Essay Example on The Dardanelles and Gallipoli Campaigns have been the Center

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The Dardanelles and Gallipoli Campaigns have been the center of many operational assessments because they are rife with both effective and ineffective examples of the use of Marine Corps Warfighting doctrine The eight and a half month long 1915 Campaign was a bold and creative strategy steeped in sound maneuver warfare concepts that ultimately ended in disaster during tactical implementation The failure to prepare for friction and apply boldness led to a defunct naval assault stymied ground invasion an exorbitant number of Allied casualties and ultimately a withdrawal The goal of maneuver is calculated application of our strength against selected enemy weakness in order to maximize advantage The British strategy in the Dardanelles and Gallipoli to achieve a decisive advantage over the Central Powers by attacking a gap in the East was a creative application of strategic maneuver At the end of 1914 the attrition based strategies on the Western Front caused the Allies to suffer almost a million casualties and reach a stalemate with the Central Powers Attrition warfare was not advancing the war efforts or policy aims of the Allied Powers 



A successful operation in the Dardanelles and Gallipoli would provide protected supply lines between Britain and Russia boost Allied national will and had the potential to break the stalemate on the Western Front by threatening the southern flank of Germany An in depth analysis of the Turkish defenses in the Dardanelles and Gallipoli exposed that the Turks were low on munitions utilizing outdated weaponry and ripe for exploitation Churchill and his cohort in Britain sought to expose this flank through a joint naval and land campaign The seemingly moderate investment to exploit a weak Turkish force to potentially reap large political and military gains is the quintessential application of maneuver warfare doctrine Unfortunately the failure to prepare for friction and apply boldness would ultimately give credence to the maxim maneuver incompetently applied carries with it a greater chance for catastrophic failure In the opening salvos of the campaign the British Fleet experienced friction which MCDP 1 describes as the force that makes the simple difficult and the difficult seemingly impossible Carden s fleet was unable to put effective fires on the Turkish forts primarily due to self induced friction demonstrated by a lack of proper ship to shore gunnery training and ineffective use of seaplanes for aerial spotting This self induced friction forced the minesweepers to conduct operations under fire an eventuality that the trawler crews were not prepared for Friction in the form of enemy fires terrified the crews causing them to abandon their attempts to sweep the straits The British Fleet had lost the initiative and Carden s inability to deal with friction on the battlefield caused him to ask to be relieved De Robeck s fleet relieved Carden s and were thwarted by additional mines that the Turks had laid in the straits Instead of continuing to impose his will on the Turkish forts De Robeck succumb to friction and delayed further operations ultimately allowing the

Campaign wrought with friction due to inhospitable terrain and lack of effective communication and coordination was lost because of a lack of bold and decisive action In addition to ineffective handling of friction a timidity in British Commanders contributed to the loss of the campaigns MCDP 1 describes boldness as the characteristic of unhesitatingly exploiting the natural uncertainty of war to pursue major results rather than marginal ones The aggressive amphibious assault landing at five different beaches would be mired by the British Commander s inability to seize fleeting opportunities The Y Beach and Suvla Bay landings typifies the lack of boldness displayed by the British Commanders Early in the amphibious assault at least two thousand troops landed on Y Beach unopposed and were able to flank a smaller Turkish force to gain a decisive advantage Instead of seizing key terrain and mounting an attack the troops delayed on the beachhead This lack of initiative allowed the Turks to reinforce the beach and drive the Allies back to the sea The Allied forces would fall pray to the same lack of boldness during the Sulva Bay assault instead of using the Y beach landing as a case study General Stopford landed in Suvla Bay on 7 August catching the Turks by surprise His forces were able to mass a ten to one advantage within the first twenty four hours This fleeting opportunity born of surprise and mass was wasted Stopford s men established camp and waited two days before mounting an attack This timidity allowed the Turks to mass on key terrain and repel a belated assault mounted by the Allies In a further affront to maneuver warfare doctrine Stopford continued to assault the teeth of Turkish defensive positions throughout August contributing to the overall excessive casualties and the decision to withdrawal Y Beach and Suvla Bay exemplify the entirety of the Gallipoli Campaign Lack of boldness among British Commander s to exploit gaps in the Turkish defense caused excessive causalities and gave the numerically smaller Turkish force a decisive advantage What could have been a masterful example of strategic level maneuver warfare ended in failure The British strategic planning to gain a decisive advantage by exploiting the Central Powers gap in the East was sound application of the concepts of maneuver However the Allies failure to apply maneuver warfare concepts at the tactical level led to their strategic defeat during the Dardanelles and Gallipoli Campaign Proper preparation for the friction of combat in the strait and decisive application of boldness during the amphibious assault could have turned a tactical blunder in to a strategic success


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