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Lecture 6

HST702 - Lecture 6 The Ottoman Empire, Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide

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Ryerson University
HST 702
Tomaz Jardim

HST702 September 27, 2013 Tomaz Jardim The Ottoman Empire, Gallipoli and the Armenian Genocide 1 - Trenches, Deadlock, and the Search for a New Front o Trenches - Trenches were a deathtrap - Mud knee-deep and sometimes waist-deep - Trench foot - Rat infestation - More frontline troops were evacuated from the frontline for trench foot than battle wounds  The first winter (1914) o An alternative to Flanders? - British decision to open up a new front of the war by attacking the Ottoman Empire 2 - The Ottoman Empire a War o The Crumbling Empire and the Central Powers - The Ottoman empire had been mighty, occupying Europe and middle east, Africa - Turks dreamed of a day when their empire would be great again - But they feared their empire being swept away - Sense that they need to join the war (the side that’s going to win) - October 1914, Turkey enters the war, jointing with the Central Powers  They felt that they needed a protector that would defend the crumbling Ottoman Empire from those who wanted to see it collapse (Britain/France)  Turned to Germans as an ally - Turks in perfect position to put Russian in a two front war - Capital of Ottoman Empire (Constantinople) the same as capital of Turkey (Istanbul) - When Turks joined the war, they used the 2 German ships to shell the German black seaport of Odessa (?) 3 - The Gallipoli Offensive o The Dardanelle Straights and the Route to Russia - Dardanelle Straights the only way for the Entente to get to Russia - Turks control the straights and they're at war with Russia - Entente use this as a reason to invade Turkey - Ottomans started t launch attacks against Russia - Russians asking French and Brits for help - Turks lost 80,000 men in process of fighting Russians - Russian commander appeals to allies, saying we need help - Discussion begins in Britain about opening up a new from for war - Plan is to win over the straights to open up a supply line to Russia o Winston Churchill and the Naval Attack - Plan was to launch a naval blockade and claim the Gallipoli Peninsula, control Turkey and get to Russia - British began planning the campaign  Racist premise  Fundamental and inherent superiority of the European man over the Asiatic - Campaign wasn't taken with extra resources because it was just a racist plan - Entente planners had no idea how many Turkish troops there were - Turks were scared for this kind of campaign  They amassed 350,000 troops to prepare for the attack - At the widest, the straights were 4 miles wide, with huge cliffs  Perfect defensive position for Turks  Turks positioned mines in the straights - Entente would be facing offence from all sides - Feb 1915, the attack begins  Went well at first  Lines of gun on the trips quickly taken out/destroyed  There was a second line of defenses that was targeting the minesweeping ships  Carden said they needed to land troops on land, Churchill says
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