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Gallipoli Cost

Gallipoli Cost

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Gallipoli toll: Almost 400,000 from both sides left dead or wounded in Gallipoli
‘No one heard them say a word about the hard time they had had’

Captain Kenneth Stoors: For the Anzacs, I have the greatest admiration and pity, for they had the worst positions to hold, and did it with a coolness and spirit which was marvellous. In conversation, their intense patriotism struck one immensely. Nothing mattered as long as England won the war, and there were men quite advanced in years, with large responsibilities, who had given up everything to come over and help their Mother country. For eight months they hung on to that semi-circle of territory which had cost them so many lives, and one never heard them say a word about the hard time they had had, but one idea of most of them was to get to France, so to have a chance of killing Germans instead of Turks. Diary of British medical officer Captain Stoors

About half a million soldiers had been sent to Gallipoli by the Allies. After eight months, about 44,000 lay dead. Nearby lay the corpses of about 86,700 Turkish soldiers. Their deaths had little impact on the Great War.

In Britain, communities had been traumatised by events at the Helles landings, such as the mowing down of the Lancashires. Families mourned sons who had gone with pals in the New Army to the Suvla Bay disaster, ill-equipped for the scorching heat, wild terrain, and entrenched enemy. Vows were made that their deaths would not be forgotten but the battles and sacrifices have largely faded from memory in Britain as millions died on their doorstep. In France, where the nation was fighting against a powerful invading force, deaths under the Tricolour in Gallipoli were quickly overshadowed by the massive casualty lists from two world wars.

On the other side of the world, the name Gallipoli became enshrined in the fledgling colonies. The campaign had thrust them on the world stage as distinctive identities. Australia and New Zealand, children of the British Empire, came of age as nations of spirited individuals, men with character and ingenuity forged in untamed lands. Admired for their stature, courage, fighting ability, and toughness, they were set apart by their laconic style, bonds of mateship, and disregard for class strictures embedded in Britain.

Gallipoli loosened the apron strings. Worse was to come for Australians and New Zealanders as they fought for the Empire in the cruel trenches in France and Belgium but mantles of dominance and superiority had shifted. For the French and the British, grief over Gallipoli blurred into the continuing carnage on their doorstep; the names Krithia and Suvla faded as new battles closer to home on the Western Front became synonymous with brutal slaughter. On the other side of the world, the reverse happened. For 100 years the sacrifice and courage of the first Anzacs at Gallipoli increasingly symbolised characteristics cherished as marking a new national identity.

Estimated total casualties: Turkey 251,300 (86,700 died, 164,620 wounded); Britain and Ireland 73,500 (21,255 died, 52,230 wounded); France 27,000 (10,000 died, 17,000 wounded); Australia 28,150 (8709 died, 19,440 wounded); New Zealand 7990 (2779 died, 5212 wounded); India 4740 (1358 died, 3421 wounded); Newfoundland 142 (49 died, 93 wounded).