After the disastrous naval attack on the Dardanelles on 18 March, it was rapidly decided that a land assault would be necessary to capture the straits. The task was charged to the Mediterranean Expeditionary Force (MEF), which sailed from Alexandria on 22 March accompanied by the Anzacs, a corps of Australian and New Zealand troops. Landings were effected on 25 April, the MEF at five points round Cape Helles at the northern tip of the mouth of the straits, the Anzacs further up the Aegean coast. At the Cape three landings were achieved relatively unscathed, but those near Sedd-el-Bahr fort were subjected to withering fires and incurred massive casualties. Meanwhile the Anzacs reached shore but were hemmed in by cliffs. For three months, despite the arrival of reinforcements from Egypt, the defenders repulsed repeated Allied assaults. The situation stagnated into trench warfare, with opposing lines outside the village of Krithia.
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