The Allied forces hoped to weaken Germany’s war efforts by securing victory against the Ottoman Empire (Turkey). The Ottomans were a threat to British interests in the Middle East including the Suez Canal. They also controlled the Dardanelles Strait which was of strategic interest to the Allies.
After the failed campaign to take control of the Dardanelles Strait by the British naval force, the Allied forces decided to launch an amphibious campaign against the Ottomans at Gallipoli. The thousands of Australian men who volunteered to enlist in the Australia Imperial Force at the outbreak of war were ordered to join the Allied forces to fight in the Gallipoli campaign.
On 25 April 1915 these men fought side by side with New Zealand soldiers at the landing of Gallipoli. This would be the first time the men fought as the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC).
For the next eight months the troops continued to try to break through Turkish lines but each time they were unsuccessful. The Battle of Lone Pine and the Battle of the Nek are now part of the ANZAC legend.
Prime Minister Andrew Fisher asked journalist Keith Arthur Murdoch to report back his observations of the Gallipoli campaign during his visit in September 1915. The report now known as the 'Gallipoli Letter' changed the course of the Gallipoli campaign as it led to the evacuation of Allied troops in December 1915.
Many of the diaries we received through the European War Collecting Project were written at Gallipoli including:
We've currently digitising the diaries from our collection so more will be available online. Search our catalogue under manuscripts to find other diaries and letters written at Gallipoli using the keywords: Gallipoli personal narratives.
We have a large collection of photographs taken by soldiers prior to the landing at ANZAC Cove and during the campaign as well as watercolour views by artists such as Leslie Hore, Gilbert Hoskins and Jack Sommers. You can view most of these online.
We have hand-drawn maps that were donated to us along with soldiers diaries. We also have printed maps that appeared as newspaper supplements or were published by the Australian government, the British War Office and Australian commercial publishers such as HEC Robinson.
Find out more about our maps of Gallipoli.
Map of the Peninsula of Gallipoli and the Asiatic Shore of the Dardanelles
You can make copies of pictures for research and study purposes by:
You need to contact us for permission to publish our original materials. You must also acknowledge the Library and provide the correct location details.