The Gallipoli Campaign
At the outbreak of the First World War, Churchill was already in a position to play a key role as he held the office of First Lord of the Admiralty. He revelled in the military strategizing required and found an ally in John Fisher, a much decorated naval Admiral, whom Churchill promoted to First Sea Lord. The entry to the war of Ottoman Turkey caused immense pressure in the Near East to defend territories such as Egypt and the Suez Canal. The operation that became known as the Dardanelles campaign was an unmitigated disaster, as at the Gallipoli peninsula allied troops were faced with constant Turkish bombardment which resulted in a massive loss of life. Both Fisher and Churchill were forced to resign and even a year later, were still being called to account by Parliament over their actions. In the aftermath of his resignation Churchill decided to take active service, where he was placed in command of a battalion of the Royal Scots Fusiliers, which is why he is referred to in this debate as Colonel Churchill.
Churchill's speech about the Gallipoli Campaign
7th March 1916
Hansard, 5th Series, Volume 80, cc 1419