By the end of 1914, the war on the western front had ground to a halt. Winston Churchill managed to persuade the war council that a daring attack on Gallipoli and the Dardanelles in Turkey would knock Turkey, one of Germanys main allies, out of the war and allow the allies to supply the Russians through the narrow straight and distract the Turkish from British interests in Egypt as well as opening up a new front and breaking the stalemate that existed in France.However the Gallipoli campaign proved a costly failure contributing little to the outcome of the war.

There were many contributing factors which are all linked but the most important were the shortfalls in the plan, which was only half-heartedly supported by London. The inadequate leadership never managed to gain control of a poorly thought out plan and bad organisation was inevitable and the build up of allied troops and supplies was always too little too late, resulting in many men being sacrificed in futile attacks on strong positions.The original plan did not include the use of any troops but after the failure of the navy's plan to take the Dardanelles and sail through to bombard Constantinople, the troops were ordered to take the guns by land. The main cause of the failure of the original plan was that adequate information had not been available when planning the attack because nobody had organised proper reconnaissance and so they had not realised how heavily the straights were defended and this inevitably lead to a poor plan.When the Navy attack had failed, it was decided the army would be sent to take the guns at Archi baba which they thought had been positioned to defend the straights. However even if the troops had reached the guns, they were too far in shore and not high enough to attack shipping and again a lack of information and poor maps had lead the commanders to create a pointless plan.

There was only one map available at the time and this showed incorrect contour lines, in one instance the Anzacs thought they would be going up a steady hill but found a large gully in their way which they were unable to cross.The maps also didn't show all of the guns and mines which surrounded the straights which meant they were not included in the plan so troops were unsure of the terrain and main landmarks which meant they were disorganised when landing and launching attacks The plan was put together in an ad hoc fashion, which meant that the allocation of the best commanders was not included. The commanders who were in charge of the attacks on Gallipoli were not very good and were chosen very late.General Hamilton, for example, was only appointed six weeks before the attacks began. Most of them were very old fashioned and inflexible.

They had little experience of modern warfare and were easily out manoeuvred by the Turkish commanders. The Turks were led by Liman von Sanders who was a German general, but they did make some mistakes, for example they had a full out attack on the Anzacs trenches on 19 May where they lost an estimated 3,000 soldiers.However unlike the allies once this method of attack failed, different strategies were used in planning future attacks and they regularly updated their plans to reflect the lessons learnt. The attitude of the Allied commanders was that high morale and character was sufficient to beat what they considered an inferior force, they did not think it was necessary to research in depth the area or the enemy's strengths and make effective plans.

Bad plans and bad commanders combined to make a much worse situation because the commanders pursued bad plans which weren't working and refused to consider alternatives, they also didn't capitalise on their successes for example, when General Stopford launched a surprise attack which landed unopposed at Sulva bay on 6th August, he made the troops reinforce their position on the coast rather than pressing inland and capitalising on their success. The inability of the Commanders to organise effectively contributed significantly to the failure of the operation.Poor command is linked closely with bad organisation because the commanders didn't train their troops well and so they were not prepared well for the landings, for example, many of the soldiers dropped their guns in the water when they were coming off the ships and these guns then seized up because of the salt. If the commanders had been organised enough to train their troops well, this would not have happened. It wasn't only the army, which suffered from poor leadership; the navy were also inadequately lead as can be seen from Admiral de Robecks actions.He withdrew the navy attack which should have been supporting the army by attacking the Turkish forts in the Dardenelles once three of his ships had been blown up by mines.

It was crucial for the army and navy commanders to work well together but they didn't and there was little co-ordination between them and they weren't even able to plan and organise combined deliveries of navy supplies and army supplies which were both brought in from Egypt, but were not shipped together.This was very inefficient and disorganised and a result of bad planning and poor leadership. As a result of poor planning, inadequate supplies and forces were allocated to the operation. One of he most bizarre examples of this is the way in which troops were moved from Lemnos to the landing zones. First the soldiers were transported by a selection of warships and merchant ships which happened to be available and then they were loaded into the ships boats and towed by steamboats and eventually left to row ashore.

Even if the plan had been carried out efficiently, it is doubtful that they would have been successful with the equipment and time allocated, however it was a complicated plan and inevitably mistakes were made, for example the spearhead of the Australian army landed on the wrong beach, possibly because they hadn't realised how tidal the area was or due to a lack of organisation some of junior officers involved in towing the boats were not clear on where they were going.The commanders didn't organise sufficient supplies for their troops and so their troops were poorly equipped to cope with the difficult conditions, for example, it quickly became apparent that the battle had turned into trench warfare but general Hamilton didn't order the necessary supplies needed to build the trench such as corrugated iron until July, about three months after the attacks began. The whole campaign was undermined by a lack of support from Field Marshal Kitchener and John French back in London, because they were preoccupied with what was happening on the western front.This resulted in the equipment that was allocated being substandard and meant that insufficient resources were sent and chaos frequently resulted from an ill though out plan. They were only supplied old battleships which were inadequate and made landing much more difficult and although Winston Churchill thought the attack needed 150,000 army soldiers to work effectively, Lord Kitchner originally didn't plan to send any soldiers and only decided to send half the number needed, 75, 000 men, just six weeks before the invasion.

This mean that many of the troops had not been appropriately trained and this lack of commitment at the highest levels of command undermined the plans chance of success from the very beginning. I don't think that it was all necessarily a failure of the British plan but a lot of it was to do with the success of the Turkish defences and the quick thinking of their commanders. The Turkish also coped much better with the difficult conditions, were better organised, and used their resources more effectively.The Turks fought really strongly as they were defending their homeland and learnt more quickly from their mistakes than the British.

In conclusion I think all of the reasons were linked together, each contributing to the effect of the others on the campaign but I think an ill thought out plan played a major role in the failure of the attack as it meant that the troops were badly organised and that the supplies and forces were inadequate.The plan also did not include much needed information about the terrain which significantly favoured the defending Turkish troops and a lack of commitment to the plan meant that sufficient supplies, forces and Commanders were not sent. It was a bold plan but ensuring its success was not given a high enough priority and the commanders that were chosen struggled to cope with the new type of warfare.