Gallipoli

Gallipoli

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by Peter Hart
     
 

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One of the most famous battles in history, the WWI Gallipoli campaign began as a bold move by the British to capture Constantinople, but this definitive new history explains that from the initial landings--which ended with so much blood in the sea it could be seen from airplanes overhead--to the desperate attacks of early summer and the battle of attrition that…  See more details below

Overview


One of the most famous battles in history, the WWI Gallipoli campaign began as a bold move by the British to capture Constantinople, but this definitive new history explains that from the initial landings--which ended with so much blood in the sea it could be seen from airplanes overhead--to the desperate attacks of early summer and the battle of attrition that followed, it was a tragic folly destined to fail from the start.

Gallipoli forced the young Winston Churchill from office, established Turkey's iconic founder Mustafa Kemal (better known as "Ataturk"), and marked Australia's emergence as a nation in its own right. Drawing on unpublished eyewitness accounts by individuals from all ranks--not only from Britain, Australia and New Zealand, but from Turkey and France as well--Peter Hart weaves first-hand stories into a vivid narrative of the battle and its aftermath. Hart, a historian with the Imperial War Museum and a battlefield tour guide at Gallipoli, provides a vivid, boots-on-the-ground account that brilliantly evokes the confusion of war, the horrors of combat, and the grim courage of the soldiers. He provides an astute, unflinching assessment of the leaders as well. He shows that the British invasion was doomed from the start, but he places particular blame on General Sir Ian Hamilton, whose misplaced optimism, over-complicated plans, and unwillingness to recognize the gravity of the situation essentially turned likely failure into complete disaster.

Capturing the sheer drama and bravery of the ferocious fighting, the chivalry demonstrated by individuals on both sides amid merciless wholesale slaughter, and the futility of the cause for which ordinary men fought with extraordinary courage and endurance--Gallipoli is a riveting account of a battle that continues to fascinate us close to a hundred years after the event.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Hart, oral historian of Britain's Imperial War Museum, focuses on the Gallipoli campaign. This book depends more on archival work and on recent Turkish and French research than Hart's earlier collaboration with Nigel Steelin, Defeat at Gallipoli. But the human element still defines this compelling account of an operation Hart dismisses as a "lunacy that never could have succeeded," driven by wishful thinking as opposed to the professional analysis of ends and means. Such alleged strategic benefits as reducing pressure on Russia, says Hart, were largely ephemeral. Plans lacked focus. Logistics were inefficient. Troops were poorly trained and badly led. The often-overlooked French were effective, but poorly used on the Helles front. The Turkish army, on the other hand, profited from its defeat in the Balkan War of 1911–1912 and from its military relationship with Germany; the Turkish army won the battle of Gallipoli even more than the Allies lost it, according to Hart. There remains ample blame to distribute. Hart excoriates the haphazard romanticism of First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill. He is more scathing in describing Gen. Ian Hamilton's on-the–spot fecklessness. He is at his best, however, in explaining and presenting the "near-superhuman courage and endurance" of the combatants. That remains Gallipoli's enduring appeal. Maps. (Oct.)
From the Publisher

"[Peter Hart] has skillfully blended his analysis of the campaign with scores of personal accounts from both sides that fought at Gallipoli, and there are numerous maps to help readers better understand the progress of the fighting. Those who are interested in the First World War will find this a most compelling book, as we seek 'to resolve the conundrum of how somthing so stupid, so doomed from the outset, can remain so utterly fascinating.'" --Army History

"Gallipoli is replete with lengthy and compelling quotations by Australian, British, French and Turkish soldiers, most never before published. Hart's intimate familiarity with the battlefield, where he leads regular tours, adds a level of understanding absent from other books. Overall, Gallipoli is an important contribution to the growing literature on this epic and tragic campaign." --Edward G. Lengel, Military History

"The human element still defines this compelling account of an operation Hart dismisses as a 'lunacy that never could have succeeded,' driven by wishful thinking as opposed to the professional analysis of ends and means...He is at his best, however, in explaining and presenting the 'near-superhuman courage and endurance' of the combatants. That remains Gallipoli's enduring appeal." --Publishers Weekly

"An important reevaluation, largely from the Allied point of view. An excellent summary of an iconic campaign, offering many lessons for war planners." --Library Journal

"HERE is a marvellous, ghastly book...What makes Mr Hart's version so bracing is his method. He is a specialist in oral history at London's Imperial War Museum, and this book, like others he has written or co-written, gains richness and texture from the use of first-hand testimony." --The Economist

"This thorough updating of one of WWI's great 'might have beens' makes a good acquistion as we approach the centennial of the battle." --Booklist

Library Journal
World War I's Battle of Gallipoli changed the Middle East, built and ruined reputations, swallowed enormous Allied resources, and marked Australia's and New Zealand's emergence as nations on the world stage. It developed into a bloody sinkhole that wasted lives without discernible strategic benefit owing to British arrogance, incompetent leadership, and stiff Turkish resistance. Churchill lost his job, but Mustafa Kemal (later known as Atatürk) established himself as the founder of modern Turkey. Hart (oral historian, Imperial War Museum; The Somme) brings many unpublished first-person accounts and official records into focus with scathing assessment of the planners, from the cabinet down, and descriptions of soldiers trapped in an unforgiving nightmare. VERDICT An important reevaluation, largely from the Allied point of view. An excellent summary of an iconic campaign, offering many lessons for war planners. Readable but most accessible to specialists.—Edwin B. Burgess, U.S. Army Combined Arms Research Lib., Fort Leavenworth, KS

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780199361274
Publisher:
Oxford University Press, USA
Publication date:
04/01/2014
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
544
Sales rank:
595,740
Product dimensions:
5.50(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.50(d)

Meet the Author

Peter Hart is Oral Historian of the Imperial War Museum and works as battlefield tour guide at Gallipoli. He is author of The Somme: The Darkest Hour on the Western Front and 1918: A Very British Victory

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Gallipoli 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago