Truth, Understanding, Insight

ANZAC Day: The sacrifice at Gallipoli

16th April 2011, hej


4) Providence in the Middle East Campaigns of WW1

The prophet Daniel said his God, Yahweh, rules in the Kingdoms of men (Daniel 4:17). History reveals a number of providential layers, indicating the whole situation was carefully controlled to lead to Israel's restoration. God did not make people make the decisions, rather He made it hard when the action was not in the direction intended.

The reason why the Ottoman Turks entered the war shows providence. Winston Churchill took back from Turkey two battleships the British had made as they thought they needed them to fight the Germans, and the Germans seized the advantage and gave the Turks two of their battleships. The Turks ended up on the German side. That Britain should fight the Turks to support Russia is really odd, as it was only 50 years before that the British were supporting the Turks as a buffer against Russian expansion.

In a bold move to use their warships Britain decided that it was in their interest to “push at” the Ottoman Turks to take Constantinople (Istanbul) to get through to aid Russia who was fighting Germany. They had no desire at all to go and take Palestine. In fact Palestine and Syria were to be France's. At this time Russia was a very unlikely ally, and in fact was only an ally due to a mutual suspicion of Germany. So naturally the Dardanelles is selected, as the aim was to take Constantinople. However, an unfavourable current takes the British forces to the wrong spot and the Ottoman resistance was remarkable. Ottoman Turkish casualties were much higher than those of Britain and the ANZACs. It must be concluded that they were strengthened, to prevent a breach in defence. Britain was not allowed to advance toward Constantinople.

Then the action at Gallipoli led to a more confident Ottoman Turkey which supported a German led attack against the British in the Suez in Egypt. The British lost ground and had heavy casualties. This forced the British to re-deploy ANZACs to take on a defensive battle for British self interest in the Suez.

And it just so happened that both in Britain and the ANZAC nations leadership there was a strong protestant evangelical influence that supported the push for Jerusalem. This would lead to the Balfour declaration which declared support for a Jewish homeland.

And as the Arabs were hanging back due to the successful Ottoman resistance, it was seen as good policy in 1916 to achieve the support of the Jewish Zionists. Jewish men were volunteering and had fought well at Gallipoli in 1915.

Then the government in Britain changed. It is possible the defeat at Gallipoli was a factor in Asquith's defeat in the election. If so, it was significant, as with Lloyd George as Prime Minister and Balfour in government the defensive war in the Suez became an offensive war in the Sinai directed towards Palestine. Due to France being bogged down on the Western Front, Britain had the opportunity to take the leading role in Palestine.

After the first British victories in this Sinai campaign the Arabs shifted sides and revolted against the Ottomans. But efforts bogged as they failed to take Gaza. Due to this failure on 2 April 1917 the order first went out of the British War Cabinet to attempt Jerusalem. And in one remarkable day, the 31 October 1917, the ANZAC Light Horse brigade, in the last successful cavalry charge, took Beersheva, and, providentially, were in time to prevent the Turks from destroying the water wells. By 11 December of 1917 they had captured Jerusalem.

Nobody at the start of WW1 could have thought it would have ended with the British controlling Jerusalem. It seemed they never had it as an aim initally. They accidentally acquired it. On the the day Britain took control of Jerusalem, a New Zealander wearing an Australian uniform climbed the citadel of David and flew the Zionist flag given to him by the Jews in Cairo (Crombie, 1998). He knew he had not fought for the Commonwealth, but for God and achiving the promises of the Bible. The British command took it down.

Gallipoli and Palestine campaign in Bible Prophecy

The action at Gallipoli may be referred to directly in the scriptures. Bible prophecy uses imagery we use today. A river refers to a nation. Just as we associate the Thames with London and the British, or the Seine with France, the Euphrates refers to that nation controlling it. At the time of Gallipoli this was the Ottoman Empire. When a river 'floods' it is where a nation extends territory beyond its national borders, and when it 'dries up', it loses territory. When nations go to war it is likened to drinking a 'bitter' medicine (vial or phial).

In the Revelation the apostle John sees and angel bringing warfare (the vial) to the nation controlling the Euphrates river, and it is 'great' or flooded, showing the nation is a great empire.

And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. (Revelation 16:12)

Since 96AD when the text was written there has only been one great empire controlling the Euphrates area, having a sucession of forms. The Mohametans became the Saracens who inturn became the Turkish based Seljukians, Moguls, Tartars and Ottomans culmulating in the the Ottoman Empire which 'overflowed' for centuries the territory of the Euphrates and is symbolised by the “great river Euphrates”. By the time of the Dardanelles campaign in 1915 it had already “dried” or lost territory significantly, but it still occupied Palestine. The process of the shrinking of the Ottoman Empire was to prepare for the “kings of the East” or the kings from the sun's rising. This image comes from the Old Testament where it refers to the Messiah (Jesus as the son/sun) and the saints who come to Jerusalem from Mt Sinai (the East) to deliver Israel (Deuteronomy 33:2).

For Israel to be delivered, the nation had to exist. The Ottomans would have prevented the establishment of a Jewish nation without British action, “the vial”. They brought the ANZACs to fight, supported the Jews and mobilized Arab nationalism which “dried up” the Ottoman Empire, which become merely the nation of Turkey. By the end of 1917 Palestine was freed from Ottoman control and the way was open for Israel's restoration. None of this would have happened without the British attempt to take the Dardanelles.

The "Push"

Also Gallipoli was a “push”. During the first World War a “push” described a large-scale attack on enemy positions. That precise word is used in the English translation of the prophet Daniel when writing of battles between Northern and Southern Empires over the Middle East. Daniel terms the Middle East nation “him”.

And at the time of the end shall the King of the South push< at him:

and the King of the North shall come against him like a whirlwind, with chariots, and with horsemen, and with many ships; and he shall enter into the countries, and shall overflow and pass over.

(Daniel 11:40)

In context the “time of the end” relates to the era when non-Jews would lose control of Israel, which was in 1948. Daniel's “him”, was the empire controlling the Middle East, and refers to the Ottomans. The “king of the south” controlled Egypt.

Britain had become the “king of the South”. In 1829 Egypt revolted from Ottoman rule to make a “king of the South”. In 1838 they launched an offensive aimed at control of Constantinople that led to an advance to Smyrna. Russia, Austria, Prussia and England forced Egypt to give back Palestine to the Ottomans. This was the 'Eastern Question'. Due to the revolt of Egypt in 1829 the British had the opportunity to achieve a strong presence in Egypt when debts forced Said Pasha's successor, Isma'il Pasha, to sell his country's share in the Suez canal to Britain in 1875. After Britain settled a civil war in Egypt in 1882, at the Convention of Constantinople in 1888 the canal became a neutral zone under the protection of the British. (

Certainly in 1915 Churchill had decided on a “push”, an offensive campaign against the Ottomans with the objective of aid to the Russians by the control of Constantinople (Istanbul). In 1915 Britain was the “king of the South” as they had a huge and historic military presence in Egypt and in fact launched their attack on the Ottomans from Egypt. This “push” led to the final act in the “drying up” of the Ottoman empire. Since the Gulf war, there have been offensive campaigns by the British led coalitions from the South in the Middle East which “push” with ground based warfare at the Moslem powers in the Middle East. However we would not call the offensives now a “push”. That word belongs to an era that has passed. Will there be another push? Or was the offensive begun in 1915 the crucial “push” that changed the situation to prepare for the King of the North coming like a whirlwind to invade Israel? If this was the “push” spoken of by the prophet Daniel, then the day ANZACs attacked at Gallipoli was significant indeed.>