Nearly sixty years ago, troops from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France, landed on Gallipoli, the Turkish peninsula that guards the Dardanelles.
GV Gallipoli coastline
SV Reporter to camera in boat
LIBRARY FILM..GV Troops packed in small boats heading for shore (2 shots)
CU Turkish Commander
SV Turkish soldiers firing rifles
GV & LV Ship convoys (3 shots)
GV Troops evacuating
LV PAN..across valley with debris from battle
GV & SV Reporter walking across battlefield as it is today, picking up bayonet and bones (4 shots)
SV Memorial markers
GV ZOOM IN to monument to Turkish soldiers
LV PAN..empty field of battle today
SV ZOOM OUT..shell on ground
TRANSCRIPT: "It was a morning like this, Sunday the twenty-fifth of April, 1915. The sky blue. The sun blazing over the Dardanelles. A gentle swell on the sea. When the invasion of the Gallipoli Peninsula began. It began as it was to continue for almost nine months -- as a disaster. As the cutters grounded, the turks opened fire, raking the invaders packed in their small boats like sardine The slaughter was terrible. The turkish Commander described this shore as piled with the corpses, like a shoal of fish. Tens of thousands of troops -- British, Australian, new Zealand and French -- were later poured into Gallipoli. This, and other beaches, were secured, but the invading forces never reached the objective they were set. It was nine months before we evacuated, ending where we began. By then, each foot and track, each hill and gully had a legend and nickname. The southern half of Gallipoli is one huge graveyard in itself. The scrub of Shrapnel Valley, covers so many unknown dead -- Anzacs and Turks alike. But the Turkish Government and the Commonwealth War Graves Commission preserved it intact, as an unmarked cemetery. A few minutes scrabbling around unearths relics of 1915. The bayonet still sharp. And bones, by the hundreds. A small war in a small area, but each side lost some quarter of a million men in dead and wounded. The Turks accept death more matter of factly than we do, but even they now commemorate their Gallipoli dead. But if you have a feel for such things, its hill and beaches are as haunted as the fields of flanders. Haunted by wasted courage and squandered lives. a Lancashire Corporal wrote, "We learnt that war is made of blood, smell, lice, filth, shells, noise, weariness and death". That was Gallipoli, 1915".
Initials ES. 330
N. B. THIS STORY CONTAINS SOME LIBRARY FOOTAGE OF THE GALLIPOLI AREA, DURING THE CAMPAIGN OF 1915. THE SOUND ON FILM IS A COMMENTARY BY A BRITISH BROADCASTING COMPANY REPORTER, WHICH MAY BE USED. A TRANSCRIPT FOLLOWS.
Script is copyright Reuters Limited. All rights reserved
Background: Nearly sixty years ago, troops from Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom and France, landed on Gallipoli, the Turkish peninsula that guards the Dardanelles. The object of the campaign was "to take the Gallipoli peninsula with Constantinople as its objective".
Disagreements about the use of ground forces led to the assault being opened in February of 1915, with naval action alone. By the time ground forces were ready to land, Turkish defences had been alerted and reinforced.
The campaign on land lasted for eight months and ended in the complete withdrawal of the invading force. Total casualties were at least half a million men.
On Friday (22 October), as part of her tour of Turkey, Queen Elizabeth visited the battlefield of Gallipoli, and paid her respects to the troops who dies there.
This feature story shows how the battlefield looks today, in comparison to the battle-torn area it was in 1915.