8. Hostile Territory
The occupied terrain by more than 150,000 Allied forces in a space less than 2 square miles proved to be arduous and sometimes inhospitable. The peninsula was unfitting for the eight months the campaign was to take place. The beaches were located on a hillside, with steep mountains, little vegetation, and extreme weather at times. Allied forces were also met with fierce resistance and opposition by Turkish troops, commanded by General Mustafa Kemal and German general Otto von Sanders.
Of the 1000 soldiers that disembarked at one of the beaches, only 400 survived the landing. With the Turks holding the higher grounds which was of great strategic importance, the Allied army barely had a chance against the burst of fire from the Turkish machine guns. Despite several engagements, they were only able to move a few miles inland. The unsanitary conditions, complex trench systems, soldiers’ inexperience, and the pile of dead bodies worsen the situation as the fight drag on. It is also believed that the underestimating the abilities of Turks was one major failing of the Allied forces in the Dardanelles.