Kemal earned a reputation as the most competent leader at driving the operations process. Mustafa Kemal effectively understood, visualized, described, directed, and led operations at the battle of Gallipoli to defeat Allied forces. Kemal possessed an unparalleled understanding of the situation in Gallipoli. Just two years prior to the Battle of Gallipoli, Mustafa Kemal served in the Balkan Wars as Chief Operations Officer of the Gallipoli Army, where understanding operational and mission variables of the area was part of his everyday job. He knew the vulnerabilities of the coast and the key terrain on the... ... middle of paper ... ...ed as the main forces. Throughout the entire battle, Kemal continued to provide the purpose, direction, and motivation that only his leadership style could achieve. BIBLIOGRAPHY Çelik, Gülseren. "The Gallipoli campaign: a Turkish perspective." United Service 64, no. 3 (2013): 25-29. http://www.rusinsw.org.au/Papers/20130430.pdf (accessed December 13, 2013). Erickson, Edward J. Gallipoli: the Ottoman campaign. Barnsley: Pen & Sword Military, 2010. Haythornthwaite, Philip J. Gallipoli, 1915: frontal assault on Turkey. London: Osprey, 1991. Roberts, Mark. "Ataturk: Lessons in Leadership from the Greatest General of the Ottoman Empire. By Austin Bay. (New York, N.Y.: Palgrave- McMillan, 2011)." Journal of Strategic Security 5, no. 1 (2012): 89-92. US, Department of the Army. ADRP 5-0, The Operations Process. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office. May 2012.

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