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Timelines

100 Events of the Gallipoli Campaign

August–December 1914

2 August 1914

Turkey (Ottoman Empire) signed a secret treaty with Germany (German Empire) against Russia (Russian Empire).

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4 August 1914

British Empire and Dominions declared war on the German Empire and its allies.

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10 August 1914

After evading British warships in the Mediterranean, the German battle cruiser Goeben and light crusier Breslau arrived off the entrance to the Dardanelles and requested Turkish permission to enter the straits. The Turks let the German warships through to Constantinople where they were nominally handed over to the Turkish navy.

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31 August 1914

The First Lord of the British Admiralty, Winston Churchill, asked the Chief of the British Imperial General Staff to draw up a plan ‘for the seizure of the Gallipoli Peninsula by means of a Greek army of adequate strength, with a view to admitting a British fleet to the Sea of Marmara’. The Greeks produced a detailed plan for the capture of Gallipoli which would involve approximately 60,000 troops. Churchill felt that Turkey was unlikely to remain neutral between Britain and Germany and that the Turks would enter the war on the German side.

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6 September 1914

Of the threat from Turkey, Winston Churchill wrote:

The price to be paid in taking Gallipoli would no doubt be heavy, but there would be no more war with Turkey. A good army of 50,000 men and sea power – that is the end of the Turkish menace.

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8 September 1914

Turkey refused to close the Dardanelles to foreign ships despite strong German pressure to do so.

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9 September 1914

The British withdrew their naval mission from Turkey.

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27 September 1914

A British naval force at the entrance to the Dardanelles ordered a Turkish torpedo-boat to turn back. The Turks then closed the straits, laid mines, switched off the lighthouses and put up warning signs along the cliffs.

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28 October 1914

A Turkish fleet bombarded the Russian Black Sea ports of Odessa, Sebastapol and Feodosia.

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3 November 1914

British warships, on orders from London, opened fire on Turkish forts guarding the entrance to the Dardanelles at Sedd-el-Bahr (Gallipoli Peninsula) and Kum Kale (Asiatic coast of Turkey). The magazine in Sed-el-Bahr exploded, destroying all the heavy guns in the area.

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13 December 1914

In Sari Sighlar Bay, south of the town of Cannakele in the Dardanelles, the British submarine B11 torpedoed and sank the Turkish battleship Messudieh in difficult conditions. The commander of the B11, Lieutenant Norman Douglas Holbrook, was awarded the Victoria Cross and the members of his crew received other bravery awards. A German naval officer remarked to the American vice-consul at Cannakale, Mr Engert, that it (the sinking) had been ‘a mighty clever piece of work’.

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