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Mustafa Kemal

Mustapha Kemal Pasha, later Ataturk, from 'Four Years Beneath the Crescent' by Rafael De Nogales.
Mustapha Kemal Pasha

Mustapha Kemal Pasha, later Ataturk, from 'Four Years Beneath the Crescent' by Rafael De Nogales.

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Mustapha Kemal Pasha

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Mustafa Kemal (later Ataturk) commanded the Turkish 19th Division at Anzac Cove when the Allied invasion of Gallipoli began. He organized the successful defense against a force three times larger, holding his position until Turkish reinforcements arrived.

In the coming months the Allies attempted to advance, and the Turks tried to drive them into the sea. On June 28, Kemal led a failed attack against the Anzacs.

In August the Allies mounted a major offensive at Anzac Cove, simultaneously landing an invasion force at thinly defended Suvla Bay further north. For two days, the Turks were hard pressed in all sectors, and the German commander at Cape Helles at the end of the peninsula was prepared to abandon his position. Commanding Turkish forces on Gallipoli, German General Liman von Sanders replaced him. He also replaced the Turkish commander at Suvla Bay with Kemal, giving him command of the sector covering Suvla and Anzac Cove. Kemal had been battling at Anzac Cove for two days, but promptly rode his horse to Suvla Bay.

His arrival should have been too late, for the invaders faced a small defensive force, but did little to advance against it. By the time the invaders were forced into action, Kemal had organized the Turkish defense.

Turkish reinforcements arrived on August 9 as the British advanced against the heights above the beach in a dawn attack. The Turks drove the British back to the beach. With Suvla Bay secure, Kemal rode back to Anzac Cove.

He found both sides exhausted, and Turkish reinforcements had not arrived. Kemal ordered an attack for 4:30 AM on August 10. With the lines 30 yards apart, Kemal told his troops to attack when he raised his whip, and walked towards the British lines. The Turks followed, and drove the British from the heights.

A national hero after Gallipoli, Kemal was made general, and fought in the Caucasus and on the Syria/Palestine Front.


Roles held by Mustafa Kemal

Role Start Date End Date
Combatant - Infantry