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Gallipoli (World War One)

28 Jun 2016

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What is Gallipoli and why is it so important?

LEVEL: Intermediate / Secondary

The Gallipoli campaign took place in what is now modern-day Turkey during World War One and began on 25 April. Although the campaign failed in its aim of knocking the Ottoman Turks out of the war, it helped to define the emerging national character of New Zealand and Australia. Every year people from these two countries remember their armed forces on Anzac Day, 25 April, named in honour of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) which fought at Gallipoli. With the 100th anniversary of Gallipoli in 2015 these websites are likely to update and expand. Gallipoli is also the main example of amphibious warfare in World War One.

The New Zealand government has produced a website about Anzac Day which includes an article about the significance of Gallipoli and Anzac Day.

For detailed information about New Zealand and Gallipoli we suggest looking at NZHistory. To find the right section select 'New Zealand at war' from the three links under the main introduction. Next, choose 'First World War' from the options and scroll down this page until you see 'Gallipoli and the Balkans'. The Gallipoli campaign article will give you an overview of the campaign, explain what happened and how it ended. If you are wanting to find out about the Ottoman Turks who the Allies (UK, France, ANZACs etc) were fighting take a look at the area about the Ottoman Empire.

HOT TIP: We like these sites because they’re reliable. You can tell because of their web address – they have .govt, or from the 'About Us' part of the site, meaning they are from government or education organisations. They’re also New Zealand sites, so relevant for us. 

If you are interested in finding out exactly what happened when during the Gallipoli campaign, check out the RSA's timeline. The webpage tells us that their information comes from a book by a well-respected New Zealand historian. Please note that the RSA's website can get really busy around Anzac Day so it could be slow or crash.

HOT TIP: The Returned and Services Association (RSA) was founded in 1916 to support returning veterans and their families. It continues in this role in many communities today.

The National Library’s Services to Schools website features a gallery of primary sources about the New Zealand Anzac experience. Choose 'Explore' from the links across the top, then select 'Image galleries' to take you to the 'Primary Sources' page and choose Gallipoli.

HOT TIP: We like this resource as you can see letters, diaries and images that all relate to Gallipoli.

Another place to find out about Gallipoli is Ngā Tapuwae New Zealand First War Trails, which has been put together by the government. Mainly intended as a battlefield guide the app version of this site contains primary source material as well as background information. If you don't have a smart device like a mobile or a tablet there are PDFs of the information contained in the app that can be downloaded. To find these scroll right down the page until you see 'No smartphone or tablet?'.  

HOT TIP: The app can be downloaded from the App Store and Google Play.

For an Australian perspective, their government has produced a website called Gallipoli and the Anzacs. The homepage is quite busy and hard to find your way around, but look out for articles about the 25 April landings, bravery and nurses, amongst others.

British forces were also heavily involved at Gallipoli. A good overview can be found on the BBC History website. This website is being worked on so more information about Gallipoli and other handy topics may become available. The Long Long Trail is an excellent World War One website which takes a lot of its information from primary sources. While it mainly focusses on the British Army it includes lots of general and New Zealand relevant material, including a page on Gallipoli. If you are navigating from the homepage, choose 'battles' from the list under the search box and then 'The Gallipoli Campaign' from the list of related pages on the right.

HOT TIP: Websites that have .net in the address can have good information, but you need to assess how reliable it is. Check the ‘about us’ link on the website, if you can find one. That can tell you what the website’s mission and values are.

See also our other ManyAnswers entries on Anzac Day, and World War One.

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