Archival Documents

Archival Documents

The Pilot Program indicated that the historiography of the Gallipoli Campaign would benefit from placing some priority on certain elements of the Ottoman Turkish involvement in the campaign, which have been under-represented in the literature and data to date. These are all areas in which the catalogue and pilot research indicated there is ample information. These main areas are:

  • Operational events associated with the main battles
  • The Intelligence gathering of the Ottoman Army
  • The strategic thinking and decision-making of the Ottoman commanders
  • Reconnaissance and observation activity
  • The taking of and treatment of prisoners of war on both Allied and Ottoman sides
  • The effect of the campaign's battles on the Ottoman soldier
  • The use and effect of heavy artillery by both sides
  • The effect of the campaign on civilians and the Dardanelles region
  • The use of aircraft and the nature of early aerial warfare at Gallipoli

The Project so far has begun to reveal new material and documents that provide a much greater appreciation of the events at Gallipoli.

Intelligence gathering, also involving Australians

from the memoirs of Esat Pasha, Commander of the 3rd Corps, Ottoman 5th Army

referring to the Turkish counter-attacks of the 26 and 27 April 1915 Esat writes:

"On the bodies of the British (sic) officers and some intellectual (sic) soldiers, who had been hit by Turkish bullets during the battle at Ariburnu, several documents and belongings were found, almost all of which were greatly informative and useful to us:

(They included) Diaries, letters with envelopes on which the addresses had been already written, family portraits, photographs of naked women, assumed to be their girl friends, blank cheques of the Bank of New South Wales, British money that had been specially minted and was intended to be valid only in Turkey, thus showing that the enemy was dreaming of invading Istanbul."

Events of interest

e.g. an attempt to kill General Sir Ian Hamilton

From TGS File 3402 Document 15  29 June 1915

From Enver Pasha, Commander-in-Chief to Erzerum Pasha

"Find attached a map showing the camps and headquarters of General Hamilton aboard his ship in Kefalos Bay. As soon as possible please send out an aircraft with bombs to that HQ ship . . ."

Operational Informational Details

Maps and other documents indicate detailed Turkish deployments at various stages of the campaign. (See below)

From TGS File 4405 Document 1-1,  After 10 August 1915

A 1:25,000 Command Map of Anzac area showing detailed Allied and Turkish artillery positions and front lines. It shows Turkish superiority of field artillery weight and positions with 30 field or mountain guns to the Allies' 10.

Example of Battle Map of which there are dozens in the files, which shows the result of the battles of 25 April 1915.


Example of a German/Turkish aerial reconnaissance map of which there are many in the archives.

Reconnaissance emap

Example of an Ottoman senior command document. This is the order sent by War Minister Enver Pasha to the Dardanelles Straits Commander allowing the passage of the German ships Goeben and Breslau through the Dardanelles, a significant event that leads to Turkey's entry into the war and the Gallipoli Campaign itself.

Reconnaissance emap

One page example of the 44 page File Catalogue researched and produced in English by Harvey Broadbent in preparation for the main project.

File catalogue

Content owner: Department of Modern History, Politics and International Relations Last updated: 30 Apr 2019 3:35pm

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