Here is a series of photos of the French forces sent to the Dardanelles from Tony Langley's collection:
|Colonial Troops Shortly After Arrival|
It is often forgotten that the French made a major contribution at Gallipoli. On the first day of the landings their forces sent to capture Kumkale on the Asian side were the only troops to accomplish their objective on 25 April 1915. When moved across the straits they held down a good part of the Allied right flank at Helles (approximately one-fourth of the Helles line) through the fall of 1915. They were, however, considered something of a weak link until placed under the command of General Henri Gouraud, a future "Western Front star," who arrived in May. It was Gouraud who organized the limited, but impressive, advance by French units on 21 June.
The sacrifice of the 42,000 metropolitan and colonial French soldiers who served at Gallipoli is honored at a cemetery and memorial above S Beach where there are over 2,000 graves and four ossuaries, each with the skeletal remains of 3,000 men.