Find a Security Clearance Job!


Marine Corps Amphibious Doctrine - The Gallipoli Connection
AUTHOR Major Karen L. Corbett, USMC
CSC 1990
                                EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
THESIS:  The British experiences in the Gallipoli campaign have had
a significant,  and lasting,  impact on Marine Corps amphibious
ISSUE:   In 1934, the U. S. Marine Corps published its first manual
for landing operations.  The officers who were the authors of this
unique publication worked on committees to research and draft the
text of what would be the Marine Corps' first published guidance
on the conduct of amphibious operations.   Although these were
experienced  officers  with  shipboard  service  as  well  as
expeditionary duty, they had in common an absence of experience in
large-scale, opposed amphibious landings.  Yet, this was exactly
the task the Marine Corps was preparing for the 1930's as it
defined its wartime mission of seizing advanced bases for the
fleet.  Just as in the well-known adage that we study the last war
to learn to fight the next, so had Marine Corps Officers looked to
a historical precedent from which to form and evaluate conclusions
regarding the best means of performing this unfamiliar task.
Through this, a most unlikely union was made between early Marine
Corps amphibious doctrine and a British campaign of World War I
notorious for its failure - Gallipoli.  Although the Marine Corps
acknowledged its wartime mission of seizing advance bases for the
fleet as early as 1920, this mission was not formally assigned to
the Corps until the late 1920's.  Nor was the Marine Corps of the
1920's organized, equipped, or trained to support this unfamiliar
method of waging war.  It was not until 1930 that the focus of
instruction for Marine Officers shifted from Army doctrine and
techniques to that of a maritime orientation, and that training
began to stress the seizure of advance bases, rather than their
defense.  In 1933 the Fleet Marine Force was formed for employment
with the fleet, but the doctrine needed to support FMF training and
preparedness had not been developed.
CONCLUSION:    The Marine  Corps  Schools,  at  Marine  Barracks,
Quantico, Virginia was tasked to prepare the Corps' first manual
for landing operations.  Gallipoli had been used by the school in
previous years as the basis for research in landing operations, and
through this research instructors and students alike identified
many of the basic principles which formed the doctrinal framework
for the first landing force manual, and for today's amphibious
THESIS  STATEMENT.   The British experiences in the Gallipoli
campaign have had a significant, and lasting, impact on Marine
Corps amphibious doctrine.
I.   The Gallipoli Campaign
     A.  Strategic Background
     B.  The Naval Campaign
     C.  The Amphibious Assaults
II.  Early Critics - Conclusions and Lessons Learned
III. Changes to Marine Corps' Mission and Organization
     A.  Development of a Wartime Mission
     B.  Officer's Training - A Change in Focus
     C.  Creation of the FMF
IV.  Return to Gallipoli
     A.  Background - Choice of Gallipoli for Study
     B.  The Corps' Need for Doctrine
     C.  The Marine Corps School
         1.    Field Officers Course Curriculum of 1932 - 1933
         2.    Lectures
         3.    Student Committees - Reports and Conclusions
V.   Early Amphibious Doctrine
     A.  Preparation of the Tentative Manual for Landing Operations
     B.  Influence of Gallipoli
                           THE GALLIPOLI CONNECTION
     In 1934, the U. S. Marine Corps published its first manual for
landing operations.   The officers who were the authors of this
unique publication worked on committees to research and draft the
text of what would be the Marine Corps' first published guidance
on the conduct of amphibious operations.   Although these were
experienced  officers  with  shipboard  service  as  well  as
expeditionary duty, they had in common an absence of experience in
large-scale opposed amphibious landings. Yet, this was exactly the
task the Marine Corps was preparing for in the 1930's as it defined
its wartime mission of seizing advanced bases for the fleet.  Just
as in the well-known adage that we study the last war to learn to
fight the next, so had Marine Corps Officers looked to a historical
precedent from which to form and evaluate conclusions regarding the
best means of performing this unfamiliar task.  Through this, a
most unlikely union was made between early Marine Corps amphibious
doctrine and a British campaign of World War I notorious for its
failure - Gallipoli.
     Gallipoli is a rugged, largely barren peninsula, approximately
12 miles wide and 47 miles long.  The peninsula's strategic value
to the British in 1915 was its dominance of the Dardanelles
Straits, part of a narrow waterway that linked the Black Sea to the
Aegean Sea and Eastern Mediterranean.  (Map, Tab A)  The peninsula
was largely uninhabited and was defended by a series of coastal
forts  and  batteries  on  its  southern  edge  overlooking  the
     Great Britain had declared war on Turkey on October 31, 1914.
In January of 1915, the British decided to engage in a naval
campaign to force the Dardanelles, with the goals of diverting from
the Caucasus Turkish troops that were pressing the Russians, and
of giving the Russians access to the Mediterranean.   Although
British naval and army opinion of 1914 condemned an unsupported
naval attack on forts and guns mounted ashore, Winston Churchill,
First Lord of the Admiralty recommended,  and the War Council
approved, an ambitious plan to bombard Gallipoli and force the
Dardanelles with a purely naval attack.
     Optimistically anticipating that a forcing of the straits
would take four weeks, a force of British and French ships began
an attack on February 19, 1915.  The final phase of this naval
campaign ended on March 18th.  Of the 16 ships which began the
fight, three were sunk by mines, and three were badly disabled.
Although some damage was done to forts and guns,  overall the
Turkish defenses were materially stronger at the end of the
engagement than at the beginning, and Turkish morale had been given
a boost. (26:53)   The British Fleet remained in the Aegean, and
British officials had to face the prospect of dealing with what was
not only a most humiliating and poorly-timed loss of prestige, but
one which could have a damaging effect on the outcome of the war.
     During February, the British War Ministers decided to assemble
a military force in Egypt to support the attack, should it be
needed.  Sir Ian Hamilton commanded this expeditionary force, which
consisted of the 29th Division from England, a French division, and
the  "Anzac  Corps",  composed  of  Austrailian  and  New  Zealand
divisions.   Shortly following the failed attempt to force the
straits, the British War Ministers decided to commit this force.
Hamilton considered an immediate landing at Gallipoli with forces
then at his disposal, which would have taken advantage of the
elements of surprise and numerical superiority.  He abandoned the
idea for several reasons, to include the discovery that troop
transports from England had embarked without consideration of their
eventual tactical employment. The ships had been administratively,
rather than combat loaded, and thus would need to be reloaded.  The
nearest suitable naval base was in Egypt, so Hamilton sailed to
Alexandria to plan his campaign.
     Hamilton believed the mission of the army was to assist the
fleet in clearing passage through the Dardanelles.  His objective,
therefore, was to control the lower, or lesser end of the Gallipoli
Peninsula.  The subsequent plan involved a main attack by the 29th
Division and a secondary one by the Anzac Corps.  The missions of
the 29th Division and Anzac Corps were to cut Turkish lines of
communication and to capture the key terrain which dominated the
lesser peninsula. Simultaneously, a diversionary landing was to be
made by the French on the Asiatic side of the straits, and a naval
demonstration and feint landing at the Gulf of Saros near the
northern base of the peninsula.  (Map, Tab A)
     The Anzac Corps was the first to land on 25 April 1915.  Its
landing site was 13 miles north of the toe of the peninsula at Gaba
Tepe.  The first flotilla shoved off at approximately 0330, and
landed one half mile north of its intended landing site.   That
error placed the Anzac Corps on a narrow beach which was backed by
jutting cliffs.   The Anzacs landed under the fire of Turkish
artillery and machine guns.   Subsequent waves were delayed by
Turkish artillery and naval gunfire from a ship firing from across
the peninsula, as well as the time-consuming use of Anzac troop
transport craft to ferry wounded back to the ships.  By nightfall,
the exhausted Anzacs held a beachhead three fourths of a mile deep,
and one and one half miles wide.  Their movement inland had been
checked by the rugged, restrictive terrain, and by midnight the
Anzac Corps commander recommended to Hamilton that the Anzacs be
     The main attack landings occurred on a series of beaches
wrapping around the toe of the peninsula.  The 29th Division landed
at five separate beaches, designated "V", "W", "X", "Y", and "S".
(Map, Tab B)   Transports carried the men to the protection of
warships  assigned  to  cover  the  landings,  and  the  men  then
transferred to landing craft.  The principal landing craft used
were steam-powered launches or trawlers, which pulled a string of
cutters  or  other  small  craft.    Each  string  of  craft  was
collectively referred to as a tow.  The tows were slow, offered no
protection from fire, and were not themselves fitted with guns.
     The landings at some beaches were accomplished at dawn, while
at other sites landings were made in broad daylight.   Enemy
resistance ran the gamut from nonexistent to fierce, and naval
gunfire was employed with varying degrees of success to support the
landings.   At "W" Beach,  heavily-laden men had waded ashore,
encountering underwater barbed water entanglements and buried
torpedo heads, while the Turks fired from almost point blank range.
Battalions landing at "Y" Beach had encountered no resistance but
remained in the beachhead area throughout the day;  they were
detected and a Turkish force assembled and counterattacked them at
night.  The British force successfully resisted the attacks, yet
on the morning of the 26th they withdrew from "Y" Beach and
returned to their ships.
     The landing at "V" Beach is a remarkable story unto itself.
At approximately 0640, following over an hour-long bombardment by
naval gunfire, a covering force of 700 men in tows had met with
such heavy fire that the few unwounded men who made it ashore were
pinned to the beach, protected only by a low escarpment.   The
second wave of 2,500 men was conveyed aboard a converted collier,
the River Clyde.   The iron-sided River Clyde,  fitted with two
machine guns on her bow, had eight ports through which troops could
disembark.  The ship grounded further from shore than expected, so
lighters were aligned to form a bridge to the beach.  As the first
three companies of men crossed this makeshift bridge, it twice
drifted into deep water, isolating the unprotected men.  Of the
men who were not shot, many were drowned attempting to swim to
shore while weighted down by their ammunition and equipment.  Of
the first 1,000 men who had left the River Clyde, almost half were
killed or wounded before reaching the beach.  The men remaining on
the River Clyde went ashore at night, and surprisingly, were not
fired upon while landing.
     The preceding paragraphs provide only a brief account of the
initial landings involved in a very complex campaign.   General
Hamilton's forces remained on Gallipoli for an additional eight
months,  were reinforced,  and mounted a major,  but indecisive
offensive in August.  The men suffered horribly - the summer plague
of heat, dysentery, and flies was aggravated by a chronic lack of
water in some areas.  Winter found the men unprepared for the cold,
undersupplied, and still unable to break the now all-too-familiar
stalemate of trench warfare.   On October 15th,  Hamilton was
relieved, and by January 9th, 1916 the new commander had completed
a well-planned, successful withdrawal of all Allied forces.
     Whether viewed from a political or strategic perspective, or
as an infantry, naval, or amphibious operation, Gallipoli was a
critics smorgasbord offering everything from peaches to pickled
herring.  Politicians, military writers, and historians have all
had their say in either condemning, supporting, or laying blame for
what had taken place.   The debate has continued into the last
decade of the 20th Century.
     Hamilton, in his diary, made frequent references to the myriad
considerations he and his staff had pondered in planning the
landings at Gallipoli.  Chief among them were the need for tactical
surprise, a sufficient number of landing craft (preferably ones
with iron sides  to offer protection from gunfire),  adequate
ammunition and equipment, and accurate, continuing intelligence
regarding the Turkish dispositions on the peninsula.  Despite this,
the amphibious assaults of April 25th were later viewed by many
critics as having been executed in almost total disregard of
Hamilton's own analysis of what the situation demanded.   Other
writers, in critiquing both the amphibious and land campaigns,
looked beyond military decisions and activities, and would lay
blame for the disastrous results at the feet of the British
Government for having treated Gallipoli as a mere aside to the
western front.  As a result of the government's attitude resources
had  not  been objectively allocated,  resulting  in  oftentimes
crippling shortages in essential supplies, particularly ammunition.
     Major General Sir C.  E.  Callwell,  Director of Military
Operations at the British War Office, viewed Gallipoli from another
perspective.  In 1919 he would write of the fated campaign, "The
Dardanelles  operations  were  indeed  charged  throughout  with
instruction for the thinker on the methods of war."  (17:346)
Callwell  provided  many  forward-looking  conclusions  regarding
amphibious landings in his book, Campaigns and Their Lessons.  On
opposed landings he would write,
     there are many localities which from the topographical
     point of view favour disembarkation and which the enemy
     will in consequence presumably feel obliged to guard, it
     may always be worth while to reject them all and to try
     instead at some point which is not in itself by any means
     attractive  as  a  landing-place.  ...what  a  desperate
     venture a landing in defiance of determined resistance
     is under the tactical conditions of to-day.  That class
     of undertaking is one to be avoided at almost any cost.
     Callwell called the effect of naval gunfire "disappointing",
yet not one which should have surprised experienced officers.  He
concluded that although "fire should be maintained up till the very
last moment, so that the defenders dare not show their heads"
warships did not have the proper type of ordnance to destroy
earthworks and provide cover for landing forces.   He added that
even with the proper ordnance,  it could not have been used
effectively from a moving platform. (17:74,75)  On the employment
of supporting artillery and naval gunfire, Callwell noted that
there had been "ample discussion as to the virtues of cooperation
between guns and infantry", but that "the practical methods of
arriving at the desired end had not be grappled with." (17:340)
He recommended sending observation parties ashore to act as forward
observers for naval gunfire.  To overcome the problem of inaccuracy
in indirect artillery fire when observers could not communicate
with batteries,  he stated that the only means of  "obtaining
edifying results are to be found in aerial observation, if that be
practicable." (17:340) With regard to the future role of aircraft,
he offered this conservative assessment:  "Aeronautics introduce
new factors into operations of war, and there is reason to suppose
that they will in the future exert considerable influence over
amphibious contests." (17:341, 342)
     Callwell felt the use of the River Clyde demonstrated the
advisability of using large, specially-fitted landing craft.  The
many casualties which occurred during the daylight opposed landing
at "W" Beach led him to conclude that "running a ship full of
soldiers ashore may prove to be an excellent way of effecting a
landing if the entire operation be carried out at night.  There
are,  however,  obvious nautical objections to adopting such a
procedure."  (17: 83,84) Sir Julian Corbett, in his account of the
naval operations at Gallipoli, would note that the navigational
problems encountered in landing the Anzac Corps supported the
wisdom of the naval decision not to attempt the main landings of
the 29th Division in the dark.  (19:v.2, 321, 322)
     Callwell  also  stated  that Gallipoli  demonstrated   the
importance  of  speed  in opposed  landings.    He  stressed  the
importance of planning "with a view to getting a maximum number of
troops ashore at the start in a minimum period of time." (17:101)
    The consensus among other writers was that the British forces
at Gallipoli could have successfully engaged in the large-scale
amphibious operations required by the situation, and could have
accomplished opposed landings with acceptable casualty rates, had
there been realistic, detailed planning at all levels and the
allocation of suitable, and sufficient, resources from beginning
to end.  The near-ideal conditions described by these writers as
prerequisites for successful amphibious operations could not have
been created in April of 1915, however, if for no other reason than
the expedition's complete absence of operational and tactical
surprise.   The need for effective naval gunfire to cover the
landing forces and destroy obstacles, for swift landing craft which
offered men protection from fire, for craft sizable enough for the
assault to benefit from the quick massing of landing forces, and
for  the  means  to  readily  bring  ashore  portable  artillery,
equipment, and  huge quantities of consumable supplies, was not
within the technological, industrial, or logistical capabilities
of the British or their allies.  The formula for success described
by so many had yet to make it beyond the laboratory.
     The British experiences in the Gallipoli campaign have had a
significant,  and  lasting,  impact  on Marine Corps  amphibious
doctrine.  The agency which would form a link in the 1930's between
the events and lessons learned at Gallipoli and Marine Corps
amphibious doctrine, which as of yet was undeveloped, was the
Marine Corps Schools at Marine Barracks, Quantico, Virginia.  The
impetus to develop, teach, and give form to Marine Corps amphibious
doctrine was twofold:   the newly-formalized role of the Marine
Corps, and an awareness of the type of warfare which would arise
in the Pacific if the U. S. went to war with Japan.
     The Marine Corps' role in the wartime mission of securing
advance naval bases, and in fully recognizing and preparing for the
amphibious, as well as the defensive nature of such operations, had
evolved gradually throughout the early 1900's.  In 1900, the Marine
Corps had been given the mission of seizing advance bases by the
Navy's General Board.  For the next three decades the Marine Corps
suffered from manpower shortages which were aggravated by the
oftentimes conflicting missions of providing ship's detachments,
guarding overseas naval facilities, and the assignment of forces
to the Philippines, Cuba, Panama, Nicaragua, the Dominican Republic
and China.  Because of the Marine Corps' experience in these "small
wars", Congress, the Navy Department, and some Marine Officers had
come to view military intervention as the Corps' primary mission.
(25:261)   This,  and a chronic shortage of equipment,  had all
detracted from the establishment of a permanent advanced base
force, trained and ready for deployment with the fleet.
     In testimony before the House Naval Committee on March 1st,
1920, Major General Commandant John A. Lejeune set forth his views
on the principal wartime mission and roles of the Marine Corps.
Lejeune stated that the Marine Corps would supply expeditionary
forces for service with the fleet, responsible for the seizure,
occupation, fortification, and defense of advance naval bases.  He
emphasized that preparedness for amphibious war was of primary
concern to the Corps, and could be accomplished by the proper
peacetime maintaining, equipping, and training of its expeditionary
force. (24:1,2)  At this time, these forces were not a permanent,
institutionalized component of the fleet, nor were they under the
operational control of a fleet commander.
     In order to correct or eliminate disharmony among the services
regarding their respective wartime missions, the War Department and
the Navy Department formulated a policy to govern joint operations.
Issued in 1927 by the Joint Board of the Army and Navy,  the
directive was entitled Army - Navy Joint Action, and it stated that
the Marine Corps would be given responsibility for the seizure of
advance naval bases, and special training in the conduct of landing
operations.   By 1929,  the special role of the Marine Corps,
recognized by both the Army and the Navy, was to provide a small,
well-trained amphibious assault force to seize and occupy overseas
bases for fleet operations. (23:28)
     The identification and eventual formalization of this role
during the 1920's did not lead toward the quick resolution of the
many problems already known to be involved in even unopposed
amphibious operations.  During that decade, officers at the Marine
Corps Schools received instruction based upon Army organization
and doctrine.   It was not until 1926 that the school gradually
incorporated subjects related to landing operations.  In addition
to  classes  on  Army  infantry  operations  and  a  new  overseas
expeditionary course, officers during the 1926-1927 academic year
studied animal management, equitation, and pack transportation.
This instruction reflected the state of technological development,
the non-availability of mechanical transport,  and the Corps'
experience in "small wars".  Not until the 1930's would there be
a major shift to a maritime orientation. (16:16,17)  So, along with
problems as practical as those of unsuitable and inadequate landing
craft, the Marine Corps entered the 1930's improperly trained,
organized, and equipped to support the complex, offensive, and
specialized requirements of amphibious assaults.
     Major General John H. Russell, the Assistant Commandant of the
Marine Corps, studied a concept for the creation of an organization
to better support the Marine Corps'  mission with the fleet.
Russell recognized that a body of Marines would have to be
permanently attached to the fleet; otherwise, training in advance
base work would be continually interrupted by the detachment of
units for other purposes.  In 1933 he recommended to the Commandant
that the old "Expeditionary Force" be discontinued, and that a new
body be formed.   Called the Fleet Marine Force (FMF),  it was
organized to be a quickly-mobilized, striking force for tactical
employment by the U. S. Fleet.  The FMF concept was accepted by the
Commandant and the Navy Department, and was formally established
in December of 1933. (23:33, 34)  The creation of the FMF was a
major step in the Marine Corps' commitment to its wartime mission.
With it had evolved a change in the nature and emphasis of the
formal instruction being provided at the Marine Corps Schools,
where the courses of instruction began to stress the seizure of
advance naval bases, rather than the defense of such facilities.
(16:24)  An equally important step, following on the heels of this
change in training, was the preparation of a  manual for landing
operations to document the concepts and techniques needed to govern
this now "specialized", largely unfamiliar way of waging war.
                              RETURN TO GALLIPOLI
      In the above  (Gallipoli)  campaign,  we have at our
     disposal the results of actual experience in the planning
     and conduct of overseas operations; experience that can
     become our own through the medium of study. (11:15)
      It is ironic that the Gallipoli Campaign, considered by so
many to have been a costly political, strategic, and operational
debacle,  should serve as a case study for Marine Officers at
Quantico, yet the 20th century had little else to offer.  In World
War I,  American troops,  to include Marines,  had debarked at
friendly ports and had traveled to the front by rail and road with
relative ease. (23:v)  Marines serving on expeditionary duty had
landed in Nicaragua, Mexico, and Haiti, but large-scale, opposed
landings were, by American experience, in the realm of the unknown.
The Marine Corps' participation in fleet exercises at Culebra, a
small island near Puerto Rico, had taught the Marine Corps many
practical lessons regarding weapons, landing craft, combat loading
of vessels, ground transportation, and the value of aircraft.
These exercises now provided an added impetus for greater effort
to solve the problems involved in amphibious operations, as they
reinforced the fact that neither the Navy nor Marine Corps were
prepared to successfully carry out these demanding operations.
     Recognition  of  Gallipoli's  uniqueness,  as  well  as  its
relevance, was expressed in 1922 by Commander L. W. Townsend, U.
S. Navy, during a lecture delivered to students at the Marine Corps
Schools when he stated that "it is the only combined or amphibious
operation of that war which corresponds in any degree to the
conduct of an overseas campaign which our own country might some
day be obliged to conduct against a distant enemy." (11:1)  This
same rationale for the study of Gallipoli constantly appears in
both the lectures and literature presented to and prepared by
officers at the school in the 1920's and 1930's.
     The formal study of Gallipoli at the Marine Corps Schools, and
the importance the Marine Corps placed on the familiarity of
officers with the campaign, is evidenced by the curriculum of 1932-
1933.  Instruction Memorandum Number 10, issued by the Marine Corps
Schools, directed that the officers attending the Field Officers
Course participate in a month-long study of Gallipoli.  This study
formed an important part of the background in research on the
subject of landing operations at the school.  (18:99)  The course
consisted of a series of five lectures delivered by members of the
school staff, and research work performed by student committees.
Worthy of special note was the school's rationale in assigning
students their research:  "The purpose of assigning work to student
committees is to acquaint the students with the Gallipoli Campaign:
to train them in military research; and to provide the Schools and
through them the Marine Corps with material of value on a campaign
which is in many respects of the type we are expected to be experts
in." (4:2)    The school decided that only those features which
differentiated Gallipoli  from purely land campaigns would be
studied by members of the class.  (10: 1)
     Lieutenant Colonel E. W. Sturdevant,  who had been tasked to
prepare and conduct the Gallipoli Course, delivered lectures on the
events leading up to the campaign, General Hamilton's plans of
attack in April and August of 1915, the Turkish plan of defense,
and a final lecture on command and leadership at Gallipoli.  At the
request of officers who had attended the previous year's Gallipoli
Course, an additional presentation on air operations was added in
1933.  Navy Officers gave classes on naval activities and medical
care.  The majority of the student's time was spent researching and
preparing one of the six committee reports on Gallipoli for formal
presentation to the school staff and student body.  Upon completion
of the course, Lieutenant Colonel Sturdevant, in a letter to the
Commandant,  Marine Corps Schools voiced the opinion that the
Gallipoli Campaign should be studied every year by the Field
Officer's Class as well as by the Company Officer's Class. (10:2)
     The guidance given by the school to students for their study
of Gallipoli, and the content of the reports they prepared clearly
indicates that these Gallipoli studies were not a critique of
British strategy or tactics; rather, the focus was of another
nature - if such an operation had to be undertaken, what must be
done to make it successful.  The Marine Corps' wartime mission now
required preparedness for the amphibious phases of seizing advance
bases  for  the  Navy,  by  assault  if  necessary.    The  future
requirement for American forces to engage in such operations in the
Pacific, should the war with Japan come, was considered inevitable.
As Colonel E. B. Miller, Assistant Commandant of the Marine Corps
Schools would write in September of 1932 regarding the Marine Corps
need to get on with the process of preparing for amphibious
     The most recent, and comprehensive publication on amphibious
operations available to the Marine Corps in early 1933 was the
Joint Overseas Expedition Manual, 1933,  a 43-page publication from
the Joint Army-Navy Board.  The manual's purpose was  "to present
a set of general principles for the planning and conduct of joint
overseas  expeditions  in order  to  insure  the  most  effective
cooperation and coordination between Army and Navy forces. . ."
(12:1)  Although the pamphlet dealt with joint operations and was
not oriented toward the offensive phase of amphibious operations,
it  did  provide  general  guidelines  for  the  division  of
responsibility between the Navy and landing forces, it identified
areas which required close coordination and the preparation of
service  and  joint  plans,  and  it provided a base of  common
     The pamphlet also illustrated the novelty of amphibious
operations, and the inexperience of U. S. naval and ground forces
in their conduct.  The portion devoted to training would hardly
have inspired confidence in the readiness of America's armed forces
to face the threat of the Japanese, as it read:
      Joint Training.    The difficulties of landing on a
     hostile  shore  from  small  boats,  heavily encumbered
     troops, most of whom have had little or no experience
     with the sea, and the unfamiliarity of the Navy with
     attack of land objectives, and with firing over friendly
     troops, make it necessary that as much preliminary joint
     training be carried out as time permits. (12:13)
If ever there was an understatement, or a more appropriately-timed
illustration of the Marine Corps need to study, in detail, the
unique requirements of amphibious operations,  it had yet to
surface.   The Marine Corps recognized that it was without the
amphibious  doctrine  to  support  training,  and  to  guide  the
development of techniques to implement it.
     The Gallipoli Studies of 1933 were the result of the combined
effort of students from the rank of lieutenant through major.  The
report of Committee I, Naval Activities, emphasized the need for
nearby advance bases, properly prepared with ship's maintenance,
supply, and hospital facilities to support naval and amphibious
operations.  The combat loading of vessels, focused upon a landing
force's tactical employment upon debarkation,  was covered in
detail, as was the need to deploy in a manner that would minimize
fatigue and stress on combat troops.  Landing forces at Gallipoli
often had little or no sleep for two nights, and had been cramped
into small craft for over two hours prior to their landing,
oftentimes  not  knowing  their  destination  or  mission.    This
condition strained morale to the breaking point,  and led the
committee to conclude, "In future operations of this nature our
navy must provide a plan that will eliminate such conditions and
insure reasonably rapid, as well as sure, transportation."
(3:Rpt. I, 13)
     Committee  I  also  identified  the  need  for  a  method  of
navigation to support night landings, stating that the landings at
"V" and "W" beaches proved that a daylight attempt against beaches
known to be well-prepared for defense was apt to end in failure.
The committee concluded that night landings could be conducted
simultaneously if the Navy had control of sea approaches to the
shore line, had ample time to perform reconnaissance on landing
sites,  had the  support of navigational  aids,  and had naval
effective naval gunfire support. (3:Rpt I, 22, 23)
     Committee II prepared a report entitled Landings and Turkish
Defense.  Its conclusions included the following:  that mobile land
artillery must be available to augment naval gunfire support; that
diversions were valuable, but must be realistic to be effective;
that the proper care and evacuation of casualties must be arranged;
and  that  commanders  must  avoid  underestimating  the  fighting
qualities of the enemy. (3:Rpt II, 35)
     Signal Communications, the report prepared by Committee III,
identified the need for duplicity in communications and commented
on the lack of picket boats available at Gallipoli to carry urgent
messages when other means failed.  To help overcome command and
control problems, the committee recommended the use of a ship
equipped with wireless and visual signal equipment to serve as the
temporary headquarters of a landing force commander.  This ship's
primary mission would be to support the commander, rather than that
of providing naval gunfire support.   Also recommended was the
establishment of beach communications stations,  with trained,
responsible individuals in charge.  Committee III concluded that
"...the spotting of ships' gun fire, and the communication of
corrections to the firing ship, should have been in charge of a
Naval Spotting and communications group,  put ashore from the
supporting ship with the first or second wave." (3:Rpt. III, 24)
       The committee also considered the problem of liaison between
commanders while on the offensive, and referred to recommendations
made in 1923 by a regimental officer with the Lancashire Fusiliers
who  served  at  Gallipoli.      The  officer  had  suggested  the
designation of prearranged,  progressively located coordination
points for use by commanders to establish liaison and receive and
send messages laterally and to superior and subordinate commanders.
Committee III concurred in the conclusion that such a system would
result in greater cohesion, and after dark, greater confidence.
(3:Rpt. III, 22)
     The report of Committee IV, Naval Gun Fire, is unfortunately
not available for review, but other reports and lectures of the
time make reference to an article written by Navy Lieutenant Walter
C. Ansel in 1932, Naval Gunfire in Support of Landings - Lessons
From Gallipoli.  Ansel concluded that armored ships, which would
give guns a self-propelled platform, protect the crew, and keep an
ammunition supply close at hand were needed to provide the close-
in support needed to protect troops in opposed landings.  (14:1008)
     Committee V, Intelligence, emphasized the need for adequate
reconnaissance, particularly by air, for adequate communication
facilities for passing that intelligence, and for accurate as well
as current intelligence to reach the right person if it was to be
of any value.  The committee also provided this recommendation,
which has stood the test of time:
     Landing  Operations  require  a  higher  percentage  of
     officers, due to casualties, than most other operations.
     All officers should be fully acquainted with the orders
     of at least their next higher commanding officer in order
     to be able to perform their commanding officer's tasks
     if necessary. (3:Rpt. V, 34)
     Services of Supply, prepared by Committee VI, was a lengthy
report  which  identified  in  detail  the  many  supply  and
transportation problems encountered at Gallipoli, and it provided
an analysis of the sources of the problems.   The committee's
careful review revealed many logistical issues which could become
problems of nightmarish proportions if disregarded.  The report
emphasized  the  importance of  detailed,  advance  planning,  of
cooperation between units supplying the operation, and of the need
for continuous contact between officers in tactical command and
their logistical staffs. (8:7)  The report concluded that
"All combined operations of Navy and Marine Corps should be
committed  to  prior  study,  planning  and  preparation  and  as
opportunity offers subjected to the acid test of practicability by
utilization in maneuvers and operations" (3:Rpt. VI, 19)  Here,
obviously, was a complex issue that was indeed in need of closer
scrutiny by the Navy and Marine Corps.
     The quality and timelessness of many of the conclusions
developed by students  and school  faculty in their  study of
Gallipoli were discussed in a report prepared by Mr. W. H. Russell,
Professor of Naval and Military History at the U S. Naval Academy.
In 1951, Mr. Russell conducted a two-month study which had as an
objective the identification of material bearing on the development
of amphibious doctrine. (27)  He prepared a 17-page compendium of
the material which influenced the pre-1935 development of doctrine.
Over half of this compendium consisted of material which dealt with
Gallipoli.  It included summaries of the school's formal lectures
on the campaign and the student committee reports on Gallipoli.
He referred to the student's conclusions as surprisingly modern and
correct;  this  was  a  significant  analysis  considering  those
conclusions had been put to the test in World War II.  Russell also
referred to Lieutenant Colonel Studevant's 1933 presentation on
command and leadership at Gallipoli as being,  "Particularly strong
in its commentary on command doctrine, and the aggressive command
required by the amphibious operation." (8:Encl. B, 4)
     Sturdevant was indeed strong in his criticism of the command
and leadership problems found at Gallipoli, and he presented this
somewhat dramatic expression of his views:
     Did we still believe in magic and witchcraft, it would
     be easy to think that some evil genius had thrown a spell
     over Hamilton's force, so that whenever the enemy made
     a misstep, a British officer counter balanced it with a
     worse one; whenever the door to victory was open, a
     strange paralysis seized upon the wills of the British
     leaders and prevented them from marching through. (9:19)
Sturdevant's lecture stressed the importance of unity of command,
stating that although Gallipoli was not a solitary example of
divided  control,  it  stood out because  the  results were  so
disastrous.  When to move the command and control of a landing
force  ashore,   particularly  when    hampered   by   a  lack   of
communications,  was also an   issue   presented  to  students  for
consideration. As an example of this problem, Sturdevant described
the situation which arose during the landings of the covering
forces at "V", "W", and "X" Beaches.  The commander of the covering
forces landed with the first wave at "W" Beach, out of sight and
communication with the other two beaches. When he was subsequently
wounded, the command technically shifted to an officer at "X" Beach
who was never aware that he had been in command until he himself
was wounded and evacuated. (9:4, 5)  Of the need to balance the
thoroughness,   accuracy,  and  timeliness  of  orders  issued  to
subordinates   with  the  need  to  maintain  secrecy,  Sturdevant
concluded, "The moral to be drawn may perhaps be phrased thus:  In
landing operations, as elsewhere, it is more important that your
own forces understand your plans than that the enemy be kept in
ignorance of them." (9:9)
     The development of the Corp's amphibious doctrine took its
next significant step in late 1933.  Classes at the Marine Corps
Schools were suspended and students and staff merged to form into
committees to study landing operations and prepare a doctrinal
manual on landing operations. (16: 22)  The Tentative Manual for
Landing Operations (TMLO) was published by the Marine Corps Schools
in 1934 for use within the Marine Corps.  This manual served as the
basis for later editions which were distributed throughout the Navy
as well as outside agencies.
     There are many experiences, events, and people which have
shaped the Marine Corps' amphibious doctrine.  Conflicts of the
last half-century have provided a wealth of valuable lessons; when
coupled with the dramatic technological changes of the same period,
their profound effect on the doctrine, techniques, and equipment
of the Marine Corps are obvious.  It was through the study and
research performed at the Marine Corps Schools in the early 1930's,
however, that the Corps' developed many of the basic principles
which  form  the  doctrinal  framework  for  today's  amphibious
operations.   Gallipoli had served as the basis for research on
amphibious landings at the school in 1932 and 1933.  As described
by Brigadier General Edwin Simmons in his history of the Marine
Corps,  "less colorful Marines were analyzing the mistakes of
Gallipoli and identifying the bare bones of a viable amphibious
doctrine." (28:126)
     The emphasis the Marine Corps placed on the study of this
unfortunate campaign, as well as its relevance to the operations
for which the Marine Corps was preparing in the 1930's, undoubtedly
left their mark on the minds of many officers.   The ideas,
conclusions,  and techniques these officers developed as they
prepared the TMLO, it's subsequent editions, and as the Corps'
continued the task of developing the landing craft, weapons, and
equipment needed for amphibious operations were influenced by many
factors.   Significant among them was the opportunity Gallipoli
provided to learn from the mistakes and misfortune of the British.
Click here to view image
1. Farmar, H. M., LtCol, C.M.C., D.S.O. "Gallipoli Campaign, 1915,
     From the Point of View of a Regimental Officer."  Reprinted
     from Journal of the Royal United Service Institution, Vol. 68
     (Feb. - Nov. 1923)
2. Marine Corps Schools.   "Conference Notes from Landing Force
     Manual Committee Meeting of January 1934."  Quantico, 1934.
3. Marine Corps Schools.   "Gallipoli Studies of April,  1933."
     Reports of Committees I, II, III, V, and VI.
4. Marine Corps Schools.   Instruction Memorandum Number 10 (For
     Study of the Gallipoli Campaign (MH-2)).  Quantico, 1933.
5. Marine Corps Schools.  Tentative Manual for Landing Operations.
     Quantico: Marine Corps Schools, 1934.
6. Miller, Ellis B., Col., USMC.  Letter to Col. R. M. Cutts, Naval
     War College, of September 26, 1932.
7. Miller, Ellis B., Col., USMC.  The Marine Cords in Support of
     the Fleet.  Quantico: Marine Corps Schools, 1933.
8. Russell, W. H.  Letter to CMC, Subj: Report of Compliance With
     CMC Letter CAA-49-hey/ser. #66 of 25 May 51.  Microfilm.
9. Sturdevant, E. W., LtCol., USMC.   "Command and Leadership at
     Gallipoli."   Lecture delivered at Marine Corps Schools on
     March 22, 1933.
10.  Sturdevant, E. W., LtCol, USMC.   Letter to The Commandant,
     Marine Corps Schools, Subj:  Report on Gallipoli Course,
     April 20, 1933.
ll.  Townsend,  L. W.,  Cdr., USN.   "The Dardanelles Campaign."
     Lecture delivered at Marine Corps Schools, printed March 9,
12.  U. S. Joint Army - Navy Board.  Joint Overseas Expeditions.
     Wash. D. C.: U. S. Government Printing Office, 1933.
13.  Ashmead-Bartlett, E.   The Uncensored Dardanelles.   London:
     Hutchinson & Co., Ltd., 1928.
14.  Ansel, Walter C., Lt, USN.   "Naval Gunfire in Support of
     Landings:  Lessons from Gallipoli."   U. S. Naval Institute
     Proceedings, (July 1932), 1001-1010.
15.  Aspinall-Oglander, C. F., BGen, C.B., C.M.G., D.S.0.  Military
     Operations - Gallipoli, Vol. I, II.  London: William Heinemann
     Ltd., 1929, 1932.
16.  Bittner, Donald F., LtCol, USMCR (Ret).  Curriculum Evolution
     Marine Corps Command and Staff College 1920 - 1988.
     Wash, D. C.: History and Museums Division, HQ, USMC, 1988.
17.  Callwell, MGen Sir C. E., K C.B.,  Campaigns and Their Lessons
     The Dardanelles.  New York:  Houghton Mifflin Co., 1919.
18.  Clifford, Kenneth J., Col, USMCR (Ret).  Amphibious Warfare
     Development in Britain and America From 1920-1940.  New York:
     Edgewood, Inc., 1983.
19.  Corbett, Sir Julian S.  Official History of the War - Naval
     Operations, Vol. II.  New York: Longmans, Green and Co., 1921.
20.  Cosmas, G. A., and J. Shulimson.  "The Culebra Maneuver and
     the Formation of the U. S. Marine Corps's Advance Base Force,
     1913-1914."  Assault From the Sea, 121-132.  Annapolis: Naval
     Institute Press, 1983.
21.  Dardanelles Commission.  First Report.  London: His Majesty's
     Stationary Office,  1917.
22.  Hamilton, Sir Ian, Gen, G.C.B.    Gallipoli Diary.   London:
     Edward Arnold, 1920.
23.  Isely, Jetter A., and Philip A. Crowl.  The U. S. Marines and
     Amphibious War.  Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1951.
24. Lejeune, John A., Major General Commandant, USMC.  "The Mission
     of the Marine Corps."  Army and Navy Register (March 1920),
25. Millett, Allan R.  Semper Fidelis - The History of the United
     States Marine Corps.    New York: Macmillan Publishing Co.,
     Inc., 1980.
26. Puleston, V. D., Capt, USN.  The Dardanelles Expedition - A
     Condensed Study.  Annapolis: U. S. Naval Institute, 1926.
27. Russell, W. H., Professor of Naval and Military History, U. S.
     Naval Academy  1946 - 1973.  Telephone interview of March 6,
     1990, concerning Gallipoli and amphibious doctrine.
28. Simmons, Edwin H., BGen, USMC (Ret).  The United States Marines
     The First Two Hundred Years 1775-1975.  New York: The Viking
     Press, 1974.
29.  Underwood, H. W., LCdr., USN., ed.  "Notes on the Dardanelles
     Campaign of 1915."  U. S. Naval Institute Proceedings, (June
     1925), 1027-1056.
30.  Wester-Wemyss,  Lord R.  E., Adm, G.C.B.   The Navy in the
     Dardanelles Campaign.  London: Hodder and Stoughton, 1924.

Join the mailing list