School Resource Packs: Cork 1912-1918

Resource Pack 5: 1915 First World War

2 Cork City & County Archives: Through War and Rebellion: Cork 1912-1918

Year: 1915 B609/9/A/58 extract from J. H. Bennett Great War diary [and letters of sympathy BG609/Add/3/16]





Austria- Hungary





Background By December 1914, four months into the First World War, the British and German generals in the west realised that they could not break down the defences on the other side. As a result a series of trenches for protection were dug by soldiers on both sides across northern France and they settled down to wait while the leaders to come up with an idea to get behind enemy lines. Again and again the generals on both sides probed for a weak-point in the system of trenches but nobody could defeat the industrial killing machines of the machine gun and the artillery bombardment. In the east Turkey was allied to the Germans and the United Kingdom believed that they could knock Turkey (who they thought was very weak) out of the war by attacking its capital Constantinople. If Turkey fell then Russia could then attack Germany from the east. Always inventive, Winston Churchill who was then 1 st Lord of the Admiralty (Navy Minister) decided to open up this new front. The place chosen was a narrow peninsula called Gallipoli at the entrance to the passage between the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, called the Dardanelles. On 25 April 1915 Australian and New Zealand troops came ashore. By this time the Turks,

having worked out what was being planned, were ready...

By late summer 1915 it was clear that the Gallipoli campaign was a stalemate every bit as bad as the Western Front, where it was now decided to attack a German strongpoint. The reason was simple:

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