Timeline 1914-1916


Jul 27 - Enver Pasha and the German ambassador meet secretly to talk about a Turko-German alliance

Aug 2 - The secret Turko-German alliance is signed

Aug 3 - Churchill informs the Turkish authorities that the two warships they had ordered from Britain will not be released and are confiscated

Aug 4 - Britain declares war to Germany

Aug 11 - The German battle-cruiser Goeben and its escorting cruiser Breslau under Admiral Souchon arrive at Constantinople after their bombardment of the French North African ports and, with their crews, are handed over to the Ottoman navy. The Dardanelles are closed for Allied ships

Aug-Oct - Intense but belated British diplomatic activity in effort to secure Turkish neutrality

Oct 28/29 - Three Turkish torpedo-ships with a German crew attack Odessa and the Goeben does the same at Sebastopol, a provocation to draw Turkey further into the war at Germany's side. Britain and France send ultimatum to Turkey

Nov 1 - First ships carrying the Australian Expeditionary Force (AIF) leave Australia

Nov 2-7 - Declarations of war arrive at Constantinople from Russia, Britain, France, Montenegro, Japan and Belgium. Britain annexes Cyprus, held by the Ottomans since 1878

Nov 3 - British ships bombard the forts of Seddulbahir and Kum Kale without causing any serious damage

Nov 14 - Sultan, as Caliph of Islam, proclaims holy war against all enemies of Turkey; ignored by the Hashemite sharifs of Mecca and Medina who had their own agenda

Dec 1 - AIF begins disembarkation in Egypt

Dec 13 - Lieutenant Holbrook dives in his submarine B11 under the minefields in the Straits and sinks the old Turkish battleship Messudieh

Dec 17 - Turkish offensive launched against Russians in eastern Anatolia against advice of Liman von Sanders

Dec 18 - British Protectorate proclaimed in Egypt, where threat to Suez Canal is perceived. Anzacs, en route to Europe, held in Canal Zone to stiffen defences

Dec 21 - Major General Birdwood takes command of the newly formed Australian & New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC)

Dec 29 - The disastrous Battle of Sarikamish: of Enver's 100.000 strong army, only 18.000 survivors returned to Turkey

December 1914- August 1915 - Russo-Turkish campaign, resulting in defeat of Turks who turn on the Armenian population in Anatolia, deported and massacred thousands


Jan 2 - Csar Nicholas of Russia appeals for an Allied demonstration to relieve pressure in Caucasus, this is used by the 'Easterners' as leverage for an operation against Constantinople.

Jan 3 - British War Council discusses aid to Russia

Jan 8 - During a meeting in London, Admiral Carden informs Churchill that a naval attack might force the Straits with an appropriate strength in warships

Jan 13 - War Council approves plan for Royal Navy forcing Dardanelles

Jan 28 - The definitive plans for an attack on the Dardanelles are officially accepted

Jan 29 - The Allied Fleet is assembled

Feb 3/4 - Djemal Pasha attacks the Suez Canal after an advance through the desert, but is easily beaten back

Feb 9 - The British War Council agrees to send troops to support the Naval operation

Feb 16 - War Council decides to concentrate troops in vicinity of Dardanelles

Feb 19 - British and French battleships under Carden bombard outer forts at Dardanelles

Feb 23 - Island of Lemnos taken over as base for allied fleet (in Mudros Bay)

Feb 25 - Further bombardments of Turkish forts

Feb 26 - Battleships reach entrance of Narrows during bombardment Landing parties of Royal Marines destroy Turkish guns in forts

Mar 1 - Four battleships enter Straits and bombard intermediate defences. Demolition parties land and destroy more guns. Four French battleships bombard Bulair Lines from Gulf of Saros

Mar 2 - Dardanelles bombardment continues

Mar 3/4 - Naval party land at Seddulbahir to destroy gun batteries

Mar 4 - Australian 3rd Infantry Brigade arrives at Lemnos Island

Mar 4-7 - Naval operations continue against Dardanelles defences

Mar 10/11 - Naval bombardment at Bulair and Dardanelles

Mar 10 - The British War Counsel decides to send the 29th Division to the East

Mar 11 - General Sir Ian Hamilton is appointed as commander-in-chief for the operation

Mar 13 - Hamilton receives final instructions from Kitchener

Mar 15 - Minor naval activity at Dardanelles

Mar 17 - Hamilton arrives at Tenedos

Mar 18 - Major naval attempt to force the Straits by Anglo-French fleet under Vice-Admiral de Robeck fails, with heavy losses (three battleships sunk, one badly damaged, one battlecruiser damaged). General Sir Ian Hamilton, newly arrived as C in C Mediterranean Expeditionary Force, makes quick inspection of possible landing beaches on Gallipoli peninsula

Mar 19 - Naval action not renewed. Telegram from Hamilton to Kitchener, stating that only combined naval and infantry action could be successful

Mar 22 - Decision for a combined naval and infantry operation is taken

Apr 1 - ANZAC formations ordered to Gallipoli

Apr 10 - First transports leave for Mudros carrying the ANZACs

Apr 11 - Hamilton's staff members arrive in Alexandria

Apr 13 - Battleships Queen Elizabeth and Queen reconnoitre Gallipoli Peninsula coastline with Expeditionary Force commanders and staff.

Apr 25 - Landings at Kum Kale by the French, at Anzac by the Australians and New Zealanders and at Helles by the British

Apr 26 - Turkish counter attacks beaten off at Anzac

Apr 27 - Six battalions of French troops arrive at Helles and occupy the right flank near the Kerevez Dere. Turkish attacks against the ANZAC centre and at Walker's Ridge beaten off

Apr 28 - First Battle of Krithia; ill-starred attack fails in confusion due to poor staff work and exhaustion of troops still recovering from trauma of the landings. A RND brigade begins landing at Anzac

Apr 29 - Heavy Turkish attacks all along the Anzac line. RND brigade completes its reinforcement at Anzac

April 30 - Australian submarine AE2 sunk in Sea of Marmara

May 1/2 - Night attack by 21 Turkish battalions at Helles breaks into French and British positions and is only stopped with great difficulty

May 2 - Canterbury Battalion raids a Turkish outpost at Lala Baba (Suvla)

May 2/3 - New Zealand and RND attack on Baby 700 fails

May 4 - Australian raid on Gaba Tepe is beaten off

May 5/6 - Australian 2nd Brigade and NZ Infantry Brigade leave for Helles

May 6-8 - Second Battle of Krithia, involving combined French, British and ANZAC Forces fails

May 10 - Unsuccessful attack by Australians at the head of Monash Valley

May 12 - Dismounted units of the Australian Light Horse and New Zealand Mounted Rifles arrive at Gallipoli

May 13/14 - HMS Goliath sunk at mouth of the Straits by a Turkish torpedo boat

May 15 - General Bridges mortally wounded

May 19 - Turkish attack at Anzac is beaten off. 10.000 casualties

May 20 - Turks first ask for an armistice at Anzac

May 24 - Armistice to bury the dead

May 25 - HMS Triumph torpedoed off Gaba Tepe by U21

May 27 - HMS Majestic sunk of Cape Helles by U21

May 28 - Late at night, Turks fire mine in front of Quinn's Post

May 29 - Attack on Quinn's Post in which Major Quinn is killed

May 31 - Turkish blockhouse blown up in front of Quinn's by two sappers

June 4 - Third Battle of Krithia: initial successes due to dash of troops but shortage of artillery ammunition and failure of French to seize vital ground on right flank lead to slaughter of Royal Naval Division troops caught by enfilading machine gun fire. Heavy cost (All. 6500 / Tur. 9000). Night raid by Canterbury Infantry, NZEF from Quinn's Post at night

June 5 - New sortie against German Officers' Trench in front of Courtney's Post

June 7/8 - Night sortie from Quinn's Post

June 8 - First naval monitor appears off Anzac

June 21 - French capture the Haricot Redoubt at Helles at heavy cost (All. 2500 / Tur. 6000)

June 28 - Battle of Gully Ravine. Costly advance on left flank of British VIII Corps and outstanding performance of Gurkhas who storm cliffs to take Turks in rear, but eventual failure caused again by lack of artillery support. (All. 3500 / Tur. unknown)

June 29/30 - Last Turkish attack at Anzac fails

July 1-7 - Secret treaty between Germany and Bulgaria signed

July 2 - Strong but unsuccessful Turkish attack at Helles

July 4/5 - Another Turkish attack at Helles beaten back with heavy casualties (All. neglectible / Turkish 16000)

July 10 - Turks at Cape Helles ask for armistice to bury their dead, but the Allied Command refuses

July 12 - General Masnou, commander of 1st French Division at Helles, is mortally wounded

July 12/13 - Allied attack at Helles over 1 mile front (Allied 4000 / Turkish 10000)

July 31 - Australians take Turkish trench opposite Tasmania Post

Aug 3 - 13th Division arrive at Anzac

Aug 6/7 - Launch of major allied offensive aimed at taking the Sari Bair ridge and advancing to the Narrows. British attack at Cape Helles. Australians attack at Lone Pine, Quinn's Post and The Nek. Old No3 Post retaken, Table Top and Bauchop's Hill taken by the New Zealanders. Damakjelik Bair captured by the Left Covering Force

Aug 7 - British IX Corps Corps lands at Suvla Bay before dawn, but followed by failure to advance onto vital high ground results in stalemate on the Suvla Plain. At Anzac the Rhododendron Spur is taken by the New Zealanders. Repulse of attack at The Nek by Australian Light Horse Brigade. Failure of diversionary attack at Helles

Aug 8 - Wellington Battalion captures top of Chunk Bair. IX Corps at Suvla remains inactive.

Aug 9 - Gurkhas reach the saddle between Hill Q and Chunuk Bair. New Zealanders on Chunuk Bair relieved by New Army Troops.

Aug 10 - New Army Troops driven off Chunuk Bair by Turkish counter attack. Unsuccessful British attack at Suvla

Aug 11 - Stalemate at Suvla, caused by incompetence of military command, scapegoat to made of General Stopford

Aug 12 - The 5th Norfolks 'disappear' during a fruitless attack at Suvla and enter history as "the Vanished Battalion"

Aug 14 - Telegram from Kitchener to Hamilton, with the proposal to recall Stopford

Aug 15 - Unsuccessful British attack at Suvla along the Kiretch Tepe

Aug 20 - Italy declares war on Turkey.

Aug 21 - Hamilton's final major attack fails, with heavy loss, known as the Battle of Scimitar Hill (Suvla). The first attack on Hill 60 (Anzac) begin. As for troops engaged, the biggest action of the entire Gallipoli campaign.

Aug 27 - Battle renewed for possession of Hill 60, which is never fully captured

Aug 28 - New Zealanders hold and consolidate their position on Hill 60

Sep 2 - "Southland" transport with 2nd Division troops torpedoed

Sep 20 - Bulgarian treaty with Turkey announced

Sep 25 - Allied offensive in France begins. Turkish-Bulgarian agreement

Sep 29 - British and Indian troops enter Kut-el-Amara

Sep 30 - 10th (Irish) Division leaves Suvla for Salonika

Oct 3 - 2nd French Division leaves for Salonika

Oct 5 - Allied troops land in Salonika

Oct 7 - Britain offers Cyprus to Greece

Oct 8 - First autumn storm causes damage to Allied harbours at Suvla and Anzac

Oct 9 - Attack on Serbia and Belgrade captured by Austro-Germans

Oct 11 - Lord Kitchener asks Ian Hamilton the estimated cost of evacuation. Hamilton thinks 50% casualties might be expected

Oct 12 - Sir Ian Hamilton replies that evacuation is unthinkable

Oct 14 - In the House of Lords, Lord Milner and Lord Ribblesdale urge evacuation of Gallipoli

Oct 15 - Britain and Bulgaria at war.

Oct 16 - Kitchener removes Sir Ian Hamilton from command and replaced by General Monro who on arrival confirmed that withdrawal was essential. Kitchener visited in person early in November and agreed.

Oct 17 - General Sir Ian Hamilton relinquishes command of Mediterranean Expeditionary Force

Oct 20 - General Monro, in London, receives instructions to proceed to the Near East and take over command of the MEF

Oct 27 - General Sir Charles Monroe takes over command of Force

Oct 30 - General Monro first visits the Peninsula

Nov 13 - Lord Kitchener lands at Anzac

Nov 15 - Churchill resigns as Lord of the Admiralty and leaves the British Cabinet

Nov 24 - Period of silence is ordered to last 72 hours

Nov 26 - Major General Godley assumes command of the Anzac Corps

Nov 27/28 - Commencement of the Great Blizzard

Nov 30 - End of the blizzard reveals that the Allied forces had lost 1/10th of their strength

Dec 3 - General Townshend besieged at Kut-el-Amara

Dec 7 - British Government orders evacuation

Dec 8 - General Monro orders Birdwood to proceed with the evacuation of Anzac and Suvla

Dec 10/11 - All sick, wounded, surplus troops, vehicles and valuable stores removed

Dec 12 - Announcement at Anzac that a winter rest camp at Imbros will be formed. Surplus guns removed

Dec 15 - Detailed orders for evacuation issued

Dec 16 - All ranks warned of impending operations

Dec 19 - Last night of Anzac and Suvla evacuation

Dec 20 - Anzac and Suvla evacuation completed without casualties. Troops brought to Lemnos

Dec 21-30 - Troops transferred to Egypt


Jan 8/9 - Helles evacuation completed