On April 19, 1915 combined British and French forces attempted to open a passage through the Turkish controlled straits known as the Dardanelles. Subsequently, on April 25, 1915, allied forces conducted an amphibious assault - the largest ever attempted at the time - along several beachheads of the Gallipoli peninsula.The goal was to capture the western side of the straits by land and neutralize the Turkish defenses preventing the navies advance. The larger purpose was to capture Constantinople and thereby open a sea route to the Entente's beleaguered third member, Russia. The resulting operations would become known as one of the greatest disasters in British military history. Ironically, it would also become a defining moment for the young nations of Australia and New Zealand, whose forces, collectively know as ANZAC's, would feature prominently in the ensuing months of trench warfare along the coast of Gallipoli.