Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
The Mediterranean Expeditionary Force
Expeditionary warfare
Expeditionary warfare is used to describe the organization of a state's military to fight abroad, especially when deployed to fight away from its established bases at home or abroad. Expeditionary forces were in part the antecedent of the modern concept of Rapid Deployment Forces...

(MEF) was part of the British Army during World War I
British Army during World War I
The British Army during World War I fought the largest and most costly war in its long history. Unlike the French and German Armies, its units were made up exclusively of volunteers—as opposed to conscripts—at the beginning of the conflict...

, that commanded all Allied forces at Gallipoli and Salonika
British Salonika Army
The British Salonika Army was a British field army of the British Army during World War I.-First World War:The Army was formed in Salonika in May 1916 under Lieutenant General George Milne to oppose Bulgarian advances in the region as part of the Macedonian front...

. This included the initial naval operation to force the straits of the Dardanelles
The Dardanelles , formerly known as the Hellespont, is a narrow strait in northwestern Turkey connecting the Aegean Sea to the Sea of Marmara. It is one of the Turkish Straits, along with its counterpart the Bosphorus. It is located at approximately...

. Its headquarters was formed in March 1915. The MEF was originally commanded by General Sir Ian Hamilton until he was dismissed due to the failure of the 29th Division at Gallipoli. Command briefly passed to General William Birdwood, commander of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps, but for the duration of the Gallipoli campaign it was General Sir Charles Monro
Charles Carmichael Monro
General Sir Charles Carmichael Monro, 1st Baronet of Bearcrofts, GCB, GCSI, GCMG, was a British Army General during World War I and Governor of Gibraltar from 1923 to 1929.-Military career:...

 who led the MEF.

While the Gallipoli theatre was the only active Mediterranean theatre, the MEF was used to refer to the forces at Gallipoli. With the opening of the Salonika front in October 1915, the forces at Gallipoli were referred to as the Dardanelles Army
British Dardanelles Army
The Dardanelles Army was formed in late 1915 and comprised the three army corps of the British Army operating at Gallipoli. It was created as a result of the reorganisation of headquarters when the second Mediterranean front opened at Salonika. Prior to this, all British units in the...

 and the Salonika contingent became the Salonika Army
British Salonika Army
The British Salonika Army was a British field army of the British Army during World War I.-First World War:The Army was formed in Salonika in May 1916 under Lieutenant General George Milne to oppose Bulgarian advances in the region as part of the Macedonian front...

 on the Macedonian front (World War I)
Macedonian front (World War I)
The Macedonian Front resulted from an attempt by the Allied Powers to aid Serbia, in the autumn of 1915, against the combined attack of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Bulgaria. The expedition came too late and in insufficient force to prevent the fall of Serbia, and was complicated by the internal...


Once Salonika became the sole Mediterranean theatre the MEF was commanded by General Archibald Murray
Archibald Murray
General Sir Archibald James Murray, GCMG, KCB, CVO, DSO was a British Army officer during World War I, most famous for his commanding the Egyptian Expeditionary Force from 1916 to 1917.-Army career:...

 who was based in Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

 and whose command also involved defence of the Suez Canal
Suez Canal
The Suez Canal , also known by the nickname "The Highway to India", is an artificial sea-level waterway in Egypt, connecting the Mediterranean Sea and the Red Sea. Opened in November 1869 after 10 years of construction work, it allows water transportation between Europe and Asia without navigation...

 from Turkish
Turkey , known officially as the Republic of Turkey , is a Eurasian country located in Western Asia and in East Thrace in Southeastern Europe...

 attacks. As the importance of the Sinai
Sinai Peninsula
The Sinai Peninsula or Sinai is a triangular peninsula in Egypt about in area. It is situated between the Mediterranean Sea to the north, and the Red Sea to the south, and is the only part of Egyptian territory located in Asia as opposed to Africa, effectively serving as a land bridge between two...

 front grew, a separate headquarters called the Egyptian Expeditionary Force
Egyptian Expeditionary Force
The Egyptian Expeditionary Force was formed in March 1916 to command the British and British Empire military forces in Egypt during World War I. Originally known as the 'Force in Egypt' it had been commanded by General Maxwell who was recalled to England...

 was formed (in March 1916).

Supposedly when the British Secretary of State for War
Secretary of State for War
The position of Secretary of State for War, commonly called War Secretary, was a British cabinet-level position, first held by Henry Dundas . In 1801 the post became that of Secretary of State for War and the Colonies. The position was re-instated in 1854...

, Lord Kitchener, was preparing the Mediterranean expedition he intended to name the headquarters the Constantinople
Constantinople was the capital of the Roman, Eastern Roman, Byzantine, Latin, and Ottoman Empires. Throughout most of the Middle Ages, Constantinople was Europe's largest and wealthiest city.-Names:...

 Expeditionary Force
but Hamilton suggested this might be a bit of a giveaway.

External links

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