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Men of Gallipoli - Peter Liddle


Men of Gallipoli

The Dardanelles and Gallipoli Experience, August 1914 to January 1916

Peter Liddle

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In April 1915 a military landing was carried out by the Allies on the Gallipoli Peninsula which forms the northern shore of the Dardanelles. The resultant attempts to hold and extend the area won in this landing were a failure - one of the classic failures of military history, and at the turn of the year the peninsula was evacuated. Yet the Gallipoli campaign was of lasting significance. A combined operation involving a British and a French squadron and including the most powerful modern battleship afloat carried out seven separate landings with five divisions of troops from Britain, France, Africa, India and Australasia. The scale of such an operation was unmatched in the Great War. One of the most fascinating aspects of the campaign is the richly varied background of the troops involved. There were British, Irish, Australians, New Zealanders including Maoris, Newfoundlanders, Gurkhas, Sikhs, Palestinians, French, men of the varied races of the French Foreign Legion, Algerians, Moroccans and Senegalese. Their different languages and cultures, their prejudices and their ideals, their varied military training and experience, had to be fused to serve a common military purpose. It is Peter Liddle's contention that the political and military gains to be achieved by success had been set at an unrealistically high level. His book concentrates on the experience of the men who faced extended limits of physical and emotional endurance in striving for those gains. A whole archive of hitherto undiscovered personal documentation was built to serve as the main source for the book, and drawing upon this rich store of diaries and letters together with supporting recollections the author has endeavoured to bring alive the reality of service in the Eastern Mediterranean during the campaign.

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