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BABY 700 CEMETERY & MESUDİYE TOPU

A Historic Journey Through Sacrifice and Remembrance on the Gallipoli Peninsula
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Baby 700 Cemetery & Mesudiye Topu  is  located approximately 300 meters uphill from the road to The Nek on the Gallipoli Peninsula in Turkey, the Baby 700 Cemetery is a poignant World War I Commonwealth War Graves Commission site. Nearby, visitors can also find the historic Ottoman cannon known as the Mesudiye Topu. This cemetery commemorates the soldiers who lost their lives during the Gallipoli campaign, specifically those who perished on 25 April 1915, the first day of the Allied landings.

Historical Significance

The Gallipoli campaign was a crucial eight-month operation in 1915, during which Commonwealth and French forces aimed to force Turkey out of the war. This strategic effort sought to relieve the stalemate on the Western Front and establish a supply route to Russia through the Dardanelles and the Black Sea. Baby 700 was the furthest point reached by the initial Allied attacks and became a significant battleground throughout the campaign.

Nomenclature

The name “Baby 700” emerged from Allied cartographic notes. One of the hills in the Sari Bair range was identified as being 700 feet above sea level, with a smaller circle marking its summit. Another nearby hill, also 700 feet high, was marked with a larger circle. These annotations led to the hills being named Baby 700 and Big 700, respectively, by Commonwealth forces. While Baby 700 retained its name throughout the campaign, Big 700 was later renamed Battleship Hill.

The Gallipoli Campaign

On 25 April 1915, the 3rd Australian Brigade landed at Anzac Cove and initially secured the summit of Baby 700. However, they were driven off in a fierce Turkish counterattack later that afternoon. Despite several attempts to reclaim the hill, including major assaults on 2 May and 7 August, it remained under Turkish control for the remainder of the campaign.

Cemetery Construction

The Baby 700 Cemetery was established in 1919, following the end of World War I. The remains of soldiers recovered from the surrounding battlefield were interred here, creating a lasting memorial to those who fell. Among the 449 unidentified burials, special memorials honor ten Australian soldiers who are believed to be buried in the cemetery.

Mesudiye Topu

Adjacent to the cemetery stands the Mesudiye Topu, an Ottoman cannon that serves as a reminder of the fierce battles fought in this region. The cannon is a symbol of the resilience and defense mounted by Turkish forces during the Gallipoli campaign.

Visiting Baby 700 Cemetery

Visitors to Baby 700 Cemetery and the Mesudiye Topu can reflect on the sacrifices made by the soldiers during one of World War I’s most significant and challenging campaigns. The site offers a serene and somber environment for remembrance and historical contemplation, set against the backdrop of the picturesque yet rugged landscape of the Gallipoli Peninsula.


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