Gallipoli: A Short History

Gallipoli: A Short History

Gallipoli: A Short History

Gallipoli: A Short History

Synopsis

A concise and very readable account of the whole Gallipoli campaign written in Michael's very personable style. Describes the planning, or rather the lack of planning, that went into the campaign; the actual campaign itself- while it does describe the main battles, the landing, and withdrawal, it doesn't get into the minute details that most other books have, and which can become incomprehensible to the general reader. It describes the impact of the campaign on the folk at home and the way the nation changed from a feeling of great pride early in the campaign to one of horror as the casualty list mounted, and it describes the agonizing that went into the decision to withdraw from the peninsular. While describing in graphic details the horrors of the campaign and the ultimate failure it does certainly also gets across the message that the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps did a fantastic job and against all odds nearly succeeded in their campaign.

Excerpt

We were a party of battlefield travellers, out of season on Gallipoli because we were visiting in late September— deliberately so, to avoid the crushing crowds of Anzac Day in April. Yet we all wanted to experience a dawn service at Anzac, so here we were, some fifty of us, in Ari Burnu cemetery—right on the water’s edge at Anzac Cove, where in the past the official Anzac Day dawn service had been held. I had a recording of the Last Post, the Rouse and the Australian national anthem. I reminded the others that wreaths are usually laid. We had only one wreath among us: a spray of Australian native flowers, so I encouraged those who wished to do so to lay a ‘verbal wreath’ by perhaps speaking of a family connection with Anzac or an impression gained from the five days we had already spent on the Peninsula.

We began just as the sky was lightening in the hills behind us. With the ‘verbal wreaths’ and prayers said by a former military chaplain, the ceremony ran for twenty minutes so . . .

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