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Occupation of Lemnos

Updated: Feb 3, 2022

Unit/ Formation: Royal Marines

Location: Lemnos

Period/ Conflict: World War I

Year: 1915

Date/s: 23rd February 1915

The Island of Lemnos in the northern part of the Aegean Sea was occupied by Royal Marines. During World War I, in early 1915, the Allies used the island to try to capture the Dardanelles Straits, some 50 kilometres (31 miles) away.

This was done chiefly by the British and largely due to the urging of Winston Churchill.

The harbour at Moudros was put under the control of British Admiral Rosslyn Wemyss, who was ordered to prepare the then largely unused harbour for operations against the Dardanelles. The harbour was broad enough for British and French warships, but lacked suitable military facilities, which was recognized early on.

Troops intended for Gallipoli had to train in Egypt, and the port found it difficult to cope with casualties of the ill-starred Gallipoli campaign.

The campaign was called off in evident failure at the close of 1915. Moudros' importance receded, although it remained the Allied base for the blockade of the Dardanelles during the war.

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