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Mustafa Kemal at Gallipoli: A Leadership Analysis and Terrain Walk

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Technical Report

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Air Command and Staff College, Air University Maxwell Air Force Base United States

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The Gallipoli campaign is widely considered one of the Allies greatest disasters of the First World War. The campaign was conceived as a way to break the bloody stalemate on the Western Front, knock the Ottoman Empire out of the war, and open a sea line of communication to the Russian Empire. The invasion failed to achieve any of these goals and was instead blunted by determined Ottoman resistance under the leadership of Mustafa Kemal. This essay examines the strategic context of the Gallipoli campaign, Kemals actions during two key stands at Chunuk Bair in April and August 1915, and the enduring leadership lessons that can be drawn from these events. Specifically, Kemals actions demonstrated that taking the initiative, leading by example, and motivating and inspiring others are more than catchphrases. When applied in the crucible of battle, they are in fact enduring leadership principles that can change the course of history

Subject Categories:

  • Military Forces and Organizations
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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