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A 61 km (38 mile) strait between the Aegean Sea and the Sea of Marmara, and part of the strategic waterway that links the Black Sea and the Mediterranean. The strait has constituted a vital supply route for Russia, connecting its only winter ports to the outside world. During World War I, the British decided to force their way into the Dardanelles and thus reach the Turkish city of Constantinople by sea. In preparation for the attack, the Turkish coastal defences were bombarded between 19 and 26 February 1915, though they were still able to inflict heavy losses on the Anglo‐French fleet as it tried to make its way through the strait. Altogether, one‐third of the capital ships were sunk, so that the naval campaign was aborted to concentrate on the land attack at Gallipoli. Since World War I, access to the straits has been regulated by a succession of international treaties, the last being the Montreux Convention of 1936.

Subjects: Contemporary History (Post 1945).

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