The Dardanelles Disaster: Winston Churchill's Greatest Failure

The Dardanelles Disaster: Winston Churchill's Greatest Failure

by Dan Van Der Vat
     
 

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The British Navy's catastrophic attempt to pass through the Dardanelles to Constantinople was a turning point in the history of World War I, and its repercussions still affect us today.
Acclaimed naval military expert Dan van der Vat argues that the disaster at the Dardanelles prolonged the war by two years, led to the Russian Revolution, forced Britain to the

Overview

The British Navy's catastrophic attempt to pass through the Dardanelles to Constantinople was a turning point in the history of World War I, and its repercussions still affect us today.
Acclaimed naval military expert Dan van der Vat argues that the disaster at the Dardanelles prolonged the war by two years, led to the Russian Revolution, forced Britain to the brink of starvation, and contributed to the destabilization of the Middle East.
With never before published information on Colonel Geehl's mine laying operation, which won the battle for the Germans, The Dardanelles Disaster is essential reading for everyone interested in great naval history, Churchill's early career, and World War I.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Van der Vat provides a dogged narrative." -Library Journal
Publishers Weekly

Winston Churchill as First Lord of the Admiralty is the central figure in naval historian van Der Vat's (The Ship that Changed the World) account of a disaster that prolonged the Great War by two years and laid the groundwork for the collapse of the czarist and Ottoman empires. The plan to take the Dardanelles strait was Churchillian in its conception: "the boldest strategic concept" of WWI, designed to simultaneously outflank a deadlocked Western Front and open a supply route to Russia. Its promise was thwarted by incompetent execution-beginning with Churchill's insistence on the navy forcing the Dardanelles alone, without ground troop support. The Royal Navy's predictable inability to push its battleships past the guns and minefields defending the Dardanelles forts in March 1915 followed the Allies' failure to intercept the German cruisers Goeben and Breslau before they reached Turkish waters and triggered the German-Ottoman alliance. An improvised land campaign undertaken with poorly trained troops whose senior commanders set unsurpassed standards of ineptitude ensued. General readers will find enlightening this extended demonstration of the contributions command can make to catastrophe. (July 14)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Library Journal

In 1915, the Royal Navy and Allied troops sought to open the Dardanelles strait, which the Ottoman Empire had closed to the Allies in 1914. The operation was overseen by First Lord of the Admiralty Winston Churchill, and it was a massive failure that devolved into the horrific Battle of Gallipoli. Van der Vat provides a dogged narrative, hewing very much to maneuver details, both in battle and in Whitehall offices, and then indicating how the World War I Turco-German alliance impacted not only that war's duration but the course of history to come. With no footnotes, van der Vat aims at general readers, but this is best for the strict military history enthusiasts among them.
—Margaret Heilbrun

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781590202234
Publisher:
The Overlook Press
Publication date:
07/09/2009
Pages:
256
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Dan van der Vat is a historian of naval history. He has written for The New York Times, The Times and Sunday Times (London), and now writes for The Guardian. He has written many books on naval history, including The Ship That Changed the World. He lives in England.

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