The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge today joined the Middletons and the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the doomed First World War Gallipoli campaign, which saw 58,000 Allied troops loose their lives in their bloodiest battle on foreign soil.
Kate, who celebrated her 34th birthday yesterday, looked calm and collected as she arrived with her family at St. Mary Magdalene Church to pay her respects.
The mother-of-two wrapped up warm for the occasion wearing a simple black polo with a brown tweed blazer and skirt by Michael Kors.
Kate – along with mother Carole, father Michael and siblings James and Pippa – watched the Queen and Prince Philip placed their floral wreaths at the Sandringham war memorial cross in Norfolk.
Kate – along with mother Carole, father Michael and siblings James and Pippa – arrived at the Sunday service at the church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk where they joined the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the doomed First World War Gallipoli campaign
The Duchess of Cambridge wrapped up warm as she arrived at the Sunday service at the church of St Mary Magdalene on the Sandringham Estate in Norfolk
Erected by the monarch’s grandparents, King George V and Queen Mary, it honours the local men and officers of the 5th Battalion Norfolk regiment and those from the royal estate of Sandringham who died in the Great War.
Among those remembered by the memorial are a number of men who died in the Gallipoli campaign.
It was backed by Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, and began in 1915 with the aim of knocking one of Germany’s main allies, the Ottoman Empire, out of the war.
In 1915, under British orders, troops from Australia and New Zealand embarked on an allied expedition to capture the Gallipoli peninsula.
By colonising the peninsula it was hoped that Anzacs would open up to the waters up to the allied naval forces. From there, troops aimed to conquer Constantinople, now Istanbul.
But from the time the first boats landed before dawn on April 25, it was clear the campaign would be a catastrophic failure.
The Middletons, including Carole, James, Michael and Pippa, also joined the royal family at the service
Pippa Middleton, fresh from her trip to St Barts with brother James, joined her sister, the Duchess of Cambridge, and The Queen at the church service
The mother-of-two wrapped up warm for the occasion wearing a simple black polo with a brown tweed blazer and skirt by Michael Kors.
Sophie, Countess of Wessex also joined the family at the service and walked on ahead with Prince William and the Duke of Edinburgh
Over the course of the eight-month mission, 11,500 troops died for precious little gain. Some 86,000 Turkish troops are reported to have been killed during the conflict.
The last Allied troops were withdrawn on January 9, 1916.
The royal family no doubt helped the Duchess of Cambridge celebrate her 34th birthday over the weekend.
The past year has been busy for Kate, who gave birth to her second child, Princess Charlotte, now aged eight months, last spring.
Prince George attended his first nursery class this week and was dropped off by his parents on Wednesday – with pictures released of the two-year-old to mark the occasion.
Highlights from Kate’s 2015 public engagements include her inaugural Buckingham Palace state banquet – in honour of China’s visiting President Xi Jinping – and her first visit to a prison, HMP Send near Guildford, Surrey.
Later this year the Duke and Duchess will tour India, their first visit to the Commonwealth country. This spring the young King and Queen of Bhutan, dubbed the ‘William and Kate of the Orient’, will host the real Duke and Duchess of Cambridge on an official visit on behalf of the British Government.
The hugely-anticipated visit will coincide with the couple’s previously announced tour of India and is likely to take place in April.
Revealed by Kensington Palace today it has already prompted much excitement in Bhutan (which means Land of the Thunder Dragon), a tiny and remote kingdom nestling in the Himalayas between India and China.
Although William and Kate are leaving their own children, Prince George and Princess Charlotte, behind when they embark on the trip, there will no doubt be much baby banter as the Bhutanese rulers are expecting their first child, a son, in a matter of weeks.
The Queen and Prince Philip placed their floral wreaths at the Sandringham war memorial cross in Norfolk on their first official public engagement of the year
Churchill put forward a proposal to send his naval fleet through the needle of the Dardanelles, the 38-mile waterway that separated Europe and Asia in northwest Turkey. The Allies later launched a major land invasion of Gallipoli
Winston Churchill has gone down in history as one of Britain’s greatest politicians. But 25 years before leading the country to victory in World Ward II, he advocated a military attack during the Great War that ended in disaster
The battle that nearly sank Winston Churchill
As prime minister, Winston Churchill has gone down as one of Britain’s most revered politicians in history, leading the country to a glorious victory in World War II. But 25 years before that, he advocated a military attack during the First World War that ended in disaster.
By the end of 1914, the ‘Great War’ had reached a stalemate along the Western Front. Britain and France had suffered nearly a million casualties in the first four months of the war alone.
But Churchill, the then 40-year-old First Lord of the Admiralty, believed he had a solution.
The emerging politician put forward a proposal to send his naval fleet through the needle of the Dardanelles, the 38-mile waterway that separated Europe and Asia in northwest Turkey. Churchill believed that his bold proposal for a second front was the key to winning the war.
His plan was to seize Constantinople, now known as Istanbul, a move which he hoped would lead to Britain gaining control of the waterways which linked the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea.
Churchill believed the invasion would give the British a clear transport route by sea to Russia, which would overthrow the Ottoman Empire. That would also persuade the states of Greece, Bulgaria and Romania – which had not joined a side – to join the Allies, he believed.
Britain’s war cabinet backed the plan, which, although mooted long before the Ottoman Empire came to power, was heavily endorsed by Churchill.
But the British War Office refused to send as many troops as he wished. Churchill sent the fleet in anyway, with the attack on the Gallipoli Peninsula – the first step of the plan – taking place on the morning of February 19, 1915. But, despite initial success, the attack stalled.
Under pressure from Churchill to continue the attack despite drawing heavy fire, the British naval commander in the region, Admiral Sackville Carden, suffered a nervous collapse and was replaced by Vice-Admiral John de Robeck.
Then, on March 18, 18 British and French battleships entered the straits and launched another attack. This time, undetected mines sank three ships and severely damaged three others.
The continuing failure led de Robeck to order a withdrawal. While he argued with Churchill over the next course of action, the fleet hesitated, losing its marginal advantage.
The Allies later launched a major land invasion of Gallipoli on April 25. But the month-long delay had allowed the Turks to boost their defenses.
It meant the British, French and members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) could make little progress.
The Battle of Gallipoli soon became a slaughter, just as bloody and pointless as that on the Western Front. The ill-fated campaign lasted nine months before the evacuation of the last Allied troops in January 1916. Each side sustained 250,000 casualties with 46,000 Allied troops and 65,000 Turkish troops dead.
The disaster also threw the government into crisis. The Liberal prime minister was forced to bring the opposition Conservatives into a coalition government – and they agreed on the condition that Churchill was kicked out from the Admiralty. In May 1915, he was shifted to an obscure cabinet post.
But it did not trample Churchill’s fighting spirit. In November 1915, Churchill resigned from the government and began life as an infantry officer with the Royal Scots Fusiliers in France. He returned to politics in 1917 and was appointed as the munitions minister in a coalition government under Liberal Prime Minister David Lloyd George.
Churchill was taunted over Gallipoli by his political opponents, but he embraced the campaign as a learning curve. When he became prime minister in 1940, he wrote: ‘All my past life had been a preparation for this hour and for this trial.’
Source: The History Channel
SNAPSHOT: THE GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN
The Gallipoli campaign has become synonymous with heroism of Australian and New Zealand troops – but more British and Irish soldiers were killed than Anzacs.
The first wave of attacks happened at dawn on April 25, 1915 with Allies swarming ashore into the teeth of the Turkish defences.
An estimated 559,000 Allied troops were sent over during its eight months, comprising 420,000 British and Empire troops, 80,000 French, 50,000 Australians and 9,000 New Zealanders.
Approximately 58,000 died. There were 29,500 dead from Britain and Ireland,12,000 from France, 11,000 from Australia and New Zealand and 1,500 from India.
It is thought there were more than 250,000 casualties, either wounded or sick from the horrific conditions. Heat, flies, dysentery, poor sanitation and finally intense cold proved deadly.
Despite the huge cost, the campaign had no significant effect on the outcome of the war.
Churchill put forward a proposal to send his naval fleet through the needle of the Dardanelles, the narrow 38-mile strait that separated Europe and Asia in northwest Turkey. Pictured: The Gallipoli campaign
Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, believed the invasion would give the British a clear sea route to Russia and overthrow the Ottoman Empire
The Battle of Gallipoli became a slaughter, quickly becoming a stalemate just as bloody and pointless as that on the Western Front. Pictured: HMS Majestic, which was dispatched as part of the Dardanelles campaign
The ill-fated Gallipoli campaign lasted nine months before the evacuation of the last Allied troops in January 1916. Each side sustained 250,000 casualties. Pictured: A Turkish Food Transport sunk in the Sea of Marmora by a British submarine
EIGHT HORROR-FILLED MONTHS AT THE COST OF 145,000 LIVES: 100 YEARS ON FROM THE GALLIPOLI CAMPAIGN
The Gallipoli campaign’s aim was to change the course of the war and knock Turkey out of the conflict by attacking Constantinople.
But to get there, the Royal Navy would have to bust through the heavily-defended Dardanelles strait that links the Aegean to the Sea of Marmara.
A land assault to capture the peninsula began when a naval attack failed. Eight horror-filled months later, and at a cost to both sides of an estimated 145,000 lives, the Allies pulled out, having failed in their objective.
WHY ATTACK GALLIPOLI?
The war on the Western Front was in deadlock and Winston Churchill, then First Lord of the Admiralty, was an ambitious plotter who pushed for a naval campaign to break the deadlock. Opening a second front 1,000 miles away would weaken the Kaiser and assist Russia, which was cut off from the Allies.
WHAT WAS THE PLAN?
In March 1915, 18 ageing British and French battleships tried to force their way through the mined straits but came under heavy attack from the Turks’ mobile guns. It was then decided the peninsula would have to be secured, and thousands of Allied troops were committed to a land attack.
The Gallipoli campaign’s aim was to change the course of the war and knock Turkey out of the conflict by attacking Constantinople. Pictured: British warships during the Gallipoli campaign
WHO WENT IN TO BATTLE?
Some 559,000 Allied forces joined the battle over its eight months, comprising 420,000 British and Empire troops, 80,000 French, 50,000 Australians and 9,000 from New Zealand.
HOW BAD WERE THE CASUALTIES?
According to figures from the respected Gallipoli Association, almost half of the Allied numbers them became casualties, with around 58,000 of them dying. There were 29,500 British and Irish fatalities, more than 12,000 French, 11,000 Australians and New Zealanders and 1,500 Indians. The other casualties were wounded or fell ill in the dreadful conditions. Despite the heavy losses, there are only 11,000 graves on the peninsula. The others had their names inscribed on memorials.
More than 87,000 Ottoman and German forces were killed, out of more than 300,000 casualties.
WHAT WENT WRONG FOR THE ALLIES?
The campaign was a disaster and was until that point, the bloodiest in World War I. Commanders initially underestimated the resolve of the Turkish forces and planning for such a major operation was rushed. There was a lack of artillery, inaccurate maps, the under-prepared troops were poorly equipped and the commanders made tactical errors. Attacks lost momentum, leading to stalemate and trench warfare like that in France. Heat, poor sanitation, flies, dystentry then intense cold in winter, killed thousands.
WHAT WAS THE LEGACY?
Ironically, the evacuation was the most successful part of an Allied operation which failed in its mission to capture the straits. Churchill was demoted and for years his political career tainted by the catastrophe. On the other side, the Turkish military leader Kemal would eventually emerge as Kemal Ataturk, founding President of the Turkish Republic.
The Gallipoli campaign was scrutinised and came to influence military thinking, including planning for the Normandy Landings nearly 30 years later. Gallipoli and the terrible experiences of Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) was said to have also shaped the two countries’ national psyches.
WHY IS ANZAC DAY SO IMPORTANT?
Anzac Day on April 25 marks the anniversary of the start of the Gallipoli landings, and is a national day of remembrance for Australia and New Zealand. News of the disaster unfolding in Turkey leaked home to the two new dominions, but added to the fury about the British top brass’s incompetence were tales of heroism, ‘mateship’ and pluck in the face of death.