Australian and New Zealand troops the day after the landing at Anzac CoveThe beach at Gallipoli, crowded with Australian and New Zealand troops the day after the landing at Anzac Cove. A03868

The outbreak of war in 1914 was greeted in Australia, as in many other places, with great public enthusiasm. Most of the men accepted into the army in August 1914 were sent to Egypt to meet the threat which a new belligerent, the Ottoman Empire (Turkey), posed to British interests in the Middle East and the Suez Canal.

After four and a half months of training near Cairo, the Australians departed by ship for the Gallipoli peninsula, with troops from New Zealand, Britain, and France. The Australians landed at what became known as ANZAC Cove on 25 April 1915 and established a tenuous foothold on the steep slopes above the beach. During the early days of the campaign, the allies tried to break through Turkish lines, while the Turks tried to drive the allied troops off the peninsula. Attempts on both sides ended in failure and the ensuing stalemate continued for the remainder of 1915. The most successful operation of the campaign was the evacuation of troops on 19 and 20 December, under cover of a comprehensive deception operation. As a result, the Turks were unable to inflict more than a very few casualties on the retreating forces.

Where to find more

Use these resources on our site to learn about the Australian experience of the First World War.

Official histories

Volume I – The Story of ANZAC from the outbreak of war to the end of the first phase of the Gallipoli Campaign, May 4, 1915
Volume II – The Story of ANZAC from 4 May, 1915, to the evacuation of the Gallipoli Peninsula
Volume IX – The Royal Australian Navy, 1914–1918
Gallipoli Mission

Biographical information

Roll of Honour
Embarkation Roll
Nominal Roll
Honours and Awards
Red Cross Missing and Wounded

Unit profiles

First World War

War diaries

First World War

Exhibitions

Dawn of the Legend
Mapping Gallipoli
Gallipoli 1915: the drama of the Dardanelles (Imperial War Museum exhibition)