A Guide to Anzac Day for New Zealanders
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Gallipoli Guide

This Guide provides a virtual tour of the peninsula. It features maps, images and interactive panoramas along with short histories and information about the battles, and memorials and cemeteries where New Zealanders are named or interred.

For nine months in 1915, British and French forces battled the Ottoman Empire - modern Turkey - for control of the Gallipoli peninsula, a small finger of Europe jutting into the Aegean Sea that dominates a strategic waterway, the Dardanelles. By opening the Dardanelles to their fleets, the Allies hoped to threaten the Ottoman capital, Constantinople (now Istanbul) and knock the Turks out of the war.

Among the British forces were the Anzacs - the Australia and New Zealand Army Corps - who landed on the peninsula on 25 April. The landing, like the Gallipoli campaign itself, was ambitious and ultimately unsuccessful: the peninsula remained in its defenders' hands.

The campaign was a costly failure for the Allies: 44,000 British and French soldiers died, including over 8700 Australians. Among the dead were 2721 New Zealanders - roughly one-fifth of those who fought on Gallipoli. Victory came at a high price for the Turks: 87,000 men died in the campaign which became a defining moment in Turkish history.

The Gallipoli campaign was a relatively minor part of the First World War (1914-18), but it has great significance for New Zealand's history and it has become an important symbol of its national identity. The campaign was the first time that New Zealand stepped on to the world stage, and the New Zealanders made a name for themselves fighting hard, against the odds, in an inhospitable environment.

New Zealand marks the anniversary of the Gallipoli landings each year on Anzac Day - 25 April - remembering not only those who died there, but all who have served the country in times of war. The Gallipoli battlefields are now part of the 33,000 hectare Gallipoli Peninsula Historical National Park, or the Peace Park.

Find out more:

Learn more about New Zealand's Gallipoli campaign on NZHistory.net.nz

Learn about the campaign from an Australian perspective on the Visit Gallipoli site

Learn about the importance of the Gallipoli campaign from a Turkish perspective

The Gallipoli Guide is based on McGibbon, Ian, Gallipoli: A Guide to New Zealand Battlefields and Memorials (Reed, 2005)

 

See also Anzac Day Resources page.

Explore Gallipoli Battlefield Locations

Click on the locations in red to learn more about the battles fought by New Zealand troops.
 
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